Ernakulam Cemetery Church
Ernakulam Junction or Ernakulam Junction South is that the most important railway stations at intervals the city of Kochi. The station has six platforms and a pair of terminals. Its a junction, connexion lines going in four entirely completely different directions namely: north towards Shornur, south towards Alappuzha, south-west towards Willingdon Island and east towards Kottayam. This station has half a dozen platforms to handle long distance trains and native trains. This station is operated & maintained by the Southern Railway zone of the Indian Railways and comes below the Thiruvananthapuram railway division. Its one in each of the foremost vital railway stations in Kerala with trains to any a locality of Asian nation and to boot one in each of the A1 hierarchal stations at intervals the Southern Railway. The Station to boot options a Train Care Centre in its premises. Ernakulam Junction was the first railway station in Kerala to have Associate in nursing escalator. Ernakulam Junction is one amongst the foremost vital stations in Asian nation.
Malik Deenar Mosque
Built by Malik Ibn Deenar, this is a typical Kerala style mosque which is in the Thalankara region. It is one of the best preserved mosques of the state. Long time back in the 7th Century, this man was a trader who ame down to India with 12 of his associates to trade in this country and with another aim of spreding Islam in other parts of the world. They started spreading their message along with trading here peacefully. The king Cheraman Oerumal got to know about this and was highly impressed by theoir ways of spreading religion. On being asked, Ibn Deenar replied that the secret behind his honesty was his recent turn to Islam. The king was so happy with them and was so highly convinced that he himself embraced Islam. Later, this mosque was built and Ibn Deenar was made the first Qazi. He is also said to be the first person who had brought Islam to the country.
Malik Deenar Juma Masjid
Around 1400 years old, This mosque reminds of the Islamic influence in Kerala. Built in a typical Kerala style architecture, this mosque was built by Malik bin Deenar, the first people to bring Islam into Kerala. The place is sacred to Muslims as it has the grave of Malik Ibn Mohammed, one of the descendants of Malik Bin Deenar. It is one of the monuments that speaks of the cultural heritage of Kerala. It is one of the Historical places to visit in North Kerala.
Ananthapura Lake Temple
This is the only temple or the only lake temple which is dedicated to Anandapadmanabha except the one which is Ananthapura very close to Kasaragod. This is a beautiful temple in the middle of a rectangular lake and also a grassland. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu who rests on the Ananthanaga. The temple is in the middle of the lake which signifies the fact that Lord Vishnu is the ultimate reality. He is also said to be resting here on the Kshir sagar or the Ocean of Milk to symbolise the never ending creation capability of the god. The Lake here is a representation of the Ksir Sagar. The unique part of this temple is that the idol inside is not made up of any single item but of a combination of more than 40 materials. There is also an auspicious temple crocodile inside the lake.
Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple
After getting off from the houseboat, we set off on the road to the famous Sree Krishna Temple at Ambalapuuzha, a small town located 14 kms south of Alleppey. After spending couple of hours in the temple complex with the supreme deity, and few minutes having a photoshoot with the temple elephant which irritated the jumbo towards the end, we bought some Kerala sarees and dress material for our loved ones. Then, resumed our journey 5 kms west of Ambalappuzha to a lesser known place called as Karumadikkuttan.
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.
Thirunelli Temple Wayanad
Thirunelli Temple was my first priority and after a bit of Youtube-ing and Google-ing, I found that there is Papanashini located just about a kilometer from the temple. I planned it as a weekend trip and the only important things in my itinerary were the Temple and Paapanashini. Rest plan was 'no plan'.More details can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirunelli_Temple To read more: The Thirunelli Ways
Also known as the Parswanath Temple and dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara of the Jains, this is a beautiful temple in the Badridas Lane of Kolkata. The temple complex is divided into 4 parts- Shitalnath Ji Temple, Chandraprabhu Ji Temple, Mahavir Swamy Temple and Dadawadi. The temple is built in the contemporary style and is like most other Jain Temples in white. The complex has gardens and fountains also that increase the peacefulness of the area. The temple complex is not only a popular one with Jains but with all tourists.
Mallikarjuna is another name for Lord Shiva and Mallikarjuna temple is one of the oldest and most prominent temples in the district. Dedicated to Lord Shiva the temple is known for its musical theatre and the temple festival that takes place every year in March/April. Yakshagana, a traditional dance performance takes place during the festival.
