India Trip Details 2020
Have you always wanted to go to India but are just waiting for the right opportunity? Or maybe you have traveled to another part of this vast and stunning country, and are excited to discover South India? This is your chance.
I will lead 8 guests on a journey to Tamil Nadu, the spiritual and historical ground zero of India. The trip lasts 14 days, from January 28 to February 11, 2020.
We'll stay in five places, all 5-star hotels, never for less than 2 nights in each. I want guests to have time to soak it up. To take it in. The itinerary leaves room for quiet time alone. It is also filled with rich cultural and culinary experiences, showing off the depth and range of South India.
The state of Tamil Nadu goes right to the tip of India, along the Southeastern coast, facing the Bay of Bengal
Our journey stops at the special places I scouted over the past two years. From the modern and prosperous former capital of the British Raj, Chennai, to one of the oldest cities in South Asia, Madurai, guests will enjoy a parade of culture, exquisite lodgings and memorable events along the way.
Some of the experiences on this trip:
Visit local vegetable markets with a food expert
Take a guided Faith Tour to understand the role and variety of religions in South India
Learn about the evolution of curry at the grand Madras Club, a former British Officer's retreat, now an exclusive, members-only club for Chennai's elite
See a performance by classical Indian dancers at a leading dance school
Meet textile craftspeople and learn about their work
Participate in a Hindu ritual at the greatest temple of South India
Cook with villagers and share a meal in their home
Walk the jasmine fields, then visit the bustling flower market where they're sold to adorn the hair of devotees
Stroll a famous street food area and taste unusual dishes with a culinary expert
Tour the opulent mansions of Chettinad and have lunch with an architect couple who've lovingly restored an exemplary building
Make your own terracotta tiles with artisans devoted to preserving the craft
Relax with an Ayurvedic massage or a sound bath
Browse for collectibles in antique shops filled to the brim with framed pictures, bronze pieces, colorful enamel dishes and much more
Enjoy a private concert of sacred Carnatic music
Take an architectural tour of charming, French-influenced Pondicherry
Shop for block-print cottons, jewelry and crafts in small, curated boutiques
Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Auroville, an experimental community devoted to sustainable living and the transformation of consciousness
Details and Registration
FEES & REGISTRATION
Double room $8,450 USD
Single room $9,850 USD
Please note: If we are not able to match you with another participant for a double room, single room prices will apply. Double room occupancy is on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum number of guests is 10. Double rooms will always have 2 beds.
We will be staying in the finest hotels of Tamil Nadu. It's very important to me that guests be comfortable. I've selected these for their high standards of hospitality, their unique personalities and their beauty. Have a look at these wonderful properties:
In Chennai, at the modern, chic Taj Coromandel
In Madurai, at the verdant, luxurious Gateway Hotel Pasumalai
In Chettinad, at the charming, restful Bangala
In Tanjore, at the soulful, serene Svatma
And in Pondicherry, at the tranquil, elegant Palais de Mahe
TRANSPORTATION, ITINERARY AND CHECK-IN / DEPARTURE DETAILS
ARRIVALS January 28, 2020 in Chennai, India
We strongly recommend arriving 1-3 days early, if possible. You’ll want to adjust to the extreme time difference (10.5 hours), sleep away any flight discomfort, rest. Additional hotel nights are at the individual’s expense. But we can help you book the room.
Flights arrive in Chennai's international airport at odd hours, often after midnight or before dawn. A car and driver will await you and take you straight to the hotel.
Plan your flights accordingly, knowing your room will be ready from 3 pm onward on January 28. From New York, for example, I recommend an overnight flight to London, Paris or Frankfurt, departing January 26. You'll change to the second leg of the trip in Europe, arriving in Chennai in the wee hours of January 28.
The 10.5 hour time difference between NYC and India can be confusing; please pay close attention to your travel dates before booking tickets!
The trip officially begins on January 28, for an early evening welcome meal in a beautiful private home.
Arrive in Chennai January 28
Chennai - 4 nights
Quick morning flight to Madurai on February 1
Madurai - 2 nights
Chettinad - 3 nights
Thanjavur - 2 nights
Pondicherry - 3 nights
DEPARTURES February 11 from Chennai, after 8 pm
transfer from the airport to the hotel on arrival in Chennai
all guides, performances, entry fees and local experts during the 14-day itinerary
Air fare from Chennai to Madurai on day 5 of the trip
comfortable, private vehicle and driver for the group (mini-coach)
a full-time local resource, fluent in English, Tamil and Hindi
14 nights at hotels in 5 locations
breakfast every day
most meals included
all applicable taxes
tips to guides and driver
maximum number of guests set to 10
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
drinks and personal expenses, such as laundry, mini-bar, massage and spa treatments
tips to porters
permits for photography/video, required at some sites (a modest fee)