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Backwaters and Beaches of Kerala

9 Days / 8 Nights (Tour Code: PI-069)
Backwaters of Kerala - the most romantic notion of a tropical country, hold great promises of enchanting holiday options! It has one of the most unique network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian sea. One of the most exciting things on the backwaters of Kerala is the kettuvallom (a traditional houseboat) the most amazing spectacle in the world. Come, experience this spectacle yourself!!!

Day 1: Kochi

Arrive at Cochin International Airport.Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide.
This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.
Strictly speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region adjoining the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Ernakulam is also the name of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district - but, for all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the same place.
Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
our representative will receive and transfer to the transfer to hotel Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 2: Kochi

Morning half day sightseeing of Cochin city visiting <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AJ9','COK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Jewish Synagogue</a>, built in 1568 AD and decorated with copper plates bearing the Hebrew script and hand painted chinese tiles. Also visit the Mattan-Cherry Palace also called the <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AH9','COK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Dutch Palace</a> built by the Portugese and presented to the King of Cochin in 1555 AD. The <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AG9','COK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Chinese Fishing Nets</a> at the entrance of the harbour, along the backwaters are a fascinating sight. These nets that line the sea front exhibit a mechanical method of catching traders to the coast of Malabar.Afternoon at leisure. Evening witness the Kathkali dance show.Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 3: Kochi - Thekkady

Morning after breakfast leave by road for Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary(Thekkady,05 hours drive). Arrive and stay at Hotel.Late afternoon Boat safari at Lake Periyar.One can enjoy the sight of frisky elephants in the Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary whose population at present is around 800. Periyar reserves are the virtual celestial home of elephants that makes an excellent wildlife sighting and remains the key attraction. Herds of jaunty wild elephants have made Periyar Lake their favorite hangout for amusement in the water where they can be watched bathing and swimming Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary is one of the best sanctuaries in the country for watching and photographing wildlife.Besides elephant the wilds are home to diverse variety of species, most commonly found are - gaur, sambar, bison, barking deer, Nilgiri, languor, panther, leopard, bear, jungle cat, small Indian civet and Malabar squirrel macaque. The sanctuary also enjoys the large number of its aerial population along with reptiles. The tiger and leopard can also be view when the water bodies dry up and these elusive mammals come to river to quench their thirst. At present there are approximately 40 tigers in the reserves

The beautiful lake trimmed its way through the dense forest of Periyar at the bottom of the hill. The lake serves as a water reserve for the wilds during acute summers and as a luxuriating ground. While taking a boat cruiser through the enchanting lake enjoy the sights of elephants, gaur, sambhar and one can even spot tigers. The best months for visiting the park are from October to April. The ideal times for cruise is the dawn and dusk.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 4: Thekkady

After breakfast transfer to Kumarakom ( 04 hours drive ). Check-in at Hotel. Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Karimeen (Pearl spot), shrimp (chemmeen in the local language) and prawns. The bird sanctuary extends over 14 acres (57,000 m²), and came into existence following preservation efforts from the government. It is a major tourist attraction. The Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls is another natural attraction in Tauranga area. These waterfalls are located 18 kilometers from Kumarakom Lake Resort and has surfing water flowing down the mountains.

Kumarakom has a wide variety of houseboats. They are used only for tourists these days. A separate boat known as Kettuvallam is used by the people to go fishing or to transport goods. Apart from these, there are elegant special boats like Kochu-odi Vallam, Odi-Vallam, Iruttukutthi Vallam, Churulan Vallam and Chundan Vallam(Snake Boat), which take part in the boat races around Onam time. The Kumarakom boat-race is conducted in the big canal in the centre near the market. There is a private sailing club in Kumarakom, located on the shore of the Vembanad lake.
Sunset cruise in the evening.Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 5: Thekkady - Kumarakom

Early morning visit to the bird sanctuary. After breakfast visit to the Farm House and transfer to Alleppey for coast cruises. Coast cruises feature single and two-bedroom houseboats, complete with kitchens, bathrooms and your own personal cooks-cum-attendants-cum-boatmen. This house boat is known as 'Kettuvallom', the traditional rice barge, with its sturdy build and stately carriage. The boat hulls are made from seasoned 'Anjili' (Jackfruit) logs, that have a natural gentle curvature. Keels are flat, because the rivers here can get mighty shallow at times, and also to allow the boat to be easily punted. (they come with a quiet outboard motor too, so the boatman can get some rest ).The boat trip between Alleppey and Kollam is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. Overnight stay at the RICE BOAT to reach next day morning at Kollam.

