Beautiful Kerala - PI-0286
From Kochi to Kumarakom to Kovalam, get ready to experience some of the most beautiful and fascinating sites of Southern India. Spend your time visiting picturesque backwaters and quaint little villages and churches while indulging in spa and ayurveda therapies.
Day 1: Kochi
Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Sunday, July 13, 2014
Start your Beautiful Kerala tour from Cochin. Welcome on arrival at Cochin International Airport from our representative who escorts you to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2: Kochi
Sunday, July 13, 2014 - Monday, July 14, 2014
Morning after breakfast leave for a full day guided sightseeing tour of Kochi. Visit Dutch Palace
, Jewish Synagogue
, Bolghatty Palace
, St. Francis Church
, Gunda and Willingdon Islands, Kerala History Museum, Hill Palace
Museum, Parishath Taamburan Museum, Chinese Fishing Nets
and Santa Cruz Basilica. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 3: Kochi - Munnar
Monday, July 14, 2014 - Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Morning after breakfast proceed from Cochin to Munnar. Transfer to hotel on arrival and spend the remaining day at leisure. Stoll along the lush green surroundings in the evening and enjoy the scenic beauty of Munnar. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 4: Munnar
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The day is free to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Munnar valley. Visit the lush fragrant tea plantations. Until the early 1990s, Munnar, despite its enchanting natural beauty and salubrious climate, continued to remain a sleepy plantation town. Its tourism potential was realised only by the Sterling Group and Mahindra Holidays. However, the promotion of Kerala globally as God's Own Country and the rapidly increasing spending capacity of middle class Indians has resulted in a virtual explosion of tourism activities in Munnar. Resorts, big and small,have started springing up all around the town and overnight the once sleepy town has became a bustling tourist destination. Many of the developments done by unscrupulous investors have had a significant detrimental impact on the environment in Munnar and the once romantic beauty of the "sleepy town of Munnar" has significantly eroded over the years. Moreover the huge throng of domestic and foreign tourists in their buses and cars have added to pollution in Munnar and stretched the town's infrastructure and service delivery systems to their limits.
Earlier most of the land around Munnar was leased out to planters and the only activity permitted on such leased land was plantation of cardamom. Ownership continued to remain with the Government and even cutting of trees on such leased land was prohibited. However, the recent development of resorts has resulted in large scale deforestation and violation of government regulations governing land use, forests and plantation cultivation. It ultimately came to a pass in 2007, and the Government sprung into action to demolish illegal resort constructions to restore the beauty of the town.
Most of the native flora and fauna of Munnar have disappeared due to severe habitat fragmentation resultant from the creation of the plantations. However, some species continue to survive and thrive in several protected areas nearby, including the new Kurinjimala Sanctuary to the east, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Manjampatti Valley and the Amaravati reserve forest of Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary to the north east, the Eravikulam National Park
and Anamudi Shola National Park to the north, the Pampadum Shola National Park to the south and the proposed Palani Hills National Park to the east. These protected areas are especially known for several threatened and endemic species including Nilgiri Thar, the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, the Nilgiri Wood-pigeon, Elephant, the Gaur, the Sambar, and the Neelakurinji (that flowers once in twelve years
Return to hotel for night stay.
Day 5: Munnar - Thekkady
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - Thursday, July 17, 2014
Morning after breakfast drive to Thekkady.Thekkady, is one of India's most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries, where you can watch wildlife at close range. The vegetation, the flora and fauna and the birds of Thekkady are uniquely rich, vast and varied that it does 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 of Thekkady.
Thekkady - The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hill and spice scented plantations. In the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will experience the most enchanting holiday. With the animals of the wild and the simple mountain people. In the Periyar forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. The Thekkady sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing wild life. Thekkady is on the border with state of Tamil Nadu , in fact just 5 kilometers from the border town of Kumily
which is very well connected by bus to both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Notable among the denizens of Periyar are the tigers, the majestic Asiatic wild elephants and the distinctive Nilgiri langur. Other animals include the wild boar, wild dog, bison, bear and leopards. Amongst the avifauna, the most profuse are herons, egrets, darters, kingfishers and the great Malabar grey hornbill. A cruise through the waters of Periyar lake around which the wild -life sanctuary is situated, offers a soul - stirring pleasant experience.
Leave for a post-lunch visit to the local fishing village in and around Periyar where you can watch locals collecting honey and enjoy the lush green environment. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 6: Thekkady
Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Friday, July 18, 2014
Early morning, leave for a visit to the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in God's Own Country, Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Periyar wildlife sanctuary has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake.
Major Wildlife Attractions in Periyar National Park
Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers here. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen.
The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.
In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary's environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.
Spend time amidst fascinating wildlife and enjoy a boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 7: Thekkady - Kumarakom
Friday, July 18, 2014 - Saturday, July 19, 2014
Beautiful Kerala tour proceeds to Kumarakom where you check-in to a backwater resort upon arrival.Kumarakom is a serenely beautiful and scenic backwater destination, a charming peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake that is dotted with plenty of traditional rice boats and canoes, leaving a scene that is immensely pleasing to the eye.
When nature is all you need to recuperate, Kumarakom is undoubtedly one of the most invigorating and fascinating places to unwind in Kerala. The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters and mangroves with nestling birds of a hundred varieties will all serve to calm and inspire your mind.
