Malabar Journey: Cardamom Hills to Malabar Coast

27 Jan - 11 Feb 2018
  • Cultural Tours
+ Optional extension: Beach extensions in Kerala

About the tour

The bewitching Malabar Coast has been a meeting place of cultures throughout history. Its lush landscapes were fragrant with the precious spices that brought traders from far and wide, making this coastline rich in both wealth and culture. This tour takes you through the most evocative parts of Malabar, from the spellbinding ruins of Hampi, where red gold boulders rise up from green palm groves and banana plantations.  Continue to Mysore, known for its glittering royal heritage, a city of sandalwood, spices and silk. Travel into the Cardamom Hills to the epic mountain scenery of Wayanad, with its red earth, vivid rice paddies, bamboo and rubber, cardamom and coffee plantations. Continue to Cochin, a melting pot of culture and religion through the ages, and onto the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, where you will stay on a luxury houseboat. 

On the way, take part in a cookery class with a local family; stay in a boulder hotel; take a tour by ox cart and autorickshaw; take tea on a palace balcony in Mysore; cruise past the ethereal Chinese fishing nets in Cochin; watch a Kalaripayattu training session and spend the night on a luxury converted rice barge as you drift along Kerala's tranquil backwaters. 

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Paul Wait

Paul Wait

Paul Wait lived in the UK in his formative years and graduated from the University of Oxford (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) in 1971.  He and his wife, June, (who provides a talk on this tour) emigrated to Australia and, for over 40 years, he was a transport economist, consulting to the public and private sectors in Australia and for a range of international aid agencies principally in Asia, the Pacific Region and the Middle East, providing policy advice and evaluations of infrastructure proposals.  Paul has worked in many countries, including Singapore, China, Myanmar, Kuwait, Vanuatu, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Barbados and Tuvalu.  He and June also lived in Indonesia for two years while he was working on a World Bank project and they have travelled widely for pleasure to India, North America and many countries throughout the Middle East, Africa and Europe. 

Since retiring, Paul has enjoyed pursuing his interest in choral and classical music in addition to lecturing on a variety of historical subjects, including the Great Siege of Malta, the Fall of Constantinople, the Battle of Hastings and the Hanseatic League.  

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • 27 Jan (Sun) Goa:  Arrive Goa and transfer to the hotel
  • 28 Jan (Mon) Goa / Hampi:  Take the Howrah Express train to Hampi (bags by luggage truck). Arrive Hampi mid-afternoon and transfer to the Hampi Boulders Hotel. Welcome dinner
  • 29 Jan (Tues) Goa / Hampi:  Visit the sacred part of the site at Hampi, including Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Bazaar, Courtesans’ Street and the riverside temples.  Take part in a cookery class and have a lunch with a local family
  • 30 Jan (Wed)  Hampi: Visit the royal section of Hampi. Visit Anegundi village and learn of life in the village. Visit the library, garden and old palace, take a tour by ox cart, have tea with a local family and learn of the work of the Kishkinda Trust
  • 31 (Thurs)  Hampi / Hassan: Drive to Hassan.  Visit the ornate temple of Lakshshmi Narasinha. Arrive at Hoysala Village Hotel and relax in their gardens
  • 1 Feb (Fri) Hassan / Mysore:  Visit the romantic ruins of Sheltihalla Church. Arrive Mysore and check into the hotel. Afternoon at leisure
  • 2 Feb (Sat) Mysore: Visit Mysore Maharaja Palace.  Visit Dervaraj Market and see the temple. Take afternoon tea on the balcony of the Lalitha Mahal Palace overlooking Mysore. Return by tonga (horse and carriage) to the hotel
  • 3 Feb (Sun) Mysore:  Visit Sri Rangapatna – Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace - and the silk workshop.  At leisure.  Talk: “My Indian Childhood” by June Wait
  • 4 Feb (Mon) Mysore / Wayanad: Drive to Wayanad in the Western Ghats. Transfer to the hotel.  Visit a local tribal village. Optional nature walk
  • 5 Feb (Tues) Wayanad: Take a nature walk through the forest. Cooking demonstration and lunch in a planter’s home and visit a spice plantation.  Talk: “The European Discovery of India” by Paul Wait
  • 6 Feb (Wed) Wayanad / Cochin: A spectacular drive from the Western Ghats past plantations. Take the Jan Shatabdi train along the Malabar Coast to Cochin.  Talk: “Why Kerala is Different” by Mr Sohan, the former Mayor of Cochin
  • 7 Feb (Thurs) Cochin:  Explore old Fort Cochin and learn of Cochin’s history. Take a boat trip past the Chinese fishing nets
  • 8 Feb (Fri) Cochin: Travel by auto rickshaw to the Kerala Folklore Museum. Kalaripayattu training session and demonstration and a foot massage. Optional wine tasting with snacks on roof of Malabar House
  • 9 Feb (Sat) Cochin / Backwaters: Drive to Alleppey and board the houseboat hotel for a backwaters cruise and overnight. 
  • 11 Feb (Sun) Alleppey / Cochin:  Disembark and drive to Cochin. At leisure. Farewell dinner
  • 11 Feb (Mon)  Cochin:  If departing transfer to airport OR take the beach extension

Tour cost

Ground only cost: $4,030 pp sharing

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