Check in to Neelambari. An introduction to the facility will be provided with emphasis to its traditional performance theater ( Koothambalam ) and series of murals done in classical Kerala style.
Village Experiences: We will use this day to relax from the jet lag and adjust to local time. We will spend our day in the beautiful village of Arattupuzha that is home to Neelambari. We will start our day with a village walk savouring the beautiful countryside around Neelambari. Traditional Kerala meals on banana leaf would be served for lunch. You can optionally indulge in a cooking session while lunch is being prepared. Late afternoon we will go for a river cruise in our traditional canoe. We will have a briefing session before dinner and also go through our equipment. We will set out on the cycling trip next morning. Name: Cycling tour from Chimmini Dam to Parambikkulam Reserve Forest. Description: The nearly 250 km trail is of breathtaking beauty as it passes through lush green tropical forests almost all of the way. A good part of the trail passes through reserve forests with restricted passage and would require daytime traversing. The trail climbs to 4000 ft above sea level before rapidly descending through 41 hairpin bends. We will have a support vehicle to provide us logistic assistance throughout the duration of the trip. Six reservoirs, three major and countless minor waterfalls, wildlife sightings and beautiful flora all along the way makes this an unforgettable experience.
We will drive to Thumboormuzhy and spend the day exploring the beautiful rainforests in and around Athirapally waterfalls. We will go for a trek in the forest and also do a wildlife sighting Safari. We will access the river at safe vantage points for refreshing dips.
We will leave early in the day and cycle to Valparai, a hill station in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. There are tea plantations all around and we would stay at the highest point of our trail, around 4000 ft.
We will cycle downhill from Valparai to the scenic little village of Sethumadai. There are forty one hairpin bends that we need to negotiate on our way down. Two large reservoirs, Upper Sholayar and Aliyar, would offer stunning views as we cycle down.
From Sethumadai, it is a short hop to the Parambikkulam Wildlife reserve. We will spend the day trekking, rafting and on Jungle Safari. We will spend the night in well appointed jungle lodges in the reserve.
We will spend the morning on wildlife sighting and trekking. After lunch we will drive back to Neelambari. Your trip would come to an end once we reach Neelambari.
Cultural Experiences: With a traditional Koothambalam at its center, classicism of Kerala’s culture is woven into Neelambari’s existence. On this day we open our windows to the great classical art forms of Kerala. We begin our day with a multimedia introduction to the classical art forms of Kerala. This presentation will try to bring out the underlying principles of different classical art forms of India, widely different as they appear. Following this presentation we will go on a short trip one of the few Gurus that run institutes for classical art forms around Neelambari. The visit will allow for watching sessions in progress as well as providing an opportunity for informal, personal interactions with some great artistes. In the afternoon, we will have a lecture demonstration followed by a live performance in Neelambari.
Kayaking and canoe trip: Refreshed from the cultural extravaganza, we will go on a kayaking trip in the beautiful Karuvannur river on this day. We will set out in the morning and head west as the river flows to the Arabian sea. We will stop by the river for lunch and continue west along the course of the river. Towards evening, we would have reached the lower stretches of the river close to the Arabian sea. At this stage we will shift to a large canoe for a guided trip to the beautiful mangroves in the backwaters by the Arabian sea. As the sun sets, thousands of birds will flock to the mangroves, offering a spectacular experience. We will return to Neelmabari by road for dinner.
Day 10 (Optional)
Ayurveda and Yoga: On this day we will explore the rich Ayurveda and Yoga traditions of India, with emphasis on specific adaptations done in Kerala based on Ashtangahridaya . The day will start with a refreshing Yoga session by the river (if weather permits) or in Neelambari’s picturesque Yoga hall. We will then visit an Ayurveda museum that would help understand the history and evolution of this system. Post lunch, we will relax a bit and proceed for some relaxing Ayurveda therapy including massage ( uzhichil ) in Neelambari’s purpose built spas. We will conclude the evening with another scintilalting cultural performance that will bring our exotic adventure to an end.
Check out from Neelambari. We will drop you to the Airport and or make travel arrangements for you. Should you wish to make an extended visit of Kerala or other states in India, we can assist you with your travel planning and arrangements.