Eravikulam National Park
This national park is the breathtaking home of a plethora of precious flora and fauna, and lies along the Western Ghats. Considered the magnum opus of Kerala, the park provides magnificent panoramic views of tea plantations and rolling hills blanketed in mist. The grasslands protect the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and harbour several other species of animals, birds and butterflies, including a new species of frog that was discovered recently. Eravikulam park becomes a sought after destination when the hill slopes get veiled by a carpet of blue, a miraculous phenomena caused by the flowering of Neelakurinji, which blooms only once in 12 years. Anamudi, translating to elephant's forehead and located within the park, is the highest peak of South India and its might and height of 8,842 ft can be enjoyed from a distance at Rajamala, from where the endangered Nilgiri Tahr can also be observed. The park provides a number of safaris for convenient and safe tourism around the park. The Kurinji Trail, which follows through misty tracks of protected animals and flowery grasslands, is a must for trekking lovers. Another famous but charming spot is the Lakkom Waterfalls, which provide an enchanting view along with an eco-shop cafeteria to eat at. Close to these falls is a log house, which offers comfortable accommodation with complimentary food and the much desired solitude and peace amidst the lap of nature.
This renowned hill station once housed the Madras Presidency during the British Rule and possesses many remnants in the form of regal looking bungalows, such as the Stone House, The Ootacamund Club, Government House and Fernhill Palace. This along with the tall pine trees in the green areas almost makes you believe you are in old English country. Ooty is also home to some of the most breathtaking lakes in the country, such as the Avalanche Lake, Emerald Lake and the popular Ooty Lake. For some adventure, one can hop on the Nilgiri Toy Train and enjoy a ride through the blue mountains, winding through dense forests, dark tunnels and valleys from Ooty to Coonoor. Ooty is heaven for nature lovers and a trek through the Mukurthi National Park will be etched on your mind for years to come, offering a stunning panorama of carpet like green hills, home to the tallest peak of the Nilgiri Range, several wildflowers and beauties such as the Nilgiri Tahr, Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Leopard, Bonnet Macaque, Mouse Deer, Otter, Small Indian Civet and many more. If you still want more, you can take a mesmerising walk through the charming 19th century Government Botanical Gardens. Ooty's beauty can be explored more adventurously with everything from horse riding to hand gliding and mountain biking, all arranged by various resorts. Avid readers will be overwhelmed to visit the 19th century Nilgiri Library, sheltering around 25,000 books and hosting many events to promote reading habits among all age groups. Chocoholics should place King Star on the top of their itineraries for purchasing a plethora of delicious homemade chocolates. More delicious food from vegetarian, cafe to non-vegetarian cuisines can be enjoyed at popular places such as Quality Restaurant, Earl's Secret and Willy's Coffee Pub, which also has a commendable library for one to delve into while enjoying their drink. Witness Ooty come alive in the month of May, with its vibrant boat races and flower shows, hosted across the town.
A major city and commercial hub in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore offers not much in terms of touristic attractions unless you're on your way to Ooty or any of the Nilgiri hill stations. Although some places might make for really interesting stopovers, such as the Kovai Kutralam Falls, Vaidehi Waterfalls and Thoonakkadavu Lake. For a taste of knowledge, there's the Gass Forest Museum, which is a natural history museum, or pay a visit to G.D. Naidu Industrial Exhibition, a science and exhibition centre which has a lot to exhibit in terms of innovation and science. The city is home to innumerable temples, some of them being Marudamalai and Velliangiri hill temple. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park makes for an interesting visit for nature lovers. Places such as Shree Annapoorna, Junior Kuppanna and Anandhas Quality Vegetarian are well known for their Indian dishes.
Translating to 'the gift of the forest' in the native language of Tamil Nadu and originally home to the Palaiyar tribal people, this modern city has been a retreat long since the 19th century. Located in the hills of the Dindigul district, this city was established by British bureaucrats and American Christian missionaries. Kodaikanal offers an experience of stunning culture and natural beauty. Some famous attractions include Kodaikanal Lake, where one can always take a peaceful boat ride, Berijam Lake and Pillar Rocks. Take a walk in the pine forest or explore the Kukkal Caves and the Devil's Kitchen, a cave with a series of hidden ravines. Bear Shola falls, Glen Falls, Silver Cascade and Fairy falls make for a magical setting for nature lovers to observe and unwind. Religious dwellings such as the La Saleth Church, Lutheran Church and Subhramanya Temple are admired famously for their intricate architecture. For the inquisitive minds, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, which is home to 500 species of taxidermy animals, birds and insects and the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory are great places to visit. Coakers walk, Silent Valley View Point, Perumal Peak and 80 Mile round make for interesting walks and treks, offering breathtaking views of the plains below. Natyanjali Festival, celebrated over 4 days, is a spectacular sight to behold with dazzling dance performances and top notch acts from across the country, which one can enjoy in the months of February or March. You can get a bite to eat at Cloud Street, Cafe Cariappa, Altaf's Cafe and Tava restaurants.
