Rajasthan Culture and Secnic Kerala Tour
Delhi – Mathura/Vrindavan – Sikandra – Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur – Pushkar –
Chittourgarh – Udaipur – Ranakpur – Jodhpur – Bishnoi Village – Osian –
Jaisalmer – Ramdevra – Pokhran – Bikaner – Mandawa – Delhi – Cochin – Athirapally – Munnar – Periyar – Alleppey – Kumarakom –
Kovalam – Cape Camorin (Kanyakumari) – Trivandrum
26 Nights & 27 Days
Day 01 : Arrival Delhi
Welcome at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi, 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 of the city; otherwise take the rest and overnight at the hotel in Delhi.
Delhi, towering capital city of independent and largest democratic country in the world: India. It is one of India's modern and fastest developing cities with charismatic charm on its visitors. Delhi is located and sprawled on the both side banks of Yamuna River. The city is enriched with culture, architecture and human diversity, Delhi city is blend of ancient past of India with vibration of modern world. Delhi houses finest museums, historical monuments, sightseeing places, and temples in the country. Delhi is designed by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) & is tree-lined & spacious. Legend has it that the Pandavas of epic Mahabharata, the august heroes, founded Delhi, in the ancient time around 1200 BC the name of the city was Indraprastha, Delhi is developed and construed time to time on 7 ancient cities of the old age.
Day 02 : Delhi
After breakfast sightseeing tour to explore the historic city, firstly visiting Old Delhi: (Shahajahanabad) the majestic Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, Jama Masjid, the largest and most splendid mosque in India, both built by emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame, Rajghat, memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, where he was cremated. Later in you opt cycle rickshaw ride past through the bustling and colorful bazaar of Chandani Chowk. The sightseeing continue to explore the best tourist attractions of New Delhi include President House (Rashtrapati Bhawan), the regal residence of British rulers, a palace built for British Viceroys. India gate, this monument was built to honour and tribute to the Indian soldiers, sacrificed themselves during the Afghan war, then visiting Birla Mandir (Laxmi Narayan Temple) built by wealthiest Birla family. Humayun’s Tomb, lotus shaped Bhai’s Temple, Qutub Minar, built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty; in the evening witness the light and sound show at Red fort. The show projects splendid history of 5000 years old city, a truly memorable experience. Return to the hotel for overnight at the hotel.
Light and Sound Show: An extravagant sound and light show at the Red Fort, makes the 5,000 years old narration of the city come alive. Amidst the harmony of the fabulous panoramic and historic vicinity of the Red Fort, selected occurrence from the archives of Delhi's historic and legendary precedent are colorfully brought to life. To make this show an emotively unforgettable experience, the special effects are combined with the unique ambience.
Day 03 : Delhi – Mathura/Vrindavan – Sikandra – Agra (210 kms: 4 hours)
Today morning check out and drive to Agra, the city of world famous Taj Mahal. Enroute you may opt to stop over at Mathura- Vrindavan, the birth palace of Lord Krishna, to visit some of notable temples Bankey Bihari and Iskcon. Later continue to drive to Agra, on the way visit at ‘Sikandra, a marvelous mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Akbar, spectacularly designed structure of Hindu and Muslim architecture, afterwards proceed to Agra. On arrival, transfer to the hotel, after relaxation. Later start the tour of visiting the Tomb of Itamad-ud-Daula, 35 kms from Agra, built by Empress Noorjehan daughter of Shahjahan, this monument a tribute to her great father. Later return to the hotel the hotel for overnight stay.
Agra is famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World-the Taj Mahal. Built by the great Mughal emperor Shahjahan, an eternal love story written on the shimmering marble for his wife Mumtaz. Agra is pleasant town with comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendant of those who worked under the Mughals. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. Agra, and the nearby city of Fatehpur Sikri, is conveniently close to Delhi. Besides the Taj Mahal is Agra Fort, Sikandra, Ram Bagh and Itmad-Ud-Daulah-35 kms away are the imperial ruins of the Mughal city, Fatehpur Sikri. The world famous town for Taj and amazing monuments of India.
