Bagpacking in South India

14th Nov 2015
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 1/14 by Chandresh Singh
Munnar kerala
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 2/14 by Chandresh Singh
Athirapally waterfalls
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 3/14 by Chandresh Singh
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 4/14 by Chandresh Singh
Varkala beach
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 5/14 by Chandresh Singh
Varkala beach
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 6/14 by Chandresh Singh
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 7/14 by Chandresh Singh
Elephant park munnar
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 8/14 by Chandresh Singh
Kovalam beach
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 9/14 by Chandresh Singh
Munnar sight seeing map
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 10/14 by Chandresh Singh
Chinese fishing net
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 11/14 by Chandresh Singh
Periyar tiger reserve official rate list
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 12/14 by Chandresh Singh
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 13/14 by Chandresh Singh
Photo of Bagpacking in South India 14/14 by Chandresh Singh
Vazachal waterfall

I always wanted to explore south India especially Kerala it was always fascinating to read or hear about it every travelogue / blog I read had some thing different to amaze me. 
Initially I was planning for Andman islands but didn't get the flights in my budget so planned a trip for 17 days with my friend  to kerala starting from 14th Nov 2015 just after diwali and bhaiduj. 
We took kerala express started from Delhi on 14th noon for Ernakulam and after 47 hours of long journey arrived there in morning around 10. Went to the boat jetty (appx 3 km) and took a govt operated boat to Fort Kochi(Rs 4 person)  took around 20 min to reach Fort kochi. 
Nov 16 - Day 1 Arrive at ERS 10amArrive Fort kochi by 12 Local sight seeing in Fort kochi OVER NIGHT IN FORT KOCHI 
It's a small town best to hire a bycycle rather than walking and autos are expensive and spend sunset at beach or Chinese fishing nets.
Nov 17 -  Day 2Hire a bike Head towards Athirpally water falls (70km) and back by 5pmOVERNIGHT AT FORT KOCHI 
After breakfast we headed for athirapally water falls around 80 km(appx 20 km off road)   one way and by 12 noon we were there and it was really amazing to witness biggest waterfall in India and just a km ahead there is another good one named vazachal waterfall around 3 pm we headed back and on the way went to chirai beach after spending sunset straight back to our hotel in Fort kochi. 
I heard   alot about chirai beach but it's not that clean but still good for sunset if you are nearby 
Nov 18 -  Day 3
After breakfast took  a state bus  for Munnar (140km). Arrive by afternoon Took a room near old munnar bus stand for 800 as it was drizzling we just explored local market and had an massage and booked an auto for next day full sight seeing d for 1200OVERNIGHT AT MUNNAR 

Nov 19- Day 4
After early breakfast stated around 8am and went to top station on the way to top station saw the elephant park, echo point, picture point, rose garden etc came back by lunch time had lunch in munnar then our auto driver took us to lock heart tea factory saw the procedure for tea making and couple of other places in that route 
If you never been to tea factory you should see it will take around 1 hour and first time a saw there is a white tea at a price of 10000rs  per kg they were kind to let me have a cup of white tea 

Nov 20 -  Day 5
Took a state bus early  morning and arrive Thekkedy by noon.  My original plan was to go ramakalmedu on the way to thekkady but weather conditions were not good so had extra time in thekkedy for local shopping took a room near bus stand for 500 in evening went to see kathakkali dance show it was good OVERNIGHT AT THEKKEDY 

Note  - there is only one bus in morning from munnar to kumli (thekkedy)  at 6 30 am rest are after 12 pm 

Nov 21 -  Day 6
Left  early morning for Periyar national park Around 5 30am first boat  leaves at 7 30am had to run 300 meters from parking to reach the ticket window as they have limited seats but bad luck after all the efforts didn't see a single animal only a wild buffalo... Well after that had our lunch and took 1 pm state bus for allepy arrived in evening took a room near boat jetty for 800 
Note -  it's best to book your boat ticket online in advance as everyone can't run And yes local market in allepy  was great specially for gold lovers OVERNIGHT AT ALLEPY 
Nov 22 -  Day 7Took a local bus early morning 6 am to visit shri krishna temple around 16km from allepyBack by 9am after breakfast took a  ferry from allepy to Kollam  at 10.30am for Rs 400 each whole day backwater tour reached kollam by 6pm took a bus to Varkala beach arrived by 8 30pm at hotel Heavenly Breeze near beach for Rs 600.
Also met with an amazing girl from Denmark on boat from allepy a solo traveller traveling in India for more than 2 months spoke to her more than 4 hours I really got inspired from her and right after this trip did my first solo trip to gujrat from Dec 14 to Dec 23 2015. OVERNIGHT AT VARKALA 

Note  -  i it's better to take train from kollam to varkala as there are no direct buses have change couple of times I stayed near North cliff 
For me its the best beach in kerala as its clean less crowded and beach side open restaurant are best drink all you want and for sea food lover it's great just select your own fish crab or whatever from the display they have from daily catch and they will cook it for you.... By the way I am vegetarian 

Nov 23 -  Day 8Spent full day at leisure sunset was best 

Note  - no atm near varkala beach its 5 km away near varkala market  but most restaurant do accept card but I'd say be ready. 

