After breakfast, excursion to Kumbalangi village.
Kumbalangi is a stretch of backwaters connected by interlocking waterways to the whole of Kerala. It is an ideal getaway location for tourists from all over the world. What makes it more interesting to visit Kumbalangi is that it is a virgin landscape unspoiled by excessive presence of tourists. Here you will find the calm, quiet and tranquil landscape with warm inhabitants who depend on nature for their survival.
A day in Kumbalangi can be a festival to remember…a treat for the eye and the mind Kumbalangi is rich with exotic local cuisines, boat building and masonry, manually operated coir looms, fish farms etc.
All this while the people in her estates are still working – on the ruts that spin the golden palm fibres in to strong coir, on the crab farms catching fresh crabs and lobsters, on the countless Chinese fishing nets favouritely called ‘cheena vala’, upon the coconut trees where the tappers toil to collect natural fermented liquor called toddy, upon the green fields where the men and women sing and reap their fortunes
Row the country canoes, climb up the coconut trees, enjoy catching crabs from the natural pools and ponds that exist in the farm for the purpose. The traditional method for catching crabs is a sight to watch and study and can be a master on this art.
Learn how to prepare fishing nets for a day out at backwaters and how to spread them. Throwing the net in the circular pattern is an art by itself. Cage fishing also exists on some Scandinavian islands. In the estate though, a traditional method is used. Branches of trees are immersed in water for weeks. These offer a sweet haven for young fishes and they stay here. After many weeks, the branches are covered with a net and then they are removed. The fishes get trapped in the net. You can learn to set the trap and how to catch the fishes within.
The Chinese fishing net is a fishing technique that originated in China and spread to Kerala. Kerala had countless trading posts all along her costs during pre-history. China was an important trading partner during those days. The cheena vala (Chinese fishing net) is the only existing form of stationary net fishing system in the world. you will find a number of them along her vast green grounds facing the backwaters
Coir manufacturing forms an important part of the local economy. Coir is in demand internationally as a geo-fabric that is used to manufacture eco-friendly carpets and mats. Coir weaving is done to specialised ruts. You can watch and try your hand eye coordination here.
Later return to Kochi for lunch at God’s Own Curry.
Visit a Kerala Family and experience a meal, interact with a family members and cooking demo. They are business family who have a beautiful water front house. They can accommodate up to 25-30 guests if needed. The host Mrs. Renu Abraham Pottamkulam is a very good cook and is quite know for her hospitality among friends and relatives.
It is like Welcome to a home. Kerala has a lot to offer – from its pristine beaches to the sparkling backwaters. But no visit is complete without adding that magic ingredient – an authentic meal at a Kerala home, prepared specially by – Renu Abraham Pottamkulam and Tracy Thomas.
They have opened the doors of their beautiful home on the back waters of Kochi, so guests can gorge on traditional delicacies. Guests can see the women in action and also learn a thing or two about the age-old recipes that have been passed on for generations adding zest to local cuisine.
Renu an excellent cook has been serving up delicious meals for her friends and family for the past 40 years. Her culinary skills developed through watching her mother and mother in law in action at their homes. Her daughter-in-law Tracy has a passion for food and has joined hands with Renu to set up and run God’s own Curry – Local Cuisine with a Personal Touch.
Let these women serve a slice of Kerala, an experience you can get nowhere else in God’s Own Country.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy a tour of Kochi visiting to St. Francis Church, see the Chinese Fishing nets, besides visiting the Synagogue and Dutch Palace. You will first proceed to Mattancherry, where you will visit one of the oldest Jewish Synagogues in India – Paradesi Synagogue built by a thriving Jewish community in 1568 A.D. Now the community has dwindled in numbers, however the synagogue is beautifully preserved. You can see the religious scrolls and the beautiful hand-painted tiles from China, which decorate the synagogue. It’s fascinating interiors include 19th century Belgian Chandeliers, a ladies gallery and an elegant brass pulpit.
These are large nets, which hang from bamboo or teak posts, still used by the local fishermen of Fort Cochin. Continue your tour to the St. Francis Church (closed on Sunday during Mass), originally named after Santo Antonio and dedicated to him as the Patron Saint of Portugal. Five Portuguese priests who arrived with Albuquerque built St. Francis church in 1510. This church, said to be the oldest European church built in India, was the original burial site of Vasco da Gama in 1524.
Later drive back to hotel.
Overnight at: Fragrant Nature
Room: Dukes Chamber
Meal: Breakfast & Lunch