Day 1 – Arrive Cochin You are greeted on arrival at Cochin Airport by your Tour Escort / Master Yoga Teacher & transfer you to the hotel. Rest of the day free to relax. Later in the evening we go to watch the famous classical Indian dance-drama Kathakali Kathakali is a stylized classical Indian dance-drama noted for the attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It originated in the country's present day state of Kerala during the 17th century and has developed over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming. The themes of the Kathakali are religious in nature. They typically deal with the Mahabarat, the Ramayana and the ancient scriptures known as the Puranas. This is performed in a text which is generally Sanskritised Malayalam.
Overnight at hotel in Cochin.
Day 2 – Cochin / sightseeing tour From today we start our day with Morning Yoga Class. 7:00 Am to 8:30 am Morning Yoga Class with some stretching & Introduction to Yoga & Meditation. After breakfast we will go for a sightseeing tour of Cochin. Lush mangroves, coconut tress reflected in the translucent waters of backwaters, ancient churches, cathedrals and the tradition and reputation of this enchantingly quaint port city has maintained till date. Fort Kochi Even a casual stroll through Fort Kochi located in the port city of Kochi in Kerala is enough to make you feel transported to another world and time. The architectural style of the buildings and the town layout easily make Fort Cochin distinct from other cities and towns of Kerala. Since Fort Cochin was under the possession of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British at different points of time, the region still bear the influence of European architecture. Bolgatty Palace The splendid Bolghatty Palace is located on the Bolghatty Islands, in the Cochin city of Kerala. The appeal of the palace lies in the fact that it is among the oldest existing palaces built by the Dutch in India, during the pre-British times. Chinese Fishing Nets Unique to Cochin, the Chinese fishing nets serve as a testimony to the good relations between the ancient Chinese Emperors and the Cochin Kings. Outside of China, these fishing nets are only found in Cochin. Historians believe that the fishing nets were gifted by Chinese Emperor Kubalagi to the then Cochin King in the 14th century. What makes them so unique? Well, the fact that these nets are fixed land installations (unlike the other nets that are not fixed to the land) and use shore operated lift nets for fishing. These 10-metre high nets require up to six men to operate one fully installed net. Cochin Backwaters With coconut trees lining the pellucid lake waters for kilometers at a stretch …the backwaters of Cochin proffer one of the most enchanting sights. Mattancherry Palace Even though it is austere in its appearance, the Mattancherry Palace of Cochin has a quaint charm of its own. The credit for building this landmark monument partly goes to the Dutch, who captured Cochin city of Kerala during the pre-British period. Marine Drive Marine Drive is a beautiful promenade in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala state of India. The Marine Drive is built facing the backwaters of Kochi. It is a popular hangout for the local populace as well as the tourists. Jewish Synagogue Also known as Paradesi Synagogue and Mattancherry Synagogue, the Jewish Synagogue at Cochin is the oldest existing synagogue among the Commonwealth countries. The synagogue is beautifully laid out and the interiors are decorated with Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. After lunch. St Francis Church St Francis Xavier's Church at Fort Kochi was built in the year 1503, by the Portuguese traders. They came here with Admiral Pedro Alvarez de Cabral, via the same route taken by the legendary Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who landed at Calicut in 1498. Willingdon Island The Willington Island contains the modern port serving Cochin city of Kerala. The island is an artificial man-made island created from the sand dug out while deepening Kochi port. Kerala Folklore Theatre Museum Kerala Folklore Theatre Museum is a popular museum in Thevara in Ernakulam. This multi-storey building was set up in the year 2009 as a non-profit organisation to acquaint visitors with the rich heritage of Kerala. Founded by George Thaliath and his wife Annie George, this museum was built by 62 skilled and proficient workers over a span of seven years. The museum complex exhibits a melange of three prominent styles of architecture, namely the Malabar, Travancore and Cochin. It is replete with relics of the bygone era, like sculptures, costumes and musical instruments along with oldest Bibles collected from churches across the state.At the entrance, you will notice the remnants of 16th century temples of Tamil Nadu, fabulous wooden carvings gathered from across Kerala and a beautiful manichitratazhu - a traditional ornate door lock. There is also a theatre named Kalithattu, where you can enjoy folk art performances like Theyyam, Ottanthullal, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. The second floor, known as Kanjadalam (lotus petal), is adorned with beautiful mural paintings. Museum of Kerala History The Museum of Kerala History depicts the history and cultural evolution of Kerala through a spectacular light and sound show in both Malayalam and English. Along with incredible paintings, the museum also houses magnificent life size statues of prominent personalities. There is an incredibly huge and imposing statue of Lord Parasurama in the museum as well.
