YOGA & AYURVEDA
15 nights / 16 days
Enraged by the arrogance and excesses of the early Kshatriya kings, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Parasurama (avatar of Rama with the axe), and swore to annihilate 21 generations of them. However, once this mission was accomplished, rivers of blood began to flow over the land, making it unsuitable for Brahmins to live in. Overcome with remorse, Parasurama threw his axe into the sea. Where it landed, the waters dutifully receded to create a narrow strip of land, forming Kerala. This myth may be fanciful, but it is fitting explanation nonetheless for the birth of a land that has come to be known as “God’s own country”.
The unique charm of the labyrinthine backwaters, a stunning coastline dotted with gently swaying palm trees, bustling cities, little towns steeped in colonial history, emerald hills, pristine islands, lush green paddy fields and jungles, sumptuous cuisine with rich spices, spirituality, intuitions, ritual art forms and harmony of body, mind and soul thru Ayurveda – Kerala has all this and more.
Set off on the journey of a lifetime to ‘God’s own country’ with all simple abundance of seven senses.
First Sense: TOUCH (Ayurveda Massage)
DAY 01 ARRIVE COCHIN (50 KMS / 01 HR )
Cochin, known as the Queen of Arabian Sea, the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Ancient mariners from Arabia, China, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this beautiful island city.
Arrive Cochin and check in at Fort Heritage Hotel or Malabar House.
Walking through Fort Cochin will transport you back to the last years of the 15th century. When the adventurous Vasco da Gama and valiant Cabral let their religions to this land lured by the fabulous riches of Malabar Coast and established flourishing trade relations.
Ayurveda: The science of life, is perhaps the oldest and definitely, the most holistic, medical system available to the contemporary world. Situated in the tropical region, the state has unparalleled wealth of herbs and natural vegetation, regarded as especially favourable for ayurvedic treatments. In the evening, you enjoy an Ayurvedic massage in your hotel.
Second Sense: TASTE (Cooking Demo and Kerala Home Food)
DAY 02 COCHIN / MUHAMMA (50 KMS / 01 Hr)
Proceed to Muhamma and transfer to Taamara Home stay ( www.taamara.in ) which belongs to a Kerala orthodox Hindu Family or in Casa Del Fauno Home Stay (www.casadelfauno.in ).
On the banks of the Vembanad Lake, Muhamma and surrounding, known to be Kuttanad – a land of lush paddy fields referred to as the Rice Bowl of Kerala.
Cooking demo and Kerala cuisine: "The cuisine of Kerala”, like their culture, has evolved over a period of time. People in Kerala are a mix of many cultures and creeds. This is reflected in their food habits too. Since coconuts are abundantly available, they are inevitably the main ingredients along with rice. Proximity to the sea has included sea food in diet. Beef unlike other parts of India, is not taboo in Kerala. The hills of Kerala produce pepper, cloves, cardamom, Nutmeg, cinnamon, all of which go into the suitable flavors in this local food. These dishes are made with traditional recipes inherited from grandmothers to mothers…to daughters.
Tonight, you will witness Kerala cooking culture and enjoy the family home food.
Third Sense: SIGHT (Panoramic Backwater View from Houseboat (Kettuvalam))
Day 03 Muhamma / Alleppey - Houseboat ( 20 kms / 30 minutes one way )
After the breakfast, you proceed to Alleppey to board your designated houseboat which is locally known as ‘Kettuvallam’.
Enjoy the cruise in a leisurely laid-back manner with your weather beaten pole man gently gliding the boat across the jade smooth waters, leaving you time to take in the sights. And the sights are there for the taking. You meander through narrow and wide canals fringed with swaying palms, tiny hamlets, lush green paddy fields , villages and towns , an occasional country liquor shop, a village church or a temple, quacking squadrons of ducks.. People fish, swim and wash clothes along the banks .This is virgin country and life beats at its own gentle rhythm. You will step into a different world altogether, wallow in your thoughts. Or you can just lie back and be enchanted by the beauty and serenity of what unfolds before you.
The houseboats have all the creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. Meals are cooked on board and supplemented with fresh fish from the backwaters. Today, the tradition is still continued and the food from the local cuisine is served by the Kuttanad localities, on board. Overnight on board the houseboat
Fourth Sense: HEARING (Art, Music, Dance and Rituals of Kerala)
Day 04 Houseboat / Thekkady ( 190 kms / 05 hrs )
Disembark at the jetty after your breakfast and proceed to Thekkedy.
