The Voyage of Discovery through Authentic Kerala
This extraordinary journey offers an unrivalled opportunity to experience Kerala off the beaten track. Starting in the fragrant and colourful Coastal Part of Kochi, we take you to Malabar, the lesser-visited exotic northern part of the state, and will connect you with the local people, their vibrant culture and the beautiful landscape they inhabit. It includes a healthy program of cycling and trekking through the expansive tea gardens and fragrant coffee plantations that cover the spice growing slopes of the Western Ghats, balanced by a ‘first’ in local tourist; a romantic two-day exploration of the area’s hidden backwaters (water trek) in a houseboat that combines modern comfort with old-fashioned luxury.
Embrace the nature at God’s own country Kerala and treasure lifetime memories exploring Malabar region.
We will have time for Jungle Safaris in the Nagarhole and Bandipur Biosphere and will be based in Kabini National Park Karnataka, to look for wild elephants, leopards, crocodiles and exotic birdlife. The adventure also uncovers the extraordinary culture of the area; its hallowed temples and rituals, holistic Ayurvedic rejuvenation treatments, elegant traditional architecture and the atmospheric Theyyam, the sacred spirit-dance, found only in Malabar, that brings the Gods down to blessed the earth. This journey will appeal to those who not only want to be pampered and revitalized but are prepared to broaden their horizons through an authentic and transforming learning experience.
Arrival TimeEarly morning
Dress CodeCasual, comfortable and light
Tour Itinerary : - Malabar Adventure
Day 01: Arriva Kochi
Arrive Kochi International Airport in the morning, assistance garland welcome and transfer to hotel in Old Fort area (47Km about 1.5hrs drive). Rest of the day is free to relax. In the evening, watch the Kathakali performances, the dramatic dance-drama that tells the much-loved epic stories of the gods and goddesses.
Overnight in Kochi
Day 02: Explore Kochi
After breakfast, there is a wonderful program for a sightseeing tour with our local guide. This includes the ancient St. Francis Church that in its time has served the Portuguese, Dutch and British communities. Here, the splendid San Sebastian Cathedral built by the Portuguese, traditional Chinese fishing nets and charming colonial residences shaded by many ancient trees. Then there is Mattancherry (Closed on Friday), with its Royal Palace built for the Cochin Raja by the Dutch and housing some of the best early mural paintings in Kerala and the old trading area of Jew town (Closed from Friday afternoon and Saturday), with its fragrant spice warehouse, remarkable synagogue with Chinese tiles and antique shops as full of interest as any Aladdin’s cave. The evening is free to walk on the streets and beach of Fort Kochi to enjoy the sunset.
Overnight in Kochi
Day 03: Kochi to Calicut/Kozhikode (Train)
After breakfast, transfer to Ernakulum Junction (Kochi Railway Station) in time to board train Janshatabdi Express at 09:30hrs. Arrive at Calicut (Kozhikode) Railway Station at 13:00hrs and transfer to the hotel. Late afternoon, short drive to Kappad Beach where Vasco de Gama set foot on the sands in 1498. After sunset, back to the hotel and enjoy the martial art Kalaripayattu demonstration. Kalaripayattu is a martial art and fighting system that originated in Kerala. It is considered to be the oldest martial art in existence with its origin dating back to the 3rd century. Calicut (Kozhikode) is famous in history as the capital of the Zamorin Rajas. It was one of the great ports on the West Coast and is a port for cargo streamers. It is also renowned for its local handicrafts, with rosewood and buffalo horn carvings, coir products.
Day 04: Calicut to Wayanad: 85Km about 3 hrs
After breakfast, transfer to Wayanad (85Km about 3hrs drive). This place is blessed with mist-clad mountains, sylvan valleys, peculiar and unique geographical positions. It is situated at a height of 700 to 1200m from sea level. On arrival, check into an authentic homestay which offers an authentic insight into local life and culture. Late afternoon, enjoy short coracle ride on the retreat’s private reservoir. Evening enjoys a delightful sunset walk through the tea plantation and the wilderness beyond. Listen to the birds, breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in breathtaking views of Wayanad sunset.
Overnight in Wayanad.
Day 05: Wayanad – Cycle Safari
Today after breakfast, we take a full day cycle safari for about 55Km through lovely tea and coffee plantations. (Most of the route will have vehicle access). The trip will include a visit to a bamboo handicraft factory which supports many local woman and off-road biking to meet local people and see their way of living. Lunch will be taken by a small lake, offering views of the Nilgiri Hills. After lunch, we cycle back to our accommodation.
Overnight in Wayanad
Note – We can even do this cycling just for about 30Km to make it even more comfortable.
Day 06: Wayanad – Full-Day Hiking
After breakfast today, we make a short transfer to the foot of Chembra Hill, to enjoy a steady 10Km hike through the tea plantation and make a gentle ascent to the summit. We will be walking through mixed terrain; grassy slopes with flowers and shrubs and cardamom plantations watered by bubbling mountain streams. The trek offers a fine bird-watching experience. After lunch, we return home for hot tea and a relaxed evening rounded off with a delicious home-cooked dinner.
Overnight in Wayanad
Day 07: Wayanad to Kabini National Park, Nagarhole: 62Km about 2hrs
We begin with the early morning walk through the coffee estate and enjoy fine bird-watching at the Western Ghats. After breakfast, we drive through the lush green countryside to Nagarhole National Park (62Km about 2hrs) and check into the hotel where two nights are spent. Located in the village of Karapura, near Rajiv Gandhi National Park; the resort is ideally located on the banks of magnificent Kabini River which is teeming with wildlife and more than 300 species of birds. In the afternoon, we enjoy the vehicle safari in the National Park in search of wild elephants and leopards.
