Kerala - Gods Own Country
Route : Kochi Munnar Periyar Kumarakom Kovalam
Arrive Kochi, the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for 2 nights stay.
Kochi, also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Starting from the Dutch, Portuguese and the British, Kochi was the site of the first European colonial settlements in India.
Day in Kochi
After breakfast, take a guided walk through the historic Fort Kochi area. This morning we will visit the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and see the authentic Chinese fishing nets still in active use by the fishermen in Kerala.
This evening, watch a spectacular Kathakali performance. Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in India. One of the most complex and highly stylized Indian art forms, this performance is a spectacular combination of drama, dance, music and ritual. Characters with vividly painted faces and elaborate costumes re-enact stories from the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Reach early for the unique opportunity to see the performers dressing up in their very elaborate and colorful costumes and painting their faces with make up to create the special persona for the performance. Also visit the onsite cultural museum to see sculptures of Kerala's unique dance forms, a large replica of an authentic Keralan wooden canoe and see how Keralan handicrafts and saris are woven.
DRIVE Kochi to Munnar (135 Kms/5 Hrs)
After breakfast embark on a scenic drive to Munnar, one of the most popular hill resorts of south India. Under the British Raj, Munnar was popularly called ‘Switzerland of India' for its natural surroundings and cool climate. The entire area is occupied by thick forests and tea estates. The specialty of Munnar is its jungle honey, tea and a rare flower ‘Neela Kurunji’ which blooms once in 12 years.
Upon arrival check-in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.
Day in Munnar
After breakfast, visit a local tea plantation and the Tata Tea Museum to learn about the cultivation and processing of a variety of Indian teas. Then we visit a unique welfare initiative in Munnar, which focuses on enhancing the hidden talents of differently abled children, most of whom are from families of local tea pluckers of Munnar. Here we see three projects that aim to equip disabled children to secure a better future: a centre for special education; a natural dye fabric printing project; and a unit that manufactures handmade paper and paper products. The products made by these children are sold at a small outlet near the workshops and are exported to Japan and Europe. A visit to this unique initiative reiterates how enthusiasm is a sign of spiritual health and imperfections are what make you beautiful!
Enjoy the evening at leisure.
Munnar to Periyar (100 Kms/4 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Periyar, the spice plantation hub of Kerala. Upon arrival in Periyar, check in to your hotel and freshen up.
This afternoon, take a spice plantation tour and learn about the mystery and history of Indian spices. The spice plantations in Periyar are captivating farms growing different spices in different sections of the plantations. You will be intrigued to see the vast variety of spices ranging from cloves, cardamom, ginger, pepper, chilli, turmeric etc.
DRIVE Periyar to Kumarakom (130 Kms/4 Hrs)
Early this morning, we take a guided walk with a naturalist in Periyar Wildlife Reserve. Observe some rare species of flora and fauna, along with a variety of birds and if you are lucky you may even spot a few elephants and wildlife across the lake.
This afternoon, drive to Kumarakom, a coastal town in the backwaters of Kerala. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.
Day in Kumarakom
Kumarakom is based around Vembanad Lake, Asia's largest freshwater lake. Vembanad Kayal, as it is called in the regional language, acts as a giant reservoir, and a major ecological resource, which has conditioned the flora, fauna and lifestyle of the people of the region. The peaceful surrounds of the lake and backwaters here are peppered with wooded banks, chirping birds, fishermen with large palm-leaf hats, women immersed upto their necks in water searching for Karimeen fish.
Enjoy a relaxing day at your backwaters resort, observing the local life around the backwaters and embracing the serenity of Kumarakom.
DRIVE Kumarakom to Kovalam (200 Kms/5.5 Hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Kovalam, a serene south Indian beach destination that is renowned for offering authentic Indian Ayurveda therapies. Upon arrival in Kovalam, check in to your hotel for 2 nights stay.
Enjoy the evening at leisure. You may wish to explore the spa at your resort and experience an Indian Ayurveda massage (at extra charge).
Day in Kovalam
Enjoy the day at leisure to relax and unwind or enjoy the various facilities offered by your resort (at extra charge)
DRIVE Kovalam/Trivandrum (20 Kms/30 Mins)
After breakfast, transfer to Trivandrum airport to board your flight back home.