Leisure cruise on the Periyar:
These trips last for up to 90 minutes and the best time to visit is from October to March. This activity is suited for both families and groups. Boat rides are offered by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and the Kerala Forest Department for sightseeing and spotting wildlife around the river. You can opt for a small or a big boat and pay accordingly.If lucky you can also get the chance to see wildlife like Elephants, coming to drink the clear waters of the Periyar River. The surroundings of the serene river are guaranteed to give you the much-needed peace and relaxation. This is a best alternate option to guided walks.
Become the jungle guard for a night:
The main highlight of this activity is the experience it gives mainly of the need of forest conservation. For those who love adventure in life, they can opt to become jungle guard for a night with the forest authorities and forest guards accompanying you. This activity is mainly done from 7 pm to 4 am. The hikers are always on alert for any happenings in the forest. They get to know the jungle life first hand. This activity is greatly popular for its unexpectedness, for you never know when you may come across a fierce tiger! This activity is highly recommended for all the tourists who have an adventure bug in their hearts.
Enjoy the bullock cart ride:
Take a break from the usual vehicular hustle bustle and travel back in time with a bullock cart ride. With this activity, you get to go through the rustic village lanes at Thekkady and experience a slice of the village life. Experience life in the simplest form and get to know the essence of ancient travel means. Interact with the locals and get to know the place better.Get the feel of the natural air, the sounds of the wheels of the cart and the slightly bumpy ride and make your holidays a memorable one.
Follow the tiger:
Their tailor-made Tiger Walks allow groups to venture into the whole forest till sunset. Get the golden chance to meet the ‘Kings of the Thekkady Forests’ with the help of the ex-poachers, who are now guides of Periyar National Park. The group includes 5 visitors, 5 guides, and 2 forest officials. Spot a Nilgiri Langur, meet an elephant and encounter the tiger and feel like a huntsman for a day! Do make sure not to miss this golden opportunity when in Thekkady. This activity is not only adventurous but is also educational as the need of environmental conservation is made known to the tourists.
Go range hiking from dawn to dusk:
Have a day full of pleasure from sunrise to sunset with the hiking and rafting programs of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. One can come across the exotic species like Gaur, Elephants, Sloth Bear and many more. These treks would take you to altitudes varying from 8000 meters to 1500 meters. The hike would begin by 8 am in the morning. The trip includes 10 visitors and it is mandatory to take two guides and an armed forest guard. This activity is guaranteed to give you memories lasting a lifetime.
Visit the town of tea factories:
The tourists get the chance to learn more about the tea making process. The Vandiperiyar town near the Periyar River of Thekkady nurtures the famous plantations of tea. Today the place has become a major trade center with a number of tea processing factories. They can get the chance to see the tea leaves plucking to the other processes and the final production. They also get the chance to taste the various flavors of the tea. Added to this the Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens with a vast rose, orchids, and anthurium plantations, add to the beauty of the place. This place is located at a distance of 60 kilometers from Kottayam.
Learn about Kerala spice plantation:
Thekkady is especially known for its cardamom, pepper, vanilla etc. The fertile land of Kerala has an abundance of tea, coffee and spice plantation of various sizes. Other than seeing these crops, also get to learn about how it is cultivated, maintained and reaped. Thekkady is also well-known for its rubber plantations and hence also get to learn how to make natural rubber from latex oozing out of rubber trees. The history of spices in Kerala dates back to the ancient history. Kerala can be dubbed as one of the spice capitals in the world. Get to mingle with the local farmers and get to know more about the spices. You will also get to buy.
Shop for spices:
Thekkady is known for its large variability of tea, cardamom, pepper, vanilla and many more such flavorful spices. There is number of shops selling organic garden fresh spices in this region at reasonable rates.These shops at the local market are indeed a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Along with this, you can also get to get a little knowledge of the spices here on asking the local sellers and farmers.
Take back as much as you can; also choose small packets that can be used as souvenirs.
