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shades of nature

Day 01. Arrive at Kochi Airport with assistance at the airport, then proceed to your hotel and check-in at hotel Fort House. This afternoon you will be invited to explore this historic town with a walking tour- starting with the visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like oversized hammocks have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard... The next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India. Later on, proceed to a local theatre in the evening to see a demonstration on Kalaripayattu - Kerala’s traditional martial art and perhaps the oldest of its kind in the world. Overnight stay.

Please note that - Other than these, Cochin Dutch Palace would remain closed on all Fridays. Cochin Jewish synagogue would remain closed on all Friday afternoons, Saturdays, and Jewish holidays.  The current/present entrance charges for these 2 places is Rs.25/- per person

Day 02. After early breakfast drive to Cheruthuruthy. {Journey by Train from Cochin to Shornur is suggested for an experience}

A pleasant riverside township which is extremely popular due to its amazing eco gardens and lush green environment. Check into your hotel pre-booked. Once the summer palace of the Maharajas of Cochin now hosts a serene Ayurvedic resort The River Retreat - a 4 star Heritage Ayurvedic Resort. Preserving the spirit of its illustrious past, the palace breathes history in every detail, offering you Ayurvedic rejuvenation and therapies in the ambience of a palace. The day is kept free for you to enjoy the Ayurveda therapy by a skilled professional therapist who will offer you treatment to rejuvenate.

Day 03. After early breakfast, the driver will take you to the world-famous Kerala Kalamandalam has known widely as the University of Art & Culture of Kerala. Reach the centre by 9.00 am. {Visiting Hours are from 09.30 hrs to 12.00 hrs} Entrances $ 20 per person Kerala Kalamandalam is one of those last remaining places which still hold to the traditions and culture of Kerala. This world-renowned institution has been imparting cultural education and training to interested individuals in the various art forms of Kerala. This institute is responsible for preserving the culture of Kerala in its dance forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyaattam, and Panchavaadyam. Located in the beautiful and scenic village of Cheruthuruthy, it is the perfect place for artists to practice. Even though it is located in a rather traditional place, but Kerala Kalamandalam has been pretty open about its recruitment process. It focuses more on their merit rather than their cultural background, language, or religion.

During the tour, the Kalamandalam staff at the Center will act as your guides. They will explain to you the rich and beautiful culture that is celebrated every day in the institute. As the tour proceeds, often a couple of masters join in to interact with the tourists. You can watch the students perform striking poses complemented by their vibrant expressions. Visit the art gallery, which displays the various headgears, jewellery, and costumes that form a critical part of these classical dances. Visit the old Kalamandalam campus, which is located near the banks of Nila. Experience the lush greenery, azure skies and the smell of rain in God’s own Country, Kerala.

The rest of the day is kept free at leisure. You can also take a walk in the local markets of Cheruthuruthy.

Please note that - Kerala Kalamandalam remains’ closed on all Saturdays Sundays & public holidays. During school examination time and vacation time from March to June every year, Visit to Kerala Kalamandalam is also not possible.

Day 04. Early breakfast and drive to Guruvayor. Visit Sree Krishna Temple which is one of the most sacred pilgrim hubs in Kerala. It is one of the most revered temples in South India where the presiding deity Lord Vishnu is worshipped in Balkrishna Avatar. Lord idol is adorned with four hands each carrying a conch, a mace, a discus, and a lotus and is also known by the name of Unnikrishnan. Garlanded with the Tulsi or Basil Garland and pearl necklace, the lord appears in full radiance blessing the devotees.

According to a legend, the temple was created by the preceptors of the Gods, Guru, and God of winds, Vayu. The astonishing idol of Lord Unnikrishnan Guruvayur is made out of a rare mixture called Padala Anjanam instead of stone or metal which was more commonplace in the olden times. Simple in its construction, the spiritual charm of this place is unmatched and has devotees flocking to it from all over the country.  However, this temple is open only to the believers of the Hindu faith, and there might be long queues at the entrance but completely worth it as you enter the temple complex. Continue to Athirapally. Check into your wonderful resort which has some breathtaking views of the waterfalls. The day is kept free to enjoy nature and take a dip in the pool. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Please note that - In Kerala, foreign tourist are strictly not allowed to enter Hindu temples

Day 05. Early breakfast and drive up to enjoy the stunning views of Athirapally & Vazhachal Waterfalls, which joins the Chalakudy River after plummeting down from 80 feet. These stunning falls are an absolute treat for the eyes, especially during the monsoon. The rest of the day is kept at leisure OR if you are into adventure a trip can get you to the base of the waterfalls by trekking along the mountain slopes. Though it could be a strenuous trail, it will be well worth the effort, considering the amazing views of the landscape and the dramatic beauty of the waterfalls from a close range.  However, the falls can be dangerous. Special care should be taken while getting into the water especially during monsoons as the slippery rocks and the strong undercurrents could pose risk. Enjoy specially-crafted 4-course menu cuisine in Dinner.

Day 06. After a leisurely breakfast drive to Alleppey. A city with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoons, Alappuzha is called the "Venice of the East". Check into your resort pre-booked. Day at leisure to enjoy the activities at the resort. Evenings are free to walk in this lovely town of Alappuzha.

Day 07. After breakfast visit Alappuzha Beach. This is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at beach parks add to the attractions of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse which is a great fascination to visitors. Continue to Karumadi which is close to Ambalappuzha. Karumadi is famous for its Karumadi Kuttan, a black granite figure of Buddha said to belong to the 9th or 10th century. Return to your hotel. Day at leisure.

Day 08. After breakfast enjoy a backwater cruise by a private houseboat. A splendid area is full of canals, lakes, and coves. It’s life along the coast that adds an exotic touch to this experience. The locals travel in canoes and you will find vegetable sellers, fishermen, and other traders bringing household goods, door to door in small wooden boats. This boat ride will be for 2 hours. Return to your hotel and later proceed to Cochin Airport for an onward flight. (If your departure flight is in the late evening you can do Cochin sightseeing or shopping.

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