Tranquil Kerala Tour – 8 days/7 nights CT09 Kerala – God’s Own Country
Kerala is a green strip of land, in the South West corner of Indian peninsula. It has only 1.1 8 per cent of the total area of the country but houses 3.43% of the country’s population. In 1956, when the states were reorganized, Kerala was formed after tying the princely states of Travancore and Cochin with Malabar, a province under Madras state.
Kerala may be divided into three geographical regions: (1) High lands, (2) Midlands and (3) Lowlands. The Highlands slope down from the Western Ghats which rise to an average height of 900 m, with a number of peaks well over 1,800 m in height. This is the area of major plantations like tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and other spices. The Midlands, lying between the mountains and the lowlands, is made up of undulating hills and valleys. This is an area of intensive cultivation. Cashew, coconut, areca nut, cassava (tapioca), banana, rice, ginger, pepper, sugarcane and vegetables of myriad varieties are grown in this area.
It is a purified world in Kerala, the land of trees. A big, spreading tree purifies as much air as a room air-conditioner. And the former is never switched off. The prolific, bustling, vegetation acts like a massive, biological, air-filtration plant working round the clock, round the year. Hence spending days in Kerala countryside is as if spending in an air- purified environ; some times better than it. So is the rejuvenating effect of the lush greenery of the state. The wanton growth of trees makes Kerala a herbarium. The four month-long, copious monsoon and recurrent flurry make this land a perfect nursery for all living beings. Loitering under the canopy of the foliage, you will feel blossoming the dreams. Thus, on a sojourn in Kerala, away from the rough and tumble of cities, you’re breathing freshly purified air all the time. Another piece de resistance of Kerala is the meandering rivers which criss-cross the state physique like blood veins. Besides, water bodies tucked away in thick forests also enhance the amazing beauty of the state. They fertilize the’ land, turn waste into the wealth of the rich, black, alluvial soil on which the agrarian state thrive.
Kerala is a land of rivers and backwaters. Forty-four rivers (41 west-flowing and 3 east-flowing} criss-cross the state physique along with countless runlets. During summer, these monsoon-fed rivers will turn into rivulets especially in the upper parts of Kerala. Backwaters are an attractive, economically valuable feature of Kerala. These include lakes and ocean in lets which stretch irregularly along the Kerala coast. The biggest among these backwaters is the Vembanad lake, with an area of 200 sq km, which opens out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin port. The Periyar, Pamba, Manimala, Achenkovil, Meenachil and Moovattupuzha rivers drain into this lake.The other important backwaters are Veli, Kadhinam kulam, Anjengo (Anju Thengu),Edava, Nadayara, Paravoor. Ashtamudi (Quilon).
Flora: Kerala has over 25% of India’s 15,000 plant species. Among them include endangered and rare species, flowering plants, fungies, lichens and mosses. The state’s forest wealth include tropical wet evergreen, semi-green and tropical most deciduous. Teak, Mahagoney, Rosewood and Sandalwood are common, the forests abound with orchids, anthirium, balsam, and medicinal plants. banyan figs, bamboo as well as 40,000 years old grasslands. Mangroves are seen in coastal areas and low, morass lands. So fertile is the state, thanks to rivers and dams that are replenished by copious rain in Western Ghats.
• Arrive at Kochi’s international airport • Transfer to your hotel. • Overnight at hotel
Arrive in Kochi’s International Airport this afternoon. Welcome to India !!!
You are met upon arrival at the airport as soon as you come out from the main hall after you clear all formalities of custom and immigration. Special welcome awaits at the airport with nice/ fresh Garlands of marigold flowers. After meet and greet at the airport transfer to the Hotel for check in. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 2: In Kochi
• Breakfast at hotel • Morning City tour of Cochin • Evening Kathakali dance performance • Overnight at hotel
Breakfast is at the hotel. Cochin is also known as ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ due to its natural harbour being one of the finest. Cochin is a city made of islands connected to Ernakulam on the mainland by bridges and ferries. The interesting city of Cochin perfectly reflect the eclecticism of Kerala.. This quaint town has seen historic visits from sea faring traders in the past from Portugal, China etc bringing to it different cultures that make up its fabric. Today visit the Jewish Synagogue (of 1568) which is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. It is an interesting little place with hand painted willow pattern floor tiles brought from Canton in China in the mid 18th century. The synagogue is located in an area called Jew Town which also is one of the centers of the spice trade in the region.