Day 04 : Agra
Early morning visit world’s most popular and beautiful monument: Taj Mahal with its’ fabulous view at the time of sunrise. Taj Mahal, beautiful architectural monument among the 7 wonders of the world; this historical masterpiece is illustration of the fusion of diverse architectural styles. Taj Mahal is crown of all the loveliest buildings in the world, a symbol of eternal love. The tour continues to visit Agra Fort,was built in 1576 AD., by great Mughal Emperor Akbar, structured and designed with red stoned barricaded; in the fort you will find most splendid Pearl Mosque and various other classic example of art: Jahangir Mahal, Moti Masjid, Macchhi Bhawan, Nagina Masjid, Diwan-i-Khas, Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-Am, Meena Bazaar and Musamman Bhurj where from Emperor Shahjahan, prisoner of his son rebellious Aurangzeb, he put his father in the cell of Agra fort, where from he could see his love reflecting through the Taj Mahal, where his loveliest wife was cremated. In the evening one should visit Oswal Emporium to watch the replica of Taj Mahal it took 10 years for the artists to built this artistic epitome, also enjoy light and sound show “Mohabbat-the-Taj: the saga of love”, theonly show of its kind in India! Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Note: Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday.
Day 05 : Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur (240 kms: 5 – 6 hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive pink city Jaipur. Enroute stop over at Fatehpur Sikri, the old deserted town of the Mughal kingdom, built in red sandstone in honour of Saint Salim Chisti who blessed birth of 3 sons to Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important structure here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is the Diwane e Khas; Punch Mahal, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and the Buland Darwaza, one of the largest and tallest gateways in the world. In the evening you can explore the bustling market of Jaipur by cycle rickshaw ride, which is paradise for shopping lovers, Jaipur is worldly famous for hand woven carpet, precious stones, handicraft, marble, textile, blue pottery, handmade papers, later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Jaipur widely known as the ‘Pink City’ of India. The entire walls houses and buildings of the city were washed with pink colour for a grand and royal welcome of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria from Britain, who visited Jaipur in 1853 A.D. This splendid city as was founded in 1727 A.D by one of the greatest ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is surrounded by hills on three sides. Jaipur is the only city in the world, which is designed accordance of Hindu architecture science called Shilpa Shastra, the town is had been designed in rectangular shape of 9 blocks, depicting the 9 partition of universe. This fascinating city houses majestic forts, grand palaces, lavish gardens, havelis and museums, while visiting these places you will have a true vision of Royal golden past of Rajasthan.
Day 06 : Jaipur
Today after breakfast explore the Pink City with an excursion to splendid Amber Fort, situated just outside the city, built in 15th Centaury by Rajput King Man Singh, later visit another mighty and majestic Nagargarh fort, which is nearby to Amber fort. Later drive back to the main city to visit imperial ‘City Palace’, a miraculous places to witness the real Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Present residence of the royal family of Jaipur. Distinguishing Jantar Mantar innovated and constructed by Jaipur King Swai Jai Singh, he built 5 observatories, and Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is one of them. Visiting splendid Hawa Mahal, also known ‘Palace of Winds’ built with a concept for the woman of royal families to speculate the royal ceremonies and festivals being hidden from the public eyes. City palace houses both the monuments. The afternoon is for relaxation. In the evening visit at modern artistic temple, Birla Temple, speculator in white shimmering marble, glitters in the night hours. Afterwards enjoy your evening at the most authentic and ethnic village resort: called Chokhi Dhani, designed on the theme of an ethnic village of Rajasthan with lots of traditional environment and entertainment like folk dances, puppet shows, astrology, music, astrology, camel ride, Here you can enjoy the traditional Rajasthani food. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 07 : Jaipur – Pushkar (135 kms: 3 hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Pushkar, on arrival transfer to the hotel. Pushkar is well-known for the world’s largest cattle fair every year in the month of November, with glorious celebration. A conurbation of Pilgrimage from the time of immemorial with over 500 temples and ghats, Pushkar begets an inheritance of enduring architectural heritage. Pushkar emit an ambience of spirituality and peace that casts an allure to visit this place again and again. Take a sightseeing tour of the city visiting temple of Lord Brahma surrounded by Pushkar Lake. Witness the devotees taking dip into the holy waters and offering prayers on the banks of the lake. Also visit the Pushkar Fair site, which is right opposite the Pushkar Lake. evening free for relax or take a walk through to see beautiful Pushkar Lake and colorful market of Pushkar. Overnight at the hotel.
