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.
On arrival meet and assistance at the airport, then proceed to your hotel and check-in at the Hotel. The Malabar House is a small exclusive luxury hotel in the heart of historical Fort Cochin -a member of Relais & Chateaux. Subsequently owned by spice traders, tea traders & bankers, in 1996 it became Fort Cochin's first boutique heritage hotel. Every room is unique and has distinctive antiques and artworks brought in from various parts of the country. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure on the streets of this colonial township. In the evening discover the famous dance drama of Kerala, the “Kathakali” show. This dance can be characterized by grotesque gesticulations, amazing costumes and very extensive make-up. The stories are mostly taken from the epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will Experience Real life of Cochin during an Ethnic tour – start 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. Then 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. Don’t miss a stop at the Spice Market, where exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper emanate from the spice warehouses lining the street and fills it. 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 you will be invited to getting squiggly lines drawn on your hands... This ritual called Mehndi arts holds plenty of cultural significance in Indian traditions and is one of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies in their marriages. Later 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.
Tonight join Mariamma Jose (President of one of the largest Christian organisation in Cochin) for a Demonstration of Kerala cuisine at her demo kitchen at home, following by a Dinner. This is a great opportunity to share thoughts, culture or simply discuss about the life of a Keralite…
Or you can also choose to enjoy a Dinner at The Fort Kochi - a renowned Seafood restaurant Described by a famous food critic writer as “one of the most renowned seafood restaurants in India”. Here, you pick from an array of king prawns, lobster, squid, mussels, salmon, mackerel, shark and more ; practically straight off Cochin’s famous fishing nets. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
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, Blackberry Hills Spa and Retreat. Nestled among the mountain range this charming hotel offer tranquillity with incredible views of the valley below. 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 Mattupetty dam with its still water reflecting the tea gardens around. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Go on a half-day Jeep safari - Drive though the mind blowing scenery uphill to Kulukamalai 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 Pluckin (subject to the working days).At the Tea factory you see the processing of tea, followed by a tea tasting session. Return to your hotel to enjoy all its features and premises. Rest of the day free. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Enjoy a breakfast at the hotel and take a beautiful drive down to the green mountains of the Nilgiris. Rubber, Coffee and Cardamom plantations and tea gardens will follow. Arrive at your hotel Hills & Hues, in Kumily, one of the entrance door for the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. This hotel is nestled on the edge of a mountain, on a pristine stretch of forest land and feature pine wood log cabins English country style, each with a breathtaking view of the valley that stretches as far as the eye can see…Afternoon, explore the beauty of nature, the flora and fauna of the region with a 2 hrs Nature walk in 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 hotel. overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
After your breakfast at the hotel, Optional: 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. Overnight stay. (Breakfast & Lunch)
After your breakfast, drive to your next unique Boutique Hotel Purity located in Muhamma (15 km from Alleppey). Overlooking the lake Vembanad at its widest point, Purity is the first sophisticated small hotel in the backwaters with unique rooms with terraces overlooking the lake and an infinity lakefront swimming pool. Check-in and rest of the day at leisure in your hotel, sipping a cocktail at the pool or observing the surroundings cantilevered Chinese fishing nets and the traditional fishermen routine.... Later on experience a sunset cruise on the shores of the lake Vembanand (Provided by the hotel). Take a closer look at the Village activities from the perceptive of your hoarse man. Overnight Stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Late morning drive to Alleppey and embark your Houseboat for a Backwaters cruise. These Houseboats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times and made out of huge planks of Jack wood, joined with coir from Coconut shells. The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are at times the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. The Allepey district is one of the most popular areas where you can cruise the backwaters. It is also one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea-level, using a system of dykes. Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. Enjoy a sumptuous Keralan Lunch on Board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation. Disembark and return to your hotel. Overnight stay (Breakfast & Lunch).
