Birds of South India  

16 Nights / 17 Days

Kozhikode (Calicut) - Wayanad - Thrissur - Thattekkad - 

Thekkady - Kumarakom – Cochin

Day 1: Arrive Kozhikode (Calicut)

Traditional welcome on arrival at Kozhikode (Calicut) airport by Travel Pals India executive with fresh marigold flower garlands. Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is god) is our 'mantra'. Day free to relax and acclimatize.

  

Kozhikode also known as Calicut which is a coastal city in the south Indian state of Kerala. It was a significant spice trade center and is close to Kappad Beach, where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498.

Day 2: Kozhikode (Calicut)

Early morning ready to visit Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary (45 minutes’ drive). It is home to nearly 100 species of native birds and over 60 species of migratory birds. This is situated among the clusters of small islands on river Kadalundi. This is the habitat of gulls, terns, herons, and other alien birds. Apart from the birds, the sanctuary is famous for its scenic beauty and holds a panoramic view of the river and the Arabian Sea. This sanctuary is also known for the various kinds of fishes, crabs, and mussels.

Rest of the day free at leisure or you may visit the following:

Beypore Beach: It’s a beautiful beach & have opportunity of different water activities.

Dolphin Points: Good place to watch dolphins playing in the sea early in the morning.

Kappad: It is the place where Vasco da Gama set foot for the first time when he came to India on May 27, 1498. There is a small stone monument at the beach to commemorate that event.

Mananchira Square: It is an architectural delight named after the man-made lake Mananchira around.

Science Planetarium: Best place to unravel the mysteries of universe & enlightens about the planets and stars.

Day 3: Kozhikode (Calicut) - Wayanad (100 Kms / 3 hrs)

Start drive to the town of paddy fields – Wayanad.

Later visit Edakkal Caves are famous for its pictorial paintings (cave paintings), which are considered to be of 6000 B C. To reach the caves, one has to trek through the Ambukutty Mala. It will take around 45 minutes to climb the hill and you will never get disappointed in your trip to these historic caves.

Wayanad: A land of paddy fields and shelters endangered species as it has an amazing range of flora and fauna. It has an influential history too, numerous evidences depicting new Stone Age civilization is seen on the Wayanad hills. Relicts and edicts are found in this place emphasizing the prehistoric epoch.

Day 4: Wayanad

Ready for jungle safaris (morning & afternoon) to The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in 1973 and brought under the Project Elephant in 1991–92. This sanctuary occupies an area of 345 km2. A variety of large wild animals such as Elephants, tigers, panthers, jungle cats, civet cats, monkeys, wild dogs, Bisons, Deer, Bears, Monitor Lizards and a variety of Snakes are found there. Wayanad is home to 350 species of resident and migratory birds including some endangered species of birds. Here you can find endemic black-chinned laughing thrush, white-bellied shortwing, black and orange flycatcher, Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri wood pigeon, the Nilgiri flycatcher, Asian Fairy Blue Bird, Scarlet Minivet, Emerald Dove, Yellow Browed Bulbul, Bar winged flycatcher shrike, Black lored tit, Chestnut tailed starlings, Forest Wagtail, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Plum headed parakeets, lorikeets, and many more.
 

Day 5: Wayanad

Today ready for an adventure at Kuruva Island (Kuruva Dweep) is a cluster of small islands formed by the delta in the River Kabini and spread over 950 acres of uninhabited area, can be accessed only by boats. It is densely populated with rich flora and fauna. Rare species of birds, orchids and herbs are the main attraction of the island apart from its breathtaking natural beauty. Several migratory birds are also seen on the island.

Optional activities:

1. Trekking tour at Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary which is best known for the presence of `Edible Nest Swift light.' A paradise for nature lovers, trekkers and ornithologists, here you will have a thrilling experience with its undisturbed forests, gushing water streams and steep hills. There will be a trek of 7 km through dense forest area. 

2. Another evening jungle safari to The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
 

Day 6: Wayanad / Thrissur (187 Kms / 5 hrs)

Depart for Thrissur with ernoute comfort stops. Evening free at leisure or explore town on own.

