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June 3 – 16, 2022

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Overview

India is more than just the tourist belt of the Golden Triangle. From majestic cities of Pondicherry and Madurai to offbeat locations like Hampi and Marari, discover the secrets and history of South India. Witness the pious proceedings of Meenalakshmi temple, create the world-famous Chettinad Pepper Chicken, and roam in Pondicherrys’s french quarters. 15 days filled with exploring amazing towns, cities, and villages and embracing south Indian culture in the ‘‘Travel for Good’’ authentic experience which awaits you!

Who's Leading The Tour?

Abhishek, Tour Leader

Aniket, Founder

Trip Highlights

Food tour in Madurai and a visit to the famous “Amma’s Mess”
A guided tour to Pondicherry and French quarters
Jungle trek & bamboo rafting in Thekkady
Cultural village experience in Alleppey
Watch Keralite folk dance and mixed martial arts

What’s Included?

Accommodation : 13 nights (1 overnight train)

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Attractions & experiences: 21 included

Tour leader, 24X7 backup and pre-departure support

Meals: 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 4 dinners

All domestic transport and transfer

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Exclusions

  • 15 days, 10 stops
  • Is this for you?
  • Max group size: 12
  • Difficulty Level: Light
  • Age Requirement: Designed for 18-35s

Where does your money go?

Read More..

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Kochi

Namaste!

Ready to kick start this adventure? Heck Yes! After landing at Cochin International Airport, meet your team and tour leader and go to the hotel. Get ready for the Meet Your Crew Session where you will meet the rest of the crew. Later on, hit the town with your new gang for your Crew Bonding Night Out! Right from the fisherman’s cove to Jew town, let’s get it started!

What’s included
  • Transfer from Airport
  • Meet Your Crew Session
  • Kochi Jew Town walk with street food
  • Crew Bonding Night Out
  • Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: Bastian Homestay
Impact inclusions

Get introduced to the culture of South India in an interactive group session hosted by your tour leader!

Day 2: Cheruthuruthy

Meet local artists!

Let’s kickstart this day already!Head to Cheruthuruthy where you will meet different craftsmen and artists who live on the banks of the river Nila, especially the famous potter Gopalan. You will attend a musical trial show and visit a women’s cooperative to interact with them in order to learn about women’s cooperative movement. The evening is dedicated to independent activities with your crew!

What’s included
  • Visit mat weaving unit and local potters
  • Musical Trail show
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: River Retreat
Impact inclusions

Visit local potters and women’s cooperatives to learn about local trades and social
movements in Kerala!

Day 3: Cranganore

Resilience!

After a hearty breakfast, let’s drive towards Cranganore. Today, let’s get inspired by a unique community-based initiative by the local farmers, who are protecting the Pokkali rice from extinction for Your Responsible Activity. Later, visit the Muziris to check out the Jewish Synagogue and Cheraman mosque. Later, head to your home for the next two days, the white sand beaches of Marari!

What’s included
  • Your Responsible Activity: Pokkali
  • Cranganore orientation walk
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Twin Accommodation: Sea Scape
Impact inclusions

Attend an insightful activity to learn how farmers are trying to protect their traditional livelihood

Day 4: Marari

Get Beachy!

Cleanse your soul sipping on some margaritas and taking in that Vitamin SEA. Today, you are free to explore whatever you want. This beautiful town of Marari, unlike other beaches in Kerala, is untamed. So, hit the Arabian Sea, and soak in the cool breeze. Go click some pictures and create some trendy reels. It’s time to Explore With Your Crew and wash off all your worries by having a good time!

  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Sea Scape

Day 5: Alleppey

Calm Backwaters!

Heard of world-famous Kerela Backwaters? Go on an authentic village tour in Alleppey. Learn about this amazing community, drift through the picturesque paddy fields, and form memories. Enjoy Your Rural Experience while canyoning in the mesmerising backwaters. This will be topped off with lunch prepared by a local family which is a great opportunity to interact with locals and engage in a cultural exchange. Return to Marari and spend the night there.

What’s included
  • Your Rural Experience: Alleppey backwaters excursion
  • Overnight in Marari
  • Breakfast & Lunch
  • Twin Accommodation: Sea Scape
Impact inclusions

Explore the backwaters of Alleppey and interact with local families to learn about the village way of life

Day 6: Thekkady

God’s Own Country

TIme to hit the lush town of Thekkady. On the way, you will visit a spice plantation to learn about the exotic spices grown in this region. After checking in your accommodation, freshen up. In the evening, watch the two powerful Keralite performances – Kathakali, an age-old traditional Keralite dance form, and Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial arts form originating in this state.

What’s included
  • Visit spice plantation
  • Kalaripayattu martial arts show
  • Kathakali cultural dance performance
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Stay Melody
Impact inclusions

Brace yourself for two power-packed performances that take you back in time to give you an insight into Kerala’s traditions!

Day 7: Thekkady

Safari on foot!

