Known as the God’s own country, it never disappoints you, from steep hills to a vast shoreline of beautiful beaches. It’s a state where you can enjoy the calmness of the hills and the madness of the beaches together. With the highest literacy rate in India, you’ll never have communication problems here. So plan out on a holiday and just reach out there to have a lovely vacation.
Here goes my travelogue on Kerala.
It was around December that i decided on my Kerala trip for January, aware of the fact that i had my semester exams just the day after my return date, didn’t change my wanderlusting mood. After all it’s about traveling, it’s much more important i feel so.?
Anyway, i reached Kochi in the night time and had to halt there for a day. Next day morning i chose to drop by Jewish Synagogue and Fort Kochi before i left for Munnar. Jewish Town is fascinating place, European architecture, decorated streets and the oldest synagogue, Jewish/Mattancherry Synagogue, to add to it’s charm. Fort Kochi also known as Old Kochi, is kind of the fishing hub, you would see fishermen sitting by the shoreline and selling fresh fishes and some fishing at it. It still has the essence of a fishing village but along with it it also has a European flavor. It’s definitely a must visit.
It took around four hours to reach Munnar, i stayed in the outskirts though, in Club Mahindra. Definitely a better option to stay a bit outskirts of the town to enjoy the actual taste of the place. I reached around five in the evening so it was a bit dark already so decided to take a day’s rest. Had my dinner served in the room itself and slept in peace. Next day morning was wonderful, woke up before the sun to capture the sunrise, I had an east facing room so had no problems in capturing the sunrise from the balcony itself. Woof! What a sight it was, sun rising from the backdrop of the western ghats and lightening up the Idukki district. Munnar has soothing climate, nor too warm neither too cold. Situated at an altitude of 5200 feet above the sea level it’s a great summer resort to get away with heat.
After the sunrise i planned out to visit Mattupetty Dam, a huge water body which is also very clean compared to other water bodies found in our country. There is an option of boating in it and you might give it a try. It’s a nice place to take pictures and to enjoy the calmness. Next we went to Eravikulam National Park, famous for the presence of Nilgiri Tahr, it’s situated at one of the highest points of Idukki district. Now this thing is pretty over rated, basically, you’ll have to book tickets there for a safari by bus which will be on share basis. The roads through which the bus passes is serene and you might spot some rare birds, if you’re lucky enough you might even spot the Nilgiri Tahr. Once you’re atop, you’ll have to walk another 2kms to get into the forest, trust me even if you stretch yourselves atop the forest you won’t find a thing unless you’re very very lucky. The next day was almost at leisure as i took a stroll around the market area, and also visited the tea farms. Evening was completely for relaxation, because i had to travel around 100kms downhill to Thekaddy. So came back to my temporary abode and this how the Munnar chapter came to an end.
Periyar, the world famous forest reserve of India is home to various species of animals and birds. Thekaddy is the place where Periyar forest is. Around 145kms from Kochi it’s known as the spice hub of Kerala. Thekaddy has variety of resorts even in the interiors of the forest, thanks to KTDC(Kerala tourist development corporation).
It took me around two and a half hours to reach Thekaddy from Munnar, this time stayed in KTDC rest house, namely Periyar House. Reaching there the first thing that you’ll feel is the calmness of the jungle, there’s pin drop silence, you can listen to birds chirping, crickets clicking and what not. You’ll completely feels as if you’re in the lap of nature, at least that’s what i had felt. I reached around 3 in the afternoon and inquired from the hotel reception about the Boat Safari, and got to know 4:30 was the last slot of the day and accordingly i booked my seat for the safari. I rushed to the pier after freshening up, it was around ten minutes walk from the hotel. Reaching upto Periyar lake we were mesmerized on it’s beauty, and could already spot various types of birds. The boat safari is a must, no matter what it’s a mandatory thing. You get to see types of deer, elephants, bison, egrets, kingfishers and if you’re very lucky tigers too. The boat safari was once in a lifetime experience. The day ended with the boat safari, because i was dead tired already. Next day morning I left for Kumarakom, one major thing which i had to do in Periyar was to get hold of spices, how could i give up on that, as a result on the way to Kumarakom i managed to stop at a spice farm to get hold of the famous Malabar spices, aroma oils, massage oils and also ayurvedic soaps and shampoo. These are must buy from Periyar. And there ended the Thekaddy chapter.
Kumarakom is a small town connected through canals just beside Vembenad Lake, Kerala’s largest lake. It’s famous for it’s back waters and also due to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. It’s home to various species of birds, fishing is one of the main occupation of the locals. It’s a major tourist attraction in Kerala due to the houseboats stranded on the canals, you get all the modern amenities in the houseboat itself, but naturally it’s a bit pricey. Kumarakom is situated just opposite to Alleppy, sharing the same lake, but it is much more peaceful and serene than Alleppy, for which it gets an upper hand.
It took me about 4 hours to reach Kumarakom including the stop at the spice farm. Distance wise it’s around 135 kms approximately from Thekaddy, so not at all a tiring journey. My stay was at Club Mahindra Kumarakom, reaching the resort i was enthralled, such an overwhelming welcome, huge gardens, villas connected through bridges over the canals, it was all one could ask for. As soon as i got my room, i inquired about the boat ride on Vembenad Lake, they told me it was possible to arrange a houseboat by 4 pm, so i agreed to it and opted for a 2 hour sunset boat ride. Well, not even exaggerating, it was one of the best experiences i ever had. I forgot almost about everything in between that two hours, as if i was hypnotized by the nature. The setting sun over the horizon made me spell bound, i didn’t utter a word, it was amazing. Kumarakom is a place where you go just for enjoying nature, it’s not a place where you need to travel a lot, just go there soak in nature and relax. I couldn’t stay there for long, thanks to my semester exams, i left the next day because i had to write my paper in every condition. Never mind all is well that ends well.
Kerala definitely lives up to the expectations, it lives up to its name, The God’s own country.
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