Ride the majestic elephant:
They are available not only in the Periyar Tiger Reserve but also in the various spice, coffee and tea plantation compounds. Elephant rides are very common and popular in Thekkady. These rides bring in a touch of nostalgia as it takes one back to the olden ages of the kings. A large howdah is kept on top of the elephant and it is on this that the tourists sit. This howdah has the protection of an overhead umbrella and is accompanied by a trained guide. Usually, this activity extends over to a period of 30 minutes and is an unusual experience. The tourists are taken through
TATA Tea Museum:
Tata Tea Museum is placed at the Nallathanni estate and the museum has analytical and snapshots that element the growth and change of tea ranch in Munnar right from the tea seedling to a robotic tea factory where it is processed. The building is an apt tribute to the action put on by the basic planters in alter one of the best populous hill stations and the epicenter of the tea trade in Kerala: The access fee to the Tata tea gallery is Rs. 75 per person and you can mind a free cardamom tea about with the demonstration of the history of drink in Munnar.
Hydel / Blossom garden has placed close the Pallivasal hydro-electric deal and you can joy actions alike rotating, rowing and roller glide as well as dock & reflection cavity.This is an ideal picnic spot for families who are looking for holidays with kids in Kerala and the entry fee is only Rs.10.Instructions for Tourists – Entrance Fees to Blossom International Park is – Rs.10.00/ for adult and Rs.2.00/- for Kids and there are facilities for water cycling, boating etc.
Pothamedu ViewPoint: You can ticker the charm of the Munnar cloud that envelops the green hills from Pothanmedu angle.The ride to the Pothamedu angle takes you over an old link and close roads and the views during the drive is also very dramatic. You become shot to sip the hot tea from the tea chain near the angle to enjoy the feel of Munnar to the full.
Attukal cataract is a best go visitor spot in Munnar where you can view a chute amongst hills and forests. The waterfalls are at a nice placed between Munnar and pallivasal and the road to reach itself is so charming.There is a set arch through which you can drive your car and ticker the falls but this is slightly chancy as there are potholes in the arch. There’s a toy tea shop cam viewpoint close the falls from which one can have a close look at the dip and sip a hot cup of cardamom tea.
Top Station is a viewpoint at the highest altitude in Munnar and is placed at a distance of almost 40+ KM’s from Munnar. If you are visiting Munnar, you need to be very lucky to reach top station when the sky is clear – without fog. It must in Munnar regularly as a conclusion of which fog cap the charming views from Munnar. The ride to the top place is neat long but the drive has charming views, tea bed and two dams on the way. It is most to call the Top Station first and visit the dams etc on the way back if you are devising to start early from Munnar.
Pedal Boating Kundala pool that costs Rs.150 per both for each hour is a populous action for Kerala Honeymoon bag. Kundala is Asia’s first arch dam and Neela Kurunji flowers which bloom once in twelve years, flower in the hills and valleys around Kundala lake. Echo Point bring its titles since the echo that is realized when you cheer and window purchasing and driving in the toy shops about this tourist spot is a populous past time for tourist calling Munnar. The fresh mountain air, the mist-clad hills, and panoramic view make it worth a call. Speed rowing is a popular activity in Kundala Lake
Placed at a height of over 2695 meters, the Anamudi Peak is the great peak in South India. As part of the Western Ghats, this magnificent peak stands tall in the popular Eravikulam National Park. It is densely enclosed with evergreen forests, which is home to rare species of fauna, flora and vibrant avifauna. Anamudi, along with the national park, is inhabited by the largest surviving population of Nilgiri Tahr, Gaur, and Asian Elephant. Visitors can undertake the trek to reach the top of the mountain. A popular haunt among wildlife lovers, adventure participants, and photo fanatics, the peak is one of the most visited visitor appeals in Munnar.
Chottanikara Bhagavathy Temple:
Situated near Ernakulam, the Chottanikkara Temple is one of the most important temples of the state due to its religious and architectural significance.
It is believed to be among the finest works of the Vishwakarma Sthapathis, who have also sculpted the Sabarimala temple.
