India Tour with Prosperity Rings in May 2017
ARTICLE FOR INDIA TOUR and ITINERARY
The resplendent and magnificent Thrissur Elephant Festival in early May is one of the adventures of the 13 day tour. Touring Rotarians and others will also see the results of our contributions as they visit and acknowledge firsthand the thrilling accomplishments of formerly destitute women who turn micro credit loans into their own enterprise. We will be accomplishing a polio vaccination campaign for a day. Tour members will also teach bee keeping to some of the borrowers (I am taking two courses in the Spring). Rotarians from eight Rotary clubs are on hand to assist with our training project.
In addition to the amazing Elephant Festival, tour members will experience the historic Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple; the bizarre and colorful Kathakali dance theater; a houseboat trip through rural life; Idyllic spice, tea and rubber plantation visits; and other charms of Southern India.
Round trip flights run between $1,200 and $1,300 from Seattle to Cochin (Kochi).and can be less with a definite commitment.
Land travel, accommodations and meals would be approximately $1,800. We may be able to arrange home stays with Rotarians for three or four nights to reduce the cost.
Total cost: Approximately $3,000.
If you are fairly certain you are interested in making this trip, please contact Nancy Pasternak firstname.lastname@example.org 206 706-0031 as soon as possible, so she can acquire the best rates. This tour will only take place once.
MAY 2017 INDIA TOUR ITINERARY
May 2 Arrival at Kochi (Cochin) Airport and transfer to your hotel
Rest of day free at Kochi
May 3 AM– Sightseeing of Kochi including monuments—The Synagogue; the Mattanchery Bazaar; Jew Town; Fort Kochi Heritage Walk; St. Francis church; Santa Cruz Basilica; Chinese Fishing Nets
Evening—Cultural program: A Kaleidoscope of Kerala Dance forms including Kathakali and other dance forms
May 4 8:30 AM–Visit Dutch Palace; proceed to North Parur (two synagogues; Kottail Kovilakom and Paliath residences of erstwhile chieftains; visit traditional handlooms at Chendamangalam)
PM–Lunch and proceed to Thrissur Pooram Festival—2 hours drive. Check in to hotel
Evening—Visit the Thrissur Vadkumnatha Temple. Over night in Thrissur.
May 5 Thrissur Pooram temple ceremonies start from 3:00.
AM–Have early breakfast and be in temple precincts by 8:00. Processions from other temples to Thrissur Vadkumnatha Temple start coming in the morning with various percussion music events etc. The festival goes on practically 24 hours finishing next morning after the fireworks and closing processions.
Overnight in Thrissur
May 6 AM–Proceed to Alleppey Backwaters for Houseboat cruise. Board Houseboat at 12:00 noon.
PM–Cruise backwaters until dusk, stopping for lunch and sights like small market places, schools, churches, etc.
Evening—Sleep on houseboat
May 7 AM—Cruise commences after breakfast and ends by 9:00. Car waiting drives us to Munnar, five hours away.
PM–Visit spice and rubber plantations. Tour of Tata Tea Museum. Visit temples; Christ Church, the hill town. Check in to Munnar hotel.
May 8 Full day sightseeing and walks. Trek through tea plantations; Eravikulam National Park with endangerd Hibex (wild goats); Tea factory
Overnight in Munnar
May 9 AM–Munnar to Madurai, approximately 6 hours through countryside
PM—Check in to hotel
Evening—visit Madurai Meenakshi emple for evening ceremony at 21:00 Hrs. (9:00 pm)
May 10 AM—Sightseeing at Gandhi Museum; palace and markets of Madurai (early AM)
PM—After lunch proceed to Kanadukathan in Chettinad area, home to rich moneylenders who built opulent mansions; Kanadukathan with unique houses; its people and craftsmen; Athangudi tile factory; market place of Karaikudi and its antique furniture; small shops for daring the firery Chettinad cuisine.
Overnight in Kanadukathan Village at the Chettinad Mandion
May 11 AM–Drive to Tanjore. Visit the Tanjore temple.
PM—Visit enterprises of SHWET borrowers
Overnight in Tanjore
May 12 AM and PM–Drive to Musiri. Teach trade or craft to SRIA potential borrowers (possibly bee keeping; tie dying; printing)
Overnight in Trichy
May 13 AM and PM—Polio vaccination campaign in the villages (give the oral vaccine to all babies and children, thus saving them from polio)
Evening–Can fly out to Cochin or Chennai or spend Overnight in Trichy
May 14 Fly to Cochin or Chennai and on to the United States or elsewhere