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General Area: South India
State: Tamil Nadu & Kerala
Season: Oct to March
Duration: 12 Nights / 13 Days
Temperature: Min 18ºC To 20ºC & Max 25ºC To 30ºC
The Indian South is a land of myths, mysteries and magnificent structures. It is a colourful delight of soft sensual pleasures, from the temples of Tamil Nadu to the beaches and steamy backwaters of the Kerala coast. The itinerary encompasses cultural sightseeing, temples, forts, and palaces spanning more than 2000 years of Indian history. Connect with local people along the way in rural villages of Tamil Nadu. Explore bazaars, spiritual centers, tea and spice plantations of the Western Ghats. Kick back in a private houseboat in the Keralan backwaters where you can enjoy some of the most sumptuous selections of coastal cuisine in the world. But most of all it, with its exquisite hotels and its delicious cuisine, it is a perfect place for a truly relaxing on a beautiful beach overlooking the Arabian Sea.
The climate in southern India in January is warm and pleasant, with day temperatures ranging between 25-35 degrees, and minimum temperatures of 18-20 degrees.
Arrive in Chennai international airport by EK – 544 at 8.15 hours, upon arrival our representative will meet and greet you at and transfer you to the hotel Raintree, St Mary’s. Do let our representative know either you would like to have breakfast first or would like to check-in first. Relax for couple of hours and in the afternoon our guide and driver will pick you from the hotel for the sightseeing of Chennai.
The gateway to the rich and varied culture of the South India peninsula, Chennai, (formerly Madras), the capital of Tamil Nadu, is also a seat of ancient civilization, with a rich heritage of fine arts, sculpture and architecture. It has withstood the pressure of modernization to some extent and even today retains an old-world charm and traditional Tamil heritage which has an instant appeal for the visitor. Once a small cluster of fishing hamlets set amidst palm-fringed paddy fields along the Coromandel Coast, the city developed a significant place under the British.
The British East India Company established one of its earliest seats of power in India in Chennai. The construction of Fort St. George was begun around 1650 and is one of the most significant buildings of the British rule. Today the old buildings in the Fort house the Tamil Nadu Government Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. Contained within the Fort are a church and a museum. St. Mary’s Church, consecrated in 1680, is the earliest English building surviving intact in India and also the earliest Anglican Church in the east. The Fort St. George Museum contains some fascinating items belonging to the early days of the East India Company and the colonial period – coins, weapons, pictures and books form part of the collection.
Two beautiful churches that still have regular services are St. George’s Cathedral and St. Andrew’s Kirk. The latter is said to resemble St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and its towering steeples and the strength of the pillars of the facade make it a city landmark.
The Ice Factory on Marina Beach was built in 1842 to store ice imported from America. It was later converted into a home for widows. San Thome Church is associated with the Apostle St. Thomas. It is believed that he was martyred on St. Thomas’ Mount and his remains are enshrined in this church.
The Marina is a 13-km long sandy beach running along the whole length of Chennai, fringed with palms and casuarinas. One of the most important localities of Chennai is the unified complex of Mylapore where the Kapaleswara Shiva temple, the tank, market area and old Brahmin residential houses are situated. Another ancient and important place of worship is the Krishna Patrathasarathy temple.
Overnight hotel at Chennai
After breakfast, begin your drive to Mamallapuram, en-route visit Kanchipuram lies 40 miles (70 km) from Chennai and was the erstwhile capital of the Pallavas and Cholas who reigned between the 7th and 13th centuries. These two powerful dynasties gave the city its numerous temples and tanks. The town today has as many as 150 active temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. One of the seven holiest cities of India, it is well planned, with broad streets designed to accommodate the large processions that take place throughout the year in celebration of festivals dedicated to the many and various deities. The Kailashanatha and Vaikuntaperumal Vishnu temples were both built in the 8th century of sandstone and house some of the most elegant sculptures of Shiva, Nataraja, Durga mounted on a lion and of Vishnu. The former also contains some remnants of mural paintings from the Pallava period. The Varadaraja Vishnu temple is a large complex with mandapas, tanks and sculptured halls. It has an ancient mango tree; the four branches are said to represent the four Vedas, and each has a different taste. To eat the fruit is to gain eternal wisdom. The Ekambareshwara temple is also a large complex where devotees still flock in large numbers.
Upon arrival check-in to the hotel and relax at the beach side.
