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Wed, 20 Sep 2017      
 
KERALA
SUGGESTED NUMBER OF DAYS: 13N/14D
ROUTING: KOVALAM-TRIVANDRUM-ALLEPPEY-KUMARAKOM-THEKKADY-MUNNAR-COCHIN-CALICUT-WAYANAD
     
Kerala is a state located in southwestern India. The state was created in 1956 on linguistic basis, bringing together those places where Malayalamformed the principal language. Kerala is famous for its sprawling backwaters and lush green vegetation. Kerala is generally referred to as a tropical paradise of waving palms and wide sandy beaches. It boasts of a higher Human Development Index than most other states in India. Neighbouring states are Karnataka to the north and Tamil Nadu to the south and the east.
HISTORY
It is unknown if the region was inhabited during Neolithic times. The Edakkal Caveshas one of the earliest examples of stone age writing. Kerala and Tamil Nadu once shared a common language, ethnicity and culture; this common area was known as Tamilakam . A 3rd-century-BC rock inscription by emperor Asoka the Great attests to a Keralaputra.
 Churches of Goa
GEOGRAPHY
Kerala is wedged between the Laccadive Sea and the Western Ghats(also called Sahya Parvatham). Lying between north latitudes 8°18' and 12°48' and east longitudes 74°52' and 72°22', Kerala is well within the humid equatorial tropics. Kerala’s coast runs for some 580 km (360 miles), while the state itself varies between 35 and 120 km (22–75 miles) in width. Geographically, Kerala can be divided into three climatically distinct regions: the eastern highlands (rugged and cool mountainous terrain), the central midlands (rolling hills), and the western lowlands (coastal plains).
TRIVANDRUM
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala nd the headquarters of the Thiruvananthapuram District. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland. Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as the "Evergreen city of India", the city is characterized by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills and busy commercial alleys.
     
 Kovalam Beach
The biggest of all tourist attractions in Trivandrum is the beach of Kovalam. Kovalam lies only 16kms away from the city. Soft white sands, emerald sea and swaying palms make for an idyllic destination for those who love sun, sand and surf.
 Padmanabha Swamy Temple
The presiding deity is lord Vishnu reclining on a large serpent that is 'Anantha'. Stone carvings and murals adorn the temple. Though non-Hindus are not entitled to enter inside the temple one can visit the premises, which is an architectural marvel.
 Kanakakunnu Palace
The Kanakakunnu Palace was constructed in the reign of the Travancore King, Hiss Highness Sree Moolam Tirunal (1885-19240). The Palace was the main venue for Royal banquets. The interiors are decorated with large crystal chandeliers and exquisite pieces of royal furniture. The Palace situates on the crest of a small hill surrounded will meadows and grooves.
 The Chalai Market
The Chalai Market is a big market just meters away to the temple is a fine example of the typical market of Kerala.
 Napier Museum
This 19th century structure displays a rare collection of archaeological artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The Indo-Saracenic structure boasts of a natural air- conditioning system that bears testimony to the technological progress of that period.
 Lighthouse Beach and other beaches
This 19th century structure displays a rare collection of archaeological artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The Indo-Saracenic structure boasts of a natural air- conditioning system that bears testimony to the technological progress of that period.
REACHING TRIVANDRUM
By Air - Trivandrum has an international airport in the city. Major public and private including a number of international airlines operate regular flights to and from Trivandrum. Many Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi are well connected to Trivandrum.
By Bus - An extensive road network connects Trivandrum with most of the cities in Kerala like Kochi, Alleppey, Kumarakom. You can also approach the city from other south Indian cities like: Chennai, Bangalore.
By Rail - Trivandrum is a major Railway Station in India. Key destinations in Kerala and South India are linked to Trivandrum by rail.
ALLEPPEY
Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha District of Keralastate of southern India . A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the List of places known as Venice of the East by Lord Curzon. It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District. Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classical Literature.
  