Today, wake-up with chanting birds in the surroundings. Relax in this serene lakefront area, enjoy the lakefront infinity pool, the Kerala cuisine in your exquisite in-house restaurant or opt for some activities organized by the hotel, such as a Coir factory visit, a neighborhood excursion to the closest village where you will observe this traditional handcraft work process of coir weaving, product of the coconut fibre (Payable locally). Or enjoy a heritage craft experience. You will be taken by car to Mannar, the heart of Kerala’s ancient metal casting craft. Only few hundred families are in the trade, passing on the skills and secrets of the lost wax process from one generation to the next. The sheer variety and sizes of brass and bronze is amazing (Payable locally). Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Late morning drive to one of the well known beach destinations in the world, Kovalam. On arrival check into Niraamaya Surya Samudra Resort and Spa. Surrounded by lush greenery, this up-scale beachfront resort has Keralite heritage styled cottages blended with contemporary and luxury features with open-to-sky rain showers. Its amenities include an Ayurvedic therapies Spa, a beach-view infinity pool, an elegant cliff-top restaurant plus an ocean-view bar. From the hotel, you will be able to directly access the beach. Rest of the day free to familiarize with the resort or to enjoy some massages in the hotel Spa. (payable locally). Overnight stay. (Bed &Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day free for Sun, Sand and Surf. Watch golden sunsets, wait for fishing boats to empty out the day’s catch or gaze at the Hotel infinity sea view pool. Overnight stay at the hotel. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a Full day free at your beach resorts Or you may opt for one of our optional sightseeing tour below: - Go on a guided Half-day sightseeing of tour Trivandrum, visiting its art galleries, museums and Gardens. The Sree Chitra Art Gallery, located near to Napier Museum has a collection of century old and original world famous paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova, Nicholas Rorich, and exquisite works from the various schools of arts in India. The Kuthiramalika Palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, Social reformer and statesman. Wood carvings, Paintings and various priceless collections belonging to the royal family are at display here. One may also visit Padmanabaswami temple – the richest in the world (from outside). Finally enjoy an Authentic traditional lunch at Villa Maya restaurant, with its classical architecture, minimal style and selected art and craft pieces. Return back to your hotel for the rest of the day free. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a Full day free at your beach resorts Or you may opt for one of our optional sightseeing tour below : -Go on a guided Half-day sightseeing of a Fishermen village. Morning drive to Vizhinjum Harbour, one of the busiest fishing harbour in Trivendrum, with the sight of hundreds of fishing boats, women taking head loads off to local markets and fishermen gliding into the sea. Continue to Mukkola, where we will be able to get the feel of a typical Kerala rural market with an array of shops and the fish/vegetable market lying ahead, which becomes active during the day hours. Proceed with a visit of Balaramapuram Handloom village, famous as the core place for the unique production of traditional varieties of handloom textiles meant for clothe wearing style of Kerala. Return back to your hotel for the rest of your day free. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Time to say good bye.
Transfer to Trivandrum International airport to connect your flight back home.
Suggested Day Excursions
Day 3 - Thekkady Bull cart Ride at Harvest Farm / Bamboo rafting half-day / Spice Plantation in a Jeep / Cooking demo + Dinner with a Kerala Family
Day 4 - Munnar Trek between Tea Museum and Srishti TATA project / Harisson Tea Factory Visit and Trek
|COCHIN||2||The Malabar House|
|THEKKADY||2||Hills & Hues|
|KOVALAM||4||Niraamaya Resort & Spa|
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis at the hotels mentioned or similar
- Breakfast at all places
- Transportation as per itinerary by chauffeur driven air conditioned large car
- Local English Speaking Guides for the sightseeing of Cochin, Thekkady and Munnar
- Entrance charges at the monuments as mentioned in the Itinerary
- Ticket for the Kathakali Dance show in Cochin
- A guided Ethnic tour in Fort Kochi
- Cooking demo class with dinner in Cochin or a Dinner at the Sea Food restaurant Fort Kochi
- Nature Walk and a day with the Mannan tour in Thekkady with Lunch
- Guided visit to Eravikulam National Park in Munnar
- Jeep safari and Visit to Kulukkumalai estate in Munnar
- Day cruise on the backwaters by house boat with Lunch
- Assistance on arrival and departure
- All currently applicable taxes
- Camera fees & activity charges other than those listed in the itinerary inclusions
- Expenses of personal nature such as porterage, laundry, telephones, tipping etc
- International/Domestic flight charges ; Visa/Insurance Charges if any
- Any tours mentioned in the Itinerary as optional
- All other than those listed in above inclusions