All packages from Kerala > Cochin

Cochin
Queen of Arabian Sea
6790 people have seen this

I have been wanting to explore Kerala for many years now and decided to start with Cochin. Cochin in the local dialect means a small lagoon and it boasts of one of the finest natural harbours of the world. It was also used as a centre for spice trade for many centuries. It is well connected by international and domestic flights, and can also be accessed by train (you have to alight at the Ernakulam station).

There are ample accommodation options at Cochin and At Hammock’s suggestion, we opted to stay at Fort Cochin.  This erstwhile, trading port had witnessed the Portuguese, Dutch and the British before the pre independence era.  Moreover, you can walk the length and breadth of Fort Cochin and cover the sightseeing destinations.  

On the day we arrived, we started our tour in the evening with an authentic cultural extravaganza. What more would be befitting than to watch the traditional Kathakali (dance drama of Kerala) & Kalaripayattu (martial arts of Kerala ) performances?  We reached the theatre about half an hour before the show to watch the Kathakali artists putting on the make up for their performance. 

We then watched the Kathakali performance which lasted for about an hour or so. The dance is preceded by a song with drummers accompanying them. It was really a treat to see the well-defined body movements & detailed gestures of this incredible and unique dance form.

We also got to watch the most renowned martial arts form in India – Kalaripayattu. I have seen this on television many times, however to see it in real was an experience in itself. We all had goose bumps after seeing the incredible skills of the fighters and the weapons that were used.

The next morning, at sunrise, we decided to see the Chinese fishing nets, which are used even today. It is marvellous to see one country borrowing centuries old technique of another and succeeding in it.

We also visited the Jewish Synagogue which was built in 1568. It is known by the locals as Paradesi Synagogue, and is reportedly the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth Nations. Synagogue actually means ‘House of Gatherings’.  

 

Note - The Synagogue is not opened to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays. 

It was nice to take a stroll down the Jew town, doing some actual shopping as well as window shopping. Some of the buildings have Hebrew sign boards even to this day.

The Mattanchery Palace is adjacent to the Jew town. It is also known as the Dutch Palace, though it is neither built by the Dutch nor is it a palace! It was built by the Portuguese and gifted to Vira Kerala Varma, the then Maharaja of Cochin in 1555 AD. The ‘Palace’ features Kerala murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits, & exhibits.  

NOTE: The palace is closed on Fridays and National holidays. Photography is not allowed inside the palace. 

Our next stop was at St. Francis Church, which is the oldest church constructed by the Portuguese in 1503 and later restored in 1779. 

We then hired a taxi to visit Ernakulam ( Cochin) city. We first visited Bolgatty Palace - a mansion that was built by the Dutch traders in 1744.  It is currently a heritage hotel and we had a sumptuous lunch here which was served on a plantain leaf.

After lunch, we did some shopping and picked up things to take back with us. In the evening we decided to visit Marine Drive, a beautiful promenade in Cochin which faces the backwater. We found it to be a little crowded, as many people (both natives and tourists) use the walkway during the evenings to take advantage of the sunset viewing points.

We returned to Fort Cochin to experience the “You Buy We Cook”. The concept is that you buy your sea food directly from the fishermen at Chinese fishing nets and have it cooked in the shacks close by according to your tastes.  It was the most delicious, well marinated grilled fish we ever had!

We then retired for the day and left Cochin the next morning to proceed to Munnar. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip at Cochin and all the things that Hammock suggested and arranged for us made our trip fun & colourful. 



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Other Packages from Kerala

Marari
Beach Village
9863 people have seen this

Marari is located between Alleppey (approximately 25km) and Cochin (approximately 80km). After Alleppey visit, on our way back to Cochin, we decided to stopover for a night at Marari.

Mararikulam is a peaceful beach village with not much of activities. Nice place to unwind.

Late December to March are the best months to visit, when the weather is dry and sunny every day. Take part in an early-morning yoga session, enjoy an Ayurvedic treatment or simply swing the day away in a hammock.

Take a stroll to the neighbouring villages and watch the fishermen haul in their daily catch.

There are few luxury stay options at Marari Beach. There are few beach cottages also if you do not want to splurge. We stayed a luxury resort and enjoyed the services too.

