Day 01 :
ARRIVE COCHIN [International Flight]
You will arrive today at Cochin Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, a representative will meet you and will transfer you to your hotel.
Upon arrival at the hotel, you will be accorded with a Traditional Welcome. The warmth of Indian hospitality and the custom of welcoming guests is as old as time itself. As you step into the hotel, ladies in traditional local costumes greet you with garlands of flowers and perform the "aarti" ceremony. After having your forehead anointed with the traditionalred "tikka", relax with a non-alcoholic welcome drink.
After the welcoming ceremony proceed to check-in to your rooms.
Later in the afternoon you will proceed to visit David Hall which is a new opened cultural centre with a gallery of contemporary art.
David Hall, the 315 year old Art Gallery, Fort Cochin: David Hall was built in in 1695 and served as the residence of a Dutch commander Hendrik Adriaan Van Reede Tot Drakestein, who is also the author of renowned book "Horticus Malabaricus". Then, it served as the home of a Jewish business man, David Koder and before it became an art gallery run by the CGH Earth (Casino Group Of Hotels), who leased out the building for 25 years.Being 315 years old the building was not it's best of forms. But the renovation team was able to pull off the task successfully. The restoration of the building itself took a lengthy 19 years. The renovation work saw more of restoration than actually adding anything new. A lot of work went into the restoration process to preserve the building in its original aesthetic beauty.
Other than exhibiting paintings, they also converted David Hall into a Centre for Performing Arts and a complete Cultural Centre in Cochin. David Hall will also focus on little known art forms and will try to bring them into the limelight. Unlike other Art Galleries, they have promised to make art more affordable for the public. This would be the launch pad for all upcoming and struggling artists to portray their work.
With a cafe also thrown into this Art Gallery and Performing Arts Centre, David Hall is sure to help people satisfy more than just their hunger for art.
After the tour, return to the hotel & Overnight stay.
Day 02 :
In the Morning after breakfast you will proceed for Walking Tour of Fort Cochin starts at the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. With the sea to the right, the walk continues along the sea wall Promenade. Cutting inland, down an alleyway and turning right, past the Dutch Cemetery. Taking a left turn down Elphinstone Road, the walk continues past the Bishop's House, former residence of the Portuguese governor and later the Bishop of Cochin. Turning left again into the Post Office Road the walk carries on past the Parade Ground – where once the city's colonial masters conducted their military parades and drills. At the top there is the Church of St Francis – the original burial place of Vasco da Gama.
After the walking tour you will be taken to a lovely old house in the city for a 2-hour interactive cooking session with Nimmu Paul followed by Lunch. Your hostess 'Nimmy' is a well known culinary expert of Syrian Christian cuisine famous in this area.
Nimmy and Paul have been involved in 'At Home' hospitality for more than twelve years.
Nimmy, a professional cookery instructor for more than twenty years, and her stockbroker husband Paul, offers food and hospitality to foreign guests. Nimmy and Paul belong to traditional Syrian Christian community in Kerala. In keeping with the tradition of their families they enjoy having guests and serving good food.
Nimmy conducts cookery classes. She teaches guests the nuances of traditional Kerala recipes. She is also a food consultant to writers, chefs and magazines. Articles by her and about her have appeared in magazines and newspapers.
In the evening, you will be taken to a Kathakali dance centre where you will witness the most elaborate of the dance forms in southern India. Here you will witness the artists readying themselves up with the make up for the final performance. Kerala owes its transnational fame to this nearly 300 years old classical dance form, which combines facets of ballet, opera, masque and the pantomime. It is said to have evolved from other performing arts like Kootiyattam, Krishnanattam and Kalarippayattu. Kathakali explicates ideas and stories from the Indian epics and Puranas. Presented in the temple precincts after dusk falls Kathakali is heralded by the Kelikottu or the beating of drums in accompaniment of the Chengila (gong).
Overnight at the hotel
Day 03 :
COCHIN – MUNNAR [Surface: 130 Kms / 05 Hrs]
After buffet breakfast followed by check-out & drive from Cochin to Munnar, Upon arrival proceed for check-in at hotel.
