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Cultural Tour of Kerala

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Cultural Tour of Kerala
Cochin - Thrissur - Kalamandalam - Thrissur Kumarakkom - Alleppey - Alappuzha - Kovalam - Kanyakumari (07 Nights / 08 Days)

Day 01 / Arrival Cochin
Arrive Cochin. Meet & assist at the airport & transfer to hotel. Afternoon proceed for sightseeing tour of cochin including .The Hill Palace Museum, a fully-fledged archeological museum and Kerala’s first ever Heritage Museum are the main attractions (closed on Mondays). 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. 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.. 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. Mattanchery Palace (Dutch Palace), built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Regent of Kochi (closed on Fridays).

Evening go for Sun set Cruise in Kochi . Night stay at Kochi

Day 02 / Cochin- Thrissur (80 Kms – Approx. 1.5 Hrs ) Thrissur – Guruvayur ( 30 Kms - Approx. 40 minutes drive )
Early morning proceed to “Thrissur”, the one thing that comes to his mind is all about the extravagant Thrissur Pooram. The luminous environment with the presence of the Gods and Goddesses of Thrissur, the display of the impressive elephants adorned with golden ornaments, the crowd and everything else gives him the best memorable moments in his life. Thrissur is known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala a For those who wish to explore the cultural heritage of the State, a visit to Thrissur is inexorable. ( Thrissur Elephant decoration is available generally from mid April to mid May at the time of differentfestival at Thrissur )

Later drive to Guruvayoor, a prominent centre for Hindu culture and religion, revolves around the Sree Krishna Temple known popularly as the Guruvayurappan Temple. Located at a distance of 3 km from the temple is Punnathoor Kotta. It is the palace ground of the former emperors of Punnathoor, where more than 60 elephants were trained. This elephant camp of the Guruvayoor Devasom Board is the only one in the world. All the elephants in this camp are offerings from devotees like politicians, businessmen and film stars to Lord Sree Krishna of Guruvayoor. Here you shall see the baby elephants playing and naughty adolescents feeding on piles of fodder and being looked after by their mahouts who wash and scrub them regularly in the sanctuary pond. The animals participate in the annual elephant race and the festivals held at Guruvayoor Temple and also at other temples of the state. Actually, it is the elephants from this camp that glimmer as stars in the Thrissur Pooram. Every year, after the strict festival schedule, the temple elephants undergo an annual healthcare regimen by the animal doctors.

Night stay at Thrissur.

Day 03 / Thrissur - Kalamandalam - Thrissur (35 Kms – 45 Mts ) Kalamandalam - a window of Kerala’s traditional performing
Early Morning proceed to Vallotal Nagar Near Thrissur to fix a day with the masters in Kerala Kalamadalam. The program is a window to the world of Kerala’s traditional performing arts viz. Kathakali, Kutiyattam (traditional Sanskrit theater), Mohiniyattam, Thullal and the percussion music. One can watch the artistic skill of both the trainee and the trainer while walking inside the campus at the Vallathol Nagar. Highlight of the programme is Authoritative guidance by Trained, professionals who will accompany the visitors explaining to them the gross and subtle details of art forms covering their history and development. The interactions between the visitors and the tour-guides will also extend to the terrains of culture, history, philosophy and science. Programme starts at 9:00 AM .In Which A brief introduction about Kalamandalam and the art forms of Kerala, Visit to the Art Gallery, Museum, and the Vallathol Samadhi at 12:30-2:00 PM is the Lunch break and later from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM ,you can witness the Performance at the Koothambalam . The Koothambalam or the Art theatre is a magnificent architectural wonder. Built in 1976, the Koothambalam has an impressive history to narrate. What is most unique about the Koothambalam besides its visual appeal, is the experience of being inside it. The Koothambalam has known to have produced a calming, almost mystical effect on many a visitor. Night stay at Thrissur.

Kalamandalam generally remain closed from 3rd week of March up to June end due to summer vacation.

Day 04 / Thrissur – Kumarakkom (150 Kms Approx – 3.5 Hrs ) Stay with Famly at the Philipkutty Farm
Early Morning Check out from Hotel and Proceed to Kumarakkom to Stay with Famly .The Philipkutty Farm.The farm is located on a small farm island (approx-750 acres) in the backwaters / Vembanad Lake next to Kumarakom within the Vechoor village limits. The farm is about 50 acres (owned by the family and some relatives) and is the largest farm on the island. The island is a reclaimed property which was made in the early 1950’s .It was late Philipkutty, who undertook further development on the farm by bringing in a system of inter-crop farming. The island is called Puthankayal (‘Puthan’ means new) as it was the last island to have been reclaimed in the backwater region for agriculture.

Being a reclaimed property typical of the Kuttanad or backwater region, the farm is approx 2 mts. below the lake level. The retaining dyke around the perimeter of the island keeps the lake water from entering the farm. Being below the lake level, all the rain water is pumped out especially during the monsoon season by using an electric motor and pump. This is critical to the existence of the farm.

The farm is made up of ridges and canals, with all the planting done on the ridges. The canals are used for natural fish culture. Karimeen (Pearl spot) and fresh water jumbo prawns (scampi) are grown naturally in some of the canals. The major crops on the farm are coconut, toddy tapping, nutmeg, cocoa, banana, pepper and many other fruits, vegetables and spices. The farm also has a few cows, geese, ducks and hens. We are members of the Vechoor Cow Trust and are doing our small part in the conservation of Vechoor cows by having one on the farm. We hope to take up a few more. Currently we have started planting vanilla also. The reclaimed island has also helped Vechoor Village to develop. It has given land to the people, plenty of employment, free grass for cows and plenty of free fuel.

The farm was a ‘modern’ farm when it started, but in the last 10 years we have been systematically cutting down on chemicals and relying more on organic and natural farming methods. Today we have successfully cut down by 75 to 80% all chemical inputs. At present the farm employs sustainable and organic methods of farming and we believe that in the coming years we will be a 100% organic farm.

Enjoy the Whole day with the Kerala Family learning the local culture ,cuisine. Night stay at Farm house.

Day 05 / Kumarakkom- Alleppey (30 Kms Approx. 45 minutes )
Morning Check out from Hotel and Proceed to Alleppey Morning drive to Alleppey to board Houseboat for a day and night cruise in the famous backwaters of Kerala. Lunch will be served at the time of check in. See the village life along the banks of the Backwaters while cruising in the backwaters . Evening The Houseboat will be anchored in a safer Place along the banks. Overnight on Board at air-conditioned Houseboat.

Day 06 / Alappuzha - Kovalam ( By road ) ( 180 Kms- Approx. 4 Hrs Drive)
Morning drive to Kovalam & transfer to hotel. the international beach Resort with full of Coconut trees.Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach of Kerala, with three adjacent crescent beaches. Kovalam has been a favorite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful Bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse - sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs, Catamaran cruising etc. Evening enjoy the beach. Night stay at Kovalam.

Day 07 / Kovalam - Kanyakumari ( the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial ) - Kovalam ( 100 Kms- Approx. 2 Hrs Drive)
After breakfast proceed for Kanyakumari - the land's end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea , the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. An important pilgrim centre of India, it is famous for the Amman Temples - a symbol of unity and sanctity - deidicated to the virgin Goddess , Kanya Kumari. To its South - East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India. Evening Drive back to Kovalam . Night stay at Kovalam

Day 08 / Kovalam- Trivandrum ( By road ) Approx. 20 minutes drive Trivandrum - Delhi / Mumbai ( By flight ) Departure
Early Morning Check out from Hotel and Proceed to Airport to connect flight for onward journey.
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