Kochi/Cochin - Munnar - Kovalam
Any Saturday from now to 31 March 2021
Incredible India is more than a country
– it’s a multicultural subcontinent with dozens of languages and
religions. And nowhere is this diversity more evident than in the
exotic south. With the Arabian Sea to the west, the Western Ghats
towering in the east and networked by 44 rivers, Kerala enjoys unique
geographical features and an equable climate. With tranquil stretches
of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife, Kerala
is a destination that will capture your heart.
Visits to the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, the synagogue, St Francis’s
Church and Santa Cruz Basilica as well as the famous Chinese fishing
nets Kochi: Hire a bike and go for a ride in Fort Kochi area just
before sunset – the place is abuzz and the colours are incredible
Visit a tea museum and plantations in this picturesque hill station
in the heart of Kerala's tea country Enjoy an evening walk in the
local bazaar and try some locally produced homemade chocolates
Cruise: Sail on a traditional houseboat and see a side
to India that visitors long to experience on this optional excursion
an Accompanying English Speaking Guide
start on Saturdays. Custom tours can be arranged. Guides in all
major common languages available. Other destinations can be added.
Map of Area
(https://goo.gl/maps/QkhmL6PkLvqGntoC9) shows where we
will be going. All routes shown are by road. Longer distances will
be by air. Zoom in and out for change of details.
DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN KOCHI
Spiritual Journeys representative will meet and greet you as you
arrive at Kochi International Airport, followed by an escorted transfer
to your hotel. Kochi, which was formerly known as Cochin, is one
of the most culturally diverse cities in India, with ancient Christian
and Jewish communities as well as more traditional Hindu, Muslim
and Buddhist ones. Its colonial past has also bequeathed a heritage
that features Portuguese, Dutch and British culture and architecture.
In the afternoon, walk through the historic districts of the town.
Our walking tour will take us to Jew Town; Mattancherry Palace,
known locally as the Dutch Palace (Closed on Fridays); Fort Kochi,
reminiscent of European streets and houses; Chinese Fishing Nets
on the northern shore of Fort Kochi; and St Francis Church, near
a typical English village green. Enjoy some time observing the fishermen
working the nets as the sun sets. In the evening, you will be taken
for one-hour Kathakali dance show - the ancient and intriguing dance
form of Kerala. Overnight: Kochi.
SUNDAY, DAY 2 | KOCHI – MUNNAR (BY ROAD)
After a quick visit to Jew Town to see the Pardesi Synagogue (which
is closed on Fridays and Saturdays), we drive inland to Munnar (5
½ hrs), which is 1,600 metres above sea level in the Western
Ghats Mountains. Pass lush and verdant landscapes, which become
progressively more beautiful the higher you climb. On the way, stop
at Athirapally Waterfalls, one of the most impressive waterfalls
in India. These magnificent falls on the River Chalakudy are located
at the entrance to Sholayar hill range. This waterfall drops from
a height of 25 m (80 ft) and is the biggest waterfall in Kerala.
In monsoon season, the water rises gaining power, and the streams
join together to lend the falls the nickname of ‘The Niagara of
India’. Admire spectacular views of the Sholayar hills and a unique
view of the waterfalls from the viewpoint.
Continue to Munnar, with the rest of the afternoon at leisure to
explore the small market of this quaint little hill station. Also
worth a visit are the street food kiosks, very popular among the
locals. Overnight: Munnar.
MONDAY, DAY 3 | IN MUNNAR
Spend the day on a sightseeing tour of Munnar. Nowadays, Munnar
is all about the tea industry but its development dates from its
days as the cool summer retreat of British administrators in Kerala,
and English country cottages are dotted around Munnar town and its
hinterlands. The surrounding area features rolling hills of virgin
forests, scenic valleys, mountain streams, splashy waterfalls and
sprawling tea plantations, which seem to go on forever into the
horizon. Visit the informative Tea Museum in the Nallathanni Estate
to learn more about the process of tea making. The museum has exhibits
such as old machinery used for tea production as well as intriguing
photographs relating the history of the local industry. A documentary
screening also informs about Munnar’s tea heritage and how it went
from being a rainforest as recently as the 1880s to one of the world’s
prime tea producing areas.
Visit the CSI Church of Christ. Built by the British in 1910, the
church boasts unique architecture. Built on a rocky outcrop, it
displays some lovely stained glass and commemorative brass plaques.
The afternoon is at leisure for you to relax at the resort or stroll
through the quiet pathways crisscrossing the endless tea plantations.
TUESDAY, DAY 4 | MUNNAR – KUMARAKOM (BY ROAD)
After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Kumarakom (4 ½ hrs)
on the eastern shore of Lake Vembanad, with its majestic canals,
streams and distributaries along banks that weave an intricate and
beautiful web. Kumarakom is a stunningly beautiful cluster of backwater
fishing villages set against the backdrop of Lake Vembanad. Also,
spread across 14 acres, the local bird sanctuary here is a birder’s
paradise. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom is truly
one of the gems of Kerala, offering exotic sights of flora and fauna,
boat cruises, and fishing experiences. Overnight: Kumarakom.
plantation tour (not included). A fascinating and informative
visit to spice plantations and the smaller spice gardens. The owners
pride themselves on their adaptation of organic farming methods.
The visit enables you to get a deeper understanding on how the spices,
used in everyday cooking throughout the world, are grown, harvested
and processed before finally finding their way to the local supermarket.
A must for foodies.
WEDNESDAY, DAY 5 | KUMARAKOM
Head to Alleppey to board a
houseboat for a scenic and leisurely cruise through the famed backwaters.
The houseboats are adaptations of kettuvallams boats, used for generations
to transport rice and spices. Only natural materials are used and
not a single nail should have to hold the boat together. Sail through
the intricate labyrinth of backwaters, canals and brooks, which
crisscross paddy fields, marshlands and lagoons. The serene natural
beauty and simple charm of the backwaters surprises at every turn.
This is the Kerala countryside at its best. As your boat journey
comes to an end, disembark at Alleppey and transfer back to your
hotel in Kumarakom. Enjoy rest of day at leisure to enjoy facilities
at the hotel. Overnight: Kumarakom.
DAY 6 | KUMARAKOM – DEPARTURE KOCHI (BY ROAD)
Depart Kumarakom after breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the
Kochi Airport (1 ½ hrs) allowing you to catch your onward
~ End of services offered by Spiritual Journeys, Inc. ~ ~
ENVISAGED, OR EQUIVALENT:
US $ per person with MINIMUM two people, all arriving, traveling
and departing together.
till 30 Sep 2020
October 2020 to 31 March 2021