Overnight hotel at Mahabalipuram
In the morning, our guide will report you at the hotel and take you for the sightseeing tour of Mamallapuram, a World Cultural Heritage Sit is a charming coastal village on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. It was once a flourishing port during the time of the Pallava rulers in the 7th and 8th centuries, and the open-air ‘museum’ of breathtaking sculpture has few parallels in the world. The temples, monuments and rock hewn sculpture from that period are the most spectacular examples of Dravidian temple architecture and Pallava art; the splendid carvings being distinctive for the simplicity of their folk art origins.
4 kinds of rock structure can be found here. Rock hewn ‘monolithic’ temples; ‘Rathas’; carved shrines in the shape of a chariot; ‘Mandapans’; cave sanctuaries, scooped from the hillsides and ornamented with pillars and great sculptured panels; and huge open-air ‘Bas relief sculptures’, carved on large rocks.
Thankfully, this is not an art form confined to history, with stone-carving still very much a living art here. The skills which flourished centuries ago continue to be taught and stone masons can be seen and heard, from dawn to dusk, tapping away with hammer and chisel as they create exquisite sculptures, many of which are exported around the world.
The Descent of the Ganga, sometimes referred to as Arjuna’s Penance, (after the hero of the Indian epic Mahabharata), is the world’s largest bas-relief, 27 m long and 9 m high, and an amazing masterpiece of Indian art. This relief carving, sculpted on the face of two enormous adjacent rocks facing the sea, depicts scenes from the Mahabharata and is a beautiful composition of deities, animals and humans, all moving towards a natural rock cleft that divides the giant stone canvas. Dominating the scene is a beautiful 5m elephant, leading a procession of elephants to the scene of penance by the cleft, representative of the descent of the river Ganga from the Himalaya. Here Arjuna stands, balanced on one leg in a state of Penance, with a figure of Shiva to his right.
Behind The Descent of the Ganga bas-relief, there is a granite hill where more than 12 cave temples can be seen, and a lighthouse built by the British which offers a good view.
The Five Rathas, lie to the south of the hill nearby, just 300 m from the sea, and are among the most famous examples of Pallava architecture. These individual architectural gems, each created from granite in a different style, with exquisite detail, were hidden in the sand until being excavated by the British 200 years ago. It is said that the five Rathas represent the five chariots used by the Pancha Pandava (five Pandava) brothers, and their wife Draupadi, in the epic Hindu Mahabharata. Four of the five Rathas are monolithic temples, said to have been hewn from a single rock formation. The imposing Gopurams and sculptured pillars and walls are fine examples of the style which was adopted in constructing temples throughout Tamil Nadu. There are also large sculptures of a magnificent elephant, a lion, and Nandi, the sacred bull.
The magnificent early 8th century Shore Temple, built by the Pallava King Rajasimha, is one of the oldest temples in South India and an excellent example of the early temples constructed in Dravidian style. Standing alone and majestic on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, this small but romantic temple, weathered by the wind and sea, represents the final phase of Pallava Art. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, who is depicted inside one of the shrines, lying with a snake at his side in repose on the sea. This sandstone temple has a granite base and encompasses a wealth of sculpture with a remarkable amount of temple carving remaining, in particular inside the temple. A courtyard surrounds it; and the entrances are guarded by sculptures of mythical deities, with lines of Nandi (Siva’s sacred bull) and lion statues.
Fortunately, the Shore Temple was not damaged by the 2004 tsunami, but it carried away much sand, uncovering the foundations of another huge Pallava temple, lying a few meters further south. This has led to speculation that there may be yet more temples to be discovered, which would comprise the so called “Seven Pagodas” reported by early European travellers to this coast.
Afternoon at leisure or relax at the beach.
Overnight hotel at Mahabalipuram
After breakfast drive to Pondicherry a former French colony which still enjoy the influence of French atmosphere. Although perhaps best known as the former capital of the French territories in India, Pondicherry, originally a small fishing village, was ruled by a wide variety of culturally and religiously diverse Empires for many centuries; each of which has left a distinct mark.
Upon arrival check in to the hotel, the guide will collect you from the hotel and take you for the sightseeing of Pondicherry.
Marine Drive, with its 1½ km promenade is probably the best place to begin exploring Pondicherry. At the north end of the esplanade stand the French Institute and Consulate-General, whilst the south end terminates in the Alliance Française, all housed in fine old colonial buildings. On the sea front there are statues of Dupleix and Mahatma Gandhi; a poignant and moving war memorial built by the French to commemorate French Indians who lost their lives in World War I; and an old 27m lighthouse.
