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how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

Elm Grove, Wisconsin
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how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

SOUTHWEST INDIA three week tour...can we do this on our own? Recommendation for tour company or driver/guide?

I am planning a 21 day trip to southwest India in January 2014. Two travelers to start in Mumbai, sightseeing Dobi Ghat, caves, fly to Goa (see Panjim, Siolim, Anjuna), Bengalore, Mysore to Madikeri, Mysore to Wayand resort, Mysore to Calicut (Khozikode) (3'45") and see Theyam performance temple, Cochi via Thissur, Cochin, Cochin Punarjani Kalaripayatut Kathakali dancers, north of Cochin procession, Thrissur-art Festival season?

Cochin to Munnar for one day while at Cochin, train to Aleppi, Alleppo tour to backwaters, to Quilon (Kollam) or backwaters cruise, ??Amlayalam calendar, Ambalapuzha temple festival , depart for US from Trivandrum.

Could we do this on our own???, get our own hotels but hire a company for the transfer etc parts? Would it be a good idea to get a driver for some of the journey?

We have a modest to mid-point budget and are more interested in seeing any festivals, architecture, historical sites, culture, people. Charming small hotels desired.

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Mumbai
Mumbai
Maharashtra, India
Goa
Goa
India
Panjim
Panjim
North Goa District, India
Anjuna
Anjuna
Bardez, India
Mysuru (Mysore)
Mysuru (Mysore)
Mysore District, India
Madikeri
Madikeri
Kodagu (Coorg), India
Kochi (Cochin)
Kochi (Cochin)
Kerala, India
Munnar
Munnar
Idukki District, India
Kollam
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Kollam District, India
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1. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

Hi.

You have done a good research and have put together a good combination of places and things to do.

Regarding Cochin - Munnar, you can not make day trip to Munnar. It is good to travel Cochin - Munnar (1 ot 2 nights) and then proceed to Alleppey by car.

Most ot the Theyam performance are around Kannur.

You can also think about Mysore - Coorg - Kannur - Thrissur - Parambikulam - Munnar - Cochin - Alleppey.

You can do it your own and have the fun ot organising it too.

If you have questions, do post it here.

Suresh P R, Palmland Tours, Kerala.

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Kochi (Cochin)
Kochi (Cochin)
Kerala, India
Munnar
Munnar
Idukki District, India
Mysuru (Mysore)
Mysuru (Mysore)
Mysore District, India
Kodagu (Coorg)
Kodagu (Coorg)
Karnataka, India
Kannur
Kannur
Kannur District, India
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Thrissur District, India
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2. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

Hello Carolcannon,

you can definitly do this own your own and depend on transfers from point to point , provided you are staying more nights / destination.

Mumbai to Goa - train

Calicut - Thrissur- Cochin - Train / bus

Alleppey - Varkala- Trivadnrum- Train / Bus

do your research and book your hotels in advance , if you are travelling from the Beginning of Jan

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Mumbai
Mumbai
Maharashtra, India
Goa
Goa
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Thrissur
Thrissur
Thrissur District, India
Kochi (Cochin)
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Thiruvananthapuram District, India
Elm Grove, Wisconsin
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3. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

Thank you for your reply.

Our itinerary so far is Mumbai 3 nts, fly -Goa city 2 nts,fly - Bangalore 2 nts, Hassan 2 nts, Mysore 2 nts, Wayanad 2 nts, Kannur 2 nts, rail to Cochin 2 nts, Allepy houseboat 2 nt, fly to Hyderabad 3 nts. We skipped Munnar and kollam to include Hyderabad and Hassan.

Are we doing the right cities etc? Do you know of a good city hotel in Goa as we are not really beach lovers. We wanted to arrange our tour around the

festivals in Kannur and Cochin as we can leave anytime in January. Possible departure from the states could be January 8, 2014. How do we find out where and when the festivals are held as we would change our departure in order to see them? Carol Cannon

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Mumbai
Maharashtra, India
Goa
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India
Bangalore District
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Karnataka, India
Wayanad District
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Kannur District, India
Kochi (Cochin)
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Idukki District, India
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4. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

The Panjim Inn may suit you in Goa. or Paradise Inn. The Fontainhas area has other options too.

You could also consider including Hampi instead of Hassan/Hyderabad and do this between Goa and Bangalore. The train station would be Hospet,

To get a flavour of the Hoysala style of architecture you could visit Somnathpur near Mysore.

Probably worthwhile hiring a car from Bangalore for your travel upto Kannur.

Near Hassan you could consider staying at Hoysala Heritage Resort. At Mysore a home stay or even staying by the river at Mayura River View at Srirangapatnam could be the choice.

We recently stayed at Banasura Hill Resort in Wayanad and enjoyed the experience.

At Cochin the Fort area would be a nice place to stay. A meal at Brunton Boat Yard if food is of interest. You should include Muziris Heritage exploration while at Cochin.

The details of festivals are available on the Kerala Tourism website https://www.keralatourism.org/event/

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Elm Grove, Wisconsin
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5. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

Thank you for all of this wonderful information.I will check on all suggestions. Why Hampi instead of Hasan/Hyderabd?? The festival website is fabulous. Would you take 2 nts on a houseboat or stay at a place on/near the water as suggested in an earlier post? Carol Cannon

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Hampi
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Bellary District, India
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6. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

You've done all the homework so why use a tour agency, it's easy to book everything yourself and you can get all the info you need here.

Gloucester, United...
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7. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

I have just returned from a tour of Kerala. Of the places you mentioned, I can thoroughly recommend;

Munnar - http://www.theteasanctuary.com/index.htm

Wyanad - http://www.enteveedu.co.in/testimonial.php

Cochin - http://secretgarden.in/

From recommendations on TA our driver was Ramesh who was excellent. He went out of his way to be helpful. He was reliable, spoke reasonable English and was a very pleasant companion. email - ramesh.790@rediffmail.com

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Idukki District, India
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8. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

DO NOT even try this yourself as India is not as organized as the US :-) where you could just book hotels online and hire a car from the airport... Definitely have a tour operator plan this for you .. preferably an Indian tour operator as he would be cheaper and available during the trip..check credentials and reviews before finalizing the operator ...Have a great trip

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Exmouth
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9. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

Hi Carol We did a half day rice boat trip rather than stay overnight as we'd read uncertain reviews and also met people who had had bad experiences. Best hotels on our trip were Kaivalyam Resort, Munnar and Vila Jacaranda, Varkala. Hope you are not too confused with all the info.

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Idukki District, India
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10. Re: how to plan a tour to southern India-tour company or solo?

The reason for suggesting Hampi is that it is a potential detour and there is no parallel as a heritage attraction. Hassan has incredible Hoysala architecture, but Somnathpur is a good smaller representation.

Hyderabad too has a rich history, and you can get a sense of this by reading William Darlymple's White Moghuls, but has had some safety concerns in the last week.

While making you choices you may like to bear in mind that Kerala has an abundance of living traditions in a rural environment and weather could play spoil sport.

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