Munnar

Munnar is a town and hill station located in the Idukki district of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 'Moonu' means 'three' and 'Aru' means 'river'. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town.


This park is famous for its endangered inhabitant - the Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over an area of 97 sq. km., this park is also home to several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds. A great place for trekking, the park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations .The hill slopes here get covered in a carpet of blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji.which is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats which blooms once in twelve years.


Located inside the Eravikulam National Park is the Anamudi Peak. This is the highest peak in south India standing at a height of over 2700 m. Treks to the peak are allowed with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.


Located about 13 km from Munnar Town, is Mattupetty. Situated at a height of 1700 m above sea level, Mattupetty dam and the beautiful lake, which offers pleasurable boat rides. Mattupetty is also famous for the dairy farm run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project, where one would come across different high yielding breeds of cows.


Located at about 3 km from Chithirapuram in Munnar is the venue of the first Hydro-electric project in Kerala. It is a place of immense scenic beauty and is often favoured by visitors as a picnic spot.


Near the town of Munnar is Chinnakanal and the waterfalls here, popularly known as Power House Waterfalls, cascade down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic view of the Western Ghat ranges.Aout seven kilometers from Chinnakanal, you reach Anayirangal. Anayirangal, 22 km from Munnar, is a lush green carpet of tea plants. The Anayirangal dam is surrounded by tea plantations and forests.


Top Station, which is about 32 km from Munnar is at a height of 1700 m above sea level. It is the highest point on the Munnar - Kodaikanal road. Travellers to Munnar make it a point to visit Top Station to enjoy the view it offers of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the spots in Munnar to enjoy the Neelakurinji flowers blooming over a vast area.


Munnar has a legacy of its own when it comes to the origins and evolution of tea plantations. To preserve the legacy and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges, a museum exclusively for tea was opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar. This Tea Museum houses curios, photographs and machineries, all of which tell the origins and growth of tea plantations in Munnar. The museum is located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar.

Fort Kochi


Fort Kochi is a region in the city of Kochi .It is a tiny fishing village that has transformed into a urban town after being introduced to Portuguese, Dutch and British in the past. A mix of old houses built by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in these colonial periods line the streets of Fort Kochi


Chinese Fishing nets can be seen operated by fishermen on a daily basis. The nets are called “Cheenavala” in Malayalam .They work on the principle of balance. Fort Kochi is the only place in India that uses these Chinese fishing nets,These nets had been erected here between AD 1350 and 1450 by the traders from the court of Kublai Khan.


St Francis Church was built in 1503 by the Portuguese as a Catholic church. Vasco da Gama was once buried in this church which now falls under the Church of South India .It was India’s first European church but it curiously transformed from a Roman Catholic Church during Portuguese rule (in 1503) to a Dutch Reformist Church (in 1664) to, finally, an Anglican Church (in 1804) .Hand-operated fans used here are worked manually with ropes on either side.

 


Mattancherry Palace/ Dutch Palace was constructed in the mid-1550s by the Portuguese. It was given to the Maharaja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. The palace was renovated by the Dutch in 1663.In 1951, Mattancherry Palace was restored and declared a centrally protected monument.The palace is a two-storeyed structure, built in traditional Kerala “Naalukettu “ model with four separate wings opening into a central courtyard. While the central courtyard has a temple of the royal deity Pazhayannur Bhagavathi, the two other temples on either side of the palace are dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. The most important feature and the real glory of this palace, are the murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata legends connected with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Kumara and Durga. In one of the bedchambers you can see the entire story of Ramayana on the walls. On display are coronation robes, furniture and weapons of the royals. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday-Thursday (closed Friday). Entrance fee Rs 5. Children up to 15 are free. Photography is not permitted.


