Beaches & Backwaters
Number of Days: 06 Nights / 07 Days
Routing: Cochin - Alleppey - Kumarakom - Periyar - Kovalam
COCHIN: St. Francis' Church, Dutch Palace (Built by Portuguese), Jewish Synagogue, spice market, Chinese fishing nets & Kathakali Dance Show
KUMARAKOM: Backwaters & Bird Sanctuary
PERIYAR: Spice Plantation & Elephant safari
TRIVANDRUM: Padmanabha Swami Temple, Shri Chitra Art Gallery & the Museum
Detailed Tour Program
Day 01 Arrive Cochin
Arrive Cochin, after a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our representative would assist you at the airport & transfer to hotel for check in.
Cochin always had a very popular & historical sea trade connection with Middle East, Mediterranean Europe & Dutch. It has one of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian coastline. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings & structures representing different regions of the world.
Today we visit St. Francis Church, which is the oldest European Church in India. Visit the Jewish Synagogue, built in the year 1568 and magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles & Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. Also visit the spice market, where the air is filled with the pungent smell of spices & history that brought the world to its doorstep. Chinese fishing nets, (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.
In the evening enjoy Kerala's most popular classical dance, Kathakali.
Overnight Hotel – Cochin (B)
Day 02 Cochin - Alleppey by surface (70 Km / 1½ Hrs)
We drive to Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, and called Venice of the East. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters & lagoons, It has a wonderful past, it owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams & canals with lush green coconut palms, was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece & Rome in the pre Jesus era. Alleppey is now the hub for backwaters tourism in Kerala.
On arrival we board the Houseboat, locally called Kettuvallam, cruise around backwaters of Alleppey to Kumarakom to observe & experience the daily life of the villagers along the backwaters. Holiday on the houseboats are an out-of-this-world experience.
Overnight Houseboat (B, L, D)
Day 03 Arrive Kumarakom
Morning after breakfast we disembark the houseboat in Kumarakom. It is a cluster of little islands, on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Kuttanad, the 'Wonder Land' believed to have been lying below the sea level, sprang out into the marshes when the sea receded later. Kumarakom, the land of lakes, canals and paddy fields, gives you sheer ecstasy. Holiday on the houseboats, traditional Kettuvallam, are an out-of-this-world experience. Furthermore Vembanad Lake is home to several types of marine life exclusively the Karimeen (Pearl Spotted Fish), Chemeen (Prawns) & Konju (Tiger Prawns).
The day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities at the hotel. You can also visit Kumarakom Bird sanctuary. There are two seasons for birds: between October & February there are cormorants, teals, & other ducks & from February to July there are darters (snake birds), night herons, egrets, & Siberian storks. It also has golden backed woodpecker, crow pheasant, white-breasted water hen, tree pie.
Overnight Hotel – Kumarakom (B)
Day 04 Kumarakom - Periyar by surface (185 Km / 4 Hrs)
Today we drive to Periyar (Thekkady), one of India's most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries, where one can watch wildlife at close range. The vegetation, flora & fauna and birds are uniquely rich & varied and do not bear semblance to any other wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Even a casual visitor to this place will not fail to observe the special ecological pattern. The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hill & spice scented plantations. The sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching & photographing wild life. Notable among the inhabitants are the tigers, majestic Asiatic wild elephants & distinctive Nilgiri Langur.
In the evening we go for a Spice Plantation Tour.
Overnight Hotel – Periyar (B)
Day 05 Periyar – Kovalam by surface (275 Km / 6-7 Hrs)
In the morning we take a Elephant Safari (outside the park).
Later we drive to Kovalam, an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favourite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse-sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs, Catamaran cruising, etc. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night.
Overnight Hotel – Kovalam (B)
Days 06: Kovalam
Days at leisure to explore water sports and various Ayurvedic / Spa treatments in Kovalam.
Overnight Hotel – Kovalam (B)
Day 07: Kovalam – Trivandrum Airport (16 Km / 30 Min)
Today we take an excursion to Trivandrum, an ancient city with traditions dating back to 1000 BC. It was a trading post for spices like the rest of ancient Kerala. However the ancient political & cultural history of the city was almost entirely independent from that of the rest of Kerala. The early rulers of the city were the Ays. With their fall in the 10th century, the city was taken over by the rulers of Venad. Thiru-v-anantha-puram is a three syllable name meaning the abode of the sacred Snake God 'Anantha'. Lord Vishnu of the ancient Indian mythology rests on this huge serpent.
Here we visit the Padmanabha Swami Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and held sacred by the Hindus since ages. The temple has a large complex with a huge Gopuram. It has a tank besides it for ritual bathing. Next we visit the Museum, situated north of the city. It displays an eclectic assortment of historical & contemporary ornaments, temple carts, ivory carvings & life-size figures of Kathakali dancers in full costume. It has a famous collection of 8th-18th century south Indian bronze artifacts. Also visit Sri Chittira Art Gallery, an excellent collection of Indian art with examples from early to modern schools. Paintings by Raja Ravi Varma and works from Mughal & Rajput miniature paintings & Tanjore paintings embellished with semi- precious stones are displayed here.
Our tour concludes: Hi-Life Tours assists you with your transfer to the airport for boarding onward flight, thanks you for your patronage and looks forward to serving you again in the near future.