India Quilt Festival Tour 2021

India Quilt Festival 23-25 Jan 2021; Chennai; India
Price
From £3,865 inclusive of flights
Leaving on
23/01/2021
Arriving back on
05/02/2021 or choose to extend your stay!
Location
Chennai, India
Flights from London Heathow

Join us in January 2021 for the second edition of the India Quilt Festival - India's only International Quilt Show.

Organised by Quilt India Foundation this event showcases quilts by international and local designers and will be held in the historic city of Chennai, on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India.

This promises to be a vibrant and exciting event for quilt enthusiasts, with workshops and talks by experts and leading designers from the international quilting community, as well as plenty of vendor stalls selling gorgeous materials and threads for you to bring home and use in your own designs.

Chennai Madras

We are very excited to be working closely with the event organisers to enhance your experience of the Festival with special demonstrations and workshops. 

India is an exceptional country to explore, so our tour combines time in Chennai with onward travel to fascinating destinations such Kanchipuram, famous for its silk saris, the French-Indian city of Pondicherry and the tie and dye textile producing village of Kaithari Nagar, near Madurai.

And for those with more time, we are also offering two tour extensions; one to the tranquil and magical backwaters of Kerala on the Malabar coast, and the other to the compelling state of Karnataka with its glittering palaces, national parks and ancient ruins. 

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Day One, Saturday 23rd Jan

1410h: depart London Heathrow on British Airways flight to Chennai

Day Two: Sunday 24th Jan

0535h: arrive into Chennai International Airport, meet with Tour Manager and transfer to 5* Taj Coromandel hotel

Morning at leisure

PM: Talk from textile artist Chitra Mandanna, winner of the first edition of the India Quilt Festival. Chitra specialises in Confetti quilting and collage portrait quilts. 

Dinner at the hotel

Day Three, Monday 25th Jan

Full day at the International Quilt Festival (return coach transfer)

Evening: Dinner at the hotel

Day Four, Tuesday 26th Jan

AM: Morning at International Quilt Festival (return coach transfer)

Lunch at the hotel

PM: Guided tour of Chennai. Visit Chennai Museum to see the bronze gallery with its superb collection of Chola art and Fort Museum with its collection of colonial memorabilia. You will then drive through the flower and fruit market, past the Indo-Saracenic High Court, to San Thome Cathedral, said to house the remains of St Thomas the Apostle.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Five, Wednesday 27th Jan

Full day at International Quilt Festival (return coach transfer)

PM: Optional Bazaar Trail tour through the Georgetown market place. You will be guided through the most interesting streets of this vibrant area, gaining a real insight into daily life. This visit carries an additional charge of £32 per person. There is a minimum requirement of 4 passengers.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Six, Thursday 28th Jan

AM: Check out of hotel after breakfast and transfer, by coach, to Mahabalipuram, stopping en route at Dakshinachitra, a living museum where you will see the low slung, wooden heritage houses and gain a fascinating insight into life in Southern India.

Arrive at 4* Radisson Temple Bay Hotel. Lunch at the hotel

PM: Sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram. You will visit the 7th Century Shore Temple, set a little away from the Bay of Bengal and believed to be the last in a series of temples which were revealed by the retreating waters of the tsunami, and make a stop at Arjuna's Penance. This artwork, carved into a huge boulder, depicts daily life of the people of Mahabalipuram.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Seven, Friday 29th Jan

AM: Half day excursion (coach transfer) to Kanchipuram, famous for its silk production. Hand looming silk is one of the main occupations here and you will have the opportunity to observe artisans designing, weaving and dyeing silk saris.

Lunch at the hotel

PM: At leisure

Dinner at the hotel

Day Eight, Saturday 30th Jan

AM: Check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to Pondicherry, stopping en route at Auroville, the experimental township founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (known as 'The Mother') as a place where people of all races and creeds could live together in harmony. You will meet the owner of ethical fashion brand Upasana Design Studio who will take you to the fabric painting, knitting and weaving units and show you their unique Solar Loom.

