Day 01: Depart for India
Depart from San Francisco this afternoon and head for India. You will transit via Delhi to Mumbai.

Day 02: Arrival and Welcome
After arrival, this evening you will be met by your private national guide and transfer to your local hotel. Meal service will be provided during your flight.

Named by the original inhabitants, the Kolis, after their goddess mother Mumba Devi, Mumbai was once a group of seven islands given to the British as a dowry when Charles II married Catherine of Braganza. The British leased the islands to the East India Company, who in turn began initial development of the city. Today this cosmopolitan city is one of India’s most important centers for industry, commerce, foreign trade and Bollywood. 
Overnight:  Trident Nariman Point (or similar)

Day 03: Cultural Exploration Mumbai

Your day in Mumbai starts with a tour of Crawford Market, one of the city's largest wholesale fruit, vegetable, and meat markets!

Late this morning you will stop at CST Railway Station to see Mumbais Dabbawallahs in action! The Mumbai Dabbawallahs are a phenomenon you won’t believe, until you see it yourself. Their energy is almost tangible, as is their entrepreneurial skill – and you’d look at them handling hundreds of dabbas (tiffin boxes) with skill of a juggler to assure that your everyday office-goer gets his/her tummy-fill in the lunch hours!

After lunch on your own arrangement, visit the Gandhi Museum residing in the simple two-story building that served as Mahatma Gandhi’s Bombay headquarters from 1917 to 1934. Wander through the library of approximately 50,000 books and periodicals; Gandhi’s preserved rooms on the second floor, and a picture gallery documenting important events in his life.

Later drive through the Dhobi Ghat (open-air laundromats), hanging gardens and stop to see the Gateway of India. The gateway is a monument built during the British Rule era and is located on the waterfront in the Apollo Bunder area overlooking the Arabian Sea.

A welcome dinner will be provided at a local restaurant this evening. 

Overnight: Trident Nariman Point (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 04: Fly to Kochi (Cochin) 
Depart the hotel early this morning to walk to the nearby fishing port for a fish market tour. Start at the Sassoon Docks where you will gain insight into the lives of the local fisherman. You will learn about the various kinds of fishing and catch and take in life of the local people. These docks are one of the oldest and most famous in the city. Early morning is the perfect time to see the port when the boats arrive and the fishermen unload their catch. During this walk, you will immerse yourselves in to the bustle of the morning bargaining during the seafood auctions.

Return to the hotel to check out and drive to the airport. Fly to Kochi (Cochin), which has the best natural harbor in the country and is set amidst lagoons and backwaters, with a romantic backdrop of swaying coconut palms. Lunch is by individual arrangement this afternoon.

After arrival, this afternoon you will be met and transferred to check into your local hotel. Enjoy some free time before your dinner and evening entertainment. 

This evening witness one of the most spectacular dances of India called Kathakali. It has a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. It is believed that the extraordinary costumes and makeup serve to raise the dancers above the level of mere mortals, so that they may transport the audience to a world of wonders. Dinner will be provided this evening.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 05: Culinary Explorations
Explore Kochi today starting with a stop at the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue built in 1568, and St. Francis’ Church - the oldest church built by Europeans in India. Vasco da Gama was originally buried here.

See the fascinating Chinese fishing nets, and participate in Kochi’s main enterprise, commerce, by stopping at any of numerous shops selling tea, jute, chilies, turmeric, cashew, ginger, cardamom and pepper.

Later dive deeper into the captivating culture of India on this Kochi food tour that takes you on a flavorful journey through the Muslim, Hindu, and Christian areas of this fascinating city. Take a walk down the road through a bazaar, and glimpse into the life of the spice traders. Stop for a tea or coffee and snacks at a local tea shop, easing you nicely into the culture of Kochi.

This afternoon set off on foot, delving into the heart of Mattancherry, a treasure trove of Muslim culture and food. This neighborhood is also famous for antique showrooms, Jewish Synagogues and has a long history as an ancient trading port.

This evening, join a chef for a hands-on cooking session which will introduce you to the flavors of the Malabar Coast.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza (or similar)​
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 06: Cultural Exploration 
After breakfast check-out of your hotel for your drive to Periyar, known as the spice coast, the region boasts some of the country’s finest spice plantations. Periyar is located in the Southernmost state of Kerala and is home to one of the most picturesque and beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in the world. With its waterways, forests and grasslands, it provides a magnificent venue for both mammal and bird watching.

In route stop at a plantation for lunch with a local family. Enjoy some time to chat with the family and inquire about topics of mutual interest over your meal.

