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Authentic Food Holiday in India

This program takes you on the journey of South Indian delicacies. As you all know that India is so vast when it comes to geography, religion, caste, creed, cuisine, art, and culture; therefore, the food habit and styles are the ultimate of each region. The ingredients more or less are the same with a twist of a few different ingredients with different cooking recipes and styles which rules the food culture of one specific region whether it is South or North. In the past, many different dynasties and rulers rules India like Lodhi, Mughal, British, Portuguese, France, etc. left behind their mark not only on India's culture but their taste too.

Highlights

  • Walking food tour tasting local delicacies
  • Enjoy food from small eateries to lavish authentic dinners
  • Stay at a houseboat and learn the preparation of a delicious Kerala recipe for fish
  • English speaking local guide (4-6 pax) or accompanied English speaking guide (7 pax up)
  • Cooking demonstration with Indian families in each city
  • Spice plantation visit and walking or cycle tour
  • 12 nights accommodation at 4 to 5-star hotels
  • All transportation and transfers provided

Styles


13 days with instruction
Group size: 4-10 participants
Airport transfer included: Chennai International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
12:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

GRT Grand, Chennai (4* star plus)

Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels is a unique hotel that offers you much more than just a perfect stay. It is an upscale hotel with 133 rooms of sheer comfort and pure craftsmanship and is located at T. Nagar which is Chennai’s focal point and one of the city’s finest addresses. Take a 360° virtual tour around the hotel and see for yourself. You can access Grand Chennai with absolute ease, both from the Chennai airport and MGR Central Railway Station.

The Richmond, Pondicherry (4 star)

The Richmond Puducherry is equipped with 14 well-appointed rooms and is located in the peaceful and clean environments inside the French Quarter of Pondicherry. Our hotel is approximately a 10 minutes drive from the Railway Station and 25 minutes from the Airport.

The Bangla, Chettinad (Heritage)

Welcome to The Bangala – the first Heritage Hotel in Chettinad, built on a property that has been with the family for almost 100 years. Located in Karaikudi, in the heart of Chettinad, the Bangala is a family-run hotel that combines traditional Chettiar hospitality with modern amenities. The extensive property retains its Chettinad charm, with quaint gardens, old-style furniture, extensive verandahs, and is also equipped with a swimming pool, library and massage center.

Renowned for its family kitchen, the Bangala is the ultimate destination for authentic Chettinad cuisine, with recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, creating a dining experience that cannot be missed. There is much to see and do in Chettinad, and the Bangala has local guides who can give you an insider’s view of the area and its unparalleled architectural legacy that is rapidly gaining fame all over the world.

Heritage Hotel, Madurai (4 Star plus)

Restoration of the Madurai Club was fittingly awarded to Bawa’s disciple, Sri Lankan architect and prodigy VinodJayasinghe. Maintaining Bawa’s unique style and most of the material he had used, Jayasinghe restored the resort to its former glory, along with the addition of modern conveniences. Leaving his own personal stamp on the project, Jayasinghe, in addition to personal courtyards and enclosed plunge pools in every villa, added an Olympic-sized, temple tank-styled pool.

“Today, Heritage Madurai comprises 72 rooms including 34 villas. The old colonial bungalows have been refurbished maintaining that traditional South Indian flavor, only found in Madurai”.

Cardamom County, Thekkady (4 Star)

A beautiful collection of cottages set against the gently sloping side of a hill near the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady, Cardamom County is an oasis of calmness and healing. Cardamom County is situated right next to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the oldest tiger reserve in India.

Poetree Sarovar, Periyar (4 star)

Perched on a windswept mountain top and embraced by acres of untouched forest, Poetree Sarovar Portico is an award-winning experiential eco-resort that captures the heart and soul of Thekkady, Kerala’s popular hill station. Thekkady means ‘The Valley of Teak Trees’ and the name ‘Poetree’ is a poetic expression of the irresistible romance and charm of Thekkady.

