Culinary Journey India
Route : Hyderabad - Kannur - Tellicherry - Ayisha Manzil - Lotus Houseboat - Neeleshwar - Mangalore - Mumbai
Experience the Cuisine, Culture and Nature
South India is not just about the tropical climate and backwaters. This part of India has its unique charm, exotic flora and fauna. Geographically, there are several states including Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala etc. which constitute this part of the country and every state has its own, indigenous culture and cuisine, making South India a heaven for food lovers from all over the globe.
The enthralling, natural landscapes of Kerala and vibrant culture of Hyderabad, this tour takes you on a culinary adventure and presents you a fine blend of South India’s culture, history and tradition. The coastal plains and river valleys of South India welcome you to spend some moments in the tranquility of nature. Warm hospitality, delicious cuisine, ancient monuments and temples, lush green landscapes, relaxing climate, South India is a perfect destination for those who love peace and serenity.
Come with us on an experiential journey of South India, where you will get real experiences like you have never had before. Savour the royal dish of Hyderabad, Biryani, and spend some time in the city of Nizams. Take a walk through the busy streets and markets and treasure your moments. Learn the dying textile art, cherish memorable moments on board the iconic Lotus Houseboat and give yourself a relaxing treatment at Neeleshwar Hermitage. Visit the cooking classes for a real life culinary experience. Meditate at the beaches and feel the spiritual vibes in the surroundings.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting environment, history, culture and cuisine of South India.
• Explore the capital city of Telangana, also known as the city of Nawabs – Hyderabad. A bustling metropolitan city which is filled with the smell of delicious Biryani.
• Roam through ancient alleyways of the city; explore Golconda, local markets, iconic Charminar, Laal Bazaar, Gulzar House, Mir Alam Mandi Market, Badshahi Ashurkhana and a lot more.
• Reach Kannur and spend some time at Ayesha Manzil, which dates back to 1862 and is being run by the generation of the owner.
• Visit Thalassery Fort, built in 1703 by East India Company and Kerala’s first bakery – Mambally.
• Taste a sensory-aromatic cuisine prepared celebrated chef at Ayesha Manzil. Also, try your hands at cooking.
• Spend memorable moments at Lotus Houseboat to experience the tranquility of the tropical surrounding, cruise across the backwaters of Malabar to discover the jewel of Northern Kerala.
• Reach Neeleshwar Hermitage, a stylish-relaxing, luxurious retreat and a beautiful property based on the unspoiled coast of Northern Kerala.
• Unwind yourself by pool or enjoy spa. Try your hands at cooking as demonstrated by the chef on-board.
See Full Itinerary
Arrival TimeMidnight or Late night
Dress CodeCasual, comfortable and light
Tour Itinerary : - Culinary Journey India
Day 01, Arrive Hyderabad
Arrive at Hyderabad International airport. After completing the immigration and customs, proceed towards the arrival hall. Meeting and assistance on arrival with a traditional welcome of garlanding and transfer to the hotel (the room being held from 1400 hrs).
The capital city of newly formed state Telangana was once a princely state which gained immense wealth by trading gold, pearls, fabric and even diamonds.
Hyderabad is the capital city of Telangana state which originally built its fortune on the trade of pearls, gold, steel, fabric and, above all, diamonds. It is here that the legendary Nizams ruled and who in their heyday were the richest men in the world. This royal city has grown to become the fifth-largest metropolis of India. Being more than 400 years old, this city of Nizams is widely famous for burgeoning IT and Biotech research industries as well as for its majestic minarets.
Overnight in Hyderabad
Day 02, In Hyderabad
After leisurely breakfast, we start the day with a scenic Heritage Walk of Hyderabad for around 2 hours.
The walk covers several ancient, historic monuments like Badshahi Ashurkhana, Pathargatti, Mir Alam Mandi Market, Gulzar House, Laad Bazaar, Charminar and Mecca Masjid. This 2km walk will be through the colourful streets of the city that are full of life.
During the walk, you will get to see a mourning place constructed with beautiful mosaic tiles that date back to the 16th century. Along with this, another wonderful 100 years old, long-street will welcome you which is known for fabric, textiles, imitated jewelry, vegetables, spice market and a lot of other things. Finally, we will reach the most famous Charminar, standing here majestically since the 16th century. The walk goes through Char Kaman (4 gateways built-in the 16th century by Persian Kings).
