02 May ,2009 /Sat/Arrive Kochi
Arrive Cochin. Meet & assist at the airport & transfer to hotel. Afternoon proceed for sightseeing tour of cochin including .1. The Hill Palace Museum, a fully-fledged archeological museum and Kerala's first ever Heritage Museum are the main attractions (closed on Mondays).2. Chinese Fishing Nets, this unique style of huge cantilevered fishing nets were erected between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders from the Court of Kubla Khan, a Chinese King.3. Santa Cruz Basilica, this historic church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. Pope John Paul II proclaimed the Church a Basilica in 1984.4. The Jewish Synagogue, constructed in 1568, this is the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth (closed on Saturdays & Jewish Holidays). The area around the Synagogue, called Jew Town, is the centre for Spice & Handicraft shops.5. Mattanchery Palace (Dutch Palace), built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Regent of Kochi (closed on Fridays).Return to hotel rest of the day free/ shopping at Ernakulam. Night stay in Cochin.
03 May,2009 /Sun/Kochi-Trichur-Kochi
Morning after breakfast drive to Trichur to witness the famous Temple festival of India. Thrissur Pooram is the annual temple festival of the town of Thrissur in Kerala, India. It is one of the most colourful temple festival of Kerala which attracts large masses of devotees and spectators from all parts of the State and even outside.
Thrissur Pooram is celebrated at the premises of the Vadakkunnathan Temple, situated on a hillock (Thekkinkadu maidan) right in the centre of the city, on the Pooram day in the month of Medom ((April-May) this year 03 May,2009). Processions of richly caparisoned elephants accompanied by percussion ensembles from various neighbouring temples culminate at the Vadakumnathan temple. The most impressive processions are those Thriuvambadi Bhagavathy from the Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple and the Paramekkavu Bhagavathi from Paramekkavu temple. The celebrations which last for over 36 hours includes parasol displays and firework shows.
This festival was introduced by Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the erstwhile Cochin State in the late eighteenth century. Perhaps, there is no other festival in Kerala that draws such an unbelievable number of people to a single event. However Vadakkunnathan is a mere spectator at this festival, lending its premises and grounds for the great event. The pooram festival is also well known for the magnificent display of fireworks. Fire works start in the early hours and the dazzling display last three to four hours.
The Pooram Festival is celebrated by two rival groups representing the two divisions of Thrissur Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi vying with each other in making the display of fireworks grander and more colourful. Each group is allowed to display a maximum of fifteen elephants and all efforts are made by each party to secure the best elephants in South India and the most artistic parasols, several kinds of which are raised on the elephants during the display. Commencing in the early hours of the morning, the celebrations last till the break of dawn, the next day.
An elephant carrying Thidambu during Thrissur Pooram festivalThe procession but also quite enlivening. The marvellous as well as magical effect of the Panchavadyam, a combination of five percussion and wind instruments is to be felt and enjoyed. Among the varieties of festivals celebrated in Kerala, Thrissur Pooram is the most thunderous, spectacular and dazzling. There are three temples participating in the event. It is an expression of popular fascination for sound and colour, and because of the pageantry, it appeals to all people. The images of the deities from all temples of the village are taken on elephants to the main temple. The climax of the festival is the exhibition of thirty elephants and the famous fireworks at 2.30 am local time.
Evening drive back to Kochi. Overnight at Kochi.
04 May,2009/Mon/Kochi – Alleppey ( Houseboat)
Morning after breakfast Check out from hotel and Check into Houseboat for a day and night cruise in the famous backwaters of Kerala. Lunch will be served at the time of check in. The backwater cruise in a country boat is the best way to explore the villages and rural life. In Alleppey you will be taken aboard your floating houseboat, a different boat with a bedroom and en-suite rest room for your comfort. Enjoy unlimited surfing on backwaters, sip a coconut, get disturbed by only the chirping of birds and occasional ripples in water and savor mouthwatering delicacies prepared in front of you by your Kitchen crew. Spend the night on board the houseboat. Enjoy a cruise on the backwater through a maze of canals and lagoons and enjoy freshly caught fresh water fish cooked to your taste on board. Overnight in Board
05 May,2009/Tue/Alleppey –Kochi
Morning after breakfast check out from houseboat and drive to Kochi Airport to connect flight back home.