Set back a couple of streets, and a short stroll, from the Promenade, is the former French ‘Place’ which was once the heart of Colonial Pondicherry. It is dominated by Raj Nivas; the handsome, gleaming white, 200 year old colonial building which was once the residence of Dupleix and is perhaps the finest surviving example of Indo-French architecture. Today, it houses the Lieutenant-Governor of Pondicherry and its garden contains several stone sculptures, the most prominent of which is a sculpture of Lord Vishnu with Lakshmi.
Nearby are other reminders of the past. These include the Romain Rolland Library, founded in 1827, which holds more than 60,000 volumes, including many old and rare French and English books. Pondicherry Museum contains a remarkable collection of artefacts from both its Indian and French heritage. There is also an Arms Gallery and an Art Gallery containing archaeological findings from the Roman, Hindu and French cultures.
To the north, behind the French Consulate-General, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is located which is the best known landmark of Pondicherry. This great prophet and poet of the 20th century, Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, was a Bengali revolutionary and philosopher who struggled for freedom from British colonial power. He made Pondicherry his home from 1910 until his death in 1950 and strove for his ideals of a peaceful community. His vision has been perpetuated at Auroville, 10 km north of Pondicherry town. It was constructed in 1968 under the guidance of the charismatic Mirra Alfassa, better known as ‘The Mother’; a Paris-born painter and musician who became Sri Aurobindo’s life-long companion and disciple from 1924 until his death. Auroville strives for a utopia in which people from all different nationalities, faiths and beliefs can live in harmony, and it continues to draw people from all over the world.
To the south, L’Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, built in 1865, is a striking structure with twin square towers. It houses a rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, presented by Emperor Napoleon III. Nearby, in a little garden off Rue Dumas, is a statue of the French heroine Joan of Arc.
In the former “Ville Noir”, the northern, vibrant section is the most Indian part of the town, and home to the Tamil-Hindu population. The southern section is more Christian and Muslim in nature.
The twin spires of Pondicherry Cathedral can be found on Cathedral Street. Further south, the minarets of the Kuthpa Mosque are representative of the Tamil Muslims and their contribution to the ethnic mosaic of Pondicherry. And at the southern edge of the town, one of Pondicherry’s finest Catholic churches is the large cream and brown Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Built by French missionaries in the 1700s, it is noted for its Gothic style of architecture, with an elegant stucco façade. It has three rare and beautiful stained-glass panels that recount the life of Jesus, and many arches that span the nave. Elaborately carved headstones in the nearby cemetery mark the resting place of early French settlers.
Overnight in hotel Pondicherry
Today we will make an early start to Thanjavur, located on the eastern coast of central Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur (British Tanjore) is at the head of the highly fertile delta of the Kaveri River and was the capital of the Cholas during their supremacy, one of the greatest dynasties of the South. The Cholas were great temple builders and Thanjavur bears witness to this, being dotted with no fewer than 74 temples, the most famous of which is the Brihadeeshwara temple a World Heritage Monument. Though the history of Thanjavur is far older than the Chola period itself, it is during their reign between the 10th and 14th centuries that the city rose to dizzying heights, becoming the centre of Tamil learning and culture. The Tamil University, set up recently is situated here and is devoted to the growth of Tamil literature and language.
En-route visit the Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram. It is one of the oldest temples of Tamil Nadu and has a roof that is covered with gold plates. The presiding deity of the temple “Akasa Lingam” represents 5 elements of the universe. 108 Bharatha Natyam dance positions can be seen engraved on the different towers of the temple.
Upon arrival check-in to the hotel, in the late afternoon visit the Brihadisvara temple, capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single gigantic granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building Pyramids. Built from 1003 to 1010, it is the greatest of Chola temples, and was one of the largest structures in the world at the time. Its thirteen-storied tower (all temple towers in India have an odd number of stories) is about 66m (200ft) tall. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Shiva. The tower is a testimony to the engineering skill of the Chola architects who planned its construction in such a way that the shadow of the cupola never falls on the ground. The Raja Chola Art Gallery has some fine pieces of stone and bronze sculptures from the 9th and 12th centuries. Over 30,000 Indian and European manuscripts written on palm leaf and paper are preserved in the Saraswathi Mahal Library.
