On arrival at Cochin Airport at 3 AM, you will be met & transferred to an airport hotel for rest.After a leisurely breakfast,you will picked up to drive to Fort Cochin to check into your hotel. Day to relax.Evening visit Greenix Theatre for a kaleidoscope of various art forms. Overnight at Hotel.
Cochin the queen of the Arabian Sea is one of the most interesting cities of India and has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. A root-conscious people of Kerala have preserved their past not only in the form of history books but also in the form of monuments and palaces. Places, palaces and institutions of historic value are being preserved conscientiously.
Morning, after breakfast, proceed for a village backwater Cruise with lunch. Afternoon back to Cochin for sightseeing. Evening free to walk around Fort Cochin. Overnight at the Hotel.
Village backwater Cruise – A journey in a country boat into the pristine purity of a typical village backwater of Kerala…. goes through the zigzagging narrow canals and paddy fields fringed with coconut palms….. watch rare birds…. country boat making…. a natural fish farm where you can go fishing…. You will witness coir making,toddy tapping before you end up your exclusive experience in our Farm House for lunch -a delicious traditional Kerala dish under a tree….. While scrolling through this amazing village,you will watch the common life of the villagers for their livelihood. You will see them fishing in the river, the women do the coir making, a toddy tapper who does his job as a routine, men climbing the coconut trees to pluck the coconuts, later peeling the same to prepare to dry and make oil extraction possible.Its all about a life experience which you will cherish throughout your life.
Cochin Sightseeing – St Francis Church, built in 1510 by friars brought to India by Vasco da Gama, is the first European church built in India and is the site where Vasco da Gama was buried. The JewishSynagogue was built in 1568, Chinese hand-painted tiles are one of the attraction. This, the only Synagogue in India has a nostalgic past of a Jewish Diaspora. The “Dutch Palace” was built in the 1550s; the palace contains excellent mythological murals and a rare example of traditional Keralite flooring – a subtle mix of burnt coconut shells, lime, plant juices and egg whites – which gives the effect of polished marble.
Fort Cochin & Mattancherry are twin cities carry a flavor of the colonial era.Jewish,Arabs,Portuguese British all came to Cochin for trading and Mattancherry was the spice trade head quarters due to the proximity of Cochin Port.While Fort Cochin became the administrative headquarters,Mattancherry maintained its trading status.The colonial stature and buildings still make Fort Cochin a favorite destination for tourists. It’s getting an upgrade once its declared as the first heritage city in India.Fort Cochin was also a part of Muziris route. It will be interesting to know that around 13 religious communities are harmoniously living in Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Jains, Sikhs etc are few among them.
Morning, after a leisurely breakfast, proceed to Munnar, known as nature lover’s paradise. You will drive through Midland crops like Rubber, arecanut, pineapple etc. Afternoon free. Overnight at the Hotel.
Munnar… breathtakingly beautiful – a haven of peace and tranquility – an idyllic tourist destination in God’s own country with unending expanses of tea plantations… pristine valleys and mountains… exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests… aroma of spice scented cool air. Munnar has all these and more… It’s the place you would love to visit… It’s the place you would wish never to leave. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft. in Idukki district, situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Sprawling tea plantations, picturesque towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities makes Munnar a holiday resort. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji a flower, which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi – which towers over 2695 M and is an ideal spot for campers who like trekking.
Full day guided Tea Trail experience. You will be driven to a Tea Plantation to go with the workers to pluck the tea leaves and you will go through the whole process of making tea.In between our Naturalist will give you short Nature walks through the tea plantation.Lunch will be served at the Estate Bungalow.Finally you will taste your own tea and will take home half kilo of Tea as memory of your day experience.Overnight at the Hotel.
Munnar –perched on the roof of Western Ghats is explored by John Monroe in 1877 during a land survey of Travancore High range for British India. Later two Scottish men Henry & William Turner pioneered plantations in Munnar under a concession from the then King of High Range. They constituted ‘North Travancore Land Planting & Agricultural Society’ in 1879. There begins the age of Plantations in South Western Ghats. The first plantations were Cinchona, Coffee, Cardamom and Sessile. Later Baron Ato Von Rosenberg, a German planter joined them and constituted United Planters Association of South India (UPASI). In 1895 Finley Company reorganized all plantations and constituted all under their management agent ‘The Kannan Devan Hills Producers Company’. In 1973, after FERA(Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) came into existence, the Finley Company lost its holdings and a new company constituted under their then management company Tata Tea. Thus Tata Finely born. In 1983 Tata took over the complete plantations from the Finely and now its Tata Tea.