Later, we will head to have our first-hand experience on the most popular cuisine of Hyderabad, the Biryani which will be followed by scrumptious lunch.
Hyderabadi Biryani needs no introduction. This delectable, royal dish has its origin in the Nizam’s State of Hyderabad. Flipping through the pages of history and also as stated by the famous Lizzie Collingham, we will find that biryani culture was first started in the royal kitchen of Nizams. Lizzie Collingham, a famous historian, has stated the same. Though Biryani is a dish of rice cooked with meat along with several exotic spices, the aroma of this heavenly dish has made it famous widely. People have emotions attached to this royal meal. Also, this luscious dish evokes the most passionate emotions among many foodies.
The daughter of Mumtaz Khan (a legendary personality known for her cooking passion), Parveen Khan is still carrying her mother’s legacy. Her house is situated in Begumpet which is nothing less than a museum, decorated with several antique items. The ground floor of the house has a sitting hall and a kitchen where she will demonstrate the cooking of Biryani. Before the interaction with the clients, she at first herself prepares the spices and marinates the meat. Next, she serves the food to the clients which have been cooked sitting on a chowki (a low wooden seat on the stool).
Rest of the afternoon you can take a walk through the markets and explore the culture of Hyderabad city.
Overnight in Hyderabad
Day 03, Full day in Hyderabad
This morning after leisurely breakfast, we proceed for the visit to Golconda Fort and Qutub Shahi Tombs.
Golconda (also spelled as Golkonda, meaning a round hill), lies around 8km from Hyderabad which rises 150m from the plains. The fort is said to have been completed in the 1600s. Built by Quli Qutub Shah, this town has been known for its romantic and rich aura. Golconda also gained mass attention for its diamond mines (Golconda Diamonds) and which made it a renowned trade center. The world-famous Koh-i-Noor was produced from the mines of Golconda.
After visiting the fort, we then move to the Qutub Shahi tombs, which are remarkable for the unity of their design. It comprises a complex of ten main tombs separated by the Badshahi Hammam (King’s Bath), the oldest structure of the compound where burial ceremonies were performed.
Later in the afternoon, we introduce you to another legend in the making – Suraiya Hasan – weaves magic and wants to revive the dying textile art. She is the founder of Suraiya’s Weaving Studio, Hyderabad. She studied textiles at Cambridge University. She has worked with Hanae Morie and Pierre Cardin.
The tour describes the technique of weaving and revival of fabric culture. Suraiya Hasan's house where she set up a modest workshop decades ago; specializes in the nearly extinct techniques of Himroo, Mushroom, and Paithani weaves alongside Ikat and Kalamkari.
Suraiya respects the Indian textile tradition and loves art. She has been working hard to preserve the endangered silks that are on the verge of being lost. She has also set up a store within the same premises where one can buy the fabric and saris at unbelievable rates.
Overnight in Hyderabad
Day 04, Hyderabad to Kannur: Flight & Kannur to Tellicherry: 35km, about 1 hrs
This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to board a flight to Kannur.
On arrival at Kannur, we drive up the small hillock facing the Arabian Sea to the beautiful 150-year-old homestead known as Ayisha Manzil at Thalassery (60 km/about 2 hrs) – earlier known as Tellicherry, which is referred to as the Mecca of Moplah Cuisine.
The history of Ayisha Manzil goes back to the spice trade days when the British made Thalassery an important spice trading center. In 1862, Mr. Murdoch Brown, an East India Company tradesman, built this bungalow and named it Judge’s Bungalow. He also planted cinnamon in a 300-acre land about 10 km away from the bungalow which is still known as the largest cinnamon garden in Asia.
A spice merchant, Mr. T.M. Moosa purchased the bungalow in 1900, who belonged to a very distinguished Moplah family in Malabar. He renamed this bungalow as Ayisha Manzil, after his wife’s name. Currently owned by Mr. Moosa and his wife Faiza Moosa, the bungalow has been passed from one generation to the next. Mr. Moosa has transformed this bungalow into a comfortable and beautiful homestay.
This afternoon, we will visit Thalassery Fort - built by the East India Company in 1703 as a testimonial of their colonial imperialism. The imposing fort has massive walls, huge, intricately carved doors and secret tunnels to the sea! Located on a rocky hill at Thalassery beach, this fort had been a major center of commercial as well as military activities of the British. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) takes care of the fort.
