Cochin - Munnar - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Alleppey - Kovalam
08 Sep 2019 - 17 Sep 2019 ** Indicates tentative date.
2 people in 1 Room (s)
OUR REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Cochin is a diverse and colorful port/city, spreading over 4-5 islands and peninsulas. The main town of Ernakulam is on the mainland. All the islands are connected by a ferryboat network and therein lay the charm of an exploratory two days here. Around the headland of Fort Cochin, a phalanx of cantilevered Chinese fishing boats dips into the sea at high tide. In its back streets, there is an aroma of ginger, cardamom and other spices, piled high in every nook and cranny. Overnight will be at Cochin.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Proceed for a sight seeing tour of Cochin. CHINESE FISHING NETS: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea. JEWISH SYNAGOGUE: The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer that 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town. Two-storey Mattancherry or Dutch Palace, 20th century Santa Cruz Cathedral in an Indo-Romano-Rococo style, the first European church in India, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, David Hall, a surviving legacy of the Dutch colonial rule, now renovated and converted into an art gallery etc. are also nice for sightseeing. In the evening proceed for KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION. Kathakali, one of the oldest theatre forms dance-drama in the world, where the actors depict characters from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Overnight will be at Cochin.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Drive to Munnar. Reach and check into the hotel. Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathani & Kundala. 1600 meter above sea level this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling Tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neel Kurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in the blue every twelve years will bloom next in 2006 AD. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India - Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking. Overnight will be at Munnar.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort. The day will be spent at leisure taking treks and finding small buildings of historical importance around the hill station. Christ Church: This curiously Western-looking building was built in 1910 by the British settlers in Munnar. The stained-glass windows are among the most interesting features, while plaques standing in memory of British tea planters offer an insight into the history of the town. Devikulam: This is arguably one of the most picturesque spots in the world. This tiny hill station located only 7kms from Munnar is a paradise of flora and fauna, with spanning views of the picture perfect countryside. The crystal mineral waters of Sita Devi Lake, teeming with freshwater trout, provide the perfect spot for an idyllic countryside picnic. Kundale Tea Plantation: A fascinating insight into the production of one of the worlds most popular drinks can be discovered at the Kundale Tea Plantation. Watch and learn the process of how tea is made starting from the plant you see covering the landscape all the way to the tea cup. Sundays the local planters gather together, making it an ideal time to visit. The lake located on the plantation is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic and calming rest. Pothamedu: This is the location from where a number of the areas plantations can be viewed from a single point. Coffee plantations, tea plants and cardamom fields are all here to behold. Trekking and hiking are also popular activities in the area, and with the surrounding views it is little wonder why. Overnight will be at Munnar.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Proceed to Thekkady. Reach and check into the hotel. Four hour drive southwards over rolling hills and coffee plantations to the PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, one of the major wildlife reserves in India. Indian elephants, wild boars, lion-tailed monkeys, ibex, tigers, leopards and sloth bears are on the list. The park surrounds a large, many-fingered lake and a dawn or dusk foray on one of the boats will be a thrilling experience. It is from the lake rather than vehicles that the wildlife is viewed. The sanctuary is rich in bird life. Great hornbills, kites, darters, herons, egrets, owls and kingfishers are in abundance. Surrounding the reserve are many small spice plantations and we spend an absorbing afternoon searching for pepper, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and betel. Overnight will be at Thekkady.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort. Proceed for jungle walk experience at Periyar National Park. You will visit the rare species of plants and animals. The experience will be customized as per your preference depending on how many hours you want to spend in the park. In the afternoon visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Visit Kumily market to buy the best spices available. Overnight will be at Thekkady.
After a leisurely breakfast proceed to Kumarakom. Check into a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat. The backwaters of Kerala are a unique product of Kerala and are found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The backwaters of Kerala are a self supporting Eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters. Lunch will be served on the boat freshly prepared by the crew. In the evening the boat will anchor by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around. Dinner would be laid out in the boat. Spend night on houseboat.
After Breakfast drive to KOVALAM. Kovalam went through a gradual metamorphosis from an obscure fishing village to a contemporary holiday destination. Though frequented often, the very beautiful Kovalam beach glows in its un-spoilt beauty and offers a relaxing holiday to a tired and wandering soul. Life at the tiny fishing village located on the Kovalam coast goes on as it did for ages. Take walk near the fishing village in Kovalam, Kerala, and South India and be enthralled at the simplicity, happiness and contentment that greet you. A natural bay created by a breathtaking rock cluster and three crescent shaped beaches make up the stunning and very beautiful Kovalam beach in Kerala, South India. Reach and check in at the resort. Day will be free to explore and relax at the beach. Overnight will be at Kovalam.
Enjoy your breakfast at the resort. Take an excursion to KANYAKUMARI. Kanyakumari was once referred to as the "ALEXANDRIA OF THE EAST. This place has been a great center for art, culture, civilization and pilgrimage for years. It was also a famous center for commerce and trade. During the early part of the 8th century A.D, Islam entered the southern part of India through the sea route with traders and Missionaries. Through Saint Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, Christianity arrived in this area in 52 A.D. Islam. Christianity and Jainism religions have greatly contributed to the Architectural wealth and literal heritage of this place. Kanyakumari was also under the control of the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayakas who were the great rulers of South India. The architectural beauties of the temples are the beautiful work of these rulers. The shore temple in this famous Pilgrim center is dedicated to the virgin goddess Devi Kanyakumari, who eternally protects the country. The temple is a symbol of unity and sanctity. Overnight will be at Kovalam.
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