Exotic Kerala Tour
Mumbai – Cochin – Athirapally – Munnar – Periyar – Alleppey – Kumarakom
– Kovalam – Kanya Kumari – Trivandrum – Kovalam
13 Nights & 14 Days
Day 01 : Arrival Mumbai
Meeting and assistance on arrival at the Mumbai International Airport, our representative assist and escort you by a private car and transfer to the pre-booked hotel. After your check in, you will be given all the required documents related to your tour plan; he will explain all your queries and feedback about the entire tour plan. If you are arriving by morning flight, after relaxation you can take a short tour of the sightseeing visiting local areas; otherwise take the rest and overnight at the hotel in Mumbai.
Day 02 : Mumbai
Today morning after breakfast, start your sightseeing tour of Mumbai by visiting Gateway of India firstly and from here cruise to Elephanta Caves by motorboat. The hundred steps takes you on the top where it is located. The caves houses pillars which are huge and seem to hold the ceiling, and have crossbeams. The picturesque presentations of the 9 marvellous sculptured panels, set on the walls are awe-inspiring. The famous amongst the panels is the triple-headed Shiva or the Trimurthi, where the God is depicted as the destroyer, the preserver and the creator. By afternoon cruise back to Gateway of India, one can have lunch at the hotel or other several good Restaurants like Leopold & Mondegar serving continental cuisines. Later visit Hajji Ali, Parliament House, Marine Drive, Mahalaxmi, Siddhi Vinayak, and Hanging Garden. In the evening, visit Crawford Market and then later Fashion Street or Colaba market for shopping. Return back to the hotel for overnight.
Note: Elephanta Caves and Prince of Wales museum are closed on every Monday.
Mumbai is a cluster of Seven Islands and derives its name from Mumbadevi, the patron goddess of the koli fisher folk, its oldest inhabitants. Mumbai pulsates with activity. It is a city that is disciplined by no time frame neither day nor night. It is also the country's financial powerhouse, the nation's industrial heartland, and its economic nerve center. Dazzling shopping arcades, exciting sport activity, nightclubs & discotheques, theatre & music, gourmet restaurants and interesting sightseeing. It offers visitors a heady mix of all this and more.
Day 03 : Mumbai - Cochin (By Air)
Today morning, check out from the hotel and drive to the domestic airport to board the scheduled flight for Cochin. Assistance on arrival at the Cochin domestic airport and thereafter transfer to the hotel. After relaxation, take a sightseeing tour of Cochin: Oasis state of Kerala & on to the Malabar Coasts & Kochi (formerly Cochin), one of the India's most colourful cities. This inter, connected series of Islands & shoreline presents a vivacious blend of Cultures & Religions; Visit to Fort Cochin & St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama. We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace. This evening a memorable experience in any journey in Kerala is a Boat Trip (of your own) along the Palm Fringed Lakes & Backwaters of the Area; we enjoy this extraordinary excursion today. As we sail along the shady canals we see cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. From our launch, we enjoy use of narrow produced - Laden dugouts & the everyday life of families living on narrow spits of land between the waters. Overnight at the hotel.
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, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. 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, Cochin 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/Bombay). 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. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
Day 04 : Cochin - Athirapally - Cochin (Excursion 55 kms: 1½ hours
) Today morning after a leisure breakfast, take an excursion to the beautiful waterfalls of Athirapally. There is a rocky road that moves around the mountain providing you with a magnificent view of the Athirapally waterfalls. As you move nearer through the beautifully landscaped road to Athirapally, you can enjoy the views of Areca nut Palms on one side and the Chalakudy River on the other side. First the river seems winding and then it crashes down suddenly, white with challenge. Only after a short distance, the river is back to its normal self again. There are some vendors here who sell jute hats and plastic flowers; they definitely make the place more tourists friendly. Later drive back to Cochin. In the evening enjoy the Kathakali, one of India's most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments.
Athirapally waterfalls, the sudden rushing sound of the cascading waterfall makes you feel that the water has begun to fall only now. Though the fact is that the waters have maintained this suddenness for a long time and they are still persevering. The Athirapally waterfalls are 80 feet high which start at the high ranges calmly and come crashing down through the gorges. Trekking is a wonderful way to explore the nearby areas, especially if you do it along the banks of the Chalakudy River. The waterfall is located at a height in the Sholayar forest ranges and is very near to the Valparai which is a popular hill station. The presence of the waterfall is unmistakable everywhere in Athirapally as it is present either in the form of a painting or a topic of conversation.
Day 05 : Cochin - Munnar (120 kms: 4 hours)
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Munnar. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Munnar is located at the Idukki district of Kerala State in India. The word "Munnar" means three rivers. 3 mountain streams (Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala) are joining together here. During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild cold climate throughout the year make it the favorite tourist places. There are about 30 tea plantations in and around Munnar. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty. The Munnar hills are covered by tea plants, which make Periyar the feeling of seeing a wide green carpet. You can take a short tour of the Munnar hill station exploring tea gardens and panoramic view of the wonderful hill station. Rest of the evening is free for leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Munnar, the erstwhile 'summer capital of the British', has become the most sought after holiday destination in South India. It is the luxuriant gift of nature to the Western Ghats, the eastern border of Kerala, 5000ft above sea level. Dense forests, wildlife sanctuaries, and major cash crop plantations cover most of this region. Munnar abounds in animals like elephants and Nilgiri Thar and rich biodiversity teeming with flora and fauna.