Munnar is the nature-lover's paradise. Snuggling in the green and serene Kannan Devan Hills lies the quite and restful resort of Munnar. Panoramic views of low-flying clouds and mist filled valleys make it a pretty little heaven with a cool bracing climate. It was opened up out of virgin forests a century ago by pioneering planters. Within its remote and elderly churches - gracious, stone-structures with ancient chandeliers and rosewood pews. A little beyond lies Anaimudi, South India's highest peak.
Later you will proceed for the visit to the famous Tea Museum, which shows miniature functions as that in a tea factory.
The Tata Tea Museum (Monday Closed) diligently portrays the growth of Munnar tea estates, veritably conveyed through some of the displays like the rudimentary tea roller to the modern fully automated tea factory. Visitors to the museum can satiate their curiosity on various stages of tea processing, and also learn a thing or two about the production of black tea.
After visiting tea museum proceed to walk through the Tea Plantations is actually an experience of walking in the lap of the nature. During this visit to Tea Plantations you will get a chance to learn plucking of Tea Leaves (subject to the growth of plantation at the time of visit) from the workers & you can also have interaction with local people about their life & cultures. After trying your hand on plucking of Tea leaves
Overnight stay at hotel
Day 04 :
MUNNAR - THEKKADY [Surface: 125 Kms / 04 Hrs]
Early morning breakfast at the hotel later you will be driven from Munnar to Thekkady. Upon arrival proceed for check-in at hotel. Later proceed for the visit to Spice Plantation.
Spice Plantation Visit at Periyar - novel experience of rare varieties of flora & fauna, ayurvedic medicinal herbs, spices, fruits, flowers etc. Visitors can gain rich knowledge about Ayurvedic cure, spice extracts, wood crafting etc. Visitors can be familiar with the various operations in spice growing and processing like planting, harvesting, drying, preparing spice extracts etc.
After the Spice Plantation visit proceed for Nature Walk.
Nature Walk - The guided soft trek of 3 hrs. Feel the muscles warming up and the senses getting fine-tuned. A quail takes off just under one's feet and a jungle fowl flushes out with a loud oooo-rioo…..
Different nature trails traversing diverse habitats form the trekking routes, generally 4 to 5 km. in length. This is an interpretive programme offering excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands.
The programme is offered between 7.00 am. and 10.30 am.. and lasts for about 3 hours. A maximum of 5 persons can go for trekking at a time along each nature trail, accompanied by a trained tribal guide. The Nature walk is the right programme to feel nature, hear her whispers and smell her flowers.
Overnight stay at hotel
Day 05 :
THEKKADY – KUMARAKOM [Surface: 130 Kms / 06 Hrs]
Breakfast at the hotel later you will be driven from Periyar to Kumarakom; enroute stop at Kanjirappally Estate.
Also see Rubber tapping and processing. Kanjirapally, a midway stop-over enroute to Thekkady, is a little town on the foothills of the Western Ghats of Kerala. This beautiful town packed in greenery and plantations, shows an old world ambience in a fast moving world. These plantations spreads over 50 acres (5 hectare), cultivating rubber, pineapple, coffee, mango etc Guests can visit the rubber plantation and get an exclusive view of the demonstration of rubber tapping.
After Spice & Rubber Plantation Tour followed by lunch; later continue your drive to kumarakom. Upon arrival check in at the hotel Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 06 :
KUMARAKOM - ONBOARD HOUSEBOAT
Today after breakfast you will proceed to board your Houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala. The backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast. The network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both manmade and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually half the length of Kerala state. Kerala has over 900 km of interconnected waterways, rivers, lakes and inlets that make up the Kerala backwaters. In the midst of this beautiful landscape there are a number of towns. Alleppey is one such town and the Rice Barge cruises through its narrow canals, rivers and a lake is on every Kerala itinerary.
