A fascinating journey through India's tropical south, do experience the diversity in scenery, architecture, culture and most importantly the people.
Kerala is a tropical bliss with an idyllic coastline and lush tropical hills. Despite its relative riches, the majority of the population in Kerala life continue with agriculture, tea, coffee and spice plantations and the coir industry, which still provides the basic economic structure of the region.
Arrive at Cochin airport, meet assistance by our office representative, followed by a transfer to your home stay Parayil Homestead and check-in on arrival. Experience warm greetings from your wonderful Host Mr. George and roceed to your heritage room situated around a courtyard where families would gather to watch the first day of the season’s rain. Parayil Homestead is a family home located in Ezhupunna (18 kms south of Fort Kochi) nestling in acres of fruit trees, coconut groves and ambling pathways. Built more than a century ago, this is an elegant, traditional country home that retains the grandeur and history of an aristocratic Kerala family. Late afternoon you will be directed to Fort Kochi to explore this historic town.– start your walking tour with the visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks, have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard... Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa cruz Basilica,one of the finest and imposing churches in India. Take a tuk tuk– the most popular mode of transport among the localities Go along with your local tour and stop at the Dhobi Khana (laundry station), once throbbing with activity, it is now a picture of slow extinction. Continue through the small streets of Mattanchery, and arrive at the Fruit market on Palace road where locals get a variety of fresh and organic produces at bargains prices. Make a pause with a refreshing tea at one of the tea shops where you get the “one meter” tea. There is now an opportunity to interact with a Brahmin Family. The Brahmin are the highest of the four Hindu castes, made up of priests and scholars of Vedic literature and their traditional occupation is to conduct rites at marriages, births, deaths and other auspicious occasions. Then visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and finally the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century. After this local hint of the town return to Parayil Homestead for your homely made dinner and overnight stay. (Half Board)
See the life around Parayil homestay in the morning. You might want to join Mr. George during his ritual early morning walk in the village and experience the simple life at its best. Starting with a stop at the Chapel, shaped like a boat, and continue to the tea shop for your morning tea’…Finish with a tour of the food market where your host will buy rice floor to prepare a delicious traditional Kerala breakfast…Return to your home stay, observe the making of the Appam, and then enjoy the delight. Late morning proceed to the Houseboat for your Backwaters cruise. These boats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times and made out of huge planks of Jack wood, joined with coir from Coconut shells.These original kettuvallams were once used to carry tons of rice and spices. They are today converted into comfortable floating accommodation offering enchanting cruises through the backwaters.Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. You will be offered to accompany the Chef on a visit to the direction a local food market to buy all the ingredients for the execution of your sumptuous Kerala meals served on board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation of Kerala backwaters.Dinner & overnight at Houseboat. (Full Board)
After your breakfast, say farewell to the crew on board and disembark for your journey at the Kurialacherry House. This traditional Kerala architecture home stay stands on the bank of the river Pampa, laced with coconut trees on either side and green paddy fields in the backyard. The family house was formerly owned by the Venerable Thomas Kurialacherry (January 14, 1873 – February 6, 1925), member of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, and first bishop of the Archdiocese of Changanassery.It is today a family home stay with couple of rooms converted from antique granary and with original wood architecture.
After warm greetings by the host Mr. Chacko, join him for a Village walk to encounter its community, and stop in one of the oldest church in India the Champakulam Kalloorkadu St. Mary's Forane Church, believed to be one of the seven established by St. Thomas in AD 427.
