Eclipse on Kerala - 9 days

FROM USD $1,369

Combining historic Kochi, the hill station of Munnar and a houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. In nine sun filled days you'll witness an amazing Partial Eclipse, great natural wonders, wildlife, diversity and beauty of stunning Kerala - God’s own country.

Day 1: Kochi
Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! Arrive Kochi, included transfer to hotel. Overnight - Kochi
Day 2: Fort Cochin
Formerly a princely state, Kochi is also fondly referred to as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea”. This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town including the beautiful Parsi Synagogue built in 1568, the Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese in 1555 and St Francis’ Church. A walking tour of Fort Cochin takes us through streets still graced with traces of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture. Our afternoon and evening is free for us to spend as we choose Overnight - Kochi (B)
Elephants bathing in a stream
Kochi - Munnar. We drive east to to Munnar - a quaint hill station nestled on the verdant slopes of tea plantations, that exudes a rare old world charm and reminds one of the days of the Raj in its elegant splendour. At a height of 1525 metres, Munnar offers us breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. Overnight - Munnar (B, D)
Days 4 - 5: Periyar NP
Munnar - Periyar. A short drive south to Periyar, South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and home to bison, antelopes, sambar, wild boar, birds and even the odd tiger! Kumli, close to the sanctuary and where you’ll stay, is a pretty little town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops. There is plenty to do in and around Periyar, so we leave the choice to you. Enjoy an included boat ride on Lake Periyar to spot herds of wild elephants or visit the lush nearby tea estates. Overnight - Periyar NP (B:2)
A brightly coloured vehicle, decorated for festival time
Day 6: Kumarakom
Periyar - Kumarakom. A drive to Kumarakom. Perched sleepily on the eastern banks of the mighty Lake Vembanad in the heartland of Kerala’s famed backwaters, Kumarakom has changed little since the Middle Ages but for it’s string of exotic resorts, making it the perfect point to explore the backwaters. Although right in the thick of a tangle of lush tropical waterways, Kumarakom is technically an island on Lake Vembanad. This is an ideal place to chill-out for a few days. There is also a wonderful bird sanctuary, winter home to many migratory birds which is worth a visit. Overnight - Kumarakom (B)
This morning we get ready for the spectacle of one of the most complete PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSES OF 2010 over the sleepy backwaters.

The moon will first touch the sun at 11.05am, gaining its maximum magnitude at 13:14 obscuring 81.8% of the sun. Elsewhere at this time, an Annular Eclipse is occurring. Here, the Sun - Moon alignment is perfect beneath the centre line. The moon is farther from the Earth than normal and hence its apparent size is not quite sufficient to cover the sun completely. Under the centre line the Moon would appear slightly smaller in diameter than the Sun and a thin ring of sunlight will remain visible around the dark silhouette of the moon.

Eclipse site co-ordinates
76° 14′ 00″E, 9°55′ 00″N

As our Eclipse location is just outside the centre line of the moon's path (not directly beneath the centre line) 81.91% of the sun will be covered. It is close to being an Annular Eclipse though not quite and hence the phenomena we will see is termed a partial eclipse. One of the best ones at that! The sun will seem to peek out from behind the moon in a thin extended crescent shape, as if the moon had taken a big bite out of the sun! As the event unfolds the sky will change to a deep purple as the horizon falls into shades of orange and red.

11.05am - The moon first touches the sun - start of the partial eclipse (1st contact).
13.14pm - The moon reaches its maximum magnitude and obscuration of 81.91%
15.05pm - The moon is no longer blocking the sun - end of the eclipse (4th contact)

After witnessing this unusual natural phenomenon we have the rest of the day free to relax, why not do some nature watching, explore the mangrove forests and maybe seek out a coconut! Overnight - Kumarakom (B)
A Keralan house boat floating on the backwaters
This morning we board a simply furnished private rice-boat for a journey through the backwaters in and around Alleppey. Crewed by a poler to push the rice boat through the water, a distance of some 20 kms will be covered, during which time the boat will glide past colourful local villages. This evening the on-board cook will prepare us tasty meals using fresh local produce. Overnight - Rice Boat (B, L, D)
Day 9: Kochi
Alleppey - Kochi. Disembarking at Alleppey, we’ll be driven the short distance back to Kochi. Consider extending your stay in Kochi or elsewhere in Kerala. Alternatively, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

15 January 2010 Annular Eclipse

On January 15th 2010 an annular solar eclipse will be passing through a narrow corridor of the earth and creating a sight to behold for those in its path. It will be the LONGEST annular eclipse in the 3rd millennium – the duration will not be exceeded until the year 3043! It will be visible across Africa, the Indian Ocean, India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia and we are offering special holidays in India, China and Africa to witness this unusual occurrence. Take a look at our Eclipse 2010 section for our full range of tours.
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Kochi / Ends in: Kochi
  • Departs: 9th January 2010
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:8, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: 3-4 star
  • Tour Guide: Yes (for locally included sights)
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