The Jewish synagogue was built in 1568, almost 1500 years after the beginning of the Jewish connection with Kerala. It was built on the land, adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace, given by the king of Cochin.The synagogue, the oldest in the Commonwealth and was built by the Jewish community of Cochin. In 1662, it was destroyed by the Portguese and then reconstructed, two years later, by the Dutch. The flooring of the synagogue is of hand-painted blue willow patterned tiles. The ceramic tiles were brought from Canton, China in the 18th century by Ezekiel Rahabi, a renowned Jewish businessman. Each tile is different from one another in its design .Two gold crowns presented to the Jewish Community by the Kings of Kochi and Travancore are kept here. The synagogue is open every day except Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Timings: - 10 am to 12 noon and - 3 pm to 5 pm. Visitors are expected to remove their footware before entering .


The Jews from Kodungallore were given shelter by the King of Kochi, in 1524. He gave them land in Mattancherry, near his palace. This area later became Jew Town. Jew town is famous for the antique shops and is a must visit.A big vaarpu (bronze vessel with handles on both sides) almost three metres in diameter is one of the major attractions on Jew Town. The spice market is on this road and you can find the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper here. You can visit Heritage Arts shop .They are dealers and exporters in antiques ,handicrafts and furniture. (site link)


Kerala kathakali centre is the kerala's foremost arts school and the only authentic theatre where kathakali,music,martial arts and other dance forms are demonstrated in traditional style with its real sence and reality. Kerala kathakali centre  KALARIPAYTTU (Martial Arts)
Show 4:00-5:00
KATHAKALI
Demonstration and Show 18:00-19:30
Make-Up Application 17:00
INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC (by special guest artists)
Show 20:00-21:00
Sunday thru Friday
CLASSICAL DANCE (Bharatanatyam, Kutchipudi Mohiniyattam & Kalaripayattu)
Saturday (website link)


The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in India. Counted as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala .It was built by the portuguese around 1505 and is about 500 yrs old.On Aug. 23, 1984 it was declared a Basilica by Pope John Paul II. The church has two spires with a white-washed exterior and a pastel-coloured interior. The main altar was decorated by the famous Italian painter Br. Moschini and De Gama of Bangalore. The columns are decorated with frescoes and murals, there are seven large canvas paintings on the passion and death on the Cross, especially the painting of the Last Supper,based on the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Hours are 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Visitors are not allowed in during masses, although you are welcome to attend a mass.
Sunday:
Holy Mass 5:30 a.m., 6:45 a.m.
Malayalam Children's Mass 8:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m.
English Mass 5:30 p.m.
Weekdays:
Holy Mass 6:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m.
Malayalam Mass 6:00 p.m.

Thrissur

Thrissur is known as the cultural capital of Kerala It is is built around a hillock on which the famous Vadakkunathan Temple is situated. This is where the world famous Pooram Festival is held every year a colourful and spectacular temple festival. UNESCO has adjudged Thrissur Pooram as “the most spectacular festival event on the planet”. Thrissur houses the Kerala Kala Mandalam, the Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Nataka Academy.The world’s second oldest mosque Cheraman Juma Masjid which is believed to be built in 628AD, seven years after the Prophet's migration to Medina is located at Methala in Kodungalloor in Thrissur. It is also home town to the great Hindu Saint, Adi Shankara a famous Hindu philosopher of 8th century. You can visit the shankra samadhi or tomb World renowned mathematician and astronomist, Aryabhata is believed to be born in Kodungallor in Thrissur district.

Thrissur is also the house of India’ oldest Church, St. Thomas Church in Palayur one of the seven churches founded by St Thomas the apostle The history of Christianity in Kerala dates back to around 52 CE when St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus arrived here. The Church is believed to be built in AD 52 by the renowned Christian missionary, St. Thomas who spread Christianity in India. Malayattor church one of the seven churches founded by St Thomas is very famous.Mentioned below are some things to see on St Thomas Mount:


A very elegant and attractive building with a blend of Greco-Indian architecture, it is here that the precious relics of St. Thomas are preserved. Located at the peak of the mount, the building is erected in such a way that the relic is placed twenty steps above the ground, symbolically representing the twenty years of St Thomas's missionary works in south India.