Vegetarian lunch at Solar Kitchen, a community kitchen where residents of the town eat every day

PM: Continue on to Pondicherry and check in at 3* Palais De Mahe

Pondicherry is a former French colony and, although it became a part of India in 1954, traces of its French history can still be seen in the architecture, grid-pattern streets and cuisine. You will enjoy a walk along the promenade in the early evening to look at the famous French colonial architecture

Dinner at the hotel

Day Nine, Sunday 31st Jan

AM: Half day tour of Pondicherry visiting Sri Aurobindo Ashram, founded in 1926 by the philosopher-saint Sri Aurobindo, the Pondicherry museum with its French colonial artefacts and the Gothic Sacred Heart Church.

Lunch at the hotel

PM: At leisure to explore Pondicherry

Dinner at the hotel

Day Ten, Monday 1st Feb

AM: check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to Kumbakonam. Check in to 4* Mantra Koodam Hotel

Lunch at the hotel

PM: At leisure

Dinner at the hotel

Day Eleven, Tuesday 2nd Feb

AM: Visit a nearby village to see young priests in training. You will witness a class in progress with the trainee-priests reciting vedic mantras. (Please note, photography is prohibited)

Lunch at the hotel

PM: Check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to 5* The Heritage Hotel, Madurai. 

Dinner at the hotel

Optional visit to the Meenakshi temple to witness the  'Going to Bed' ceremony, where the lord is carried to the chambers of his consort in his Palki (palanquin). Starting at around 9pm, it is full of traditional rituals. This visit carries an additional charge of £35 per person. There is a minimum requirement of 4 people.

Day Twelve, Wednesday 3rd Feb

AM: Coach transfer to Kaithari Nagar to see how local artisans make the town's traditional fabric using a 17th century tie and dye technique. The fabric is used for saris, shirts, salwar, handbags and bedding. 

Return to the hotel for lunch

PM: visit the magnificent Sri Meenakshi temple, widely considered to be the best example of temple architecture in Southern India. Enclosed by 12 ornately carved gopurams (entrance towers), the highest of which stands 52m above Madurai, it is home to the triple-breasted, fish-eyed Goddess Meenakshi Amman.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Thirteen, Thursday 4th Feb

AM: Check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to Madurai airport for flight to Chennai.

Check in to 5*Trident Hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure

Dinner at the hotel

Day Fourteen, Friday 5th Feb

Check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to Chennai International Airport for return flights back to the UK

This tour begins in Madurai, on day 13 of the main tour

Day One, Thursday 4th Feb

AM: Check out of The Heritage Hotel and transfer, by coach, to Thekkady. Check in to 4* Cardamom County Hotel, which borders the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves.

Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon at leisure

Early evening: Witness the spectacular Kalaripayuattu, an Indian martial art that originated in Kerala and dates back to 6th Century

Dinner at the hotel

Day Two, Friday 5th Feb

AM: enjoy a boat tour on the calm Periyar Lake. This vast lake in the middle of the sanctuary is a great place to spot wildlife - you may be lucky enough to see elephants playing on the water's edge.

Lunch at the hotel

PM: Guided tour of a private Spice Garden. Wander through spices such as cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla plants and learn how they are grown, harvested and processed.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Three, Saturday 6th Feb

AM: Check out of the hotel and enjoy a ride on the famous Kerala houseboats

1230-1600h: houseboat cruise in Alleppey, lunch included

1600h: continue on, by coach, to Kumarakom. On arrival, check in to 4* Coconut Lagoon Resort Hotel

Dinner at the hotel

Day Four, Sunday 7th Feb

Day at leisure to explore this tranquil backwater with its coconut groves, quiet canals and traditional wooden homes, or enjoy an Ayurveda massage. Lunch at the hotel is included.

Or optional Old Kottayam Heritage Walk (0800-1100h). Discover the rich past of Royal Kottayam which flourished along the banks of the great Meenachil River, once the lifeline of this area.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Five, Monday 8th Feb

AM: check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to Kochi. On arrival, you will be taken to a private house for a cooking demonstration and traditional Keralan lunch.

1330-1400h: drive on to 5* Fragrant Nature Hotel and check in

1600-1700h: visit to the private studio of a Kathakali dance maestro where you will be introduced to the ritual hand gestures known as Mudras. You will also learn about the elaborate make-up and costumes that the dancers wear for their performances.

