Kerla Tour Package
Kerala Exotic Luxury Tour Duration : 7 nights / 8 days
Destinations Covered : Cochin - Alleppey - Vandenmedu - Munnar - Periyar - Kumarakom - Kovalam - Cochin
The Kerala backwater tours are extremely popular and exotic. Kerala backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the coast known famously as the Malabar coast. They are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets - a labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 km of waterways ! The network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both man made and natural, fed by 38 rivers.
Kochi or Cochin in kerala is popularly known as the "Queen of Arabian Sea". It is known to have the finest natural harbor in the world . It is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. Ferry rides in Kochi command a breathtaking view due to its lush green lawns sloping down to the water's edge. Houseboats are a unique way to experience the beauty of Cochin. The houseboats glide on the backwaters of Kochi, with panoramic views passing by.
In addition you will visit Cochin attractions such as :
Marine Drive : a picturesque promenade in Kochi. Pedestrians stroll along the promenade which has been built facing the backwaters and is a popular hangout with several shopping malls. The view of the sun setting and rising over the sea and the gentle breeze from the lake has made Marine Drive an important tourist destination .
Fort Kochi : situated on the Mattancherry peninsula, is the historical part of the city and home to many tourist attractions such as the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, the Mattancherry Palace and the Santa Cruz Basilica.
Mattancherry Palace, also known as the 'Dutch Palace', features Keralite murals depicting temple art, portraits and exhibits of the Kochi Kings. The palace, with its medieval charm, was built by the Portuguese in 1555 AD.
Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Built in 1865, the Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across in 54 acres. The complex has an archaeological Museum, a Heritage Museum, a Deer Park, a Pre-historic Park and a Children's park.
Paradesi Synagogue : the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. It was built in 1568 by the Cochin Jewish community. Also called the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue it is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use. The complex has four buildings. It was built adjacent to the the Mattancherry Palace with which it shares a common wall.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica : a church built originally by the Portugese in the 16th century. This magnificent church is a must see with stunningly carved wooden panels and pulpit.
Bolgatty Palace : Built by the Dutch, it is located in the scenic island popularly known as Bolgatty island in Kochi. One of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland, this quaint mansion, built in 1744, by Dutch traders, was later extended and lush green gardens were landscaped around it. Now it has been converted into a heritage hotel resort.
Kochi International Marina : Kochi is an excellent stop for yachts, and the marina is placed ideally within the city, attached to the shoreline of the historic Bolgatty Palace Hotel in Bolgatty island. This is the only marina between South East Asia and Egypt, and hence greatly valued by long range cruisers for access to water, power and maintenance.
Willington Island : A manmade island having a seaport, railway terminus, airport, and a customs house. The regular ferry services on the lake around the island offers inexpensive backwater cruise. Some of the city's best customs and trading centers and hotels are located here.
Museum of Kerala History : Important scenes of Kerala history are portrayed through sculptures. Greeting the visitor outside the museum is a statue of Parasurama, the sage who is said to have created Kerala.
St. Francis Church : built in 1503, it is the oldest European church in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent.
Pallipuram Fort : built by the Portuguese in 1503, it is the oldest existing European fort in India.
The Alleppey district is a sandy strip of land intercepted by lagoons, rivers and canals. There are no mountains or hills in the district except some scattered hillocks blocks in the eastern portion of the district. Alleppey is known as the "Venice of the East" as it was here that traders from across the seven seas came in search of black gold and souvenirs.
Alleppey is gifted with immense natural beauty with the Arabian Sea on its west. Alleppey's allure is the backwaters. Begin with a cruise, then stroll back into the town past the canals covered with mauve hyacinths.
Alleppey is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes especially during the harvest season.
Alleppey is also home to Kuttanad, also called the 'rice bowl of kerala'- one of the very few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. For this purpose extensive land has been reclaimed from the backwaters and is protected by dikes built around it.
A leisurely cruise along the canals here is a memorable experience. Kuttanad is a land of lush paddy fields that stretch for 75 km sandwiched between the sea and the hills. Kuttanad is the most beautiful backwaters region of Kerala. It is here that most of the snake boat races are conducted and a majority of the rice boat and houseboat cruises are scheduled.
These serene waterways are fringed by palm grove and paddy fields and offer a striking spectacle of the rustic life. In Alleppey the life revolves around water. Children learn to swim before they walk. They learn to row boats before they bicycle.
Alappuzha or Aleppey was once the busiest coast south of Mumbai, and its canals and backwaters helped in the passage of cargo - be it tea, rubber or other produces from the hills - to the sea.