Today, you will go deep into the Periyar Tiger Reserve for an adventurous trek through the forest. Spot beautiful creatures like elephants, deers, monkeys, and a wide variety of birds. You’d probably be lucky to spot a tiger too! This will be followed by an exciting bamboo rafting in the Periyar lake. You are bound to be stunned by the rich flora and fauna in this tranquil setting.

What’s included
  • Periyar Tiger Reserve safari with Bamboo Rafting
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Stay Melody
Impact inclusions

This wildlife safari offers a unique proposition to support locals who work in the reserve. Many of them are ex-poachers who have taken a u-turn and are now protecting this habitat.

Day 8: Madurai

Light up your soul!

Today, we leave Kerala for Tamil Nadu. After having a delicious breakfast, travel down to Madurai by private vehicle. Upon reaching the hotel, unpack and relax. In the evening, you will go on a lip smacking food trail, starting from the very famous South Indian restaurant- Amma’s Mess. Later, if you wish to, you can witness a night procession in Madurai’s Meenakshi Temple which is sure to light up your soul!

What’s included
  • Madurai street food walk
  • Breakfast & Dinner
  • Twin Accommodation: Royal Homestay
Impact Inclusions

Witness the Hindu procession in Meenakshi Temple. It is a first-hand experience for you to understand the traditions!

Day 9: Madurai/Kumbakonam

Through Ancient Architecture!

A long day! After breakfast, you will go for a heritage walk through Temple Town. Explore the innermost areas of this historic city on foot, including the iconic Thirumalai Nayakar Palace and stone sculptures in addition to the bustling tailors, banana, flower, and vegetable markets. Later in the afternoon, you will make your way to Kumbakonam and spend the night there.

What’s included
  • Temple town guided tour
  • Breakfast
  • Twin Accommodation: Shivamurugan
Impact inclusions

Explore the bazaars of Madurai which have been there for centuries and get exposed to the local lifestyle!

Day 10: Kumbakonam/Pondicherry

What’s 'Vedic'?

Today, visit the legendary Raja Veda Kavya Patasala, which has produced renowned scholars and pundits since its establishment in 1542. Get to learn about ancient Vedic studies. Later, visit the Ramamohan’s house for the Kalamkari workshop, an ancient art form that has been passed on from generation to generation. Later, make your way to the former colonial coastal town of Pondicherry.

What’s included
  • Kumbakonam classical trail
  • Breakfast
  • Dorm Accommodation: Gurukulam Hostel
Impact inclusions

Experience cultural exposure through an art form and an education system that are very unique to South India and its heritage!

Day 11: Pondicherry

Gotta appreciate the French!

Today, you will go on a morning heritage walk through the French Quarter. Admire the architecture, serenity, and the clear contrast in surroundings and get all the French feels! Later, go on the Tamil Town trail, both on foot and on rickshaws. The Tamil side of town is busy and colourful, with Hindus, Muslims, and Christians living here. You will walk through the local bazaar to witness daily life and take a rickshaw ride to see residential areas.

What’s included
  • French Quarter and Tamil Town trail
  • Breakfast
  • Dorm Accommodation: Gurukulam Hostel
Impact Inclusions

Witness the clear contrast in culture and traditions, between the French Quarter and the Tamil town. India is truly diverse!

Day 12: Pondicherry

Finally an overnight train!

This morning it’s time to Explore With Your Crew. Pondicherry has a lot to offer including the world-famous Auroville – a universal city in the making dedicated to human unity. Following this, you make your way to Chennai. On the way, you have an option to visit Mahabalipuram which is known for its unique temples. In the evening, catch an overnight train to Hampi with your crew.

What’s included
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • Overnight Train to Hampi
Impact Inclusions

You do not want to miss experiencing the famous sleeper train in India!

Day 13: Hampi

Soaking in the landscape!

On arrival, you’ll be taken to Your Authentic Stay in Anegundi village. Enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared by your host Meenaxi – the best chef in Hampi. Later on, go on a tour around the village by Murli, Hampi’s famous guide, to get an insight into this community that has been there since the time of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later, do some coracle rafting in the Tungabhadra river. Sounds fun?

What’s included
    • Your Authentic Stay
    • Anegundi Orientation walk
    • Tungabhadra Coracle ride
    • Breakfast
    • Twin Accommodation: Meenaxi Sarovar
    Impact inclusions

    The village orientation tour is meant for you to learn about this community. Legends say that the residents here are direct descendants of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Day 14: Hampi

Don't want this to end!

Being your last day, you will take part in the Your Impact Event which is an interactive closure session at the village library to discuss the trip. Exchange ideas, provide insight and let us know how we can make an even greater impact. The rest of the day is free for you to Explore With Your Crew. In the evening, get ready for your End With A Bang Night to party it out!