Also visit the ancient Mattancherry (Dutch) Palace built by the Portuguese in 1557. This palace was presented to the ruler of Cochin as a gesture of goodwill. The Palace’s alternative name “Dutch Palace” resulted from substantial renovations by the Dutch after 1663.. The most important feature of the palace is the astonishing murals that adorn some of the palace rooms, depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharta and Puranic legends connected with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Kumara and Durga. Another stop is made at the St. Francis Church, the oldest European built church in India. Constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese Franciscan Friars who accompanied the expedition led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral. He famed Vasco de Gama, the first European to reach India by sailing around Africa, died in Cochin in 1524 and was buried here for 14 years before his remains were transferred to Lisbon. His tombstone can be seen inside the church. Also pay a visit to the amazing Chinese fishing nets operating on principles of physics advanced for their times. Cochin’s Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. This evening learn about Kerala’s fascinating art from, Kathakali. The Kathakali performers begin to train for their art at a young age, and their study continues for a lifetime. Today you will enjoy a dance performance
Day 3: Kochi – Thekkady
• Breakfast at hotel • Drive to Thekkady • Evening Park visit by boat • Overnight at hotel
After breakfast begin your overland journey to Thekkady (approx 5 hrs.).
Located on the Tamil Nadu & Kerala border this region is known as the Spice Village of India for its vast spice and tea gardens. The road winds through mountains, descending through a carpet of tea bushes, estates of tall rubber trees and gardens of coffee, cardamom and pepper. The aroma of the spices fills the air. Upon arrival in Thekkady (Periyar) you will check in to the Resort. The Resort is located on the fringes of the Periyar Game Preserve. This unique wildlife sanctuary is about 300 square miles and centred around an artificial lake fed by the Periyar River. Evening proceed to visit the park for game viewing by motor launches. Convoluted waterways afford sightings of elephants, bison, deer and occasionally a tiger. All manner of flora and fauna flourish in this tropical habitat, making it one of the premiere reserves of Southern India. Return to the Hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 4: Thekkady / Alleppey / Houseboat
• Breakfast at hotel • Drive to Allepey to board houseboat • Lunch and dinner on the houseboat • Overnight on boat
After breakfast at hotel drive to Alleppey (Approx 4 hrs drive)
The backwaters in Kerala is a network of 1500 kms of canals both manmade and natural, 38 rivers and 5 big lakes extending from one end of Kerala to the other. Before trucks became popular, the main cargo transportation was through backwaters by ‘Kettuvalloms’. Kettuvallom means, ‘stitched boat’. Kettuvalloms or Houseboats (Riceboats) are country boats that were used in the early days for the transport of goods from the isolated interior villages to the towns. With the advent of roads, bridges and ferry services, gradually the Kettuvalloms went off the scene. Now these kettuvalloms are back again as a major tourist attraction. A ride on a Kettuvallom is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters Today things are a bit more modern, although a lot of effort has been made to keep the tradition touch there. Today’s houseboats are converted ‘kettuvalloms’. They are designed for comfortable cruise and overnight stay. The boat is constructed by Eco-friendly materials like bamboo mat, Arecanut trees and coir. A distinctive feature of the kettuvallom is the design suggesting the possible Chinese influence. The canopy’s sides can be lifted.
Dining onboard is an experience in its self. Though based on the tradition of fish and vegetables, in keeping with the demands of a cosmopolitan clientele, the cuisine served aboard our houseboats features a far more sophisticated menu than a kettuvallom. The ethnic meals are prepared on board by a personal cook and fish delicacies like white prawns, pearl spotted fish, crabs and mussels are the specialties. The meals include lunch, evening coffee or tea with snacks, dinner and breakfast. Once on the boat, you will cruise along the backwaters for a couple of hours. Pass small villages and see how the local people live. The lushness of coconut trees will astound you en-route visiting villages to see coir making, tea shops, paddy fields, temples, beaches etc till sunset. At night the boat is anchored at a beautiful and quiet part of the lake.
