Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, has nearly 600km of Arabian Sea shoreline. It’s known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters, a network of canals. Inland are the Western Ghats.

Kanyakumari is a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu on India’s southern tip. Jutting into the Laccadive Sea, the town was known as Cape Comorin during British rule and is popular for watching sunrise and sunset over the ocean.

PLACES COVERED  Cochin-Munnar-Thekkady (Periyar)-Alleppey-Kovalam-Kanyakumari-Kovalam-Cochin
DURATION OF TRIP  09 NIGHTS/10 DAYS
MINIMUM  REQUIRED  2 PAX
 ACCOMMODATION  BUDGET ACCOMMODATION
DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION PICKUP COCHIN /DROP COCHIN
RETURN TIME Approximately 6:30 PM/Depends on onward Journey
WEAR Comfortable athletic clothing,  sunscreen.
BASIC INCLUSION
09Night Accommodation as per tour plan
Arrival Departure By private Transport Aircon
Jeep Safari In Munnar
All sightseeing & Taxes
Bed and Breakfast
Overnight Houseboat premium Class 24 HrsAircon With meals
BASIC EXCLUSION
Entrance Tickets
Lunch & dinner
Personal Expenses
1

Day-01- Arrive in Cochin Airport / Munnar by Drive (135 km / 3.5 hrs. drive)

Today arrive in Kochi Airport by any morning flight and you will be meeting with our tour manager at airport later you proceed to Munnar. Enroute stop at Valera and Cheeyappara Waterfalls. Reaching Munnar, check into the hotel and relax. Overnight at Munnar.

2

Day-02- Jeep Safari tour in Munnar

After breakfast start sightseeing tour of Munnar by Jeep safari drive through the KananDevan Hills tea plantations, scenic beauty valleys, Lock heart gap, spice plantations etc. After around 25 kms of jeep ride through the normal road we will reach the jeep able, jumpy, bumpy, rugged road to the World’s highest organic tea growing estate. Once we reach the top we will be on the ridge of Kerala, Tamil Nadu border. From there drive or walk little further to one of the oldest orthodox tea factory in this region.

After visiting the Factory we will have fresh tea picked, processed and made on the spot. Soon after we will start walking to a small ground to have our picnic lunch near the cliff with wonderful view around, then will proceed to Munnar in the jeep itself. Ride will be through the tea plantations jeepable rugged road and we can have a close look to the spectacular country side and the rural Tamil people, working in the tea plantations.

Later drive back to Hotel stay overnight at Hotel in Munnar.

3

DAY 03: Munnar / Periyar Via Thekkady by drive (100 kms – 3 hrs drive)

Today after breakfast check out your hotel and drive towards Thekkady, the Wildlife destination of Kerala. It’s also known as the spice bag of the state. Sightseeing destinations in Thekkady includes Periyar wild life sanctuary (20 km from Thekkady) where you can see wild elephant, boar, deer, the great Indian tiger and more, Mullaperiyar dam and spice plantations tour where one can shop exotic spices.

In the evening you have an amazing boat ride in Periyar Lake which flows through the Periyar tiger reserve. You will have chance to watch the wild animals like elephant, Bison, Sambar, Deer etc are roaming the both shore.

Overnight stay in hotel in Periyar or Thekkady.

4

DAY 04: Periyar / Alleppey enjoy the 'Backwater Trip

After Morning breakfast 08:00 am proceed to Alleppey on arrival check in Houseboat.  “Admire the beautiful scenery of paddy fields and coconut palm as you cruise along the backwaters of Alappuzha (Alleppey). Alappuzha, also known as the “Venice of the East”, is an important tourist destination in India and the backwaters of Alappuzha are the most popular attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise on these backwaters will be a very delightful and unique experience for you! 

