Trip Highlights :- Cochin | Calicut | Vythiri | Munnar | Periyar | Kumarakom - Alleppey | Mararikulam | Cochin |
Tour duration : 10 Nights / 11 Days
Cochin : Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, it has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide. This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. It is situated in Ernakulam district. Ernakulam is also the name of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district but, for all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the same place.
Calicut : (Kozhikode) is one of the prominent trade and commerce centre in Kerala. It was the capital town of the Zamorins who reigned at this region for a long period. Vasco de Gama landed here in AD1498 and since then Kozhikode became an important port in the Malabar region for the trade of Spices, Silk and other goods. Today this district is famous for its Lush Green Countryside, Beaches, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Rivers, Hillocks, Historical places etc. The friendly ambiance of the Kozhikode people is heart touching. The economy of Kozhikode mainly depends on agriculture and fisheries. The timber industry is also very powerful here. A large proportion of the population here is working in Middle East and their remittance to home plays an important part in the local economy. It is a main center for the exportation of Coconut, Coffee and Tea. The other main industries are Tile making and Saw mills. It is also famous for the variety of sweats produced in the city.
Vythiri : Vythiri is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Kerala located at about 1300 m above the sea level. The place is famous for its lush green sprawling plantation of coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber. The misty hills with full of lush green vegetation provide a breathtaking view to its visitors. The fresh and pristine breeze laden with the fragrance of nature soothes and refreshes your mind and soul. The main attraction for the tourists visiting Vythiri is its unique and adventurous Tree Houses, houses built on trees above 90 ft from the ground in the tropical rainforest providing picturesque view of the valley. You can spend a long time just sitting in your lounge on the balcony, experiencing one of the most privileged views in the rainforest, especially at sunset. Here you wake up every morning to the chirping of birds and exotic smell of nature The Rope bridges hanging over streams leading to cottages offer a spectacular view to tourists.
Munnar : Munnar was the summer capital of the British in southern India. Munnar was developed to cultivate tea plants by British although it was first discovered by Scottish planters. Munnar is located at the confluence of three mountain streams Mudra puzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Once, Munnar was the summer resort of the British government in South India. There is much more about Munnar that simply cannot be put in words. We totally informed about this magnificent hill retreat before embarking on a tour. Munnar is also known as the Kashmir of Kerala. The formal history was wrote since the 10th century; the first British who visits the area was the Duke of Wellington, in 1790, during the British Raj, at the same time also migrated to Munnar and nearby places was occupied by them. The region in and around Munnar varies in height from 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) to 2,600 meters (8,530 ft) above mean sea level. The Munnar history began in the prehistoric, so prove the relics discovered around the area point of Stone Age civilization. A British lawyer and tea planter leased close to 600 sq. km of land around Munnar, which was then covered with thick jungle, from the Poonjar chief, a subordinate of the Maharaja of Travancore. He then cleared the jungle for Tea plantations. Then in 1983 James Finlay Group sold their remaining share holdings and the company became known as Tata Tea Ltd., the largest integrated tea company in the world. This land was later known as Kanan Devan (Kannan Thevar) Concession Land. Later in 1895, Messrs Finlay Muir & Company bought Munro's land and in 1976 Tata-Finlay Ltd. purchased it.
Periyar : Synonymous with elephants, misty hills and plantations, Periyar in Idukki district captures the essence of all that is wild and wonderful. The most prestigious region on the high ranges of the Western Ghats, the Periyar Tiger Reserve is located on the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady. Sprawled majestically across 777 sq km, Periyar Sanctuary, declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 under the Project Tiger Scheme, attracts travellers from all over. An environmental hotspot, Periyar Sanctuary is noted for its geomorphology, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscape. Encompassing a 26 sq km artificial lake, the rich jungles of Periyar is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. The lake which serves as a watering hole for the animals during summer, harbours within itself a unique aquatic ecosystem. A cruise along it is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve. Exciting trekking trails and other adventure activities like tracking the tiger, jungle patrolling etc. await the tourists at this enchanting Sanctuary.
Kumarakom : Kumarakom is a serene, emerald green peninsula set in the backdrop of Vembanad Lake which is dotted with numerous traditional rice boats, rafts and canoes. This backwater spot is abundant with flora and fauna, being especially rich in marine life. Kumarakom is a breathtakingly beautiful paradise stocked with divine mangroves and coconut groves, lush green paddy fields, gushing waters snaking through the dense forests. This small town lies on the shores of the enchanting Vembanad Lake, 14 kms from Kottayam. The most interesting area in the backwaters is the "Kuttanad region" called the rice bowl of Kerala. The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake. The bird sanctuary in Kumarakom is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
Arrival in India (Cochin), traditional welcome by our representative at airport, transfer assistance to hotel. Check-in at hotel, before you proceed to your room/s, our representative will hand-over the travel documents and brief you about the tour programme. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the sightseeing of Cochin, visit the Portuguese St. Francis Church, it is the oldest European Church in India, built by the Portuguese in 1503, initially this shrine was made of wood, it was replaced by the new Church structure in year 1516, Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama was buried in this Church, later his remains were taken back to Portugal.