Day 5: Alleppey – Kumarakom
• Breakfast on boat • Disembark in Kumarakom • Transfer to hotel by small Jetty • Day at leisure to enjoy backwater around Kumarakom • Overnight at hotel
Morning after breakfast disembark in Kumarakom. Later proceed to the hotel for check in. Rest of the day is free for independent activities / enjoy backwaters around Kumarakom. Overnight at the hotel Situated on the bank of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is the most beautiful and picturesque backwater destination of Kerala, a town very famous for its rubber plantations and 15th century ancient churches. It’s an enchantingly beautiful little paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals. Kumarakom also has one of the finest bird sanctuaries of India which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks is a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
Day 6: In Kumarakom
• Breakfast at hotel • Day at leisure to enjoy backwater around Kumarakom • Overnight at hotel
Morning after breakfast rest of the day is free for independent activities. Enjoy the magic of Ayurveda (not included in tour cost). Ayurveda – A Natural Way of Feeling Better Ayurveda is a holistic approach to toning the body. A relaxing massage with herbal oils is highly rejuvenating. Ayurveda is an Indian system of medicine. Ayurveda means the science of life / health and employs naturalistic methods based on the theory of panchabhuta or five elements. Tone up the nervous system with the help of aromatic and medicinal oils used by expert masseurs. Ayurveda evolved around 600 BC in India. During the 500-600 B.C., knowledgeable philosophers such as Agasthya, Charaka, Sushrutha, Kashyapa churned from the vedas the references to all illness, diseases, drug-medicines and compiled the samhitas. It is from this samhitas that the physicians later absorbed the knowledge of Ayurveda and applied them for curing illness. Ayurveda is not only the ancient Indian science of preventative health and healing but also a philosophy of living.
This new system of medicine stressed on the prevention of body ailments in addition to curing them. Followed by the Dravidians and Aryans alike, Ayurveda has been practiced ever since. Today, it’s a unique, indispensable branch of medicine – a complete naturalistic system that depends on the diagnosis of your body’s humours – vata, pitta and kapha – to achieve the right balance. Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but the individual as a whole. Making it the natural way to refresh your self, eliminate all toxic imbalances from the body and thus regain resistance and good health. Overnight stay at the Hotel.
Day 7: Kumarakom – Kochi
• Breakfast at hotel • Depart for Kochi by surface • Harbour cruise • Overnight at hotel
Morning after breakfast at the hotel depart for Kochi (approx 1½ hrs drive). On arrival check into hotel This evening enjoy the sunset harbour cruise. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 8: Depart Kochi
Morning after breakfast transfer to the airport to board the onward flight.
END OF SERVICES
Hotels envisaged – subject to availability
|Option # 1||Option # 2||Option # 3|
|Kochi||Le Meridien||Brunton Boatyard||Casino|
|Thekkady||Club Mahindra||Spice village||Cardamom County|
|Kumarakom||Kumarakom lake Resort||Coconut Lagoon||Abad Whispering palms|
|Kochi||Le Meridien||Brunton Boatyard||Casino|
TOUR COST – On Application f or Current Price
Cost per person on twin share basis as per itinerary
Based on the above our net per person cost is as under:
The rates below are per person in GBP on twin sharing basis. Single Room Supplement is per single room taken and is in addition to the per person half twin cost.
Includes Acceptance Payment/Deposit of £200
Domestic airfares (if any), included in above cost, are subject to change without notice
Terms & Conditions
• All prices are in GBP • All prices are subject to revision due to an extreme fluctuations in exchange rates or international fuel prices.