  • Guests can check in at 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, you have welcome drink and start cruise after a short briefing introduction, relax and enjoy the canals, rivers and backwater, at 13:00 hrs houseboat will stop for lunch, with lavish menu of traditional Kerala cuisine. (if your require any special meals like main food in north Indian or food without spice etc it has to be informed in advance).
  • 14:00 hrs it will continue its cruise covering beautiful rivers and canals with palm trees and small houses near to it , villages paddy fields, churches, etc, you can also see their fresh prawns or crab selling from local fishermen.
  • 17:30 hrs The houseboat will anchor (till next day morning 08: 00) most of the time we will stop near the land because, you can also get a chance to go out and walk along the riverside or villages and come back, Evening Enjoy your Dinner and leave all world behind you and have a good sleep in your floating paradise.
  • Bed tea / Coffee will be provided, enjoy the sunrise next day and breakfast ready next day morning at 07:00 am. Take breath pollution free air. At 08:30 hrs Breakfast which includes bread, butter, jam or Iddily /Dosa etc.
  • 09:00 Am Checkout time is fixed next day from the boat.

The Houseboat provides all comforts – Beds, a kitchen, western toilets and an upper deck. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. Spend the day cruising on boat. Through remote tribal villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb experience. Sensational in its own silent way, the cruise takes you along Snake boat docks, friendly cheering villagers, coir (Jute) making communities, toddy (local spirit) shops, fishing nets pitched for the day’s catch, bounded paddy fields and manual canoes of different sizes criss-crossing each other. The experience enables you to reach beautiful untouched areas.

Stay overnight at in Houseboat in Alleppey.

5

DAY 05: Alleppey / Kovalam (160 km / 4 hrs. drive)

Disembark from houseboat in Alleppey at 9AM and drive to Kovalam. Kovalam is a small coastal town in the southern Indian state of Kerala, south of Thiruvananthapuram. At the southern end of Lighthouse Beach is a striped lighthouse with a viewing platform. Palm-backed beaches also include Hawa Beach and Samudra Beach. Check in at the beach resort and relax. You have option for Ayurveda massage. Overnight at Kovalam.

6

DAY 06: Kovalam / Kanyakumari (90 km – 2.5 hrs drive)

Today after breakfast, Drive to Kanyakumari which is the southern tip of India. Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Sightseeing includes Kanyakumari beach which is the sangam of Indian ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea.
Visit Vivekananda rock, Watch sunset and stay at hotel in Kanyakumari.

7

DAY 07: Kanyakumari / Kovalam

Today after breakfast visit same place to Watch sunrise and later drive to Kovalam

Sightseeing includes light house beach, Howah Beach, Ashoka beach. Kovalam beaches has lovely coconut palms fringe the golden sand.

Overnight stay at Kovalam.

8

DAY 08: Kovalam - day is free for personal activity at beaches

Today after breakfast the day free for relaxation at the beaches in Kovalam.

Overnight stay in Kovalam.

9

DAY 09: Kovalam / Cochin (215 km / 6 hrs. drive) - Watch Kathakali Dance Show at Cultural Theater

Today after breakfast proceed to Kochi. Upon arrival in Kochi check-in to the hotel later in the evening visit:

Kathakali Dance show Centre in AC Theater: (Timings: 17:30 pm – 19:30 pm)

Elements of the art of Kathakali are found in the ancient ritual plays of Hindu temples and various dance forms that are believed to have been gradually developed in Kerala from as early as the 2nd Century until the end of the 16th Century. Many of its characteristics are very much older than its literature, as they are a continuation of older traditions, but these did not crystallize until the 17th Century when the Rajah of Kottarakkara, a small principality in central Travancore, wrote plays based on the Hindu epic “Ramayana” in sanskritized Malayam, which could be understood by ordinary people.

Later drive back for Stay overnight at Hotel in Cochin..

10

DAY 10: Cochin Sightseeing / Departure transfer

After breakfast start a sightseeing tour of Cochin Here you can see the:

Mattancherry Palace & Jewish Synagogue: The Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace, in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala which features Kerala murals depicting portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. The Palace was built and gifted by the Portuguese as a present to the king of Cochin around 1555. The Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace in 1663, and thereafter it was popularly called Dutch Palace. It is also called Paradesi synagogue is a word used in several Indian languages, and the literal meaning of the term is “foreigners”, applied to the synagogue because it was built by Sephardic or Spanish-speaking Jews, some of them from families exiled in Aleppo, Safed and other West Asian localities. It is also referred to as the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue.

