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Destinations Offered > India > India...In Touch with Nature

Combine your love of adventure and luxury with your desire to minimize your footprint in the destinations as you take this eco-friendly journey in India. You arrive in Bangalore the new high tech capital of India and after an overnight stay head with your private guide and driver to the fabled land of Coorg, a land of chivalry and pride, rich food and spices. Smell the coffee on the trees and in your cup, taste the oranges, flavor with Cardamom and savor the honey. Then continue to a luxury resort situated between two nature reserves where elephants abound and leopards and tigers are sighted. Move on to the hill country of Ooty for a touch of old England and complete your journey at Cochin with its Arabic, Dutch, Portuguese and English influences. Special moments and superb cuisine throughout.

12 Days:$4,857 per person inclusive of superior rooms in luxury hotels and lodges, most meals, game viewing by vehicle and boat, nature walks in coffee and spice plantations, personally guided sightseeing and private car and driver throughout. International airfare is additional. Participation is limited to six guests.

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Personal Highlights:

• A chance to meet the people of Coorg, reputed to be the direct descendants of the last of Alexander the Great’s army in India
• A private tour of an organic plantation growing Coffee, Cardamom and Pepper
• Game drives in a nature reserve with leopards, tigers and the largest herd of Asiatic elephants in India
• Your chance to give a river bath to a playful elephant at your camp
• A sunset cruise across the scenic harbor of Cochin

Day 1 Depart USA

You board your aircraft for your flight to Bangalore the center of the Indian surge in computers and customer support but also a charming city with a long history.

Day 2 Welcome to Bangalore

Upon arrival at Bangalore airport you will meet your guide who will escort you to the car that will take you to your elegant hotel which has catered to discriminating guests since the end of the 19th Century. Upon arrival you have the chance to relax, take a dip in the pool and have a light supper before catching up on your sleep in anticipation of the adventure ahead 

Day 3 Driving to the Western Ghats

After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast your are ready to meet your guide for the trip to the  Western Ghats and Coorg located 3,000 feet above sea level. This will be a scenic drive and as your capable driver drives your guide will be explaining the history of the area you are traveling to. The people of Coorg are a friendly but independent group. Reputed to be the descendants of Alexander the Great's army who stayed behind, the inhabitants do have a "European" look and a long history as warriors. They were, in fact one of the mainstays of the British Indian Army. Just about lunch time you arrive at your home for the next two nights, a working coffee plantation that has been enhanced by the creation of an ecological sound resort in harmony with nature. After lunch you will be taken on a tour of the plantation to see the Coffee under cultivation along with Cardamom, Cloves and the renowned Coorg Pepper. Some of these spices will be used to enhance the meal that you will savor this evening and you can be sure that superb coffee will complete the mealB, L, D

Day 4 Plantation Life in Coorg

After breakfast you are invited to take a tour of the plantation and the villages surrounding it. You will find the locals to be friendly and interesting. You may opt for a trip on the Cauvery river that borders the plantation. With a skilled boatman you will ply the river in a Coracle, a circular boat made of woven reeds whose provenance is not India but the ancient druids on the British Isles. A visit to the spa in the aftenoon may be in order to cleanse the body and the mind. Sundowners followed by dinner in your choice of restauranrs rounds out a day on the plantation.B, L, D

Day 5 From Coorg to Kabini

Today you will drive to a sister property owned by the same family and bordered on two sides by the Kabini River. This is a unique resort built in traditional tribal village style with palm thatched lodges but all modern amenties. The lodge is totally eco-friendly however with air conditioning  powered by solar power. Upon arrival you have the chance to enjoy the first of your many splendid meals offering a selection of Continental, North and South Indian cuisines in a variety of settings. After lunch and a chance to cool off in your personal Jacuzzi or the serene infinity pool, you set off on a game drive in one of the two major game reserves that are close to the resort.B, L, D