Pushkar: Amongst the grandeur of Rajasthan, discover a unique gem - Pushkar. Lord Brahma, known to be the creator of the world, in a search for his abode on earth performed the supremely pious Vedic yagna here in Pushkar, thus making it the site of the only Brahma Temple in the world. With over 500 temples and ghats, a pilgrimage center from time immemorial, Pushkar begets an inheritance of timeless architectural legacy. Pushkar is worldly famous for biggest cattle fair in the world. Pushkar emits an ambience of peace and spirituality that entices people to visit again and again.
Day 08 : Pushkar – Chittourgarh – Udaipur (275 kms: 6 hours)
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Udaipur, Enroute visit Chittourgarh city, to visit mightiest and largest historical fort of India: Chittourgarh, this crowning historical Fort stands a jaded reminder of the characteristic and bravery of Rajpoot Clan in Rajasthan, sprawled over 700 acres, area, the fort houses historical monuments: Tower of Victory, Rani Padmini Palace, Man Mahal, Mira Temple and several ruins of temples of Shiva. Chittourgarh echoes with the tales of romance and velour unique to the Rajput tradition. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts, graceful palaces and spectacular 'chhatris' in the fort vicinity visit Kirti Stambha, Rana-Kumbha Palace, Padmini Palace, Meera Temple and Kumbha Shyam Temple and Kalika Mata Temple, State Archaeological Museum. Afterwards continue to drive to Udaipur. On arrival, check into the hotel. In the evening you may walk through the old narrow street of the city to watch local houses and people. Or you may opt to visit at Lake Pichola for boat ride or a dinner at one of the luxurious hotel ‘Taj Lake Palace’ (of your own), you can also enjoy the boat ride at Lake Pichola in the evening. Afterwards return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Chittourgarh, the town known for its massive fort atop hill, crowned on a 6kms long hill, covering an area of 280 hectares with fortifications, temples, towers and palaces. The city can be single out for its glorious past and valor, unique to the Rajput tradition. Chittourgarh is fortified settlement, which is history witnessed a number of sieges but refused to bow before foreign invaders. Tales of Princess Padmini are told here who was known for her chivalry and beauty. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts and palaces.
Udaipur: One of the most romantic and beautiful city of North India, the city was founded in 1568 AD by Rajput King Udai Singh., located on the banks of the shimmering Pichola Lake, is one of the most romantic city of Rajasthan. Udaipur is cuddle up in lush green Aravali mountain range. The city is also known as the ‘Venice of the East'. It is a kaleidoscope of wonderful lakes, enchanting temples, lake side gardens, amazing forts and palaces and narrow lanes of the old city with historical past, Udaipur characterize chivalry and velour of the Rajpoot clan who had ruled this city for years and valor and chivalry. There are so amazing places to visit in this incredible city of Rajasthan.