Thanks to breath-taking 360-degree views, hearts beat a little faster here. The heady fragrance of spices will bewitch the senses. A dream-like mist may envelop you any time, like a seductive white cloak. Sublime sunrises and melodious bird songs herald magnificent mornings. Simply put, Poetree offers you the perfect holiday and all the elements for love to bloom.

Standard Houseboat, Alleppey

Malabar House, Cochin (Boutique )

Designed to the last detail, The Malabar House effortlessly combines the old and new. Their 17 rooms and suites blend tradition and contemporary design. The feel is small, cozy, and personal, heaven amidst this vibrant yet historical harbor city.

Located at Fort Cochin area will give you a chance to closely see the life of fishermen at Chinese fishing net. Explore this beautiful area on foot during a morning & evening walk, people are friendly. Enjoy fresh coconut water from a local vendor and click the most awaited and amazing clicks during sunrise and sunset.

ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad (5* star)

Overlooking sweeping stretches of Hyderabad's green cover and the iconic Hussain Sagar Lake, ITC Kakatiya pays tribute to the age of the great Kakatiya Dynasty. Located in the heart of the commercial district of Hyderabad, the hotel welcomes its guests to a renaissance of art, design, and bountiful life. With 188 exquisite rooms and suites, a bouquet of four dining destinations, splendid conference venues and exceptional wellness facilities, the hotel has carved a special niche for itself in the life of the metropolis.

Please note that East Voyages will book a similar category hotel if in case there will be unavailability of rooms at the above-mentioned hotels at the time of booking.

Program

When we are talking about South Indian cuisine, the taste that comes into our mind are tangy and spicy. In Southern India, rice is the main grain as it uses most of its dishes. It uses in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Another main ingredient is coconut, which is extensively used in Southern India's cuisine. As Tamil Nadu and Kerala are located close to the sea, coastal food also has its place in their major food list. During this amazing culinary journey of South India, you cover from small eateries to famous restaurants so that you can understand the real taste of India. Guests can even try their hands on local recipes during the cooking demonstrations.

The program includes food from small eateries to lavish authentic dinners to simple traditional meals with Indian families along with cooking demonstrations. Included destinations in the program are well known for their famous cuisine and different cooking techniques. There are different delicious non-veg and vegetarian cuisine like biryani, kebab, tikka, curry, mouth-watering street food, soft idlis, appam, dosa, tangy and spicy sambar and I have to say list is never ending.

Daily schedule (sketch itinerary)

Day 1: Arrive at Chennai by international flight

On arrival at Chennai International Airport (MAA), after clearing immigration formalities, you will meet East Voyages' representative in the arrival hall holding paging of your name. He will further assist you to your vehicle and then hotel check-in formalities.

  • Afternoon proceed for half day sightseeing visiting Kapeeleshvar Temple, Fort St. George and Government Museum.
  • Later guest will be transferred to Taj Coromandal for dinner. (fixed menu basis)
  • Overnight stay at hotel. Standard check-in from 12:00 to14:00 / Check out at 12:00)

Day 2: Chennai - Pondicherry (approximately 4.5 hours drive)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast drive to Pondicherry.
  • On arrival check in at hotel. Later proceed to visit Aurbindo Ashram and Auroville.
  • Dinner at Palais De Mahe, one of the finest luxury boutique hotel of Pondichery and one of the most renowned chain hotels of South India “CGH” Hotels.
  • Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 3: Pondicherry

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Post breakfast proceed to explore this beautiful city on foot or by cycle. Explore
  • Pretty French quarters and eateries influenced by French taste and much more.
  • Lunch at Tanto Pizzeria, serving several variety of Pizza run by an Italian owner.
  • Return to hotel for some rest.
  • Evening cooking demonstration followed by dinner with Indian family.
  • Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 4: Pondicherry - Chettinad by surface (approximately 5.5 hours)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast drive to Chettinad.
  • On arrival check in at hotel. Lunch at hotel.
  • Post lunch proceed for orientation tour of Chettinad. Also see Aathangudi handmade tiles
  • making.
  • Evening cooking demonstration followed by dinner at hotel.
  • Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 5: Chettinad - Madurai by surface (approximately 1.5 hours)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast drive to Madurai.
  • Light lunch at hotel on direct payment basis as guests are expected to have some light food of their choice before proceed for food which will start at approximately 17:00 and end at approximately 20:00 at Meenakshi Amman Temple.
  • On arrival check in at hotel. Later in the afternoon proceed for walking food tour.
  • Evening visit Meenakshi Amman Temple and be the witness of lovely evening temple
  • Procession when Lord Shiva is being carried to GoddessParvati’s silver bedroom chamber in an elaborate procession which is worth watching.
  • Return to hotel.
  • Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 6: Madurai

