Kerala Backwater & Beach

Kerala & South India ToursKerala Backwater & Beach

Old monuments, exotic flora and fauna, lush vegetation, the delicate scent of spices and temples bells all characterize Kerala. This magical journey reveals all of these. Starting from the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ to visit the old trade routes complemented by a mesmerizing traditional Kathakali dance performance. Short cycle rides and day walks in the Western Ghats in the tea-growing region of Munnar gives you a true sense of the sheer natural beauty of this magical country. Explore the most picturesque sanctuaries in the world – Periyar National Park.  You will also cruise along the beautiful Keralan backwaters. Further from here you travel towards Kovalam - a world-famous beach resort.

  • Days: 09 Nights / 10 Days
  • Cost: US$ 750
Kerala famous for its pristine backwaters, valleys, ancient temples and lush green plantations of cloves, cardamom and coffee.  With the Arabian sea in the west and the dense forests of Western Ghats in the east, Kerala is surrounded by Exotic beaches and coconut groves. Kerala popularly known as “God’s own country" is gifted with ancient temples which is famous for its architectural heritage. It’s the home to myriad culture, which has been well maintained by both the State government and the people.
 
History of Kerala goes back to the days to the Neolithic age when the water lands and the periyar formed mainly the residence of the nomadic people. The Dolmens are still evident in the topography of this place of desires. There have been Christian communities and even Muslim societies still present with the periphery of Kerala. Geography of Kerala is heart alluring with Munnar and amazing Alleppey with the back waters. The shadows of rain over hanging your head will make you to take a break from the worldliness and drown in the deep waters of metaphysics.
 
 Day 01: Cochin
 
Arrive Cochin airport, meet and greet with our office representative, assistance and transfer to hotel, check in. Rest day free for personal activities relax etc. Overnight at hotel.
 
 
Day 02: Cochin
 
Breakfast at hotel city tour of Cochin, one of South India’s most interesting towns, still largely comprises low rise, picturesque buildings. Visit Mattanchery Palace, built by the Portuguese (1557) as a gift for the Raja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights, it was largely rebuilt by the new occupants, the Dutch. Further visit Jewish Synagogue adjascent to the Palace. This gem of a synagogue dating from 1568 (rebuilt in 1662) at the heart of what is called locally Jew Town, now a fascinating mixture of shops (some selling antiques), wareshouses and spice auction rooms. Lateron drive to Fort Kochi beach area to visit St. Francis Church originally dedicated to Santo Antonio, the patron saint of Portugal, St. Francis Church is the first to reflect the new, European influenced tradition. Vasco da Gama died on the site in 1524 and was originally buried in the cemetery. Fourteen years later his body was removed to Portugal. Our final visit will be to huge Chinese Fishing Nets line the entrance to the harbour mouth.  Chinese traders are believed to have originally introduced them in the late 14th century although, today, parts of the nets are known by Portuguese names. Overnight at hotel.
 
 
Day 03: Cochin - Munnar (140kms/ 3hrs approx)
 
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Munnar, check in at hotel. Rest day for local sightseeing. Overnight at hotel.
 
 
Day 04: Munnar
 
Breakfast at hotel, sightseeing of Munnar: situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala, 1600mt above sea level surrounded by sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns & winding lanes. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji, this flower that bathes the hills in blue.
 
Visit Devikulam: An enchanting Hill station. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings. Powerhouse water falls, Anayirankal Dam. Nyamakadu water falls, Anaimudy view (South India Highest peak – 8841 feet from sea level = 2695 meters) Eravikulam National Park. Rajamala the Nilgiri tahr, a very rare type of mountain goat (Hemitragas bylocres), on the verge of extinction. Half the world population of this rare goat is seen in and around Rajamala. The kurinji flowers blooming once in twelve years abound here. The combination of these two rare sights will make any visitor come again and again to this place. Overnight at hotel.
 
 
Day 05: Munnar – Thekkady (110kms/ 3hrs approx)
 
Breakfast at hotel, proceed to Thekkady which offers diverse attractions like Wildlife Sanctuary, Hill Station and Spice Plantation. Natures own little hideout nestled in the hills of Thekkady. Reach & check-in at the hotel
 
Afternoon, explore Pariyar National Park by boat cruise. The forests are rich in bird life and arboreal animals like giant squirrel and Nilgiri langur. The rafting is for about three hours and one gets a panoramic view of forest-clad hills reflected on the lake. Animals like elephant, gaur and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake
 
Set on attractive Periyar Lake side is in a beautiful setting and was designated a part of Project Tiger in 1973, though Tigers are very rarely seen and it is better know for its elephants, which are very likely to be seen until Mar/Apr. Most bull elephants here are tuskless. Bison, Sambar, Wild boar and the barking Deer are fairly common. In addition to 246 species of birds, there are 112 species of butterfly.
 
Explore the park by hiking through the buffer zone of the forest with tribal tracker as a local guide from the forest department. We return from our hike at 08.00hrs and back to hotel for breakfast. Further make a short drive to nearby plantations to know more about the spices of Kerala and the plantation crops. Evening again explore the sanctuary which offers a lovely and comfortable way to see the animals via boat rides on the man-made lake, which the wildlife area encircles. Overnight at hotel.
 
 
Day 06: Thekkady – Kumarakom (132kms/ 3hrs approx)
 
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Kumarakom, transfer to the hotel. Day free for personal activities & Ayurvedic massage etc.
 
Ayurveda: is the oldest surviving complete medical system in the world. Derived from its ancient Sanskrit roots - ‘ayus' (life) and ‘ved' (knowledge) – and offering a rich, comprehensive outlook to a healthy life, its origins go back nearly 5000 years. To when it was expounded and practiced by the same spiritual rishis, who laid the foundations of the Vedic civilisation in India, by organising the fundamentals of life into proper systems.
 
