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Kerala
Kerala Gods Own Country
Visit: Kochi - Kumarakom
Duration: 5 Nights / 6 Days
There’s simply no other word that convincingly captures the enigma which is India. An in explainable diversity - from snow-dusted mountains to sun-washed beaches, tranquil temples to feisty festivals, lantern-lit villages to software supreme cities, it’s hardly surprising that this country has been dubbed the worlds most multidimensional.
 


Tour Duration : 5 Nights / 6 Days

Destinations Covered: Kochi - Kumarakom

Package Highlights:
• Heritage walks in one of the oldest areas in Kochi
• An exclusive Kathakali dance performance by local artists
• Boat ride by traditional hand made Rice boats in the famous backwaters
• Time for relaxation: Spa/Ayurveda
• Exotic meals at charming venues
• Gala Kerala theme dinner at a spectacular venue


Package Inclusions:
• Stay at Opulent hotels
• Entrances to the monuments as mentioned in the itinerary (one visit)
• Meals as mentioned in the program
• Transport using services of air conditioned deluxe Volvo buses
• Services of accompanying English speaking tour escorts/guide for the whole tour
• All applicable taxes


Package Exclusions:
• Activities which are mentioned as optional
• Meals which are mentioned as optional
• Any expenses of personal nature/insurance airfare etc
• Heritage walks in one of the oldest areas in Kochi
• An exclusive Kathakali dance performance by local artists
• Boat ride by traditional hand made Rice boats in the famous backwaters
• Time for relaxation: Spa/Ayurveda
• Exotic meals at charming venues
• Gala Kerala theme dinner at a spectacular venue


Day 1 Arrive in Kochi By: flight TBA At: TBA hours
Arrive late evening at Kochi International airport. A Hi-Tours representative would meet you outside the customs gate along with your English speaking tour escort. You will be escorted to Taj Malabar hotel in an air-conditioned Indian made deluxe large bus (40 minutes drive to the hotel).

Taj Malabar Reflecting the intriguing combination of Indian and colonial influences prevalent in Cochin, this delightful hotel stands on Willingdon Island, enjoying captivating views of both the waterfront and bustling Cochin harbour. The Malabar’s restaurants and bars echo the local seafaring tradition, particularly the Sao Gabriel Bar, named after Vasco da Gama’s illustrious ship. 100 bedrooms are located in either the New or the Old Wing - the latter, elegantly appointed, with a Victorian feel.

Rooms will be available for immediate occupancy and will be pre-assigned with VIP amenities. Hotel check-in time is 14:00 hours.

On arrival at the hotel, a traditional Indian welcome would be accorded. Girls dressed in Indian costumes would shower rose petals and a red-powdered dot would be anointed on the forehead as a mark of respect. Soft drinks / juices will be served.

Meals included: None
Overnight: Taj Malabar
  
Day 2 Kochi
07:00-08:30am: buffet breakfast at the hotel.

09:00am: leave for an orientation tour of the city.

Kochi - with its wealth of historical associations and its beautiful setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, the fascinating city of Cochin perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala.

Begin with a visit to the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Friday & Saturday) built in 1568. Continue you visit to St. Francis Church, the oldest church constructed by the Europeans in India. Built by the Portuguese in 1510, it housed the remains of Vasco da Gama for 14 years before it was transferred to Lisbon. His tombstone can be seen inside the church. Also visit the Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555. The Palace was presented to the Raja of Cochin as a gesture of goodwill. Culminate the tour at Fort Kochi, which is said to be the oldest European settlement in India. Enjoy a heritage walk in the historical Fort Cochin area.

1:00 - 2:30pm: lunch would be arranged at a private heritage home with a local family.

Remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.

5:30pm: (time may vary depending on sunset time - cruise duration 1.5 hours) enjoy a sunset cruise to Brunton’s Boatyard hotel where a special welcome dinner would be organised - THEME: GOVERNOR’S DINNER -

The Brunton is a page out of the “Raj” and it would be most appropriate to have a Red & White Dinner here. It’s part of the tradition of the Old Raj days. Formal sit-down dinner with a menu also typical of the days of the British Raj in Cochin - we recommend all guests wear Red and White attire for the evening.

