Duration : 10 Days / 9 Nights
Destination Covered : Cochin - Munnar - Periyar - Alleppey -
Houseboat - Kumarakom
Day 01: Arrival / Cochin
night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our
representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our
representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the
documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest
is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the
opportunity to serve you!
Overnight at Taj Malabar - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 02: Cochin
a leisurely breakfast we proceed on a guided tour of the City.
The true character of the city is to be found in the older parts
of the Fort Cochin area. It more or less exists as it used to be
a 1000 years back, when it was first built. The roads have not
been widened because the old haggard buildings, through
patchwork repairs over the centuries, still stand on the edges.
This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval
Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the
tropical Malabar Coast. The fishing community of Cochin is also
very interesting. They ancient cantilevered fishing nets called
Chinese Fishing Nets. The net is fixed to a pole on the shore.
While fishing, the entire net is lowered by a primitive fulcrum
mechanism using long bamboo poles. By the same mechanism the
pole is lifted along with the catch. We will explore the sights
of Photographic as well as cultural interest. We would also
visit the 16th century Mattancherry Palace, also known as the
Dutch Palace since the Dutch substantially renovated the palace
in the 17th century. The double storied quadrangular building
surrounds a courtyard containing a Hindu temple. The Central
Hall on the first floor was the coronation hall of the Rajas of
Cochin; on display are their dresses, turbans and palanquins.
The most important feature of this palace, however, is the
astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which
depict scenes from the Ramayana and other religious legends.
These murals are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and
extensive anywhere to be seen in India. The unique feature here
is the unexpected and isolated Jewish community, whose origins
date back to AD 52. They are self-contained and have there own
area around the Synagogue, known, as 'Jew Town' is one of the
main centres of spice trade. Scores of small firms huddle
together in old dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with
the aroma of ginger, cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cloves. The
area is very busy. The potters are loading gunny bags of spices
on to carts, which keep running up and down the narrow lanes. We
would visit Jew Town, in the Mattancherry section and a short
walk from the ferry, is one street long. Jews used to occupy
virtually all the houses on Jew Town Road, where they sold
fruits, vegetables and spices or worked as oil pressers or
carpenters. The spice markets are still located on the narrow
A special treat awaits us this evening as we proceed to witness
the strength and vigor of Kathakali dance drama, as it enacts
episodes from great Indian epics. The extremely stylized
gestures, the elaborate make-up, the masks and the splendid
costumes of these all-male dancers, recreates an incomparable
sense of pageantry.
Overnight at Taj Malabar - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 03: Cochin / Munnar
a leisurely breakfast, we drive to Munnar, through the
scenically vibrant valley of the Cardamom Hills of the Western.
We would stop a few times to interact with locals as well as
walk through the countryside to explore traditional and ethnic
lifestyles. It's a journey through extensive tea and spice
plantations and for most part of our journey; the air is
rendered with the fragrance of tea and spices.
Munnar, a hill station on the Western Ghats and with its lakes,
reservoirs, forests and tea estates is the Nature-Lovers's
Paradise. It is beautifully situated at the confluence of three
rivers - the Muthirappuzh, Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar is a
major center of Kerala's tea industry.
Upon arrival check into your hotel Tea County
We have two days at leisure to explore the virgin beauty of the
place and its several possibilities at your own pace. Anaimudi
(2694 m), the highest peak in the southern India, is nearby and
the views from here are incredible. Munnar offers some great
possibility for nature walks and visits to nearby tribal
villages where people, though poor are extremely friendly,
charming and hospitable. The ethnic lifestyles, traditional
homes and the traditional occupation with ethnic tools and
implements provides an incredible experience. The forest that
surround Munnar are still rich in wildlife. The hills
surrounding Munnar are home for one of the world's rarest
mountain goats, Nilgiri tahr. The tropical forests are inhabited
by elephants, tigers, deer and gaur (bison) Munnar is a
birdwatcher delight with a variety of birds that are supported
by the evergreen vegetation of the region. If one seek a sense
of peace, a desire to communicate with nature and most
importantly participate in a journey through a living museum,
Munnar is the place that seeks to provide all this in a heavenly
Overnight at Tea County
Day 05: Munnar / Periyar
we will drive to Periyar through the scenically vibrant valley
of the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats. The Periyar Wildlife
Sanctuary at Thekkady in Kerala, is one of the 16 Project Tiger
Reserves in India. About a century ago, a British engineer, Col.