1700-1900h: visit to the heritage theatre in Kochi to see the Kerala Kaleidoscope, a showcase of Kerala's rich cultural traditions told through live classical dance, music and martial arts

Dinner at the hotel

Day Six, Tuesday 9th Feb

AM: Sightseeing tour of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry.  You will see the Chinese Fishing Nets, believed to have been introduced by traders from the Courts of the Chinese ruler Kublai Kahn, and St. Francis Church. Built by the Portuguese between 1503-1516, this is one of the oldest European churches in India. You will then go on to Little Queen Embroidery where the owner of the business, Mr Thomas, will tell you about the rare embroidery made here and introduce you to the women who make it.  Your tour will continue with a visit to Paradesi Synagogue, built in 1568. 

Lunch at a local restaurant

PM: Transfer to Cochin airport for flight to Chennai. The flight departs at 1805h

1855h - arrive at Chennai and check in to 5* Trident Hotel

Dinner at the hotel

Day Seven, Wednesday 10th Feb

AM: check out of the hotel and transfer by coach to Chennai International Airport for return flight to UK

PACKAGE COST INCLUDES

. 6 nights' accommodation

. Breakfast and dinner at all hotels

. 6 lunches

. All transfers

. Internal flight with Air India

. Entrance fees to all sites included in the itinerary

. Services of an English speaking local guide

. Assistance on arrival and departure at airports

. Return British Airways flight to London Heathrow

This tour begins in Madurai, on day 13 of the main tour

Day One, Thursday 4th Feb

AM: Check out of The Heritage Hotel and transfer, by coach, to Pollachi.

Check in at 4* Coco Lagoon Resort by Great Mount hotel and enjoy a day at leisure. Lunch at the hotel is included.

1700-1800h: hands-on cooking demonstration 

Dinner at the hotel

Day Two, Friday 5th Feb

AM: The Cotton Trail Experience in Pollachi. Learn how cotton is ginned, spun, woven and dyed in an environmentally responsible and ethically-orientated way.

Traditional banana leaf lunch

PM: visit to a traditional weaving village to see skilled artisans weaving saris using techniques that have been passed down through the generations. You will then see how cotton yarn is dyed by hand, turned into warped yarn for weaving and made into saris, before visiting Pollachi's largest wholesale sari store.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Three, Saturday 6th Feb

Check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to Coonoor

Lunch at Gateway Coonoor - IHCl Seleqtions hotel

1415-1515h: visit to tea factory, with tasting

1515-1530h: drive to station to board toy train to Ooty

1600-1715h: toy train experience. Travel to Ooty through picturesque tea estates, the Nilgiris mountains and charming towns and villages.

Check in to 5*Taj Savoy Hotel

Dinner at the hotel

Day Four, Sunday 7th Feb

AM: Sightseeing in Ooty. Visit the Botanical Gardens, church and the local market. You will also stop at Thread Garden, a magnificent garden filled with flowers, lawns and lotus ponds, that is made entirely from thread, canvas and wires. 

Lunch at the hotel and afternoon at leisure

Dinner at the hotel

Day Five, Monday 8th Feb

AM: Check out of the hotel and transfer, by coach, to Mysore

Check in to 5* Radisson Blu hotel 

Lunch at the hotel 

PM: visit to the famous Mysore Palace, a unique blend of Hindu, Mughal, Rajput and Gothic styles, followed by a shopping experience at Devaraja market. With more than 700 stalls, this 125 year-old market is full of colour and exotic smells.

Dinner at the hotel

Day Six, Tuesday 9th Feb

AM: excursion into the Chamundi hills to visit the temple dedicated to Goddess Chamundeswari and hear the legend of the demon the city is named after. 

Returning from the hills, you will enjoy a guided tour of the century-old Mysore silk factory to see how the beautiful saris, once synonymous with the Mysore royal family, are produced.

Lunch at the hotel and check out

Coach transfer to Bangalore, stopping at Sriangapatna en route. Located 20 minutes from Mysore, this is a place of both historic and religious importance - it was the former stronghold of Tipu Sultan, a man noted for his fight against the British, and is also the place where the last rites of the departed are carried out. You will visit Dariya Daulat Bagh, Tipu's summer palace.

