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NATURE, ADVENTURE AND TRADITIONAL

DAY 01:- COCHIN ARRIVAL TRANSFER – THATTEKKADU

On arrival at Kochi Airport, our representative will meet you and you will be transferred to Thattekadu. On arrival check in at HORNBILL CAMP RESORT for 02 nights. Thattekkadu is made up of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests and some grassland patches. This globally acclaimed bird sanctuary owes much of its fame to Dr. Salim Ali, the internationally renowned ornithologist. Thattekkad has an extensive plantations of teak, rosewood, mahagony, etc. A variety of flowers and tress combine to form the bewitching fauna at this wildlife park. The dense forest is also home to nearly 28 species of mammals and about 9 species of reptiles. Rest of the day is free to relax and walk around the interesting place.  Overnight stay at the resort.

DAY 02: THATTEKKAD – BIRD WATCHING – CYCLING – KAYAKING – PLANTATION WALK

Thettekkad is a popular bird watching destination. After breakfast proceed for half day guided bird watching tour to Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The entry to the bird sanctuary is partially restricted. But you can watch the varieties of birds. Rare birds like the Crimson-Throated Barbet, Bee-eater, Sunbird, Shrike, Black winged Kite, Grey Heron and the Night Heron are also commonly sighted. Indian roller, cuckoo, common snipe, crow pheasant, jungle nightjar, kite, grey drongo, Malabar trogon, woodpecker, large pied wagtail, baya sparrow, grey jungle fowl, Indian hill myna, robin bird, jungle babbler and darter are some of the common birds found here. There are a few rare birds as well which include: sunbird, shrike, fairy blue-bird, grey-headed fishing eagle, black winged kite etc. After the bird watching return back to resort. Rest of the day is free to do cycling through local routes, Kayaking through Periyar river and plantation walk which is organized by resort. Overnight at resort.

DAY 03: THATTEKKAD – PARAMBIKULAM – JUNGLE SAFARI – BAMBOO RAFTING – TRIBAL SYMPHONY

After breakfast proceed to Parambikullam. Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is a well protected ecological portion in the Nelliampathy - Anamalai landscape of the Southern Western Ghats in India.  It is one of the biodiversity hot spot in the world supports diverse habitat types and endemism. Considering its biological richness, abundance of wildlife and landscape beauty makes Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is one of the most attractive places in the entire stretch of Western Ghats. The thick, opulent habitat of the sanctuary with ample water supplies make it an abode for wildlife and thereby for tourist who can have treasured memories of animal sightings and that of being in the lap of mother nature. On arrival check into Parmbikulam tented accommodation for 02 nights which is owned by forest department of Kerala. Afternoon proceed for jungle safari, bamboo rafting and tribal symphony. Overnight stay in the tented.

DAY 04: PARAMBIKULAM – TREKKING & BIRD WATCHING

After breakfast proceed for trekking and bird watching. Rest of the day is free to relax or walk around the interesting places.  Overnight at tent.

DAY 05: PARAMBIKULAM – MUNNAR

After breakfast check out from Parambikulam and drive to Munnar which is one of the most beautiful hill station of South India. Munnar is famous for its 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 and 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.  On arrival check into ECO TONES for 03 nights.  Evening free to relax and walk around the interesting place.  Overnight at hotel.

DAY 06:- MUNNAR – SPICE PLANTATION WALK / VILLAGE WALK

After breakfast proceed for Spice plantation walk / Village walk. The guided Spice Plantation Trail of Ecotones is an activity that has won rave reviews from many of our guests. You will be accompanied by a professional guide on this 3-hour walk over hillocks and glens. Find out about the local spices cultivated by the people of Muduvankudi, from the earthly turmeric to the spicy and pungent Bird’s Eye Chilli or kanthari. Learn about how farmers grow black gold, pepper. The cardamom plantations takes you to a different world with the lush emerald stalks and giant tree canopies. As you walk along, check out the multi-hued bird life all around you. From the ravishing ruby-throated bulbul and chattering Malabar hornbills to the metallic blue Malabar Whistling Thrush – the forest birds you’ll see around are sure to leave you enthralled. Rest of the day is free to relax and for your own activities. Overnight at resort.