A land-blocked destination, Thekkedy is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. High ranges and wooded valleys are girded by one the three rivers – Periyar. As a tourist destination, Thekkedy offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain trecks, elephant rides etc. The entire region of this state, has a large number of population of tribal’s, with unique customs and beliefs and maintain an ethos which is distinctly different from that of the mainstream culture.
Today evening, after the visit to Periyar river and boat ride, we will take you to witness Kathakali, listen to the rhythm of your fourth sense. They are vibrant with sound and music, with expressions that are myriad and immaculate, offering an ethereal experience time and again. The art forms of Kerala; be it the oldest Sanskrit theatre – Kutiyattam, the resplendent Kathakali, the rustic Theyyam, the unique martial art form of Kalarippayattu, they all induce a never ending fascination on those who witness them.
Overnight at the Spice Village Resort in Thekkedy
Fifth sense: SMELL (Absorb the aroma of spices & Tea plantation walk)
DAY 05 THEKKADY - MUNNAR (140 KMS / 05 HOURS)
After breakfast, proceed to Munnar. Enroute we take you on a fascinating and informative visit to several neighboring spice and tea plantation as well as smaller-scale spice gardens whose owners pride themselves on their adaptation of organic farming methods, including the use of methane gas produced from cow dung to provide energy for their household needs. A must for any one who cares of taste and flavors, the spice plantation visit enables you to get a deeper understanding of how the spice used in everyday cooking throughout the world are grown, harvested and processed before they find their way to your local supermarket.>
On arrival at Munnar, check in to Talayar Bungalow (www.teabungalows.com). Located within a 1000 acre tea plantation just, the Tallayar Valley Bungalow is a 3 bedroom 1930’s British built bungalow with period furniture, fireplaces in all rooms and large toilets. It has a large living room, a rack library, a tea-room leading onto a well maintained garden, a bonfire area and lawns gracing the frontage of the bungalow.
Make your own tea – This is a participatory activity wherein guests join tea-pluckers in the morning to pluck tea from the fields. Plant your own tea – This is also a participatory activity wherein guests are provided with saplings to plant their own tea bush. Each of these bushes is tagged with their names. Once the bushes are ready for plucking their produce is sent to guests once in two months depending on their growth and such factors. This will be followed by a Tea factory visit.
Sixth sense: SPIRITUALITY (Visit temples, church & unwind your soul with Yoga
DAY 06 MUNNAR / PALAKKAD ( 150 KMS / 05 HRS )
Activities of planter’s will engage you till early lunch, visit to Tea factory and proceed to Palakkad and transfer to Kandath Tharavad , the ancestral home of the Kandath family which is set in the lush rice paddies of rural Kerala. The house is a two hundred year - old gem of domestic architecture constructed primarily of mud and teak.
Kerala has ancient links with the major religions of the world. Christianity is believed to have come to Kerala’s shores much before it reached Rome, via St. Thomas. Islam came early too, because of the Arab traders. And Judaism sprung up when, according to legend, merchants came here as part of King Soloman’s fleet, besides vibrant Buddhist period and flourishing Jain community. But despite so many religions, faith has always been a purely personal affair, more spiritual than religious....a bonding based on “unity in diversity”.
Visiting to Jain temple, Shiva and Snake temple, Kalpathy Brahmin village, Hyder Ali’s Fort will add to the charm of Pallakad stay.
Seventh Sense: INTUITION (Intuitively involved with Fortune Teller)
DAY 07 PALAKKAD
The morning presides with yoga lesson, later walks through green paddies with the fresh breeze blowing against you; share your world with that of villagers over a tumbler of tea local tea shop ‘Thattikada”.
Cycling trips or a Bullock cart ride along small winding roads through an unspoiled countryside are some of the interesting activities awaiting you. Visit to Potters colony, basket weaver’s colony and toddy tapping are must for the activities before lunch.
Afternoon begins with session of fortune tellers.
Astrology is a pure science. This is based on the power of Sun and other planets. Each individual has his own ability to absorb power of planets. Ability for absorbing power of planets depends on the planetary positions available at the time of birth. The planetary positions based on the place of birth of an individual will have variations. This is to be precisely found out by means of calculations. The methods of calculation followed in India by some of the astrologers are called ‘Nirayana’ otherwise called Stellar.