Overnight in Nagarhole
Day 08: In Kabini National Park, Nagarhole
Morning boat safari to see birds and crocodiles and afternoon vehicle safari in the National Park which is part of the following Nilgiri Biosphere and is the largest in South India, at over 2000 square kilometers comprising the wildlife parks of Bandipur, Nagarhole, Wayanad and Mudumalai. This pocket boasts the highest Royal Bengal Tigers density in the world, as well as the grand old Asiatic elephants. If time allows, visit the tribal village. Overnight in the hotel.
Overnight in Nagarhole
Day 09: Kabini National Park to Tellicherry: 121Km about 4 hrs
After breakfast, we will drive 121Km about 4hrs to Tellicherry to stay in the renowned homestay Ayesha Manzil, the ancestral home of your hosts Mr. and Mrs. Moosa. Mrs. Moosa is a celebrated authority on the cuisine of Malabar, well-known for her books, television appearances and workshops across the world. You will help choose the ingredients in the local market, then mix up the spices, cook the food and savor the mouthwatering result – all in the congenial atmosphere of a traditional family house.
Overnight in Tellicherry.
Day 10: Tellicherry to Neeleshwar: 81Km about 2:30hrs
After a leisurely home-cooked local style breakfast, we shall visit the monumental St. Angelo Fort, built as a garrison in 1505 by the Portuguese. We return home for a special sea-food lunch and then take a leisurely drive down to the coast for about 2:30hrs to reach Neeleshwar Hermitage – an extraordinarily peaceful beach retreat set in 12 acres of a tropical garden. In the evening, there will be the opportunity to meet the in-house Ayurveda doctor for a consultation to discuss any treatments you may wish to take during the stay.
Overnight in Neeleshwar.
Day 11/12: Neeleshwar
What better way to wake up than with your choice of ‘bed tea’ served with freshly picked flowers in your room? For those who wish, comes a relaxing group yoga class followed by a delicious breakfast. The next two days are free to spend as you wish to relax and pamper yourself at the Ayurvedic clinic and Spa or take a long walk on the beach accompanied only by many species of local birds, including Kingfishers, various gulls and cormorants and other fishing eagles. If you are lucky, you may see the baby Olive Ridley turtles being released from their protected hatchery near the hotel. You can learn to meditate, explore the local village or just visit the hotel’s well-stocked library and catch up on your reading while relaxing with a beer around the superb infinity pool.
Overnight in Neeleshwar.
Day 13: Neeleshwar to Lotus Point to Valiyaparamba Backwater
Today after breakfast, a short transfer of about 10 minutes brings you to Lotus Point jetty on the Tejaswini River where you will board the Lotus – your stylish floating home for the next couple of days. After a welcome drink form the staff, you will be taken to your room, either Sukhima (Happiness) or Lalima (Beauty) to relax and settle in. Your cruise today covers about 25Km of Valiyaparamba backwater, a large inland lake, and includes a visit to a village coir factory. Here brightly coloured houses can be seen peeping through the dense fringe of languid palms that lines the waterfront. The village’s main source of income is producing the coir fiber from coconut husks that are used to make twine, mats and mattress stuffing. We return back to the boat and enjoy our lunch. Today’s cruise continues with a visit to Monkey Island. A short walk through a sleepy village brings you to a thick forest inhabited by friendly monkeys. In its heart sits a clearing with an ancient shrine dedicated to the Naga Snake deities. This simple place exudes a lovely peaceful atmosphere. Then, back to the Lotus for tea, home-made cakes and another 20 minutes cruising before we anchor in the middle of the lake for the night. Then you have time to relax on your elevated deck, watch the evening birds and fishing canoes return home for the night and enjoy the sunset with a drink before a delicious dinner under the canopy of stars. Onboard at the Lotus.
Overnight in Valiyaparamba Backwater
Day 14: Valiyaparamba Backwater to Sultan Canal (near Kannur)
The day begins with flower-bedecked ‘bed tea’ which you can take out onto your own private verandah and watch the subtly changing light as the day begins. Breakfast is served around 9, and then the boat moves south for another hour towards the softly rolling contours of the Ezhil Elimala Hills, accompanied by feeding birds and sometimes whole shoals of tiny fish leaping – together to form one shower of silver sparks. After an hour or so, we reach Kotti Jetty, from where a 3Km auto-rickshaw ride takes us to the remarkable temple dedicated to Lord Subramanyam, the second son of Shiva. The shrine dates from about 800AD and is the living heart of Payyannur, a town famed all over India for its expertise in the sacred science of astrology. As well as the elegant building with its fine carvings in wood and brass, you can see the daily ritual when the silver image of the deity is processed three times around the temple compound by members of the traditional priestly class. Then, quench your thirst with deliciously spicy chai from an open-air tea-shop under the temple walls before heading back to the Lotus for lunch. A further hour’s sailing brings you to Sultan Canal, constructed in the late 18th century by Tipu Sultan, the ‘Tiger of Mysore’ and implacable foe of the British. Then, after tea at about 3:30 PM, we take a taxi 18Km to the Shri Muttappan temple, a highly atmospheric and popular shine dedicated to Lord Shiva in his form as a local tribal hunter. Here, the evening ritual involves the priest acting as a trance-medium for Shiva and serving as an oracle for worshippers. After witnessing this unique ceremony, we return back to the Lotus for drinks, dinner and golden dreams.
Day 15: Departure to Kannur Airport or Calicut Airport & onwards to your home country
After an early breakfast, you take your 03hrs transfer to Calicut airport for your return flight home. Or you can now also go to the nearby new airport in Kannur which is about 2 hrs drive only.
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Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
02 paying persons in a Double Room