13
Days Kerala Tour of India (I-22)

Trivandrum - Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari) - Kovalam - Alleppey - Kumarakom - Periyar - Munnar - Cochin

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Day 01:- Arrive in Thiruvananthapuram.

This morning on your arrival in Trivandrum, now called Thiruvananthapuram, you will be transferred to your hotel. Thiruvananthapuram earlier known as Trivandrum means the "City of Lord Ananta". The name comes from the deity of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. In the temple, Padmanabaha (Vishnu) is reclining on Anantha (Sheshanag). The city shot into fame globally recently as when some of the vaults of the temple were opened, a treasure worth billions was discovered making it one of the richest temples of this world. A few more vaults still are to be opened. Only those who profess faith in Hindu religion are permitted and you have to adhere to a dress code for entering the temple. Overnight in Thiruvananthapuram.

The morning tour of Thiruvananthapuram will take you to Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple and Napier Museum. Napier Museum an art and natural history museum was named after Lord Napier, an erstwhile Governor of Chennai, is closed on Mondays, Wednesday afternoons and also on some public holidays like January 26, August 15, etc. The rulers of Travancore took a lot of interest in art and culture. Some of the famous artists from here are Maharaja Swathe Thirumalai, Drayman Hampi and Raja Ravi Varma. Raja Ravi Varma is known globally for his paintings. You could see his paintings as well as paintings of Nicholas Roerich at the Sree Chithra Art Gallery in the city which is a part of the Napiers Museum. The museum has a good collection of bronze idols, old ornaments, etc. and also a temple chariot. One of the oldest zoos of India is also a part of the museum. Afternoon is free. Overnight in Thiruvananthapuram.

Today you have a full day excursion to Kanya Kumari earlier known as Cape Comorin. This place is the land's end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. Kanya Kumari is a holy place for Hindus with two of the 51 Shakti Peethas Bhagavathy temple and Shuchindram present here. The legend goes that Kanya Devi an incarnation of Parvati was to marry Siva. As Siva failed to show up at the wedding, rice and other grains meant for the feast remained uncooked. The uncooked grain turned into stones and it is believed that the stones on the shore look like un-cooked rice. You will take a ferry to reach the Vivekananda Rock Memorial with a 133 feet tall statue of Tamil saint–poet Thiruvalluvar. Swami Vivekananda had meditated here for three days. Gandhi Memorial was built where the urn with Gandhi's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Kanya Kumari is known for its spectacular sunrise and sunset. Overnight in Thiruvananthapuram.

This morning you will be transferred from Thiruvananthapuram to Kovalam which is one of most beautiful beaches of the world. Kovalam meaning a grove of coconut trees is a town at the Arabian Sea and is a paradise of the south. Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore had built the Halcyon Castle here in the 1920s. Kovalam has a lot of salons for Ayurvedic treatments for all. Kovalam has many beach resorts offering Ayurvedic treatment for recuperation and regeneration. Overnight in Kovalam.

You will have a full day free at Kovalam Beach for relaxation. Kovalam is an important city in Kerala's honeymoon tours packages. Kovalam has three beaches which form a crescent of the Kovalam beach. The Lighthouse Beach derives its name from the Vizhinjam Lighthouse located on a rocky promontory. Eve’s Beach also known as Hawa Beach offers calm blue waters. The Samudra Beach is used more by the local fishermen. Vizhinjam sea port is only 3 km away and known for its temples, churches and a mosque. It offers a huge variety of fish. Overnight in Kovalam.

This morning you will be transferred to Alappuzha which was earlier known as Alleppey. This picturesque town also known as Venice of the East is crisscrossed with canals and offers you backwaters, beaches, and lagoons. A cruise in the backwaters is an unforgettable experience. Every year, on the second Saturday of August the Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held on the Punnamada Lake. Kuttanad with continuous paddy fields and lush green coconut palms is known as the rice bowl of Kerala. This is one of the few places in the world where rice is cultivated below sea level. Coir is the most important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha. Here you will board a houseboat in Kerala’s backwaters. The Alleppey to Kumarakom houseboat trip is quite interesting as you will be passing by small villages. Overnight is on board the houseboat.

