Day 01 :
ARRIVE KOCHI [International Flight]
You will arrive at Kochi International Airport. Following Customs/Immigration formalities and baggage collection, a Representative will meet you as you exit the arrivals terminal building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.
Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Kochi, or more familiarly, Cochin is a city of many parts. Around for a long, long time, Kochi played a pivotal role in the development of shipping and trade in the region. Kochi's prime location on the west coast, its fine bay and protected harbour made it popular with seafarers and merchant ships who made frequent stops to stock up on spices, coffee and wood enroute to the rich markets of Europe and West Asia. And so down the ages, Kochi prospered as a busy port city and commercial centre. Its seafront is still extremely relevant to Cochin and to India: it houses a Naval Base and one of India's busiest ports.
Day 02 :
Today you will proceed to explore Kochi city thoroughly
You will first proceed to Mattancherry, where you will visit the oldest Jewish Synagogue in India, built in 1568; it was destroyed by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the Dutch a century later. You will also be visiting The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry, which was built in 1555 and its coronation hall and murals at Ramayana are noteworthy features.
From Jewish Synagogue you will visit Chinese fishing nets. The cantilevered fishing nets line the entrance to the harbour mouth. Chinese traders are believed to have originally introduced them in the 14th century although, today parts of the nets are known by Portuguese names.
You will then visit St. Francis Church, originally named after Santo Antonio and dedicated to him as the Patron Saint of Portugal, St. Francis Church is the first church to have been in the new European influenced tradition. Originally a wooden building was replaced by the present stone building. Vasco De Gamma died on the site in 1524 and was originally buried in the cemetery. 14 years later his body was removed to Portugal. The church was renamed St. Francis in 1663.
Day 03 :
KOCHI – PERIYAR (186 kms / 6h00 drive)
Drive this morning to Periyar.
Periyar is South India's most popular wildlife sanctuary encompassing an area of 777 sq kms. Set on the attractive man-made Periyar Lake; it attracts over 300,000 visitors a year. Though the sanctuary was made a part of Project Tiger in 1973, it is better known for its elephants.
On arrival in Periyar, proceed to check-in at the hotel.
In the evening proceed for common boat ride at the Lake Periyar. The Periyar Tiger Reserve and National Park - Established in 1934 as the Nelliampatty Sanctuary, the park was enlarged in 1950 and is India's southernmost tiger reserve. The lake covers some 10 sq. miles and most of the sanctuary is undulating. Since boat travel is the only means of transport in the park, large areas can be covered in a short time. Among the game found here are gaur (the largest of the world's wild oxen), elephant, wild pig, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, the rare and endangered lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, the common langur and the bonnet macaque, porcupine, Malabar squirrel, wild dog and tiger. Among the birds commonly seen are darters, cormorant, osprey, kingfisher and kite, great hornbill, grey hornbill, hill mynas, orioles and racket-tailed drongos.
Day 04 :
In the morning proceed for a guided walk through spice plantations to see the cultivation of cardamom, pepper, vanilla and coffee.
Rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities.
Day 05 :
PERIYAR – KUMARAKOM (127 kms / 4h00 drive)
In the morning you will drive through the countryside to Kumarakom. Upon arrival at Kumarakom, proceed to check in your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Kumarakom is located on the Southern coast of India enjoys a well-balanced tropical climate. Nature has composed its magic to perfection here. A million verdant coconut palms lining the rivers lean to examine its reflections on the glassy rivers. Everywhere, nature is at its best. Blooming forth in perfumes of flowers. In the riot of colours of multi-hued birds. In the fresh, succulent and bountiful freshwater fishes.
Day 06 :
Today full day is at leisure for independent activities.
Kerala is also known for its Ayurvedic therapies. For those who want to stay in house, the resort offers a wide variety of therapeutic treatments. Ayurveda is the ancient living medical heritage of India. The word Ayurveda literally means Knowledge or Science of Life. It deals with the maintenance of health and relief from disease. Ayurveda aims at achieving happiness of both body and mind and should form part of daily life. Today this medical system is still flourishing in India and particularly in Kerala. One of the treatments is the use of massages with medicinal oils.
Day 07 :
KUMARAKOM – ALLEPPEY (50 kms / 1h30 drive)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Alleppey Jetty point to board houseboat.
Climb aboard a traditional Kettuvallam (Rice-boat) converted into houseboats with bedrooms and attached toilets. Originally these boats were used as ferries to carry rice. Cruise through the backwaters of Kerala. Houseboat is one of the 50 "must do" things as described by the National Geographic Traveller magazine. The backwater cruise through the narrow canals that criss-cross a typical Kerala Village, rich with green paddy fields and verdant coconut trees and is a thrilling experience. The boat cruise takes you to small islets tucked away amidst those waters where you get glimpses of village at the best of its serenity and innocence. Watch village belles picking mussels, while their men folk collect sand from the bottom of the canal. Watch the village folk make the golden fibre called coir from coconut husk and transform it into various coir products. Rustling coconut groves abound. So stop over to drink calm fresh coconut water and watch the toddy-tapper tap at work. Watch birds like kingfishers; crow a pheasant, cormorants, drongos, woodpecker, Bee-eater, kites etc. Parrot green paddy fields sway like a chorus.
Day 08 :
ALLEPPEY – KOVALAM (175 kms / 4h00 drive)
Breakfast will be served on board the Houseboat.
Disembark houseboat in the morning and drive to Kovalam. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Kovalam Beach is a natural bay, sheltered from high waves and surges. You can experience an Ayurvedic massage, famed for its rejuvenating qualities.
Day 09 :
Today full day is at leisure to relax.
OPTIONAL SIGHTSEEING TOUR: The capital of the state of Kerala, Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram, is a beautiful seaside city build on hills overlooking quiet verdant valleys. The Padmanabhaswami Temple is dedicated to the serpent Anantha, on which Lord Vishnu reclines and is a sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus since antiquity. With its magnificent tower rising in seven storeys against the reflecting pool in front, the temple is a fine specimen of South Indian architecture. Napier Art Museum is a colourful and attractive turreted structure with gothic roof and minarets. The painted walls and ceilings have copies of the Ajanta and Sigirya frescos, miniatures from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools, works From China, Japan and Bali as well as canvasses by modern Indian painters.
Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 10 :
KOVALAM – TRIVANDRUM (13 kms / 0h30 drive)
TRIVANDRUM – DEPARTURE [BY AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT]
You will be transferred to Trivandrum International Airport in time to board your flight for onward journey.
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Destinations Covered: Kochi - Periyar - Kumarakom - Alleppey - Kovalam
Tour Duration: 9 Nights 10 Days