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast proceed to visit local flower market. Lunch at local restaurant.
  • Later visit Thirumalanayak Temple and visit the Meenakshi during day light.
  • Evening cooking demonstration followed by dinner with Indian family.

Day 7: Madurai - Thekkady (approximately 4.5 hours)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast drive to Thekkady.
  • On arrival check in at hotel.
  • Later in the afternoon enjoy boat ride at Lake Periyar.
  • Evening proceed to buy spices which you can take with as this place very famous for spices like cardamom, pepper, turmeric, clove, etc.

Day 8: Thekkady - Alleppey (approximately 2 hours)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast drive to Alleppey.
  • On arrival embark the houseboat.
  • Rest of the day will be on houseboat at leisure and enjoy surroundings. While your houseboat pass the small canals, you will get to see small villages and daily life of locals.
  • During the stay on the houseboat, engage yourself bit in kitchen, can see how they are preparing the meal.
  • Evening they will anchor the boat.
  • Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 9: Alleppey - Cochin (approximately 2 hours)

  • Breakfast on board
  • Post breakfast disembark the house board.
  • On arrival check in at hotel.
  • Afternoon proceed for half day sightseeing of Fort Cochin area.
  • Evening enjoy Kathakali dance performance.
  • Enjoy dinner at local restaurant in Fort Cochin.

Day 10: Cochin

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Post breakfast excursion to Kumbhlangi Village.
  • Enjoy Kalaripayattu Martial art.
  • Evening cooking demonstration followed by dinner.
  • Post breakfast guest will be transferred to airport to board the flight for onward destination.

Day 11: Cochin - Hyderabad by flight (departure at 09:10 / arrival at 11:10)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast, guests will transferred to airport to board the flight for Hyderabad.
  • Meeting and assistance on arrival at Hyderabad airport and transfer to hotel.
  • Later visit Golkonda Fort and QutubShahi Tombs.
  • Cooking demonstration and dinner with Indian family.
  • Overnight stay at hotel

Day 12: Hyderabad

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast visit Salarjung Museum, Charminar and Lad Bazaar.
  • Food walk for a local street food tasting during the visit of Lad Bazaar.
  • Lunch at local restaurant.
  • Visit Choumuhalla Palace
  • Overnight stay at hotel(We have not included dinner for tonight as some of the guests would like keep their stomach empty before board the flight or may be like to have something light before an international journey).

Day 13: Depart Hyderabad by flight

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Post breakfast, you will be transferred to international airport.
  • End of the tour

Important notes

  • A walking tour requires approximately 1.5 hrs to 02 hours walk on the road so the guests should be physically fit to walk.
  • Foodies are welcome on this tour however should be aware that Indian food is spicy, although the restaurants you will be taken use spices according to foreigners taste. However, you may find it little extra spicy while tasting food with local vendors. Please carry proper medication to avoid any stomach issues during the tour.
  • All the cooking demonstrations organized at Indian house, the house lady or man will cook the local delicacies for guests.

Included excursions

  • Walking or cycle tour to explore beautiful lanes of Pondy
  • Walking food tour tasting local delicacies in Madurai
  • Spice plantation visit in Thekkady
  • Kumbhlangi Village visit to have an insight of village life and their food habits and style of cooking

Location

This Spicy Stories of Southern India culinary tour starts from Chennai and ends at Hyderabad. The cities you are going to visit include Pondichery, Chettinad, Madurai, Thekkady, Alleppey, and Cochi.

