A JOURNEY THROUGH GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

Tour cost not valid for the period 20th December – 08th January and other festive seasons.

DAY 01: ARRIVE COCHIN

Arrive Cochin by International flight
Meetings & assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel
Cochin (Kochi) was born in a storm, nurtured in rivalry, and established as the Crossroads of the Battling Empires of Europe: Portuguese, Dutch and British. In the 1340's torrential rains filled the Periyar River, which broke through to the Arabian Sea and formed Kochi's protected harbor. Tradingships soon sailed in: and out. The much-photographed Chinese fishing nets at the harbour-mouth, best seen at sunset, testify to Cochin's pre-European association with China. In 1502, Portuguese Seafarer Vasco da Gama came to Kochi seeking spices. He found his spices, launched Europe's great Age of Exploration, and prayed in the first European church in Asia and converted many of the locals to Christianity. Unlike the Portuguese, Kochi's kings were very tolerant of other faiths. European Jews, fleeing persecution at home, settled in Jew Town near the Mattancherry Palace of the Hindu king and prosper.

Overnight in Cochin

Afternoon: City tour of CochinVisit the synagogue - built in 1568 AD. It contains Grand Scrolls of the Old Testament and the copper plates containing the privileges granted to the Jews by the Cochin rulers. The floor of the Synagogue is paved with exquisite Chinese hand painted tiles. Overlooking the Jewish synagogue is Mattancherry Palace, home of the former Rajas of Cochin. Today it holds royal palanquins, weapons, robes and beautiful murals of ancient Hindu epics painted in vegetable dyes. When the Dutch ousted the Portuguese on January 7, 1663, the people of Cochin renamed Mattancherry Palace as the "Dutch Palace" to honour the Netherlanders. Visit St. Francis Church, built originally by the Portuguese in 1510 AD. It is believed to be the oldest church in India. The building was originally constructed out of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry during the 16th century. Vasco Da Gama, who died in Cochin in 1524, was buried here before his remains were returned to Portugal 14 years later

Overnight in Cochin

DAY 02: COCHIN / MUNNAR

After a leisure breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Munnar by car (130 Kms / 4-5 hrs drive)

Arrive Munnar and check-in at the hotel.

Situated at 1,524 m above sea level, Munnar is the highest town of Kerala, with a cool bracing climate exuding an old world charm. The atmosphere is fragrant with extensive tea and cardamom plantations. There are enchanting high ranges, lakes, streams and beautiful view of low-lying clouds and the mist filled valleys.

Rest of the day free to explore the beautiful hill station on your own.

Overnight in Munnar

DAY 03: IN MUNNAR

Breakfast at the hotel
Full day tour of Munnar visits the park, tea factory etc.

Overnight in Munnar

DAY 04: MUNNAR / THEKKADY (PERIYAR NATIONAL PARK)

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Thekkady by car (150 Kms / 4 hrs drive).Arrive Thekkady and check-in at the hotel Periyar Tiger Reserve, 777sq kms in area, is set in a rich, mixed deciduous forest, interspersed with open areas of tall grass. Periyar has a splendid artificial lake dotted with snags of dead wood, which provides a perch for water birds: darter, grey heron, egret and kingfisher. It is one of the finest habitats for the Asiatic elephant. These enormous mammals swim in the waters and streams and usually can be observed during an exciting boat ride. You may view a tiger, leopard, sambar, wild dog, barking deer, the unique Nilgiri langur - the lion tailed macaque and a variety of birds.

Late afternoon:Visit Periyar National park by boat to see the wildlife in their natural habitat

Overnight in Thekkady

DAY 05: THEKKADY (PERIYAR NATIONALPARK) / KUMARAKOM

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Kumarakom by car (130 Kms / 3- 4 hrs drive). Arrive Kumarakom and check-in at the hotel. Kumarkom Located on the edge of Vembanad Lake and along the backwater cruising route, lies Kumarakom, a typical Kerala village. The traditional tharawad (matriarchal family home), style of housing has been adapted in this resort. A gentle trip along the numerous inter-connected canals on a traditional rice boat is a must. Enroute, one may stop and come ashore to see village residents working on coir or fish processing, or to exchange views over a cup of coffee at the little shops that dot the canals. Ideally, one may come ashore from the boat and walk around the village waterside where the local residents will happily interrupt work to explain their daily life.

Evening: At leisure

Overnight in Kumarakom

DAY 06: IN KUMARAKOM

Full day at Leisure

Overnight in Kumarakom

DAY 07:KUMARAKOM /ALLEPPEY HOUSEBOAT

After leisure breakfast at the hotel, Transfer to alleppey boat jetty. Upon arrival in, check-in at houseboat on your one bed room private houseboat boat where you will be welcomed by the Captain. While your luggage will be transfered on the Houseboat, after introducing with the rest of your Houseboat staff, sail through the backwaters of Alleppey.

To experience this world of simple pleasures, you’ll skim past ancient Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples, churches and coconut groves.

Lunch will be served on board the Houseboat.

At around, 5 pm the houseboat will be docked at some nice place as after sunset, sailing is not allowed on the lake because the fishermen come to collect their catch.

Dinner & overnight on the HOUSEBOAT

DAY 08: HOUSEBOAT ALLEPPEY / KOVALAM

After breakfast on the Houseboat, disembark at Alleppey boat jetty. Your car will be waiting for you to transfer you to Kovalam (160 Kms / 4-5 hrs drive). Upon arrival, check-in at hotel

Overnight in Kovalam

DAY 09: KOVALAM / KANYAKUMARI / KOVALAM

Breakfast at hotel
Day excursion to Kanyakumari
It is at the Southern-most tip of the Indian Peninsula where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet and hence the confluence is called Thiriveni Sangamam. It is also known by its former name Cape Comorin. This is the only place in India where the Sunset and Moonrise can be viewed simultaneously on a full moon day.

Later in the day, if time permit, visit Kanyakumari Bagavathiamman temple, Fountain at Kanyakumari, Vivekananda Centre & the sunset at beach, later drive back to kovolam.

Overnight in Kovalam

DAY 10: KOVALAM / TRIVANDRUM – DEPART

Breakfast at the hotel
Morning: At leisure
Later in the afternoon, transfer to airport in Trivandrum (11Kms / ˝ hr drive) to board flight for onward destination

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