1530-1900h: onward travel to Bangalore and check in at 5* Taj Bangalore Hotel

Dinner at the hotel

Day Seven, Wednesday 10th Feb

AM: check out of the hotel and transfer to Bangalore airport for return flight to UK

PACKAGE COST INCLUDES

. 6 nights accommodation

. Breakfast and dinner at all hotels

. 6 lunches

. All transfers

. Entrance to all sites included in the itinerary

. Services of an English-speaking local guide

. Assistance on arrival and departure at the airports

 

MAIN TOUR PROGAMME

BA

23/01/21: London Heathrow - Chennai

Depart 1410h, arrive 0535h on 24/01/21 BA0035

Flight time 9hrs 55mins

BA World Traveller (Economy)

1x23kg checked bag; 1xhand/laptop bag up to 40x30x15cm; 1xcabin bag (56x45x25cm)

05/02/21: Chennai - London Heathrow

Depart 0730h, arrive 1315h, BA0036

Flight time 11hrs 15mins

BA World Traveller (Economy)

1x23kg checked bag; 1xhand/laptop bag up to 40x30x15cm; 1xcabin bag (56x45x25cm)

Internal Flights

04/02/21 Madurai - Chennai

Depart 1430h, arrive 1550h, Indigo Air 6E-7196

Standard economy

Flight time 1hr 20mins

Please note, the included luggage allowance is 15kg per checked bag and 7kg per hand luggage bag. Excess luggage fees tend to be reasonable and can be paid at check in.

KERALA EXTENSION

BA

23/01/21: London Heathrow - Chennai

Depart 1410h, arrive 0535h on 24/01/21 BA0035

Flight time 9hrs 55mins

BA World Traveller (Economy)

1x23kg checked bag; 1xhand/laptop bag up to 40x30x15cm; 1xcabin bag (56x45x25cm)

10/02/21: Chennai to London Heathrow

Depart 0730h, arrive 1315h, BA0036

Flight time 11hrs 15mins

BA World Traveller (Economy)

1x23kg checked bag; 1xhand/laptop bag up to 40x30x15cm; 1xcabin bag (56x45x25cm)

Internal Flights

09/02/21: Kochi to Chennai

Depart 1805h, arrive 1855h, Air India AI-510

Flight time 50mins

Standard economy

1x25kg checked bag; 7kg hand luggage

KARNATAKA EXTENSION

BA

23/01/21: London Heathrow - Chennai

Depart 1410h, arrive 0535h on 24/01/21 BA0035

Flight time 9hrs 55mins

BA World Traveller (Economy)

1x23kg checked bag; 1xhand/laptop bag up to 40x30x15cm; 1xcabin bag (56x45x25cm)

10/02/21: Bangalore - London Heathrow

Depart 0705h, arrive 1245h BA0118

Flight time 11hrs 10mins

BA World Traveller (Economy)

1x23kg checked bag; 1xhand/laptop bag up to 40x30x15cm; 1xcabin bag (56x45x25cm)

 

Key Legislation

Additional information:

  • This tour requires a minimum of 10 passengers refer to point 7 in our booking conditions

  • Mobility: this tour is generally suitable for most, if you are concerned or have specific issues please let us know ahead of booking

  • Please ensure you have a valid passport (at least six months from the date of travel) and visa (if travelling on a non-EU passport)

  • Travel insurance is required 

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or, for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, go to www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.

Our ATOL number is ATOL 6545. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.

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Main Tour Programme

 £3,865 per person*

*Prices are based on two people sharing a twin room. Single room supplement, £900 for 12 nights

Price without flights (join us in Chennai) £3,215 per person*

*Prices are based on two people sharing a twin room. Single room supplement, £900 for 12 nights

Kerala Extension

 £1,345 per person*

*Prices are based on two people sharing a twin room. Single room supplement £450 for 6 nights

Karnataka Extension

£1,665 per person*

*Prices are based on two people sharing a twin room. Single room supplement £390 for 6 nights

 

This tour can be paid for in installments as set out below:

16th March 2020 -  £750

8th June 2020 - £750

3rd Aug 2020  - £750

9th Nov 2020 - final balance

Tour Includes

  • Return British Airways World Traveller Economy flights
  • 12 nights' accommodation, including all breakfasts and dinners
  • Internal Air India flight
  • All transfers while in India
  • 12x lunches
  • Entrance fees to all sites in the itinerary
  • Services of an ECT Tour Manager
  • Services of an accompanying English-speaking local guide
  • Assistance on arrival and departure at the airports
  • Travel disruption insurance
Optional Extras
  • Bazaar Trail
  • Going to Bed Ceremony