DAY 07:- MUNNAR – JEEP SAFARI AND TRIBAL COLONY VISIT (FULL DAY PROGRAMME)

After breakfast proceed for Jeep Safari. The Jeep Safari that we offer at Ecotones is a full day program which begins at 10 am and finishes at 5 pm. Guests will be accompanied in a four-wheel drive along public roads that weave through lush evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. There are very high chances of seeing wildlife including Indian gaur and elephants. The drive will be slow so as to observe local wildlife including birds and small mammals. Some rules apply: guests for instance, are asked not to talk too loud so that they do not disturb the denizens of the forests. Guests can talk and interact with a few of our Muduvan friends, in a tribal hamlet near a reserve forest and spend a few hours interacting with the people to learn about their lives and culture. The Muduvans are the native tribes of the hills of Munnar and its surrounding areas. They have a rich culture, and their traditions are interwoven into the fabric of the forests. Such as their marriage ceremonies for instance: the bride and her friends retreat to the forest on the day of the wedding and the groom has to track his woman down in the thick forest – a test he has to pass to be able to wed his bride. The Muduvans speak in “Muduvan” a beautiful sing-song language different from both Malayalam and Tamil (which are the vernaculars spoken by other natives in the area). The traditional songs of the Muduvans have also received a lot of scholarly attention for their lilting melodies and simple, yet alluring structure. The people traditionally live in huts or kudis constructed using mud-blocks and bamboo. Muduvans are expert trackers and in most families, men are now employed by the State Forest Department as watchers. After the jeep safari, return back to resort by around 17:00 hours. Overnight at resort.

DAY 08:- MUNNAR - KUMARAKOM

After breakfast check out and drive to Kumarakom. On arrival check into LAKESONG 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 is the largest backwater in Kerala and is a 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 09:- KUMARAKOM – ENJOY THE TRADITIONAL ACTIVITIES / VILLAGE TOUR

After breakfast proceed to enjoy the traditional activities in the village which includes  Country boat ride (small open country boat / big covered canopy country boat), Coconut tree climbing (Coconut Tree climbers are a rarity these days in Kerala and other coconut growing states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra and Goa, with very few preferring on the traditional profession now a days),

Toddy tapping (Toddy is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of coconut palms. The sap is extracted and collected by a tapper. Typically the sap is collected from the cut flower of the Coconut tree. A container is fastened to the flower stump to collect the sap. The white liquid is toddy that initially collects tends to be very sweet and non-alcoholic before it is fermented), Net fishing (The traditional way of fishing is mostly used in backwaters, The fisher man’s uses small canoes for fishing with the help of net/ fish hook. Fishing is the main income earning way of Lake side residents. They normally go for fishing in the morning time and evening time.  You can see traditional fishing almost in all areas of backwaters. Freshwater prawns, lobsters, crabs, clams and oysters which find a ready market overseas are cropped from these backwaters. Coconut leaf weaving (Most of the villagers are used to thatch their houses with weaved coconut leaves and is also used for making baskets, handicraft items etc..), Coir making (Coir is a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes, mattresses, etc. Coir is the fibrous material which is found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut), Paddy field walk and Homestead vegetable garden visit. In between the village tour we will provide lunch with Kerala meals, fish curry and tender coconut. Evening back to the resort. Overnight at resort.

DAY 10:- KUMARAKOM – COCHIN – KATHAKALI

After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Cochin which is the commercial capital of Kerala. On arrival check into HOTEL ARCHES for 02 nights. Cochin – Queen of Arabian sea, is one of the most interesting cities of India and has one of the finest natural harbors 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 the ‘Kathakali’ centre, where you’ll watch the interesting Kathakali costumes followed by performance.  Kathakali is the most well known dance drama from the south Indian state of Kerala.  The word Kathakali literally means "Story-Play".  It is known for its large, elaborate make up and costumes.  The elaborate costumes of Kathakali have become the most recognised icon for Kerala. The Kathakali actors rely very heavily on hand gesture to convey the story.  These hand gestures, known as mudra, are common throughout much of classical Indian dance. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 11: COCHIN – SIGHT SEEING - KALARIPAYATTU

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 was 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 a fascinating mixture of shops, warehouses and spice auction rooms around.  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 sightseeing return back to the hotel.   Evening proceed to Kalaripayattu centre when you can see the martial arts of Kerala – Kalaripayattu. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 12:- COCHIN - DEPARTURE

After breakfast check out from the hotel resort and proceed to Cochin airport to catch your  flight after an ever memorable and relaxed holiday in Kerala.

                                                                                           TOUR ENDS…