This revered place is among the best places to visit in Cochin. It is dedicated to Bhagavathy, who is worshipped here in three different forms – Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga.
The goddess, when worshipped as Saraswati is draped in white. In the afternoon, she is worshipped as Lakshmi and is draped in red and in the evenings, the deity is worshipped as Durga and is draped in blue.
Kerala Kathakali Centre:
The Kerala Kathakali Centre was founded in 1990 and was established with the objective of encouraging and popularising the classical arts forms of this region.
Several traditional arts and rituals are performed at the Centre, making it an important place to visit in Cochin. The dance forms taught and performed here include Kathakali, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam. Furthermore, Carnatic and Hindustani music performances are also held at the centre.
The traditional martial arts form of Kerala called the Kalaripayattu is also shown here. The centre also holds short and long term courses in Kathakali music, Kathakali make-up, chenda, madalam, mrudangam, tabla and gingira, violin, veena, sitar and flute.
The Folklore Theatre and Museum is one of the most popular places to visit in Cochin. The exteriors of the museum looks like a temple and the interiors are aesthetically appealing.
It houses some of the most valuable artefacts and items of ancient Kerala providing an educational insight into the history of Kerala. One of the most remarkable items on display is the collection of mural paintings by Unnis M Mani Achary.
The building itself is a splendid example of the traditional style of architecture of Kerala. Presenting a unique blend of Malabar, Cochin and Travancore design, the museum is built of wood, laterite stone and roofing tiles.
One of the most remarkable features of the museum is that the interiors and exteriors are made of unique and ancient items; some of them date back to the 15th and 20th centuries or are more than 2000 years old.
Chinese Fishing Nets:
The Chinese Fishing Nets have now emerged as a symbolic representation of the coast of Cochin. These incredible fishing nets have become one of the favoured places to see in Kochi.
They are different from other fishing nets due to their elegant design and construction. Furthermore, they are very popular among photographers who try to capture the sunset at here amidst these beautiful nets.
These nets are horizontal and are held out by huge mechanical contrivances. Each structure measures at least 10 metres in height and is operated by a team of up to six fishermen.
The system is balanced and strong enough to carry the weight of a man. It is descended into the waters for a very short time and raised by pulling on the ropes.
Santa Cruz Basilica :
The Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi is one of the finest and most impressive churches in India.
It is among the eight basilicas in the country and one of the best places to visit in Kochi. This revered structure is counted as one of the heritage edifices in the country and attracts tourists from all over the world.
The church is not only important because of its religious significance, but also its architectural and historical importance.
It was originally built by the Portuguese during their occupation of Fort Kochi. It was spared by the Dutch, who had otherwise destroyed most of the Catholic institutions built by the Portuguese.
Hill Palace of Tripunithara:
The Hill Palace Museum in Tripunithara in Kochi is also one of the largest archaeological museums in Kerala that was earlier used as the administrative office by the Kochi kings.
The palace was built in 1865 and spreads across 54 acres. There are about 49 buildings that present the traditional architectural style of Kerala.
The complex has a children’s park, a pre-historic park, a deer park and an archaeological museum. Throughout the campus, several medicinal plants have been planted. The structure is situated at a distance of 12 km from the Ernakulam town and the museum is open to public on all days, except Mondays.
In here are about 14 categories of exhibits which include the paintings, stone sculptures, marble sculptures, weapons, inscriptions, coins and even the Crown and ornaments belonging to the erstwhile Royal family of Cochin.
Matancherry Palace (Dutch Palace):
The Mattancherry Palace is also known as the Dutch Palace and was built by the Portuguese. It was constructed and gifted to the Raja of Cochin in 1555 by them.
Some renovations and extensions were made to the palace by the Dutch and it came to be known as the Dutch Palace. The structure today houses some very beautiful murals depicting Hindu temple art, exhibits of the Kochi kings and their portraits, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Kochi.
The palace has a portrait gallery. It is believed that the Portuguese built the place to appease the king after they looted a nearby temple.
The Cherai Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala and also among the popular places to visit in Cochin . Situated on the northern end of the Vypin Island, it stretches to a length of 10 km.