Above monument Timings: Dutch Palace/Mattancherry: Timings 10:00am to 5pm, Closed on Fridays and National holidays / Jewish Synagogue: 10 am to 5pm, Break Time – 12pm to 3pm, Closed on Friday & Saturday & Jewish Holidays

Chinese Fishing Net: In India, Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) are fishing nets that are fixed land installations for fishing. While commonly known as “Chinese fishing nets” in India, the more formal name for such nets is “shore operated lift nets”. Huge mechanical contrivances hold out horizontal nets of 20 m or more across. Each structure is at least 10 m high and comprises a cantilever with an outstretched net suspended over the sea and large stones suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end. 

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Kochi: The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in Kerala. Counted as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala, this church is one of the finest and most impressive churches in India and visited by tourists the whole year round. It is a place of devotion as well as a center of historic significance, endowed with architectural and artistic grandeur and colours of the gothic style.

St. Francis Church, Kochi: St. Francis CSI Church, in Fort Kochi (a.k.a. Fort Cochin), originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India. and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed to Lisbon.

You can find some time for Shopping at Cochin, Later transfer to the airport to onward destination.

General Inclusion:

For India:-

  • A safe and comfortable air-conditioned Private car with driver, all inclusive. (Fuel for Bus, road and state taxes, toll fees, parking fees, and driver’s food and lodging).
  • The car will be with you from your arrival to departure with as many stops to sight see as you want.
  • A Driver with excellent skills and record, a good knowledge of the area you are visiting and sufficient English to communicate.
  • Transfers and land transportation according to itinerary.
  • Accommodation Double or Twin rooms with Bed and Breakfast
  • Arrival Departure By private Transport Aircon
  • Boat Ride in Periyar
  • Jeep Safari in Munnar
  • Kathakali dance show tickets at AC Theater in Kochi
  • Overnight Houseboat premium Class 24 Hrs Aircon With all meals.
  • General Exclusion:
  • Tips, laundry, telephone bills, luggage handling and Beverages.
  • Meals unless specified
  • Any monument entrance tickets
  • Personal Expenses

VISA INFORMATION

OVERVIEW

All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad.

All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through Online application link , in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa.

The duly signed physical copy of the application form completed in all respect and submitted successfully, is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/ Post, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents. The instructions for filling the form and scheduling the appointment can be seen at Instructions for Online Visa Application. Important technical information for filling online Indian visa application can be referred at Technical Instructions.

The applicants are also requested to visit website of the Indian Mission concerned for detailed information about Indian visa.

ONLINE VISA APPLICATION

All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through online application link. Or can apply by typing the URL: http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ in the address bar of web browser, in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa. In either case, no hand written application form will be accepted by any of the Indian Mission/ Post, where-ever online Visa facility has been implemented. The application form completed in all respect and submitted succesfully, is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/ Post in absence of IVAC, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents. The instructions for filling the form and scheduling the appointment can be refered at Instructions for Online Visa Application. Important technical information for filling online Indian visa application can be referred at Technical Instructions. If you have already applied online for Indian Visa online and want to know the status of your application,

VISA CATEGORIES

Government of India issues the following visas: Business Visa, Conference Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Employment Visa, Emergency Visa, Entry Visa, Journalist Visa, Medical Visa, Missionaries Visa, Permit to re-enter within 2 months, Research Visa, Student Visa, Tourist Visa, Transit Visa. Please follow the link for details on Visa Provision and supporting documents

VISA PROCESSING TIME

Upon receipt of the Visa Application through Indian Visa Application Center or directly, the Indian Mission/ Post requires a minimum of three working days to process the case and issue a visa depending upon the nationality and excluding special cases.

PHOTO REQUIREMENTS

Online India Visa Application allows the Applicant to upload a digital photograph of self to complete the online visa application.

Guidelines/procedure to upload a digital photograph

The digital photograph to be uploaded along with the Visa application should meet the following requirements:

Format – JPEG

Size

Minimum 10 KB

Maximum 300 KB

The height and width of the Photo must be equal.

Photo should present Full face, front view, eyes open.

Center head within frame and present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.