- Pre-dinner cocktails at the Brunton Jetty
- Dinner in the Lobby of the hotel
- Post-dinner coffee / cognac in the central courtyard

Or

Optional: Seafood dinner at the renowned “Fort Cochin” restaurant Casino hotel

The hotel is located on Willingdon Island, a man-made legacy of the Raj era and one of the reasons why Cochin ranks amongst the world's finest harbours. As you drive to the hotel, you pass the massive dockyards of this ancient port, omnipresent coconut trees and stretches of glittering Arabian Sea.

This speciality seafood restaurant has become an institution for food lovers. Good Housekeeping called Fort Cochin "one of the most renowned seafood restaurants in India". Rather than a daily menu, a trolley contains the catch of the day, straight off Cochin's fishing nets. You can expect king prawns, lobster, Indian salmon, snapper, pomfret, squid, mullet, seer fish and more. Once you've selected your fish, you get to decide how it's cooked - whether stir-fried in the spices of the East, steamed, baked, or poached, and served with the famous string hoppers, rice or naan.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight: Taj Malabar
  
Day 3 Kochi - Kumarakom
07:00-09:30am: buffet breakfast at the hotel.

10:30am: drive to Kumarakom in a convoy of air-conditioned Toyota Innova cars (3 guests per vehicle) covering a distance of 75 kms in approx 1 hour 30 min accompanied by Hi-Tours staff and English speaking tour guide.

Kumarakom - the enchanting backwater destination slumbers on the bank of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web.

12:00pm: arrive in Kumarakom and check in to your hotel - Kumarakom Lake Resort (Member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World).

Kumarakom Lake Resort
Kumarakom Lake Resort beautifully blends into the landscape of lagoons, backwaters, canals, coconut groves and paddy fields, making the most of its natural surroundings. Many of the villas back straight on to a vast freeform swimming pool; others have their own private pools while the suites bask in regal splendour as they overlook the lagoon.

Kerala Welcome - Temple Drummers and girls in traditional Kerala saree perform the “Thalipoli Ceremony” with oil lamp and flowers. A welcome drink of coconut water would be served.

1:00 - 2:30pm: lunch at the hotel.

Remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure for spa/ayurveda and independent activities.

Ayurveda / spa therapies: Ayurveda is the art of healthy living that enables you to create harmony in daily life by applying self-knowledge and self-care.

7:00pm: the evening program would be “Kathakali” performance. Kathakali is the classical dance drama of Kerala. The impressive mudras, graceful and rhythmic movements, pleasing choreography and delightful imagery makes kathakali one of the most intricate dance form. Themes are taken from Hindu Mythology often summed up with a lesson. Kathakali constitutes the three fine arts of acting dancing and singing. Not a single dialogue is spoken, but with the eloquence of expression the epic is narrated and a dream world of sheer fantasy is brought to life.

8:00pm: dinner would be arranged at the Vembanad restaurant. Traditionally decorated seafood restaurant situated by the waterfront giving a telescopic view of the horizon, fishing boats and the sunset. Serves freshly caught seafood and a wide array of drinks.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight: Kumarakom Lake Resort
  
Day 4 Kumarakom
06:00 - 07:00am: early riser program (subject to weather conditions) -

• Yoga (beginner & intermediary)
• Meditation
• Stretching
07:30 - 08:30am: buffet breakfast at the hotel.

09:30am: this morning enjoy a guest lecture an Ayurveda massage. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means “the science of life.” It is an ancient art of healing that has been practiced continuously throughout Kerala for over 5,000 years. Ayurveda is probably the oldest authentically recorded healing science in existence today and includes yoga philosophy and integration of the body, mind and consciousness. The principles of many natural healing systems now familiar in the West, such as Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy, have their roots in Ayurveda. Ayurveda looks at every person as a unique individual. A specialist would speak about the healing science of Ayurveda, and centuries old herbal remedies.

