Kerala - God's Own Country
"Kerala - "God's Own Country" The complex network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals fringing the coast of Kerala forms the basis of a distinct regional lifestyle, and travelling by Houseboat along these backwaters is one of the highlights of a visit to the state. "The backwaters refer to the large inland lakes of Kerala. Today these backwaters act as vital water ways for the transport of people and produce. They are often the only link between remote, isolated villages and crowded town pockets. Our Kerala tourism section highlights the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, hill stations and eco tourism of Kerala. It showcases the best aspects of Kerala tourism so you can know more about the tourist attractions of Kerala and enjoy Kerala tours with Kerala Backwater.
Day 1 : Arrive Kochi
Welcome to Kochi, the most charming city of Kerala. On arrival at the airport in Kochi or Rrailway station in Ernakulam, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Later, visit the St. Francis Church, the Mattencherry Palace, the Jewish Synagogue and view the Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi area.
St.Francis Church is said to be India's oldest European built church, built by Portuguese Franciscan friars. The original wooden structure was rebuilt in stone around the mid-16th century. After the occupation of Kochi by the British in 1795, it became an Anglican church and is presently being used by the Church of South India. Having passed away in Kochi in 1524, Vasco da Gama was buried here for 14 years before his remains were taken to Lisbon. His tombstone can be seen in the church. Mattenchary Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and was presented to the Raja of Kochi as a goodwill gesture. The side galleries have amazing murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranic legends. The synagogue was built in 1568 and destroyed by the Portuguese in 1662 and rebuilt two years later when the Dutch took Kochi. It features hand painted willow patterned floor tiles brought from China. Inside the sanctuary is an ornate gold pulpit and an upstairs balcony for women who worship separately according to the community's Orthodox rites. Overnight in Kochi
Day 2 : On to Munnar (130 kms / approx. 4 hours drive)
This morning, drive through the picturesque countryside of Munnar. On arrival, check-into your hotel. Set in the mountain scenery, once known as the High Range of Travancore, the hill station of Munnar is the commercial Centre of some of the world's highest tea - growing estates. With its craggy peaks, manicures tea estates and crisp mountain air, Munnar is an ideal retreat.
The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this quaint hill station. Overnight in Munnar (Breakfast)
Day 3 : Munnar
Today, proceed for a full day sightseeing tour of Munnar where you will enjoy visiting sections of old Munnar, which includes the charming old Christ Church with its original fourteen rows of wooden pews and the Tata Tea Museum (closed on Mondays). Later, you will also visit Mattupetty Lake which is flanked by steep hills, woods and the small hydro-electricity dam. Enjoy a panoramic view of the dam surrounded by wooden hills and tea plantations. The rest of the evening is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Munnar (Breakfast)
Day 4 : On to Thekkady (105 kms / approx. 3 1/2 hours drive)
Today, drive to Thekkady (Periyar) the land of spice plantations. On arrival, check-into your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explor the spice market in the Kumily Village on your own. Overnight in Thekkady (Breakfast)
Day 5 : On to Alleppey (110 kms / approx. 4 hours drive)
Early in the morning, enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Periyar (On direct payment Basis) to observe wildlife in the Periyar Sanctuary. Later, drive to the idyllic backwaters of Alleppey and check- into your hotel. The rest of the evening is at leisure. Overnight in Alleppey. (Breakfast)
Day 6 : On to Kumarakom (51 kms / approx. 1 1/2 hours drive)
Today, after breakfast, drive to the idyllic backwaters of Kumarakom, popularly known as the rice bowl of Kerala. A huddle of tiny islets on the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a pictorial, unsoiled village. Kumarakom is a popular tourism destination located near the city of Kottayam, famous for its backwater tourism. It is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala. Arrive and check into the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure Explore local markets for various spices such as cardamom, pepper, kokam, nut meg, clove, cinnamon, coffee, cassia, tamarind and so on. Shop for Handicrafts made of natural fibre, metal and woodcraft products such as wall mirrors with antique finish, multi-colored screw pine boxes, baskets, bags in various sizes, whitewood icons and artifacts are other favourite items found in Kerala.Overnight in Kumarakom (Breakfast)
Day 7 : On to Kovalam (190 kms / approx. 5 hours drive)
This morning, you will drive to Kovalam. The meaning of Kovalam is 'a groove of coconut trees'. The Samudra Beach, Kovalam Beach and Hawa Beach give Kovalam its serenity and scenic beauty. Arrive and check- into the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Kovalam. (Breakfast)
Day 8 : Kovalam * Excursion to Kanyakumari
After breakfast, proceed for an excursion to Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari lies in southernmost tip of India where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet. Visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Later, en route visit the Suchindram temple, which is dedicated to a deity representing the combined forces of Siva, Vishnu and Brahma. The rest of the evening is at leisure. Overnight in Kovalam (Breakfast)
Day 9 : Depart Kovalam * Onto Trivandrum (16 kms / approx. 45 minute drive)
After breakfast transfer to airport or railway station in Trivandrum for your onward/return journey with happy memories of Kerala. (Breakfast)