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Kerala - Short & Sweet

Duration : 5 Days / 4 Nights
Destination Covered : Mumbai - Cochin - Athirapally - Thrissur - Alleppey - Houseboat

Day 01: Arrival / Mumbai

WelcomeMid Morning 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!

After wash & change 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 Synagogue.

Kathakali DanceThe 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 street. Afternoon we ride to Alleppey for a houseboat experience through the narrow canals and channels of the backwaters of Kerala.

Kathakali Dance:
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

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Day 02: Cochin / Athirapally (80 Kms)

AthirapallyWe will drive to Athirapally visiting the Athirapally waterfalls on the way. Located at the entrance to Sholayar ranges, this waterfall affords to the onlookers, one of the most bewitching sights, Athirappally Falls is about 80 feet high and located in the forest area. Combined with the greenery, it infuses freshness into any tired soul. The Athirapally Falls join the Chalakkudy River after plummeting a drop of 80 feet.

Upon arrival, check into Hotel Rainforest Resort. This is a boutique resort located at the foot of the Athirapally waterfalls in the Sholayar forest range. The resort is uniquely designed to give each room a breathtaking view of the falls. The sights and sounds of the flora and fauna combined with the waterfalls make this Rainforest truly nature's spa.

Rest of the day is at leisure for nature walks, or visits to local tribal villages to witness traditional lifestyles unchanged for centuries.

Overnight At Hotel Rainforest Resort

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Day 03: Athirapally / Thrissur (110 Kms)

ThrissurDrive to Thrissur visiting on the way the pristine Vazhachal waterfall that has its own charm and attracts many tourists from near and far. Perched high above in the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala's famed rain forests, the waterfall truly provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind. We also visit the medicinal herb garden, near the waterfall, with plants having pharmacological properties that are said to cure arthritis, skin diseases and blood pressure. Vazhachal is quite popular among the tourists for its exotic flora and herbal plantations.

Drive on with options for a memorable trek alongside the Chalakudy river, flowing placidly amidst the dark forests with many elephants, its aplomb broken only as it races down rocks to form a canopy of white froth at the falls.

Continuing further we visit the Anakkayam. The place is famous for its scenic beauty with a lake, chiseled rocks and forests. The place takes its name from a herd of elephants that drowned in the lake while drinking water.

Overnight At Hotel River Retreat

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Day 04: Thrissur / Alleppey / Houseboat

Alleppey HouseboatFollowing a leisurely breakfast we will drive to Allepey to board the houseboat.

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 Specialties - 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 and meals aboard Air - Conditioned Houseboat

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Day 05: Houseboat / Allepey / Cochin / Departure

Today we disembark at Allepey boat jetty and drive to Cochin

Upon arrival in Cochin transfer to the airport to board your onward flight

Overnight and meals aboard Air - Conditioned Houseboat

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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"





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