Day 09 : Udaipur
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Udaipur visiting wondrous City Palace complex, significant landmark of the town, the palace is a splendid white marble architectural historical place of Rajpoot Rulers, in the palace vicinity you will see notable places like Durbar Hall, Palace Museum, Crystal Gallery and Jagdish temple, followed by Sahelion Ki Bari, a beautiful recreation garden for queens and princes of the rulers. Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, an ethic places to see the traditions and culture of Rajasthan, ethnic ornaments, exhibiting folk traditional outfits, puppets, masks, dolls, classical paintings, fold musical instruments. In the evening visit to Lake Bageela 22 kms for sightseeing tour of ancient Eklingji and Nagda Temples, after finishing the sightseeing tour of the day, return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 10 : Udaipur – Ranakpur – Jodhpur (276 kms: 5 hours)
After a healthy breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Jodhpur. En route visit at ancient Ranakpur Jain Temples, built in 12 Century – The group of temples, made of intricately sculpted white marble, built out of marbles more than 100 beautifully carved pillars each carved differently from others, you may opt for lunch at one of the best hotel in Ranakpur: Maharani Baugh you can watch out local families on the way to see their customs and living. Afterwards continue to drive to Jodhpur, on arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening you may opt to explore the local market, visiting various authentic restaurants. You may choose ‘On the rocks’ an open air restaurants with Rajasthani hospitality, offering authentic food and folk music and dance. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Jodhpur: The home of Rajpoot, (Rathors) – The awesome significant city of Rajasthan. Founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha, today Jodhpur is one of the largest and flourishing city of Rajasthan, known as white city of Rajasthan. Jodhpur was once upon a time was the capital of Marwar state (Northern Part of Rajasthan). Mehrangarh fort, the crowning old palace is major tourist attraction of Jodhpur. Another pride of Jodhpur is Umaid Bhawan Palace; this grand palace is now converted into heritage hotel and present residence of the Royal family of Jodhpur. This palace is most sought after regal and splendid palace for royal wedding in Rajasthan. So many world fame celebrity and business tycoons organized their wedding at this heavenly palace. The city carries rich heritage and culture and blossoming market and industry of lether goods, handcraft, wood, cattle, salt and agricultural crops.
Day 11 : Jodhpur – Bishnoi Village – Jodhpur (Excursion 25 kms: 45 min)
After breakfast the city tour starts by visiting massive Mehrangarh Fort, magnificent Jaswant Thada (Mausoleums of the great Rajput King: Jaswant Singh), Umaid Bhawan Palace and museum – India is one of most imposing and regal palaces, built by Maharaja Umaid Singh, designed by of famous architect Edwardian and Henry Vaughan Lanchester, who constructed this wonderful palace, a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Later take an excursion to Bishnoi Village, the villagers known by cast “Bishnois” the guardians of animals. Bishnois are vegetarians and thus they have great revere for all living things. Sure they keep buffaloes, sheep and goats but only for the milk, the wool and the manure. Then visit to the local handicrafts viz shoe makers, pottery hand weaving and also men in their traditional attire, women clad with ancestral silver Jewellery, en-route watch and photograph the beautiful wildlife black buck, chinkaras, peacock etc. liberally moving in plenty of care by the local villagers. After visit drive back to Jodhpur for overnight stay at the hotel.
Bishnoi Village: a survivor of a great famine, which raged in 1485, already thought the principles of the ecology of centuries ago. His name: Jambeshwar or Jambhoji. He observed that the famine was the result of the deforestation in the region (already at that time!). He formulated a list of 29 rules, among other things don't kill any animals, don't cut down green trees, take from the fields only what you need, etc. These 29 rules (Bish-noi means '29' in the Hindi language) form the base of the Bishnoi-philosophy. Of course they are vegetarians and therefore they have great respect for all living things. Sure they keep buffaloes, sheep and goats but only for the milk, the wool and the manure. The last one they use as fuel and as construction material for they houses. The Bishnoi people accordingly expect that the tourist respect their way of life, the nature.
Day 12 : Jodhpur – Osian – Jaisalmer (290 kms: 6 hours)
Today after breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Jaisalmer. Enroute stopover at Manvar Desert Resort for lunch, an isolated famous desert resort. Afterwards continue to drive and can stop over at Ossian village around 65 kms before Jodhpur, to explore Jain and Hindu temples built in 8th and 13th centuries. This small town was a prosperous city during medieval era of North India. Sun Temple is the oldest temple in Ossian among 11 ancient temples. In the evening, you can optionally visit the Gadisar Lake located in the main city. Take a walk along the beautiful lake or visit the local market to acclimatize with the city atmosphere. Return back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 13 : Jaisalmer
Today after breakfast take city tour of Jaisalmer city, firstly visit most popular Golden Fort, also known as Sonar Kila and Jaisalmer Fort, the fort is built on the top of Trikuta hill, having 99 bastions, the most speculator feature is Megh Durbar, also many temples, near the fort there are marvelous havelies built by the wealthy traders of the past time, notably havelies are Nathmal ji Ki Havel, Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki haveli, the splendid mansions with latticework and stone carving, a truly break tacking intricacy. Afterwards visit to the one of the beautiful lake known as ‘Gadisar Lake’ the entrance of the lake is quite artistic and there is past days story behind this lake. If time permits and you wish to cover more of places, you can visit to Amar Sagar and Mool Sagar Lake and temples of Ladawara. In the evening drive to Sam Sand Dunes, the nearest place of the Great Thar Desert, Sam Sand dunes are seems to be golden stretched sands as a gateway to Thar Desert. Enjoy camel ride to on the sand dunes. Optionally you can stay overnight at the Sam Sand Dunes in Swiss tents, and experience to have dinner under starry night with fold dances and music performed by local artists. Overnight at Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer is quite popular for crowing Golden Fort, the city is a fantasy in yellow sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. Rawla Jaisal, a Rajput King, founded Jaisalmer in the year 1156 A.D. The desert town is located on edge of the Thar Desert; Jaisalmer is one of most prominent city for tourists in Rajasthan, also known as golden city, by golden sand and golden fort, Jaisalmer is having lots of tourist attractions splendid havelies, camel safari on thrilling Sam dunes, Jain temples, picturesque Gadisar Lake. The city is known for its golden stretched sand dunes, royal heritage and culture. The tour of Rajasthan is incomplete without visiting Jaisalmer. The city is like a land mark of Desert State Rajasthan.
