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11 Nights Essence of Kerala

Destinations Covered

Day 1 Kochi Arrival

On arrival at Kochi International Airport, you will be met and assisted by our representative to the designated coach / car booked.

Transfer and check-in at selected hotel.

Kochi, erstwhile Cochin, surrounded by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, is an important and beautiful port city of Kerala. It boasts of a world-class port, which connects it to many important cities over the world. Kochi’s strategic location has always made it stand out as a significant commercial and industrial hub of Kerala. During the 14th Century, Kochi gained a reputation of being an important spice-trading centre. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in colonial India. It remained the main seat of Portuguese India until 1530, when Goa was chosen instead. The city was later occupied by the Dutch and the British, with the Kingdom of Cochin becoming a princely state.

Today, this port city of Kerala is a growing centre of information technology, health services, ship building, international trade and tourism and thus, is regarded one of the fastest growing second-tier metros in India.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2 In Kochi

After breakfast, enjoy half-day sightseeing tour of Kochi visiting Fort Cochin and see the suspended Chinese fishing nets, which were introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan in the 14th Century. Kochi fishermen still use these fishing nets to earn their livelihoods.

Continue down to St Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The church was constructed in 1503 by Portuguese friars and is now the burial place of Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer who led the first ships that sailed directly from Europe to India. The church has a large cemetery that serves as a resting ground for many Portuguese army officials and soldiers.

Finish the tour at Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555. The palace is famous for its stunning murals portraying scenes from Hindu tales, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Next door is the Paradesi (also called Pardesi) Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in South India. Admire the ornate brass pulpit, the Belgian glass chandelier and hand-painted Chinese porcelain floor tiles. Wander around the neighbouring Jew Town, a central location for the spice trade, and inhale the aroma of spices.

Afternoon at leisure to relax.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 3 Kochi - Munnar (150km /4hrs)

After breakfast, check-out and depart for Munnar.

On arrival,check-in at the hotel.

Munnar at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala is a beautiful hill station.  Situated at 1,600 metres above sea level, in the Western Ghats range of mountains, it was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years will bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 metres is an ideal spot for trekking.

Evening visit to local market / walk around tea plantations.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4 In Munnar

After breakfast, enjoy half day sightseeing tour of Munnar visiting Eravikulam National Park, famous for its endangered inhabitant - the Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over an area of 97 sq. km, this park is also home to several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds. A great place for trekking, the park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations and also the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mists. The park becomes a hot destination when the hill slopes here get covered in a carpet of blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji. It is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats which blooms once in twelve years.

Afterwards you will be taken to a known tea factory to witness the processing of high quality tea.

Afternoon at leisure to relax.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 5 Munnar – Periyar National Park (110km /4hrs)

After breakfast, check-out and depart for Periyar National Park through Western Ghats.

On arrival,check-in at the hotel.

The Periyar National Park of Thekkady is one of India’s finest wildlife reserves. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360sq. km is thick evergreen forest. It was declared a tiger reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The greatest attractions of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants, deer and bison that come down to drink in the lake.

Afternoon spice plantation tour to know different spices / herbal plants.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 6 In Periyar National Park

After an early breakfast, proceed for full day trekking and rafting in Periyar National Park.

This is a dawn to dusk range hiking and rafting programme through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar National Park. Starting at 8am from the boat landing, a mosaic of habitats will be traversed before you get into rafts made of bamboos.

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.

Important Note :

  • An armed guard and 4 guides accompany a maximum of 10 tourists.
  • Lunch is arranged during visit in the National Park.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 7 Periyar National Park – Kumarakom (140km/4hrs)

After breakfast, check-out and depart for Kumarakom through beautiful hills and rubber plantations.

On arrival,check-in at the hotel.

Kumarakom is a popular tourism destination famous for its backwater tourism. It is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala.

Enjoy evening, sun set cruise on backwaters.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 8 Kumarakom – Alleppey (45km/1hr)

After breakfast, check-out and depart for Alleppey.

On arrival, transfer to Alleppey jetty to board the traditional Kettuvallam or House boat.

Houseboats in Kerala, are huge and slow-moving barges used for leisure trips. They are a reworked model of Kettuvallams, Kettu means "tied with ropes", and vallammeans "boat" which, in earlier times used to carry rice and spices. The popularity of Kettuvallams has returned in the function as major tourist attractions.

Enjoy the backwaters of Kerala by getting a glimpse of the village life at close quarters; a unique and unforgettable experience.

Lunch, dinner & overnight on board.

Day 9 Alleppey - Kovalam(180km/5hrs)

After breakfast, disembark from House boat and depart for Kovalam.

On arrival, check-in at beach resort.

Overnight stay at beach resort.

Day 10 Kovalam – Kanyakumari - Kovalam (90km/2hrs – one way)

After breakfast, proceed for full day sightseeing tour of Kanyakumari. En-route visiting Padmanabhapuram Palace, the largest wooden palace in the world and the magnificent Sucheendram Temple.

Afterwards continue to Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula and the meeting point of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Visit the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Kanyakumari Temple.

After sunset return to Kovalam.

Overnight stay at beach resort.

Day 11 Kovalam - Trivandrum –Kovalam (15km/30min – one way)

After breakfast, morning at leisure to relax.

Later in afternoon, proceed for half day sightseeing tour of Trivandrum.

Trivandrum, now called Thiruvananthapuram, is the capital of Kerala. It's distinguished by its British colonial architecture and many art galleries.The city is a perfect blend of attractive landscapes, intriguing history and culture.

Visit the famous Napier Museum building which combines the Mughal, Kerala, Chinese and Italian architectural styles. The building has a natural air-conditioning system. The museum offer glimpses of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage and showcases an excellent collection of bronzes historic ornaments, ivory carvings and chariots, and life-size figurines of the Kathakali dancers in full costume. Proceed to Sri Chitra Art Gallery displaying paintings from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art. Besides these, the gallery houses some rare collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, Svetoslav and Nicholas Roerich. An Oriental collection of paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali are a visual treat to the visitor. End your tour with a visit to Padmanabha Swamy Temple, a blend of Kerala and Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is noted for its mural paintings and stone carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha, the Serpent. 

Important Note :

  • Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple in prescribed dress code.
  • Napier Museum and Sri Chitra Art Gallery remain closed on Mondays.

Day 12 Departure Trivandrum

After breakfast, check-out and transfer to Trivandrum International Airport / Railway Station or any convenient point for your onward journey.

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