Dinner & Overnight at hotel in Cochin.
Day 3 – Cochin to Munnar 7:00 Am – 8:30 Am Morning Yoga Class (Pranayama & Yoga Asanas Practice) Today we will learn and practice deep & conscious breathing. Practice coordination of breath and movement, the Yoga asana practice becomes harmonious, the breath deepens of its own accord and the body’s circulation and metabolism are stimulated. As most people are in the habit of breathing quite shallow, inadequately filling the lungs, correct breathing is fundamental for the body’s optimum metabolic function. With regular practice, the Full Yoga Breath becomes the habitual and natural way of breathing. Slower and deeper breaths improve circulation, nerve function and one’s whole physical condition. It also develops a calm, clear mind. After breakfast we will proceed to Munnar (145 km, 4 hours drive). Known as ‘nature lovers paradise’. Driving through the picturesque countryside of Munnar where a popular getaway retreat is. Surrounded by lush green tea estates, this picturesque hill station boosts of exotic flora and fauna. Lunch en - route. On arrival rest of the day is at leisure to absorb the beauty of this hill station. Restorative & Relaxation Yoga Class in the evening.
Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 4 – Munnar sightseeing Today morning after breakfast, we go for full day Munnar sightseeing.Starting with Eravikulam National Park: Home to the rare Nilgiri Tahr. Which is a goat antelope that can only be found high in the mountains of southern India. National Park houses a large variety of flora and fauna; moreover, the beauty of the park is unparalleled. The famous Anamudi peak, the highest in South India, is located in the southern region of the park. Anamudi literally means ‘elephant’s forehead’ – a reference to the peculiar shape of the peak. Exploring the myriad colours of nature and basking in the beauty that surrounds the park. Visit Tea Museum followed by a tea plantation visit. Lunch en - route Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 5 – Munnar to Thekkady Start our day with a morning Yoga Class (Pranayama, Yoga Asanas & Meditation) 7:00 Am – 8:30 Am Today we will practice & learn the conscious breathing, awareness while doing Asanas & Meditation Techniques as a flow. Step by step process of getting aware and balanced. After Breakfast we start travel to our next destination Thekkady (3 hours drive to cover around 110 km) Lunch en-route. On arrival Rest of the Day is as leisure. Restorative & Relaxation Yoga Class in the evening.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 6 – Thekkady Morning after Breakfast we start our day with the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, located close to the spice plantations and surrounded by the Cardamom Hills, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular attractions in Thekkady. Declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978, this wildlife sanctuary is one of India's most prominent tiger reserves and has played a major role in the conservation of tigers. The sanctuary, noted for its diversity of wildlife, evergreen forests, and scenic beauty, receives a large number of tourists from all over the world. Although a tiger reserve, the star of the show in Periyar is the herd of elephants that descend down to the lake. Other intriguing and rare species of animals dwelling in the sanctuary include the Sambar Deer, Nilgiri Tahr, Wild Pigs, Nilgiri Langur, the highly endangered Lion-Tailed Macaque, Small Travancore Flying Squirrel, Stripe-Necked Mongoose, Nilgiri Marten and many more. After lunch, have a spice plantation tour in the afternoon. Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 7 – Thekkady to Kumarakom (145 km and 4.5 hours drive) After Breakfast today we start our day with a journey to Kumarakom.The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teals, waterfowls, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork visit here in flocks and are a fascinate the visitors.An enchanting backwater destination. Houseboats, traditional Kettuvalloms (rice barges) offer great experiences. On reaching Kumarakom, check-in your hotel.
Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 8 – Kumarakom Our day start with a Morning Yoga Class (Pranayama & Advance Yoga Asanas Practice ) Today we will learn and practice the advance yoga asanas with complete awareness, concentration & Step by step formations with flow. Channeling the energy flow towards the right direction. After breakfast rest of the day at leisure & Ayurveda massages (These are available for purchase) till afternoon. After lunch, later in the afternoon we go for bird watching tour and motor boat ride on Vembanad Lake.
Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 9 – Kumarakom to Varkala After breakfast, check out and drive 4 hours to Varkala Varkala- sun, sea, spirituality and more…. Varkala, the "new Goa" is a well-known beach destination in Kollam. Apart from being a favored destination of beach enthusiasts, Varkala is also a famous religious destination where Hindus perform obsequies for the departed souls. Varkala beach caught up the fancy of foreign tourists around 6 years back as an isolated and uncrowded beach that was free from mass tourism footfalls unlike the many other popular beaches like kovalam. Today, even though Varkala beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations, it has gracefully remained charming and unspoilt . Varkala Beach stands out for its unique hot mineral springs and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes in the form of tall rocky cliffs and strange land formations that majestically preside over the vast stretches of clean white sand. These cliffs that are curiously named as Varkala Formation are graded as geological monuments by the Geological Survey of India. Among the many beautiful beaches of Varkala, the most popular one is the Beach. The beach (also called as Varkala beach), which is ten kilometers away from Varkala, is renowned for the natural spring. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name Papanasanam 'beach'. Offering the requisite infrastructure to evryone who touch town in scores to experience the exceptional charm and tranquility that not many other destinations can offer! There are several big and small restaurants in and around Papasnanam beach; there is something for every pick in Varkala.The bucolic settings of Varkala are equally alluring as its sea coast. The vast expanses of soft green paddy fields and sleepy villages make it a truly enchanting mosaic of natural beauty. Varkala offers excellent accommodation facilities and is fast becoming a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centers. On arrival check in & day is at leisure. Lunch en – route. Restorative & Relaxing evening Yoga Class. Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 10 – Varkala Today our day will start with morning yoga class (Pranayama, Yoga Asanas & Meditation) 7:00 Am – 8:30 Am.Later after Breakfast we go for our sightseeing tour of Varkala. · Janardhana Swamy Temple Almost 2000 years old, this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has drawn Hindu pilgrims to Varkala for centuries. Non Hindus are not permitted into the inner sanctum, but may admire the temple from outside. An interesting feature of the temple is its bell which was taken off a Dutch shipwreck, and donated by the captain of the vessel that sank near Varkala without any casualties. · Sivagiri Mutt Known for its annual festival, Sivagiri is where Shree Narayana Guru, the famed philosopher and social reformer, attained Samadhi. The hilltop mausoleum of the guru is one of Kerala’s most renowned monuments · The Cliff Sitting 60 feet above sea level, this is one of the most breathtaking spots in Varkala, and affords splendid views of the setting sun. · Papanasam Beach Get away from the bustle of the city and make your way to this quiet beach which boasts pure mineral water springs. Lunch en - route Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11 – Varkala Our day will start with morning yoga class (Pranayama, Yoga Asanas & Meditation) Today we will practice what we have learned so far in the previous classes. Day at leisure Lunch in the afternoon. Evening Session with speaker. Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 12 – Departure from Trivandrum Airport Transfer to Trivandrum airport (55km / 1.5 hours) Check out from hotel according to your flight timing and the tour ends with a departure transfer to Trivandrum airport.