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CULINARY TOUR OF KERALA

DAY 01: COCHIN ARRIVAL TRANSFER – EVENING KATHAKALI

On arrival at Kochi Airport, our representative will meet you and you will be transferred to HOTEL for 02 nights. Kochi – the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ is one of the most interesting cities of South India and has one of the finest natural harbour in the world. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay).   The ancient Temples, Churches and Synagogues in this district are of special interest to archeologists and historians.  The Chinese fishing nets, the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch palace and the Bolghatty palace in Kochi enrich the heritage of Kerala. Evening visit ‘Kathakali’ centre, where you’ll watch the interesting Kathakali costumes followed by performance.  Overnight at hotel.

DAY 02: COCHIN SIGHT SEEING – EVENING COOKERY DEMONSTRATION & DINNER

After breakfast proceed for half day guided sightseeing which includes the visit to St. Francis church, Mattancherry palace, Jewish Synagogue and Chinese fishing nets. St Francis Xavier's Church at Fort Kochi is the oldest European church in India which was built in the year 1503, by the Portuguese traders. Today, it stands as the pride of Fort Cochin. It was here that the great explorer Vasco da Gama was buried first in 1562. His mortal remains were taken back to Portugal by his son 16 years later. Even though it is austere in its appearance, the Mattancherry Palace of Cochin has a quaint charm of its own. The credit for building this landmark monument partly goes to the Dutch, who captured Cochin city of Kerala during the pre-British period. The Jewish Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth Nations. Thus, it comprises the topmost slot in the itinerary of the tourists visiting the city. The synagogue has now around a fascinating mixture of shops, warehouses and spice auction rooms.  The Chinese fishing nets make up a very popular tourist attraction since they are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. After the sightseeing return back to hotel.

Evening proceed to Mrs. Nimmy Pauls residence for cookery demonstration and dinner. Nimmy, a professional cookery instructor for more than twenty years, and her stockbroker husband Paul, offers food and hospitality to guests. Nimmy and Paul belong to traditional Syrian Christian community in Kerala. In keeping with the tradition of their families they enjoy having guests and serving good food. Nimmy conducts cookery classes and she teaches guests the nuances of traditional Kerala recipes. She is also a food consultant to writers, chefs and magazines. Articles by her and about her have appeared in magazines and newspapers. After the dinner return back to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 03: COCHIN – MUNNAR - SIGHTSEEING

After breakfast check out from the hotel and proceed to Munnar which is one of the most beautiful hill station of South India and is famous for tea estates. This beautiful hill station is 1600 meters above sea level. The town is situated at the confluence of the three mountain streams such as Mudrapuza, Nallathanni and Kundala. There are lakes, reservoirs, forests and several tea estates.    Munnar was the summer resort of British govt. in south. On arrival check in at  HOTEL  for 01 night. Munnar is very famous for its tea and has nearly 55,000 acres of land covered with tea which looks like a green carpet on earth.

Munnar is most famous for its tea and nearly 55,000 acres of land covered with tea and look like a green carpet on earth.  Afternoon proceed for sightseeing to the Munnar hills to visit Eravikulam national park, Mattupetty dam, Eco point and the scattered villages.  A visit to this beautiful hilly town (old Munnar) and the local market will be interesting.  Evening free to relax. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 04: MUNNAR – THEKKEDY – SPICE PLANTATION VISIT

After breakfast you’ll drive through the beautiful mountain ranges of Western Ghats and cardamom hills to Periyar, one of the well maintained wild life sanctuary of South India. On arrival check into HOTEL for 02 nights. Apart from the wildlife in Periyar it is the best place in Kerala where you can see all the spices cultivated in natural surroundings. It is the prime place for the spice plantations like coffee, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, green pepper, areca nut…etc. Moreover the cardamom from Periyar is the best available in India and is world famous. Afternoon you will be taken to the nearby village where you can see the spices growing naturally. There will be also opportunities to taste some of the spices during the visit. Thereafter you can visit some of the spice markets also. Overnight at hotel.
 
DAY 05: THEKKADY – BOAT RIDE OR NATURE WALK - ACTIVITIES WITH ELEPHANT LIKE ELEPHANT RIDE – ELEPHANT BATH – FEEDING THE ELEPHANT                                                                                                                

Morning you will be invited for a boat cruise in the lake to watch wild animals OR if you are interested you can proceed for Nature walk. Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary.  Animals like Elephants, Wild Boar and Sambar Deer can be spotted during the boat cruise. Most interesting wildlife experience here would be the sight of elephant herds playing in the lake. The sanctuary is a protected Tiger Reserve and don’t wonder if you see a lone tiger gently walking in the woods. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can see wild animals at close range sitting in the safety of a boat. After the boat ride return back to the hotel. Later proceed to visit an Elephant place where you will get an opportunity to do the Elephant ride, enjoy Elephant bath and you can feed the Elephant also.  Rest of the day free to relax and walk around the interesting place. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 06: THEKKADY- KUMARAKOM (RESORT)