Overnight hotel at Tanjore
Enjoy a relaxed morning or learn more about the community before driving to Madurai, en-route visit the Sri Rangantham and Rock Fort Temple.
Tiruchirapalli, also known as Trichy, was held by the Chola and Pallava dynasties. The Nayakas of Madurai have constructed the greater portion of the town. The Trichy Fort played an important part in the battles waged between the English and the French to gain power. The Rock Fort most famed landmark is an 83m high rock which is the only out crop in the otherwise flat land of the City. The most amazing fact about the rock is that it is one of the oldest in the world – approximately 3,800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of green land and older than the Himalayas.
Srirangam: The most important pilgrim center in the district is located on an island just 7 km from Tiruchirappalli. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of the River Kaveri on one side and its tributary the River Kollidam on the other, is a 600-acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple. This is the seat of the pontiff of the Vaishnavite, who are the worshippers of Lord Vishnu.
Continue you drive to Madurai, or the “city of nectar”. This is the oldest and second largest city in Tamil Nadu, and one of South India’s great temple towns, being synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. The Pandyan King Kulasekarar built this great temple and created a lotus shaped city around it. Mythology says that on the auspicious day the city was named, as Lord Shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar, “madhu”, fell from his matted locks and was showered on the city; henceforth known as Madhurapuri. This sacred 2000 year-old capital of the Pandyan Kings until the 14th century, with its rich cultural heritage, is situated on the banks of the Vaigai River and has been a center of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. It is also famous for its Jasmines. Upon arrive and check into the hotel and relax. Overnight hotel at Madurai.
After an early breakfast visit to famous Synonymous with Madurai is the Meenakshi Sundareswarar twin-temple. It is the pivot around which the city has evolved. The Meenakshi Temple complex is literally a city on its own. It is one of the largest of its kind in India and undoubtedly one of the oldest too. The temple grew bigger with the contributions of each dynasty and victorious monarchs, into an enormous complex extending over an area of 65000 sq. meters.
About 1.5 km from the Meenakshi temple is this palace that was built in 1636 by the rule who’s named it bears. The imposing edifice is famous for the stuccowork on its domes and impressive arches. The Sorga Vilasam or the Celestial Pavilion, measuring 75mx52m, is constructed entirely of brick and mortar without the support of a single rafter or girder. It is a marvel of Indo Saracenic architectural style. Among the other striking features of the palace are the massive white pillars, several of which line the corridor that runs along the courtyard. Connected by well-decorated arches, these pillars measure 20m in height and have a circumference of 4m. Afternoon you are free to stroll around the local market.
Overnight hotel at Madurai
Today we drive to the spice land of Thekkady. The journey in itself is an experience, passing through bustling towns in the plains, rubber plantations in the foothills, and undulating tea gardens on the mountains.
The small town of Thekkady, in the south Indian state of Kerala, falls in the picturesque hill district of Idukki amidst vast forests, rolling hills and spice scented plantations. It lies 135 km from Madurai 180 km from Kochi and 114 km from Kottayam. Thekkady, with its unique flora and fauna, and cool, crisp, scented air, offers a wide variety of activities for the nature lover. Spreads across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that offer wonderful opportunities for treks and walking.
Upon arrival check-in at Kerala nature resort, it’s a delightful luxury Kerala nature resort located in Kumily, a little town surrounded by dense forests and spice laden hill slopes. Beneath a lush canopy of tropical trees, there is much to discover and experience here-venerable trees generously endowed with fruit, dazzling shades of green, the melody of birds, dancing shadows.
You may like to visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, with its hilly areas, flat, marshy grasslands, and 55 sq km picturesque lake. Herds of elephants, currently numbering around 800, are to be seen by the water’s edge or bathing in the lake. Tiger, Leopard, varies species of deer and monkey, porcupines, and gaur are all to be found in the Park, along with 280 species of birds. Wildlife viewing is by boat on the lake, a gentle walk, or from watchtowers.
Our representative will meet you at the hotel lobby in the afternoon. He will assist you at Periyar Lake sanctuary jetty.
Enjoy the boat ride on Lake Periyar! It offers the unique experience of observing wildlife at close quarters from a boat on the lake. Covering an area of 300 square miles Periyar is one of the largest and most frequently visited wildlife reserves in India. It is part of the Project Tiger campaign and animals inhabiting the area include elephant, deer, pig, tiger, leopard, bison, monkeys and Malabar squirrel. Whilst actually spotting an elusive tiger or leopard could prove difficult, the mix of wooded hills and valleys make it a wonderful place to enjoy the greenery. Overnight hotel at Thekkady
Early in the morning we set out on an approximately 4 hours of Jungle on foot along with guides who are well known in the terrain. Nature walks the forest offering an excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. Be enthralled by the tropical forests across the valley and the magical walks with extraordinary mountains towering in the background.
