It was our First tour to Kerala and its wonderful!!
We got a reference from our friends who already visited Kerala via Great Escapes. So We have also booked the and got the Tour Planned with Great Escapes. Kerala as a Location is Awesome as its "God's Own Country" which is true in all sense. It was a 6N/7D Tour, We have Landed at Kochi and moved to Munnar then Thekkady, Alleppy and Finally Poovar (Near Trivandrum). All locations are great.
Day -1 : Kochi to Munnar, In Munnar we have visited Hydel Park, Tea Museum and Munnar Town. Journey from Koch to Munnar was very good. We have chosen Hotel Green Ridge in Munnar which is an average hotel, its near church and they wake you up early morning with bells and Songs. So Please avoid this hotel.
Day-2 : Day was very exciting, We have visited Mattupetty dam, Echo point, Top Station, Rose Garden, Cactus Garden. Boating in Kundala Lake was an awesome Experience. Fluorescent Velvet green Tea Gardens make this place out of the world. I rate this Day as 5 Star day.
Day-3 : We moved from Munnar to Thekkady at 9:30.. This way is hilly with lot of turns so recommendation is the Have light Breakfast and keep necessary medicines if you suffer from Sickness on Mountain Roads.
On the way we have visited Spice Garden in Thekkady and took some good amount of Spices which are of good quality and very cheap in comparison to Alleppy, Trivandrum. The best thing was we have visited Persian Elephant Safari .. Where we had bath while Sitting on Elephant. This was a 5Star Experience for us. We reached Hotel Grand Thekkady around 13:30 which is near to the Bus Station for Periyar Reserve, It is a good hotel Value for money.
We booked the bus for Periyar Tiger reserve but they told that Boat safari in Periyar Lake is full.. :-( But we still took the chance and reached the boat station .. by the grace of GOD we got 4 tickets due to cancellation of online booking. :-).
Boating in Periyar lake is an Awesome Experience, We could spot Deer, Jackal, Buffalos, One Elephant, Snake Birds, Turtle, Water Dogs.... I was so impressed with the Nature's beauty that I have visited the Lake for next day morning 730 Boat Safari also.
One more thing to note that I could not find any person who saw tiger in last few years.. so please dont go there with the expectation of seeing Tiger...
Day -4 : I woke up at 530, moved to bus station by 6, I was one of the first few passenger... Boarded to 7:30 Boat in the lake ... Morning beauty of the lake was amazing. This time we could not spot much wild life .. other than lots of birds.... but lake with mist and sun rays were ethereal. Reached Back to hotel by 9 and moved to Alleppy by 9:30.
We reached Alleppy by 14:00, Checked in to the boat.... "Relax in Kerala"
Boat was good though it was not very Clean... But the hospitality of staff was 5Star. They were hindi speaking, they prepared Excellent Vegetarian Food and served with smile. In the afternoon Boat keep roaming and we enjoyed the Scenic beauty on the Deck.... Enjoyed Tea and took pictures.... It was back to the shore by 18:00. Air Conditioners were ON by 20:30. Generator Sound was stopped and we had Good Dinner. House boat stay in Alleppy is a great experience one must have it if you visit Kerala.
Day -5 : We had breakfast by 830 on the boat, Boat took us to the check out station by 9. We started From Alleppy to Poovar around 915. We reached Poovar by 15:00.
Driver took us to Boating Station where we booked Boat for Poovar back water cruising in 2500/- for 4 people... As driver told that Boating from Hotel is very costly.. While when we checked in the hotel they said its 1500/- for 6 people... So pls check the rates before booking the Boat.
We Checked in to "Estuary Island Resort" at 15:30. This is a great property. We started for boating at 16:30 .. it moved through Mangrove forest and around Estuary Island. Had an Awesome Sunset at Poovar.. Beach was unimaginably Clean... Water was Blue Green..
Day-6 : We went to Zoo / Napier Museum/ Art Gallery .. this was ok as Day was very hot and kids were drained out. We have done some Spice Shopping and Lunch at Sarvana Bhavan. Moved to Sri Padmanabha Temple by 16:30.... Driver took us to the Saari Shop as you need to comply the Dress Code of the temple. We spent around 1100/- to buy the dress for myself/Spouse and Kids. But we discovered that Dhoti were available in 60/- at the entry gate of temple. so be careful of what your driver tells you.
Padmanbha Swami temple was great ... We purchased 250/- Seva Ticket. which is for two person. this ensure darshan better and shorter Queue. Reached Hotel in Poovar around 19:00.
Day- 7 : Enjoyed Hotel, Checked out around 14:00. Moved to Kovalam Beach for short visit ... its really beautiful... Moved to Airport around 16:00Hrs.
Thanks to Binu from Great Escape for all your support !!!!