Tea history Trail – ‘From Plant to Packet’
An Study tour through the rolling hills of tea garden experiencing Tea from plant to packet. A full day exploration by walk, interaction and participation with planters, and workers. The day start with early morning ride from your hotel to a private tea plantation. The plantation is more than hundred years old and located in the foothill of Aanamudi-the highest peak in South India. The geographic feature of the area offers excellent scenic wonders including sighting of wildlife. The tour starts with a walk through the garden with tea pickers. Our guide – a tea expert – will explain the method and norms of picking. You can join them and start picking tea leaves. Your collection will be taken to a mini factory separately. Mean time you can interact with the workers and supervisor. After a tea break you will be invited to visit their factory. There you can experience all levels of processing and production. Then it is the time for you to make your own tea with the leaves you collected in the morning. You can do all processes in the mini factory with the help of workers.
Your lunch will be arranged in the Colonial Bungalow once used by British Planters. After the lunch a guided walk through the garden in the forest fringe to watch nature, wildlife and birds. Return to the factory by the time of ‘Tea Tasting’. Mean time your own tea, which is picked and processed by you will be ready for packing. After a tea and snack return to your hotel.
The package includes
After breakfast at the Hotel, go for a full day guided trip to Marayoor & Chinnar. This trip will be a mix of a walking safari through Chinnar National Park,trekking in Dry Forest,tribal village visit etc.Traditional lunch will be provided at the village.Return to Munnar for overnight stay.
Drive to Eighth Mile Shola forest area for bird watching. This forest harbors many endemic species of primitive plants, orchids and animals. It has high endemism of plants and birds. It possess 12 species of endemic birds of western Ghats like, Nilgiri fly catcher, Nilgiri laughing thrush etc. The golden tree ferns and other spore producers from Gondwanaland is the high light of this forest. This forest also holds Tiger, leopard including black panther, rare and endemic Nilgiri marten, clawless otter, golden cat etc. Nilgirilangur, Malabar giant squirrel etc are the arboreal animals of the forest.
Later proceed to Marayoor valley. Taste a traditional lunch in banana leaf. Visit to a rock cut temple, ancient inscriptions etc. Walk to the Mount of the Dead, a world famous Megalithic site with dolmens, dolmenoid and dolmenoid cists.Visit to a traditional sugarcane farm and Jaggery (black sugar) manufacturing.Marayoor is famous for its Sandalwood Forest which is protected by the Forest Department.
Proceed to Chinnar wildlife sanctuary. Hiking through the wildlife zone and visit to a Mesolithic Cave art site. As you go on the nature trail in Chinnar, you are bound to come across a fascinating plethora of bird and animal life. Chinnar Sanctuary is located in the eastern slope of Western Ghats sharing its flora and fauna with Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park. The sanctuary has an area of 90 sq.km. Chinnar has the unique thorny scrub forest with xerophytic vegetation. The undulating terrain with rocky patches manifolds the scenic splendor of the sanctuary. As the altitude varies from 500 to 2,400 m above sea level within a few kilometer radius, there is a drastic variation in the climate and vegetation.
This sanctuary has also rainfall ranging from 600 mm to 3000 mm and a dry season ranging from three to six months. Elephant, gaur, leopard, spotted deer, sambar, grizzled giant squirrel, hanuman languor, long eared fish owl etc. inhabit the Chinnar forests. The grizzled Giant squirrel is an endangered species
Today, you will be transferred to Periyar, the famous wildlife destination of Kerala. Afternoon visit a Spice Farm and later shopping for spices. Overnight at Hotel.
Indian agriculture began by 9000 BC as a result of early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals. Settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture. Plants and animals—considered essential to their survival by the Indians—came to be worshiped and venerated.
Indian spices include a variety of spices and herbs grown across the Indian subcontinent (South Asia). With different climates in different parts of the country, India produces a variety of spices, many of which are native to the Subcontinent, while others were imported from similar climates and have since been cultivated locally for centuries.Spices are typically heated in a pan with ghee or cooking oil before being added to a dish. Lighter spices are added last, and spices with strong flavor should be added first. Curry is not a spice, but a term which refers to any side dish in Indian cuisine. It could be with a gravy base or a dry item. A curry typically contains several spices blended together.
Periyar – Conjures up images of elephants, chains of hill and spice scented plantations. Here, in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will see a lot of wildlife and observe the way of life of simple mountain people. Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.
Early morning go for a guided trekking through the Sanctuary. After breakfast,drive to Harvest Farms for a guided tour through an Organic fruit and veg farm along with a hatchery.Enjoy a traditional lunch prepared with homegrown products or locally sourced.Return to your hotel for overnight stay.
The Thekkady sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing wildlife. A cruise through the waters of Periyar Lake around which the wildlife sanctuary is situated, offers lots of photo opportunities. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake’s edge. Tigers are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these animals come and drink water from the river.
