Board a small luxury 2 to 3 bedroom houseboat for some backwater cruising in the smaller, out of the way canals. This evening, watch the sky turn pink, palm trees silhouetted as night falls. Enjoy a gourmet candlelit dinner and fall asleep to the gentle lapping of the water. Hear the cacophony of birds at dawn as a new day begins.
Join our post conference tour to experience some other delights of Kerala and Tamil Nadu: the rugged mountains of Thekkady bearing tea and spice plantations, rare and endangered animals in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (with a bit of luck you’ll spot an elusive tiger) and finally the holy city of Madurai, dating back 2,500 years, with some of the most intricate and colourful temple in India.
Today, drive to Thekkady, set high in the rugged mountains. Visit a spice plantation to learn about the many spices that grow in Thekkady, including pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Go to a rubber plantation to learn how this material is produced and witness a demonstration of sap extraction from the rubber trees first introduced by Dutch colonists.
This morning continue to Madurai, an important Hindu pilgrimage site. It is a temple city that draws streams of worshippers making puja (prayer ceremonies) every day. This cultural hub dates back more than 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the entire subcontinent—and also one of the most culturally diverse.
This evening travel to the Sri Meenakshi Temple by auto-rickshaw to witness a fascinating night-time ceremony in which the deities are put to sleep for the night.
Feel the pulse of these ancient grounds in the bustling marketplaces and streets that merge concentrically like lotus petals around Sri Meenakshi Temple, the glorious fortress-like temple in the center of the city.Visit Thirumalai Naicker Palace, a stunning fusion of diverse architectural influences, including Italian, Dravidian, and Islamic. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy Madurai on your own.
Enjoy a final dinner together before your journey homewards.
The morning is free before you take the late afternoon flight to Chennai then Australia via Singapore arriving on Tuesday 21 March.
End of arrangements
Please note that this itinerary and costs may be subject to change.