After visiting Cochin, Munnar, and Alleppey this was a much needed leisure break for us before heading home. Those of you, who prefer less crowded beach, Marari is the right choice.

Do get in touch with us for accommodation suggestions and reservations.



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Athirapally
Niagara of India
9373 people have seen this

Athirapally Falls is approximately 90km from Cochin. We took an hour and a half to reach the falls. Nick named as The Niagara of India, Athirapally falls is not to be missed when on your tour to Cochin or Munnar. Nearest railhead is Chalakudy (approx. 30km away) and the nearest airport is Cochin.

When you reach Athirapally, you will need to buy the entrance pass to get in.

During monsoon, the waterfall is at its peak splendour. You can get down through a rocky path and reach the foot of the falls. But be careful as it can get slippery at few places and climbing the boulders is not advisable. Some of us slipped on algae surface and suffered minor bruises.

There nothing else to do here than adore the waterfall. There is one luxury resort here which we recommend. There are few other small resorts which we would not recommend for stay.

You get the best view of the falls from the resort. You even can dine with a view. It is an experience in itself. With a beautiful setting, all you need to do is relax. That’s what we call a leisure holiday. Contact us to help you make your dream destination come true.



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Wayanad
Serene Wayanad
8370 people have seen this

My trip to Wayanad was unforgettable! We drove from Bangalore early morning, reaching Wayanad by afternoon (took about 6 ½ to 7 hrs). One can also opt for a flight from Bangalore to Calicut and then take a local cab to reach Wayanad in about approximately 3 ½ hrs.

We had a sumptuous lunch with local cuisine delicacies at our resort and after resting for an hour, we set out to see ‘Wayanad’. A combination of hill station & wildlife, Wayanad offers a unique charm and challenge for hikers, trekkers, nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Options of Ayurveda & relaxing spas are available if one wants to detox or soothe tired limbs.

We first visited the Pookot Lake – a fresh water lake nestled among wooded hills and Lakkadi – one of the highest locations in this destination with scenic hills and streams. Then it was time to head back as in the hill stations night falls fast!

The next day, after a delicious breakfast, we went out to climb the Chembra peak - one of the highest peaks which gave us an awesome view of nature’s scenic beauty. The view of Neelimala view point and Vaduvanchal which is an excellent venue for trekking with lots of inspiring trails also gives an incredible view of the Meenmutty falls which I feel is one of the largest and most amazing waterfall in Wayanad district.

After lunching out at Chembra with the picnic lunch we had carried we took in some more of the scenic sights of Wayanad before heading back to the warmth of our resort and a delectable dinner. This is one place where vegetarians and non-vegetarians have an equal choice of delicious options. 

On the last day in Wayanad, we covered Wayanad’s wild life sanctuary - Muthanga. We got to see quite a few elephants – a majestic sight indeed and some bison, deer, peacocks etc.

We then drove to the Eddakal caves which has rock carvings inside the caves dating from prehistoric times. The climb to the caves is a little tiring and may not be advisable for people with bad backs or legs.

We also visited the beautifully cascading Soochipara waterfalls, another gem of nature’s treasures.

For the rest of the day we unwound with a soothing Ayurvedic massage and steam followed by yet another wonderful dinner.

We left the next morning & reluctantly said good bye to Wayanad which was our paradise for the past 3 nights and drove back to Bangalore with memories of an unforgettable and perfect holiday!

Wayanad has a variety of resorts to offer with varying facilities in picturesque locations. Get in touch with us to find out which would be most suitable for you! 



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Thekkady
Wilderness of Thekkady
7471 people have seen this

We decided to visit Thekkady on a weekend, which is 190km from Cochin, which takes 6 hours approximately. The Periyar Tiger Reserve is located around the Periyar Lake. Though spotting a tiger is near to impossible today, there are other wildlife animals that one may be able to sight.

Once we reached the resort, we had light lunch as we decided not to laze around too much. We went on a guided short trek through the forest, which lasted for 3 hours. The trek takes place at two time slots - between 0700 hrs - 1030 hrs. And between 1400 hrs - 1500 hrs. You will be accompanied by a trained tribal guide.

The trails often pass through evergreen and deciduous forests scattered with marshy grasslands. Possible wildlife sightings include the Asiatic Elephant, the Indian Gaur (Bison), spotted deer and a variety of tropical birds. This trek is normally conducted for a maximum of 5 persons at a time.

