Kanyakumari, once part of the erstwhile princely realm of Travancore lies at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. It is the southern tip of the majestic Cardamom Hills, a sequence of hills on the west coast of india. It is also the confluence point of three oceans – the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
Kanyakumari casts a wizardly spell of its own with its unequalled natural splendor, rich culture and varied traditions. Once mentioned because the Alexandria of the East, the place was a well known trading and commercial center, besides being a hub of arts and culture.
This exquisite land offers a feast for the eyes from the rainbow beaches with multi coloured sand, the spectacular azure ocean lashing the shore in passionate fury, ravishingly beautiful beaches, the amazing hills to the emerald green paddy fields. Kanyakumari is the border of the two states, offers a mixture of Kerala and Tamil Nadu traditions.
The brilliance of the imposing sunrise and the soft sunset that dazzles over the confluence of three oceans, leaves one with exuberance. It is the only place in India where one can view both sunset and moonrise simultaneously on a full moon day. Every morning unnumerable guests flock to the beaches, awaiting the magnificent sight of daybreak to unfold. The sensible image of morning sky, robed in glowing hues of pastel colours with the silhouette of fishing boats, because the sun rises higher than the horizon can stay forever engraved in ones memory. Sunsets offer an equally spectacular picture.
: Arrival – Trivandrum – Kanyakumari (290 km / 6hr)
Welcome and drive to Kanyakumari check into hotel visit Vivekanada rock, KanyakumariMatha temple, and Museum evening view of sunset. Stay overnight Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumary: formerly known as Cape Comorin, is a town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It was first called as thiruvancorejilla with thiruvanamthapuram. It lies at the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent (the southern extremity of India as a whole being Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island). Cape Comorin is the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills, an extension of the Western Ghats range along the west coast of India.
Kanyakumari – Kovalam (180Kms / 4hrs)
Early morning you can see the spectacular view of sunrise and after breakfast, check out from the resort and proceed to Kovalam. Check into resort / hotel day free to relax and enjoy on beach. Stay overnight stay at Kovalam.
Kovalam offers an excellent diversity with Kovalam beach to suit all desires and occasions. Three curve shaped beaches, alienated by stony outcroppings, from the major attraction of this coastal resort. Backed by precipitously mounting headlands and covered by fertile coconut palms, the beaches, especially the southernmost part of lighthouse beach. It is also lined with a host of shops and shacks offering all kinds of services; creating an unmistakable resort atmosphere. Curio shops, hawkers of Kashmiri and Tibetan products, moneychangers and beachwear shops, between the surplus of restaurants and hotels, do brisk business during peak tourist season.
Kovalam – Trivandrum – Kovalam
After breakfast proceed to Trivandrum. Day free to visit Sri PadmanabhaSwamy Temple, zoo, museum etc and afternoon back to Kovalam day free to relax and enjoy on beach. Stay overnight stay at Kovalam.
SreePadmanabhaswamytemple :SreePadmanabhaswamy temple is Vedic temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Thiruvananthapuram, India, in the state of Kerala. The shrine is run by a trust headed by the royal family of Travancore. The temple is one of 108 DivyaDesams(Holy Abodes of Vishnu) – principal centres of worship of the deity in Vaishnavism. Lord Balarama, according to SrimadBhagavatam (10.79.18), visited Phalgunam (now known as Thiruvananthapuram) as part of his teerthyatra, took bath in Panchapsaras (Padmatirtham) and made a gift of ten thousand cows to holy men. The temple is glorified in the DivyaPrabandha, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Tamil Alvar saints (6th–9th centuries AD), with structural additions made to it throughout the 16th century, when its ornate Gopuram was constructed. The Temple is a replica of the famous Sri Adikesavaperumal Temple at Thiruvattar. Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple gave its name to Kerala’s state capital Thiruvananthapuram. ‘Thiru’ ‘Anantha’ ‘Puram’ means Sacred Abode of Lord AnanthaPadmanabha. The city was also known as Anandapuram (City of Bliss) and Syananduram (Where Bliss is not far off). Ananda refers to SreePadmanabha Himself. Hindu scriptures refer to the Supreme Being as 'Sachidananda' (Absolute Truth, Absolute Consciousness and AbsoluteBliss).The Principal Deity, Padmanabhaswamy, is enshrined in the "Anantha-sayanam" posture (in the eternal sleep of Yoga-nidra on theserpentAnantha). The Maharajah of Travancore bears the title, "SreePadmanabhadasa’ (Servant of Lord Padmanabha).
