8 Days – Backwaters, Hills & Wildlife

8 Days – Backwaters, Hills & Wildlife

VALID FROM 01 APRIL 2021 TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2021

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DAY 01  ARRIVE COCHIN [BY FLIGHT]

Arrive at Cochin airport. Our epresentative will be waiting for you outside the EXIT gate of arrival terminal, holding a placard. Met upon arrival and transfer to hotel.

More popular as the Queen of the Arabian sea, Cochin is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. The Lake opens out into the Arabian sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It is this natural advantage that has made Cochin a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of explorers and traders. The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and the British have all left their mark here. The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch Palace, the Chinese fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city.

Rest of the day at your leisure.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 02 COCHIN/MUNNAR [BY SURFACE-140 KMS/04 HRS.]

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning you will proceed for sightseeing tour of Cochin visit Dutch Palace (Closed on Fridays and Jewish Holidays) is also known as Mattancherry Palace built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 1555 AD. It acquired the present name after 1663 when the Dutch carried out extensions and repairs in the palace. At no time did the Portuguese or Dutch stay here. Its interiors are decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins. Continue to visit Jewish Synagogue (Closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish Holidays) was built in 1568 AD. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are of interest

Chinese Fishing Nets – The Chinese Fishing net that line the sea-front and exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish by local fishermen in Fort Kochi. Said to have been brought from China by traders of Kubalai Khan’s Court, they are used at high tide. Also visit ST. Francis Church – the Protestant church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD and is believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India. It is here the remains of the inveterate traveller, Vasco da Gamma were initially buried and 14 years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.

Afterwards drive to Munnar

Arrive Munnar and check-in at the hotel.

The hill resort with the highest peak in South India, Anamudi 2695 meters. This hill station in Kerala is famous for its lush green slopes covered with tea and spice plantations. Munnar’s greenery and quiet ambience provides a relaxing getaway for a traveler in Kerala. Tourists can enjoy nature walks and treks along the hill slopes, as well as adventure activities such as hang gliding and paragliding. The spice plantations and spice markets – where pepper, vanilla and cashew are sold are an interesting tour. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, the sight of the rare Nilgiri Tahr, seen in these hills, is an additional tourist attraction in Munnar.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 03 IN MUNNAR

Breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed for tea plantation tour.

Munnar – breathtakingly beautiful – a haven of peace and tranquillity – the idyllic tourist destination in God’s own country. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favoured summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of tea plantations– pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests – aroma of spice scented cool air – yes! Munnar has all these and more. It’s the place you would love to visit – it’s the place you would wish never to leave!

Afternoon at your leisure to explore. The vehicle will be at your disposal within city limit.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 04 MUNNAR/PERIYAR   [BY SURFACE–130 KMS /04 HRS.]

Breakfast at the hotel.

Later, proceed for Periyar by Surface.

Arrive Periyar & check in at the hotel.

Periyar is South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary, encompassing an area of 777 sq. km. Set on the attractive man-made Periyar Lake; it attracts over 300,000 visitors a year. Though the sanctuary was made a part of Project Tiger in 1973, it is better known for its elephants.

Afternoon enjoy the Spice Plantation tour with Guide. The vehicle will be at your disposal within city limit.

Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 05   PERIYAR/KUMARAKOM [BY SURFACE–120 KMS / 03 HRS.]

Morning proceed to Periyar National Park to view the wildlife by Common Boat. Situated within the confines of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. The park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary.

Since boat travel is the only means of transport in the park, large areas can be covered in a short time. Among the game found here are gaur (the largest of the world’s wild oxen), elephant, wild pig, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, the rare and endangered lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, the common langur and the bonnet macaque, porcupine, Malabar squirrel, wild dog and tiger. Among the birds commonly seen are darters, cormorant, osprey, kingfisher and kite, great hornbill, grey hornbill, hill mynas, orioles and racket-tailed drongos.

Return to the hotel after your boat ride.

Later leave for Kumarakom by surface.

Arrive Kumarakom & check in at the hotel.

Kumarakom, Located on the Southern coast of India enjoys a well-balanced tropical climate. Nature has composed its magic to perfection here. Everywhere, nature is at its best. Blooming forth in perfumes of flowers. In the riot of colours of multi-hued birds. In the fresh, succulent and bountiful.

In the lush backwaters of Kottayam in Kerala, lies a veritable paradise, which is called Kumarakom, or the ‘Venice of the East’. 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. Kumarakom is Kerala’s heartland of lagoons, palm fringed lakes, and paddy fields, inter-linked with hundreds of winding canals, with the typical low slung country boats that carry everything from people to fish, rice and coconuts to the milkman and newspaper boy, local politicians and priests to wedding parties.

Rest of the day is free for relaxation. Lie in a hammock on this lakeshore, and allow your senses to possess you.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 06   KUMARAKOM/ALLEPPEY

Breakfast at the hotel.

Later board the houseboat (for Kumarakom to Alleppey round).

The kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’- was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only – not even a single nail is used during the construction.  The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. With careful maintenance, a kettuvallom can last for generations.

A portion of the kettuvallom was covered with bamboo and coir to serve as a restroom and kitchen for the crew. Meals would be cooked on board and supplemented with fresh fish from the backwaters. Today, the tradition is still continued and the food from the local cuisine is served by the Kuttanad localities, on board.

While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the aracanut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. For lighting though, solar panels are used.

Today, the houseboats have all the creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. Parts of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm open out to provide shade and allow uninterrupted views. While most boats are poled by local oarsmen, some are powered by a 40 HP engine. Boat trains – formed by joining two or more houseboats together – are also used by large groups of sightseers.

What is truly magical about a houseboat ride is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers – while you float!

Lunch, dinner and overnight on houseboat.

DAY 07   ALLEPPEY/COCHIN [BY SURFACE–60 KMS/01 HRS]

Breakfast at houseboat.

Later disembark from houseboat and leave for Cochin by surface. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 08     COCHIN DEPARTURE

Breakfast at the hotel.

In time a our representative will meet, assist & later transfer you to International airport to board the flight for onward destination. (LATE CHECK OUT IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY)

• 07 nights accommodation on SINGLE/TWIN/ TRIPLE sharing basis at the hotel mentioned above OR SIMILAR CATEGORY OF ALTERNATE HOTELS.
• Meal Plan–Daily buffet breakfast at all the hotels except in Alleppey where would be on full board basis.
• All transfers, sightseeing tours and excursion by Air-conditioned Vehicle as per the above itinerary [Transport services are not included for days at leisure].
• 02 Pax – AC Medium Car
• 03-04 Pax – AC Toyota Innova Car (If 04 Pax required Tempo Traveller: Supplement applicable
• English speaking local guide during sightseeing in Cochin.
• Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes, and porterage at all hotels.
• Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
• All currently applicable taxes including service tax

• Airfares
• Visa
• Insurance
• Tips & personal items
• Entrance fees to monuments

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