Proceed on to see the finesse of the legacy wooden carver followed by a visit to the longest Snake Boat. See the Bishop’s Museum before you return to have your home-made lunch in a family atmosphere. Early Evening enjoy a walk through the family owned paddy fields and Mr. Chacko will also be happy to take you to a local temple to see the Poojas. Enjoy an authentic dinner executed by your host in their regional Kuttanad cooking style, using organic vegetables from their own cultivation and fishes picked from the property fish farm. Overnight at the home-stay. (Full Board)
Today, wake-up with the surroundings chanting birds. There is no perfect time than an early morning for a country canoe ride in the backwaters. Take a closer look at the Village activities from the perceptive of your hoarse man. Back at home for breakfast, Before your lunch, take the opportunity for an Ayurveda therapy massage next door. (Locally payable) and relax in the serene and rural area Or take a quick escapade to the Alleppey beach nearby which overlooks the Arabian Sea. Later Set out on night fishing trail, learn a trick or two of the locale for fishing. Back home you will witness a Syrian Christian cooking demonstration with your host and enjoy a dinner. You may want to keep some unique recipes back home ! Overnight stay. (Full Board)
Enjoy a breakfast at the home stay and after leaving your host, take a beautiful drive from the plains to the green mountains of the Nilgiris. Rubber, Coffee and Cardamom plantations and tea gardens will follow. Arrive at Angel’s Trumpet Plantation Villa, in Kumaly, one of the entrance door for the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. The host Mr. Stany will give you a tour of their property nestled in the heart of a plantation estate, covered with floral bells of “Angel’s Trumpets”, before to handling you the key of your Lake View villa. Later savour a homely made lunch featuring Travancore cuisine delicacies. Afternoon, explore the beauty of nature, the flora and fauna of the region with a 2 hrs energizing trek into the remote areas of the National park. This reserve is an established tourist spot and home to elephants, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur etc. with unending Chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. Return to your villa for a traditional dinner and overnight stay. (Full Board)
After your breakfast at your Villa, enjoy a full day in the lap of the high range. You will be directed deep into the inner settlements of the village Kovilmala. Kovilmala is inhabited by the tribal community Mannan. The Mannan community has unique culture and rituals. They have a kingdom at Kovilmala with an elected tribal king. This community is the only tribal community in Kerala that has a king, and one of the only two such tribes in India. The most current king is Raman Raja Mannan who was elected in March 2012. Take the unique opportunity to have a lunch in the Kings house and observe some insights into the world of nature people. You will then scroll into the Spice gardens, explore the surroundings nature and have awesome view of the mountains.Later in the evening you may opt to see a demonstration on Kalaripayattu in local theatre - Kerala’s traditional martial art and perhaps the oldest of its kind in the world. Dinner & overnight at the Villa. (Full Board)
After breakfast, drive to Munnar, South India's largest tea-growing region. Passing through the rolling hills and sculpted tea gardens arrive at your next accommodation, the Boutique resort Eco-tones - 17 km from Munnar town at the foothills of the High Ranges—in the small hamlet of Muthuvankudi. There you can appreciate a lunch (payable locally) made out of some of the local delicacies of the High Ranges, prepared from locally-sourced ingredients, in the in-house Inji, ethnic restaurant. Afternoon, proceed to the Eravikulam National Park (subject to opening)- A sanctuary for the mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr. The Park stands out for the beauty of its rolling grasslands spread over 97 sq km in the Kannan devan hills.Later if time permits see the Mattuppetty dam with its still water reflecting the tea gardens around. Overnight at the resort. (Half Board)
Breakfast at the hotel. Go on a full day Jeep safari - Drive though the mind blowing scenery uphill to Kulukkumalai Estate, the highest located tea factory in the world which still practices the Manual processing of Tea. Reach Kulukkumalai and join hands with the plantation workers to understand the art of Tea Plucking. At the Tea factory you see the processing of tea, followed by a tea tasting session. Return to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure,or enjoy walking though the unexplored paths that will take you to the small village of Muthuvankudi, where most households engage in agriculture of some sort and observe the essence of village life.Overnight at the resort. (Half Board)
Time to say good bye. After breakfast transfer to the Kochi International airport to connect your flight back home.
Suggested Day Excursions
Day 1 - Kumbalangi
Day 3 - Alleppey preserve tour
Day 5 - Thekkady Bull cart Ride at Harvest Farm / Bamboo rafting half-day / Spice Plantation in a Jeep
Day 7 - Munnar Trek between Tea Museum and Srishti TATA project / Harisson Tea Factory Visit and Trek
|ALLEPPEY||1||House Boat||Full Board|
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis at all places
- Meal plan as specified above
- Tours and transfers by 1 Air conditioned Medium Car
- Guided sightseeing tour of Cochin
- Village walks, Cooking Demos, Canoe Ride and Night fishing at Kurialacherry house
- Nature Walk and ‘day with the Mannan’ tour in Thekkady
- Jeep safari and Visit to Kulukkumalai estate in Munnar
- Entrances fees
- Any other services not covered under inclusions
- Any Personal Expenses like tips, Laundry, telephone.
- Any Flight/ Train tickets, airport taxes, visa charges, insurance