South India Scenic Adventure
THE TOUR AT A GLANCE
This tour traverses two states in South India—Kerala and Tamil Nadu—known for beautiful landscapes and cultural activities. Start with a cooking demonstration in Cochi before driving through lush green plantations to get to the hill station of Munnar and (further) the city of Madurai where you'll see one of South India's most important temples. Next is a hike in Periyar National Park and a cruise through Kerala's backwater canals, followed by free time in one of India's most beloved beach towns.
The people who want to spend their quality time in tranquillity and serenity of the backwaters, who want to relish the aroma of tea plantation, and spices, who witness a glance of Wildlife, and who want to explore the bygone methods of fishing and living all you found out at one place i.e. Kerala is famous for its natural and mesmerizing beauty of waterfalls, mountain slopes of tea, coffee and spices, backwater and wildlife. At the same time, Kanyakumari is the hub of pearl fishery.
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR
- Start and end the trip along the Arabian Sea with golden sunsets
- Visit Cochin on the Malabar Coast, settled by the Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British.
- Enjoy the virtual delights of the Kathakali Dance Show.
- Enjoy blanketed Munnar by tea and the scent of tea and cardamom in the atmosphere.
- Enjoy the flamboyant glimpse of waterfalls, landscapes and hill slopes.
- Explore the old plantation techniques at Tata Tea Museum.
- Experience the Wildlife excursion at the Periyar National Park through a boat cruise.
- Visit Periyar National Park, home of wild animals and enjoy a spice plantation tour.
- Admire the extensive natural flora and fauna along with the charming migratory birds.
- In addition, the coconut palms, Chinese nets, and paddy fields also increase the overall prettiness of the place.
- Enjoy Lunch and dinner on Houseboat Cruise.
- Adore the beauty and serenity of backwater and the wonderful experience of a houseboat.
- Enjoy the trip to the beach city of Kerala i.e. Kovalam
- Pick between beach time, yoga sessions, and Ayurvedic treatments in Kovalam (optional)
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Upon arrival in Cochin, you will be met by our representatives who will transfer you to your hotel for check-in.
In the morning take a Heritage walk of Old Cochin Area, take a walk through the old town of Fort Cochin visiting the old spice market & the Jew Township. Later stop at the beach, lined with picturesque Chinese fishing nets.
Then you will visit Dutch Palace and the old Portuguese and Dutch houses. St. Francis Church built in 1502 by the Portuguese is one of the oldest European churches in India. Also visit the Jewish Synagogue, built-in 1568. Whizzing through the streets, your tuk-tuk will stop at the Dhobi Khana, a laundry station that has historical significance from the Dutch occupation of the 17th century, as well as Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese as a gift for the king of Kochi. You'll also pass by a Jewish synagogue and a pungent spice market where you can pick up souvenirs.
In the evening, presentation of Kathakali, costumed drama, song and danced, whose themes are drawn from the great Indian epics.
Optional: cooking demonstration.
In time you will transfer to a local Keralan home for a family-style cooking demonstration. The evening begins with a traditional sari draping where you will see how a long strip of cloth can form various styles. You'll also get a beginner's lesson on how to cook Indian food and use Indian spices—all while getting acquainted with family members of a traditional Indian home.
Today, travel by road to Munnar is one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in Indi. It is marked with some remarkable views of Mountains, valleys and waterfalls that you get to see on the way.
Munnar famous for its emerald-green tea plantations, Munnar is located in the Western Ghats, approximately 5,249 feet (1,600 m) above sea level with magnificent landscapes. It's easy to see that this was once the summer resort of the British administration in South India. Thankfully, present-day Munnar still offers colonial charm.
Upon arrival check-in at Hotel
Enjoy some free time to explore this hill station at your own pace. Perhaps you'd like to wander the colorful streets and poke around a few bazaars for potential souvenirs.
