Kerala : God’s Own Country
Kochi – Kumarokam – Periyar - Munnar – Kochi 6 Nights/7 Days
Arrive at Kochi’s international airport where you will be received by our representative.A private vehicle awaits to take you to your hotel in Kochi. Cochin: A cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, Cochin or Kochi is known as 'Queen of the Arabian Sea', it reflects the best of all that Kerala has to offer. The Arabs, British, Dutch and Portuguese offering a cocktail of cultural experiences have influenced this incredible seaside. A rich past and a vibrant present, Kochi gained the status of the cultural hub of the region. The city even hosts an Art biennale every two years.Evening free to walk around fort Cochin and start your cultural taste of the southern part of this widely different country!Contact Equinox for off the beaten path ideas to discover this beautiful port town.
Kathakali performance, Kochi
After breakfast visit this beautiful colonial town with a rich and diverse history.It is hard to believe but Kochi was once a thriving place for the jewish community.The famous Kochi Synagogue was constructed in 1568 and is the oldest in the Commonwealth countries.. The articles of interest at the synagogue are a clock tower, hand painted, willow patterned floor tiles from Canton in China, great scrolls of the Old Testament, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, ancient scripts on copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the former rulers of Cochin were recorded. St Francis Church Fort Cochin is believed to be the oldest European Settlement in India and St. Francis Church was the first European Church to be built in India. The history of this Church reflects the colonial struggle of European powers in India, from the 15th to 20th Centuries. Dutch Palace Dutch Palace, Kochi is more popularly known as Mattancherry Palace. The palace was constructed by the Portuguese and presented to the then Rajah of Kochi. The Rajahs of Keralas made subsequent renovations of the palace, giving it a Hindu texture. In fact, it has become one of the best testimony of the Hindu Temple Art. Chinese Fishing NetsA very unusual method of fishing, operated from the shore. Chinese fishing nets are fixed land installations set up on bamboo or teak poles and is operated from the shores. . End your day with a Kathkali dance performanceKathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. It originated in the area of Southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala. Kathakali make-up is the slow metamorphosis of mortals into immortal deities and demons. Contact Equinox for our signature experiences on exploring this beautiful port town.
Ayurveda Treatments, Kumarakom
After an easy breakfast we drive to Kumarokam, famously known for its backwaters. Approximately 60 kms / 02 hours drive. The Kerala Backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets, a labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 km of waterways, and sometimes compared to the American Bayou. In the midst of this landscape, there are a number of small fishing villages and towns. Kumarakom has a number of hotels set beautifully preserving the nature and adapting to the natural environment surrounding them. Canals meander around some of these hotels engulfing you in its ecosystem. Spend the day exploring your hotel and indulging in the world renowned Ayurveda Treatments. Equinox will help organize a private meeting with a certified Ayurvedic doctor, to help balance all elements of your body – Ether, Fire, Air, Earth and Water. Contact Equinox for more information on the science of Ayurveda and how to explore this during your stay.
Your days in Kumarokam are relatively easy. A chance to unwind and slip slowly into the natural environment that surrounds you. We encourage you to spend a night in one of Keralas luxury houseboats- a reworked version of the Kettuvallams of olden times, originally used to transport rice and spices. Using only natural products, these boats are built with bamboo, thatched roofs and wooden hulls. Sticks and wood of the areca nut tree are used for roofing and coconut trees and coir for beds. Although this is a generations old concept, todays houseboats boast of the same comforts as a luxury hotel with beautifully furnished bedrooms, ensuite modern bathrooms, living spaces and large open decks to sit out and enjoy the views while you sail gently around the canals. Equinox helps curate a number of experiences depending on the your needs and interests. Some of these could include a visit to small ateliers of coir workers, visiting a village church and meeting the priest. Visit a banana and coconut plantation. Contact Equinox for our list of experiences to indulge in. To get a the feel of the languid pace of life on the backwaters we invite you to visit different homes, and if you like, even learn how to make some traditional delicacies.
Periyar National Park
Breakfast at the hotel and drive further inland to Periyar (4Hrs drive) Depart towards the western ghats, one of the oldest ecosystems of the world. The verdant hills of the western Ghats provide you with a respite from the hustle and bustle of your daily life. Western Ghats is the home of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, reserve forests, several hillstations, waterfalls and lakes. The natural beauty of the mountain range is unrivalled. The Periyar forests of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. You will be accompanied by a local naturalist guide who knows the terrain quite well. Although the sightings of bigger animals are quite rare one gets to see an array of different tropical plants. Due to the Periyar lake there are several species of birds found in the area. The geographical and climatic peculiarities of Kumily such as the cool climate and its elevation from the sea level make it ideal for spice cultivation. You might like a tour of a spice plantation with a naturalist. The tour offers an insight into the growing, harvesting and processing of spices. Visit a spice plantation with naturalist or Contact Equinox for more ideas on how to explore this region.
After a sumptuous breakfast continue by road to Munnar. (approximately 3.5 Hrs drive) Today you drive through the beautiful valleys of tea plantations and small villages. From here you could spend your day visiting some of the most beautiful and the World’s highest organic tea growing estates. The tea grown in this region is supposed to have the best flavour because of the high altitude. You will get a chance to see the processing of tea in one of the tea factories. This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the work that goes into tea manufacturing. The next time you sip a cup of tea, you will be able to remember this beautiful experience. There are some handpicked tea factories where we can curate special experiences for you. Contact Equinox for more information.
Enjoy your last leisurly morning in this sleepy hill town. Later drive to Cochin (approximately 4 hours drive) to connect your International flight home.