Nov 24 -  Day 9
Took a late morning train from varkala to trivandrum appx 50kms reached trivandrum by 12 noon took a bus to Kovalam beach appx 13kms from East Fort.  East Fort  it's appx 2km from station took a room near kovalam bus stand for 600 very close to beach also. 
Did speed boating and sunset at kovalam visited other nearby beaches as well 
Nov 25 -  Day 10
Early morning after seeing sunrise took a bus back to trivandrum city to see shri padmanabhaswamy temple, after depositing our luggage had to buy a dhoti bcs that's the dress code for men, also I bought a special darshan ticket hoping that they might let me see the gold treasure but I was wrong anyways after that we went to the city zoo Then took a passenger train from trivandrum to Kanyakumari arrived by 2pm station is just 1.5km from beach took a room for 600 after having food went to have darshan in kanyakumari temple spent evening roaming around OVERNIGHT AT KANYAKUMARI 
Note - don't take auto from station they charge Rs 50 very costly either take it from road or just walk 
Nov 26 -  Day 11
Went to see sunrise just behind kanyakumari temple you can see sun rising between vivekananda rock memorial and tiruvalluar statue then after breakfast took bus to see suchindram temple then changed couple of buses to reach padmanabhpuram palace sheshnagh temple back by evening OVERNIGHT AT KANYAKUMARI 

Note -  nothing special in psdmanabhpuram palace and it is 50km from kanyakumari so if you are short on time just skip it and suchindram is must see only 16km and direct buses are available 
Nov 27 -  Day 13
We had an extra day bcs spent a day less in thekkedy bcs of weather so I decided to spend this day in kanyakumari bcs from here train and flights were already booked so can't change it so today after checkout from hotel went to station deposited our luggage and then  we took the boat to vivekananda memorial and tiruvalluar statue spent our evening visiting local market, churches etc and after dinner went to station to catch our train at 10pm to Rameshwaram arrived 5 30am there 
Note - train from kanyakumari to rameshwaram is on alienate days not every day so please check in advance 
Nov 28 - Day 14
Took a hotel near temple for 400  after some rest headed outside for local sight seeing first booked an auto took 609 for full sight seeing including padman bridge excluding Dhanuskodi by afternoon it was done so took bus to Dhanuskodi then they you have to take local mini bus or jeep to go further bcs road is damaged saw the ruins of old village destroyed by cyclone beach over there was very beautiful and clean and calm, also saw vibhishan temple  In the evening cane back to hotel 
Note  -  I was not able to see ram setu point bcs during this time of year it's under water as said by driver 

Nov 29- Day 15
Early morning 5am went to shri rameshwaram temple to see manilingam it is available only for one hour from 5 to 6am ticket of Rs 50 each after that you need to go to and take a bath in sea known as agnitirtham then you need to take bath in 22 different wells located in temple premises a ticket of Rs 25 each then we came to our hotel and changed to clean and dry clothes then again went to temple to have main darshan after that we went to fishing port as I heard it is largest  Port in India to export fish and after checking out deposited our luggage to railway station and spent rest of day locally  and in evening took our train to Chennai arrive by 7am
Note -  for darshan in temple don't pay any extra money to anyone there are many people offer you help you in your darshan but honestly there is no need there is a tourist information Center at the front gate of you need any info ask them only pay for tickets by temple counter 
Nov 30 - Day 16
Arrived at Chennai egmore station in the morning after depositing our luggage at the station we had breakfast then we headed towards marina Beach then kapaleeshwar temple then Fort St George but then it started raining heavily by 2pm  so we headed for station as we had our flight to catch at 7 30pm from station took our luggage and took a local train for tirusulam from there airport is on walking distance we arrived at the airport but bcs of rain flight was delayed finally we took off around 9 40pm arriving Delhi by  mid night 
My total expense was appx 22000 with everything for this trip Over all it was a good trip for me and bcs of bad weather had to do some changes in my plan but it was not that bad but after I came to Delhi I saw in the news that bcs of heavy rain chennai airport is closed and chennai is under flood  and under national emergency. 
On the one end I was feeling fortunate bcs of I would have been  there  for one more day I would have stuck but on the other side it was very unfortunate for Chennai. 
This is it for now will be sharing my first solo trip to gujrat which I did 10 days after this