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Southern Kerala

Cochin – Munnar – Thekkaddy – Alleppey – Kovalam – Trivandrum
Day 01: Cochin
Arrival at Cochin Airport / Railway Station, Proceed to Hotel. After Refreshment at Hotel proceed to visit The Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace,features Kerala murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. The Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, Paradesi is a word used in several Indian languages, and the literal meaning of the term is "foreigners", applied to the synagogue because it was historically used by "White Jews", a mixture of Jews from Cranganore, the Middle East, and European exiles. The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica not only happens to be one of the oldest churches in Cochin, but also in the whole of India. It is one of the eight Basilicas in the country. Counted as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala, this church is one of the finest and impressive churches in India and visited by tourists the whole year round. Bolgatty Palace One of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland, this quaint mansion, built in 1744, by Dutch traders, was later extended and gardens were landscaped around it. The Chinese fishing Nets – are fishing nets that are fixed land installations for an unusual form of fishing — shore operated lift nets. It was earlier thought that the nets might have been introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng He. Recent research shows that these were introduced by Portuguese Casado settlers from Macau The Chinese fishing nets have become a very popular tourist attraction, their size and elegant construction is photogenic and the slow rhythm of their operation is quite hypnotic. O/N Cochin.

Day 02: Cochin – Munnar (4 Hrs)
After breakfast proceed to Munnar - The name Munnar is believed to mean "three rivers", referring to the town's strategic location at the confluence of the Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. Munnar town is in Kannan Devan Hills ( KDH ) Village in Devikulam taluka. Enjoy the enroute beauty of Munnar hills with Tea Plantation, waterfalls and many view locations. Evening free time at Leisure. O/N Munnar.

Day 03: Munnar
After breakfast, proceed for Munnar full day Sightseeing Rajamalai National Park is situated in Devikulam of Munnar. It has the largest untouched patch of Shola – grassland mosaic when compared to other Shola-grassland vegetation in the Western Ghats. Eravikulam National Park also abode Anamudi, is the highest peak (2690 m) in the peninsular India. The park has three sections – Core Area, Buffer Area and Tourism Area. It’s a natural habitat of highly endangered species of mountain goats called Nilgiri Tahr or Nilgiri Ibex (Hemitragus hylocrius). Tourists visiting Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park can find small herds of Nilgiri Tahr grazing along the grasslands. Nilakurinji plants, rare species limited to the hill ranges of Munnar, can be found along the hill sides of this national park. Munnar is perhaps the choicest of places to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges. With special emphasis to Munnar, and to the delight of tea lovers and tourists - Kannan Devan Tea Museum & Factory - This is the country’s first ever tea museum; located at KDHP’s Nullatanni estate, Gives you an overview of the history of tea plantation in Munnar. There is a live demonstration of the tea processing steps, photographs, There's also a sales counter, from where you can pick up your favourite flavour of tea. Mattupetty Dam, is a storage Concrete Gravity dam built in the mountains to conserve water for hydroelectricity. It has been a vital source of power, yielding along with other such dams, huge revenue to the states. The large amount of perennially available water allows wild animals and birds to flourish. Kundala Arch Dam is Asia's first Arch Dam. Kundala lake and its surrounding area offer a calm and quiet atmosphere with quiet natural beauty. Cherry blossoms appearing twice a year and Kurinji flowers blooming once in twelve years colour the hills and valleys around Kundala lake. Pedal boats and kashmiri shikaras make the trip more enjoyable to tourist. Back to Hotel by late afternoon. O/N Munnar.

Day 04: Munnar – Thekkaddy (4 Hrs)
After Breakfast leave for Thekkady - is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands & considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom,cinnamon and clove. Enroute to Thekkaddy, visit Spice Plantation Tour - Spices have always been an important part of life in Kerala. Here the masters of ayruveda, the science of life, discovered the use of spices for medicinal purposes. Spices also play an important role in the Kerala cuisine, non-ayruvedic medicine and cosmetics. Periyar is, due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 m above sea level, blessed with numerous types of spices. & Later visit to Periyar Lake – was formed by the construction of the dam across the Mullaperiyar River in 1895. There is a good chance of seeing any of the inhabitants of the reserve, except tigers and other carnivores, on the 2 – 3 hour boat trip on the lake; especially on the morning and late afternoon cruises where animals head for the lake to drink. The boat jetty is located 3km inside the Tiger reserve. It is highly recommended to walk from the entrance of the reserve to the boat jetty or sometimes rickshaws are available. You will be able to walk to the edge of the lake on this 3km walk and often you will be able to spot large family groups of monkeys in the tree tops. Elephant Safari Acitivities – The Indian elephant is the state animal of Kerala. Periyar Tiger Reserve has thousands of elephants, but in Kerala elephants are also found in temples and as working elephants. Additionally, in the Periyar area there is Elephant Junction; a project that has the purpose of providing tourists with information about elephants and a chance to experience various close encounters with elephants there are different acitivies like 30 min Elephant ride or Elephant Bathing or Elephant feeding. Evening free time at Leisure. Back to Hotel. O/N Thekkaddy.

Day 05: Thekkaddy – Alleppey. (3 – 4 Hrs) 
After breakfast, proceed to Alleppey - , is considered to be the oldest planned town in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the town is the first of its kind along the Arabian coast. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as "Venice of the East" by Lord Curzon. Alleppey is an important tourist destination in India. Arrive Alleppey and check in Houseboat - A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. While sailing down a maze of canals one sees different scenes from the villages, paddy fields, coconut palms, fisherman and local life. The cool breeze from the Lake make you sleep early in the night after anchoring in a fancy place. O/N at Houseboat.

Day 06: Alleppey – Kovalam (4 Hrs)
After Breakfast proceed to Kovalam - Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. It is also known as the paradise of the south. It is extremely popular among westerners due to shallow waters and low tidal waves. It is also one of the oldest tourist enclave in India, Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies Kovalam has 3 major beaches in its 17 km coastline. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach is the most popular of the three Hawa Beach inbetween is among one of the beaches in India where top-less sunbathing is tolerated and well appreciated by the locals. The tourism department provides a vigilant life guard service on both Lighthouse and Hawa beach. Rest day at Leisure. O/N Kovalam.

Day 07: Kovalam – Poovar – Trivandrum – Kovalam
After Breakfast leave for Poovar – Is a small coastal village with ½ drive from Kovalam, This village is almost at the southern tip and there is only one last village Pozhiyoor which mark the end of kerala. Poovar lies very close to Vizhinjam, a natural harbor. Poovar has an estuary which connects with the sea during high tides. Later visit to Trivandrum – Being the capital of Kerala, often known as "God's own country", Visit to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu The shrine is currently run by a trust headed by the royal family of Travancore. The temple is one of 108 Divya Desams (Holy Abodes of Vishnu) – principal centres of worship of the deity in Vaishnavism. In line with the Temple Entry Proclamation, only those who profess the Hindu faith are permitted entry to the temple. Devotees have to strictly follow the dress code. Napier Museum & Zoo – houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. It also contains the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, which contains works from Raja Ravi Varma and Nicholas Roerich, as well as examples of Mughal and Tanjore art. The Museum grounds also hold a Zoological garden, which is one of the oldest in India. Back to Hotel and free time at Leisure and enjoy the evening at Koavalam Samudra Beach. O/N Kovalam.

Day 08: Kovalam – Trivandrum
Morning after breakfast leave back for Trivandrum Airport / Railway Station Drop. Journey Ends here.

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