Day 7 & 8: Thrissur

Get ready for an exciting birding trip with naturalist to Thrissur Kole Wetlands / Puzhakkal Wetlands (marshlands & open paddy fields) surrounding the town of Thrissur and are famed for birding. The traditional farming lands of Central Kerala grow rice, coconuts and other spices. According to studies, there are 241 species of birds like spot-billed pelican, darter, Oriental darter, black-headed ibis, painted stork, black-bellied tern, cinereous vulture and greater spotted eagle, Red Avadavat, Streaked Weaver, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Malabar Lark, abound as do many water birds. Also fishes like Caranx, Cyprinidae, mangrove red snapper, Megalops cyprinoides and barramundi are also found in Kole Wetland.
 

Day 9: Thrissur / Thattekkad (90 Kms / 2.5 hrs)

Short drive to Thattekkad to stay in a jungle resort for three nights. Evening walk around the resort in the search of few clicks of birds which generally can be seen there.

Day 10 & 11: Thattekkad

Morning visit to the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary with naturalist.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary or Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a home to many resident and migratory birds and spread over an area of about 25 kms. More than 500 species of birds are found here. Indian pitta, which visits the sanctuary during winter and spends almost six months here. Birds founded here are Orange-headed thrush, Large-billed leaf-warbler, Jerdon's nightjar, Indian cuckoo, Oriental darter, Cormorants, Whiskered terns, Collared scops owl, Ceylon frogmouth, Grey-fronted green pigeon, Yellow-browed bulbuls. The sanctuary is a habitat for different varieties of cuckoos and a region of the sanctuary popularly called "Cuckoo Paradise" is home to them.  
 

Day 12: Thattekkad / Thekkady (115 Kms / 3.5 hrs)

Morning drive towards Periyar Wildlife Reserve in Thekkady district of east Kerala.

Evening enjoy the famous Kalaripayattu (dance show) at 1800 hrs -The Orient's treasure trove, a gift to the modern world and the mother of all martial arts.

Day 13: Thekkady

Early morning boat ride on the Periyar Lake (Seat in boat basis) where one can have a unique experience of viewing wildlife in close proximity. The greatest attraction of Periyar, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.

Later enjoy nature walk inside Periyar Wildlife Reserve with naturalist. 320 species of birds are found in Periyar. The birds include raptors, water birds, galliform birds, pigeons, woodpeckers and passerines. The sanctuary is home to the Malabar gray hornbill and has other exotic birds like the Ceylon frogmouth, Malabar trogon, White-bellied treepie and Heart-spotted woodpecker. 

Day 14: Thekkady

Rise early for a guided jungle walk with a local naturalist this morning with a small group of guests from your hotel. Learn about the flora and fauna and keep your eyes peeled for the allusive animals which may be spotted here.

Later today you will visit a spice plantation which is an interesting educational experience to see how the crops are grown and cultivated.

Day 15: Thekkady / Kumarakom (125 Kms / 3.5 hrs)

We will transfer to Kumarakom jetty point to embark on the 'Kettuvalloms' -a traditional rice boat of Kerala, which gives a romantic way to explore the unique web of lagoons, lakes, canals & rivers. Lunch and dinner on board. Overnight at houseboat.

Explore Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary) is situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake & spread over 14 acres (5.7 ha). It is a favourite haunt of migratory birds. The main attractions are local birds like waterfowl, koel, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, and brahminy kite, as well as the migratory gull, teal, tern, flycatcher, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Some of the migratory birds come from the Himalayas, and a few from Siberia.

Day 16: Kumarakom / Cochin (50 Kms / 1.5 hrs)

Breakfast at houseboat. Disembark at Alleppey jetty point and driven to Cochin - set along the spice coast of Malabar, offers a bewitching combination of gorgeous beaches, tranquil backwaters, historic monuments & Palaces. Also known as Kochi.

Later a guided tour of Cochin to visit the famous Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), St. Francis Church and the Jewish Synagogue. Also see the giant Chinese Fishing Nets being lowered on the famous Vasco Da Gama Square, offering a spectacular view to its visitors.

Evening enjoy a cultural dance performance of Kathakali, (popular and spectacular dance-drama forms of India). 

Day 17: Cochin - Back home

We will transfer you to Cochin international airport to board flight for onward destination with sweet memories of your India tour.