Optional visit: Srishti welfare Centre- Aranya Natural
This center has worked on rehabilitating mentally and physically challenged children of plantation workers in Munnar. A place like Srishti Welfare Centre will let you buy some souvenirs for your friends and family. There are eco-friendly products including handmade paper and clothing items. You can also go to the the Mattupetty Dam Market to buy some artistic works.
After an early breakfast, you'll hit the trail with a half-day hike (soft trek) in the beautiful hills surrounding Munnar. The path commences with a gradual ascent through tea, cardamom, and coffee plantations, and then enters biodiverse rainforests and grasslands to reach the Sevenmalai Hills. From the top, you'll have spectacular views of tea estates, Changulam Lake, Chittrapuram Dam, Munnar town, and other local villages. Return on foot when you're ready to complete the excursion.
In the afternoon take walk through the Tea plantation and interact with Tea Pluckers to learn the local culture of the people. Then visit the Tata Tea Museum located at the Nallathanni Estate. The tea industry, as evidenced by the surrounding plantations, has played an integral part in the area's history. The museum reveals a detailed insight into how tea is processed from fresh green leaves to the final product, ready to be packaged.
Later in the evening, join your guide for a walk through the colorful markets in Munnar.
In the morning you'll drive across the plains to reach the neighboring state, Tamil Nadu, and one of India's oldest cities: Upon arrival, check into the hotel and
Madurai is known as Athens of the East, Madurai is a place of great historical and cultural importance. It is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and Madurai lies on the banks of the River Vaigai. Madurai is one of the liveliest cities in South India and is famous for the awe-inspiring Sri Meenakshi Temple complex, Madurai.
Enjoy your free time. Madurai's rich history spawned the nickname 'Athens of South India' (or 'Athens of the East). The city is known for its many temples, and you'll likely first spot the Meenakshi Amman Temple on the southern bank of the holy Vaigai River (it's hard to miss). The architectural masterpiece is one of the more prominent pilgrimage shrines in India. It offers more than a dozen towers intricately carved and decorated with colorful stone figures, which you'll get to see during tomorrow's tour.
As for today, Madurai is a perfect place to experience Hindu culture with lively streets, bazaars, and regional restaurants, so you can easily explore the streets on foot.
In the morning visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace with its beautiful stuccoes. Then, ride the rickshaw to explore and unravel the city’s other traits such as banana and vegetable markets, bamboo bazaar, dhobi ghat, as well as the seat of textile and brass industries to watch locals make metal pots on furnace and spinning yarns and stopping at the temple of Meenakshi, the fish-eyed goddess.
The afternoon tour of the weaver’s colony to learn how the famous Madurai cotton is woven, creating some of India’s most beautiful saris and the temple of Tripurakundram, is one of the six main pilgrimage sites for devotion of the son of Shiva – Lord Murugan.
In the evening, witness the ‘Aarti Ceremony’ at the famous Meenakshi Temple during which an icon of Shiva is delivered by worshippers to the shrine of his wife to rest for the night.
Today, travel by surface to Periyar, Enjoy the scenery, as this spectacular drive climbs through the Western Ghats and commands fantastic views across Tamil Nadu and Kerala. You'll even have a chance to make a few brief stops at local markets and grape plantations along the way. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.
In the afternoon visit to the Spice Plantation will refresh your senses and make you feel a part of nature. This walkthrough of the spice plantation along with the information on various spices and their medicinal value is an experience on its own.
Today begins with an early sunrise jungle walk in Periyar National Park, where you can admire butterflies and birdlife like kingfishers, storks, and hornbills. Many of the park's scenic trails pass through evergreen and deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. You'll be able to feel, hear, and smell an abundance of nature all around you
In the afternoon take a Boat ride on Lake Periyar- Boating on the Periyar Lake enables visitors to have a close look at the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding forests. Groups of elephant, wild boar, bison and sambar can be seen moving along the banks skirting the forest and water birds, perched on tree stumps with their wings spread, present a delightful sight while boating.