Days 6- 7 Adventures in Kabini

During these two days you have the option of morning and evening game drives into the parks where you will see the largest concentration of Asiatic elephants in all of India, less abundant but still in residence are leopards and the mighty Bengal tiger. You will also see muntjack, antelope, macaques and the might Gaur, an indian version of the water buffalo. You can also opt for a river journey which allows you to view the animals as they come to the river to drink. In addition you can spend time with Meenashki the resort's pet elephant and even take her to the river for a bath if you like. The resort has an Ayurvedic Spa where India's healing secrets are put to work in ironing out the kinks in your system. Whether it be a simple rejuvenation massage or therapeutic treatments, the Doctors and Therapists will ensure you leave in better shape. Each day is also enhanced by the meals offered for your enjoymentB, L, D

Day 8 Kabini to Mysore

After breakfast you will set off for the charming city of Mysore which was the capital of the District of Mysore and ruled by the Wodeyar family from the 14th Century until independence in 1947. You will have a private tour of the city which is known for its magnificent palaces, beautifully laid out gardens, imposing colonial buildings and broad shady avenues. You will see Mysore Palace used to house foreign dignitaries, St. Philomena's Church built in Gothic style and one of the largest in India and the art gallery located in Jagmohan Palace. Your hotel dates back to the heyday of Mysore and has retained its elegant sophistication.B, D

Day 9 Ooty and British Colonial Life

You head into the hill country today much as the British did to escape the summer heat. One town in particular was Ootacamund which was abbreviated to Ooty and also known as "Queen of the hill stations". From the mid-18th century to independence, its 7,000 foot elevation allowed for a climate and scenery reminiscent of England and also an excellent "terroir" for superb tea. Upon arrival you will take a tour of the Botanical Gardens which started out as a cooperative vegetable garden for the local english inhabitants who paid a monthly fee in order to have access to fresh vegetables. Nowadays the vegetables have been replaced by exotic trees and well manicured flowerbeds. As you move on to your hotel you will think you have never left the Gardens since the quaint cottages dating back to the 19th Century are surrounded by very English flower beds adding a picturesque touchB, D

Day 10 From the Hill Country to the Malabar Coast

Your guide will be waiting to take you to Kochi, which is also known as Cochin. "Queen of the Arabian Sea". You will stop for lunch along the way before arriving in Cochin.The term cosmopolitan is conferred upon many cities but Cochin deserves its reputation. Over the years it has been influenced or occupied by Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese. It also has an ancient synagogue and a well established colony known as "Malabar Jews" from the Malabar Coast. The name Kochi is thought to have come from the Chinese traders who were emissaries of Kublai Khan and, in fact, the Chinese fishing nets that frame the harbor are still in use today, the only place outside of China. Arriving in the city you head to the waterfront to your hotel which is, itself, historic since it was created from an old British boatyard. In the evening you have the chance to ride a rickshaw and view a Kathkali dance performance, a traditional dance form of Kerala combining elaborate facial movements, hand gestures and classic steps

B, L, D

Day 11 A Day in Cochin

After breakfast you join your guide for an interesting tour of Cochin. During your exploration you will visit the church where Vasco Da Gama was buried, having died in the city, you will also visit the Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch Palace which was actually built by the Portuguese and housing an impressive collection of Hindu murals. In the evening enjoy a harbor cruise as the sun sets followed by a farewell dinner at the hotel

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Day 12 Return to USA

In the morning you are transferred to the airport for your return flight to the USAB
Day 2

Taj Westend, Luxury Room
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Nestled in the midst of 20 acres of magnificent gardens The Taj West End is one of the finest hotels in Bangalore. It has welcomed guests for over a century and is more a legend than a hotel. Built in 1887, as the city’s first hotel The Taj West End is an experience of luxury in refined style and warm relaxed comfort. An understated elegance and gothic architecture that has been meticulously preserved, gives the hotel its unique character. What sets apart this heritage hotel is the stamp of old world charm and colonial architecture that’s been carefully preserved for over a century, blended with the most modern amenities; distinctive bar and restaurants, personalized butler service, rooms and villas interspersed over 20 acres of landscaped greenery. The Taj West End is ranked among ‘Top 10 Best Luxury’ hotels in India according to the 2009 Trip Advisor Travellers” Choice. The hotel is centrally located - just 23 miles from the domestic and international airports and close to the city’s prime shopping and entertainment districts center. The hotel is opposite to Bangalore Turf Club and is next to Bangalore Golf Club.
Days 3 - 4

