Kerala is blessed with a unique set of geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. A long shoreline with serene beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife, are just a few of the wonders that await you once you crossover to the other side.
HIGHLIGHT: Chinese fishing nets and Kathakali dance of Cochin, the lush tea gardens of Munnar, the wildlife of Periyar (Thekkady), back waters of Alleppey and pristine beaches of Kovalam.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL: October – March
Day 01 Arrive Cochin and transfer to your hotel.
Day 02 Morning SS tour. Late afternoon Kathakali dance show.
Day 03 Drive to Munnar (130 kms/05 hrs). P.M. Visit tea Museum.
Day 04 Drive to Periyar (Thekkady – 160 kms/05 hrs). P.M. Visit Spice Garden.
Day 05 Morning boat ride. P.M. Nature walk
Day 06 Drive to Alleppey (Alappuzha) (140 kms/04 hrs). House Boat
Day 07 Drive to Kovalam (160 kms/05 hrs).
Day 08 Relax
Day 09 Relax
Day 10 Relax
Day 11 Depart Kovalam
Upon arrival in Cochin, you will be welcomed by Kipling India Representative who will escort you to your hotel. He will brief you about the tour and handover the travel documents. Rest of the day free to relax. O/N in your hotel.
After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tour. First visit St. Francis Church - The St. Francis Church, well-known for its beautiful structural design and ambience, has an important place in history. It is here that the famous explorer, Vasco-da-Gama, was originally buried. His remains would be taken back 14 years later but to this day, the exact spot is clearly marked. The place is known for its deep Dutch and Portuguese influences and is an architectural marvel in itself. Chinese Fishing Nets ¬-Legend has it that the famous Chinese explorer, Zheng He, introduced the Chinese Fishing Nets to the fishermen in Kochi over 500 years ago. Even though he would leave, these would become staple sights in these parts. The Chinese fishing nets,or Cheenvala for the locals, have attracted visitors in the Fort Kochi area for centuries. Dutch Palace - The Mattancherry Palace is located about 12 km from Ernakulam. One of the finest examples of the Kerala style of architecture mixed with colonial influences, the Portuguese built it as a gift to King Veera Kerala Verma. It came to be known as the Dutch Palace as it underwent major repairs at the hands of the Dutch. It is among the most popular tourist destinations in the Fort Kochi area. Jewish Synagogue - A short walk from Mattancherry bus stand or from the boat jetty nearby would take you to 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 the Malabar Yehudans or Cochin Jewish community. It was built close to the Mattancherry Palace Temple on the land gifted by King Rama Varma, a former ruler of Kochi. Later afternoon proceed to witness the Kathakali dance show. ‘Kathakali’, an important genre in the Indian classical dance form, is associated with storytelling form of this art. It is the dance drama from the south Indian state of Kerala. Similar to other Indian classical dance arts, the story in ‘Kathakali’ is also communicated to audience through excellent footwork and impressive gestures of face and hands complimented with music and vocal performance.
After breakfast drive to Munnar. Munnar rises as three mountain streams merge - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picturesque 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 Neelakurinji. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Later visit the Tea Museum (Monday Closed). Munnar has a legacy of its own when it comes to the origins and evolution of tea plantations. Taking account of this legacy and to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects of the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges, a museum exclusively for tea was opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar. This Tea Museum houses artifacts, photographs and machineries; all of which have a story to tell about the origins and growth of tea plantations in Munnar.
After breakfast, drive to Periyar through the beautiful tea plantation. The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. The Periyar forests are one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Spreads across the entire district are the picturesque plantations and hill towns that nestle beautiful trails for treks and mountain walks. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Later visit Spice Plantation – This visit hosts some of the finest spice plantations in the country. Its equable climate and unique geographical positions has helped it become the de facto exporter of spices in the State. These spices are used by millions to add flavour to food along with helping preserve it. Other spices like turmeric and ginger are known to be used for medicinal purposes and religious rituals.
Early morning proceed for boat ride in the Periyar Lake. During this boat ride one can see herds of elephants grazing near the edges of the shoreline. Deer, sambar, gaur and wild boars can be seen flocking around the place at regular intervals. A majority of the wildlife activity in the area can be viewed during the summer months of March and April. Darters, egrets and kingfishers can be seen flocking around the withered trees that rise out of the lake. It is a surreal experience that is highly recommended if you are in the area. Back to hotel for breakfast. Whole day free at leisure. In the later afternoon proceed for nature walk with an experience guide through different nature trails in this programme. The trekking through diverse terrain gives visitors a ringside view of the forest. Though it is difficult to spot many wild animals, trekkers will definitely get to see varieties of birds and butterflies and some animals. The trail passes through evergreen forests and moist, deciduous forests, interspersed with marshy grasslands.
After breakfast, drive to Alleppey. Built in the 9th century AD, Alleppey, called Alappuzha lies on the edge of the great Ashtamudi Lake. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Related to the Venice of the East by travellers from around the world, this Backwater Country is also home to diverse range of animals and birds. It has always been honored a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala for its proximity to the sea. Alleppey has earned fame in the commercial world as the world's premier supplier of coir. Upon arrival, check in house boat and start sailing through the narrow canal of the backwaters. Lunch will be served in the house boat. Later in the evening around 1700 hrs, the houseboat will be docked. One can embark from the boat and take a walk through the villages. Back to house boat for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, the house boat will be docked near the pick up point and then we drive to Kovalam. Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising are some of them. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Full day at leisure. There are plenty of places for one to indulge in wellness retreat.
Full day at leisure
Full day at leisure
Final departure transfer to Trivandrum airport to board your flight for onward journey.