Among the structures on top of Malayattoor hill, this one has modern architectural touch, and is situated at the Northern most part of the mount. Here, the main attraction is the Piyatha sculpture moulded at the top of the chapel. The Sannidhi is the most spacious place for worship on the mount.


Kurishumudi is where one can find the Golden Cross believed to have formed when St. Thomas knelt on a rock and signed a cross with his finger. He remained there praying for a long time, and ultimately a golden cross appeared on the spot.


One of the most curious sights at the mountain is the permanent footprint and the marks of knees of St. Thomas imprinted on the rock.


An ancient chapel at Kurishumudi, it was attacked by tuskers in the past when it used to be surrounded by thick jungle. Deep tusk marks can still be found on the back wall of the chapel.


A well, situated near the ancient chapel at the top of the mount is believed to be the spot from where St. Thomas quenched his thirst during his time of prayer. Feeling thirsty, he struck the rock from which fresh water started flowing. Pilgrims consider the water in the well to possess divine power to heal ailments.




One of the oldest temples in the state, the Vadakkumnathan Temple is a known for its Kerala style of architectu and has many decorative murals and works of art. This is where world famous Pooram festival is celebrated annually in April - May. The fireworks at the Pooram are a spectacular sight. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. Lord Shiva is the temple deity. .(Open: 04.00 - 10.30 am & 05.00 - 08.30)


Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Krishna, -The historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the temple was created by 'Guru' - the preceptor of the gods and 'Vayu' - the god of winds.The temple enshrines Bal Gopalan, the childhood avatar of Lord Krishna and the idol is considered to be a bout 5000 years old The eastern 'nada' is the main entrance to the shrine. In the Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is a 33.5 m tall gold-plated 'Dwajastambham' (flagpost). There is also a 7-M high 'Deepastambham' (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles looks beautiful when lit.The square 'Sreekovil' is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deit.Timings - Opening & Closing: Monday - Friday: 3.00 AM - 9.15 PM , Saturday: 3.00 AM - 9.15 PM , Sunday: 3.00 AM - 9.15 PM , Public Holidays: 3.00 AM - 9.15 PM


The temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa,It is believed to be more than 3000 years old Arattupuzha Pooram held in April/May every year.During the eremonial processions elephants carry the images of the deities of 41 neighbouring temples .Arattupuzha pooram  is the oldest of all poorams with 61 caparisoned elephants .
Arattupuzha temple is open 05:00 - 09:30 Am & 05:00 - 07:00 Pm


Located in the zoo compound, the art museum displays collections of woodcarvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery. Open 10.00 am - 05.00 pm on all days except Mondays.


Peechi Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary The Peechi-Vazhani Sanctuary comprising of the dense, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani dams.is in 125 sq km.The highest peak in the sanctuary is the 923 m high Ponmudi hills.
The sanctuary exists as two independent patches. Vazhani Sanctuary on the north is clearly cut off from the rest of the forests by Peechi reservoir. National Highway 47 runs near the southern end of Vazhani Sanctuary as well. Vazhani dam, on the northern end of the wildlife sanctuary, also caters to irrigation and drinking water needs. The Peechi dam is constructed across Manali River, is about 23 kms from Thrissur. It caters for drinking water needs of Thrissur town and supplies consistent flow to the large paddy belts out side of town.


The local rulers, Punnathur Rajas built a palace which was called Punnathur Kotta (Punnatur Fort). After thedeath of the last ruler Goda Varma Valia Raja, the property went to receivership. In 1975, Guruvayoor temple committee relocated their elephants to here. It is about 10 acres of land .Built in traditional Kerala architectural style (Nalu Kettu), this palace is about 400 years. Currently used as a Mahout training centre. small temple in the premises of Lord Shiva and Bhagavathy. There are about 60 elephants here..All the elephants here are the offerings made by devotees to lord Krishna. Mornings you can see the elephants take bath.around 3 pm is their feeding time.You can also watch mahout's training the elephants.  The elephants participate in festivals of other temples as well as the Guruvayur temple .It will take about 1 to 2 hrs The Elephant sanctuary is open from 8.00 till 6.00 every day.