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple
Sree Nagaraja Temple at Mannarasala attracts devotees of serpents (called as Nagaraja in devotion) in hundreds from every corner of the state and also from several parts of the country. We learned from the temple priests that usually women seeking fertility come to worship here, and upon the birth of their child they again come to hold thanksgiving ceremonies, often bringing new snake images as offerings. The Mannarasala Temple has over 30,000 images of snakes along the paths and among the trees, and is the largest such temple in Kerala. Finally, we headed back to Alleppey which was then around 35 kms up north from Mannarasala
Thiruvilwamala Vilwadrinatha Temple/ Sreerama temple
Vilwadrinatha Temple is a Hindu Temple located in Thiruvilwamala, Thrissur district of Kerala. Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, and his brother Lord Lakshmana are the main deities of this temple. This is one of the four major temples in Kerala dedicated to Lord Rama, the other three being Thriprayar, Kadavallur and Thiruvangad temples, and also one of the rarest temples in India itself which houses Lord Lakshmana. The temple is situated on the middle of Thiruvilwamala village, on the top of a hill 100 ft above the sea level. Bharathappuzha, the second largest river in Kerala, flows through the northern side around 3 km away from the temple, and as the temple is situated on the top of a hill, the river can be clearly seen from the temple.
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
An idyllic getaway and one of Kerala’s better homestays, I would recommend VLV to travellers seeking unadulterated space and time. Capturing fond memories of Kumarakom, we headed towards the second leg of our trip- Thekkady. Stopping for a Darshan at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, I was thrilled by the play of lighting- a thousand lamps radiating resplendence inside the ‘Gaabharam’.Next, to matters of the stomach, we stocked fresh yellow ‘Nendranga’ – raw banana chips for the 3 hour journey. Breakfast was light as it was a winding ride up and down the hills. As the sedan traversed nooks and bends, we observed rubber plantations and homes in the middle of green land. Surprisingly, there was not one hutment along the 120 odd km stretch.Getting there-By Air– VLV is 60 km from Kochi Airport.By Rail– Ernakulam at 35 km is the nearest station. Alleppey (40 km), Kottayam (40 km)Now, this is what we were waiting for. With much expectation about Thekkady and its Tuskers, we thumped into Elephant land on a Sunday morning.Reservations were in place at Club Mahindra. We were shown our suite in about 20 minutes. The suite showed signs of ageing and neglect, paint had peeled off the walls as a couple of broken pelmets dangled. This was not quite envisaged at a Club Mahindra resort. We called in room service for the food. The blues of the warm homestay were creeping in over us all. We wondered if we should have chosen a homestay in Thekkady as well. Activity rooms and evening games were the only saving grace at the resort. That evening, we participated in most family games and the husband even shook a leg with the kids. Dining in their restaurant, we retired to our rooms early for we had an action packed day ahead of us. All enthused about elephant encounters!Vacationing on a Monday morning gives one a nice little high. Not that I disliked going to work but there is always a sweet zing in taking a Monday holiday. We had called in for a local tour cab from the Club Mahindra desk and it arrived at 10.00 a.m. Most houses in Thekkady have a spice garden and we saw many stores selling spices in the market area. Imagine having a spice in your home and plucking them when you needed it! Wow.We were on our way to the day’s first destination – The Elephant farm. The excitement in the tots was electrifying. The Elephant farm was a non-descript little place. With a spice garden in the front, we were shown around by our driver who had doubled up as the guide. The garden was home to cinnamon, cardamom and pepper.We stood by for our turn to don the younger looking pachyderm. Asked if we would like to feed pineapples to the tusker (for a cost), the kids responded in unison. Gobble gobble, disappeared the pineapple laden basket in 2 seconds flat. Some appetite that! Up next, was to climb the machan and plonk oneself on the tusker. The mahout wound through the garden and checked if we wanted a short ride or a long one (for a cost). We chose the latter and he strayed away towards the road. Proficient is the word to describe his photography skills! He took a leaf, held it between the camera and us and clicked (for a cost) – special effects it seems! The husband and I exchanged glances and couldn’t snub a smile at his antics.Everything in this place came at a cost – right from pineapple feeding, photo sessions, ride length, hair plucking from the elephant’s tail for warding off evil eye (by the mahout). The commercialisation was appalling; however, the look on the little angels’ faces quashed all grumbles. To be fair, the experience at an elephant farm is worth the commercialisation. It’s a must do if you are visiting Thekkady.An hour at the farm and we proceeded towards Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS). The sanctuary is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The parking lot is at a good distance from the ticketing area. Greeting us were families and families of monkeys. Especially heart-warming was a new born clinging to its mom with a stunned look on its face. As we were admiring the benign gentler ones, out sprang a little ‘vanar’ that dashed away with a Soft drink bottle from an unsuspecting human towards the trees. Our encounters with the animal kingdom was just beginning.