Food

Since it is an Indian culinary holiday, the best of street and main course delicacies which Indians included in their different meal timing will be covered. The tour has generally included a breakfast meal plan with mentioned family dinner or lunch along with a cooking demonstration. All meals at local restaurants or hotels will be on a fixed menu basis. Participants/guests are requested to let East Voyages know if they have any type of food allergies.

Food highlights

  • Sumptuous dinner at Taj Coromandal in Chennai
  • Have the taste of amazingly tasty food of expert chef of one the leading hotels and resort of South India, CGH earth’s hotels and finest and luxurious hotel of Pondichery's Palais The Mahe
  • Cooking demonstration with an Indian family in Pondycherry
  • Lunch at Tanto Pizzaria run by an Italian owner
  • Lunch at Chettinad
  • Cooking demonstration at the hotel followed by dinner in Chettinad
  • Walking food tour tasting local delicacies in Madurai
  • 1 lunch at a local restaurant in Madurai
  • Cooking demonstration with an Indian family followed by dinner in Madurai
  • 1 lunch and dinner at Thekkady's local restaurant or hotel
  • During houseboat, stay engage yourself in preparation of delicious Kerala recipe of fish
  • Local dinner in Kochi
  • Cooking demonstration followed by dinner in Cochin.
  • Taste Hyderabad’s famous Biryani (meat cooked with rice along with some amazing Indian seasoning)
  • Cooking demonstration with an Indian family followed by dinner in Hyderabad to understand how Nizam’s flavor influenced Andhra’s food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 12 nights accommodation based on above-mentioned hotels on double or twin sharing basis
  • Daily breakfast (except on the day of arrival)
  • Welcome dinner at Taj Coromandal in Chennai
  • Dinner at Palais De Mahe, Pondycherry
  • Morning walking city tour with food tasting
  • Lunch at Tanto Pizzaria in Pondycherry
  • Evening cooking demonstration followed by dinner with an Indian family in Pondycherry
  • Lunch at Chettinad Hotel The Bangla
  • Cooking demonstration followed by dinner at The Bangla, Chettinad
  • Evening food walk in Madurai
  • Evening cooking demonstration followed by dinner with an Indian family in Madurai
  • 1 lunch at Thekkady
  • 1 dinner at Thekkady
  • All meals included during the stay on a houseboat
  • Lunch and dinner at a local restaurant in Cochin
  • 1 lunch at Kumbhlangi Village, close to Cochin
  • Cooking demonstration followed by dinner in Cochin
  • All transportation i.e. airport transfers, sightseeing, and interstate drives will be done using the tempo traveler (mini-van)
  • For 4-6 pax, services of English speaking local guide during sightseeing in each city as per the itinerary (different guides in each city)
  • For 7 pax onwards, services of accompanied English speaking guide (same guide throughout the tour).
  • 1-time entrance fee as per the itinerary.
  • Bottled water and wet tissue throughout in the vehicle
  • All currently applicable taxes (5% Goods & Service Tax)

What's not included

  • On the arrival day in Madurai light lunch at the hotel will be on a direct payment basis as for the evening
  • Food walk you need to keep your stomach light
  • Domestic airfare Cochin to Hyderabad
  • International airfare
  • Visa charges
  • Any room service, telephone charges, mini bar, gratuities, tips
  • Any expenses of personal nature and insurance of any kind.
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Any item not specified under ‘What's included'
  • Any bank charges while transferring the payment
  • Supplement for airfare Cochin to Hyderabad USD 70 per person

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Chennai International Airport Airport transfer included: Chennai International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
13 days / 12 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available from October to March every year. Please select an arrival date below.

 

Pricing information
  • October 2021 to March 2022: 2696 USD per person. Single supplement: 844 USD
  • October 2022 to March 2023: 2816 USD per person. Single supplement: 911 USD
  • The rates above are not valid from 20th December till 10th January
  • Please note for the 3rd pax (in a single room), you need to add the per person twin sharing rate and the single room supplement.

 

 
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

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