Background should be plain light colored or white background.

No shadows on the face or on the background.

Without borders.

Make sure that photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin. Head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25mm to 35mm). Make sure eye height is between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3.

FEE FOR INDIAN VISA

The visa fee depends upon the type of applied for and duration of visa. Visa fee is divided into various types depending upon the case viz; Basic fee, special fee, processing fee by out-sourcing agency. During the online registration process, at the end of the process the basic fee shall be displayed. However, this fee shall be indicative only and final fee shall be charged while submitting the application at the respective counters Fee once received are non-refundable even if the visa application is withdrawn, the visa is not granted, or if visa issued is of shorter duration of period than applied for or otherwise issued or returned at a time or on terms and conditions that may vary from those sought by the applicant. For further information on this, please check with local embassy office or Indian Visa Application center office or websites for information on applicable fee and payment methods.

VISA PROVISION

Sl. No. Type of Visa Period for which granted Entry – Single (S), Multiple (M), Double Documents required with application Extendable in India
1 Tourist 180 days M No
2 Transit 15 days S/ Double Return/ onward journey ticket No
3 Business 5 years M Documents to prove bonafide purpose (Company’s letter etc.) Yes
4 Employment 1 year/ period of contract M Proof of employment (appointment document), terms and conditions Yes
5 Student Period of course/ 5 years M Proof of admission in Indian Institution Yes
6 Foreigners of Indian Origin 5 years M Proof of being of Indian Origin Yes

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Online application form:

This application form is meant for those foreigners who are applying for visa from outside India.

Each online application form is meant for one person only. Separate application has to be filed for each applicant.

Furnish information exactly in the manner asked for in the forms, especially the names, address and date of birth.

Applicants are required to verify the application details before submitting the online application. They have an option to save the online application form, in case it is not to be submitted.

Once the online application form is submitted by the applicant, then further modifications are not allowed. Hence applicants are requested to check and validate the details before submitting the online application form.

Applicants are requested to keep the Application Id (generated automatically after the submission of online form) for further communications.

  1. Appointment Scheduling:

Applicant can schedule the appointment as per his/ her convenience with the concerned Indian Mission.

Each applicant to schedule a separate appointment with the Indian Mission

  1. Process for filling up online application form:

Applicant shall access the Visa Application system online through the following link: http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/.

Applicant visits the above mentioned web link and selects the Indian Mission from where he intends to apply for the Visa from the tab “Select Mission”.

Applicant fills the application on-line as per the forms standardized by the Ministry.

After filling the form and submitting it, the system shall automatically generate a Application Id. Applicants are requested to keep this Application Id for further communications with the concerned Indian Mission.

System will automatically ask the Applicant for the following confirmation: “Select ‘Yes’ if the applicant want to seek appointment and make payment online or ‘No’ if the applicant just want to print the submitted application form.”

If the applicant response is “No”, then it is requested by the applicant to take the print out of the submitted online application form and approach the concerned Indian Mission for submission of the online form along with supporting documents.

If the response from applicant is “yes” then the system automatically takes the link to perform the following:

Selection of Date and Time of appointment at the concerned Indian Mission

Calculation of Visa fee, service charge, VAT etc. as applicable according to the Visa type

E Payment using service provider’s payment system

In case the facility of Appointment Scheduling and e-Payment is not available for the concerned Indian mission, then applicant has to take the printout of the online application form and visit the concerned Indian Mission to submit the same along with supporting documents and make the payment.

Indian Culture: Traditions and Customs of India

India’s culture is among the world,s oldest; civilization in India began about 4,500 years ago. Many sources describe it as “Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara” — the first and the supreme culture in the world, according to the All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) organization.

Western societies did not always see the culture of India very favorably, according to Christina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London. Early anthropologists once considered culture as an evolutionary process, and ”every aspect of human development was seen as driven by evolution,” she told Live Science. “In this view, societies outside of Europe or North America, or societies that did not follow the European or Western way of life, were considered primitive and culturally inferior.  Essentially this included all the colonized countries and people, such as African countries, India, and the Far East.”.