In line with the Temple Entry Proclamation, only those who profess the Hindu faith are permitted entry to the temple. Devotees have to strictly follow the dress code.
Zoo : Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, one of the oldest in the country, was established as an annexe to the Museum in 1857 by the erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore in order to attract more visitors. This Zoo was originally set up for recreational purpose only. But with more and more loss of forest and wildlife in the process of human development, the goal of the Zoo changed from recreation to conservation. Today Zoos are seen as the last resort for endangered animals and birds. The Central Zoo Authority established in 1992 under the Ministry of Environment and Forest of India, enforces uniform management code to all the Zoos in the country and provides financial and technical support for the Zoos.
Spread over in 55 acres of land located in the heart of the temple city of Thiruvananthapuram, the Zoo offers a rare opportunity for the visitors to experience and enjoy unparalleled picturesque and panoramic sylvan surroundings besides vivid animal collections. The Zoo has around 75 different species of animals not only from India but from abroad also. It also has several species of animals and birds from Ethiopian and Australian Zoo geographic regions. The Lion tailed Macaque, NilgiriLangur, Indian Rhino; Royal Bengal Tiger are prominent among the indigenous endangered fauna. Giraffe, Hippo, Zebra, and Cape buffalo are the guests from African region. It will usher in a new era with the completion of the ongoing modernisation works in the Zoo. Thrilling encounters with the animals out in their open air landscapes are becoming reality.
Napier Museum: Napier Museum and Natural History Museum are situated in the Museum compound, right in the heart of the city, near the zoological park.
Napier Museum built in the 19th century; this Indo-Saracenic structure boasts a natural air-conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The Japanese shadow play leather figures, used to depict the epics of Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are very interesting.
A visit to the Napier Museum complex reveals a glimpse of Kerala's rich cultural heritage. An exceptional piece of architecture, the Museum is named after the former Madras Governor General, John Napier. The Napier Museum is also called the Government Art Museum. The Museum building is a combination of the Kerala, Mughal, Chinese and Italian architectural styles.
Visiting hours: Open 1000 - 1645 hrs will be closed on Mondays, Wednesday forenoons, January 26th, August 15th, Thiruvonam and Mahanavami.
Kovalam – Trivandrum – Kovalam
Drive to Cochin check into hotel / resort. Spend your afternoon visiting The Dutch Palace, the Jewish synagogue, The Spices auction rooms, St. Francis Church the oldest European church in India, Chinese fishing nets, etc……and also an array of shops with antiques, fabrics & jewellers and back to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Jewish synagogue: The Jewish Synagogue, in a corner of Jew Town, is more than a hundred years old and houses many rare antiques. The synagogue, that woos many visitors, adds to the quaint charm of Mattancherry. 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 Dutch Palace, given by the erstwhile king of Cochin. The synagogue, the oldest in the Commonwealth, was built by the Jewish community of Cochin. In 1662, it was destroyed by the Portuguese and then reconstructed, two years later, by the Dutch.
Dutch Palace: The Palace was built and gifted by the Portuguese as a present to the Raja of Cochin around 1555. The Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace in 1663, and thereafter it was popularly called Dutch Palace. The rajas also made more improvements to it. Today, it is a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, which are in the best traditions of Hindu temple art. The palace was built to appease the king after they plundered a temple nearby.
St. Francis Church: St. Francis CSI Church, in Fort Kochi (aka. Fort Cochin), originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent. The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed to Lisbon.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica: 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, this church is one of the finest and impressive churches in India and visited by tourists the whole year round. It is a place of devotion as well as a centre of historic significance, endowed with architectural and artistic grandeur and colours of the gothic style. The basilica serves as the Cathedral church of the Diocese of Cochin, the second oldest Diocese of India. It is close to St. Francis Church.
It was built originally by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558, was spared by the Dutch conquerors who destroyed many Catholic buildings. Later the British demolished the structure and Bishop D. João Gomes Ferreira commissioned a new building in 1887. Consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984
The Dream Days comes to an end and it’s time to bid farewell. We drive you to Airport or Railway station to catch flight / train for onward destination.