VAIKUNDAM - 9 Cabin Houseboat
Cochin, Vaikom, Chenganda, Kumarakom, Kavalam, Kainakari, Pulinkunnu, Nedumudy, Champakkulam, Changankari, Thottappalli, Karumadi, Kanjippadom, Punnamada, Alleppey
Day 1: Embarkation at Marad, Cochin
In the morning, set out to Nettoor to visit the Kalari center - training center of Kalaripayattu, the traditional martial art of Kerala which is said to be the mother of all martial art forms. From here drive to Marad and get onto our boat by afternoon. Our team is here to welcome you and help you with a smooth check-in. Gather at the lounge and get the brief of cruise trip and the safety measures. We start our cruise passing by the islands, coastal estuaries and leaving behind the tireless city of Cochin. Enjoy the traditional Kerala cuisines in lunch and rest on the boat. Get mindful of knowledge about Cochin - the queen of the Arabian Sea, its geographical, cultural-traditional and social importance. By evening you will reach Vailkum from where we will proceed to an old Shiva temple. We will walk around the temple and get knowledge about the history and architecture of the temple. The temple architecture in Kerala is a piece of art based on ancient science and refined stylistic construction. The temple architecture depicts a human body and is a place for spiritual enlightenment along with social networking. After visiting the temple, we will get back to our boat. Enjoy the night meal and rest all night.
Day 2: Vaikom-Chenganda-Kumarakom
After having our breakfast, we will start our next day's journey to the cultural centre to watch Kathakali- the traditional dance of Kerala that depicts the ancient old stories of epics. This ancient dance form is a combination of dance, music, action, literature, and make-up. From here, we will get back to the cruise to sail for Chenganda, the place full of peace and calm. Here we will go spend time with the coir weavers, shell harvesters and farmers engaging in their professions. Take around to the indigenous techniques of performing work activities and then get back to the boat for lunch. We will then [orceed to Thanneermukkom barrage, where the barrage divides the lake into two - one with salty water and other with crystal clear freshwater. We will get to know about the paddy cultivation in Kunnad while talking on the cruise. In the evening, we will sail to the expanses of Lake Vembanad to explore its wetland ecosystem. We will go to see a farmhouse located on the island. This house was built reclaiming land from backwater. We can take a walk in the field and enjoy the preparation of a traditional Syrian Christian cuisine demonstrated by the hostess of the house. We will have our dinner here and will get to the back to the boat for the overnight stay and rest.
Day 3: Kumarakom- Kavalam
Having our light breakfast in the morning we left through o a country boat to watch the endemic birds of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which is spectacular with the mangroves, coconut trees and paddy fields complimenting in the backdrop of the scene. The endemic birds which can be seen here are waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and water duck and migratory birds such as parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and others are visible seasonally. Now we will get back to our boat where more elaborate breakfast will be served.
Our lunch in the afternoon will also be served on the cruise. We will reach Kavalam by afternoon (the place where River Pampa turns back its course and drains into Lake Vembanad). We have to take a ferry to explore the region around. We will have a walk in the paddy fields and exchange words with the farmers there. From here we will get back to our boat and cruise further to interiors of Veliyanad village till late evening. We will have our dinner for the night and then retire for the day.
Day 4: Kavalam-Kainakari-Pulinkunnu
After having our morning meal we will set sailing to Kainakari. Here we will visit the home of Saint Kuriakose Chavara which is renovated as a museum. Saint Chavara, the first canonized Catholic saint of Indian origin and the co-founder of the first congregation for men - Carmelites of Mary Immaculate and the same for women Congregation of the Mother of Carmel. Return to the boat for lunch and sail to Pulinkunnu village. Spend some enjoyable time exploring the village and interacting with the villagers. Get back to the boat to have dinner and retire.