The main source of knowledge in this field therefore remain the Vedas, the divine books of knowledge they propounded, and more specifically the fourth of the series, namely Atharvaveda that dates back to around 1000 BC. Of the few other treatises on Ayurveda that have survived from around the same time, the most famous are Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita which concentrate on internal medicine and surgery respectively. The Astanga Hridayam is a more concise compilation of earlier texts that was created about a thousand years ago. These between them forming a greater part of the knowledge base on Ayurveda as it is practiced today.
 
visit to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: This sanctuary is rich with a number of noteworthy species include the Dater or Snake Bird, Little Cormorant, Night Heroin, Golden- backed woodpecker, Crow Pheasant, White Breasted Water Hen and Tree Pie etc. The season for migratory birds are from November to March. Overnight at hotel.
 
 
Day 07: Kumarakom – Alleppey (52kms / overnight Cruise)
 
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Alleppey, also called the Venice of East, interlocked with a large number of canals and bridges. Board a houseboat from here and enjoy the cruise through the enchanting backwaters. Houseboat comprises twin bed room, with attached bathrooms, running water, and a lounge area in which to relax and enjoy the sights on the shore. Start our sail through scenic backwaters, passing through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. The houseboat will cruise through the Chambakulam area by mid-morning and anchor to explore the boat yard, which displays the traditional long snake boats used in races. Visit St. Mary’s Church, established by St. Thomas in 1721. In the evening, catch a glimpse of village life along the backwaters and experience a way of life unique to this region. The boat will pass through picturesque stretches of the backwaters of Alleppey and moor up for overnight in Vemabanadu Lake. Overnight at Houseboat.
 
 
Day 08: Alleppey – Trivandrum - Kovalam (160kms/ 4hrs approx)
 
Morning after breakfast checkout from hotel/ disembarks from the houseboat, drive to Kovalam, and check in at hotel.
 
Afternoon, visit Padmanabha Swamy Temple; The temple is located inside the East Fort. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, & a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is known for its Mural Paintings and Stone Carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu Temples in India, the presiding deity in here is Lord Vishnu reclining on anantha the serpent.
 
Evening relax on Kovalam is a world-famous beach resort, which has been a favorite spot for tourists since 1930s. This beach has lovely coconut palms fringe the golden sands. Foreigners throng Ayurvedic parlors, yoga and meditation centers, that have sprung up all over the place. There are a number of beach resorts in and around Kovalam. The sea port of Vizhinjam is about 3km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, big churches and a Muslim shrine. 
 
It was among the most prominent tourist spots in India during the hippy era. It still has a high status among tourists (mostly European) even now the glory of this beach attracting more and more tourists (western). Kovalam is finding a new  significance in the light of several Ayurvedic salons, and recuperation and regeneration resorts which provide a slew of Ayurvedic treatments for the tourists. The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and thorazite. There are two main beaches at Kovalam, separated by a high cliff. There is small light house in the Eve's beach.
 
 
Day 09: Kovalam – Kanyakumari (80kms/ 2hrs approx)
 
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Kanyakumari check in at hotel. Afternoon city tour; on two rocky islets just off the shore, southeast of the Kumari Amman temple, are the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, built in 1970, and the 133 feet (41 m) tall statue of Tamil saint–poet Thiruvalluvar, one of the biggest statues in Asia, completed in 2000 by sculptor V. Ganapati Sthapati. One of the rocks, called Sri Padhaparai, is said to bear the footprints of the virgin goddess. Swami Vivekananda is said to have meditated on this rock for three days. Also on this rock, there is a Dhyana mandapam, an area for meditation. Ferry services are available to reach the memorial.
 
The Gandhi Memorial has been built on the spot where the urn containing the Mahatma's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Resembling central Indian Hindu temples in form, the memorial was designed in such a way that on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept.
 
Vattakottai Fort; a seaside Circular Fort fort near Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India. It was built in the 18th century as a coastal defence-fortification and barracks in the erstwhile Travancore kingdom. Entrance of the fort.It was constructed under the supervision of Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, an ex-Dutch naval officer of the VOC, who became commander of the Travancore army (the very army that defeated him in the Battle of Colachel) in the 18th century, after he earned the trust of the Travancore King Marthanda Varma. De Lannoy constructed Vattakottai, as part of the defence-fortifications he undertook throughout Travancore. The fort is made of granite blocks and, today, a part of the fort extends into the sea. It is a protected site under the Indian archaeological department. A major renovation of the fort was undertaken recently by the department, and the site is now a popular tourist spot. Vattakottai Fort commands a picturesque view of both the sea on it. Overnight at hotel.
 
 
Day 10: Kanyakumari – Trivandrum (95kms/ 2hrs approx)
 
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Trivandrum airport to board flight for your onward destination.
Warm welcome with fresh flower garland and assistance on arrival at airport by our office staff.
 
09-nights/ 10days’ accommodation in below offered hotels or similar (standard room)
 
Daily breakfast at hotel in each package price
 
Accommodation with dinner at Munnar in 4star price only during the stay at Nature Zone Jungle Resort - Tree House/ Fort Munnar
 
Accommodation with all meal in Alleppey during the houseboat stay (breakfast, lunch and dinner included here)
 
Comfortable private Air-conditioned vehicle car/ coach as per FIT`s/ Group strength
 
Local English speaking guide on sightseeing days in each city.
 
Applicable government taxes and VAT.
 
Complementary service of office staff/ tour escort throughout the tour if the group strength is more than 15-pax.
Any air fare 
 
Monument entrances
 
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned 
 
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc. 
 
Or anything not mentioned above.