After lunch say goodbye to your new friends and visit a tea factory to learn about the cultivation and processing of Indian tea.

Continue onward to Periyar and check in at the resort this afternoon. Spice Village recreates the mood of a tribal community, thatched in elephant grass and set in a lush spice garden. Spice Village is the essence of a mountain tribal village, re-imagined for the modern independent traveler. A tribute to ancient ways of life and to one man's patience and passion. Of course, the comforts of a modern hotel exist, but they never intrude. Modern plumbing, comfortable beds and hot showers find their place, but in a setting stripped down to its natural essence.

Dinner is by individual arrangement this evening.
Overnight: Spice Village
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 07: Culinary & Cultural Exploration

Begin the day with a spiritually refreshing yoga session at your hotel (optional). Yoga is perhaps the world's first system that recognizes the interconnection and Interaction between body and mind.

This morning visit a nearby spice plantation. Pepper, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are all cultivated here and you will learn all about the traditional, organic techniques used to prepare the spices for the kitchen. Later explore the local spice markets with your guide.

Take part in a cooking lesson at your resort. The chef at Spice Village is a strict follower of 50-mile diet, which means, all the ingredients are procured from a 50-mile radius, and chunks of it come merely from 50 yards away. Spice village grows its kitchen vegetables in an organic farm, fish is caught fresh from the river for cooking, and spices are all-around. Join the chef later in morning for a wonderful cooking class, the Kerala way.

This afternoon you will have an up close and personal interaction with the local Indian elephants. You will be encouraged to get to know this wonderful animal in their tranquil setting. Your elephant ride may be a mix of adrenalin and excitement interspersed with long period of utter peace. Later you’ll get an opportunity to take them for a bath, feeding, and to learn some communication commands.

This evening attend a martial art performance before dinner.
Overnight:  Spice Village
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 08: Community & Cultural Explorations
This morning you will take a boat ride on Periyar Lake, formed by the construction of a dam on the Periyar River.

Later check-out from your hotel and drive to Kumarakom, a cluster of little islands on Vembanad Lake.  Kumarakom captures the essence of Kerala in a unique and lovely setting.  Conde Nast Traveler rated Kumarakom among the 25 best getaways in the world. 

Enjoy lunch with a local family today. Continue your drive to Kumarakom and check in at your local hotel.

Your exquisite hotel is constructed from fragments of Keralan palaces, with beautiful carvings and brass work, and is set on an abandoned coconut plantation that can be reached only by boat.

Dinner is by individual arrangement this evening.
Overnight:  Coconut Lagoon
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 09: Village Life

Optional Morning Activity: Now that you have been sampling some most exotic foods, here comes time for much relaxation and rejuvenation. Ancient India’s gem, Ayurveda is a specialty of Kerala, and Coconut Lagoon is equipped with a fine Ayurvedic facility where you’ll be treated with massages and other treatments this morning (at your own expense).

Enjoy some free time this morning to relax before you depart for your afternoon boat cruise.

This afternoon cruise through the Kerala Backwaters on one the region’s trademark houseboats. Built without a single nail, the planks of these shallow barges are tied together with strong coir rope. From your comfortable vantage point, observe the rituals of village life; farmers tilling fields with buffaloes, women washing laundry and children splashing in the water.

You will see shallow, palm-fringed lakes studded with Chinese fishing nets and shady canals where coir (coconut fibre), copra (dried coconut meat) and cashews are loaded onto dugouts. A Keralan lunch will be prepared and served on board.

Dinner will be provided this evening.

Overnight:  Coconut Lagoon
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Backwater Life

Early this morning, explore the nearby backwater villages by country boat. You will love the life style of people living in village. They live a laid back and scheduled life unlike the fast life in the city.

This afternoon, you’d be joined by the vivacious Anu Mathew and her Mother at Philipkutty Farm, to know cooking – the Kerala way! Learn her age-old recipes cooked in earthy wholesome goodness. Perhaps she will teach you how to make Meen-Moilee, the extravagant freshwater fish curry, prepared with exotic spices, and the fish caught perhaps within the hour.

Late this afternoon drop in to Café Kudumbashree for an evening snack and some local Chai (tea). The government of Kerala encouraged women to start canteen and catering groups across the state. Intensive training on health, food habits, customer management, and the concept of service were provided to the potential entrepreneurs. No change is made in the recipes to retain the taste and flavor of ethnic delicacies of each locality. Cafe Kudumbashree is the brand developed by Mission for its food fests and it has developed a service and production protocol for the entrepreneurs who intend to participate in the fests.