IMPORTANT:

  • The guided trek needs to be booked in advance
  • Children below 12 years are not allowed.
  • Wear light coloured clothes when going to trek. Do not wear gaudy coloured clothes.
  • Don’t wear perfume or deodorant while going on trek.
  • Always wear cap / hat to protect from the sun.
  • Carry basic medicines with you while trekking.
  • Carry packed lunch from the resort / hotel you stay at, for the day long tour.

 

 

 

 

There are two type of boat safaris at Thekkady. One is the motor boat. The boat has a single and double deck. If you are taking the double deck boat, we recommend the upper deck for the best view. The best time for a safari is at 0700 hrs. This is when the probability of sighting would be the best. These boats are a little noisy and get a little crowded on weekends.

NOTE: It is mandatory to wear life jackets while on a motor boat, keeping the safety measures in mind.

The other is the Raft Safari, which is a different experience. Made out of bamboo and paddled with oars, it is the ideal approach for safari. You could also book a day long raft safari online or go for a short raft safari which lasts for about an hour and half. We opted for the day long raft safari.

There is a soft trek for about 4 km through the jungle accompanied by trained tribal guide & an armed guard. The raft cruise starts at 0900 hrs and includes basic lunch, tea & snacks and ends at 1600 hrs.

IMPORTANT:

  • It is recommend to the clients to carry their own packed lunch for the raft safari as the lunch provided would be basic.
  • We advise you to wear a head gear or hat to protect from the heat. There is no roof for the raft.
  • Carry water bottles with you, but be responsible to dispose it back at the resort. Please do not litter.

We got to see herd of elephants & a herd of Indian Gaur, commonly termed as “Bison”.

We visited the Connemara Tea Factory originally built by an Irish engineer in 1941, located amongst Connemara tea estate which is spread over700 acres. The tour lasts for about an hour. It begins with a slide show of how tea leaves are produced and processed. After which is a tour of the factory where they make powdered tea. You end the tour with a tea tasting session.

It is informative and the accompanying guide will answer your queries regarding the tour. There is a wealth of knowledge about tea to be learned here and the guide was able to answer our questions.

Thekkady has ample spice trade which is a daily event. We purchased good quality spices from the market area.

Best season to visit is September to March. Thekkady has moderate climate throughout the year.

We decided for two nights stay at Thekkady as we wanted to participate in all the activities. If one does not wish to go for a day long raft safari, then just a night’s stay at Thekkady is appropriate. There are several accommodation options outside the forest reserve and a very few within the forest. We chose the most exclusive one which is inside the forest where the animals share their boundaries with our resort.

It was an awesome experience. However, the service at the hotel was not up to the excellence, but was satisfactory. So, do not have high expectations when staying at this exclusive resort inside the forest reserve.

We can plan your holiday to make it memorable. Get in touch with us today.



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Bekal
The Undiscovered Paradise
7313 people have seen this

A fascinating weekend getaway for nature lovers, hikers, bikers and kayakers, Bekkal is still relatively unknown.  It is located in Kasargod district in north Kerala, but is also easily accessible from Karnataka. Mangalore is the closest airport to Bekal so it can be reached by road in approx. 2 hrs drive from the airport.

If you are driving to Bekal from Mangalore there are a few attractions in Mangalore that you can visit such as Panamboor Beach, Pilikula Nisargadama, St Aloysius College Chapel etc. Kapu Light House and Sultan Battery Watch tower are also worth a visit.

On reaching Bekal from Mangalore, one enters into an enchanting secluded world away from the concrete jungle. Bekal has currently only a few resorts set amidst the waters – the backwaters, the estuary & the sea. We would recommend a minimum of 2 nights to really explore the place.

Bekal offers a variety of holiday experience’s – It is a promising location for adventure and also for those who want a destination to just relax and settle down in the quietness of the surrounding which is so mesmerizing with the serene waters and the wind giving one a soothing touch. With very few tourists around, it can be your cocoon if you are looking for a real paradise all for yourself.

On the day of arrival in Bekal, one of the first places of tourist interest would be ‘The Bekal Fort’ which gives a view of the entire beach from top. The attractive feature of this fort is its giant keyhole shaped structure and it is a famous and well preserved monument of Kerala. It is so near to the sea that the waves keep striking on the rocks near the Fort - quite exhilarating to watch.

