Luxury Kerala Tour,Cochin / Periyar / Kumarakom / Houseboat / Cochin

Luxury Kerala Tour,Cochin / Periyar / Kumarakom / Houseboat / Cochin

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Overview

Kerala also called God's own country and voted as one of the top ten destinations in the World by Conde-Nast traveller, is a completely different experience from anything else in India. This Kerala vacation, gives you an opportunity to experience the Kerala backwaters & kettuvalams, see elephants in the wild, sit in a hammock and relax in nature’s emerald embrace, eat spicy seafood specialties and experience ayurvedic massages. This Luxury Kerala tour is based on using the very authentic and atmospheric hotels and exquisite tropical resorts of the CGH Group.

Day 01 - Arrive Cochin
Your Kerala vacation begins with an arrival in to Cochin Airport, where you will be met by a Trans India Holidays representative and transferred to the Brunton Boatyard and assisted with check in formalities.

Cochin, Luxury Kerala ToursCochin: - Cochin means harbour and even before the building of Ancient Rome, spices, silks, ivory and sandalwood were traded here. Cochin proudly boasts a rich cultural heritage, but is also one of the most fast-paced and modern cities in India. It is also one of the finest natural harbours of the world and a major Indian port. It is its charm and a relatively good infrastructure that make it the ideal gateway to the state. This has been the case since 1341, the year nature carved out Cochin's harbor with a massive flood. As a result, Cochin became the first port of call for Arabs and came to be known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea." This city offers visitors Forts, palaces, museums, old churches, cool backwaters, palm fringed lagoons, beaches and the practicality of a contemporary metro.

The Brunton Boatyard - a spacious and elegant hotel, built on the site of a boatyard in a charming heritage style. With expansive views over the Cochin waterfront, the Brunton Boatyard is located in the heart of Fort Cochin and within walking distance of Fort Cochin’s attractions. The old-world charm and well appointed rooms are complemented by a large, sparkling pool, courteous staff and am excellent Keralan kitchen.

Overnight in Cochin.

Day 02 –In Cochin
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken for a guided sightseeing tour of Cochin.  Tour includes visits to the following places of interest:

Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace): The Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Maharaja of Cochin, Veera Kerala Varma (1537-61), as a gesture of goodwill. It was substantially renovated by the Dutch after 1663, hence it’s other name, the 'Dutch Palace'. The most important feature of this palace, however are the astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranic legends connected with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Kumara and Durga. These murals are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and extensive to be seen anywhere in India.

The Jewish synagogue- The synagogue, magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers, was built in 1568. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace.

Cochin Harbor: Cochin harbor terminus where the Chinese fishing nets present a wonderful sight. The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.

St Francis church - It is the oldest church built by European in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church.

Fort Kochi beach: A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the Chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a fine experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline.

Hill Palace: Built in the 19th century by Raja of Kochi, the Kochi province was ruled from here. The palace has been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles used by the Rajas of Kochi apart from many archaeological findings.

Later in the evening you will be picked up and taken to a Kathakali dance performance at a local theatre. Kathakali is a traditional dance form, depicting Indian epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata). The dancers are dressed in very colorful and elaborate costumes. Their faces are painted to depict various characters of the se epics. This dance has a lot of facial expressions and brisk, yet articulate body movements.

Overnight in Cochin.

Day 03- Drive Cochin - Periyar (200 kms / 4 hrs)
After leisurely breakfast, you will be assisted with check out formalities and start your drive to Periyar, the second stop on your Kerala holiday.

Periyar, Luxury Kerala ToursPeriyar - Situated in the Idukki district of God’s Own Country, Kerala, Periyar or Thekkady as it is commonly known, is famous as one of the best places to see the Asian Elephant. Today, it is one of the very few spanholds of this magnificent pachyderm in Southern India. The uniqueness of this sanctuary is the Periyar Lake, an artificial lake, which was created by damming the Periyar River a century ago. Thekkady consists mainly of Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest. Some areas of the kkady also house pristine Evergreen forests. The varieties in habitats ensure that the diversity of flora and fauna is absolutely amazing with a magnificent variety of animals - the elephant, the bison, Gaur, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Lion-tailed macaque leopards, Jungle cats, Wild dogs and most importantly the tiger that is main predator in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

On arrival in Periyar, check in at the Spice Village .

Spice Village – most definitely a special place to stay, the Village is an eco–friendly traditional Keralan style resort on the outskirts of the Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread over a huge expanse, the Spice Village cottages are surrounded by a glorious plantation which boasts hundreds of species of flowers, spices and plants. The Resort also has a resident naturalist who is happy to escort you on informative walks through the plantation.

Overnight in Periyar.