Those not wanting to experience an Ayurveda massage, can visit the nearby Bird sanctuary immediately opposite Coconut Lagoon, where numerous species of birds, including Darters, Bitterns, Brahminy kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons roost.

1:00 - 2:30pm: today’s lunch would be organized with a local family at their spice farm. A 20-minute boat ride would get you to their farm. Enjoy a Syrian Christian Cuisine comprising of seafood, duck, etc. Your host would be happy to arrange a walk around the farm and would talk to you about the local spices.

Return to the hotel and rest of the afternoon at leisure for independent activities.

8:00pm: dinner at the resort’s Ettukettu restaurant. This is a 200 years old eight sided mansion, ravishing and resplendent in woodwork. Serves an international buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with native delicacies.

Optional: Live Kalaripayatu performance followed by dinner

This evening enjoy a “Kalaripayatu” performance, a local traditional martial arts form. The performance will include various authentic forms of armed and unarmed combat. Following the Martial Art performance enjoy a “Mopla Dinner” - Moplas are the Muslims of North Kerala and they have a unique cuisine. It’s got to be tasted to believe.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight: Kumarakom Lake Resort
  
Day 5 Kumarakom - House Boat - Kumarakom
08:00 - 09:30am: buffet breakfast at the hotel.

10:00am: embark on a “Kettuvallam” , the traditional trading vessel of this beautiful coastal region (6 guests to a Kettuvallam) and cruise on the backwater. The Kettuvallam is decorated beautifully with tender coconut palm and flowers and are specially converted for on-board living. Guests will enjoy an authentic local meal on board. You will be awed at the vast expanse of the paddy fields that surrounds these beautiful backwaters.

Optional: Snake boat race on the backwaters

Exciting, electrifying, thrilling and mesmerizing, the snake boat races in Kerala infuse you with a spirit of joyous celebration and adventure. The quiet serene backwaters spring to life and enliven the entire ambience when the snake boat races are organized.

A snake boat (or chundan vallam) is actually a long traditional canoe style boat used by the people of the Kuttanadu region, in south India's state of Kerala. These boats are build out of massive tree trunks and are painted in vibrant colors and are shaped like massive snakes with their prows shaped like open snake jaws. Usually, a snake boat is manned by four helmsmen, 25 singers and 100-125 oarsmen, who row in unison to the fast rhythm of vanchipattu (song of the boatman). Thousands of people crowd the water's edge to cheer the huge black crafts as they slice through the waters to a spectacular finish. Each of the villages in the region has its own snake boat, which they take great pride in.

The guests will witness this spectacular event from the comforts of their house boat.

3:00pm: disembark from houseboat and return to hotel. Rest of the afternoon will be at leisure for Ayurveda/Spa activities.

8:00pm: dinner at the hotel.

Optional: Farewell gala Kerala theme dinner -

Décor: the food buffets will be made of bamboo shacks earthen stoves (Chatty) in place of chaffing dishes and served with wooden ladles. The shacks can be well lit by oil lanterns.. Tatakada setups, Toddy shop dispensing light snacks/bar. The area can be covered with cut outs of tall coconut trees, human size picture of coconut plunger (taingavettukaram). Boats with fishing nets and fishermen.

Table décor: white tablecloth with small sized lamp (nillavilakku) on banana leave with flower surrounding it as centre appointment.

Uniforms: juba & mundu, Sandal

Entertainment: Mohiniattam Dance

Cuisine Concept: Traditional Kerala cuisine

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Overnight: Kumarakom Lake Resort
  
Day 6 Kumarakom - Kochi Depart Kochi By: flight tba At: tba hours
Early morning after tea/coffee, a Hi-Tours representative will escort you to Kochi International airport (1 hour 30 min approx) for your flight to onward destination.
  


End Of Services


Tour Prices:

Package Rates are available on Request. Click on Send Query Button for Rates Request.


Accomodation are available on Request.

Tour Prices:

Package Rates are available on Request. Click on Send Query Button for Rates Request.
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