SIGHTSEEING
 Sreekrishna Temple
It is about 14km from Alappuzha. The classic architecture of this temple is worth seeing. Besides its architecture, it is well known for its 'Palpayasam' (sweet milk porridge), offered to the deity. The main event of the temple takes place in the months of March/April.
 House Boat
A one night cruise on the backwaters of the Alleppey, this cruise is one of the most popular cruises offered. A round about tour in which, you board the boat at Alleppey and disembark at Alleppey or at Kumarakom after spending the night in the tranquility of the Backwaters.
REACHING ALLEPPEY
By Air - The airport nearest to Alleppey is Kochi at a distance of 64 km north. The Trivandrum airport is located 159 km south of Alleppey. Cities like Cochin, Chennai, Howrah, Bangalore and Bokaro are well connected to Alleppey.
By Bus - Alleppey is also well connected through waterways. Alleppey is linked by boat and ferry services through the scenic backwaters to Cochin, Kottayam, Kavalam, Changanassery and Chengannur.
By Rail - National Highway 47 goes through Alleppey connecting it with almost all the nearby places of South India
Travel in Alleppey - Water transport is available too for travel in Alleppey especially for leisure trips. There are regular government boats and also the luxury boats serviced by both the state government tourism department as well as private agencies. Alleppey is connected with Cochin (5 1/2 hrs), Quilon (8 hrs) and Kottayam (2 1/2 hrs) through water.
KUMARAKOM
Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Karimeen (Pearl spot), shrimp (chemmeen in the local language) and prawns. The bird sanctuary extends over 14 acres (57,000 m²), and came into existence following preservation efforts from the government. It is a major tourist attraction.
     
SIGHTSEEING
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary - The sanctuary is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake and is spread across 101 acres. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise and a favorite haunt of exotic birds like egrets, darters, herons, teal, bitterns, brahminy kites, marsh harries, waterfowl, cuckoo and wild ducks. Also Siberian storks migrate here every year.
REACHING KUMARAKOM
By Air - The nearest airport from Kumarakom is the Cochin International Airport, which is 70 kms from Kumarakom.The Trivandrum International Airport is 171 kms from Kumarakom.
By Bus - Kottayam is the nearest railway station. There are regular local and express trains, which connect Kumarakom with major cities in India.
By Rail - Kottayam, the main road junction is just 14 kms from Kumarakom.It is also well linked with all the major cities in India through the State and National Highways.
COCHIN
Kochi formerly known as Cochin, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. The city is one of the principal seaports of the country and is located in the district of Ernakulam, about 220 kilometres (137 mi) north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. It has an estimated population of 600,000, with an extended metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the largest urban agglomeration and the second largest city in Kerala after the capital.
     
SIGHTSEEING
 Chinese Fishing Nets in Cochin Harbor
The fishing nets in Cochin harbor are a beautiful sight. Suspended from a wooden framework these cobweb-like structures form a delicate silhouette as the sunset paints the twilight sky in shades of ochre and crimson.
 Jewish Synagogue
Located in Mattancheri near Kochi, this historic synagogue was built by a thriving Jewish community in 1568 A.D. Now the community has dwindled in numbers, however the synagogue is beautifully preserved. You can see the religious scrolls and the beautiful hand-painted tiles from China, which decorate the synagogue.
 Dutch Palace
Situated on an island off the coast of Cochin, and accessible by boat, the palace was built by the Dutch in 1744. Previously used as the residence of the Governor by the Dutch and the British, the palace is now a heritage hotel in Cochin and is famous for its canopied garden.
REACHING COCHIN
By Air: Cochin is connected by excellent air network to all major cities in India. Cochin also has an international terminal.
By Rail: Cochin is also well connected with all the major places in Kerala and India by Rail network. Cochin has three main railway stations, namely, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Harbor Terminus on Willingdon Island.
By Road: Cochin, being an important commercial center of Kerala is very well connected and serviced by a network of National and state highways, connecting it to all major centers of the area.
THEKKADY
Situated in kerala, close to the Kerala - Tamil Nadu border town - Kumily , it is located about 257 km (160 miles) from Trivandrum , 114 km from Madurai Airport, 185 km from Cochin International Airport and 114 km from Kottayamrailway station. The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs.
     
