Kerala Tour

Kerala which is situated on the south western coast of India is a tropical paradise. The waving palms, sandy beaches, the water bodies and the hills, mountains and forests are all witness to the natural beauty of the state. This narrow strip of coastal land slopes from the mountains of the Western Ghats in a cascade of verdant green down to the Arabian Sea. Kerala is famous for its great culture, art forms and dances, great religious harmony where temples,churches, mosques and even synagogues co-exist side by side. With world tourist options, ranging from the coastal lowlands with its extensive paddy fields and backwaters to the mountains and forests teeming with wildlife of all kinds as also the sun kissed golden beaches Kerala has a lot to offer the tourist and a range of accommodation and tour packages to suit every pocket. Kerala can be divided into five basic regions. The Malabar Region with its famed historical heritage, spices and textiles, the Central Kerala Region which includes Cochin the state’s commercial capital, Thrissur the cultural capital of Kerala and Palakkad the food basket of the state. The third region is the Central Travancore Region famed for its backwaters, the land of churches, rubber plantations and literacy, the Northern Travancore Region with its mountains, the cool hill stations, spice farms and plantations, and finally the southern Travancore Region which includes Thriuvananthapuram the state capital, with its monuments, museums temples and churches.

This sliver of dense green land has a coastline of almost 500 kilometers. The best time to visit Kerala would be from August to March. There are many tour packages that are available in Gods own country. But the tourist must be sure to book these packages only through the government recognized tour operators. One such popular tour package is the eight days and seven nights Glorious Kerala Tour Package. This tour package would cover major destinations like Cochin, Alappuzha, Trivandrum, Periyar, Munnar, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Thrissur before ending the tour back in Cochin.This Glorious Kerala Tour Package would give the tourist a glimpse of the states backwaters, hills, wildlife as well as a peep into the art forms as well. The tour operator would pick up the tourist from the airport on his or her arrival and would take the tourist to the Bolghatty Palace Hotel. After a traditional Kerala welcome at hotel, where accommodation is arranged in the luxurious cottages, the tourist is taken on a sightseeing trip around Cochin. A trip to Fort Cochin would showcase a great combination of Portuguese and Indian architecture.

The Chinese fishing nets along the shoreline form a great visual treat especially at sunset. The Santa Cruz Basilica a 500 year old church built by the Portuguese, is a wonder in itself with its stained glass paintings and impressive carvings. A visit to the Jewish Synagogue reveals the exquisite hand painted blue Chinese tiles and the silver crowns that have a mesmerizing effect of their own.From Cochin, the tour moves on to Alappuzha on the second day. Here one gets to enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage at the Kalari Kovilakam Ayurvedic Resort. A cruise on the famed backwaters in a traditional but luxurious houseboat or Kettuvallam, will take the tourist past swathes of palm trees, extensive paddy fields as well as small villages. While relaxing on the houseboat and gliding along the backwaters the tourist can get to see and enjoy Rural Kerala at close quarters. One sees women spinning coir in front of their homes, children diving into the emerald green waters and swimming like fishes and men either working in the paddy fields or coconut groves, or even fishing.

En route halt at a virgin village called Karimadikuttan which is famous for its handicrafts as well as the black granite statue of Lord Buddha. Here one gets to see local artisans creating magic out of wood and cloth. Watch the people of the village climbing the tall lanky coconut trees to bring down fresh tender coconut. The tourists can enjoy a cool refreshing drink of tender coconut water. As the Kettuvallam moves along towards Kumarakom, one gets a few species of avian friends for company. These birds inhabit the Bird Sanctuary and one gets to see birds like egrets, herons, darters and so on. After a relaxing cruise on the houseboat, the trip to Thriuvananthapuram is a total change. The visit to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple to see its architecture is an experience in itself. The Napier Museum tells stories of a bygone era. The tall slender towers with its gabled roof and stained glass windows give the impression of a light structure that is likely to be blown away by a gust of wind.A trip to the Kovalam Beach gives the tourist to enjoy water sports like riding water scooters, wind surfing, and skiing. Travelling from Thriuvananthapuram to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a move from the city lights to the lap of nature. Trek through the hills of Periyar to watch animals at close quarters. Identify the animal footprints and their calls with the help of the guide. A visit to the nearby tribal villages would give the tourist a glimpse of their archaic lifestyle. An early morning jeep safari through the jungles or a boat cruise on the Periyar River is a hard choice for the tourist to make. Watch the animals come down to the water to have a drink, or to frolic.

From the wilds of Periyar the road snakes up through the hills to Kerala’s dream destination Munnar. As the road winds up the Ghat section, the picture postcard locales amid the hills and forests, the tea plantations with their irresistible carpet of green that stretch across the region is a visual treat to tired eyes. Here a tourist gets to visit a tea estate and factory to get a glimpse of the traditional routine work that goes on in the area. A visit to the Tea Museum on the Nallathanni Estate is yet another educative and informative trip. A leisurely walk among the hills of Munnar might bring one in front of a herd of elephants playing amid the bushes.Along the drive from Munnar to Wayanad, a halt at the Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls is a must. It is great to see the waterfalls that start calmly at a height of about 80 feet in the high ranges, crash down through the gorges that are overhung with trees. An overnight stay in the tree house in Wayanad only to wake up early to the calls of nature is a wonderful experience in itself. At Wayanad a visit to the spice farms is an educative experience. The tourist gets to watch, learn and understand all about the process of farming, processing and packaging of spices. Also get an opportunity to watch a Kathakali performance put up exclusively for the tourists.

From Wayanad move on to Kozhikode the city which still bears the imprint of the visit of the ancient Portuguese trader and traveler Vasco da Gama. The next stop is at Kerala’s cultural heart Thrissur. Visit the famous Vadukunathan Temple and the Marthoma Mariam Big Church. At the temple one gets to witness a few ancient ceremonies being conducted. At the church the attractions are the tulip shaped pulpit, the great chandeliers and the gallery used by the church choir. The difference that strikes one in this church is that there is no image of the Lord Jesus except for a cross. After the trip to Thrissur, it is time for the tourist to return to Cochin where after a farewell dinner the tour formally comes to an end.

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