Harvest Fresh Fam is a certified Organic farm located in the heart of beautiful Cumbum Valley in Tamilnadu State amidst cloud kissed mountains,bubbling streams and lush farmlands.You will stroll among pomegranate,papaya and mango orchards,watch the bees and its saplings,composting methods,livestock and herbal gardens.Climb the watch tower for a commanding view of the valley and to sum up with a sumptuous meal of local cuisine made from home grown or locally sourced ingredients.
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom, which is famous for its backwater & scenic beauty, sprinkled with traditional houseboats, country crafts, rural lifestyles and Tranquility. You may opt to go for a rejuvenating Ayurvedic Massage.Also you go for a village walk through the nearby villages.You will have a floral decorated bed to make your night the best romantic.Overnight at the Resort.
The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, it’s never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties can peacefully calm and invigorate your mind with renewed inspiration for your vocation and life. And that is the pristine beauty of Kumarakom.
Full day at leisure on the backwaters.If you wish you may go for a village walk ,sunset cruise etc.Overnight at Resort
Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake and a picturesque, clean village like most places in Kerala. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread across 14 acres, the bird sanctuary is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live in flocks are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
Enjoy your breakfast at the resort. By noon your exclusive Houseboat will pick you up from the resort jetty for a cruise through the backwater villages followed by overnight stay on board.Your meals are cooked and served on board. Explore the amazing backwater life of Kerala! We will arrange a special dinner with candle light along with a bottle on Indian Wine.Your beds will be floral decorated.Overnight at the Houseboat.
What is truly magical about a houseboat is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers. The houseboats have all the creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen where are cooked on board and supplemented with fresh fish from the backwaters. Today, the tradition is still continued and the food from the local cuisine is served by the Kuttanad locals, on board. The name Backwaters brings you the very thought of Houseboats. Food and leisurely times spent on-board with the feeling and privacy of house as well as enjoying the natural beauty. A Cruise amidst marvelous mangrove forests, captivating coconut canopies, swaying palms, mangrove forests, pulsating paddy fields sprinkled with enchanting waterways and canals decked with white lilies, can be quite a rejuvenating experience for the weary traveler. Enjoying a cruise in these backwaters is not to be missed, as it leaves you feeling fully rejuvenated. The banks of these backwaters in Kerala are the most enchanting picnic spots. You get to experience the native way of living.The experience on the Houseboat is not the one to be explained by words.Its to be lived and evolved by yourself.
You will continue your cruise on Houseboat. You will also have a canoe cruise in one of the villages you cruise through.Your meals are cooked and served on board. Explore the amazing backwater life of Kerala! Overnight at the Houseboat.
Enjoy your breakfast on board.Later, checkout &drive to a heritage home in Alleppey for a cookery show followed by lunch.Later proceed to Marari, a relatively quiet beach paradise of Kerala. On arrival check in at the resort on the Beach.Rest of the day at leisure on the beach.You may opt to go for an Ayurvedic Massage or a village walk.Overnight at the Resort.
Kerala has a distinctive cuisine, very unusual and different from the rest of India. Cooking in Kerala is all about discoveries, aromas and colors. Kerala cuisine is very hot and spicy and offers several gastronomic opportunities to those willing to experiment with the local cuisine. Traditionally, in Kerala food is served on a banana leaf. One has to take food with right hand. This cookery demo is not just being in the kitchen, will give your hands on experience, you’ll learn to prepare 3-4 variety of Kerala’s delicacies in a friendly, relaxed, informal environment. Each dish will be demonstrated, prepared and cooked.
Marari originates from “Mararikulam”, one of the local fishing villages, where life still goes on much as it did a hundred years ago, with the men going out to sea each day to earn a living bringing in the daily catch. Completely new to the holiday maker. Marari offers endless miles of superb sand beaches backed by swaying palms, virgin territory where you can experience the local charm/and traditional Keralan Hospitality at its best. Marari Beach is an endless vista of sand and surf, but it is more. An authentic experience of the world of Kerala’s traditional fishing villages, and a recreation of an ancient, harmonious way of life. The village of Mararikulam lies on a forgotten shore, midway up the Malabar coast, where the Indian Ocean finally decides that it has now become the Arabian Sea.
Full day at the resort. Marari Beach is an endless vista of sand and surf, but it is more… An authentic experience of Kerala’s traditional fishing villages, and a re-creation of an ancient, harmonious way of life. You may opt to take an Ayurvedic Massage…Visit the fishermen villages…By evening it may interesting to visit the local temple to watch the local crowd coming for worship and socialization.Overnight at Resort.
Full day at leisure on the beach.Overnight at Resort.
19 Dec – Marari Beach
Full day at leisure on the beach.Overnight at Resort.
20 Dec – Marari Beach
Full day at leisure on the beach. Overnight at Resort.
Like all good things, your holiday experience comes to an end but you will always carry with you memories of this unique and unforgettable experience. Today, you will be assisted and transferred to Cochin International airport for your flight home!!