Orange County Coorg, Country Cottage
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Amidst unparalleled scenic beauty, Orange County Coorg is nestled within a 300-acre working coffee and spice plantation, 2,700 feet above sea level in the midst of the Coorg Forest. An enchanting place from which to discover the local culture, history and way of life, enjoy comforts that include two pools, an Ayurvedic spa and a myriad of activities. Surrounded by acres of coffee and oranges, green valleys and impressive mountains, the accommodation at Orange County Coorg is in Plantation-Style Cottages spread in delightful clusters throughout the estate. Take a tour of discovery throughout the plantation accompanied by the subtle fragrance of cloves, pepper and cardamom. Then ride in a coracle fishing boat on the River Cauvery and see the forest from a different perspective. Return to Orange County Coorg for dinner in one of the three restaurants.
Days 5 - 7

Orange County Kabini, Jacuzzi Suite
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Bordered on two sides by the Kabini River, Orange County Kabini is a unique resort built in traditional tribal village style with palm thatched lodges. Providing wildlife and jungle adventures, an Ayurvedic spa, an infinity pool and great food, the resort’s stunning position close to Nagarhole and Bandipur National Parks translates into outstanding wildlife experiences and fascinating encounters with nature. With a superb mix of chic, ethnic furnishings and traditional craftsmanship, the lodges are extremely comfortable with a separate bedroom and living room and have either a private pool or outdoor Jacuzzi. Take a swim in the infinity pool that appears to blend into the river and then get acquainted with Orange County Kabini’s resident elephant, Meenakshi. Take a coracle ride down the Kabini River or visit a local tribal village for an insight into the culture of the Kuruba tribe. The following day, go on an Orange County Kabini jeep safari into Nagarhole National Park to catch sight of wild elephant, muntjack, antelope, macaques and the occasional leopard or tiger.
Day 8

Royal Orchid Metropole, Heritage Room
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A luxury heritage hotel, Royal Orchid Metropole is steeped in the history and culture of Mysore. Its imperial arches, imposing pillars and ornate corridors capture the old world charm of this majestic guesthouse built by the former Maharaja of Mysore for his distinguished British guests. Vintage car tours, readings by astrologers, Ayurvedic massages, yoga lessons, dancers and musicians provide a delightful insight into local culture while jesters and magicians, on the other hand, transform your weekend getaway into a magical experience. The hotel has 30 rooms and three restaurants. Modeled after hunting lodges of yore, Tiger Trail is extremely popular for its open hearth. The authentic décor and ambience add to the experience. Shikari offers alfresco Barbecue and High Tea is a casual place for snacks and afternoon tea
Day 9

Taj Savoy, Cottage
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Ensconced high on a rising hill, the Savoy Hotel sprawls over six acres of landscaped gardens, offering colonial style cottages that were built between 1834 and 1865. Colorful flowerbeds merge to form a multi-colored quilt around the cottages, adding to their gentle refinement and old English Charm. A quiet retreat, the Savoy Hotel offers a little pocket of paradise.
Days 10 - 11

Brunton Boatyard, Sea View Room
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For what is essentially a small and intimate city hotel, The Brunton Boatyard possesses a remarkable sense of scale, evident the moment you turn into the tiled forecourt. The lobby is a vault of sunlight and air, framed by arches and overhung with punkahs - enormous, old-fashioned fans of Indo-Portuguese origin. The hotel's nautical past seems to follow you around. On one wall, old Dutch maps, on another, a small navigation device, in the courtyard lawns, an ancient anchor. Walk further, turn a corner and you find yourself outside the Armory Bar. Perhaps later, you could enjoy a sundowner here, with old Portuguese breastplates and musketry for company. A short saunter down the corridor brings you to a little doorway. Pass through and suddenly, the whole vista of Cochin harbor opens up beyond the pool's inviting waters. This is the spot to read a boring historical novel, work on your tan and watch the ships sail by, so close you can almost reach out and touch them. Crane your neck a bit and you can spot a serried rank of Cochin's famed fishing nets. They first made their appearance in 1350 AD and their much-photographed preying-mantis shapes form one of the city's most enduring images. Also near the pool is the hotel's jetty, and a word at the reception gets you a variety of cruising options to choose from. The heritage of Cochin is most evident around its enormous harbor, and this is a not-to-be-missed experience.