However, Indians made significant advances in architecture (Taj Mahal), mathematics (the invention of zero) and medicine (Ayurveda). Today, India is a very diverse country, with more than 1.2 billion people, according to the CIA World Factbook, making it the second most populous nation after China. Different regions have their own distinct cultures. Language, religion, food and the arts are just some of the various aspects of Indian culture. Here is a brief overview of the culture of India.

Language

India has 28 states and seven territories, according to the World Health Organization. There is no official language in India, according to a Gujarat High Court ruling in 2010. Many people living in India also write in Devanagari script. In fact, it is a misconception that the majority of people in India speak Hindi. Though many people speak Hindi in India, 59 percent of India residents speak something other than Hindi, according to The Times of India. Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu are some other languages spoken in the country.

Religion

India is identified as the birthplace of Hinduism and Buddhism, the third and fourth largest religions. About 84 percent of the population identifies as Hindu, according to the “Handbook of Research on Development and Religion” Edited by Matthew Clarke (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013). There are many variations of Hinduism, and four predominant sects — Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakteya and Smarta.

About 13 percent of Indians are Muslim, making it one of the largest Islamic nations in the world. Christians and Sikhs make up a small percentage of the population, and there are even fewer Buddhists and Jains, according to the “Handbook.”

Food

When the Moghul Empire invaded during the sixteenth century, they left a significant mark on the Indian cuisine, according to Texas A&M University. Indian cuisine is also influenced by many other countries. It is known for its large assortment of dishes and its liberal use of herbs and spices. Cooking styles vary from region to region.

Wheat, Basmati rice and pulses with chana (Bengal gram) are important staples of the Indian diet. The food is rich with curries and spices, including ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, dried hot peppers, and cinnamon, among others. Chutneys — thick condiments and spreads made from assorted fruits and vegetables such as tamarind and tomatoes and mint, cilantro and other herbs — are used generously in Indian cooking.

Many Hindus are vegetarians, but lamb and chicken are common in main dishes for non-vegetarians. The Guardian reports that between 20 percent and 40 percent of India’s population is vegetarian.

Much of Indian food is eaten with fingers or bread used as utensils. There is a wide array of breads served with meals, including naan, a leavened, oven-baked flatbread, and bhatoora, a fried, fluffy flatbread common in North India and eaten with chickpea curry.

Architecture and art

The most well-known example of Indian architecture is the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to honor his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It combines elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. India also has many ancient temples.

India is well known for its film industry, which is often referred to as Bollywood. The country’s movie history began in 1896 when the Lumière brothers demonstrated the art of cinema in Mumbai, according to the Golden Globes. Today, the films are known for their elaborate singing and dancing.

Indian dance, music and theater traditions span back more than 2,000 years, according to Nilima Bhadbhade, author of “Contract Law in India” (Kluwer Law International, 2010). The major classical dance traditions — Bharata Natyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Kathakali — draw on themes from mythology and literature and have rigid presentation rules.

Clothing

Indian clothing is closely identified with the colorful silk saris worn by many of the country’s women. The traditional clothing for men is the dhoti, an unstitched piece of cloth that is tied around the waist and legs. Men also wear a kurta, a loose shirt that is worn about knee-length. For special occasions, men wear a sherwani, which is a long coat that is buttoned up to the collar and down to the knees. The Nehru jacket is a shorter version of a sherwani.

Customs and celebrations

The country celebrates Republic Day (Jan. 26), Independence Day (Aug. 15) and Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (Oct. 2). Diwali is the largest and most important holiday to India, according to National Geographic. It is a five-day festival known as the festival of lights because of the lights lit during the celebration to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness. Holi, the festival of colors, also called the festival of love, is popular in the spring.

Weather

India is situated in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan.
The climate in India varies from a tropical monsoon climate in the south to a temperate climate in the north. If you are thinking of Visiting Delhi (the capital of India) then best to visit it in October, November, February and March. That’s when the nights are cool and the days are filled with a little sunshine. May, June and July are very hot with temperatures over 45 degrees (113 Fahrenheit). It is a dry heat and is sometimes accompanied by dusty desert winds. Most of the rain falls between July and September but they are not the tropical rains you’ll experience in India’s coastal cities.

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