Day 4 – In Periyar
Early morning you will be picked up from hotel for a boat ride on the Lake Periyar to watch wild life. All tourist activity is concentrated around the splendid artificial Periyar lake, an incredible way to experience the sanctuary. There are an estimated 700 elephants roaming these forests. Most of the population is generally concentrated on the banks of the Periyar Lake and come to the lake to frolic in the water

Later, you will be picked up from your hotel for a guided visit to the nearby spice plantation  - The Portuguese and the Jews of Cochin visited as traders, turning the natural bounties of the area into wealth. Pepper and cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, and several other spices, grown in the  Periyar hills , made it nature's taste factory in the 14th century, as Cochin became nature's harbour, the port of lading for a spice-hungry world. Later, the area came under the Kingdom of Travancore, and many of its plantations, orchards and hunting lodges date from that time. The British Raj too, left its mark on the Cardamom Hills.

Overnight in Periyar.

Day 05 –Drive Periyar – Kumarakom (200 kms/04 hrs)
After leisurely breakfast, check out from the hotel and start your drive to Kumarakom.

Kumarakom: The enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom is a small village that is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerela. Kumarkom strengthens Kerala’s reputation for being God’s own country with its unbelievably beautiful mangrove forests, coconut groves and emerald green paddy fields interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lillies. It is part of the Kuttanad region, and the bird sanctuary here spread across 14 acres of any ornithologist's paradise. This enchanting backwater destination offers visitors many leisure options. From wandering into the depths of its wildlife sanctuary to cruising down the back waters and fishing, Kumarkom is perfect for a lazy and laid back holiday. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands, as hundreds of swaying verdant coconut palms lining the rivers lean to brush the tops of your heads. Kumarkom is an example of nature at her bountiful best in the fragrant flowers, the riot of multi coloured birds, the surrounding greenery and the clear waters.

On arrival in Kumarakom, check in at the Coconut Lagoon Resort.

Coconut Lagoon Resort, Luxury Kerala Tours Coconut Lagoon Resort - Located on the eastern shore of Lake Vembanad, at the mouth of the Kavanar River this resort is set on an abandoned coconut plantation and has been designed to give visitors an authentic insight into Kuttanad life. Accommodation consists of individual cottages called tharawads, the traditional wooden house of Kerala. Though some of these cottages are new built, many are well over a century old and a few actually date back to the early 1700s. The Heritage Mansions and Heritage Bungalows are furnished in a style that retains all the charm of the original family home and features a private, modern, outdoor bathroom, complete with a banana tree reaching up through the open roof. Meals are served in the resorts restaurant, housed in one of the most impressive tharawads, and it is renowned for its superb Keralan (veg & non-veg) cuisine. There is a large pool area overlooked by a beautiful teak wood bar and plenty of hammocks all over the property for that afternoon nap.

No activities are scheduled for this day. Spend rest of the day enjoying the resort’s facilities.

Overnight in Kumarakom.

Day 06 –Kumarakom - Houseboat
After leisurely breakfast,  board your private house boat for an overnight stay.

Houseboat, Luxury Kerala ToursHouse Boat - A highlight of any holiday in Kerala is a night spent onboard a houseboat, or a rice barge. These converted rice barges or "Kettuvallams" sail along shallow, palm-fringed lakes and narrow canals where coconut and cashew is loaded onto dugouts. You pass villages built on narrow spits of land, stopping to visit local markets, or to marvel at craftsmen engaged in centuries-old boat-making tradition. The boats offer one or two cabins with a small sitting room and a crew of 2 staff and a chef. The food is authentic Kerala cuisine, purchased fresh along the way. For most of the journey, the boat is poled, sailing only between dawn and dusk. Although the accommodation on board is basic, this is an unforgettable experience.

Overnight on board Houseboat.

Day 07 –Houseboat- Cochin airport (85kms /02 hrs)
After breakfast, disembark the houseboat in Alleppey and drive to Cochin International airport to board your flight home. For those with a bit more time on their hands, it is possible to combine your Kerala holiday with a trip to North India as well.

Luxury Kerala Tour:You are greeted on arrival at Kochi International Airport/Railway station by The Travel Planners representative and thereafter transfer to Hotel. Afternoon you can go for the sightseeing of Cochin. Here you can see the St Francis Church, the oldest Church in India, 500 year old Portuguese Houses, Chinese fishing nets, 16th century Synagogue, Jew Town and Mattancherry Palace, built by Portuguese, this Palace contains some of India’s most beautiful murals. Evening go for shopping. Overnight at Hotel Crown PlazaMorning after breakfast continue to Thekkady the famous wild life sanctuary of South India. On arrival check in at hotel. Periyar wildlife sanctuary, home to nomadic tribes of wild elephant, boar, deer, the great Indian tiger and more. After noon Visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc Overnight at Elephant Court

   

Today morning after breakfast drive to Kumarakom. On arrival check in to a beautiful Backwater Resort. Afternoon free to relax at the resort. Overnight stay in Zuri Resort & SpaToday morning after breakfast you can board a Premium/Luxury Houseboat of Kerala Style. Rest of the day is spent cruising through the backwaters of Alleppey. This will be a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters. Stay overnight in the HouseboaA houseboat is a boat that has been designed or modified to be used primarily as a human dwelling. Some houseboats are not motorized, because they are usually moored, kept stationary at a fixed point and often tethered to land to provide utilities. However, many are capable of operation under their own power. Float house is a Canadian and U.S. term for a house on a float , a rough house may be called a shanty boat.

      

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