TOUR SUGGESTION # 10
Best during Period :
December / January
Duration : 19
nights / 20 days
Cities covered :
Mumbai - Goa - Mumbai - Cochin - Lakshadweep - Cochin -
Varkala - Kumarakom - Periyar - Munnar - Cochin - Mumbai
Colorful festivals covered :
- Christmas Celebrations at Goa
Festival at Cochin
& Crafts Festival, Ashram Maidan
exciting of our festival tours: Christmas in the land of St.
Francis Xavier plus a tour through God’s Own Country – Kerala.
[These Festival Tour Programs are best
run with minimum 6 travelers to a group & more]
Day 1 - ARRIVE
The romance and colour of India greet you as you
disembark from your jet in BOMBAY - a metropolis of energy and
vitality. Our representative escorts you to the hotel
On arrival at the hotel, ladies in authentic local costumes
greet you with garlands and anoint your forehead with the
traditional red “tikka”. Afterwards relax with a welcome
drink. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2 - MUMBAI (BOMBAY) / GOA
This morning take a short flight to Goa-the
picturesque land full of scenic charm and many attractions
such as historic forts, elaborately ornate churches and
temples, evergreen hills and mountains, winding rivers, creeks
and fields and particularly, the palm-fringed pearly white
beaches which leave any visitor spellbound.
Our representative escorts you to the hotel. Rest of the day
relax on the beach.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 - GOA
This morning visit to Old Goa driving by the
seashore. Here the ensemble of monasteries, convents and
chapels will take you back to the days when the Apostle of the
Indies, St. Francis Xavier, preached the Gospel of Christ.
Visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus where the mortal remains of
the Saint lie preserved in a silver ornate casket. Also visit
Se Cathedral - biggest church in the East. Visit the Church of
St. Cajetan modeled on the original design of St. Peter’s in
Day 4 - GOA
This morning the colour of Christmas will greet
you. Christmas spirit pervades all markets that spruce
themselves up and offer attractive bargains. Explore the
colourful activities at the Christmas festival. Overnight at
Day 5 – GOA / MUMBAI (BOMBAY)
This morning you visit the St. Francis Church where
Vasco-da-Gama was originally buried. 14 years later his mortal
remains were taken to Portugal. This Protestant church was
built originally by Portuguese in 1510 AD and is believed to
be the first church built by the Europeans in India. Visit
Santa Cruz Cathedral - Roman Catholic church situated close to
St. Francis Church built by the Portuguese in 16th century.
Afternoon board a short flight for Bombay. On arrival our
representative escorts you to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6 - MUMBAI (BOMBAY)
This morning's city tour will take you to all of
Bombay’s best known landmarks: impressive Gateway of India
built in 1911, the handsome Prince of Wales Museum famous for
it’s collection of miniature paintings, Marine Drive, Bombay’s
sweeping shoreline, unique Hanging Gardens and Mani Bhawan, a
memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Afternoon free. Overnight at
Day 7 - MUMBAI (BOMBAY) / COCHIN
This morning take a two-hour flight for Cochin -
one of Kerala’s most interesting experiences. This is a
natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar
mud-banks, whose unique quality ensures that the rougher the
seas are outside, the calmer the waters are within the harbour.
Here at dusk, the dim silhouettes of the huge merchant ships
can be seen, patiently awaiting their turn for a berth in the
docks. Centuries ago, tales of this exotic coastal strip had
crossed the vast ocean & attracted an answering gleam in a
Portuguese eye. Vasco da Gama arrived, to place Cochin on the
Cochin has delightfully cosmopolitan look. A Jewish synagogue,
Portuguese churches, mosques & Hindu temples co-exist amicably
in a typical example of Indian secularism.
Our representative escorts you to the hotel. Afternoon proceed
to spectator Indira Gandhi Boat Race on the Kochi backwaters.
The race is organized as part of Celebration Kochi. Festival
highlight: over sixteen snake boats participate in this
scintillating event. Rest of the day, relax amidst the
picturesque surroundings. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8 - COCHIN
Early morning Boat Cruise on the enchanting
backwaters through the coconut groves and quiet lagoons.
Watching the sunrise in a symphony of colours is an
unforgettable experience. A few minutes after you move out of
the old fashioned dock, you will find yourself surrounded by
lush palm-groves and lovely stretches of paddy fields.
The swaying coconut palms almost dip into the waters, and on
chunks of land that nudge backwaters are little children
playing in the sun.
You might see housewives cleaning rice for the day’s meal, or
pounding coconut husk for coir fibre or sweeping the Muttom
(front yard), completely oblivious of the regular ferry &
cargo boat traffic that ply to & fro across these waters from
dawn to dusk.
Independent day to enjoy Cochin Festival – Kerala Tourism
organizes Celebrate Kochi (Cochin) between Dec.26-Jan.02 every
year. The entire city is illuminated with colourful lights
through the week. Festival highlights are: food festival,
procession of theme floats, Gajamela (elephant pageants),
music concerts, Jalamela (water fiestas), cultural programs
etc. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9 – COCHIN / AGATTI LAKSHADWEEP
This morning board a short flight for Agatti.
On arrival you will be received by our representative and from
there a magical two hour journey by boat to Lakshadweep or
Laccadive Islands, as they were formerly called. Lakshadweep
are a string of little known islands lying approx. 200 miles
off the south-west coast of India. The Islands present a
breathtaking spectacle of sparkling coral reefs, turquoise
blue lagoons, silvery beaches and lush green coconut palms.
All preserved in the state the first discoverers would have
found them. You will experience a magical world to lose
yourself in. Arrive and check in at Bangaram Island Resort.