In the morning on your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Kumarakom. You have a free day in Kumarakom. Kumarakom is on the shores of the freshwater Vembanad Lake and has a large variety of flora and fauna. Arundhati Roy's novel "The God of Small Things" which won the Booker Prize is set in Ayemenem village, near Kumarakom. Fruit like banana, mango, jackfruit pineapple, etc. grow here in abundance and the place is a lush green covered with paddy fields and coconut groves. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is the home for many species of local as well as migratory birds. You could take a short canoe trip in the early mornings or in the evenings for bird watching. Kettuvallam boats are used for fishing and transporting goods. Overnight in Kumarakom.

This morning you will be transferred from Kumarakom to Periyar National Park. You have free time to observe the wild life in the Periyar animal sanctuary. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary also known as Thekkady is located in the hills of the Western Ghats and has a big number of mammals and birds. The sanctuary is famous for wild elephants and the other animals present here are wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur, monkeys, etc. The Periyar forest has plenty of trees of banyan, orchid, teakwood, rosewood, tamarind, etc. The park is surrounded by various plantations of coffee, tea and spices. A boat cruise in Periyar Lake is very scenic and you have the possibility of watching the different animals on the shores. Overnight in Periyar.

Today you will be transferred by road from Periyar to Munnar. Rest of the time is at leisure in Munnar. Munnar which means three rivers derives its name from the Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers; situated on the Kannan Devan Hills is a beautiful hill station, and was the summer resort of the British. Munnar is a popular honeymoon destination in Kerala and viewing the vast tea plantations in this area is a pleasure for the eyes. Anamudi, the highest peak in South India is here. Munnar is surrounded by different wild life sanctuaries which shelter the grizzled giant squirrel, elephant, gaur, Nilgiri langur, Sambar, etc. The neelakurinji is a blue flower which blooms once in 12 years is found in this region. Overnight in Munnar.

You have an entire day free in Munnar. Or, optionally you could visit the nearby areas of Munnar. Atukkad Waterfalls which is a very beautiful waterfall set amidst hills and jungles. Chithirapuram is known for its tea plantations. Floriculture Centre is a garden with different species of flower and herbal plants. Take a short elephant ride at the Elephant Arrival Spot. Top Station gives you spectacular views of the Western Ghats. At the Tata Tea Museum, you will be taken around to know how the tea is processed. Around Munnar, you could visit the numerous water falls and animal sanctuaries. Overnight in Munnar.

Today you will be transferred from Munnar to Kochi by road. Kochi earlier known as Cochin is referred as the Queen of Arabian Sea. Kochi has remained the popular centre in across the world for the trade of spices for number of centuries. The name of the city comes from Malayalam term “Kochazhi” that actually means small lagoon. Kochi was put on the world map by Vasco-de-Gama. The Arabs, Portuguese, British, Dutch, all have left their impression on the history of Kochi. After Mumbai, Kochi is probably the second most important city on the west coast of India. In the evening, you could enjoy a Kathakali dance show. Overnight in Kochi.

During the morning city tour of Kochi, you will be taken to some of the renowned spots of Kochi that will include the Portuguese churches, mosques and temples along with the Jewish synagogue. You will be taken to watch the Chinese style fishing nets which are mostly seen in Kerala. It holds around 10m of height and consists of cantilever along with an outstretched net that is suspended in the sea and one huge stone suspended on other end with ropes for the counterweights. Every installation of this fishing-net gets operated by group of six fishermen. You have a free time in the afternoon. You could visit the other popular destinations of Kochi like Kochi Fort, Hill Palace, Marine Drive, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi International Marina, Cherai Beach, etc. Overnight in Kochi.

You have a free day in Kochi. Check-out from the hotel is 1200 hrs. Later you will be transferred to the airport for your return/onwards flight.

END OF YOUR KERALA TRAVEL PACKAGE TOUR.