Day 6: Kumarakom

Early morning arrive at Kollam - the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. Kollam is the centre of the country's cashew trading and processing industry and one of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast. Thirty percent of this historic town is covered by the Ashtamudi Lake, which forms a part of the world-renowned backwater cruises of Kerala. Enjoy the sunset cruises at the Ashtamudi Lake. The effect is magical especially at twilight and at dawn. The backwaters offer endless opportunity for fishing, aquatic sports and cruises. The annual Ashtamudi Crafts and Art festival takes place in DecemberJanuary every year at Kollam.Stay at Hotel.

Day 7: Kumarakom - Alappuzha

Morning drive to Kovalam, an internationally renowned Kovalam beach ( 02 hrs. drive).Kovalam has three crescent shaped beaches separated by rocky outcroppings. Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of metres are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer all kinds of goods and services.[3]

The larger of the beaches is called Light House Beach for its 35 metre high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. The second largest one is Hawah Beach named thus for the topless European women who used to throng there. It was the first topless beach in India. However topless bathing is banned now except in private coves owned by resorts. Visitors frequent these two beaches. The northern part of the beach is known as Samudra Beach in tourism parlance. A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn't have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part. The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and thorazite. The normal tourist season is from September to May. Ashoka beach is also the part of Kovalam beach.
Upon arrival check in at Hotel. Afternoon relax on the beach.Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 8: Alappuzha - Kollam

Full day at leisure on the beach.It is the place to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul ecstatically.Kovalam" means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. The crescent-shaped beach has three parts. The southern most beach, and the most popular, is light house beach. It offers an amazing sight of Vizhinjam mosque. The northern Samudra is a laidback one and time seems stands still here. The middle, hawah, in the early day, is a beehive of activities with fishermen setting out for sea. With a high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights.

It is warm and clean filled with the coconut trees and the white sandbed as the seabreeze gently plays with the waves. Swimming and bathing are very refreshing and exhilirating in the waves. One can walk into the sea for about 100 metres without loosing ground. This cove is also the safest place for swimming. At many coastal places there are beautiful patches of coral reefs. The underwater views, which are visible during snorkeling, are really marvellous.
Overnight at Hotel.

Day 9: Kollam

Morning after breakfast transfer to Trivandrum - The capital of Modern Kerala and the seat of erstwhile Travancore Maharaja (King).Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient city with trading traditions dating back to 1000 BCE. It is believed that the ships of King Solomon landed in a port called Ophir (now Poovar) in Thiruvananthapuram in 1036 BCE.The city was the trading post of spices, sandalwood and ivory. However, the ancient political and cultural history of the city was almost entirely independent from that of the rest of Kerala. The early rulers of the city were the Ays. With their fall in the 10th century, the city was taken over by the rulers of Venad.The rise of modern Thiruvananthapuram began with accession of Marthanda Varma in 1729 as the founding ruler of the princely state of Travancore (Thiruvithamkoor in the local vernacular.The early 20th century was an age of tremendous political and social changes in the city.With the end of the British rule in 1947, Travancore chose to join the Indian union. The first popular ministry headed by Pattom Thanu Pillai was installed in office on 24 March 1948. In 1949, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Thiru-Kochi, the state formed by the integration of Travancore with its northern neighbour Kochi. The king of Travancore, Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma became the Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from July 1, 1949 until October 31, 1956. When the state of Kerala was formed on November 1, 1956, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of the new state.

Visit the Art Gallery, Padmanakhaswami Temple and Museum.Afternoon transfer to airport to leave by air for Mumbai for onward destination.

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