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Onam Festival 2023
Kerala is a seductive place to visit at any time, but during the festival period of Onam it becomes all the more vibrant.
Kerala is a seductive place to visit at any time, but during the festival period of Onam it becomes all the more vibrant, showcasing the local culture and traditions at their very best. For ten days in August and September the south Indian state comes alive with music, parades, intricate flower decorations, worship, culminating in the spectacular Vallam Kali snake boat races. This is the end of the southwest monsoon season, with occasional rain to freshen up this most verdant of Indian states, and a good time to discover the astonishing variety of Kerala.
Itinerary | Day by Day
Bangalore and Fort Cochin.
Welcome at Bangalore airport, transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 2 - Day 4
A morning flight takes you to Kochi. Enjoy three nights in a traditional hotel in Fort Cochin, exploring the wonderful old fort district and discovering the festival traditions of the port city. On one of the days, a short drive takes you to a nearby village to watch a country boat race and enjoy a village lunch, before returning to Fort Cochin.
Day 5 - Day 6 | In the Backwaters
A short transfer takes you to Vayalar village to board the Kayal Kettuvallam houseboat. Spend two nights onboard the Goodearth Kayal Kettuvallam, winding through the backwaters from village to village. Enjoy a traditional lunch with join in the local Onam celebrations. Spend a day at the site of the magnificent Vallam Kali boat races, cheering on the brightly decorated boats and their oarsmen.
The houseboat has two twin cabins with private facilities. If there are fewer than four in your party, you may wish to upgrade and have exclusive use of the houseboat.
Day 7 | In the Wayanad Hills
From the houseboat a transfer takes you to the nearby town of Ernakulam to catch the day train to Kozhikode. From Kozhikode it is a 3 hour drive to the delightful village of Mothakkara in the Wayanad hills of upland Kerala. Overnight in the Hill House guesthouse in Mothakkara.
Day 8 - Day 9
Enjoy a full day with the community of Mothakkara. Explore the local farms and the coffee and pepper plantations, visit the local pottery and immerse yourself in village life in this beautiful part of Kerala.
Day 10 - Day 11
A road journey (4 hours) takes you to the enchanting city of Mysuru. With two nights in a comfortable hotel, you have time to explore the opulant palaces and discover the local markets.
Experience the wonders of the Onam festival, as parades, fireworks and boat races take place across Kerala. The height of the festivities is reached on Thiruvonam, celebrating the return of mythological King Mahabali. The traditional dancing and martial arts performances, including Pulikali (tiger dancing) and Kathakali (enactments of local legends), are not to be missed.
Vibrant port city
The bustling port city of Kochi, or Cochin, is the ideal place to be during the harvest festival of Onam. Discover the historic quarter of Fort Cochin, the frescoes of the Mattancherry palace and the huge Chinese fishing nets. Visit the Kathakali centre and immerse yourself in the festivities. Endlessly fascinating, with its unique blend of cultures and history, Kochi is one of our favourite Indian cities.
A very special houseboat
Enjoy gently cruising on the Goodearth houseboat as it winds through the backwaters from village to village and discover how Onam is celebrated in these quiet, authentic communities.
Contrast the gentle pace of the houseboat with the excitement of the snake boat races, as you witness scores of oarsmen moving at lightning speed, cheered on by the crowd.
The hill stations of Kerala
Head further north in Kerala to explore the peaceful Wayanad hills, staying in the village of Mothakkara. Enjoy wonderful hospitality and discover the traditions and way of life among the farms, visiting pepper and rubber plantations. This really is an enchanting place to relax and unwind, and the cooking at our village guesthouse is a real highlight!
Onam Festival 20229 Nights
All meals and stay at villages
B&B in hotels
Guide and Porter services
Inclusive of all taxes as applicable
HOLIDAY PRICES per person