The long stretch of the Bekal Fort also leads to a rough trekking trail so those who want to enjoy more of trekking can continue with the trek for the rest of the day and get back to the hotel in the evening.

If Trekking is not your interest then Bekal is a joy for a Kayaker’s heart too! – So post lunch you can head for Kayaking with the assistance of a professional team through Hammock Holidays. The winding river and the vast expanse of the backwaters gives a breath taking kayaking experience.

Hiker’s will also love Bekal - Hammock Holidays will help you plan an exciting hiking adventure, where you can start off in the morning in a boat to reach a small peninsula beautifully surrounded on all 3 sides  by the sea, the backwaters and the estuary. It has a narrow coconut plantation trail which is perfect for hikers because there are no other vehicles passing by. Proceeding a little away from this coconut plantation, you reach the calm, serene beach secluded and ideal for a small exciting packaged picnic lunch. You return back to the resort in the evening after enjoying your hiking and picnic experience.

The next day, early morning you can mount on your bicycles (arranged by us) and go cycling to savor the empty roads by the coast line and the backwaters.

In the afternoon, you can explore a couple of other interesting nearby locations. One of the major backwaters in Kasargod is the Chandragiri backwaters. One can enjoy t a cruise along the backwaters of the Chandragiri river and there are numerous small islands to take a boat trip too (if available depending on weather conditions). There is a rich variety of flora and fauna around these backwaters. The trip through these backwaters can be done in houseboats which are also called as Kettuvallams. 

You can even can visit Nileshwar which is approx. 35 kms away from Bekal. This place has a backwater and beach so it is possible to opt for a backwater boat ride here too. Ananthapura Lake Temple, Anandashram and a few other temples can be visited around Nileshwar.

If you want to enjoy a picnic at the beach instead of a backwater cruise then Kappil beach is approx. 6 kms from the Bekal fort - a perfect picnic spot - calm and peaceful.

Do let us know if you want to experience this exciting adventurous holiday.  We at Hammock Holiday can tailor make your trip! 



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Munnar
God's Own Tea Garden
7480 people have seen this

Munnar (which means confluence of three rivers in the local dialect) is a hill station located in Central Kerala and is approximately 5300 ft above sea level. It used to be the summer resort of the erstwhile British administration in South India.  Munnar is easily accessible by road from Cochin/ Ernakulam (approx. 4 hours from the nearest airport/ railway station) and from Coimbatore/ Madurai (which takes approx. 5 hrs). 

The best time to visit Munnar is between August and May. However, even the monsoons compliment the region.

 

We decided to stay at Chinnakanal (about 18 kms away from Munnar town). Enroute to our resort we stopped by at Lock Heart Gap which offers a nice view of the Bison valley and other little villages thousands of feet below, which was enveloped in a misty veil. From another side we could see the steep rocky slopes with lots of wild flowers. Truly an unforgettable experience.

We checked in at our resort, refreshed ourselves and immediately set out for sightseeing on the “Marayoor route” in our chauffeur driven car organized by Hammock Holidays.  We enjoyed the extensive stretch of tea plantations en route and stopped by a spice garden as well. 

Our first stop was at the Tea Museum, which houses curios, photographs and machinery, each depicting a turning point that contributed to a flourishing tea industry, as seen today in the region. A section of the museum also houses classic bungalow furniture, typewriters, wooden bathtub, magneto phone, iron oven, and EPABX of the 1909 telephone system.

Do not forget to do tea tasting session in the demonstration room and watch the 30 minutes documentary film. 

We then proceeded to Rajamala, where the Eravikulam National Park is situated. This park is the sanctuary for the Nilgiri Tahr, a very rare mountain goat, on the verge of extinction. This animal is very friendly and we came face to face with it.

Another major attraction in Rajamala is the Neelakurinji flowers that blossoms once in 12 years (the last time it bloomed was in the year 2006). 

Anamudi rising to a height of 9000 ft approx. above sea level is the highest mountain peak - South of the Himalayas.  We had to hire a jeep to go to the closest motorable point and then proceeded on foot to the top most point.  Enough facilities for trekking are available here.

We then returned back to our resort after an enjoyable day.