East of Chalakkudyin Trichur Districtis is the Athirappally water falls which The Athirapally falls which join the Chalakudy river from a 80ft height. It is located at the entrance to Sholayar ranges.This waterfall is a popular picnic spot .Just 5 k.ms away is the vazhachal water falls which is also pictureque and surrounded by dense forest which have teak trees,mahogany trees,medicinal plants and rare birds and animals.


The reign of King Rama Varma Shakthan Thampuran (AD 1790-1805) popularly known as Shakthan Thanpuran was the golden era of Kochi. Situated close to the Vadakkumnathan Temple the Shakthan Thampuran Palace formerly known as Vadakkechira Kovilakam was renovated by Shakthan Thampuran.It is believed that Tippu Sultan entered the palace with his troops, and the flag mast that he erected can be seen close to the palace compound wall, in front of the palace. The palace was built in the Dutch and Kerala style of architecture . The main structure of the palace has a two-storeyed building and a traditional Kerala style Naalukett The final resting place of Shakthan Thampuran is also located inside the palace.There is also a museum with galleries like the Bronze gallery, where one can find bronze statues belonging to the period between the 12th and the 18th centuries; a Sculpture gallery displaying granite statues from the 9th century to the 17th century; and the Epigraphy gallery showcasing the genesis and evolution of ancient writings.

Kumarakom

kumarakom is a popular tourism destination located near the city of Kottayam. Famous for its backwaters, Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake and is the largest freshwater lake in the state. It is part of the Kuttanad region.

- previously known as Baker estate, in honour of the Englishman who developed this into a sanctuary for birds early in the last century is spread across 14 acres and is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Bird lovers can also take a boat trip to the nearby KaipuzhaMuttu, Pathiramanal, Narakathara, Thollayiram Kayal and Poothapandi Kayal to watch local bird-life and migrants . The best time to bird watch is between June and August. Migratory birds are see between November to February.

Timings:6.30 am to 5.00 pm, all days

You can enjoy boat ride sthrough the canals in a vellam (traditional fishing boat) in and around Kumarakom .

Thekkady

is located in Idduki district of kerala and is know for its dense forrest and flora and the Periyar Wild life Sanctuary. Thekkady is a heaven for spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, nutmace, ginger, and clove.

in the jungles of Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserve. It Spread across 777 sq.km of which 360 sq.km is thick evergreen forest. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Adventure tourism and trekking are popular activities here. Elephant rides and plantation tours are among other things to do.


Located near the Periyar national reserve and park is the lake of Periyar, which is suitable for boating for the travellers. It takes around 2 hours for travellers to explore the region on a boat. You can see herds of wild elephants, boars, bisons etc on your boat ride. Bamboo river rafting is very popular which includes a trek inside the forest.

can be arranged through the wildlife preservation officer of the forest department. Main trekking areas in Thekkady are Kurisumala near Kumily, Pullumedu, Ottakathalamedu near Kumily and Grampi near Vandiperiyar.

Centre is a major Kalari fight centre where this martial arts form is practised in a designed gallery. There is a show daily 1 hour show from 6 to 7 pm. They also have Kathakali performances from 5pm to 6pm and 7pm to 8 pm everyday.

is a small town located near Thekkady and Periyar in the Cardamom Hills, in the district of Idukki in Kerala. Other than being a major tourist destination, it is also a major spice-trading centre.

Alleppy

Famously known as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry.The alleppey beach is a very popular .You can houseboat cruises on the tranquil backwaters of Alleppey .


is was the residence of the rulers of Kayamkulam .The palace is a protected monument under the Archaeology Department and is is an archaeological museum.The most fascinating exhibit here is the 49 sq.m - Gajendra Moksham - the largest single band of mural painting so far discovered in Kerala.


is believed to be built during 15th – 17th AD by the local rulerChembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran.The payasam served in the Ambalappuzha Temple is famous among Hindu devotees.