Visit the Chinese Fishing Nets, which owe their origin to China. These fishing nets were introduced in Cochin by Chinese traveler Zheng He. These nets were set up in the Cochin Harbor sometime in the 14th century and have been in use ever since. The singularity of these nets lies in the fact that they are suspended in mid-air resembling hammocks. The nets hang by poles that are prepared from bamboo or teak woods. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets.
Visit the Jewish Synagogue, situated at one end of the Jew Street in the Jew Town enclave of Mattancherry in Fort Kochi. This synagogue was built in 1568 by Cochin Jewish community. Synagogue is adorned with Belgian glass chandeliers and Chinese hand-painted porcelain tiles laid on the floor. Also of interest are the Scrolls of the Law housed here and the several gold crowns received as gifts and the brass-railed pulpit.
Visit the Mattancherry Palace, it is one of the oldest examples of the Portuguese architecture, the palace was built around 1545 AD. It underwent major repairs at the hands of Dutch and hence the palace is also known as 'Dutch Palace'. This two-storied quadrangular building has long and spacious halls. The palace represents the blending of the European and indigenous styles of architecture. The upper story of the palace where the present museum is housed consists of a coronation hall, bed chamber, ladies chamber, dining hall and other rooms. Mural paintings are on display inside the palace, the themes depict scenes from Ramayana. The themes from contemporary literature of Kerala are also depicted here. The present museum was established in May 1985 housing a variety of exhibits such as portraits of the Cochin Kings, Palanquins, Dresses, Weapons, Stamps and Coins.
In the evening visit the cultural centre to see Kathakali Dance Show. Kathakali is the classical dance form of Kerala, the word Kathakali means 'story play', it is a combination of dance and drama, the performers wear make-up and colourful costumes. This dance form showcases themes derived from Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Hindu epics, mythologies and legends.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel. This morning drive to Calicut also called as Kozhikode, arrive and check-in at hotel.
OPTIONAL: In the evening visit CVN Kalari Sangam: The centre has produced some very famous Kalari exponents. The centre, located at Nadakavu, is dedicated to one of the most spectacular of martial art forms of Kerala, Kalaripayattu. Watch live demonstrations of the art, which involves the sword and supreme agility. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the sightseeing of Calicut, visit the Pazhassiraja Museum, The museum and the art gallery are named after the great Pazhassiraja Kerala Varma of the Padinjare Kovilakom of the Kottayam royal family. A veritable treasure trove for historians and connoisseurs of art, the Pazhassiraja Museum is located in Kozhikode - the land of spices, which lured navigators from time immemorial down to the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498. The Art Gallery adjacent to the museum displays the acclaimed paintings of Kerala's cherished artists, Raja Ravi Varma (1848 - 1906) whose works brought international repute to the State and his uncle Raja Raja Varma.
Visit Beypore Beach: The boat-building yard here is famous for the construction of the Uru (the Arabian trading vessel), which boasts a tradition of over1500 years. This Beach is 10 km south of Kozhikode town at the mouth of the Chaliyar River, Beypore one of the prominent ports and fishing harbors of ancient Kerala, was an important trade and maritime centre. Beypore was much sought after by merchants from Western Asia for its ship building industry.
Kappad beach: The stretch of sand is not so wide but clean and lined with a canopy of coconut palms. The sight of the coconut palms silhouetted against the evening sky is bound to bring out the photographer in any tourist. Kappad also has a stone monument installed on the spot where Vasco Da Gama landed.
Mishkal Masjid is located in Kuttichira and is the oldest mosque in Calicut. It was built around 700 years ago and is also called as Mithqal palli. It was constructed by an Arab merchant Nakhooda Mishkal and the mosque was named after him. In the year 1510, some portion of this mosque was burnt by the Portuguese. The damage made due to that can be still seen in the top floors of this mosque. The architecture of this mosque is very attractive with the 4 storied structures supported by 24 pillars. Another feature of this mosque is that there is a square tank near to this mosque seen as similar to the temples in Kerala. The walls of this mosque are made of wood. This mosque stands as an example of communal harmony and people irrespective of caste and religion can enter this mosque. This is one of the important pilgrim centres of the Muslims.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Drive to Vythiri, arrive and check-in at resort. Day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at resort.
Breakfast and check-out from resort. Drive to Munnar, arrive and check-in at hotel. Evening at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the full day sightseeing in and around Munnar.
Devikulam: The quaint hill station of Devikulam rests like a celestial beauty in the midst of luxurious velvet green hills, located at a distance of 16 kms at an altitude of 1700 mt. Famous for its crystal-clear lake of Sita Devi. Legend connects Devikulam to the ancient Hindu epic of Ramayana. It is believed that during their exile, Sita Devi - the consort of Lord Rama took a bath in this lake. The water in the lake is considered to contain minerals and is acclaimed for its healing powers.
