Cochin > Munnar > Thekkady
25 May 2021 - 30 May 2021 ** Indicates tentative date.
2 people in 1 Room (s)
IVAT representative will receive you on arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Cochin is a diverse and colorful port/city, spreading over 4-5 islands and peninsulas. The main town of Ernakulam is on the mainland. All the islands are connected by a ferryboat network and therein lay the charm of an exploratory two days here. Around the headland of Fort Cochin, a phalanx of cantilevered Chinese fishing boats dips into the sea at high tide. In its back streets, there is an aroma of ginger, cardamom and other spices, piled high in every nook and cranny.
Enjoy half day guided city tour.
Chinese fishing nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.
Jewish Synagogue: The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer than 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.
Two-storey Mattancherry or Dutch Palace, 20th century Santa Cruz Cathedral in an Indo-Romano-Rococo style, the first European church in India, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, David Hall, a surviving legacy of the Dutch colonial rule, now renovated and converted into an art gallery etc. are also nice for sightseeing.
In the evening proceed for a CULTURAL EVENING Kerala's best known dance drama Kathakali, its martial art form Kalaripayattu, semi classical dance form Mohiniattam, Theyyam - a ritual dance performed as a surrealistic representation of the Gods& classical Indian music. You can also go into the green room to see how dancers dress up, do make up and get ready as per the different dance forms.
Overnight will be at Cochin.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Proceed to Munnar. Reach and check into the hotel. Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathani & Kundala. 1600 meter above sea level this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling Tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neel Kurinji. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India - Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m. Spend the day in leisure and enjoy the serenity of the place. Overnight will be at Munnar.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Enjoy the guided city tour.
Munnar is a destination of tea and cardamom plantations. There is nothing more invigorating than the spectacular beauty of acres and acres of tea gardens rolling over mountains and hills. The half an hour drive to Chinnakanal from Munnar town, takes you through the heart of these sprawling Tea Estates, giving them the true experience of a tea plantation hill station.
Lockhart Tea Factory: One of the older running Tea factories where you will be given a Guided Tour of the art of Tea processing by the traditional method. Set in a scenic background, this building lends an old world charm with its wooden interiors and aroma of tea. You can also buy fresh jams, pickles and Tea from their sales outlet.
Anayirangal Dam & the Hanging Bridge: Anayirangal is an old watering hole for elephants. The area around the Anayirangal Dam has been developed and the boating started here is a new venture of the department of Hydel Tourism. This Dam has a number of islands and boating here is a unique experience. Not only do you frequently see elephants at the waters edge, but very often your boat will have to give way to a herd of elephants swimming across from one island to another.
Kolukkumalai Hills: The Kolukkumalai Hills are home to the highest Tea Plantations in the world. The tea grown here has a special flavor and freshness due to the high altitude. A Jeep Safari to the Tea Factory would guarantee spectacular views of mist shrouded mountains and the far off plains of Tamil Nadu. Strolls through the pathways on the plantations and for the more adventurous, trek down a bit along the steep and narrow bridle path leading to the plains this was the only option in the olden days to take down tea chests to the plains and bring up provisions.
Overnight will be at Munnar.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Drive to Thekkady. Reach and check into the hotel. Four hour drive southwards over rolling hills and coffee plantations to the PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, one of the major wildlife reserves in India. Indian elephants, wild boars, lion-tailed monkeys, ibex, tigers, leopards and sloth bears are on the list. The park surrounds a large, many-fingered lake and a dawn or dusk foray on one of the boats will be a thrilling experience. It is from the lake rather than vehicles that the wildlife is viewed. The sanctuary is rich in bird life. Great hornbills, kites, darters, herons, egrets, owls and kingfishers are in abundance. Surrounding the reserve are many small spice plantations and we spend an absorbing afternoon searching for pepper, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and betel. Overnight will be at Thekkady.
Proceed for jungle walk / trek experience at Periyar National Park. You will visit the rare species of plants and animals. The experience will be customized as per your preference depending on how many hours you want to spend in the park. Come back and enjoy breakfast at the resort. In the afternoon visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. If interested, visit Kumily market to buy the best spices available. Overnight will be at Thekkady.
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