After breakfast check out and drive to Kumarakom. On arrival check in at Pholipkutty’s Farm for 02 nights. Kumarakom is one of the most beautiful backwater site in this state. Kumarakom is a paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Kumarakom is a serenely beautiful and scenic backwater destination, a charming peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake that is dotted with plenty of traditional rice boats and canoes, leaving a scene that is immensely pleasing to the eye. Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Karimeen (Pearl spot), shrimp (Chemmeeen in the local language) and prawns.  Rest of the day is free to relax and for your own activities.  Overnight at resort.

DAY 07: KUMARAKOM (RESORT) - EVENING COOKERY DEMONSTRATION & DINNER

Day free to relax or you can be with the family members of the farm. The host, Mrs. Anu Mathew and family are the prominent members of the local community, and have their roots in agriculture. As hosts, they reside on the property full time, and their personalized attention is assured. All the guests at Philipkutty’s Farm are welcomed and cared for by the family. Evening you can have cookery demonstration and dinner at Philipkutty’s Farm where you are staying. Overnight at farm.

DAY 08: KUMARAKOM - ALLEPPEY (HOUSEBOAT)

After breakfast checkout from the farm and proceed to Kumarakom boat jetty to embark in the HOUSE BOAT to go for 01 night cruise through the world famous backwaters of Kerala. Alleppey has a large network of canals and is a center for backwater cruises in our state.  The famous Nehru Trophy Boat race - the most colorful of boat races is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.  The cruise in a house boat through backwaters is an unforgettable experience and you can enjoy the real Kerala village life.

These boats, originally known as Kettuvallam’s were used for carrying goods and there were only limited facilities available in the boats for stay and for food preparations. Now these boats are made very modern and the food prepared in the house boats are very special and is very tasty and fresh. During the cruise you will have opportunities to enjoy typical Kettuvallam meal. Overnight in the boat.

DAY 09: ALLEPPEY – KOVALAM VIA PADBHANABHA SWAMY TEMPLE & HORSE PALACE VISIT

Morning have a relaxing breakfast on board.  After breakfast disembark from the houseboat and drive to Kovalam.  On the way you can visit the world famous Padbhanabha Swamy Temple and horse palace in Trivandrum. The origin of the Temple of Sree Padmanabha swamy is lost in antiquity. It is not possible to determine with any exactitude, from any reliable historical documents or other sources as to when and by whom the original idol of Sree Padmanabhaswamy was consecrated. The value of the treasure found in the four vaults of Sri Padmanabha temple in Kerala has so far crossed an estimated value of Rs 60,000 crore. Tonnes of gold, thousands of precious stones and other valuables found in the secret vaults of the temple have literally blinded the eyes of the Supreme Court appointed team to estimate the value of the treasure. Two other unopened vaults are believed to contain the yellow metal and gems worth an equal amount. In short, the twelve centuries old temple owned by the royal family which ruled the erstwhile princely state of Travancore, is sitting on a treasure worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore. If their antique value is taken into account, their worth will be 10 times higher than the current market price. After the temple visit proceed to visit the horse palace which is very much near to the temple containing the collections of antiques. After the temple and palace visit continue to Kovalam. On arrival check in at HOTEL for 02 nights. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 10: KOVALAM - EVENING COOKERY DEMONSTRATION & DINNER

Kovalam, one of Kerala’s most popular beach destination which is situated just 15 kms from Trivandrum. "Kovalam" means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees.   Kovalam offers an excellent diversity with Kovalam beach to suit all desires and occasions. Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. Over the past three decades, the place has been well developed, and now figures prominently on the world tourism map. Today Kovalam beach is known as the "Paradise of the South. Day free to relax by the beach / swimming pool or for your own activities.

Evening proceed to Mrs. Mary’s residence at Trivandrum for cookery demonstration and dinner. Cooking is not merely making food but an art of showcasing culinary skill. Keralites give prime importance to healthy and mouth-watering recipes. Once you taste the food, you become an ardent fan of the cuisine and get to adore the cooking style. The cuisine has myriads of both non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Coconut is an indispensable part of Kerala preprations and Kerala preparations are always spicy and tasty. After the cookery demonstration and dinner return back to Kovalam. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 11: KOVALAM – TRIVANDRUM DEPARTURE

After breakfast check out from the hotel and transfer to Trivandrum airport to catch your onwards flight after an ever memorable holiday in Kerala.                           

                                                                                                            TOUR ENDS....