From Kerala and all the way to Kanyakumari – this trip doesn’t leave any stone unturned to make it a pleasurable one. 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. 270-degree view of the sea is quite a treat at Kanyakumari. Oh! Did we mention the golden sunsets here?
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 Thekkady
Wake up to the fresh cool breeze of Munnar. Post breakfast we drive down to Thekkady where you check into your hotel. We pick you up and drive you down to the entry gate of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. While through a thrilling and adventurous trip through the Periyar Tiger Reserve, something which cannot be missed at any cost is the high to be derived while slowly moving around with keen observation on a boat floating on the massive artificial lake at Thekkady. The two hour boating trips are arranged by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and mostly these trips never go in vain. The hot months of March and April are when the most number of animals come of their secret dwellings inside the thick forest in search of water. You won't get tired of seeing the naughty baby elephants having fun in the water as the elders try to control them without much success. Herds of Sambar, Wild boars, Gaur etc. also can be spotted. A large number of bird species also are regular visitors coming to fish and soak in the lake water. After the ride, we drive you back to your hotel, but not before a thrilling elephant ride.
Thekkady to Alleppey
Leave the forests of Periyar 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.
Kovalam to Kanyakumari
India’s southernmost tip lies a mere 90 kilometres away from Trivandrum. A scenic drive past windmill-laden fields leads you to Kanyakumari. Renowned for its unique sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, Kanyakumari boasts a 270-degree view of waters around it. Visit the Gandhi Memorial that has been constructed specifically so that the first rays of the sun on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, 2ndOctober, hit the memorial first. The 3,000-year-old Kumari Amman Temple in the vicinity is striking in its Kerala style architecture. A quick ferry ride would then take you across to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, 500 metres away from the mainland – this is apparently the site where Vivekananda gained enlightenment. The ferry then turns around and makes a stop at the Thiruvalluvar Statue. Thiruvalluvar was a much-loved Tamil poet, and this 95-foot tall statue signifies how wealth and love can be earned and enjoyed on a foundation of solid virtue. This statue notably withstood the fury of the tsunami back in 2004. Head back to the mainland and enjoy the beautiful sunset over the far end of the ocean, before you return. A 10-hour long trip that leaves you enchanted but certainly not exhausted.
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.