Day 14 : Jaisalmer – Pokhran – Bikaner (330 kms: 7 hours)
After breakfast checkout from the hotel & drive to Bikaner, en route take a halt Ramdevra and later Pokhran to visit the massive Fort of Pokhran. The town of Pokhrancame to the renown when India’s first nuclear test was conducted here in the 1970's. Pokharan Fort was Built in 1532-1584 the yellow sandstone, though not as conspicuous as some of the others forts in Rajasthan, it has a few exquisite palaces like the Mangal Niwas, the Rani Mahal and the Phool Niwas or the Flower Palace; visit the Pokhran Museum, housed inside the fort’s premises is fairly small and contains an hodgepodge of weapons, pottery paintings, and the costumes which the Maharajas wore. After visiting the fort, proceed to Bikaner. On arrival, transfer to hotel. After relax, take an excursion (or you may visit during travelling from Mandawa to Bikaner) to Deshnok, which worldly known for the Rat Temple, this temple is 600 years old, dedicated to Goddess Karni Mata, the temple is built by King of Bikaner Ganga Singh, the temple is decorated with cared silver gages and marble stone work. Afterwards return back to hotel for overnight.
Ramdevra is known after (Saint) Baba Ramdev, a Tanwar Rajput and a saint who took Samadhi (conscious exit from the mortal body) in 1458 A. D. He had miraculous powers and his fame reached far and wide. Legend goes that five Pirs (saints) from Mecca came here to test his power and after being convinced, paid their homage to him. Since then he is venerated by Muslims also as Ram Shah Pir. The Hindus regard him as an incarnation of Lord Krishna. Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner constructed a temple around the Samadhi in 1931 A.D. Rice, coconuts, churma and wooden horses (toys) are offered to Ramdevji by the devotees.
Bikaner: The city was founded by Rao Bikaji in 1488; Rao Bikaji was the son of King Jodhaji of Jodhpur, due to some personal confront with his family, he took the courage to build his own city by adopting desert and barren land and then he transformed into a charming city called Bikaner, and the city was named after the King Bikaji. The 500 years old city standing still with glorious past is located in Northern part of Rajasthan. The Rajpoot rulers here built splendid palaces, temples and forts that resonance of magnificence and images of monsoon clouds in this desert land. The city is barricaded by 7 kms long walls built in 18th sanctuary with 5 huge gates around the city. Today, a flourishing city of wool, food and milk. The Bikaner is known also one of the international standard camel breeding farm and rate temple of Karni Mata. Junagarh and Lallgarh palace are major tourist attraction of the city. The city is known for colourful market and camel festival every year. Bikaner is also known as a gateway to Jaisalmer.
