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What People Are Saying About Us

I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL

We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Unique small group itinerary
  • Mumbai touring
  • Dharavi slum visit
  • Wildlife safaris in Nagarhole National Park
  • 9th-century Ranganatha Temple in Srirangapatna
  • Mysore touring
  • Two-night houseboat cruise on Kerala’s canals
  • Outstanding accommodations, including resort set on working plantation (Coorg) and riverfront eco-lodge (Kabini)
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Mumbai, India

Day 2: Mumbai Upon arrival, we transfer directly to our hotel.

Day 3: Mumbai Today we encounter India’s most populous city, as well as its commercial and entertainment capital. We begin at the Gateway of India monument then visit the modest – and revered – Mani Bhawan, Mahatma Gandhi’s headquarters here from 1917–1934. This afternoon we tour the acclaimed Prince of Wales Museum; tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. B,L,D

Day 4: Mumbai We embark on an unusual yet rewarding excursion this morning to Dharavi, Mumbai’s giant slum considered a “city within a city” where cottage industries and small businesses thrive. We learn about life here, including the resilience and resourcefulness of the residents. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Crawford Market, the huge Raj-era arcade selling everything from produce to pets, cosmetics to clothing. B,L

Day 5: Mumbai/Bangalore/Mysore This morning we transfer to the airport for the flight to Bangalore. Upon arrival we board a coach for the journey to Mysore, stopping en route for lunch. Then we travel on to Mysore and our hotel, where we dine tonight. B,L,D

Day 6: Mysore Today we travel to the Chamundi Hills, site of Chamundeshwari Temple with 1,008 ancient steps leading to the summit. We continue on to the key religious and cultural town of Srirangapatna. Here we tour Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, built in the 9th century to honor the Hindu god Ranganatha and an important pilgrimage site. Next we visit Mysore Palace, the Indo-Saracenic blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles that remains the home of the Maharajahs of Mysore. B,D

Day 7: Mysore/Coorg We travel today to Coorg (also known as Kodagu) and our accommodations at the Evolve Back Estate, set on a 300-acre working coffee and spice plantation. After lunch here, we take a guided walk of the extensive grounds and hear a talk with the estate’s resident naturalist. Later we enjoy a cultural dance performance. B,L,D

Day 8: Coorg We encounter everyday life up close on this morning’s visit to a nearby village, as we wander the narrow lanes, see a traditional coffee pour, and experience the round “coracle” boats used by local fishermen. Back at our lodgings this afternoon, we learn about the coffee grown here on a walking tour of the plantation. B,L,D

Day 9: Coorg/Kabini After an early morning bird-watching walk, we leave Coorg for Nagarhole National Park, whose abundant wildlife, including Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, Indian bison, wild dog, deer, antelope, and hyena, make it one of India’s finest preserves. We enjoy lunch at our safari lodge, named one of National Geographic Traveler’s 25 “world’s best” eco-lodges, then set out on a boat safari. B,L,D

Day 10: Kabini This morning we embark on a safari by vehicle or boat through Nagarhole in search of wildlife, including the elusive Bengal tiger, India’s national animal that is now an endangered species. We return to the lodge for lunch and time to relax. Later we drive through the rural landscape to the village of Gundathur, where we visit with a local family in their home. B,L,D

Day 11: Kabini/Calicut This morning we set out on the five-hour drive to Calicut, known as the Kerala region’s “City of Spices” for its role in the spice trade, stopping for lunch along the way. Upon arrival in Calicut, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 12: Calicut/Alleppy/Houseboat Cruise We board an early morning train for the journey to Kerala’s backwaters then travel by coach to our well-appointed houseboat. Later today we begin our leisurely cruise along the palm-fringed canals of the Arabian Sea. B,L,D

Day 13: Houseboat Cruise Today we see Indian life up close as we slowly cruise past small farms and villages, and old temples and churches, stopping on occasion to go ashore. B,L,D

Day 14: Kochi We disembark and return to Kochi, “Queen of the Arabian Sea,” where this afternoon we take a walking tour of Fort Kochi, with its mix of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial houses and other historic buildings. Then we attend a performance of Kathakali dance, where facial expressions and hand gestures combine with movement to create this traditional Kerala art form. Tonight we celebrate our journey at a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,D

Day 15: Kochi This morning’s walking tour reveals Kochi’s multi-layered past, a rich brew of Arab, Portuguese, British, and Dutch influences. After lunch together we are free to explore Kochi’s Old Town as we wish. Tonight we enjoy a sunset harbor cruise before dinner on our own. B,L

Day 16: Depart for U.S. Very early this morning we depart for the airport and our return flight to the U.S., where we connect with our flights home.

