Cochin — Kothamangalam — Munnar — Periyar — Alappuzha — Marari — Cochin
13 Days/12 Nights
Delhi – Jaipur – (via Fatehpur Sikri) Agra – (via Sikandra) Delhi
13 Days/12 Nights
Delhi – Jaipur – (via Fatehpur Sikri) Agra – (via Sikandra) Delhi
Day 1 Arrive Kochi Arrive in Kochi, meet & greet services at the airport and transfer to your Homestay. Kochi is the financial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala. Check in at your hotel at Kochi. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Kochi.
Day 2 Kochi Morning, proceed on a sightseeing tour of Kochi. The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry is renowned for its wall murals depicting scenes from the Indian epic Ramayana. The Jewish Synagogue is at the heart of what is locally called Jew Town. The St Francis Church is the oldest European church in India. The Santa Cruz Basilica was originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese. The Chinese fishing nets are huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have been introduced to Kochi by the Chinese trade. Evening witness Kathakali, the ancient dance-drama form of Kerala, at a local theatre. Centuries old, Kathakali stands out for its colourful, elaborate costumes, head dresses, face masks, and vividly painted faces. It is one of the major classical dances of India. Overnight in Kochi.
Day 3 Kochi – Kothamangalam (60 Km / 01 Hr 30 Mins) Today, drive to Kothamangalam and spend the afternoon at leisure in a century old estate bungalow set in over 100 acres of multi-crop plantation. Apart from exploring the estate, you could visit the local bird sanctuary as well as the Kodanad Elephant Training Centre. At the Centre, you will enjoy the rare opportunity to be in close proximity with the elephants and can participate in their bathing and feeding. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Kothamangalam.
Day 4 Kothamangalam – Munnar (90 Km / 03 Hrs) Morning, proceed to the Kodanad Elephant Training Centre to watch the elephants being bathed. Later, drive back to the Homestay, check out, and drive to Munnar – a hill station located 1600 metres above sea level. Once the summer resort of the erstwhile British administration in South India, it retains its colonial charm and is famous for its tea plantations, most of which are privately owned. With its sprawling estates, rolling hills, sparkling waterfalls, picture postcard hamlets, and undulating valleys, Munnar is an ideal holiday destination. On arrival check in at your accommodation. Overnight in Munnar.
Day 5 Munnar After breakfast, proceed on a sightseeing tour of Munnar. Visit the Eravikulam National Park at the Rajamalai; here, if you are lucky, you may spot the Nilgiri tahr, a rare and endangered species of mountain goat endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Follow this with a visit to the Tea Museum, located in the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea. The Museum’s collection of memorabilia and artefacts takes you back to the 1880s, an era when the tea industry had just begun to make its presence felt in Munnar. Browse the museum for its array of curios, photographs, and machinery, each depicting important events that contributed to a flourishing tea industry. Return to your accommodation. Overnight in Munnar.
Day 6 Munnar - Periyar (120 Km / 3 Hrs) After breakfast depart for the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (Thekkady). Morning drive through the Western Ghats to Thekkady, a beautiful region of tea gardens, rubber estates, and coffee and pepper plantations, located high in the Cardamom Hills. The Sanctuary is an established tourist spot and home to the elephant, tiger, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur etc. Formed as a reservoir when the Mullaperiyar Dam was constructed, the lovely Periyar Lake adds to the Sanctuary’s charm. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a declared Tiger Reserve. After check in at the hotel, go on a spice plantation tour. A walk through the plantation offers gorgeous vistas of pristine green ranges shrouded by low hanging clouds, gurgling brooks – set against the backdrop of the magnificent Western Ghats. Accompanied by an English-speaking guide, you will be taken on tour of the clove, cardamom, pepper, rubber, vanilla, coffee and tea plantations. The most abundantly found spice in Thekkady is pepper but, you will also see a variety of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, and curry leaves on the slanting slopes of the spice plantation. Evening, enjoy an open-Jeep ride through the buffer zones of the Sanctuary. Overnight in Periyar.
Day 7 Periyar Early morning, proceed to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary for boating. Nestled at an altitude with temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degree Celsius, the Sanctuary skirts the serene Periyar Lake. The most sought after way of wildlife viewing is a steamer cruise on the Periyar Lake. Glide past bare tree limbs jutting out of the Lake as you look out for elephant herds by the water’s edge, deer peeking from thickets, wild boars running amok, and, if you are lucky, the elusive tiger...perhaps in a sudden clearing in the forest. Always keep your binoculars handy…you never know when you might chance upon a blue-winged parakeet, a solitary kingfisher, the Nilgiri wood pigeon, laughing thrushes or flycatchers. Overnight in Periyar.
Day 8 Periyar – Alappuzha (165 Km / 4 Hrs) After breakfast, check out and drive to Alappuzha to board a kettuvallom (traditional rice barge turned houseboat) to experience an unforgettable overnight cruise through the tranquil backwaters unique to Kerala. You will have a private houseboat that travels until sunset when it then anchors for the night, at Alappuzha. Your houseboat has a private balcony with comfortable chairs. The rooms are well furnished with attached bathrooms and air conditioning which functions during sleeping hours. It also has a fully equipped kitchen and an experienced cook to prepare authentic Kerala cuisine with seafood specialties and fresh vegetables. This is your chance to pick up some fabulous cooking tips! The waterways of Kerala play a major role in the economy of the state as they link remote villages and islands with the mainland. It is an incredibly different experience to cruise in the backwaters in country boats, absorbing the beauty of Kerala's villages. Today one of the major tourist attractions in Kerala, the kettuvalloms ferried rice and spices in olden times. The houseboats are uniquely designed using local materials like bamboo poles, coconut fibre ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. and are a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters. Their languid grace and quaint design only enhance your cruise experience in the shimmering blue waters. Lunch, evening tea with snacks, and dinner served on board. Overnight on the houseboat.
Day 9 Alappuzha After breakfast, the houseboat will drop you at a Kerala homestay. Referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ by travellers from across the world, Alappuzha is a place of immense natural beauty. Caressed by the Arabian Sea in the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons, and freshwater rivers, this backwater country shelters some unique animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed an exclusive place in the maritime history of Kerala. Famous for its boat races, beaches, marine products, and coir industry, Alappuzha lies in the Kuttanad region of Kerala. A land of lush paddy fields, Kuttanad is called the ‘Rice Bowl of Kerala’ and one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. This one-time prosperous trading and fishing centre is today a world renowned backwater tourist destination. Evening, go for 01 ½ hour village walk to explore village life. Optional: Cycling tour for 02 – 04 hours (route map will be provided) 01 hour sunset cruise in country boat Overnight in Alappuzha.
Day 10 Alappuzha – Mararikulam After breakfast, transfer to Marari, the calm and serene beach located in Mararikulam. Marari is a glorious beach with coconut palm-fringed shore lines and fishing villages. Check in at your homestay/resort at Mararikulam and explore the stunning surroundings. Day free to relax at homestay/resort or to visit the fishing villages nearby and interact with the locals. Indulge your taste buds with local sea food specialties prepared from catch fresh off the nets. Optional (extra chargeable): Try a traditional Ayurveda massage which will take away all the fatigue of travel and rejuvenate you. Overnight in Marari.
Day 11 Mararikulam Day at leisure. Relax at the beach. Overnight in Marari.
Day 12 Mararikulam Day at leisure. Relax at the beach. Overnight in Marari.
Day 13 Depart From Kochi ------ END OF SERVICES -----
Not included is travel insurance, tips and any expense of personal nature Extensions ● Visit Athirappally waterfalls. ● Stay at backwater resort in Kumarakom.
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