Day 5: Pulinkunnu-Nedumudy-Champakkulam-Changankari
After having the morning breakfast, we will start our cruise to Nedumudi. After arriving Nedumudi we will drive through the beautiful village for almost one hour to Mannar which is famous bell metal and brassware crafts. Here we will have our time interacting with the artisans and craftsmen and watch the indigenous methods of traditional metal arts and utensils. Back to the cruise, have or lunch and relax for some time. We will cruise to Champakulam village. The old spice trade of Kerala to Cochin and other ports on the West Coast used to pass through this town. One can see the thousand years old cultural heritage of Syrian Christians who later converted to Roman Catholic under the Portuguese influence. A piece of this is the St. Mary's Church, built-in 1550 whose foundations are as old as the 5th century. The architectural outlook of this Church showcases various European styles including Levantine altar and structure to the Dutch arches support the tower. We will visit the amazing St. Mary Church and a school and will meet the local craftsmen. Also, we will see the snake boats that are being used these days for race. Earlier these boats were used for wartime. From here we will continue our sail to Changankary village till dusk. Spend leisure time in the boat. Have dinner on the cruise and retire.
Day 6: Excursion from Changankari.
Have an early breakfast and start sail to the beautiful Konni village at the backdrop of the forest. Enjoy time with the elephants (the state animal of Kerala) at the shelter camp. From here we will proceed to Aranmula village to meet a family of craftsmen who are experts in making mirrors through a special combination of certain metals that have a unique feature of 100% reflection compared to a common mirror. This family business has been carried out through generations. Local people keep it in their homes thinking of it as auspicious and lucky. After meeting the family and finding their works, we will set our lunch at a beautiful house of the village at the bank of River Pampa listening to the story of the snake boat race. From here we will sail to Thottappalli village by evening. After having an evening refreshments we will cruise to serene interiors and take a leisure walk to the beach. Return on-board, have dinner and rest.
Day 7: Thottappalli-Karumadi-Kanjippadom
After having early breakfast we will visit the old sacred grove at Harripad where serpents are worshipped. This temple is the only one in Kerala that has female priests. Go around and take a look at the ongoing rituals inside the temple. Return to Thaottappalli. We plant a coconut sapling to honor our cruise trip with you. The coconut tree is said to be the Kalpvriksha or Divine tree of Kerala as all of its parts are useful in one way or the other. The coconut water is a healthy drink, the kernel is used to extract coconut oil, fiber form the coconut husk is used to make mats, choirs, and geotextiles, palm fronds are used for thatching roof and also for making toddy. From here we will sail to Karumadi village and take a walk to the holy shrine of Buddha where the damaged statue of Buddha is preserved. In the way, we will meet the toddy tapper who used to collect the sap of the stem of coconut flower to make alcoholic beverages - toddy. We will learn the process of making toddy form them. From here we will visit Kanjippadom for a leisurely walk and meet the carpenters who make wooden boats. We will talk with them about the traditional boat making using coir and natural resin. Today we will have our farewell dinner on board.
Day 8: Kanjippadom-Punnamada & Disembark at Alleppey.
After having breakfast we will cruise to Punnamad lake which is the venue for the spectacular snake boat race that is held on the 2nd Saturday of August month. We will disembark the boat by 9.30 a.m. After taking a walk through the market place of Alleppey, we will depart for our further journey.
“ I must comment that we had Boris Pereira as our Memorable India Tour Manager and he really made our trip excellent in every way. Honestly, apart from the two of you I do not know about the memorab
“ The whole trip, from beginning to end, was truly wonderful and memorable. We learned so much about India, and saw so many beautiful things, that it is difficult to put our amazement into words. Th
“ I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for all of your time and effort to plan this trip at the last minute. I know that the pressure was on, but you handled everything very professionally.
“ Our trip was FABULOUS! I've been trying to decide what to tell you were the highlights, but I just can't narrow it down at all. We enjoyed everywhere we went. Each destination was unique and had s
“ India was great. In fact it was unbelievable. My wife said it was the best vacation we have ever had-and we have had many. The people of India are the kindest and nicest that we have ever meet. Th
“ Very reliable.gives excellent hotels.very homely understanding drivers.you can contact them at any time.our family has been in their tours 4 times.i cam recommend to any one.Very resonable rates.