Enjoy a cultural dance performance this evening followed by a farewell dinner.

Overnight:  Coconut Lagoon
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Time to say goodbye
Say goodbye to India and all of your new friends! Your guide will accompany you to the local airport for your flight back to San Francisco. Arrival back to US may be early morning March 8 depending on flight times.

Meals: Breakfast

Please note: All itineraries are subject to change based on availability of hotels, flights and hosting organizations at the time of finalization of booking. Comparable meetings and activities will be arranged should an itinerary change be necessary. 30 days before departure, a finalized itinerary will be available and reflect final details.

IncludedNot Included
Information and support  to aid in your travel preparation

Costs to obtain a passport

Exclusively developed inclusions developed in conjunction with journey leader Liam Matclem

International airfare (from designated US gateway city)

Airfare for domestic flight to gateway city

All in-country transportation for the group (including airport transfers)

Accommodations in four to five star hotels

24/7 professional English speaking guide

Individual departure taxes (where applicable)

Fees for all services, most tips and taxes

Professionally led daily program – see itinerary for full details

Travel insurance

Daily breakfast and most lunches & dinner, as specified in the itinerary

10-20 Hours of professional exchanges with counterparts in host  country

Formal and informal meetings with your peers to increase your global knowledge of your profession

Unique insight and knowledge about current issues and challenges related to your profession

24-hour support from US Nanda Journeys office and in-country support

Partnerships in every country to which we travel

​​Leader Spotlight: 

Liam Mayclem - The Foodie Chap

Emmy Award winning radio & TV personality Liam Mayclem is best known as the host of EYE ON THE BAY on CBS 5 and as “The Foodie Chap” celebrating Bay Area culinary stars (daily on KCBS). Known for his “English pipes” Liam endorses and is the voice of INFINITI – Bay Area, The Bay Club and JUMPSTARTmd to name just a few.

In his spare time Liam enjoys live concerts and theater, dining out and venturing outdoors and exploring the Bay Area and beyond. He hosts the annual EAT DRINK SF and BOTTLE ROCK NAPA VALLEY events.

He is also a keen fundraiser and has a few favorite charities and organizations: Family House, Food runners, Project Open Hand, SF & Marin Food Bank. The Northern

California Cancer Center, Raphael House


Follow Liam's adventures, explore his

adventures around the Bay Area and

beyond and see just how passionate he

is about food, wine and philanthropy in his local community. 

Join Foodie Chap, Liam Mayclem and restaurateur Anjan Mitra (DOSA) on an exclusive culinary exploration of South India. The Kingdom of India is famous for its cuisine, culture and roots dating back thousands of years. The ancient traders would visit India to procure its most exotic spices, today, they strive to learn the secret of the multifaceted Indian cooking. Take part in several cooking lessons, including and afternoon with vivacious Anu Mathew and her Mother at Philipkutty Farm, to learn about the cuisines of Kerala;
visit a spice plantation and learn all about the traditional, organic techniques used to prepare the spices in the kitchen; interact with local people as you explore the backwater village of Kumarakom by boat; ​have lunch with a local family in Periyar; enjoy an Ayurvedic treatment; get up close and personal with the local elephants as you give them their daily bath. Come join us for the experience of a lifetime.


Detailed Itinerary

Mumbai, Kochi, Periyar & Kumarakom| 11 days | February 25 - March 8, 2018 |$6,499

The Great South India Food Journey led by Liam Mayclem & Anjan Mitra

Call Us 1-888-747-7501


​What's Included

​​​Leader Spotlight: 

Anjan Mitra - Executive Chef & Co-Owner DOSA SF

Ever since he left Bombay (now Mumbai) at the age of 18 to study in the U.S., Anjan has always sought to recreate the wonderfully aromatic and complex flavors of his mother’s cooking.  He spent the first 19 years of his career working in high-tech at companies, then realizing his true passion lied in hospitality and food.  He pursued a new entrepreneurial path as a restaurateur with a cuisine that he believed was under- represented in the U.S.

Mitra is the Executive Chef/Co-Owner and together with his talented team of South Indian Chefs in the kitchen, leads the overall culinary direction of the menu, which represents the traditional styles of Southern Indian cooking and spices.  Dishes on the menu are inspired by recipes from Anjan’s family, as well as the families of their team of chefs.

When Anjan is not at either restaurant locations, on the line prepping or plating during service, he can be

found biking many of the Bay Area trails,

spending time with his two daughters and

traveling. Him and his wife reside in

San Francisco.  Anjan is also on the Board

of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.