Mattupetty: The town of Mattupetty though small in geographical area is a treasure trove of natures abounding glories. The town is located at a distance of about 13 kms at an altitude of 1700 mt. Mattupetty is renowned for its dairy farm; the Indo-Swiss livestock project. A large variety of high yielding cattle are reared in Mattupetty.
Pothamedu: This amazing viewpoint is located at a distance of 6 kms from Munnar. This vantage point offers astounding views of breathtaking grandeur of the nearby tea, coffee and spice plantations. You can feast your eyes on the misty hills, green meadows and ravines crisscrossed with white streaks of gurgling rivulets. This is also an ideal spot to enjoy a casual ramble through the green mountains.
Nyayamakad: This picturesque location is at a distance of about 10 kms from Munnar en route to Rajamala. The place is teaming with natural brilliance and splendid waterfalls. The gorgeous waterfall with sparkling silver water cascading down from a rocky cliff at a height of 1600 meters is sure to hold you mesmerized in its captivating grandeur.
Chithirapuram: Lying at a distance of 10 kms from Munnar is the idyllic town of Chithirapuram. The place is steeped in its rich colonial past with numerous English cottages, grand colonial bungalows, old playgrounds etc dotting the landscape. This less explored land of timeless beauty is a true trump card for experiencing colonial remnants preserved in its original splendor. This town is home to a number of tea plantations.
Echo Point: This is an amazing vantage point located at a distance of about 15 km from Munnar. The place derives its name from the natural echo phenomenon of the point. Spectacular views of the surrounding mist-clad blue hills and plantations could be enjoyed from this point.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast early in the morning, check-out from hotel. Drive to Periyar, best known for its wildlife, is a must place to be and visit for all visitors to Kerala. En-route visit Kumily for spice plantation tour, Over twelve varieties of spices are cultivated in and around Kumily. The spice plantation tour covers spice plantations such as Cardamom, Pepper, Vanilla, Clove, Nutmeg etc. and also some Ayurvedic plants and herbs.
Later drive to Periyar, arrive and check-in at hotel. Take a boat cruise in the Periyar Lake which lies at the heart of the sanctuary which is a veritable paradise for all wildlife lovers. One can view the animals in their natural surrounding while cruising on the lake, or better still come within a few feet of a herd wild Elephants. The majestic Gaur, Deer, Wild Boar and the distinctive Nilgiri Langur are often spotted along the lake. The reserve also has attractions for the bird watcher as varieties of birds like the Hornbill, Blue Winged Parakeet, Whistling Thrush, Flycatcher and water birds are to be seen here.
Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast check-out from hotel. Afterwards, Drive to Kumarakom, reach the boat jetty to board 'Kettuvallam' a typical Keralan houseboat. You will be welcomed at check-in followed by a short briefing introduction; relax and commence your cruise on the canals, backwater with palm and coconut trees and small houses near to it, villages, paddy fields, churches, etc.
Enjoy the Sunset view, you will also get a chance to go out and walk along the riverside or villages meet local people and come back.
Overnight stay at houseboat.
Breakfast on houseboat afterwards disembark the boat at a jetty in Alleppey and drive to Mararikulam. Arrive and check-in at hotel / beach resort. Day at leisure to relax or take a walk on the sands in the evening. Overnight stay at hotel / beach resort.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel / beach resort. This morning drive to Vaikom for a village visit to see the rural life in Kerala. Upon reaching the village reception will be arranged in a traditional house to witness and enjoy the life-style of the villagers and backwater cruise through narrow canals with a local guide. The cruise will be through the narrow canals of 4 feet in depth and the boat passes through coconut palm groves like a canopy, providing a cool atmosphere. En-route visit Coconut farms, Coir villages, Spices and Herbal farms, Bird watching and other village activities.
This village has no industries, making it free from all types of pollution. The main occupation of the villagers is making ropes with Coconut fiber, Mat weaving with leaves of Wild-Pineapple, Pottery, traditional Coconut processing, collecting sand from river-bed, Fishing, Farming, etc.
We conclude this excursion by enjoying a 'Sadya' - Solemn Lunch served during Kerala's regional festival Onam and Hindu marriage functions. This is served on banana leaves with different curries.
By evening time, drive to Cochin city, and proceed to international airport to board flight for return journey.
End of our services
1. Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.
2. 01 night stay in traditional houseboat on AP basis (Full board) overnight cruise from Kumarakom to Alleppey.
3. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at Cochin airport.
4. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to airport and vice-versa.
5. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary.
6. Accompanying English speaking Guide.
7. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
8. Evening Kathakali Dance performance show in Cochin, Spice plantation tour in Kumily, boat ride in Periyar Lake and in Vaikom.
9. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day.
10. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes.
1. Return international air tickets from the city of origin.
2. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.
3. Visit to CVN Kalari Sangam in Calicut for Martial Art Display which is mentioned in the programme as OPTIONAL.
4. Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".