There are more interesting methods of “Fortune Telling”, which are very popular in Pallakad area – some of them are as under
- “KAVIDDI ASTROLOGY” or “SEA SHELL ASTROLOGY’: calculation and fortune predictions are based on 27 sea shells empowered with divine positive energy through numerous chanting of ‘potent mantras’. Every sea shell represents one star sign which help in calculation.
- “TAMBUL PRASNA” or “BETEL LEAF ASTROLOGY”: calculations and fortune is predicted thru the positioning, shape, marks and cuts of betel leaf which the devotee is carrying.
- “THATHA SHASTRA” or “PARROT ASTROLOGY”: The bird depicts the divinity and card which is chosen will represent your ‘Karma’ and the result. It is to some extent similar to “Tarrot Astrology”.
DAY 08 PALAKKAD / COCHIN AIRPORT & FLY TO DELHI
Time to say good bye to Kerala - check out and drive to the airport in time for your flight for Delhi
Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay
DAY 09 IN DELHI
After a breakfast, proceed for the full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. In Old city visit Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan; Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India; Raj Ghat- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi and enjoy a walking tour in Chandni Chowk- the silver street of Delhi bustling with activity.
In the afternoon visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India; Humayun’s Tomb built in the Indo Persian style and a predecessor to The Taj Mahal in Agra; India Gate – A War Memorial Arch. Also drive past the President’s house, Parliament house, Government secretariat buildings and Connaught place – the heart of New Delhi and a busy shopping center.
Overnight at the hotel
DAY 10 DELHI – AGRA
This morning drive to Agra and check in at the hotel on arrival
In the afternoon proceed with a half day city tour of Agra city.Visit the red sandstone Agra Fort, which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Jamuna River enclosed by forbidding 20-meter high walls, with a 12- meter moat between them. Three successive Mughal emperors - Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan - helped create this massive structure which contains Hindu and Muslim architecture. Then proceed for the famous white marble mausoleum, which was built in the middle of the 17th century by the Moghul emperor Shah Jehan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Visit the Taj Mahal surely the greatest monument to love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652, skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 labourers worked for 17 years to build this edifice, constructed by Emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Marble was brought from Makrana, near Jodhpur and precious stones of onyx, amethyst, malachite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, jade, crystal and mother of pearl were carried to Agra from Persia, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China and the Indian Ocean
Overnight is at the hotel
DAY 11 TO DELHI & TO HARIDWAR (BY JAN SHATBDI)
After breakfast drive to Delhi in time to connect your train to Haridwar - the gateway to the abode of God in the hilly state of Uttaranchal. Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel
Overnight is at the hotel
DAY 12 IN HARIDWAR
Rise early in the morning today for your first yoga class which will be conducted by your yoga teacher – the morning session will last for 02 hours. Return to the hotel for breakfast which will be prepared as per the yoga instructors menu.
Later proceed with an excursion to visit one of the oldest temples called Daksha Temple. Also visit the mercury Shiva Lingam Temple (famous for the solidified mercury Shivlingam, said to be done by a saint through his meditation).
Return back to the hotel late in the afternoon for your yoga classes. Later visit Har-ki-pauri for the evening Aarti, the ritual that takes place every evening on the banks of the holy River Ganges. Overnight is at the hotel
DAY 13 TO RISHIKESH
Early morning yoga schedule for 02 hours
After breakfast drive to Rishikesh and check in the Hotel on arrival. Rishikesh is famous world over for its spiritual significance after "The Beatles" stayed here for a month in the seventies for meditation.
In the evening there would be a 02 hour yoga session followed by 01 hours meditation session
DAY 14 IN RISHIKESH
Early morning yoga and meditation session
After breakfast leave for a date with the river wild. Take on the rapids up to grade III on a stretch of 18 kms and then finish the day at around lunch which will be arranged at a riverside camp. Afternoon is free to visit the various ashrams and temples in and around Rishikesh. In the evening proceed to witness the evening Aarti at the river front. Overnight is at the hotel
DAY 15 RISHIKESH – DELHI
After an early breakfast, drive to Delhi and on arrival check in at the hotel. Spend the evening at leisure exploring the city / souvenir hunting. Overnight is at the hotel
DAY 16 DEPART DELHI
In time transfer to the to the International airport to connect your flight back home
End of our services……