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Exquisite Kerala -- Incredible India

Kerala regionally referred to as Keralam, is a state in the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast. It was formed on 1 November 1956 as per the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi) it is bordered by Karnataka to the north and north east, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the west. Kerala is the twelfth largest state by population and is divided into 14 districts.Malayalam is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The state capital is Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum),other major cities include  Kochi , Kozhikode , Kollam , Kottayam , Alappuzha ,Kannur ,Malappuram,and Thrissur.The region was a prominent spice exporter from 3000 BCE to 3rd century. The Chera Dynasty was the first powerful kingdom based in Kerala, though it frequently struggled against attacks from the neighbouring Cholas and Pandyas. During the Chera period, Kerala remained an international spice trading center. Later, in the 15th century, the lucrative spice trade attracted Portuguese traders to Kerala, and eventually paved the way for the European colonisation of the whole of India. After independence, Travancore and Cochin joined the Republic of India and Travancore-Cochin was given the status of a state. Later, the state was formed in 1956 by merging the Malabar district, Travancore-Cochin (excluding four southern taluks), and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara. Kerala is the state with the lowest positive population growth rate in India (3.44%) and has a density of 860 people per km2. The state has the highest Human Development Index (HDI) (0.790) in the country according to the Human Development Report .It also has the highest literacy rate 95.5%, the highest life expectancy (Almost 77 years) and the highest sex ratio (as defined by number of women per 1000 men: 1,084 women per 1000 men) among all Indian states. Kerala has the lowest homicide rate among Indian states, for 2011 it was 1.1 per 100,000. A survey in 2005 by Transparency International ranked it as the least corrupt state in the country. Kerala has witnessed significant emigration of its people, especially to the Gulf states during the Gulf Boom during the 1970s and early 1980s, and its economy depends significantly on remittances from a large Malayali expatriate community. Hinduism is practised by more than half of the population, followed by Islam and Christianity. The culture of the state traces its roots from 3rd century CE. It is a synthesis of Aryan and Dravidian cultures, developed over centuries under influences from other parts of India and abroad.

Production of pepper and natural rubber contributes to a significant portion of the total national output. In the agricultural sector, coconut, tea, coffee, cashew and spices are important. The state's coastline extends for 595 kilometres (370 mi), and around 1.1 million people of the state are dependent on the fishery industry which contributes 3% of the state's income. The state's 145,704 kilometres (90,536 mi) of roads, constitute 4.2% of all Indian roadways. There are three existing and two proposed international airports. Waterways are also used for transportation. The state has the highest media exposure in India with newspapers publishing in nine different languages; mainly English and Malayalam. Kerala is an important tourist destination, with backwaters,beaches, Ayurvedic tourism, and tropical greenery among its major attractions.

Kerala was selected as the "state of states" in 2013, based on a number of criteria including GDP, governance, health and education. Kerala's 10% rise in GDP is 3% more than the national GDP. Capital expenditure rose 30% compared to the national average of 5%, owners in two-wheelers rose by 35% compared to the national 15%, and the teacher-pupil ratio rose 50% from 2:100 to 4:100.

Tour to Kerala- Itinerary

09 Nights/10 Days

Day 01:                       Cochin

Upon arrival at Cochin International Airport, you will greeted by our representative before being whisked away to the historic Fort Cochin. In Cochin, explore the rich colonial past in the old spice market at Mattancherry, the antique shop on Jew Street, the Synagogue, Dutch Palace and of course, the famous Chinese fishing nets, all followed by a harbour cruise.

Overnight is in Cochin.

Day 02:                       Cochin – Munnar

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Munnar, where you will arrive in the afternoon and take a short tour. Munnar is a hill station situated at an altitude of 5000 to 8000 Ft above sea level and is characterised by being at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathani & Kundala.  This beautiful hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India and sprawling Tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town.

Overnight is in Munnar.

Day 03:                       Munnar

After your breakfast you will visit Eravikulam Park today. You will get a chance to see the main inhabitant of Eravikulam Park - Nilgiri Tahr. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake are other attractions in the vicinity.  Visit the tea museum and a tea plantation afterwards and if possible, you can do a tea tasting also in between.

Overnight is in Munnar .

Day 04:                       Munnar - Thekkady

You leave the coastal plain for the hills punctuated with plantations of rubber, spice and tea. After checking into your resort, the afternoon is reserved for a boat safari in the Periyar Sanctuary. Dinner will be preceded by cooking and cultural programme.

Overnight is in Thekkady.

Day 05:                       Thekkady

The day has been kept aside for sightseeing in and around Thekkady. You will also visit a spice plantation along with an elephant ride in the afternoon. This programme offers one a rare opportunity to experience the safari on an elephant for approx. 30 minutes. The evening is at leisure for your to relax or explore the resort.

Overnight is in Thekkady.

Day 06:                       Thekkady - Kumarakom

After breakfast, you will drive back to Kumarakom on the banks of Lake Vembanad. Hop on a boat to reach your eco-friendly heritage resort on the banks of the Kavanar River. In the evening, go on a sunset cruise on the lake, in a converted rice boat. Your accompaniment on the cruise with be some melodious tunes of flute. After cruise, learn to cook some authentic local dishes from a chef and watch traditional art forms of Kerala.

Overnight is in Kumarakom.

