Beaches & Backwaters Tour
6 Nights / 7 Days
Cochin - Varkala - Kumarakom - Periyar - Cochin
Day 1: Cochin - Varkala
Morning drive to Varkala (100 kms). Upon arrival in Varkala - check into the
hotel. Rest of the day free for own activities. Overnight at hotel. Cochin set
on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, the port city of Cochin (Kochi)
(Queen of Arabia) reflects the eclecticism of Kerala perfectly. With a rich
past and a bustling present, it has been the business hub of the region from
the very early days after Alleppey (Alappuzha). Cochin consists of mainland
Ernakulam, the islands of Willington, Bolgatty and Gundu in the harbour, Fort
Cochin and Mattancherry on the southern peninsula, and Vypeen Island north of
Fort Cochin, all was linked by ferry but now some islands have bridges. The
influence of Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans is evident in Cochin and its
people. The oldest church in India, 500-year-old Portugese houses, old tiled
houses built in the Chinese pagoda style, the famous Chinese fishing nets, a
Jewish community whose roots go back to the Diaspora, synagogues and mosques
all tell the fascinating story of this harbour town. The harbour is still at
the heart of the city and pepper, sea food, rubber and coir mats and matting
are exported from here. Despite this, Cochin is an attractive city with serene
creak & lagoons overhung with feathery coconut palms and picturesque islands.
The older parts of Fort Cochin and Mattanchery are an unlikely blend of medieval
Portugal, Holland and an English country village grafted onto the troppical
Malabar coast. Cochin is one of India's largest ports and a major naval base.
Day 2: Varkala
Morning visit the Portugese church of Anjengo dated to the time of occupation,
which maybe the Elanchoros of the geography of Ptomempee (2nd century A.D.).
Also visit the English Fort constructed in 1695 A.D. by the English 'East
India Company'. Afternoon free. Overnight at hotel.
The quiet and isolated Varkala family beach is a sandy expanse where one
can enjoy a relaxing beach holiday without the crowds and bustle of other
beaches in Kerala. Varkala family beach is also known for its landscape. A
high rocky cliff ends abruptly and a stretch of clear sand extends down to
the sea. The contrast between the cliffs, sand and sea makes Varkala Beach
a striking sight. The sunset at Varakala Beach is truly breathtaking with
the sun sinking into the sky like a ball of molten gold as the sun and sea
are tinged with crimson and vermilion.
Day 3: Varkala - Kumarakom
Morning drive to Kumarakom, check into hotel. Overnight at hotel.Kumarakom slumbers
on the banks 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. The gorgeous
green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets.
The entire state of Kerala is blessed with plenty of rivers and the resources
of many are still untapped. The waterways of Kerala which play a main role in
the economy of the state links remote villages and islands with the main land.
The water ways provide a cheap and economical mode of transport. The water ways
of Kuttanad is now a big attraction for tourist. It is incredibly different
experience to cruise in the backwaters in country boats, absorbing the beauty
of Kerala villages. The scenery flashes up vivid contrasts of breath-taking
greens and deep blues. Boat rides are available for tourist and others at nominal
Day 4 : Kumarakom
Fullday at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5 : Kumarakom - Periyar
Morning drive to Periyar (120 kms), check into hotel . Afternoon boatcruise
on the Lake of the famous Periyar wildlife sanctuary to see wild life. Periyar
Lake or reservoir created by a dam on Periyar River is the heart of the Wildlife
Sanctuary wild elephants, Asiatic Deer, Black Buck and even Tigers come to
shores of the lake for a drink. Thereafter at leisure to explore the neighboring
spice market. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Periyar
Fullday at leisure. (You can opt for Ayurvedic therapy on direct payment basis).
Overnight at hotel.
Periyar: One of the well known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary
attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady
Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural
habitat. The forest here, slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the
hill. This lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to
drink or take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even tigers can be spotted
here. There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best
season to visit the park is between October and June. Spread over 777 sq.km
of the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is located 137
km from Madurai. Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the
standard way to experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the
local guide in a small group. Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic
in the water. Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambhar, Bison, Spotted
Deer, Tigers, Leopards, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc.
There are over 260 species of birds here, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged
Parakeets, White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers.
Day 7 : Periyar - Cochin
Morning drive to Cochin