The beach is particularly famous with photographers who take great interest in catching different frames of the golden sands and the beautifully translucent waters.
Tourists from all around the globe come to this seashore to enjoy its beauty, particularly of the sun set and sun rise. There are several other tourist places in and around the Cherai Beach. Of them, the Tranquil Lake is the nearest.
This pristine water body is separated from the backwaters by a very narrow strip of land.
Fort Kochi, also known as Old Kochi or West Kochi, is situated to the south west of Cochin. It is a part of a few water bound regions and is located close to Mattancherry. This place was a small fishing village in pre-colonial Kerala and a belonged to the Kingdom of Kochi.
The part which later gained the name of Fort Kochi was granted to the Portuguese by the Rajah of Kochi. The Portuguese had supported him during an attack by the Saamoothiri of Kozhikode and as a token of gratitude; the king gave a part of his kingdom to them.
They built a fort called the Fort Emmanuel near the waterfront to protect their commercial interests.
[Learn about the Stone age,Explore the prehistoric Eddkal caves with us]
The city of Fort Kochi derives its name from this fort. It remained under the Portuguese influence for 160 years till the Dutch established their rule in 1683.
Marine Drive is a beautiful promenade in Kochi which faces the backwaters and is a popular hangout among the local people of Kochi.
However, no vehicles are allowed in the driveway. It is also an important shopping centre in Kochi and a number of shopping malls are situated in this area. The Marine Drive is an important tourist place in Kerala and attracts visitors from all across.
The highlight is the beauty of the sunrise and sunset over the Vembanad Lake. The walkway starts from the High Court Junction and continues till the Rajendra Maidan. It also has two bridges called the Rainbow Bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge.
Jew Synagogue and Jew Town:
While in Cochin, do not miss an opportunity to visit the Jew Town and Jew Synogogue. These two fascinating places are crowd pleasers.
It is situated in a quarter of the Old Cochin and is also known as the Pardesi Synagogue. This revered structure is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area that is still in use.
It belongs to the Malabar Yehudan or Cochin Jewish Community and is also called the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue, as it is situated very close to the Mattancherry Palace.
The Bolgatty Palace was built by the Dutch and is located on the Bolgatty Island near Kochi. Built in 1744, the palace is one of the oldest existing ones built by the Dutch outside Holland.
The building was used as the then Governor’s palace for the commander of the Dutch Malabar. However, in 1909 it was leased out to the British.
In 1947 post independence, the palace became the property of the state and was converted into a heritage hotel resort. It was then used by the British Governors as residence and served as the seat of the British Resident of Cochin during the British Raj.
Today, it has a swimming pool, a 9-hole golf course, Ayurvedic centre and daily Kathakali performances, which makes it one of the most important places to see in Cochin. It attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world.
Have a ride on the canals:
Alleppey (Alappuzha) includes a different group of interlinked conduit angular the bush. While some are narrow, others are wider. And at some points, they get as wide as a big lake. You will almost feel like you are cruising over the sea. Make sure to ask your houseboat driver to take you across as many canals as possible. As we boarded our houseboat, we started cruising the canals right away and then, we halted only when it came to lunchtime. And, we catch a lot of dramatic spots on the bank while coasting through the bush.
Halt in the middle of nowhere:
Once you are in the middle of the biggest canal, which is actually more of a lake, halt. And relax.It is quiet an experience in itself to stand still atop an equally still waterbody in the middle of nowhere You will feel the mild breeze across the backwaters and might occasionally spot other houseboats passing by. But overall, it is so calm and relaxing. Actually, a perfect spot in case you would like to meditate. We would suggest, halt at lunchtime and have your lunch in the middle of nowhere. Although, I bet, you must have had quiet some pool side and river side dinners and lunches. But, this one, right in the middle of the water, is definitely going to be unique.