The lighthouse and the pier helped the boats ferry accross, facilitating trade in their own way. Today, the 1000 ft long pier at Allepey beach , built in 1862 by Captain Hugh Crawford is a mere skeleton of its past.
Alleppey's beauty is not merely in its backwaters, but in the man-made islands that you will find amidst the waters. These islands are hedged by mud walls, a haven for migratory birds, with paddy fields inundated with water throughout the year.
Vandanmedu is famous as world's largest producer of Cardamom. Most of its landscape is covered with sprawling cardamom plantations and the town of Vandanmedu also figures amongst world's largest cardamom auction centers. A walk through these plantations stretching miles is both a refreshing and serene experience. Vandanmedu is located at an altitude of 4000 ft. above sea level. The scenic natural beauty, the charming serenity and calm, peaceful settings makes it worth exploring more than once. Its scenic beauty and unpolluted environs make Vandanmedu an ideal holiday spot all through the year. Relax and inhale an exotic breather here before your next mesmeric exploration of Kerala luxury touring.
Munnar is known as the Kashmir of South India ! A mesmeric dreamland that has some magnificent hills and fascinating scenery. It is a narrow stretch of land flanked on one side by the Arabian Sea and on the other side by the Western Ghats mountain range.
Munnar is full of undulating hills surrounded by Cardamom and tea plantations. One can revel in close proximity of Nature here. It is also an ideal destination for trekking and mountain biking.
Backwaters are the main attraction here. One can see large deposits of shells in the lakes here, that are usually found in the sea. Munnar attracts tourists from all over the world because of its exquisite natural beauty. Palm-fringed backwaters, scenic beaches, misty mountains, evergreen rain forests, gushing streams and waterfalls.
Driving up to Munnar can be adventurous. As you go up slowly through the narrow winding roads, you will see all the shades of green that God created. From the lush carpets of the tea bushes to the silver green of the oak it is all there on the mountains of Munnar.
Pothamedu is a scenic spot offering majestic views of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The undulating hills, the lush mountain and the incredible scenery here is ideal for trekking and extensive mountain walks.
Devikulam is an idyllic hill station and the most sought-after among the tourist attractions of Munnar featuring sprawling lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cold mountain air. You will also find Sita Devi Lake with its mineral rich water and charming ambiance and is an ideal picnic spot. This place is ideal for trout fishing.
Mattupetty is located at a height of 1700 meters and famous for its highly specialized dairy farm. You can visit the cattlefarms on your tour to Munnar. Besides, the Mattupetty Lake and dam is a short distance from the farm and is a beautiful picnic spot. You can also get boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam.
The Periyar National Park is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed with rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and is also the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba
Here you can take a walking tour in the park - to spot birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The park is home to several types of deer, otters, bison, monkeys and even wild bears. The most important inhabitant of Periyar is the wild elephant. You can spot the gentle giants grazing in the tall grass along the lake or even splashing around in the water.
Kumarakom is a popular tourism destination located near the city of Kottayam famous for its backwater tourism. It is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala state. It has many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Pearl spot, shrimp and prawns.
Several luxury and budget resorts lined up on the shores of the lake provide tourists with facilities for boating, yachting and fishing, with panoramic views of the lake. Kumarakom has a wide variety of houseboats and is well known throughout the world for houseboat experience as well.
The other major attraction is the Bird Sanctuary which can be visited by canoes arranged by local fishermen at the entrance to the sanctuary. The two-hour rowing canoe trip is cheap and is best undertaken in the evening or early morning to avoid the afternoon sun. Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The Bird Sanctuary has many species of migratory birds visiting. The bird sanctuary extends over 14 acres.
Taj Garden Retreat : the first modern tourist resort in Kumarakom was established in a Victorian two storied bungalow built by Alfred George Baker in 1881 on huge pieces of Teak wood rafters packed in mud as a base. This house on the lake was the house of four generations of the Baker family for over a hundred years. The bird Sanctuary and the bungalow places of interest for tourists from all over the world.
Kovalam is a beach town on the coast of the Arabian Sea. It has three crescent shaped beaches separated by rocky outcroppings. Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of meters are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer all kinds of goods and services.
The largest is the Light House Beach that has a 35 meter high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. The second largest is Hawah Beach named for the topless European women who used to throng there (now going topless is banned ). Ashoka beach is also part of Kovalam beach.
There are a large number of beach resorts in and around Kovalam. The sea port of Vizhinjam is about 3 km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, big churches and a mosque. Kovalam is popular among tourists from Europe and Israel.
Dozens of Ayurvedic spas, recuperation and regeneration resorts are providing a wide variety of Ayurvedic treatments and heavenly massages. An ideal way to chill at the end of your exotic luxury kerala tour.