Day 07:                       Kumarakom

Have a healthy start of the day with some Yoga before breakfast. After you have your breakfast, you will take a soft trek to the nearby bird sanctuary accompanied by a naturalist. Follow it up with a visit to the village nearby before returning back to the resort. Spend the afternoon at leisure and in the evening proceed for a cooking session and cultural show.

Overnight is in Kumarakom.

Day 08:                       Kumarakom - Mararikulam

After a session of Yoga and breakfast, take a transfer by boat and road to Mararikulam and check into an independent villa at the Marari Beach. Enjoy the quiet beauty and charm of the secluded beach and the fishermen’s village next to it. Afternoon is at leisure in the coconut grove. The evening is kept aside for music and cooking classes.

Overnight at the Mararikulam.

Day 09:                       Mararikulam

After Yoga and breakfast, explore the fishing villages nearby on a bicycle or take a dip in the sea. You can even take a walk to the organic farm and do not forget to meet the Chef for any assistance/clarifications regarding the recipes you would have collected by now, for this would be your last day here.

Overnight is at the Mararikulam. 

Day 10:                       Mararikulam – Cochin  - Abroad

After breakfast, drive back to Cochin International Airport..

Enchanting Kerala Tour itinerary

Cochin - Munnar - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Alleppey / Trivandrum - Kanyakumari - Trivandrum (06 Nights / 07 Days)

Day 01 / Arrival Cochin 
Arrive Cochin. Meet & assist at the airport & transfer to hotel. Afternoon proceed for sightseeing tour of cochin including.
1. The Hill Palace Museum, a fully-fledged archeological museum and Kerala’s first ever Heritage Museum are the main attractions (closed on Mondays).
2. Chinese Fishing Nets, this unique style of huge cantilevered fishing nets were erected between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders from the Court of Kubla Khan, a Chinese King.
3. Santa Cruz Basilica, this historic church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. Pope John Paul II proclaimed the Church a Basilica in 1984.
4. The Jewish Synagogue, constructed in 1568, this is the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth (closed on Saturdays & Jewish Holidays). The area around the Synagogue, called Jew Town, is the centre for Spice & Handicraft shops.
5. Mattanchery Palace (Dutch Palace), built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Regent of Kochi (closed on Fridays). Return to hotel rest of the day free/ shopping at Ernakulam. Evening Witness Kathakali the famous dance drama of Kerala. Start early to see the artist preparing themselves for the show (5 PM ). Watch in detail the ritual worth seeing hour long process of make-up as part of our daily KATHAKALI performance. After the Performance, you will have a unique opportunity to take photographs along with the artists in colorful costumes as a souvenir. Entire performance will be supported with commentary in English. Overnight at Cochin Night stay in Cochin. Night stay in Cochin.

Day 02 / Cochin - Munnar 
After breakfast drive to munnar 150 kms.On arrival transfer to hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Munnar tea gardens spread like a green carpet over hundreds of kilometers, lust green hills, a place so difficult to describe, very low population too far from pollution, most of the covered by Tata tea. Also the Raja Malai, a top peak of Munnar where you can see Neel Thar (mountain goats), Muttupetty dam, Indo Swiss project; you can also enjoy boating in the Lake (optional). Night stay in Munnar.

Day 03 / Munnar - Thekkady 
After breakfast drive to the tekkady 110 kms. On arrival transfer to hotel. Afternoon visiting wildlife sanctuary and boat ride on lake Periyar. Night stay in Thekkady.

Day 04 / Thekkady - Kumarakom 
After breakfast drive to Kumarakom 120kms. En route visiting spices, tea, coffee and rubber plantation. On arrival transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit to the nearby bird sanctuary and optional boat ride to the nearby village through lagoons. Night stay in Kumarakom.

Day 05 / Kumarakom - Alleppey - Kovalam
After breakfast into a motor boatwater crise from Kumarakom to Alleppey for 2 hrs. On Arrival transfer to hotel. Night stay in Kovalam.

Day 06 / Kovalam - Kanyakumari 
After breakfast proceed for Kanyakumari 100 kms. Enroute visiting Padnabhapuram palace, Suchidram. On arrival transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit Vivekananda rock memorial, Kanyakumari temple etc. Witness sunset in the evening . Night stay in Kanyakumari.

Day 07 / Kanyakumari - Trivandrum - Departure
Early morning witness the sunrise from the terrace of the hotel and after breakfast drive to the Trivandrum Airport to connected the flight for your onward journey. 

» 06 nights accomodation as per the itinerary with daily breakfast.
» Surface Travel by exclusive airconditioned car.
» All transfers & sightseeing as per the itinerary by exclusive airconditioned car.
» Local English speaking guides.
» Entrance Tickets to Witness Kathakali in Kochi & Boat ride on lake Periyar to visit wildlife. 
» Motor boat cruise from Kumarakom - Alleppy.
» All taxes, driver allowances, Parking etc. 

Does not include:
» Entrance fee to monuments.
» Any airfare 
» Tips, laundry.
» Any item not shown in Cost Includes. 

Hotels Selected - Luxury (5* Deluxe) 
Cochin : Brunton Boatyard
Munnar : Windermare Estate
Periyar : Spice Village
Kumarakom : Kumarakom Lake Resort
Kovalam : Leela Kovalam
Kanyakumari : Hotel Seaview, ( only best hotel in Kanyakumari) 

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