Houseboats are also known as the "Ketuvallam" or the Rice Boat. Ketuvallam ride can be the most romantic ride you can ever have with a night halt in the middle of the lake Vembanad Lake/canal. A backwater comprises of a unique web of rivers, lakes, bays, lagoons and canals extending into the villages and town of the city. Backwaters are a central part of Kerala's Tourism Synopsis, making an absolute cruiser through the twisting and meandering water streams. This backwater journey through the narrow canals crossing exquisite villages of Kerala, embellished with lush green paddy fields, tall coconut grooves makes it a most spellbinding site.
Enjoy your lunch on board houseboat.
After lunch day will be free to relax on board houseboat & experience the tranquility of backwaters.
Overnight on board houseboat
Day 07 :
HOUSEBOAT – VARKALA – KOVALAM [170 Kms / 04 hours]
Post breakfast disembark from your houseboat at Alleppey boat jetty and drive to Kovalam (Approx. 170 kms / 04 hours) enroute visit Varkala beach.
Later continue drive to Kovalam. Upon arrival proceed for check-in at your hotel.
Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. The European guests of the then Travancore kingdom discovered the potentiality of Kovalam beach as a tourist destination in the 1930s. However, Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. That started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India - the Kovalam beach. It is a beautiful place in Kerala.
The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at the hotel
Day 08 :
KOVALAM – TRIVANDRUM – KOVALAM [16 KMS / 01 WAY]
In the morning after breakfast you will proceed for excursion tour to Trivandrum(Tiruvananthpuram).
Your tour start to The Kuthiramalika Palace Museum displays King Swathi Thirunal's intings and collection of musical instruments and an assortment of war arms belonging to the royal family of Travancore. The very first room tourists enter exhibits 14 life-size images portraying stills from the legends of Kerala and the traditional dance form of Kerala, Kathakali. Visitors are fascinated by the exquisitely carved ivory cots and thrones of the rulers. A musical tree that reproduces the seven 'swaras' or notes of Carnatic music when tapped is a major draw.
Later proceed to visit Napier Museum & Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram.
A visit to the Napier Museum complex reveals a glimpse of Kerala's rich cultural heritage. An exceptional piece of architecture, the Museum is named after the former Madras Governor General John Napier. The Napier Museum is also called the Government Art Museum.
Chitra Art Gallery features a rare collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma and Roerich among others, and fascinating works from the Mughal, Rajput and Tanjore schools of art. An oriental collection consisting of paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali offers a visual treat and are a tribute to the art and culture of these countries.
Later proceed to Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thiruvananthpuram: A magnificent wooden palace of the 16th century, Padmanabhapuram Palace lies at the land's end of mainland India. An enticing piece to any lover of art and architecture this old palace of the Rajas of the erstwhile Travancore (1550 to 1750 AD) is a fine specimen of Kerala's indigenous style of architecture. The antique interiors are replete with intricate rosewood carvings and sculptured decor. The palace also contains 17th and 18th century murals. One can see: the musical bow in mahogany, windows with colored mica, royal chairs with Chinese carvings, 'Thaikkottaram' or the Queen Mother's palace with painted ceilings, rosewood and teak carved ceilings with 90 different floral designs.
Return to Kovalam for overnight stay.
Day 09 :
KOVALAM - COCHIN [Surface: 230 Kms / 05 Hrs]
After breakfast you will drive from Kovalam to Cochin. Upon arrival proceed for check-in at hotel.
Later in the afternoon you will proceed to visit Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura.
Thripunithura Hill palace Museum is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala and the erstwhile official residence of the Cochin Royal Family was built in 1865. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala and is surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with ponds, fountains, garden and lawns. A full fledged ethno archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever Heritage museum are the main attractions here. Hill Palace is located 16km east of Cochin in Thripunithura, a satellite town of Cochin.
Rest of the day for leisure. Overnight stay at hotel
Day 10 :
DEPART COCHIN [International Flight]
Today in time a Luxury India Vacation representative will meet you at the hotel lobby & transfer you to International airport to board your flight for back home.
Want to make your own Tailor Made Tour
Destinations Covered: Cochin - Munnar - Thekkady - kumarakom - Cochin
Tour Duration: 9 Nights 10 Days