The next day, we proceeded on the Mattupetty route.  Our first point was Top Station (32 kms from Munnar town), the furthest sightseeing location in this route.  Hammock Holidays had suggested taking this route so that the journey back is smooth and safe, due to the terrain.

Top Station got its name by being the uppermost located railway station on the Kundala Valley built by the British in 1902.  This hilltop location offers panoramic views of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.

Next we visited Echo Point. It is a small lake set amidst rolling hills, en route from Top Station to Munnar.  Every loud call made from a spot on the lake embankment is returned several folds by the echo from the surrounding hills.

We ended our trip with a visit to Mattupetty Dam and lake (13 kms from Munnar). The dam was constructed in 1953 and the lake offers boating facilities.

We could choose between a motor boat and a speed boat ride in the lake. Since we were looking for adrenaline rush, we opted for speed boat, and our choice was a wise one.

Mattupetty is also famous for the Indo- Swiss Livestock project where high milk yielding cows are bred.  There is also a beautiful garden with more than 250 varieties of roses, many varieties dahlias, dianthus etc.

We had to rush a bit to cover the sightseeing places. As advised by Hammock Holidays, we realised we should spend ideally 3 Nights to cover other interesting places like Marayoor ( famous for sandalwood), Pallivasal ( the first Hydro Electric project of Kerala), Anayirankal Lake & Dam etc.

A word of caution! There are too many options for stay at Munnar and hence be wise to choose the best one for your stay.



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Kerala Delights – 04 nights & 05 days package
Kerala Delights
4229 people have seen this

Best offer per couple = Rs.44,444

Valid till = 18th Dec

 

Day 01 :: Arrival Cochin - Munnar (Hill station) (about 04 hrs drive).

·         Pick up from Cochin Airport / Bus station  & transfer to Munnar by car

·         Check in to Hotel.  Afternoon sightseeing of Munnar covering Rajamalai, house of the highly endangered mountain goats ? the Nilgiri Thars. &

·         Blossom Park. Back to resort & overnight stay at Tea Valley Resort.

·         Overnight stay in Munnar.

 

Day 02 :: In  Munnar (Hill station)

·         Today after breakfast visit Echo point and Mattupetty Dam. Speed boating facilities are available here at additional cost.

·         After that visit Eco Pint. Afternoon visit Kundale dam & lake. Tea Museum. Return to the hotel & overnight stay at Tea Valley Resort.

 

Day 03 :: Munnar – Alleppey House boat (approx. transit time 04hrs)

·         Breakfast at resort.  Check in to Alleppey House boat for Lunch .

·         Cruse the famous backwater of Alleppey to Alleppey sector. 

·         Overnight stay at House boat.

 

Note  :  The houseboat has one / two bedrooms with an en suite wc, shower & wash basin, a living cum dining area & a kitchen. In the AC houseboat the AC will be operational only in the bedroom from 2100 hrs. till 0600 hrs. The houseboats in Kerala ( unlike the houseboats in Kashmir ) cruise the backwaters. However, they anchor in the evening at around 1800 hrs. to permit the local fishermen to cast their nets. The cruise continues only the next day morning at about 0800 hrs.

 

Day 04 :: In Alleppey

·         Breakfast at the House boat & Check out by about 0930hrs. 

·         House boat will drop you at backwater resort.

·         Check in to Hotel, afternoon free for sunset cruise, peddle boat activities (extra cost)

·         Overnight stay at backwater resort.

 

Day 05 :: Alleppey – Cochin Airport (approx. 02 hrs drive)

·         Check out after breakfast,  

·         Transfer to Cochin.  Sightseeing of The old Jew town, Jewish Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, Dutch Palace etc..

·         Short shopping stop at Ernakulum, 

·         Evening drop to Cochin airport Drop to Cochin railway station.

 

 

Package cost includes ::

·         Above package for couple traveling together.

·         Breakfast included at all the resort except, House boat with all meals

·         Munnar          = 02 nights stay at Tea Valley Resort / similar,

·         House Boat     = 01 night stay at 01 bed room deluxe house boat,

·         Alleppey         = 01 night stay at Kayaloram Lake resort

·         All transfers & sightseeing as per itinerary by A/C Tata Indigo  / similar car

·         Includes driver batta for night stay, road tolls & currently applicable taxes.

 

 



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