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The Hidden Treasures with Kerala Backwaters

Introduction

Experiencing the emerald rainforest covering Western Ghat mountains with the emerald waterways, is to really explore the "God's Own Country" Kerala for all its wonderful diversity of mountains, jungles, canals and beaches, along with the welcoming and hospitable Malayalees. The stunning waterfalls of Athirapally in the midst of the jungles of the surrounding hills where elephants and deers are known to wander, is a great natural experience with amazing sights that leave you mesmerized.

Sailing through the emerald waterways of the world famous Kerala Backwaters which has been called the "Green Venice of the East" with coconut palm tree lined rivers and canals is possibly the most relaxing way to voyage and explore this beautiful combination of lakes, lagoons, rivers and canals. In some places you sail through wide lakes and lagoons and in some places, sail through the narrow canals through which the boats barely fit in and the houses on the banks are an arm’s reach away. Some places the canals are held together by dykes that are twenty feet above the surrounding paddy fields and somewhere, the lagoons are next to the sea separated by narrow beaches. Visiting the temples, villages, churches, art schools, martial art school to see where Karate was first born, bird sanctuaries, artisan villages where brass and metal works are carried out, is to do a deep dive into the life of these very talented people.

Ending the Southern Sojourn with the harbour city of Kochi with the Arabian Sea to the West and the Backwaters to the East has its own great highlight of exploring the streets of Mattancherry and all the lovely quaint handicraft shops, the Fort Kochi area with the freshly caught and fried prawns, the beautiful Dutch palace and the Jewish synagogue, marketplaces and the ancient church where Vasco Da Gama was first laid to rest. If you live in nearby Southern states this could be a self-drive holiday too with friends and family or, it could be a driven holiday if you are flying into Kochi airport.

Destinations Covered

Athirapally

Athirapally is the land of rivers and forests and stunning waterfalls! The destination houses the largest waterfall in Kerala, known as the Niagara Falls of India. This patch in Sholayar ranges so beautifully intertwined with lush green forest cover and sizzling silver cascades and located central to Cochin and River Nila(Bharathapuzha), is a treat for the eyes during the monsoon. Swollen Chalakkudy river, Charpa, Vazhachal and Athirapally are ideal places to visit.

Backwaters of Kerala

Kerala is renowned for its emerald backwaters that sing of tranquility and rejuvination like Backwaters in Kerala is a network of 1500 km of canals both man-made and natural, 38 rivers and 5 big lakes extending from one end of Kerala to the other. While hill resorts and beaches can be found in other parts of India, the backwaters are unique to Kerala. Meandering through the coastal areas of Kerala is a 900 kilometers (560 miles) long intricate network of lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and deltas of several rivers that flow into the Arabian Sea.

Kochi Chinese Fishing Net

Kochi

Queen of the Arabian Sea

Kochi (formerly Cochin) is a cosmopolitan city in the state of Kerala with a bustling commercial port. Kochi is the financial capital of Kerala and, with a population of more than 2 million, the biggest urban agglomeration in the state. It is one of the major tourist destinations in India.

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Kochi & drive to Athirapally (Approx. 76 Kms / 2 hours’ drive)

    Athirapally

    Arrive at Kochi airport and drive to Athirapally.

    Arrive Athirapally and check into the hotel.

    Evening at leisure.

    Overnight at the hotel (No meals)

  2. Day 2 Athirapally - Backwaters (Approx. 121 Kms / 3 hours’ drive)

    Backwaters of Kerala

    After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and proceed to Athirapally waterfalls, which is one of the beautiful waterfall in India. You can reach top of the waterfall by 5 minutes walk from the main road. You can also reach the bottom of the falls by about 15 minutes trek down from the top of the falls where the greatest beauty of waterfalls can be experienced.

    Thereafter, we will continue our drive along the Keralan coast to the docks at Thothapally in the Alleppey district to board our River Vessel.

    An environmentally-friendly vessel unique to Kerala’s placid waterways. Prior to their conversion to passenger boats with all the modern comforts, these traditional craft known as kettuvallom once plied these waters as rice barges. Coir (coconut fiber rope) and resin from cashew kernels, not nails, hold the kettuvallom together - a shipmaking practice passed down through the centuries.

    The uniqueness of Kerala has always been its Backwaters, and no place in the world is blessed with this mesmerizing beauty. It is for this reason; this heaven is called “GOD’ S OWN COUNTRY!!”

    Lunch and Dinner on-board.

    Overnight on-board River Cruise (B, L, D)

  3. Day 3 Backwaters

    Backwaters of Kerala

    Today, we see Indian life up close as we slowly cruise along the palm-fringed backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, a distinctive region whose beauty and tranquility have earned it the sobriquet “God’s own country.” A vast network of lagoons, lakes, and canals formed by the confluence of Kerala’s numerous rivers and the Arabian Sea, the Kerala backwaters run alongside the coast for more than 550 miles. These labyrinthine waterways have served as a thoroughfare for boats like ours from ancient times, and the daily existence in the communities here has changed little over the centuries.

