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CLASSIC KERALA - GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

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Kerala, a mystical land known for its lush green paddy fields, turquoise beaches, crystal clear backwaters, historical grandeurs and distinct culture is a perfect spot to enkindle the flame of love with your beloved! Feel the marvellous vibes put you in a complete state of tranquillity as you instantly forget your worries and relax in the lap of this natural wonder.

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Day 01: Arrive in Cochin

Arrive at Cochin’s International airport. Upon arrival, once you clear the immigration and as you exit from the Green channel gate of Customs, you will be welcomed by an Inspired Journeys Representative. Our representative will provide you with assistance and with a car transfer from airport to your Hotel. Upon arrival at the Hotel, he will also assist you with, the Hotels’ check in formalities.

Cochin is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. The fairytale milieu suits Cochin impeccably since it is one of the most laid-back of Kerala cities. A city that despite being the commercial hub is a self-assured juxtaposition of both the past and the present. Experience this city with its modern new town at Ernakalum contrasting with the sleepy old town with its melting pot of history including, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Jewish influences.

Overnight at Hotel..

Day 02: Cochin - Munnar

Afternoon breakfast commences, with the sightseeing tour of the Cochin city.

Visit the Chinese fishing nets of Fort Kochi and witness an unusual form of fishing - shore operated lift nets; if you are lucky then you can see the big catch of the day, & bargain with fisherman for freshly caught fishes; St. Francis Church - the oldest European church in India that has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent; Later walk in the Jewish town. Jew Town in Mattancherry is famous for the antique shops all along its sides.  The colonial buildings lining the street add to its old-world charm. The Jew Town is a narrow street between Mattancherry Palace and the Synagogue.

Take a walk along the Jew Town and you can breathe antiquity. The curio and antique shops along the street are capable of enchanting the visitors with their variety and rarity. A big Vaarpu (bronze vessel) almost three metres in diameter is one of the major attractions here.

After tour depart by private vehicle for Munnar (Approx. 110 kms 3 hrs drive.) The exhilarating journey from the coastal city of Cochin along coconut lagoons of the plains, rubber estates of the middle lands and spice-rich foothills of Sahya ranges to the plantation-clad Kanan Devan Hills is an exploration of a variety of lifestyles, people, agriculture and landscapes.  Most of the roads in Munnar were pathways of elephant herds. These Anatharas were proved by modern engineers to be the right way or the best way to Munnar.

Arrive in Munnar and check-in at the Hotel.

Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 Mts. above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India and today, despite being essentially a tea town, due to its sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes and wonderful scenic trekking it continues to be a popular destination. In addition to the miles and miles of unending tea plantations, there are many exotic flowers found in the forests and grasslands including the Neelakurinji a flower which bathes the hills in blue colour only once every twelve years. The Neelakurinji will bloom next in 2018 AD. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03: In Munnar

After breakfast proceed with the tour of Munnar.

The beauty of Munnar is its never-ending expanse of spice and tea plantations, beautiful valleys, lush green mountains, spellbinding waterfalls and various wildlife sanctuaries. Words do not do justice and a trip here is necessary to fully appreciate the full beauty of the area. Its beauty is to be experienced and cannot be explained in words.

Late afternoon visits the Tea Museum which showcases and highlights some of the fine and fascinating aspects of the evolution and growth of tea plantations in this part of Kerala.  The museum is an effort to salute the visionaries who showed great acumen and determination to transform Munnar into a major tea plantation centre of Kerala.

The afternoon we have booked the Cardamom Plantation visit with Blackberry Hills Retreat & Spa. Enjoy a short 2 hour guided soft trek to a nearby cardamom plantation. Cardamom, regarded as the queen of all spices because of its exotic aroma and taste thrives in the hills of Munnar for the altitude, the climate and the weather in Munnar is ideal for Cardamom. You get to see the intricacies of growing and cultivating cardamom first hand and perhaps even taste a few pods directly from the plant.If time permits, visit of the cardamom & tea plantation. Witness the unending aromatic tea gardens, misty mountain peaks coupled with the calmness and cool refreshing air.

Overnight at Hotel..      

Day 04: Munnar - Kumarakom

After breakfast at the hotel, depart by your private vehicle for Kumarakom (148 kms- 4 ½ hour’s drive). As you drive from your resort on the satte highway, you will pass by various tea estates located on either side of the road in higher reaches of the mountains.

Kumarakom is an emerald peninsula of paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters that juts out into Lake Vembanad. Perhaps more famously knows as the Backwaters this area is unique being made up of the labyrinth of canals and lakes that stretch between the capital Cochin and Quilon in the south. From the vastness of Lake Vembanad to the quiet streams just large enough for a canoe, the Backwaters form the arteries through which rural daily life calmly flows - children splashing in the water, women washing clothes at the water's edge, fishermen up to their necks in water digging out fish with their feet, rice barges transporting coconuts and rice (the staples of the Keralan diet) and, above all, an overriding sense of peace and tranquility that permeates every aspect of this stunning region. In addition, the area is a birders paradise and the bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favourite haunt of migratory birds. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds such as the Siberian stork are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip around the islands.

Upon arrival, check in to your hotel.

Rest of the day will be at leisure to enjoy the serene beauty of the backwaters.

Day 05: In Kumarakom

Today afternoon you will board the houseboat for a day cruise on backwater (04 hours). Enjoy the backwater ride down the river, take a small boat down the canals to see the villages & enjoy the lunch.

A cruise along the palm-fringed waterways of Kerala in a traditional houseboat. In this world of simple pleasures, you'll skim past ancient Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples and coconut groves.

Traditionally, the houseboat was called Kettuvallam, which means a boat made by tying together pieces of wood. Unbelievable as it may sound, not a single nail is used in the making of a Kettuvallam. Jack wood planks are joined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. Today, these giant 80-foot-long crafts have been adapted into luxuriously furnished houseboats.

As you sail on the Lake Vembanad witness the natural beauty and tranquillity of the backwaters and experience a way of life little changed through the centuries.

Return to your hotel for overnight stay.

Overnight at Hotel..

Day 06: Kumarakom - Cochin & Departure

Morning at leisure.

Afternoon check-out from the hotel, and drive to Kochi airport to board your Flight for onward destination.

Suggest drive to Crowne Plaza Kochi, located near the airport from Kumarakom. Have dinner and then at 7 pm be transferred to the airport.

Kerala, a mystical land known for its lush green paddy fields, turquoise beaches, crystal clear backwaters, historical grandeurs and distinct culture is a perfect spot to enkindle the flame of love with your beloved! Feel the marvellous vibes put you in a complete state of tranquillity as you instantly forget your worries and relax in the lap of this natural wonder.

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