Afterwards there will be time to relax at the hotel before we visit spice plantations in the area in the afternoon. Spice plantation walk is a very popular activity that is being offered in Thekkady. Guide will takes you to explore spice plantations of cardamon, pepper and other local specialties, perhaps a visit to a tea factory.
Ramble in the midst of the green, terraced ranches in Thekkady, while you hear the mumbling sound of the undulating streams. The spice ranch of Thekkady is the largest ranch in the entire Kerala. The aroma and flavors from these huge farms of spices is a conception of nirvana. Wade through these manors and inhale the aromatic air of the zest in Thekkady.
Spice gardens and plantations are abundant here and the walk is all about explaining the history, growth and development of wonder spices like, cardamom and pepper. Others crops include, tea, coffee and vanilla. It is very exciting to see all these as most of the world have seen this only in the supermarket shelves as a packed product. It would be about explaining about how the whole plantation area was before decades, the stories about people moving into the hills, clearing up the forests and started plantations.
Overnight hotel at Thekkady
After breakfast, drive from the heart of the spice hills to the idyllic backwaters of Kerala in Kumarakom; an enchanting cluster of little islands located on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake. Kumarakom the charming emerald peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake takes you into the heart of the scenic lake where you’ll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes. The fresh water of the lake runs into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals and waterways. The backwater houses a variety of species of both fauna and flora. They are rich with marine life namely the exclusive ‘Kumarakom Karimeen’ (pearl spotted fish), Konju (tiger prawns), Njandu (crabs), Chemeen (prawns) and many more.
Upon arrival check-in to the hotel, Relax and rejuvenate soul, body and mind. Enjoy the solitude and immense natural beauty that will simply delight you and connect you to the nature and God. An untouched, rustic and timeless beauty surrounds you, watch the slowly changing scenery pass you by. A perfect setting for a relaxing holiday with endless memories etched on your soul.
Enjoy an evening boat cruise to watch the glorious sunset over Lake Vembanad. Located on its banks, 12 km west of Kottayam, is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary; an ornithologist’s paradise. A variety of local and migratory birds, like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal, can be observed from the lake, or from vantage points on the shore. The charming emerald peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent, scenic lake takes you into its heart where you’ll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes. The fresh water of the lake runs into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals and waterways. The backwater houses a variety of species of both fauna and flora. They are rich with marine life namely the exclusive ‘Kumarakom Karimeen’ (pearl spotted fish), Konju (tiger prawns), Njandu (crabs), Chemeen (prawns) and many more.By Vallam (country boat) experiencing the tranquility of the region.
Overnight hotel at Kumarakom
You could chose an activity of your interest and explore before leaving to the ferry point where you board your houseboat (Around 11:30 AM). The rooms in the house boat are fully furnished with attached bathrooms. The boat has a fully equipped kitchen and an experienced cook to prepare authentic Kerala cuisine with seafood specialties and fresh vegetables. This is your chance to pick up some fabulous cooking tips! The entire state of Kerala is blessed with plenty of rivers and the resources of many are still untapped. These houseboats are uniquely designed using local materials like bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. and are a fabulous way to enjoy exploring the fascinating beauties of backwaters.
These shimmering waterways are edged with dense tropical greenery and rural villages where daily life unfolds at an unhurried pace. Views change constantly as you move along. Lush green paddy fields and coconut groves, tranquil waters momentarily disturbed by cormorants and brahmini kites diving down in search of their catch, fisherman tending to their nets, and villages passing by in canoes filled with coir and vegetables. Stop en-route and explore rural villages, Hindu kovils and churches. At night, once your houseboat is anchored in the waters, dine on the helm under a starlit sky with the sound of crickets in the background. Kerala’s houseboats are refurbished Kettu vallams which are traditional rice or spice barges that used to transport the harvest from Kuttanad to Kochi.
