Day 1: Arrive Cochin
On arrival at Cochin airport assistance and transfer hotel check in.
Later city tour of Cochin The Gateway of South India. This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Cochin has been ruled by the Dutch, British and the Portuguese. Hence you will find here a unique mix and match of traditional as well Western architecture and lifestyle. Sightseeing tour includes visit to Fort Cochin & St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama. We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace. Also famous in Cochin are the Chinese fishing nets, which dominate part of the seafront and attract tourists in large numbers, These nets suspended in the mid air all along the coast and are set up on bamboo or teak poles giving an appearance of huge hammock. If you wish you may opt from a variety boat trips offered like Backwater Canal Tour, the sunset cruise, and so on. In the evening enjoy Kathakali Dance Presentation, a traditional dance form of Kerala with Lavish Costumes, Exotic makeup, Masks etc. This is considered to be the King of theater performances. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Cochin - Alleppey (60kms) Backwaters tours sailing boat
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to Alleppey boat jetty to board houseboat and sail through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters. While sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals, the panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets the reminiscent of our past trade links are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats. The Houseboats have generated electricity, sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Driver. Lunch, Dinner and overnight in houseboat.
Day 3: Alleppey - Thekkady (130kms)
After breakfast disembark from houseboat and drive to Thekkady check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Evening visit Mudra Cultural Centre famous for cultural events that specifically involve the traditional dance form, Kathakali and India's oldest form of martial arts, Kalaripayyattu. You can also witness the laborious preparations the artists have to make before they watch their spectacular performances. Watching one of their shows is the best way to get a glimpse into the rich culture and art of the region. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Thekkady
Breakfast at hotel. Visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on a boat. Nestled between the Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers Wildlife Sanctuary is blessed with the most diverse flora and fauna. The sanctuary has a gorgeous lake that is perfect for romantic boat rides. The tropical evergreen and deciduous forests teeming with elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger and wild boar along with various species of snake including cobras, vipers, kraits and many non-poisonous snakes is a wildlife lover’s dream. A variety of birds such as grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, woodpeckers and bulbuls also have found a home in this sanctuary.
Afterwards take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. You could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Thekkady - Munnar (110kms)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Munnar enroute stop at Ramakkalmedu. The place gets its name from the impressions of the feet found on the rock surface here, which is believed to be of Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, as told in the Indian epic Ramayana. Ramakkalmedu is noted for its hills and also for the panoramic and picturesque views of villages in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, which is towards the eastern side of the Western Ghats. A noticeably tall, pillar-like rocky structure, about 300 m high and facing east is another attraction here. It is one of the windiest places in Asia and being so, one can also find here a wind farm generating electricity, which is an undertaking of the Government of Kerala. Other attractions in-and-around Ramakkalmedu include places like Frog Rock, Turtle Rock and the highest twin-statue in Kerala; called Kuravan and Kurathi.
Continue drive to Munnar check in at hotel. During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild cold climate throughout the year make it the favorite tourist places. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Munnar
After breakfast visit to Mattupetty (cattle village), the Swiss Livestock Project is a highly specialized dairy farm where over a hundred breeds of highly yielding cattle are reared. Visitors are allowed into three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm, followed by visit to Pothamedu is one of the major plantation hubs of Munnar. The panoramic view of greenish tea, coffee and cardamom plantation and the cloud kissing mountain is exciting one. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and Long Mountain walks. Later visit Devikulam famous for its breath-taking locales, scenic spots and for its unique flora and fauna. Right in the heart of this landscape is Sita Devi Lake. The lake, with its picturesque surroundings, mineral water, and trout-fishing and adventure sports facilities, is a favorite tourist destination. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 7: Munnar - Madurai (160kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Madurai check in at hotel. Later city tour visit the Meenakshi Sundareshwar - one of the largest temple complexes in India built between the 16th and 18th centuries. Apart from the estimated 33 million sculptures there, the temple is absolutely absorbing with the endless rounds of ceremonies, prostration of countless devotees and glittering market stalls. Later visit Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple, Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple. Also visit the Tirumal Nayak’s Palace a highly decorative monument. Its enormous roofed arcade supported by 48 – foot high stone pillar, still stands. In the evening visit the famous Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple to attend the Aarti (Prayers) witnessing interesting rituals and ceremonies. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Madurai - Departure
Breakfast at hotel as per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
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