What is it that makes a trip to Kerala so worthwhile? Tea covered misty hills, backwaters, waterfalls and lovely beaches – enough to make your trip a memorable one. Drive through the beautiful misty mountains of Munnar covered with tea plants that seem like a bonsai decoration. Spend a night inside a houseboat on the backwaters of Alleppey. If you are lucky enough you will be served a fresh catch. Moving on to Kovalam, you will have enough time to explore all the beaches. Temples, palaces and art galleries make Trivandrum a true heritage city and only a full day tour does justice to it.
Kochi to Munnar
Arrive in Kochi and we will be there to pick you up and take you on an amazing drive through the backwater country. We tread higher each passing hour and make our way through gorgeous waterfalls and some outstanding views of the valley below. The Cheeyappara and Valara Waterfalls are the prime attractions on this route. Mist-shrouded mountains and lush tea gardens welcome you to Munnar. Check in at your hotel and relax for the day.
Of manicured tea gardens, misty mountains, clear streams and beautiful waterfalls, Munnar's landscape is exquisite enough to draw people from across the country throughout the year. Munnar tea has never looked back since. With perfect temperatures throughout the year, this is probably one of the very few places in India where every room needs a ceiling fan. The Eravikulam National Park here is home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr as well. Spectacular rolling hills with tea plantations at Lockhart Gap and panoramic views of sprawling Bison Valley are bound to take up that much-needed memory space on your camera. Head on to echo point by taking a long and scenic 29 kilometre ride. The ride takes you past rolling hills of tea, Mattupetty Dam and Kundala Dam. You can choose to take a boat ride at one of these lakes surrounded by beautiful hills all around.
Munnar to Alleppey
Leave the misty hills of Munnar to witness the backwaters of Alleppey. Backwater cruises are synonymous to 'God's own country', so much so that the first image that comes to your mind when you think 'Kerala' is probably a houseboat. The extensive backwater system here, complete with large channels flanked by coconut palms and villages on either side, are unique to just this part of the world. Settle down for a serene cruise on one of the famed houseboats of the Alleppey backwaters. Spend your time watching the world go by on the serene backwaters, on deck with a good book or just watching the captain manoeuvre this large boat through some rather tricky channels. The authentic Kerala lunch served here is probably among the best you'll ever get to taste. Spend the night at the houseboat.
Alleppey to Kovalam
We drive past the backwaters to the serene beaches of Kovalam. On the way, we stop to pay a visit to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Recently in the news for its several unopened vaults, seeing is believing here at the Padmanabhaswamy Temple which the Guinness Book claims is the world’s richest Hindu temple with gold and antiques worth nearly $20 billion. The temple itself has a ‘Hindu only’ entry policy and strict dress code; however, the spectacular view from the temple compound beside the pond is worth a visit in itself.
Significantly less ‘touristy’ than Goa, Kovalam has its share of small cafes and hotels along the coastline with rocky shores that provide calmer waters for some serene swims. Weekends, however, could get a little crowded. Explore Kovalam’s famed beaches - Hawa Beach (Eve’s beach), Lighthouse Beach and the less frequented Samudra Beach
Cultural Trail of Trivandrum
The glorious legacy of the kingdom of Travancore can be seen, quite literally, around every corner here in Trivandrum. A short drive down to the centre of town would take you to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. This is in case you didn’t have time the previous day to visit it. The Trivandrum zoo compound has the zoo, the Napier museum and the Shri Chitra Art Gallery. Apparently Asia’s oldest zoo, established in 1857, the disabled lion Simba here is supposed to be the inspiration behind Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi”. Head over to the Shri Chitra Art Gallery with its famed Raja Ravi Varma paintings as well as those of Svetoslav and Nicholas Roerich. The Napier Museum with its distinct Mughal minarets and Kerala style layout has bronze sculptures, ornaments and even a temple chariot.
The last 5 days, you’ve probably seen the best of what Kerala has to offer. Now it’s time to head to the airport at Trivandrum ad leave with a mind full of beautiful memories of Kerala.