The Backwaters are a maze of bridge and canals set in a labyrinth of backwater channels laced with endless stretches of lakes and lagoon. Over 900 km of this intricate network is navigable. Today boat trip starts from foothills of the Western Ghats; it has beautiful backwaters to its west and scenic fertile mountains to its east. A major canter of the trade, it also has a strong spiritual side to it, with several sects and divisions of the Syrian Christian faith due to the influence of history over the centuries. The best known churches are the historic Valia Palli and Cheria Palli, both with colourful frescoes enriching their dim interiors. This is the best place to explore the unspoiled countryside of Kerala.
Overnight stay in the AC Deluxe house boat (back waters)
Morning at leisure, after breakfast disembark houseboat at Allappey where our driver will be waiting for you, we drive to Kochi, the “Venice of the East”, was once the center of the thriving spice trade and is now the principal port on the Malabar Coast. Kochi’s rich trading past is reflected in the Portuguese, Dutch and British influences evident in its architecture.
Kochi’s unique setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas makes it one of the finest natural harbors in the world. From Kochi, a variety of Kerala’s products, such as pepper, seafood, rubber and coir, are shipped to places all over the world. With its wealth of historical associations, the city offers an eclectic variety of sightseeing. There are bastions and streets built by the Portuguese over 500 years ago. You will find the oldest church in India, winding alleys with mosques and old Portuguese houses, a Jewish community with ancient roots, a 16th century synagogue, and a palace built by the Portuguese and given to the King of Cochin.
Today evening enjoy a sunset cruise along the Cochin harbour to see the various activities and to see the Chinese fishing nets. The enormous Chinese fishing nets on the sea front of Kochi are a glorious sight; and this is also a good place to see a Kathakali dance performance. Overnight hotel at Cochin
Our guide will report at the hotel in the morning for the sightseeing tour of Kochi. Walking tour takes us in the historic old streets around Fort Cochin and the red-tiled riverfront of Mattancherry, once the old capital’s main market area and the Centre of the Malabar spice trade. Fort Cochin is believed to be the oldest European settlement in India, with the Portuguese flag first hoisted here in 1500.
It’s a vibrant mix of Arab, Chinese, European and Indian influences and home to the oldest church and the oldest synagogue in the country. Built on trade, the city began to prosper with the arrival of Jewish and Arab traders. With the later arrival of the Portuguese, and then the Dutch and English, Cochin went on to become a vibrant settlement, incorporating a rare fusion of European and Asian traditions and styles.
St. Francis Church, built in 1510 by friars brought to India by Vasco da Gama, is the first European church built in India and is the site where da Gama was buried. While the remains were later taken back to Lisbon, the gravestone can still be seen here.
The Jewish Synagogue was built in 1568 and considerably embellished in the mid-18th century by Ezekiel Rahabi, who built a clock tower and paved the floor of the synagogue with hand- painted tiles brought all the way from Canton in China.
The “Dutch Palace” was built in the 1550s by the Portuguese and taken over by the Dutch, who later presented it to the Rajas of Cochin. The palace contains excellent mythological murals and a rare example of traditional Keralite flooring – a subtle mix of burnt coconut shells, lime, plant juices and egg whites – which gives the effect of polished marble. Overnight hotel at Cochin
Our representative will report at the hotel lobby according to the International flight schedule and transfer you to the Cochin international airport to board your homeward flight with sweet memories.
What to bring for the trek
Good Warm internal clothing (woolen and fleece, thermals), water proof and wind proof clothing, Comfortable hiking boots with good resistance against the snow and water with a good grip, haversack, sandals, walking sticks, gaiters, woolen/tennis socks (quite a few pairs) and stocking, gloves, cap, sunglasses (very important), Sunscreen lotion, day sack, camera and binocular (OPTIONAL), water bottle, torch and batteries, though the water is very clean and pure and we do provide boiled water once you are in trek still in order to be extra careful you can get few chlorine pills as mountain water is supposed to be hard.
What we provide during the trek
Accommodation in two men tent (high altitude alpine tents of good quality), heavy foam pad mattresses, sleeping bags, Breakfast/tea, all meals (good quality food), services of experienced guide, cook, all the camping equipment, utensils and crockery, kitchen cum dining tent, toilet tent, oxygen cylinder and adequate medical kit.
Day temperature in the sun is pleasant but windy but nights are cold. The temp at night and in rain and snow (especially in Sep and Oct) can really go down; sometimes below zero so you have to be well prepared.
That has to be done individually itself.
It is also possible that a route change may become necessary due to weather, inaccessibility through the mountain passes due to heavy snow, condition of the trail and physical fitness of the clients.