Eat fresh sea food right on the houseboats:
Well, one of the most power of actuality on the houseboat on the backwaters of Alleppey (Alappuzha) is that you bring fresh expanse food in your disc. While we were cruising through the backwater, our cook was busy with his hands on some fresh catch. Although I am a vegetarian, Abhishek had a wonderful meal of his life on the boat with freshly caught and cooked fish. However, I must add, even the vegetarian dishes prepared for me were quiet yummy. And having them right in the middle of the backwaters was quiet an experience. So much so that it became our lunch to remember forever.
Hop on and off a resort or café:
While on the houseboat, you will cross through several canals. There are different establishments on the banks including hotels, resorts, cafes etc. It will be really nice if you can get off the boat, to a resort or cafe on the banks. Have a coffee or a quick byte. And then hop back onto your houseboat for your forward journey. We did spot some very lovely resort on the banks. But alas, we couldn’t stop there. However, we would totally love to (on our next trip to Alleppey whenever it happens)
Wave to others across the houseboats:
Although, you will feel quiet isolated from the rest of the world, while on your houseboat. Still, there are some constant companions. The major one being other houseboats that will be passing by. The canals are frequently cruised by numerous houseboats. In the day time they all splatter across but during the evening hours, they all start cruising back to the banks for the night. And that is when you get to see a whole lot of them. Each houseboat has a little different kind of aesthetics and it is a pleasure to watch them go by. You will see fellow tourists like yourself relaxing and enjoying on the other houseboats as they pass by. Not a bad idea to wave across to them in greeting once in a while.
Visit along the paddy fields:
Several a times, the course that you take up the backwaters of Alleppey (Alappuzha) pass right in amid paddy garden. You can also spot narrow stretches of land being cultivated amidst the surrounding backwaters. We were lucky enough to come across a beautiful harvest site. Post harvest, the locals were carrying the crops off in boats. But the mini boats were all tied in a line one after the other, creating such a beautiful.
Observe the life of the locals:
Well, for us, it might be a one to two day stint with the backwaters. But the life of the locals go on these canals every single day. Of course it cannot be same as the one we lead in the towns, cities, or, for the matter of fact, even in general villages where you walk on land, stay on land rather than surrounded by water all the time. It is really interesting to watch how the locals have developed a system wherein they are able to get around the water so easily with their daily chores. they use boats for ride instead of bikes and cars and buses. There are private boats and public boats that you can share with others like buses. Children go to school on boats, adults go to work on boats.
Capture the beautiful sunset and sunrise over the backwaters:
Sunsets and sunrises are one of the most beautiful phenomenon on the backwaters that you will come across. I don’t have enough words to describe, you got to experience it to understand it. As the evening approaches, the sky changes color several times. And finally you can see the sun setting over the horizon, and it’s beautiful reflections in the water, waving a little now and then as a boat passes by. Equally mesmerizing is the sunrise phenomena. These were one of the best sunsets and sunrises of our lifetime that we got to watch over the backwaters of Alleppey (Alappuzha)
Spend a night in the houseboat over the waves of the backwater:
There are couple of day cruise options and dazzling halt benefit available for the backwaters vacation in Alleppey (Alappuzha). I would strongly recommend go for an overnight stay. As the night approaches, the houseboat will row back to the banks of the backwater. You can have your dinner on the houseboat before it reaches back the banks. Yes, we had ours on the deck. Amidst numerous candles, their reflections casting in the dark water. One of the most romantic dinners that we had – beats any luxury hotel dinners And then , the boat had halted by the bank for the night. We retired to our room for the night. I don’t remember ever being cradled after growing up except for this one night – where the waves slowly cradled our boat now and then and we had a wonderful sleep.
Step out on the shore:
And as a premium, go to the premium previously you permit Alleppey (Alappuzha). For us, It was a cruise to remember, one of a lifetime. We will go there again, and again, as soon as we get a chance. When we completely said bully bye to the houseboat, we could not leave the city without saw a hi to the coast of Alleppey (Alappuzha). Thus, we requested our driver to take us to the beach for a small span. It was drizzling a little but it was overall a great experience on the beach – our first together. From here, we boarded back into our cab and started on the backward journey to Cochin.