Day 06 : Munnar
After breakfast visit to Pothamedu whichoffers 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 the tea factory and the museum here. Later visit at Devikulam (7 km from Munnar). This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. Also take sightseeing towards Mattupetty Side, where you can visit the Photo point, Mattupetty Dam, Echo point (The natural Echo phenomenon is always happening here), Shooting point and the Kundale Lake. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 07 : Munnar - Periyar (160 kms: 4 - 5 hours)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Periyar. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Then visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, discover the park, animals found here include elephant, gaur and wild boars and birds like ibis and grey heron. The visit is done in a boat at Periyar lake to view animals with a bit of extra luck we may be able to see the rare tiger as well. Later in the evening take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at the hotel.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of India's biggest wildlife sanctuaries covering 777 sq. Km (300 Sq.miles) is a Tiger Reserve. Its centerpiece, the man-made Periyar Lake at the height of 2000 ft. covers 26 sq. km, running through the forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The lake is an important source of water for the many wild animals. The Best time to visit Periyar is between OCTOBER and MAY. The best chance of watching animals is during the hot months of march, April and May, when water gets low and the grass dries out, animals especially elephants come down to the Periyar lake to bath & frolic in the water with the young ones.
Day 08 : Periyar - Alleppey (155 kms: 3 hours) Backwaters tours through sailing boat to Kumarakom
After breakfast checkout and drive for Alleppey, on arrival embark at the houseboat. The day for the journey of backwaters in the boat, through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters of Alleppey by regattas (snake boats) for which Kerala is very famous, while sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats, moving towards Kumarakom. The Houseboats have generated electricity; sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Srank (Driver). Overnight at the houseboat.
Alleppey situated in south of Cochin, is the center for backwater cruises in Kerala. It has a large network of canals, which passes through the town, provides its lifeline & has a long sandy beach. It is also the center of the famous coir products of Kerala. Nehru Trophy Boat Race - the most colourful snake-boat race in Kerala - is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.
Alleppey A glide in a "Kettuvalam" (Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land.
Day 09 : Kumarakom
After breakfast disembark from the houseboat and drive to the backwater resort. Kumarakom, known for the nature-lovers, here in this backwater town, you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings where the only presence is yours and the egrets. Later visit at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, to see bird viewing where numerous species of birds, including Darters, Bitterns, Brahminy kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons roost are found. For an inquisitive bird watcher, it is always advisable to carry their binoculars at all times. Return to hotel, Make sure you do not miss out on Karimeen and fresh toddy the favourite fresh water food and the local wine. Overnight stay at hotel.
The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks is a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
Day 10 : Kumarakom - Kovalam (140 kms: 4 hours)
Today morning after a leisure breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Kovalam through green coastal belt and cashew plantations. On arrival, transfer to the beach resort. Later the day is free to explore the beaches with the option of herbal oil massage. Overnight at the resort.
Kovalam: On the Malabar Coast along the Kerala shoreline is a small village; called Kovalam is 16 kms away from Trivandrum, a sheltered bay endowed with unusual beauty. This natural bay is a safe sea-pool free from high waves and surge. The beach resort here is of international standard. 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 paradise of nature.
Day 11 : Kovalam
After breakfast enjoy watching the patches of coral reefs lining on the coast of the Kovalam beach, the world of fantasy with coconut groves and the palm trees surrounding you in the beautiful landscape. Enjoy Ayurveda massage and treatment, for which Kovalam is most popular beach in Kerala. Rest of the day is free for beach activities. Overnight at the beach resort.
Day 12 : Kovalam - Cape Camorin - (80 kms: 3½ hrs one way) Trivandrum - Kovalam
Early morning check out from the hotel and drive to Cape Camorin also known as Kanya Kumari 85 kms, this place is at the tail tip end of India, one can see the 3 seas meet over here (Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean & Bay of Bengal) on arrival visit Kumari Amman Devi Temple, Vivekananda Rock & Ashram. After visit drive to Trivandrum. If time permits, take a sightseeing tour of Trivandrum city, (16 kms) the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The visit the famous Sri Padmanabhaswamy Swami Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is a landmark in the city. Also visit Horse Palace, Sree Chitra Art Gallery, and Padmatheertha Kulam (Temple Pond). Later return back to Kovalam for overnight stay.
Trivandrum: Thiruvananthapuram shot into prominence in the 18th century when the capital was shifted here form Padmanabhapuram, a little down south. The erstwhile kings of the then Travancore State, taking on the title of Padmanabhadas (servant of Lord), had dedicated themselves completely to the service of the Lord residing in the temple here. By the terms of this dedication, the deity owns the kingdom while the king is the mere executor of the trust. The temples in the city are believed to be several thousand years old. After independence, the city was designated as the capital of Kerala.
Kanyakumari - Referred to by the British as Cape Commorin, Kanyakumari in the state of Tamil Nadu is located at the southernmost tip of the peninsular Indian. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari is the point of confluence of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This well-known Hindu pilgrimage center is famous for its beautiful sights of sunrise and sunset over the waters.
Day 13 : Kovalam - Trivandrum (16 kms: ½ hour) - Hometown
**** Back home with great memories. ****
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