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Kerala Backwater Houseboat Tours

Duration : 9 Nights / 10 Days
Destinations Covered : Mumbai (Bombay) - Kochi - Periyar - Kumarakom - Houseboat - Marari - Kochi (Cochin)

Day 01 Mumbai (Bombay)
Arrive at Mumbai International airport. On arrival transfer to hotel where the guest will be get a traditional Indian welcome that includes Aarti-Tikka and garlands. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 02 Mumbai (Bombay)
In the morning take an hour-long boat ride across Mumbai Harbour to the Elephanta Island. Visit the intricately craved Elephanta Caves that were built in the 8th century. In the afternoon take the City tour of Bombay. Visit the Gateway of India, Towers of Silence, Marine Drive, and the Dhobi Ghat etc. Drive to Malabar Hill to visit the Hanging Garden, Kamla Nehru Park and Mani Bhawan, a museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi and Crawford Market. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 03 Mumbai/Kochi (Cochin)/Periyar
Take the morning flight to Kochi. On arrival transfer to hotel for lunch. After lunch drive to Periyar (190kms). On arrival check in at the hotel. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in part of the Cardamom Hills on the Western Ghats and is one of the largest wildlife reserves in India. Spend the night at the hotel.

Day 04 Periyar/Kumarakom
Early in the morning take a boat-cruise on the Lake, in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, to watch the wildlife. The lake is an artificial one created by a dam on the Periyar River. Watch wild elephants, Asiatic deer, black buck and tigers at the lake. After breakfast take a guided walk around the village to see how different spices are grown. Then drive through the winding Ghats and lush green tea plantations to reach Kumarakom (190kms), an enchanting backwater village with palms and paddy fields on the shores of the sparkling Vembanad Lake. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 05 Kumarakom- Houseboat
In the morning take a cruise on the backwaters in a traditional country canoes called "vanjis" and watch the activities of the local people on the backwaters. Visit the bird sanctuary. After lunch at the hotel board the traditional rice boats or "Ketuvallam" and set out on your journey through the charming backwaters taking in the tranquil beauty of God's Own Country. Spend the night on this houseboat and enjoy authentic Kerala cuisine made from fresh local produce and cooked on board.

Day 06 Houseboat/Mararikulam
Breakfast on board the houseboat. Sail to Alleppey and get off at Puthenagady Jetty. From here travel to Mararikulam (30kms). This is one of the scenic fishing villages that form the pleasant coastline of Kerala. The beach is fringed with lush green coconut palms. Rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 07 Mararikulam
The day is at your leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 08 Mararikulam/Kochi (Cochin)
Kochi is popularly known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, it is the oldest European settlement in India. Arrive at Kochi and check into the hotel. Take the city tour of Kochi; visit the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, Church of St. Francis, the Bolghatty Palace and the Chinese fishing nets. In the afternoon go on a cruise of the harbour. Cochin has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. In the evening watch a Kathakali dance performance with make up demonstration. Kathakali is a unique dance form that has a 2000 year old history and more that 100 different 'mudras' or hand gestures. The Kathakali dances are based on episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabarata, the two great Indian Epics. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 09 Kochi (Cochin)/Mumbai (Bombay)
Take the morning flight to Mumbai. On arrival transfer to hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 10 Mumbai (Bombay)
Transfer to International airport for onward flight.

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