Laze on the silvery beaches. Soak in the sun. Listen to the
sound of the waves and the swaying of palms, watch the dance
of the hermit crab or the antics of the seabirds. Overnight at
Day 10 - LAKSHADWEEP
Spend the day at the beach or go scuba diving and
explore the marine life, dive to the remains of a 200 year-old
galleon. Rest of the day relax on the beach side. Overnight at
Day 11 - LAKSHADWEEP
Go snorkeling, or deep-sea-big-game-sports-fishing
on a country canoe, enjoy boat trips within the lagoon.
Overnight at resort.
Day 12 – LAKSHADWEEP / AGATTI /
COCHIN / VARKALA
Morning depart for Agatti to board flight for
Cochin. Arrive Cochin and drive to Varkala enroute visiting
The Ashtamudi Arts & Crafts Festival at Ashram Maidan in
Ashtamudi (approx.105 kms or 66 miles). This festival is held
every year from Dec.26-Jan.05. Festival highlights are:
exhibition of the traditional arts, crafts and architectural
themes of Kerala, international craft film festival, seminars,
Varkala-a quiet, secluded stretch of sand, the
Papanasam beach in Varakala is known for its mineral springs
and rocky cliffs. The 2000-year old Sree Janardhana Swamy
temple and the Naturel Care Centre are the two main
Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at Taj Varkala
Day 13 – VARKALA
Full day relax on the beach. Overnight at Resort.
Day 14 – VARKALA / KUMARAKOM
This morning drive to Kumarakom. Arrive and check
in at HOTEL COCONUT LAGOON. Located on the banks of the
Vembanad Lake, adjacent to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, the
resort is built on a 10-acre coconut garden. The rooms are the
old wooden houses of Kerala dating back to 100 - 150 years
which have been transplanted from various locations; the
public areas like the Reception and restaurants are almost 400
A unique feature in bath types are the court-yard toilets.
Large, open to the sky, yet with all modern fittings and
absolute privacy. The menu is international and ethnic with
special emphasis on seafood and tropical fruit and vegetables.
The large free form swimming pool with the sunken bar has been
designed in traditional Kerala temple style.
Relax in the quiet atmosphere of the resort amidst picturesque
Evening sunset cruise on a traditional Rice Boat. Overnight at
Day 15 – KUMARAKOM / PERIYAR
This morning depart for Periyar - nature’s "Silent
Retreat". Cradled in mist shrouded mountains, Periyar nestles
close to the dense rain forests of the high ranges of Sahyadri
mountains. The luxuriant vegetation, sudden gushing waterfalls
& an exhilarating view of the velvet valleys below form a
scenic background to the journey up the Ghats. This tranquil
hill retreat is accessible only by road. And the journey up is
half the pleasure. Winding mountain roads bordered by
undulating tea plantations. Flocks of tea-pickers calmly fill
their bags in the clear mountain air. And the road winds on to
Kumily, a tiny village near the Periyar Sanctuary.
Arrive and check in at hotel. Afternoon revel in the swirling
whirlpools of silence. Or take a slow stroll down to the
Periyar Lake. Go on a Boat Safari where you can watch wild
animals from the safety of your boat, the wild elephants
moving slowly, while the young ones feed on the tender shoots
of elephant grass from the edge of the lake. Overnight at
Day 16 – PERIYAR
Morning & Evening game viewing. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 17 – PERIYAR / MUNNAR
Morning visit the nearby plantations and share a
cup of morning tea with the workers, or select your pick from
the freshest of spices, straight from the spice gardens. Spice
Village: where the past is preserved for the present. And time
flows by on a seamless stream.
Periyar is the Garden of India. The crisp climate, the gentle
slopes of fertile grassland and bright sunlight combine to
make Periyar an ideal home for spice gardens. From pepper &
cardamom to cinnamon and cloves. Pepper plants grow wild on
the hillsides. While the surrounding tea plantations give off
fragrances to fresh tea in the calm crystalline air.
Afternoon depart for Munnar - a nature lover’s paradise,
sprawling tea plantations. Picturesque book towns, winding
lanes filled with heady fragrances of fresh tea. All 1800
meters or 5904 feet above sea level. In fact Munnar has the
highest peak in South India – Anaimudi which towers over 2695
meters or 8840 feet.
An assortment of wildlife such as the Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri
Langur, Sambar, Gaur and the Lion-tailed Macaque are found in
the rich tropical forests around. Neelakurinji, the unique
plant that blooms only once in 12 years, paints the entire
Munnar hillside blue.
Arrive and check in at hotel. Rest of the day relax amidst the
picturesque surroundings of Munnar. Overnight at hotel.
Day 18 – MUNNAR
This morning visit the serene hill township
Devikulam-1500 meter or 4920 feet above sea level, 16 kms or
10 miles South-West of Munnar, Devikulam is a nature lover’s
retreat. Trout fishing on the Devikulam lake.
Go hiking to The Eravikulam National Park- the best place to
see Nilgiri Tahrs (Hemitragus hylocrious), the mountain goat
of South India. With a total population of less than 2000 in
the world, more than 60% of Nilgiri Tahrs are found here. The
Nilgiri Langur, the Lion - tailed Macaque, Leopards and Tigers
are other attractions. Overnight at hotel.
Day 19 – MUNNAR / COCHIN / MUMBAI
Morning depart for Cochin and connect flight for
Mumbai. Arrive Mumbai and check in at the hotel. Rest of the
day free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 20 – DEPART MUMBAI
Your India experience comes to an end as you are
transferred to the International airport to board your
homeward bound flight.