Kerala Back waters Tours
Cochin, Munnar, Periyar, Kumarakom/Alleppey (House Boat),
10 nights / 11days
A little about "God's Own Country - Kerala"
The small state of Kerala, which represents just 1% of the land mass,is considered to be one of India's most beautiful state. It is a very rural state with most of the population living in villages but is culturally and scenically diverse. Kerala has two national parks, ten wildlife sanctuaries and two bird sanctuaries. Kerala occupies a long (550 kms), narrow strip of land in the far south of India. Its coastline is on the Arabian Sea (part of the Indian Ocean) and its eastern border with the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu is the top of the majestic Western Ghat mountains. The landscape varies from long golden beaches to cool hill stations and dense green jungle to bustling cities. Its unique feature is the 1,900 kms of palm fringed backwaters. The people of Kerala are warm and friendly and interaction with them is often a highlight of a holiday to Kerala. Keralites have a strong culture and are fiercely proud of their state. Some of their art forms (eg Kathakali and Theyyam) and martial arts (kalaripayattu) are unique.
Day 01: Arrive Cochin by flight
Arrive Cochin airport. You shall be met by our representative outside the exit gate of the arrival hall. After meeting/assistance and traditional welcome at the airport transfer to hotel.
Cochin is a city of history and colour. Founded in 1341, it was one of the key stops on the ancient spice route from China to Rome. Straddling both the Arabian Sea and the famous backwaters, its islands and promontories offer a fascinating spectacle. The Portuguese, Dutch and British have all left their mark on local architecture and culture, while influxes of Jewish and Arab settlers have added another intriguing dimension. Here you can see India's first European church - and a 16th century synagogue! A major Kerala gateway, Cochin makes an ideal starting point or finale for your tour: from here you can travel easily into the hills, travel the backwaters or head north to Calicut.
Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Cochin
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for city tour of Cochin "Queen of Arabian Sea" and "Venice of the East". Visiting The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry is renowned for its wall murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana. The Chinese fishing nets are huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have brought to Kochi by Chinese traders, Cochin Fort and Jewish Synagogue This magnificent prayer hall was constructed in 1568 A.D. and is the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth. The original building was destroyed in 1662 A.D. due to shelling by the Portuguese. It was rebuilt a few years later. Also visit the Dutch cemetery and church. Overnight stay at hotel. Evening visit one of the best cultural centre to witness traditional Kathakali dance show and before the show see the artist, doing special make etc. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03: Cochin/Munnar (155 kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Munnar - the famous hill station of Kerala. 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. Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala in the Western Ghats. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Munnar was the summer resort of the British Government in the south. The town is situated on the confluence of three mountain streams, Muthirappuzha ( Kannimalayar), Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar has some of the biggest tea plantations in the world. This hill station more than 5000 feet above sea level with its mist and flowers, has very good potential to be developed into a tourist spot.
Evening visit Munnar town for shopping of local Tea and to have a glimpse of Munnar town. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 04 Jan: Munnar
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for sightseeing of Munnar visiting Pothamedu is located 6 km from Munnar and offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks, visit Lockhourt Gap, Devikulam Tea Garden View, Mattupetty Dam, Kundala Dam & Top Station. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
This remote village on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats is in the outskrits of Munnar. The relics of new stone-age civilization has been unearthed here. The stone cabins, called 'Muniyaras', attract a lot of research scholars. It is the only place in Kerala having natural growth of sandal wood trees. Peermade
Peermade, another centre of tourist attraction has a history of its own. The summer palace of the erstwhile Rajas of Travancore is an important monument here
Day 05: Munnar/Periyar (150 kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Periyar - a scenic route dotted with plantations of rubber, cardamom, cocoa, green pepper and areca nut, to the wildlife reserve at Periyar. Upon arrival check in hotel.
With its matchless scenic beauty and the facilities offered by the Periyar lake, Thekkady attracts a large number of tourists. The sanctuary spreads over an area of 673 sq.km and is situated at a height of 900 to 1800 metres above mean sea level. Facilities are available for cruising in this lake.Wild animals seen here include elephants, bisons, sambar, monkeys and wild bear. Fortunate visitors can have a glimpse of the tigers foraging in this area. However on sunny summer days one can see herds of wild elephants bathing in the lake. Bisons are a wary and hardy lot and usually never allow any intruder to approach them and the sound of the motor boats scare them away. But a keen animal lover can stay in one of the few observation towers for a couple of days and luck will surely come his way. Some of the famous tea gardens are located around this place. Further Peermede, 43 k.m. below Thekkady, has a golf course and offers excellent facilities for stay. Afternoon enjoy a boat ride per seat basis on Lake Periyar to see wild elephants and other species of flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 06: Periyar/Kumarakom (125 KMS)
Morning breakfast at the hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Kumarakom. Upon arrival transfer to hotel/resort. Afternoon leave for city tour of Kumarakom.
The enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom is a small village that is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerela. Kumarkom strengthens Kerala’s reputation for being God’s own country with its unbelievably beautiful mangrove forests, coconut groves and emerald green paddy fields interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lillies. It is part of the Kuttanad region, and the bird sanctuary here spread across 14 acres of any ornithologist's paradise.
This enchanting backwater destination offers visitors many leisure options. From wandering into the depths of its wildlife sanctuary to cruising down the back waters and fishing, Kumarkom is perfect for a lazy and laid back holiday. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands, as hundreds of swaying verdant coconut palms lining the rivers lean to brush the tops of your heads. Kumarkom is an example of nature at her bountiful best in the fragrant flowers, the riot of multi coloured birds, the surrounding greenry and the clear waters.
The Vembanad Lake
The Vembanad Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia. It flows through the verdant lands of Kerala and offers one of the best backwater cruises. Most of the flora and fauna in this region flourishes around this supply of fresh water. The lake also acts as a balancing tank against floods, and its wooded banks, temptingly invite a visitor to explore more. The boats that ply on the lake vary from the large stitched-hull, cargo carriers with domed mat-roofs to houseboats.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
A water-bird sanctuary lies at the edge of the grounds of an old estate where a profusion of all kinds of birds can be observed. Domestic birds such as cuckoo, wild duck, egrets, darters, herons, teal, and water fowl can be seen in abundance here, as much as can the Siberian storks which migrate to this area each year.
Kumarakom is situated 15 km from Kottayam on the Vembanad lake. This little backwater town is well known for its rubber plantations. Christianity is the dominant religion here and it is dotted with pretty old churches. Rejuvenating ayurvedic massages are available here. Thekkady, a major wildlife center lies 114 km from here, and Sabarimala, a Hindu pilgrim center is another 134 km from Kottayam.
The charmingly unkept coastal town of Alappuzha, formerly called Alleppey, lies close by. With its labyrinth of canals, bridges, silver beaches, and cheerful people it makes for a memorable holiday. Alappuzha is a never-ending panorama of lush green paddy fields, towering coconut trees, and long canals that offers enjoyable boat cruises to Kollam along the scenic Vembanad Lake.
Day 07: Kumarakom/Alleppey
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for Kumarakom - embankment point for the Houseboat. Upon arrival boarding to House Boat and sail through many canals and waterways up to Alleppey. It is once a life time experience to have such a romantic and beautiful experience. House Boat passing through the Backwaters of Kerala and sail through many canals and waterways The journey will pass through the following areas Alleppey, Vattakkayal, Chambakulum, Ambalapuzha, Karumadi, Kayakulum, Kumarakom. Overnight on the House Boat. (Lunch + Dinner and Breakfast in Included).
The most memorable way to experience the true magic of the waterways and lagoons of the backwaters is to sail at your own pace - through jungles of palm and fruit trees, past green paddy fields and waterside villages - by a beautifully crafted traditional old rice barge or kettuvallam. Many of these have been converted to provide comfortable houseboat accommodation. Each has one or two bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and sun-deck, with a crew to look after you and serve delicious local Keratin fare during a leisurely one or two-night cruise. These house boats are known for their unique design and use of local materials like bamboo poles, coconut finer ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. They are a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauties of the Kerala backwaters.
House Boat stay is with daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Houseboat check in time is 1200 noon and check out time is 1000 hrs)
Day 08: Alleppy/Trivandrum/Kovalam (175 Kms)
Morning after breakfast, leave the house boat at 1000 hrs and drive to Kovalam. Enroute visit Trivandrum city - Visit the ancient temple of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is one of the major attractions in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, also visit the famous Napier museum.
Located at the southwestern tip of India, Trivandrum district is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west and Tamil Nadu on the east. The wooded highlands on the Western Ghats in the eastern and northeastern borders give Trivandrum some of the most enchanting picnic spots. A long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage makes this district a much sought after tourist destination. Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala.
Thereafter continue drive to Kovalam. Upon arrival check in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 09: Kovalam
Morning breakfast at hotel. Full day free for independent activities or relax at the beach. Overnight stay at hotel.
Situated on the Malabar Coast along the Kerala shoreline is a small village of Kovalam. This quiet town of Kovalam came on the tourist map, when its beautiful and secluded beaches were discovered. Today Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a ravishing look. The palm-fringed bays of Kovalam in secluded coconut groves, promise a relaxed stay. The unforgettable image of Kovalam is that of the coconut-palms-lined high rock promontory that cuddles the calm and wide expanse of the blue waters. This marvellous beach is a tourist's dream come true.
Day 10: Kovalam
Morning breakfast at hotel. Full day free for independent activities or relax at the beach. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11: Kovalam/Trivendrum/ Onward detination.
Morning breakfast at hotel. Intime meeting/assistance at hotel and transfer to airport to board your return/ onward flight.
Price: Rs. 22,600/- per person/night with standard
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