Day 15 : Bikaner – Mandawa (185 kms: 5 hours)
Today after breakfast takes the city tour of Bikaner visiting most popular and magnificent Junagarh Fort - built by Raja Rai Singh, this had never conquered during the entire history of Bikaner. The forts is having around 37 splendid palaces within the fort complex, there is wall of 7 kilometers around the fort and 37 bastions and 2 massive gates. After visiting the Junagarh Fort, afterwards drive to medieval city Mandawa in Rajasthan. On arrival, check in to a heritage hotel. Mandawa is also called the 'open-air art gallery' of Rajasthan. In the evening you can walk around the narrow lanes of the tradition town, watching locals and shops. Later enjoy the traditional music and dance, live performance by the local artist, during the gala dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Mandawa: During the mid of 18th centaury this town was founded, located in Shekhawati region in Rajasthan. Mandawa is known for its’ speculative havelies and fort. Now days, Mandawa is known as an imposing mirage like fort now a popular heritage hotel with modern amenities. The structure of this place recalls one of the cultural and tradition this place used to be in the bygone golden era. The affluent and dominant traders and merchants built gigantic havelis, bejeweled with beautiful wall paintings, for the purpose of their residence. In the past time, painting subject was mythology dominated the themes of the frescoes, animals, dancers, religion, portraits, displaying local legends, hunting and wrestling scenes, etc. And some fascinating paintings, portraying Lord Krishna and his cowherds. During the British ruler in India, the traditions subject was turned in to cars, trains, balloons, hunting, nature, phones, and gramophones etc., a truly monuments city of Rajasthan.
Day 16 : Mandawa – Delhi (275 kms: 5 hours) – Cochin (By Air)
After breakfast visit to explore Mandawa town, visiting notably known havelies: Binsidhar Chokhani, Newatia, and Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli. The Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, are famous for its inquisitive paintings. The Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli is known for its erotic paintings and images, now mostly defaced. These havelis are like museums, numerous havelis built by the wealthy merchants as in old days. After visit checkout and drive to Delhi. On arrival, transfer to the domestic airport to board the scheduled evening flight for Cochin. On arrivan in Cochin, transfer to 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 17 : Cochin
Today morning after breakfast, 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 (evening boat cruise) 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. 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. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 18 : Cochin – Athirapally – Cochin (Excursion 55 kms: 11/2 hours)
Today after 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 tourist friendly. Later drive back to Cochin. Overnight at the hotel.
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 19 : Cochin – Munnar (120 kms: 3 hours)
After an early breakfast you may opt to take a short sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting famous churches. Later 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 exposes its beauty. The Munnar hills are covered by tea plants, which make Periyar the feeling of seeing a wide green carpet. Later visit at Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar,) The Nilgiri Tahr can be observed at close quarters here. This park is established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiri Ibex). The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world. Enjoy the tea plantation and Munnar Lake site. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
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 20 : 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 21 : Munnar – Periyar (160 kms: 4 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 22 : 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 23 : 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 24 : Kumarakom – Kovalam (140 kms: 3 hours)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Kovalam through green coastal belt and cashew plantations. On arrival, transfer to the beach resort. You can indulge in Yoga rejuvenation, the beach resorts offers oil baths and Ayurvedic massages, and here you can enjoy skiing, surfing and also kayaking. Enjoy the sunbathing under the tropical sun. Overnight at the beach resort of Kovalam.
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 25 : 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. Rest of the day is free for beach activities. You can enjoy the relaxing ayurveda massage. Overnight at the beach resort.
Day 26 : Kovalam – Trivandrum – Kanya Kumari (Excursion 85 kms: 2 - 3 hours one way) – Kovalam
Today morning take an excursion to Cape Camorin also known as Kanyakumari, 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). Enroute visit Trivandrum city (16 kms) the capital of the Kerala, a beautiful city built on seven hills. You can visit the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Swami Temple (from outside), dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is a landmark in the city and explore city market. Also visit Horse Palace, Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Padmatheertha Kulam (Temple Pond). Proceed to Kanyakumari; take a sightseeing tour of the city, visiting Kumari Amman Devi Temple, Gandhi Mandapam, Swami Vivekananda Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue. Watching the sun rise and sun set from here is the big attraction, especially on the full moon day in April, when it's possible to see both the setting sun and rising moon on the same horizon. Return 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 27 : Kovalam – Trivandrum – Hometown (By Air)
**** Back home with great memories. ****
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