Your Tour will include (see also Included below): • Total of Seven (07) hotels nights in India. • Breakfast from Day 2 to 8 and lunch and dinner during the stay in houseboat. • Deluxe air-conditioned car for the entire trip. • All sites and visits as per the program • Services of a professional English-speaking local guides as per the program. • All currently applicable entrances at the monuments. Camera fees will be extra. • The above prices include all current taxes and entrance fees. Any hikes in these taxes or entrance fees will be extra • Vehicles on this tour are – • 1 – 3 pax travelling together – Air-conditioned Toyota Innova • 4 – 6 pax travelling together – Air-conditioned Tempo Traveller Micro Van • 7 – 9 pax travelling together – Air-conditioned 15 seater Mini bus
Not included in the above costs are (see also Excluded below): • Does not include any beverages including mineral water, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks etc unless otherwise specified. It is more cost effective for us to bill you for all beverages based on actual consumption. • Any airfare or airport taxes • Any camera fees at monuments and sites. This can be added in if desired. • Any items of a personal nature such as beverages, tips (except for group meals and baggage handling), laundry, telephone calls etc • The prices do not include: undue escalation in fuel prices, new taxes levies on hotels and transportation services or any hikes in entrance fees. Any large tax hikes and new levies shall be payable extra and shall be billed accordingly with prior notice.
IMPORTANT: • All elements included in this quotation are subject to availability until the booking is made. The hotels services as quoted may change while our giving you the final confirmation based on current availability. • Kindly note, our above tour prices are based on the currently prevailing rate of exchange, fuel prices, entrances to monuments, government tax structure. Since these elements are controlled by the government and are always subject to change without prior notice – therefore, in case of any excessive hike in all or any of these elements our tour price might get affected and change accordingly.
Payment. 1.On acceptance – £200 per person, Acceptance Payment/Deposit (non refundable) by to “S W & M Miller” by International Bank Transfer to UK Bank Account
Your Contract for all tour arrangements is directly with Creative Travel Delhi, India to whom payment for the tour is made.
2. You pay 12 weeks prior to arrival in India, or on Acceptance if earlier – 50% of the total in US $, by International Bank Transfer, direct to Creative Travel, India. (Total amount can be paid at this point)
3. 21 days BEFORE arrival in India – 50% payable, in US $, by International Bank Transfer
Cancellation Charges Before 60 Days: Full Refund. 60 – 46 Days: 25% of the Tour Cost. 45 – 31 Days: 50% of the Tour Cost. 30 – 16 Days: 75% of the Tour Cost. 15 days to Day of Departure: 100 % of the Tour Cost or No Refund. Acceptance Payment non refundable
Important note: In case the programme includes 5 Star Deluxe hotels like Oberoi Resorts and Taj Hotels or similar standard, full cancellation fee will be applicable if the cancellation received less than 35 days of the arrival date.
Included in the Cost • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis in the hotels mentioned above or equivalent – subject to availability. • 07 NIGHTS – Accommodation on twin sharing room with breakfast at all the places as per the above mentioned Hotels or similar. • Any single room subject to supplement shown. • Room and breakfast basis – or meals as indicated in the itinerary (B), (L) and (D) or in Terms and Conditions above • Full board at Wildlife Park if applicable. • All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle where appropriate. • Services of an English speaking local guide (or a naturalist in National Parks) • Entrance fees at monuments and parks where applicable • Basic porterage at airports, rail stations and hotels (not tips). • All currently applicable taxes. • Where US$ are quoted the UK pounds price shown is for comparison only and is subject to change.
Excluded from the Cost • Expenses of a personal nature: table drinks, laundry, telephone calls, Internet charges, mineral water, tips, shopping etc. • Any other meals or services not mentioned in the itinerary or ‘includes’ list. • Any international airfares to India and Asia • Domestic economy airfares, indicated in the itinerary, are subject to change. • Any airport taxes where applicable in each country • Any subsequent increase in airfares, fuel costs, monuments/sightseeing fees. • Any other taxes subsequently introduced by Government, State or Tourist Ministry. • Travel Insurance • Visa Fees, if applicable, in any country • Any Christmas, New Year and Gala Dinners General note: All elements included in this quotation are subject to availability until the booking is made. The hotels/ services as quoted may change when giving you the final confirmation, based on current availability.