Kerala Post-conference Extension Itinerary

COCHIN

Serene Kochi has been drawing traders, explorers and travellers to its shores for over 600 years. Nowhere else in India could you find such an intriguing mix: giant fishing nets from China, a 400- year-old synagogue, ancient mosques, Portuguese houses and the crumbling remains of the British Raj.

ALLEPPEY

Alappuzha – most still call it Alleppey – is the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats. Wandering around the small but chaotic city centre and bus-stand area, with its modest grid of canals, you'd be hard-pressed to agree with the 'Venice of the East' tag.

MARARI

Marari Beach is an endless vista of sand and surf, but it is more. It is an authentic experience of the world Kerala's traditional fishing villages, and a recreation of an ancient, harmonious way of life. Marari originates from "Mararikulam ", one of the local fishing villages.

27TH NOVEMBER 2019

Arrive Cochin

You will arrive late in the evening at Cochin Airport and be transferred to your hotel.

Cochin, a commercial city of the state of Kerala, has one of the best natural harbours in the country. It is set amidst lagoons and backwaters with aromatic backdrop of swaying coconut palms, where land and water share extraordinary kinship. Traders from the west came to Kerala as far back as the 3rd century BC and took back with them spices, ivory and teak. Much later, in the 15th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British came to this region in the guise of merchants, some to stay on as colonial rulers. Each nationality left its imprint on this coast; Cochin itself became home and safe Harbour to Jews down through the centuries, especially following the inquisition in Iberia.

Overnight at Brunton Boatyard Hotel, Cochin

28TH NOVEMBER 2019

Cochin

Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning city tour of Cochin and experience a Tuk-Tuk ride in the city.

You will first visit the Mattancherry, where you will visit the oldest Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568; it was destroyed by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the Dutch a century later. In 1776 a wealthy Dutch Jewish trader, Ezekiel Rahabi added a clock tower and a exquisite Chinese Blue and white porcelain floor tiles, each hand painted in a different design. Its fascinating interior includes 19th Century Belgian Chandeliers, a ladies gallery and an elegant brass pulpit.

Visitors to the Jewish Synagogue should be modestly dressed. Admission will be denied to men and women wearing short pants/skirts, sleeveless t- shirts/blouses. Bare shoulders and mid-riffs are not permitted and should be covered with shawls. Visitors are required to take their shoes off before entering the Synagogue.

Continuing the city tour, your next stop will be The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry which was built in 1555 and its coronation hall and murals at Ramayana are noteworthy features.

From the Dutch Palace you will visit Chinese Fishing Nets. The cantilevered fishing nets line the entrance to the Harbour mouth. Chinese traders are believed to have originally introduced them in the 14th century although, today parts of the nets are known by Portuguese names.

From the Chinese Fishing Nets you will visit St. Francis Church, originally named after Santo Antonio and dedicated to him as the Patron Saint of Portugal, St. Francis Church is the first church to have been in the new European influenced tradition.

An original wooden building was replaced by the present stone building. Vasco De Gamma died on the site in 1524 and was originally buried in the cemetery. 14 years later his body was removed to Portugal. The church was renamed St. Francis in 1663.

In the evening, we will visit a theatre to see a Kathakali Dance Performance.

Kathakali Dance, which represents a synthesis of all that is best in dance, drama and music and has been recognized by connoisseurs of art, the world over as a `total art form of immense sophistication and power’. It is the impression created by make-up and the costumes that make Kathakali a visual par excellence.

You will witness the Kathakali artists preparing themselves for the final performance. Great importance is laid on the Vesham (Costume) or make-up, which are of five types - Pacha, Kathi, Thadi, Kari and Minukku. The pomp and magnificence of Kathakali is partly due to its decor part of which is the kireetam or huge headgear and the kanchukam the over sized jackets, and a long skirt worn over a thick padding of cushions. The identity of the actor is completely mutilated to create a super human being of larger-than-life proportion.

Overnight at Brunton Boatyard Hotel, Cochin

29TH NOVEMBER 2019

Cochin–Alleppey

Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning drive to Alleppey to board the Houseboat. Have a magical insight into the lifestyle of rural Kerala. Traditional Keralan cuisine is prepared and served on board by one of the boatmen and just before sunset the boat drops anchor for the night.

Lunch on board. Afternoon free for relaxation.

Cruise on the Vembanad Lake and also experience a canoe ride.

Dinner and overnight on board Houseboat

30TH NOVEMBER 2019

Alleppey–Mararikulam

Breakfast on board.

Drive to Mararikulam for afternoon check-in and the rest of the day is free for relaxation.

In the evening, enjoy an organic garden tour.

Overnight at Mararikulam Marari Beach Resort

1st December 2019

Mararikulam–Cochin

Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

A day at leisure to enjoy the resort's facilities, which include daily yoga sessions and a large swimming pool. The resort is also able to offer culinary experiences, village walks and cycling excursions.

Check-out at 2300 and transfer to Cochin airport.

2nd December 2019

Cochin–Return home

Transfer to International airport for your flight back home.

 

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