What’s included
  • Your Impact Event
  • Explore With Your Crew
  • End With A Bang Night
  • Breakfast & Dinner
  • win Accommodation: Meenaxi Sarovar

Day 15: Departure

Goodbye 🙁

The last 15 days have been a roller coaster! You will have experienced Indian culture, relished the food, conversed with locals, made a lasting impact on local businesses, and have a lifetime of memories to take back! However, just like all good things, this too has to come to an end. Bidding goodbye to the new experiences and getting back home. Ugh. Your friends and family will be waiting for you, undoubtedly jealous of your adventure!

NOTE: Ensure to book your flights for later this day or the next from the nearest airports, i.e Bangalore/Hyderabad. And in case you choose to spend a few extra days here, let us know in advance

Impact

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Enabling to make sustainable travel a regular practice

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Supporting local businesses dependent on tourism

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Promoting cultural exchange, via conversation with locals

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Catering to your personal growth as travelling can be your best teacher

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Supporting rural communities through your experiences

Orientation and Support

Be in touch 24x7

Verified and comfortable homestays makeup for your accommodations. Travel India and live like Indians!

Friendly Staff

Our staff is very friendly, and are there to make your experience comfortable!

Authentic Service providers

We partner up with local accommodations and activity providers in destinations you visit

Get the right information

From booking your tour to the end of your trip and beyond, we will be here to support you in every step

Efficient Safety and health facilities

Travelling to a new country can be daunting but don’t worry cause your health is our priority

Cultural Exchange

Homestays instead of hotels

Authentic homestays and treehouses make up for most of your accommodations. Live the local way

Interaction with local individuals

Nobody can provide you with an experience as authentic as the amicable locals. Through them, get to know a destination!

Experienced personnel

Your tour guide and hosts are extremely experienced, having served travellers like you for a long time

Visiting off-beat destinations

Besides the popular destinations, we also run city tours, witnessing cultural performances, and visiting unmissable attractions in South India

Try Local food

Whether it is the delicious Thukpa in Gurung, or world-famous Momos in Kathmandu, we make sure that you taste the local flavour. You’ve got travel experience, and so does your palate!

Usual day during the Trip

Look forward to what the day has to offer. Enjoy the breakfast provided by the host family at 8:30 AM. Freshen up, and get ready. By 9:30, join your fellow travelers for an exciting day. Get greeted by Novoto executives, as they take you sight-seeing as per the daily itinerary.

At noon, we make a stop for lunch and refreshments. After lunch, we continue with the sight-seeing with regards to the schedule. Enjoy your day as you come across well-known and new destinations.After 5 PM, the evening is usually kept free for a range of independent activities with fellow travellers. Occasionally, there shall be organised social events in the evening.

Finally, dinner is provided as per the schedule in the itinerary. Then of course, rest and think about the fond memories created in South India.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are flights included in my trip?

International flights booked for arrival/ departure have not been included in our travel fee. It must be purchased separately.
However, in case of any inquiries, you can contact us.

Which flight should I take?

There are multiple flights arriving at the Cochin International Airport.
During departure, you are welcome to take a train to Bangalore or Hyderabad, and then a flight to your destination.

What do I do about the visa?

You will be required to obtain either an Indian E-Visa (you can check your eligibility here – https://www.visahq.co.uk/) or apply in person at your nearest Indian Embassy prior to your travels.

What are the extra costs that I should keep in mind?

The itinerary has been curated with the most observant prior due diligence. Any additional expenses individuals incurred during the tour are at their own discretion, such as any shopping and souvenirs they might wish to purchase, additional meals and activities not mentioned in the itinerary, and of course, the booze.

What do I carry?

For a trip of 15 days, you would be better off with a light packing. Carry comfortable footwears and light clothes. Make sure you carry the essentials- your passport, VISA, and Indian currency.
Oh also, leave some room in your suitcases. You never know what you might like to buy here.

Is tipping included?

No, tipping has not been included in your travel plan. It’s up to you to decide the amount for the same. We totally respect your discretion.

Who are my travel companions?

We very much believe in privacy. Hence, we are sorry that we cannot reveal their names. However, we have a wide range of travellers from all over the world who you will meet on your first day.

How do I contact, in case of an emergency?

No need to worry! We have our on-ground team for your assistance. Besides that, you can get in touch with us through our social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can call us on our helpline.

Can I join a trip late, or extend my stay?

As much as we would LOVE you to join us, it will be difficult for us to accommodate you in an already on-going trip.
Good news? You are more than welcome to extend your stay, but the expenses for the same have to be taken by you.

Is there any minimum age requirement?

Although our trips are designed for 18-35s, we don’t believe in limiting it to them. So, as long as you’re 18+, feel free to be a part of the tours!

Does Novoto provide me with a travel insurance?

Unfortunately, no. We leave that to your discretion to book travel insurance of your choice.

Will there be any showcase?

Definitely! Your entire experience would be well-documented in the form of videos, and also in other means as approved by the group.

What’s the weather like?

April to September is summer in India where temperatures are generally soaring around 40 C at most destinations in this tour. From October onwards the temperatures start going down averaging around 28 C during the day at most locations.

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