Thrissur, the land of temples, is one of the most visited cities in Kerala. The waterfalls and the scenic temples here offer one a mix of nature, history and culture. Among the most significant temples, the Vadakummnathan temple is a must visit. The temple is slightly orthodox and allows only Hindus to enter. The temple is known for its antique murals and paintings and even if you aren't spiritual, do visit the temple for its beauty and brilliant architecture. Another stunning spot in Thrissur is the Athirappilly Waterfalls. The space around the waterfalls is the perfect picnic spot allowing you an unobstructed view of the gushing waters. Though, like all waterfalls, this one is in all its glory during monsoons, but you can still spend a day here irrespective of the season. Among other important temples, Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thiruvambadi Krishna Shrine and Triprayar Sri Rama Temple are a must visit. A day in Thrissur is more than enough to explore the city and if you have plans to head to the popular backwaters, let Thrissur be a short stop.
This is the kind of place that will look good on any camera, no matter which angle you take your picture from. Emerald green hills, with mist looming over them like wandering ghosts, Munnar makes for a vacation that will be etched in your memory for years. Munnar happens to be South India's largest tea growing region, hence a walk through its aromatic tea gardens cannot be missed. For more insight into the tea industry, the Tea Museum can make for an interesting visit. Sadly the meddling of the plantation industry with the flora and fauna, causes many species to lose their habitats and become endangered, some being the Nilgiri Thar, the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, the gaur, the sambar, and the Neelakurinji flower, which blossoms only once in 12 years. Consequently, Munnar is home to many national parks, such as the renowned Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kurinjimala Sanctuary, Amaravati Reserve Forest, Anamudi Shola National Park and the Pampadum Shola National Park, a visit to which is highly educational and peaceful. More quiet and scenic spots include Devikulam Lake and Attukal waterfalls. Munnar also caters to restless spirits, who can enjoy adventure sports such as paragliding, rock climbing, rappelling and even cycling. Some famous places to eat are Rapsy restaurant, Saravana Bhavan and Eastend, all known for their delicious non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Munnar is easiest to access by road through state run or private buses, compared to flights since the nearest airport is in another city, Cochin. The nearest train station is in Aluva, although cabs and buses are easily available from both the places to reach Munnar.
Why Travel to VarkalaVarkala is a microorganism of the world, with people from around the globe. Its main attraction, and reason for popularity, is the Papanasham Beach, which hugs the North Cliff and is reached by steps down the cliff. A bit further north is the Black Beach, the black sand now almost vanished below granite breakers placed to reduce erosion. However it is a lovely spot to watch the sun-set.
Book Varkala Tour Package
it has all kinds of shops- you can buy clothes, colourful skirts, shorts, scarves!! i myself did a lot of shopping (giggles), the cliff is around 2 Kms long, and you can take a nice walk down.. This cliff overlooks the Papasnanam beach on one side and the Edava beach on the other.
At Varkala’s famous Coffee Temple I met Lovely, I approach her curious to know if she owns the place. Lovely does not own the coffee shop, but helps manage it and has been there for close to ten years. In a small chat we have, Lovely tells me before joining the tourism industry she worked as a software professional in one of the big cities. It is amazing what people do for the love of travel and tourism- from a big city to a beach destination with a creek- Lovely surely does not seem unhappy about the decision.
Vedanta Wake up - Varkala
Being a solo woman traveller, i was quite worried by the fact that i had booked a bed in a mixed dormitory, but my worries were uncalled for- i immediately fell in love with the place and the people. there was a homely touch to the place, with a sit out section furnished with bean bags TV and furniture.. I shared my room with 2 Brits and they were a good company too. So they have a kitchen where they serve food for travellers who have opted for it, they have a fully stacked fridge with water bottles and juice.Ah.. jjust home away from home. I looked them up after i returned to Bangalore and found they are all over South India. Cant wait to stay at another Vedanta!!
Ponnumthuruthu Island/ Golden island: (15 km south of Varkala) A delightful getaway surrounded by the Anjengo backwaters. This uninhabited isle is accessible by boat from the makeshift jetty at the nearby Nedunganda Village. A 100-year-old Siva-Parvathi Temple, rebuilt a decade back, is situated here and the entire island is temple property. We were not able to visit this place due to time constraint.To be frank you would not see so many foreign tourists at one single place as I saw in Varkala. You hardly find any Indians other than the locals who run the shops and the restaurants.Do not expect the markets to shut down with the sunset as the night life is simply amazing, and it goes on till midnight. All the shops remain open and the restaurants display their fresh catch for the day to tempt the tourists in the evenings. Drinking beer and having the sea breeze hit in the dark of the night, with some music in the background, can’t be described in words.. The restaurants are quite expensive but never restrict yourself from exploring the delicious sea food. They do have live bands and they keep playing and dancing till midnight.This is one place you should go to if you want to just laze around. The feel of going back home would never be there. I just did not feel like leaving the clear blue waters & the fine sand.I just wish that the beauty and calmness of this place doesn’t get lost with greater influx of tourists.
Mathruthwam Ayurvedic Life Care Hospital
So when you go to Kerala, you always look forward for an authentic massage - i headede to this place as thi swas juts next door to where i was staying , and though i had just 45 minutes to spend, it was totally well spent. i came all all glowing and super oily.. :D
This beautiful place by the cliff- i landed here around 4PM the next day with a book- stayed there for an hour with an orange juice. The atmosphere was lively, maybe because it was Friday night :). I took a stroll down the cliff and landed back there around 8 to have a quick bite, only to find this place super crowded. What i understood from being here for 3 days is foreigners stay here for long period of time, and hence over time they get to know a lot of other groups and make friends. So Darjeeling cafe's atmosphere was full of friendly chatter and romantic dinners that Friday night , and boy, yes i did feel let out. he he.