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking, as well as some lengthy coach rides.  You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 14 nights’ accommodations: 12 nights in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels; 2 nights in privately chartered houseboat
  • 34 meals: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after three tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Feb 19Jan 8
Jan 29
Feb 5
Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$4,774 $4,874
Chicago, Dallas,
Houston, Los Ang,
San Fran, Seattle
$4,974 $5,074
Atlanta, Baltimore,
Char, Cincinnati,
Cleve, Mia, Minn,
Orl, Phil, Tampa
$5,174 $5,274
Denver, Detroit,
Phoenix, Port (OR)
$5,274 $5,374

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $879, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,595. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $4,995 per person

A visa is required for this tour. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

Accommodations
    Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai / Days 2-4 / Deluxe

    With a rich heritage dating back over a century, the Taj Mahal Palace represents Mumbai’s first harbor landmark and the site of the city’s first licensed bar. The hotel’s architectural design unifies Moorish, Oriental, and Florentine elements and its 560 rooms display many Indian influences such as alabaster ceilings, onyx columns, and high archways. Hotel amenities include six restaurants, several bars and lounges, and a patisserie; fitness center; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; spa with steam room, sauna, and massage treatments; beauty salon; boutiques; and laundry and dry cleaning service. Each air-conditioned guest room offers private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Radisson Blu, Mysore / Days 5-6 / Superior First Class

    With the Chamundi Hills serving as its backdrop, the Hotel Radisson Blu is located in the center of the city adjacent to the Mysore Zoological Gardens and a short drive from shopping and local attractions. The 140-room lodging features a restaurant, fitness center, unheated outdoor pool, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning service. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate, Coorg / Days 7-8 / Deluxe

    Set in a 300-acre working coffee and spice plantation in the hills of Coorg, the Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate is bordered by the Cauvery River and virgin forest home to more than 300 bird species. The resort offers three restaurants and a bar; fitness center; unheated outdoor infinity pool and swimming pool; spa with massage treatments; reading lounge; gift shop; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (in designated areas); and laundry service. Appointed with rustic décor, the 44 air-conditioned guest cottages offer private bath with hair dryer, private plunge pool, coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone. 

    Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge, Kabini / Days 9-10 / Deluxe

    The Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge sits on the banks of the Kabini River near Nagarhole National Park, renowned for some of India’s most prolific wildlife. The lodge’s amenities include two restaurants and a bar; fitness center; unheated outdoor infinity pool and swimming pool; spa with massage treatments; reading lounge; gift shop; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (in designated areas); and laundry service. Built with traditional thatched roofs, the 37 air-conditioned guest cottages offer Jacuzzi, private bath with hair dryer, coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Taj Gateway Hotel, Calicut / Day 11 / Superior First Class

    The Taj Gateway Hotel enjoys an ideal location in Calicut, within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and Kozhikode Beach.  Amenities include a restaurant, bar/lounge, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, spa, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Tastefully decorated guest rooms include private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Kerala Houseboat, Kerala / Days 12-13 / Not rated

    This 9-bedroom deluxe houseboat is the only boat of its size built without using any nails, instead using resin obtained from boiled cashew kernels and fish oils. The boat’s décor include ancient renderings and antique doors from Kerala homes. Boat facilities include a lounge area with 360 degree view, dining area, and sun deck. Each private cabin offers air conditioning and a private bath. There is no telephone service on board.

    Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Kochi / Days 14-15 / Deluxe

    The Taj Malabar overlooks Kochi Harbour from atop Willingdon Island. This 96-room hotel’s amenities include multiple restaurants, a fitness center, swimming pool, and beauty salon. Each air-conditioned guest room offers a private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, telephone, and complimentary Wi-FI internet access.

