5 Day Kerala with Backwaters

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The splendor of the Niligiri Mountains, the tea estates, the calm lakes, a walk through the jungle or a night’s sleep on a houseboat, Kerala beckons you to try it all.



HIGHLIGHTS

The splendor of the Niligiri Mountains, the tea estates, the calm lakes, a walk through the jungle or a night’s sleep on a houseboat, Kerala beckons you to try it all.

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  • Day 1: Arrive in Cochin

    Our representative will meet you at the Cochin airport and help you check into the hotel.

     

    Cochin or Kochi is one of those rare places which has been touched and influenced by various settlements over the years. The arching Chinese fishing nets, Portuguese homes, palaces, churches and synagogues are as endearing as the seafood, spices and surrounding scenic beauty. Often acting as the gateway for exploring the other interior parts of the state, Cochin nevertheless enthralls with a charm of its own.

     

    After quick refreshing, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Cochin.

     

    The Old Cochin area is home to the Jewish community and has been in existence for hundreds of years. The Paradesi Synagogue built in 1568, famed for its bell towers and tiled roof along with the unique hand painted Chinese tiles, exquisite chandeliers, rugs and gold crowns gifts in the interiors makes it a must visit tourist attraction of this area.

     

    The St. Francis Church built in 1503 is the oldest European church in India and the mortal remains of Vasco de Gama were originally buried here until after 14 years they were moved to Lisbon. The Vasco de Gama square and the architecturally and artistically grand Santa Cruz Basilica are also noteworthy visits on our sightseeing tour. Other historically significant structures that date back to the 14th and 15th century include the VOC Gate and Bastion Bungalow.

     

    The International Pepper Exchange is an interesting attraction since it deals with the trade of black pepper globally.

     

    However, it is the Chinese fishing nets that are almost synonymous with Cochin, silhouetted against its skyline that are the favorite attractions of tourists and locals alike. The nets that stand against the port and seafront are mounted on bamboo and teak poles and though its origins are debatable, these fishing nets nonetheless, make for the most beautiful postcard moments in Cochin.

     

    A private harbor cruise awaits you in the early evening hours that take you to the Bolgatty Palace and the fishing island. Watch the sunset from the vantage point of the edge of the Arabian Sea.

     

    Return to the hotel for some excellent seafood dinner before retiring for the night. 

     

  • Day 2: Cochin to Munnar

    After breakfast proceed to Munnar in a comfortable luxurious vehicle

     

    Situated at a height of 5200ft., Munnar has been the preferred summer retreat during the British Raj and continues to be a favorite amongst tourists who want a respite from the scorching sun, heat and pollution of big cities. Munnar is a peaceful escapade inviting with its rolling tea plantations, serene surroundings and the carpet of the Blue Kurinji flowers that bloom once in every 12 years. Munnar also acts as the base for trekkers aiming to climb the Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in South India.

     

    Check into the hotel after which we proceed for sightseeing.

     

    The Christ Church built in 1910, is a quaint and beautiful church that have plaques erected in the memory of tea planters in its grounds.

     

    About seven kilometers away from Munnar is the picturesque hill station of Devikulam which is a treat for birdwatchers, anglers and lovers of nature. The Sita Devi Lake adds a calming effect to the already scenic and mesmerizing landscape, making Devikulam a perfect holiday destination.

     

    The Kundale Tea Plantation is a great spot to learn about the planting, picking and processing of the world’s favorite beverage, tea. On Sundays, the workers get together to share their tales of the week, making it an interesting and interactive session.

     

    Pothamedu is a fascinating hiking spot that acts as a wonderful viewpoint and opens up the breathtaking view of the valley below.

     

    After a day well spent in Munnar, rest well for the night. 

     

  • Day 3: Munnar to Periyar National Park (Thekkady)

    After breakfast, be driven comfortably to Thekkady.

     

    The Periyar National Park, situated along the Periyar River is a wildlife lover and naturalist’s delight. Known to be home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and Indian Bison, as well as, the Asian elephant, dhole or wild dog, antelope and the endemic Nilgiri Tahr, this national reserve has a lot in store.

     

    For birdwatchers, it is not rare to sight the greater hornbills, herons, darters, owls, egrets and kingfishers.

     

    A highly experienced guide will travel with you for a jungle walk. Experience a memorable walk in the dense and interiors of the forests to watch the wildlife in its natural habitat and surroundings. The duration of the walk can be customized depending on your interest and wish.

     

    You can also choose the raft ride on the river, to spot the wildlife from the safety of the boat, as they descend towards the river to quench their thirst and cool off. Elephant sightings are very common on such occasions.

     

    Next, is the visit to the spice market, which happens to be the largest in Asia. Take a look around and shop for spices that will surely add aroma and flavor to all your cuisines.

     

    Wrap up the day, with a Kathakali performance that will help to soothe your nerves in rhythm. Kathakali is one of the most renowned dance forms of India, with elaborate costumes and performed with spellbinding expressions and movements.

     

    Have a restful overnight stay at Thekkady.

     

  • Day 4: Periyar to Kumarakom

    After breakfast, begin the road journey towards Kumarakom en route a tea garden. The scenic terrain, coconut trees, paddy fields and rolling hills are a constant reminder of how beautiful is God’s very own country.

     

    Kumarakom is located on the banks of Kerala’s famous and largest freshwater lake Vembanad. Vembanad is popular for the boat races that peak during the Onam season. It is a sporting delight to watch the sleek boats competing with each other in the massive expanse of the lake.

     

    The Vembanad or Kumarakom bird sanctuary, famous for migratory birds is located near Kumarakom and a visit to the sanctuary marks the beginning of the sightseeing attractions here.

     

    Kumarakom is the also the entry point to the Backwater experience. The Kerala backwaters are a complex interconnecting system of canals, streams and lakes, where the waters from the Arabian Sea and the fresh water from the inland mix and merge to form a network of waterways. These backwaters are a wonderful surviving ecosystem for wildlife and humans alike. Fish, crabs, turtles, mudskippers and otters also make a home of the waters and marine vegetation as do birds, such as cormorants and terns.

     

    The backwaters are edged with the cultivation of rice and dotted with coconut trees and at times act as the only means of transportation. This endearing ecosystem is unlike any other, making a boat ride along with them a delightfully wonderful experience.

     

    To experience the true essence of the backwaters, we help you check into a traditional thatched houseboat for your backwater cruise. Enjoy your stay on the houseboat, equipped with modern amenities yet floating over the quiet splash of the calm waters surrounded by tiny hamlets and the lush green carpets of vegetation and nature. Help yourself to fresh seafood and have a restful and peaceful overnight stay on the houseboat. 

     

  • Day 5: Cruise from Kumarakom to Alleppey

    The final destination of the cruise takes you to the bustling beach town of Alleppey, also called Alappuzha.

     

    Alappuzha means ‘land between river and sea’ and hence is also often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East.’ The waterways have been a lifeline of sorts for Alleppey, which is also famous for the boat races, especially the Nehru Trophy Race on the Punnamada Lake.

     

    Some other tourist attractions in Alleppey include, the Alleppey beach, the Sri Krishna Temple, Krishnapuram Palace and the Edathua Church.

     

    After exploring Alleppey, drive to Cochin, where you will be escorted to the airport to continue with your onward journey.