This evening, we will visit the iconic Mambally’s, Kerala’s first bakery, Royal Factory founded in 1880. As per the story, when Christmas was around the corner in 1880, Murdoch Brown who built Ayisha Manzil Mambally Bapu if he could bake a plum cake for the festival. Mambally Babu, a local biscuit maker had no knowledge of what a plum cake was thus, he asked few local English ladies for the recipes and prepared a cake with ingredients including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc. which were homegrown. Babu gave the cake to Brown and he loved it. The cake turned out to be a success and that’s how this bakery came into existence. Mambally Babu is believed to be the first person to make the first Christmas cake of India. KM Cariappa (Field Marshal of Indian Army) was a huge fan of Mambally’s biscuits.
Overnight in Tellicherry
Day 05, In Ayisha Manzil
This morning after breakfast we will head to the market to procure the items for the delicacies to be prepared later in the day. We will explore the busy vegetable market and see fresh seasonal produce stalls. The fish market with various types of fish being sold is a crowded and chaotic place and fisher folk’s beckoning howls fill up the sky.
Thalassery has been an important spice trading center in Kerala since the British days and a visit to the spice market here is an exciting experience.
During the experience, we will also walk through the spice market, cotton weaving center through the narrow lanes.
The cooking demonstration with Mrs. Moosa, who is an internationally recognized Chef will begin around 1630 hrs and will last for two hours.
We will try our hands to prepare one meat, one seafood, one vegetable, one rice or bread and one sweet dish which will be served during Dinner.
Overnight in Tellicherry
Day 06, Ayisha Manzil to Lotus Houseboat Boat Jetty: 75 km, about 2hrs
This morning after an early breakfast drive up to the boarding point or the jetty on the Tejaswani River and embark The Lotus houseboat for the cruise.
After a welcome drink, you will be taken to your room, either Sukhima (‘Happiness’) or Lalima (‘Beauty’), to relax and settle in. Your cruise today covers about 25 km of the Valiyaparamba backwater, a large inland lake, and includes a visit to a village coir factory. Here brightly coloured houses can be seen peeping through the dense fringe of languid palms that lines the waterfront. The village’s main source of income is producing the coir fiber from coconut husks that are used to make twine, mats and mattress stuffing.
The cruise continues with a visit to Monkey Island. A short walk through a sleepy village brings you to a thick forest inhabited by friendly monkeys. In its heart sits a clearing with an ancient shrine dedicated to the Naga snake deities.
Overnight onboard the Houseboat
Day 07, Lotus to Neeleshwar: 05 km, about 15 minutes
This morning after breakfast disembark from the houseboat and drive to the resort - Neeleshwar Hermitage, set in a secluded palm grove beside the Arabian Sea.
Neeleshwar Hermitage, a beautiful property located amongst the unspoiled beaches of Northern Kerala. Built in accordance with the architectural principles of Kerala Vastu, the property has 18 Thatched Cottages, all with sea, pool or garden views.
Late afternoon or early evening, we take a gentle walk along the beach to Turtle hatchery farm which is located at a distance of 2 km.
Later visit to a local market, to the Krishna Temple for the Aarti Ceremony, which is generally performed several times a day.
Overnight in Neeleshwar
Day 08, Neeleshwar
This morning, we start early - cherish some moments watching the famous Theyyam Sacred Performance which is Kerala’s ritual dance full of colours. The dance represents the significance of the worship of ancestral spirits and heroes.
After witnessing the sacred dance recital, we return to the hotel for breakfast.
Late afternoon, we will organize a cooking demonstration class. As The Hermitage is set in an area of very rich and varied culinary expertise, we offer hands-on experience to prepare one of the cuisines under the expert guidance of Chef Amish who oversees the Meenakshi restaurant, and Chef Deepak at Annapurna.
The program starts with meeting the chefs on the day of arrival and classes from the following day. The delicacies being taught will depend on the seasonal availability of the ingredients. This will give you a unique cooking skill to take back home. When you get back to your place, you will have several delicious stories to share with people around you.
Overnight in Neeleshwar
Day 09, Neeleshwar to Mangalore: 90 km, about 3hrs, Mangalore to Mumbai: FLY
During the day depending on your flight schedule, you will be transferred to Mangalore airport to board flight to Mumbai for your onward international flight back home taking back unforgettable memories of the trip Culinary India.
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Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
02 paying persons in a Double Room