“ Dear Raj, Thank you very much for your email. We arrived home safely with a lot of immortal memories of Great India. From the very beginning to the end of our Tour with your Company we enjo
“ Dear Raj, We had a wonderful time on our trip. Now I realize that with the Christmas season you had to change some of the hotels around since some were not available. So with the being said here
“ Memorable India provided an excellent service!!! I would definitely recommend this company because they are honest, reliable and pretty decent service rates. Well done guys!!! ”
“ I just returned from the India and Nepal trip and wanted to let you know what a great experience it was to have the tour guides Friendly Planet choose on both legs of our trip. Vishwakarma, our gu
“ We had the time of our lives on your oct. Taj Mahal + Mumbai Trip. No other place in the world can you see such a combination of beauty, history & diversity! From the elephant ride up to the Jaipu
“ Though I could never expect perfection in any experience, I can say that for the price, the Taj Mahal Express was an excellent value. The experience in "Incredible India" exceeded my expectations
“ This was our first tour with Friendly Planet Travel, and we were very nervous because the price was SO low! Well, we are extremely impressed with the service, the quality of the hotels, the tours,
“ INCREDIBLE INDIA it was! We sincerely congratulate you on the immense depth you went to make sure we had a lovely maiden trip of India. Your staffs' punctuality, client relationship, guidance, war
“ Tour with Memorable India I walker and my family planned a tour for Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan. This was booked through Mr.Raj of memorable india. The booking was done on a short notice yet every
“ Hi raj I reach home safely. Thank you for arranging a very good trip for me this time. It was indeed a good experience for me. During my stay in hotel Rambagh, I received free upgrade of 2 rank
“ The organization of the trip was excellent. Staff was very friendly and courteous, specially the drivers; Rakesh and Dev Raj. Guide Orm Prakash was exceptional and Raju was good. Cars were comfort
“ Hi Raj, We are safely back from our Indian adventure and just wanted to say a huge thank you for our fantastic holiday. In particular, Anand was excellent - not only did he safely drive us round
“ Hi Raj, First of all, let me thank you for the travel arrangements in India. Everything was just superb. Our driver, Jagdish, was wonderful. He is a great driver (the traffic really is incredible
“ As always, we had an amazing time in India and Alex and I were greatly impressed with Memorable India from beginning to end. We were particularly taken with the new Taj property, the Nadesar Pa
“ I just wanted to thank you for the fabulous holiday you put together for us. It could not have been better, your representatives and our driver were just great. It took some time to get used to bu
“ We would like to thank you once again for a remarkable and memorable experience in incredible India. We had an amazing time and this was thanks to the Memorable India team, which was constantly by
“ A big thank you to the team at Memorable India. I am presently at the last leg of my South India trip. I must say everything was very well organized and went perfectly as planned. The best part of
“ We have just returned from our tour to southern India and would like to express our appreciation to all of those involved in the planning (Khan in delhi) and those who guided and helped with detai
“ Yes, our tour of Rajasthan Goa was absolutely magical and far exceeded our expectations. Although we have widely travelled throughout the world, this was our first time in India and we will def
“ We had a wonderful time in India last month. You were very helpful and efficient in all the planning and booking stages - thank you very much. We were also impressed by the efficiency of Memora
“ During my trip in India, I would stress that it's the genuine warmth and care that each guide exhibited partnered with and their personal pride in their beautiful country is something special and
“ Yes, our tour of Rajasthan was absolutely magical and far exceeded our expectations. Although we have widely travelled throughout the world, this was our first time in India and we will definit
“ Got back this morning after just about the best trip we've ever been on and don't know how to begin to thank you both for making it all possible. All the hotels were wonderful. Memorable India,
“ our tour of Rajasthan from 12-21 Dec 2011 was absolutely magical and far exceeded our expectations. Although we have widely travelled throughout the world, this was our first time in India and
“ We had a wonderful time in India last month. You were very helpful and efficient in all the planning and booking stages - thank you very much. We were also impressed by the efficiency of Memorabl
“ Dear Mr. Raj First of all please accept my deepest, humblest apology for not writing you earlier. Actually I had gone to US and have just returned. Mr.Raj...Thank you so much for everything you