Learn why South India is the gastronomic center of India! This tour takes you behind the scenes of South India’s complex and fascinating culinary landscape, while also exploring the best of its ancient and historic sites. From the Old Heritage Site of Mamallapuram, to the kitchen of a Malabar junction, learn traditional family recipes, prepare an authentic Indian dinner, experience local hospitality, and sample tasty morsels from street vendors, all with an expert local guide. Prepare to experience a whole new world of flavor and culture as India and her incredible cuisine transform your taste buds forever.
Explore in depth the rich culinary traditions of South India | Visit colorful markets, experience the flavours and exotic spices of South India | Participate in several hands-on cooking demonstrations on varied cuisines ranging from spicy Chettinad dishes to Malabar cuisine | Trek where the spices and herbs are grown, rice is harvested, and tea is cultivated | Discover rock-cut temples, including the Shore Temple, full of recent excavations and artifacts | Watch an exciting Kathakali performance, the classic dance of India | Explore the temple town of Kumbakonam, famous for its brass vessels, music, Kadappa, temples, and coffee Interact with the artisans weaving the lovely Chettinad saris at their workshops | Connect with locals to experience and understanding their unique way of life | Return home with a better understanding and appreciation of India and its cuisine.
DETAILED ITINEARY :
DAY 01: COCHIN
Arrive in Cochin. An ancient port town, Cochin attracted traders and invaders from all over the world.
DAY 02: COCHIN
After breakfast, stroll through the local spice and fish markets in Fort Cochin and visit the St. Francis Church, Dutch Palace, and Jewish Synagogue. Then it’s back to the hotel for an introduction to Indian and Keralan cuisine, followed by a cooking demonstration with an emphasis on seafood.
DAY 03: COCHIN – KUMARAKOM
Enjoy a scenic drive to the Kumarakom backwaters and spend the afternoon relaxing and unwinding in comfort.
DAY 04: KUMARAKOM
Take a short backwater cruise. Visit a small homestead and observe the cultivation of local, tropical fruits and vegetables. Take a cooking lesson to sharpen your skills.
DAY 05: KUMARAKOM – PERIYAR
Drive to Periyar for a cooking demonstration highlighting some of the fresh aromatic spices from the surrounding forests, such as nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, tamarind, whole red chillies, and bay leaf.
DAY 06: PERIYAR
Enjoy a boat safari on the river and experience a Kalaipayattu show.
DAY 07: PERIYAR – MADURAI
Drive to the ancient temple town of Madurai where, besides visiting the many temples, you will also get a taste of traditional temple cooking.
DAY 08: MADURAI
Spend the morning exploring the bustling city, including the famous Meenakshi Temple. Take in a little “Street Food” by walking the streets to see how daily life unfolds and connects to the delicious food you’ve been enjoying.
DAY 09: MADURAI – KARAIKUDI
Drive to Karaikudi to stay in a lovely traditional home turned hotel. Visit the village market at Chandor for palmyra leaf, basket weaving, and cotton weaving and to see and taste fresh and dried produce from farms and sea. Karaikudis Muniswaran Kovil Street has several antique shops featuring local home furniture, glass art, and more.
DAY 10: KARAIKUDI – KUMBAKONAM
Drive to Kumbakonam, the famous temple town of South India, picturesquely located amidst the two rivers, the Cauvery and Arasalar.
DAY 11: KUMBAKONAM
Start your day with a sip of Kumbakonam Degree kafe (coffee). Go for a village walk or iconography industry visit.
DAY 12: KUMBAKONAM – MAMALLAPURAM
Drive to the sea-side town of Mahabalipuram, with its boulder strewn landscape along the Coromandel Coast. Mahabalipuram has been a centre for stone carving for hundreds of years, a legacy displayed in superb temples, bas reliefs and mandapas.
DAY 13: MAMALLAPURAM
Mamallapuram sightseeing by auto-rickshaw, hands-on cooking class, including chef’s tables.
DAY 14: MAMALLAPURAM – CHENNAI
Depart to Chennai Airport.