Pristinely beautiful Kumarakom is a charming emerald peninsula jutting into the picturesque Vembanad Lake dotted with innumerable traditional country rafts, boats and canoes. The fresh water of the lake flows into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, canals and waterways.
The backwater houses a variety of species of both flora and fauna. It's rich in marine life especially the exclusive kumarakom karimeen or pearl spotted fish, konju or tiger prawns, njandu or crabs, chemmeen or prawns and many more. As and when the monsoon winds bring rain to the shores of Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom gets transformed into a rich fertile land. The streams and lagoons break their banks to nourish the shrubs that sprout from every available space. The place is renowned for its mangrove shores and the bird sanctuary.
Leave for a fun backwater cruise after lunch. Sail along while visiting the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary en route. Overnight at Kumarakom.
Day 8: Kumarakom
Saturday, July 19, 2014 - Sunday, July 20, 2014
The entire day is free to relax at leisure amidst the beautiful environs of Kumarakom, Kerala.
Overnight stay at resort.Kumarakom on Lake Vembanad , with its unparalleled boating, fishing and sightseeing facilities, makes a picturesque holiday spot in the backwaters of Kerala. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary nearby which houses exotic birds and plants is a beautiful green spot and an orthithologist's paradise. Tourists can take a cruise along the lake to catch glimpses of the birds. It is an ideal spot to spend the summer with ducks, cuckoos, Siberian storks, egrets, darters, herons and teals and many more rare and migratory birds. The ideally located Kumarakom is a picture perfect village and an attractive tourist destination.
Bordered by the lofty Western Ghats on the east, the Vembanad Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characterestics.
Panaromic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and the total literacy level achieved by the people have given this district the title: The land of letters, latex and lakes. A voyage towards the north of Alappuzha, about 10 Kms from Kottayam, will bring you to this rich green, sleepy little village of Kumarakom on the Vembanad Lak
Day 9: Kumarakom - Alappuzha
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - Monday, July 21, 2014
Board a luxury houseboat for an unforgettable cruise through beautiful Kerala. Glide on the tranquil backwaters and witness the beauty of lush greens, spice plantations, fishing villages and scenic lakes on the way. Overnight at the houseboat that terminates at Alleppey the next morning.
Day 10: Alappuzha - Kovalam
Monday, July 21, 2014 - Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Disembark from the houseboat at Alleppey and proceed on a drive to Kovalam. The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 kms, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south. Alleppey which forms the main part of this network has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride.
A glide in a "Kettuvallam" (Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either sides of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this unique land.
The sparkling water and the caressing cool wind is a temptation too strong to resist. Country boats of various types crisscross the path with passengers from all walks of Kerala's rural life ranging from milkman and newspaper boy to local politicians, priests and wedding parties. It is a unique experience as this is as close as one can get to feel the vibrant life in the countryside of god's own country.
Check-in to a beach resort upon arrival. Relax at the golden beach during the day. Overnight at the resort.
Day 11: Kovalam
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014
On day 11 of your Beautiful Kerala tour, rejuvenate your senses with traditional Ayurvedic massages and relax the day at leisure.Kovalam in Kerala boasts of a pristine natural beauty that has the capability of rejuvenating even the most jaded of travelers. The appeal of the place is enhanced manifold by the presence of a number of resorts that boast of spas that offer holistic treatments and therapies to the guests. Spa in Ayurvedic Health Resort is a popular name in Kovalam. The spa has already earned repute for the services it render in relieving the guests of their ailments and the way it revitalizes them.
At Spa in Ayurvedic Health Resort the guests are administered exclusive treatments based on the Vedic Science Ayurveda.
One remarkable fact about these treatments is that they are directed towards fortifying the immunity system and therefore precluding the chances of disease. Kovalam's Spa in Ayurvedic Health Resort has clinched the Best Ayurvedic Centre IndianHoliday.com provides you with all the requisite inputs on Spa in Ayurvedic Health Resort.
At the Spa in Kovalam's Ayurvedic Health Resort, personalized services are catered to the guests. The rejuvenation programme for each individual is drawn out by the skilled, experienced and trained ayurvedic physician after a minute evaluation. Herbal ingredients are used to cure any ailment and that too without any adverse side effects. Kovalam's Ayurvedic Health Resort also incorporates a reputed Yoga Center which is the ideal destination to achieve the perfect balance and harmony between body, mind and spirit.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 12: Kovalam
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Thursday, July 24, 2014
Spend the entire day on the golden sands of the Kovalam beach or exploring the beauty of its tranquil surroundings.
Spend the moments of leisure at the beach site, especially during sunset. Laze on the golden sands and walk on it, to marvel at lush greenery all around. Relish at variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisines that will delight the foodies. The restaurants alongside the beach serves some lip-smacking Kerala sea food and continental cuisines including German and Swiss specialties. The crescent-shaped beaches of Kovalam can be divided in three sections. The southern most beach – Lighthouse beach, the middle beach – Hawa beach and the northern most beach – Samudra beach. Beside facilitating the adventure sports.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 13: Kovalam - Delhi
Thursday, July 24, 2014 - Friday, July 25, 2014
Assistance in time and transfer to the airport for onward destination.