    ITC Sheraton, Delhi / Pre-Tour Option / Deluxe

    Located in the heart of New Delhi’s business district, the ITC Sheraton offers easy access to the city’s attractions. The 220-room hotel’s amenities include three restaurants and a bar; spa with sauna, steam room, and massage treatments; unheated outdoor pool; internet access; beauty salon; boutique; florist; and laundry and dry cleaning service. Each air-conditioned guest room offers private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    ITC Mughal, Agra / Pre-Tour Option / Superior First Class

    Featuring architecture representative of the Mughal Empire, the ITC Mughal occupies grounds encompassing 35 acres of gardens a short drive from the Taj Mahal. The 233-room hotel includes the following amenities:  two restaurants, bar, lounge, spa with steam room and massage treatments, unheated outdoor pool, tennis and badminton courts, table tennis, billiards room, jogging track, nature trail, library, boutiques, on-call doctor, internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning service. Each air-conditioned guest room has a private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, ironing facilities, TV, and phone.

    Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy / Extension / Deluxe

    A short drive from Kandy’s city center, the Cinnamon Citadel is situated on the banks of the Mahaweli River overlooking the tropical rain forest with its exotic birdlife. Blending modern design with décor that reflects this ancient kingdom’s rich heritage, the 119-room hotel includes the following amenities: two restaurants, bar, unheated outdoor pool, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, table tennis, billiards room, and laundry service. Each air-conditioned guest room has a private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Cinnamon Grand, Colombo / Extension / Deluxe

    Located between downtown Colombo and the shores of the Indian Ocean, the stately Cinnamon Grand offers a multitude of amenities, including more than a dozen restaurants and bars, two swimming pools, fitness center, spa, sauna, shopping center, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room features private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Pre-Tour Option and Post-Tour Extension

Pre-Tour Option: Delhi & Agra

5 days/4 nights for $1,195 total price
Single Supplement: $345

Experience two of India’s iconic cities of the north and the magnificent Taj Mahal.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Air transportation Delhi/Mumbai, inclusive of airline taxes and fees
  • 4 nights’ accommodations: 2 nights Delhi at ITC Sheraton (Deluxe); 2 nights Agra at ITC Mughal (Superior First Class)
  • 9 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing: Old/New Delhi, Chandni Chowk Bazaar, Taj Mahal visits (including sunrise), Agra Fort
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited representative
  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Option not available on Jan 8 and 29 departures.

Post-Tour Extension: Sri Lanka

5 days/4 nights for $1,145 total price
Single Supplement: $395

Diverse cultures, ancient sites, and tropical scenery highlight SE Asia’s oldest democracy.

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Air transportation Kochi/Colombo, Sri Lanka, inclusive of airline taxes and fees
  • 4 nights’ accommodations: 3 nights Kandy at Cinnamon Citadel (Deluxe); 1 night Colombo at Cinnamon Grand (Deluxe)
  • 9 meals: 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing: UNESCO town of Kandy, tea plantation, Hindu (Embekke) and Buddhist (Tooth Relic) temples, elephant sanctuary, Peradeniya Gardens, Colombo city tour
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited representative
  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

A visa is required for this extension. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Shagzil Khan

“Shagzil was by far the best tour director we have ever had. He made us feel like friends or family had come to visit him personally. He was attentive and fun to spend time with.”
Pamela Ryan
Bluffton, SC

Arun Kumar

“Arun is the best tour director we ever had. His knowledge, attitude, and enthusiasm is outstanding. The level of personal assistance was beyond our expectations. He made a great trip even better. Tour directors like him make Odysseys our choice for travel.”
Michael Glazman
Staten Island, NY

Rajesh Padmanabhaiyer Ramakrishnan

“Rajesh was an excellent tour director and a very fine person.  I highly recommend him!  One of the best tour directors I’ve ever had!”
Della Moser Goldberg
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Stanley Wolpert
India
Wolpert’s reflections on India — its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics — make for a literate, succinct primer.

Katherine Boo
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and writer at The New Yorker, Boo turns her four years among the people of a Mumbai slum into an absorbing tale of the clash of India, new and old, prosperous and disenfranchised.

R. K. Narayan
Malgudi Days
Wonderful tales from one of India’s foremost writers about a fictional South Indian town populated by quirky characters whose unique approaches to tradition and modernity are the stuff of great short stories.

Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet South India & Kerala
Featuring maps and a good overview of culture, history and nature, as well as information on accommodations, excursions and sightseeing.

Nelles
India South Map
A colorful, double-sided regional map of India south of Mumbai, including Sri Lanka and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, at a scale of 1:1,500,000. With maps of Goa, Hyderabad, Bangalore (Bengaluru), Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.

Omkar Koul
Lonely Planet India Phrasebook
A handy, palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.

Fiona Caulfeld
Love Mumbai
This beautifully made, affectionate guide, printed on hand-made paper, captures the soul of the city, pointing with authority to neighborhoods, shops, markets, restaurants and attractions.

Samanth Subramanian
Following Fish, One Man’s Journey into the Food and Culture of the Indian Coast
In yet another revealing journalistic investigation, Samanth Subramanian travels from Hyderabad to West Bangal, Gujarat, Mumbai and beyond, providing a multi-dimensional portrait of the fishing industry of the Indian peninsula.

Edward Luce
In Spite of the Gods
Luce tackles the challenges and reality of the world’s largest democracy with insight and balance in this portrait of a nation in transition.

Andrew Robinson
India, A Short History
Robinson’s inviting introduction to India chronicles the rise and fall of India’s kingdoms and the unified nation’s eventual economic decline, which led to the British subjugation of the Mughal Empire in the mid-19th century.

Elisabeth Bumiller
May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons, A Journey Among the Women of India
A wonderfully written and fascinating portrayal of Indian women from Bollywood stars to Indira Gandhi to prostitutes. It’s an insightful portrait of the country as seen through the eyes of its women.

Diana L. Eck
Darśan, Seeing the Divine Image in India
Tremendously useful for the traveler, this rigorous guide explains the significance and meaning of Hindu temples, festivals and ritual. Darśan, which translates as “seeing,” reveals religious expression in India.

Roy C. Craven
Indian Art, A Concise History
This convenient volume in the acclaimed “World of Art” series is a crisp, illustrated overview of the range of Indian art over the centuries.

Mohandas K. Gandhi
Gandhi, An Autobiography, or the Story of My Experiments with Truth
There is no substitute for reading Gandhi in his own simple, direct prose. A highly recommended glimpse into the personality and life of this remarkable figure.

Salman Rushdie
Midnight’s Children
Rushdie’s greatest work is a madcap, comic, unrestrained novel that takes as its subject the birth of modern India. The narrator, born at the stroke of India’s independence on August 15, 1947, is a proxy for the nation itself, and the history of his family is also the history of India.

Rohinton Mistry
A Fine Balance
Set in 1975 in an unnamed Indian “city by the sea,” this tender novel follows the intermingled fortunes of a Parsi widow, her boarder and two tailors. A Booker Prize finalist.

Salman Rushdie (Editor), Elizabeth West (Editor)
Mirrorwork, 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997
A selection of 20th-century Indian prose, both fiction and non-fiction, compiled by Salman Rushdie and featuring work by Jawaharlal Nehru, R.K. Narayan, Satyajit Ray, Amit Chaudhuri and Vikram Seth. Published in celebration of India’s 50 years of independence.

Arundhati Roy
The God of Small Things
This luminous Booker Prize-winning novel is part mystery, part family saga — a tale of lost innocence set in Kerala during the tumult of the 1960s.

National Geographic
Hidden World of the Bengal Tiger
Focusing on a tigress called Lakshmi and her three cubs, National Geographic portrays an epic struggle for survival that takes place over two full years. Runtime: 57 minutes.

James Kavanagh
India Birds
A folding wildlife guide designed for quick reference in the field. With full-color images and text, it features more than 100 birds often seen in India.

James Kavanagh
India Wildlife, A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals
A folding wildlife guide designed for quick reference in the field. It features more than 140 creatures often seen in India (from tigers and lions to flying lizards) with full-color images and text. Part of the great Pocket Naturalist series.

Bikram Grewal
A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of India, Including Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan
A handy field guide to 280 bird species common to the Indian subcontinent. In beautiful John Beaufoy style, the guide’s colorful and high-quality photos are accompanied by descriptions, distribution, preferred habitats and nomenclature.

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