Welcome to Incredible India :
Welcome to Kerala, God's Own Country! You will be picked up from the Kozhikode airport and driven to Wayanad in a car. Wayanad is an idyllic hill station. It is acclaimed by the Keralites as having the most beautiful landscape in the state. A good part of the rolling hills are covered with deciduous rain forests.
Here you will be staying in a tree house. Imagine spending a night, washed in the sweet scent of forest flowers, in a room on top of a tree. Situated 100 ft above ground level, these forest homes are modernized versions of the original tree huts used by the tribal communities as a place to keep a track of the wild animals.DAY 2 - Wayanad in a Tree House :
Wake up to the chirping of birds. You can go for a long morning walk or have a morning tea in the balcony of your tree house, savoring the nature along with the hot drink. The Resort has its very own trekking routes complimented by a hanging bridge (under it flows a gurgling stream) and a natural swimming pool. There is an Ayurvedic spa also where you can pamper your body and simply relax.
If you wish to do some sightseeing as well you can visit the Eddakal caves that have 6000 year old Neolithic carvings. Trekking inside the forest to get a glimpse of Sentinel (or Suchipara) waterfalls is another option.DAY 3 - Wayanad > Kochi (301 km / 7 hrs)In a heritage hotel :
Early morning you will drive to Kochi. It is the most cosmopolitan and modern city of Kerala.It comprises of Ernakulum (the mainland) and a group of islands on lake Vembanad. It was also dominated by the Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and the British at some point of time, all of whom have left indelible marks.
No sightseeing for the day. Tonight you stay in a heritage hotel. Previously the palaces, forts and mansions of the royal family or the nobles of the yesteryears, these grand residences have now opened their doors to discerning travelers. Although they are now modernized to cater the tourists of the modern world but still the architecture, the settings and the interiors all exude an air of royalty. So, this is your chance to live life king-size.DAY 4 -Kochi > Alappuzha (67 km / 1.5 hrs)in a homestay :
In the morning you can do some sight seeing and then drive to Alappuzha. Here you stay with a family in their house, interact with them to learn about their culture and practices and get to dine on truly ethnic cuisine. You can even join your hosts in the family kitchen to try your hand at cooking and taking away many family 'secrets' coming down generations.
Home stays give ample opportunity to roam around in the rural ambience among truly welcoming people of the villages - enjoying their company, mingling with them in celebrating their festivals. See how the toddy tapers tap the coconut trees to take out fresh toddy. Your host may arrange for you a sweet performance by some country singers. There can be no better chance to know the place skin deep - isn't it!DAY 5 - Alappuzha on board a houseboat in the backwaters :
Today you will be transferred to the houseboat to sail on the backwaters - the USP of Kerala. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 km. Alappuzha which forms the main part of this network has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the countryside life on shore while on a backwater ride.
Your houseboat has fully furnished bed room and a drawing cum dining room, kitchen and toilet. The fish preparations, in local flavour, on the houseboat are really a gourmet's delight. In the evening the houseboat comes to a halt for overnight stay.
Did you know that your kettuvallam i.e. houseboat is made of Jack wood planks tied together without even a single nail being hammered in (don't panic, each of these masterpieces last not for years but for generations). It is coated with a special resin obtained by boiling cashew kernels. So, now you know that you are experiencing something unique about which you can brag back home.DAY 6 - Alappuzha> Kovalam (176 km / 4 hrs)in an Ayurveda resort - a Haven for heeling :
After breakfast you drive to Kovalam and check into an Ayurvedic resort. Ayurved is a 5000-year-old Indian science of 'healthy life' which aims at strengthening our immune system and preventing diseases.
The day is to cater to the demands of your body and pamper it accordingly. You can take a general body massage followed by a steam bath or consult the doctor if you want something specific. The cosmetic freaks must try mukhalepam.This is a facial treatment with different kinds of herbal paste. Very effective in removal of wrinkles, cellulites, blackheads etc. It beautifies and rejuvenates the facial skin. Karna dhoopanam is way cool method to clean and detoxify the ears puffing medicated anti septic fumes into the ears for just 5 - 10 minutes.
In free time attend some lecture or workshop or take stroll on the seashore. Overnight in the resort.DAY 7-9 - Kovalam >Neyyar dam
(35 km / 1 hrs)in an ashram :
Early morning drive southwards to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantri Ashram, which is at an hour's distance from Thiruvanthapuram. A minimum 3 night's stay is mandatory as per the ashram norms.
Here you have to strictly follow the basic ashram schedule which includes yoga classes, lectures, meditation and chanting sessions. It is an excellent place to seek spiritual solace, learn the basics of yoga and undertake ayurvedic massage or other treatments and experience the magical healing powers of age old tradition of Ayurveda system of medicine.DAY 10 - Thiruvananthapuram (30 km/1 hr)The way back :
Day at your own till drop at Thiruvananthapuram airport to board flight for your onward journey. We hope that you leave with fond remembrances to cherish.