Today you'll make the drive west to Alleppey—a principal center for backwater cruises in Kerala, nestled among small fishing and farming villages, as well as rubber and spice plantations. You might also see the presence of a natural textile using coir, extracted from the husk of a coconut, used in floor mats, doormats, brushes, and mattresses
Upon arrival, check into Houseboat - a cruise will be waiting to take you through some of the peaceful canals—a memorable Indian experience and one of the highlights of the trip. Learn how these waterways are the lifeblood of the area's local commerce as you spot vessels transporting everything from fresh fish and produce to daily newspapers.
Tonight, you'll sleep and eat on a flat-bottomed houseboat that comes furnished with a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and running water. A crew will prepare meals. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the sunset!
Enjoy a leisurely morning on your comfortable houseboat! After breakfast, and check out from Houseboat
Next is a pretty drive along the nearby Malabar Coast where you can get a taste of the sea (with more in the coming days).
Later in the afternoon, you'll drive to a homestay in West Chennamkary, located in the picturesque Kuttanad district in the middle of backwaters. This evening provides the chance to experience a local village with a guided tour and optional activities, such as canoeing, biking, and cooking.
After breakfast in West Chennamkary, you'll drive south to Kovalam. This small resort town is popular for westerners thanks to its full-service hotels, golden beaches, and lush coconut palms. Notice how the massive rocky promontory along Kovolam's shore has created a beautiful bay of calm water ideal for swimming and watersports.
Upon arrival check-in at Hotel
Day at leisure on the beach.
Optional: Ayurveda Treatment. you'll have the afternoon to relax and enjoy the grounds. The resort offers plenty of activities, including Ayurvedic treatments, yoga sessions, and meditation classes, as well as unique cultural programs, catamaran cruising, and more.
After a leisurely breakfast, the day is wide open to enjoy Kovalam's beaches, water sports, and resort activities at your own pace.
You can also enjoy some souvenir shopping in town or check out some local restaurants serving fresh seafood or quality vegetarian fare.
Optional: Full Sightseeing: If you'd prefer to get out and see some culture, you can join a guided tour that travels by taxi from Kovalam to the extreme southern tip of India for the Padmanabhapuram Palace—a marvelous building with fantastic woodcarvings. Also, you'll stop at the town of Suchindram to see the famous Thanumalayan Temple, an important pilgrimage site with a 22-foot (7 m) statue carved of a single granite block.
Day at leisure on the beach for independent activities
Breakfast at hotel & depart to Trivandrum
Upon arrival met and transfer you to the airport to board an international flight back home.
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for a total of 13 nights on sharing twin / double room on bed & breakfast basis.
- All Meals at Homestay & on Houseboat
- Transfers, sightseeing/excursions as per the program by air-conditioned Vehicle
- English-speaking local guide as per program.
- All entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the program.
- Evening Watch Kathakali Dance Performance in Cochin
- Tuk-Tuk ride in Cochin
- Half-day Soft trek to Sevenmalai Hills.in Munnar
- Visit the Tea Plantation, Tea factory & the Museum in Munnar
- Visit Spice Plantation in Periyar
- Enjoy the boat ride on Periyar Lake
- Early morning start Nature Walks to breathe in the rich aroma of the amazing flora around you in Periyar
- Take a ride on the rickshaw to explore the local bazaar in Madurai.
- Evening, witness the ‘Aarti Ceremony’ at the famous Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
- Visit local villages in Alleppey
- Company representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
- All presently applicable taxes including the GST charges levied recently by the Government.
- Two bottles of mineral water each day during sightseeing.
TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- International / Domestic Airfare
- Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges/ Visa fees
- Meals not mentioned
- All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance, gratuities, excess baggage fees
- Early check-in/late check-out (except as noted)
- Camera/video fees at monuments
- Communication costs
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like a natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or misconnection of flights or a last-minute change of timings, etc.
Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".
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