    Along the way we go ashore to visit some of the local villages and farms, observing traditional livelihoods such as coir making, boat building, fish farming and rice growing.

    We also see churches in a land synonymous with the very beginnings of Christianity: Saint Thomas the Apostle was said to have made a missionary visit to Kerala in 52 AD; to this day Kerala has a significant Christian minority.

    On this comfortable floating home you may spend your day relaxing and unwinding. As you slowly cruise along the backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, you may choose to stop and explore some of the many small villages, farmlands, old temples and churches that you come across.

    Lunch and Dinner on-board.

    Overnight on-board River Cruise (B, L, D)

  4. Day 4 Backwaters – Kochi (Approx. 95 kms / 2 ½ hours’ drive)

    Kochi

    Today we will drive towards Kochi. Arrive and check in to the hotel.

    Kochi is the last port of Vasco Da Gama, where you will find synagogues, mosques, churches and temples side by side, is a place with a fascinating history. It is a vibrant city situated on the southwest coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Heralded as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading center on the Arabian Sea coast from the 14th century.

    After check-in, start the day with exploring the Fort Kochi.

    A charming seaside area, Fort Kochi is known for its Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial architecture, and elaborate bamboo fishing nets at Fort Kochi Beach. St. Francis Church was the original burial site of explorer Vasco da Gama. Upscale eateries and chic cafes serve Keralan specialties, and quaint shops sell cotton clothing and handmade souvenirs. Heritage buildings house contemporary art galleries.

    Visit the old commercial area of Mattancherry.

    We will visit a local slave shrine - where Kochiites come and pray irrespective of caste, creed and religion. We will also visit a spice godown and understand the role of the Spice trade in Kochi's multiculturalism.

    Later, proceed to visit the Dutch Palace (Closed on Friday), actually built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Raja of Kochi in 1555. The Dutch renovated and expanded it a century later, earning it its name. The palace also contains some of India’s finest mythological murals; the walls depict scenes from the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

    Visit the St. Francis Church, built in 1510 by friars brought to India by Vasco da Gama. The gorgeous view of the ocean from the beach is enhanced by the Chinese fishing nets, first erected between 1350 and 1450 AD makes an extremely picturesque sight.

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  5. Day 5 Kochi & Departure

    Kochi

    (Hotel Check-out time is 12:00 Noon)

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Later check-out from the hotel and drive to your onward journey.

    (B)

    Accomodation

Dates & Prices

Day City Hotel/Accomodations Meal Plan
1 Athirapally Rain Forest, Athirapally
Luxury Room
No Meals
2 Backwaters of Kerala RV Vaikundam
Deluxe Cabin
B, L, D
3 Backwaters of Kerala RV Vaikundam
Deluxe Cabin
B, L, D
4 Kochi Le Meridien, Cochin
Deluxe Room
B
5 Kochi
B

B- Breakfast, L- Lunch & D- Dinner

Prices

Valid from 1st October 2020 till 15th April 2021

Not Valid from 20th December 2020 till 5th January 2021

Particulars Prices Per Person
Per Person prices for minimum 2 paying guests staying in twin sharing INR 29639
Single Room Supplement INR 27022

 

Optional Supplement

Transport Services from Cochin to Cochin as per the itinerary (inclusive of Fuel, interstate taxes, toll taxes, parking, driver overnight charges, mineral water and all currently applicable govt. taxes)

Particulars Prices Per Person
AC Indigo/Similar (recommended upto 3 guests) INR 14875
AC Innova (recommended upto 4 guests) INR 17425
AC Tempo Traveller (recommended upto 7 guests) INR 23375

*For transport services from other cities please contact us.

 

Inclusions
  • Accommodation on Twin/Double room sharing basis as per the above mentioned Hotels OR Similar in base category rooms as per above mentioned meal plan.
  • Visit Athirapally Waterfalls.
  • 2 nights accommodation on the Kerala Backwater boat with all meals and activities
  • Guided Tour of Fort Kochi (Entrances on Direct Payment basis)
  • All currently applicable taxes.
Exclusions
  • Expense of personal nature like laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, etc.
  • Any Insurance.
  • Any tipping.
  • All entrance fees at the monuments as per the itinerary.
  • Kathakali dance performance at Kochi.
  • Transport services (supplement mentioned above)
  • Assistance at the Airports.
  • Any meals or beverages that are not specified on the above inclusions.
  • Expenses caused by factors beyond our control like rail and air plane delays, roadblocks, vehicle malfunctions, political disturbances, taxes, lost luggage, etc.
  • Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
  • Any further tax levied by the government of India.

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