Kerala offers visitors a slower and more relaxed pace of life. The region not only boasts a wealth of history and diverse culture, it is also home to the famous backwaters.
Cochin once known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ in the time of King Solomon has been used by various traders in the past in search of silk, spices and sandalwood. Today Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus live side by side. Chinese fishing nets continue to be used originally introduced by the merchants from the court of Kublai Khan and the adjoining backwaters make it a popular destination. When visiting Cochin include the Jewish Town and Synagogue, the Dutch palace, St Francis Church and the Chinese Fishing nets.
Munnar – breathtaking – a haven of peace and tranquillity
Munnar is the most beautiful hill station of south India with an altitude of 1600 meters. It is set amidst picturesque mountain ranges with lush green vegetation and scenic waterfalls. Some of the highest tea gardens are located in this area and the town is beautifully maintained. The surrounding hills have some of the best trekking routes. Excellent paragliding and rock climbing is available to those seeking more adventurous activities. When visiting Munnar you should include a visit to the Tea Museum and a Spice Plantation Walk.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of Periyar Lake at Thekkady. Here you will find the high ranges of the Western Ghats clothed in dense evergreen, deciduous forests and savannah grasslands. Below this thick green canopy roam elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion-tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. In addition to Elephant rides, you can cruise on the lake or trek to the remains of the beautiful Mangaladevi temple. The romantic Lake Palace, formerly a summer retreat of the Maharaja of Travancore, is built on a small island only accessible by boat.
Kumarakom Lake Resort
Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of tropical flora and fauna. One of the main attractions is the bird sanctuary where a significant number of bird species are known to make migratory visits. The whole park area is around 15 acres and was originally known as the Bakers estate – a rubber estate developed by English colonial entrepreneurs. Look out for glorious multicoloured kingfishers.
Kettuvalams (Houseboats) cruise on the backwaters of Kerala
This is the best way to explore the backwaters which forms the fascinating labyrinth of channels and maze of bridges and canals. This area is an ornithologist’s paradise.
Many different itineraries are available for this region and the itinerary could be extended at a beach location – ask for further details. We can suggest various itineraries for your holiday to India depending on your interests and requirements.
An example itinerary including these destinations appears on a different travel blog.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
All details quoted are thought to be correct at time of posting but are always subject to confirmation at time of booking
Photo: View at Munnar (client) 136