SIGHTSEEING
 Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve
Also known as Thekkady, this wildlife reserve located in the Western Ghats, is home to a large population of elephants and a number of tigers. The rare Nilgiri Tahr can also be seen here. A large lake within the park on which you can take a boat ride and observe the animals at leisure is an added attraction.
 Murikkady
This place consists of spice and coffee plantations. It is about 5 km from Thekkady.
 Chellar Kovil
This is located about 15 km from Kumily and leads to the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. This place has a lot of waterfalls and cascades. It is very beautiful and extremly serene.
 Mangala Devi Temple
It is situated about 15 km from Thekkady and sits at an altitude of 1337 m above the sea level. It is only open during the Chitra Pournami festival.
REACHING THEKKADY/PERIYAR
By Air: The nearest Airport is to Thekkady is Madurai, which is at a distance of 140 The nearest Airport is to Thekkady is Madurai, which is at a distance of 140 kilometers. Apart from that, you can access the airports at Kochi at a distance of 180 kilometers and Thiruvananthapuram at a distance of 260 kilometers.
By Rail: The railway station nearest to Thekkady is Kumarakom, located at a distance of 114 kilometers. Another station is at Madurai located at a distance of about 130 kilometers.
By Road: Thekkady is connected to all major towns and cities in Kerala through an excellent network of roads. The nearest place is Kumily at a distance of 4 kilometers.
WAYANAD
Wayanad District in the north-east of Kerala, India, was formed on November 1, 1980 as the 12th district by carving out areas from Kozhikode districts. Kalpetta is the district headquarters as well as the only municipal town in the district. The region was known as Mayakshetra (Maya's land) in the earliest records.
     
SIGHTSEEING
 Chembra peak
At 2100 mts above mean sea level, Chembra is the highest peak in Wayanad and is ideal for trekking. Climbing this peak is a challenging mountaineering endeavour and would take a full dayThe scenic beauty of Wayanad, which is visible from the top of Chembra, is very exhilerating. The surrounding areas offer exceptional photo oppurtunities. Camping on the peak is an unforgettable experience. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides, sleeping bags, canvases, huts and trekking implements on hire.
 Neelimala View Point
Closer to Vaduvanchal, Neelimala is an excellent venue for trekking with lots of stimulating trails. The summit of this hill affords a great view of the cascading Meenmutty fallsand the beautiful valley in its foreground.
 Meenmutty falls
An interesting 2 km jungle trek off the main Ooty road, Meenmutty is the largest and most spectacular waterfall in Wayanad. A unique feature is that water drops about 300 metres over three stages.
 Sentinal Rock Waterfalls
22 kms south of Kalpetta near Chooralmala. Locally known as Soochippara and is a very popular leisure destination. This is a three step waterfall more than 200 mts in height. Framed by enchanting scenery. A must to see site. This region is ideal for rock climbing. Soochipara can be reached by a scenic 2 kms. nature walk and deer and other wildlife can be seen near the waterfront.
 Kanthanpara Waterfalls
22 kms south east of Kalpetta and 8 kms east of Meppadi, a beautiful waterfall about 30 mts in height. Relatively smaller than Sentinel Rock falls, and rather less frequented Kanthanpara and its surroundings offer a very pleasant site. A easy hike away from the main road, its perfect for picnics.
 Banasura sagar project
21 kms north east of Kalpetta. Situated at Padinjarathara. A mini hydel project with the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia is being built here. The Banasura project precincts are an ideal starting point for treks to the Banasura Peak. A quaint feature is a series of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas.
 Varambetta Mosque
15 kms southeast of Kalpetta, near Padinjarathara: dating back 300 years, this is the oldest mosque in Wayanad.
 Jain Temple at Puliyarmala
4 kms north of Kalpetta. This old temple is dedicated to Ananthanatha Swami, one of the most revered Jain Saint.
 Glass temple, Koottamundu
This temple is located on the slopes of Vellarimala and is dedicated to Parshwanatha Swami of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple wall reflect images of the icons in the temple's sanctum sanatorium.
REACHING THEKKADY/PERIYAR
By Air: The nearest airport from Wayanad is the Karipur airport of Kozhikode. It is situated at a distance of around 100 kilometers from the city. There are regular flights from the airport to other states in India, like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, and Goa and even international destinations like Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Doha and Muscat. You can also access Wayanad from the Cochin International Airport, which is at a distance of around 300 kilometers.
By Rail: The nearest railway station from Wayanad is at Calicut, at a distance of around 110 kilometers from this place. It is well connected by a good network of railways. There are a number of local as well as inter-state trains that halt at the Calicut station and connect it with the other major cities of India. From the station, you can take a bus or hire a can for going to Wayanad.
By Road: Wayanad is well connected by a wide network of roads and this place can be easily accessed from anywhere in Kerala as well as from neighboring states. For reaching Wayanad by road, NH212 and SH17 are the highways that you need to follow. Otherwise, you can take a bus or hire a cab. Deluxe buses are available for Wayanad, from Bangalore’s Majestic Bus Stand, from 9 am to 10 pm.
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