11
Days Kerala Backwater Package (I-53)

Cochin - Munnar - Kodaikanal - Periyar - Alappuzha(Alleppey) - Mararikulam - Cochin

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Day 01:- Arrive in Kochi.

On your arrival Kochi, you will be transferred to your hotel. 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. Here, you could enjoy a Kathakali dance show. Overnight is 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. Your afternoon is at leisure. You could optionally visit the other popular destinations of Kochi like Kochi Fort, Hill Palace, Marine Drive, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi International Marina, Cherai Beach, etc. Overnight is in Kochi.

This morning you will be transferred by road from Kochi to the beautiful hill station of Munnar. Munnar which means three rivers and 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.

You have the afternoon at leisure in Munnar to explore the nearby areas of Munnar. Atukkad Waterfalls which is a very beautiful waterfall is set in the amidst of 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 waterfalls and animal sanctuaries. Overnight is in Munnar.

This morning you will drive from Munnar to Kodaikanal. Rest of the day is at leisure. Kodaikanal which means "The Gift of the Forest" is known as "Princess of Hill stations" and is in the Palani Hills of Western Ghats at a height of 2,133 meters. Kodaikanal Lake is a 5 kms circumference manmade lake where you could hire boats, horses and bicycles. Kodaikanal is famous for its meadows, grasslands, cascading streams, waterfalls and gardens. Kodaikanal has many religious places like Church of South India, St. Peters Church, La Salette, Lutheran Mission, Union Church, Durgai Amman Kovil, Kurinji Andavar Kovil, Mariamman Kovil, Ellis Villa, Munjikal, etc. Overnight is in Kodaikanal.

You have a full day at leisure for exploring this beautiful hill station Kodaikanal. Bryant Park is a beautiful botanical garden with a large species of trees, shrubs, cactuses and hundreds of varieties of roses. Shembaganur Museum of Natural History (closed on Tuesdays) offers a taxidermy collection of about 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a good collection of live exotic orchid species. Green Valley View offers you a beautiful view of the plains. Dolphin's Nose is a flat rock projecting over a 2000 meter chasm. Silver Cascade is a waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake. Bear Shola Falls is a waterfall where you need to climb a bit. Pillar Rocks are three giant rock pillars which stand 122 meters high. Overnight is in Kodaikanal.

Today morning you will drive to Periyar animal sanctuary which is also known as Thekkady. Your evening is free for game viewing. Periyar is famous as an Elephant and Tiger Reserve and shelters various animals like Bengal Tiger, Indian elephant, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur, monkeys, etc. It has an abundance of birds and plants. A boat ride in the Periyar Lake gives you the possibility of watching the different animals The Park is surrounded by various plantation regions for coffee, tea, etc. and a visit to these plantations is a worth. If time permits, you could make a soft trek to the nearby areas. You have free time for selecting any of the above activities. Overnight is in Periyar.

You have a free day in Periyar to watch animals, or go for a soft trek or take a boatride on Lake Periyar or visit the local bazaars. Periyar National Park spreads across more than 700 km and is famous for its dense deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. This park is home to a large number of animals and birds. A boat ride to watch the herds of elephants and other animals in the lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River is worth every moment. The nearby places of interest are Murikkady with spices and coffee plantations, Chellar Kovil with its picturesque waterfalls, etc. Overnight is in Periyar.

Today morning you will drive from Periyar to Alappuzha. Rest of the day is at leisure for visiting this beautiful area. Alappuzha earlier known as Alleppey is a picturesque town and is known as Venice of the East. The city 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. Overnight is in Alleppey.

You have a full day at leisure in Alappuzha. Alleppey on the Arabian Sea with numerous canals meandering through the town is a very important destination for tourists visiting Kerala. The Kerala backwaters are a network of large lakes linked by canals and fed by rivers. The backwaters are formed because of the waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands. Here you will board a houseboat and the charm of staying a night in the houseboats known as kettuvallam in the backwaters is great. These boats were used to ferry the grain. Thatched roof covers provide protection from the sun and rain. The boats are like floating cottages with a sleeping area, toilets, dining area and a sit out on the deck. The food is cooked on board by staff. Overnight is on board of the houseboat.

This morning you will drive from Alappuzha to Mararikulam. Your evening is free for relaxing at the beach. Mararikulam a beach village is known for its very beautiful beach known as Marari Beach or Mararikulam beach. It is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in India and was rated as one of the worlds top five hammock beach by National Geographic survey. Mararikulam the sleepy little village is about 11 kms from Alappuzha and is an idyllic location for a vacation. Overnight is in Mararikulam.

Your full day is free to relax at the beach. Optionally you could visit nearby places. Cherthala is about 12 kms from the Mararikulam village and has many religious places. The famous temples which draw a large number of devotees are Karthyayani Devi temple, Muttathu Thirumala Devaswam temple. The Karthyayani Devi temple complex also has temples of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ayyappa and Kshethrapalakan. One could see many roosters around the temple premises which are offerings of the devotees. In the Muttathu Thirumala Devaswam temple, the deities are Saligrama and Sree Venkatachalapathy Moorthy with Bhoo Devi and Sree Devi. Goddess Mutharamma and Annapoorneswary are the deities in the Sree Mutharamman Kovil temple. The annual festival around March at the Kandamangalam Sree Rajarajeshwari temple attracts a large number of people. Overnight is in Mararikulam.

You have one more day free to relax at the beach. Optionally you could visit the nearby places of Mararikulam. Saint Augustine Church is one of the oldest Latin Catholic churches and is located near Aroor. Also located here are the Karthyayani Temple and the Vattakkeril Temple. The St. Andrues Basilica is located at Arthunkal. There is a Devi Temple and Christian church at Thycattusserry. Kandamangalam Rajarajeshwari Temple is located at Kadakkarappally. The Kandakarana temple and Vyathara Trimurthi temple dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma temple is located in Andhakaranazhy. Overnight is in Mararikulam.

This morning you will drive to Kochi airport for your connecting flight.
END OF OUR KERALA LEISURE TOUR.