J. Penn ycuick, chalked out a plan to dam the Periyar River,
subsequently, a dam was constructed in 1895. This resulted in
the adjoining forests being granted protection, by the Maharaja
of Travancore. The 55 sq km reservoir and the surrounding
forests, provide protection to the animals within. Today,
Periyar is undeniably, one of the most impressive wildlife
sanctuaries in the world.
Upon arrival check into the Spice Village Resort. Set in the
heart of the Cardamom Hills of Kerala, Spice Village is an
unprecedented tourist destination, offering a rare opportunity
to enjoy South India's wildlife and beauty. The village lies
just outside Periyar Tiger Reserve, and a stay here is the
perfect way to appreciate and respect the environment. This is a
place for everyone who loves nature: somewhere to fill your
lungs with fresh mountain air, to savour the rich fragrance of
cinnamon and cloves, to watch young elephants drinking at the
water's edge. The resort itself provides every comfort the
modern traveller could wish for - luxurious accommodation,
mouth-watering cuisine, and an exclusive swimming pool.
This evening, we will enjoy a boat ride along the lake into the
more inner areas of the reserve. There is probably no sanctuary
in the world where elephant behavior can be watched in such
absolute comfort and safety. The total popula-tion is about 800.
From the lake we can get as close as 20 meters to watch placid
groups feeding, bathing and mud slinging. We end this
adventurous day at our hotel, turning in for the night matching
the tranquil pace of the forest around us.
Overnight at Spice Village
Day 06: Periyar
breakfast this morning we would take a short trek inside the
forest. The birdlife comprises of darters, cormorants,
kingfishers, great hornbills (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, especially in the cooler months.
Pythons, king cobras, flying lizards, flying squirrels, flying
snakes and to top it all, flying frogs are the other inhabitants
of this amazing sanctuary.
There are a few fascinating tribal villages around the Periyar,
primarily the Manan and Oorali tribes. The Mana ns are ace
fishermen, and a few of them still indulge in the traditional,
if dangerous, practice of collecting the honey of large and
deadly hill bees. The Ooralis build tree dwellings, though not
as residences, but watchtowers to keep wild pigs, and elephants
from ruining their crops.
After the trek, we board rafts made of bamboos for a rafting
experience through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar
Tiger Reserve. 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.
The team hitchhikes back to the boat landing by about 5 pm. An
armed guard and guides will accompany us. Tea, snacks and packed
lunch will be served Enroute
Overnight at Spice Village
Day 07: Periyar / Alleppey / Houseboat
a leisurely breakfast we ride to Alleppey for a houseboat
experience through the narrow canals and channels of the
backwaters of Kerala.
The materials that go into the making of houseboat are all
local and Eco-friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes,
bamboo mats carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjali ".
The Houseboat provides all comforts - Beds, a kitchen, western
toilets and an upper deck. Traditional lanterns are used as
lights. The cuisine is of traditional Kerala flavour along with
the local Specialities - delicious fish and prawns.
We spend the day Cruising on our boat through remote tribal
villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb
experience. Sensational in its own silent way, the cruise takes
you along snake boat docks, friendly cheering villagers, coir
(Jute) making communities, toddy (local spirit) shops, fishing
nets pitched for the day's catch, bunded paddy fields and manual
canoes of different sizes criss-crossing each other. The
experience enables you to reach beautiful untouched areas.
Overnight aboard Houseboat
END OF SERVICES
We do hope the flavor of India will
remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would
kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you
for being our guest, and as we say in India 'Please Come back Soon"