From Varkala, we took a bus to Trivandrum, our next destination. The capital of Kerala, its one the crowded cities in Kerala, situated on the west coast of India, and is bounded by Laccadive Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east. Like any other city, Trivandrum also has innumerable restaurants, which didn't fail to excite a foodie like me. Hotel Rehmaniya serves delicious beef, mutton and appam. Sneak into Hotel ZamZam for Malabari-style biriyani, and Hotel South Park for Onasadya, a typical Kerala recipe that will make your taste-buds go crazy!
Next morning we went to the main beech for breakfast and after strolling a bit on the beech we packed our bags for the next destination, Kolvalam. We reached Trivandrum by afternoon and checked in a hotel there. Then we headed to Kovalam which just 15 kms from there. Again quiet a descent beech by Indian standards but it was heavy crowded and we could not find any patch where we could just be alone. So we destined ourselves to enjoy the crowd. The sunset was quiet beautiful the best of all was yet to come.Day 7:- Trivandrum to Kanyakumari
On the D-day , we reached Trivandrum in the evening. The weather gods were happy and it was drizzling that time. We took a taxi from the airport itself and set course to Varkala. It took us almost 2 hrs to reach the place. Our guest house was located 5 minute off the main road. The location was perfect for a peaceful stay.It was a traditionally kerala house with a wide backyard, coconut trees, garden in front and so colorfully painted. I was just in love with the location of guest house and the ambience.The settings of the rooms were equally bright. One room with yellow ambience and other with blue.Equipped with mosquito nets and WiFi. Attached bathroom with hot water facility was also available.Pretty decent rooms. Ayurvedic consultation and treatment is also available.
The next day I woke up early at 5.00 am to get the view of sunrise at beach. I went along the rock path, which was already occupied by some people. The sight was really beautiful. We can be able to see the sun coming out slowly to spread the brightness.
Finally the day came when my most memorable trip had to end and boy! it was tough to leave such a beautiful state behind. The pizza night, station incident, the backwaters and the fresh aroma of the spice plantations, such were the memories of my trip.A Yahoo! answer to the question “Why is Kerala called God’s own country” turned up this: “Nestled between the pristine waters of the Arabian sea on the west and the lush Western Ghat mountains on the east, its intense network of rivers and lagoons, thick forests, exotic wildlife, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters and a long shoreline of serene beaches make it a traveler’s paradise.”
Thiruvananthapuram… Day 1I landed in Thiruvananthapuram which is the capital city of Kerala. I had been told that it offers splendid palaces like Padmanabhapuram Palace and Kanakakunnu Palace, beaches like Kovalam, Varkala, Shankumukham and Azhimala, hill stations like Ponmudi and other attractions like Poovar at a stone’s throw. And so here I was with my family…absolutely looking forward to my stay here.Once a calm fishing village clustered around its crescent beaches, Kovalam is known as the Paradise of the South and is just 16 kms away from Trivandrum. We had already made our bookings in a resort situated here in Kovalam. True to its name Kovalam presents an endless sight of tall and graceful coconut trees. We enjoyed the views on our way.We were given a warm welcome in an absolute tranquil, beautiful, calm, pure lobby with soft incense fragrance flowing in the air! It could not have been better! It was an absolutely green place with small traditionally built cottages nestled among the tall and handsome coconut trees. The best part being that it is situated just on the long shoreline with a serene beach, clean and accessible only to the guests. It also is a destination for Ayurvedic health holidays and we were blessed to have an in-resort spa with such blissful facilities.The art-lover in me was completely enchanted with the artistically done restaurant. Bright paintings adorned the walls. Fresh flowers on each table were very welcoming and the best was the soothing Sanskrit mantras that played in the background making the atmosphere totally pristine.Kerala has an exotic cuisine and although we are vegetarians we were completely spoilt for choice by the chef. Kerala is known as the "land of Spices". Even the Kerala cuisine is known for its spicy and hot foods. Traditionally, in Kerala food is served on a banana leaf. Almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and local spices. The unusual cuisine of Kerala brings to the fore the culinary expertise of the people of Kerala.After the gastronomical journey we set out for the lighthouse. The 35 m lighthouse at Kovalam is situated on top of the palm-covered Kurumkal Hill. Visitors can climb the spiraling staircase inside, to the top of the red and white tower and enjoy a spectacular view of the surroundings. The lighthouse offers an amazing view of the moon- shaped beach and the famous Vizhinjam mosque.After a great evening at the beach we were back to our cottage in the resort.At night the waves sang us lullabies and how I loved falling to sleep with that sound. In the morning they wished us good morning with a lot of energy and cheering.An awesome breakfast awaited us to treat our taste buds to some of the finest dishes of Kerala. The hospitality exhibited by the staff touched my heart.
Travel stories are incomplete without some great people that you meet along the way. I decided to couchsurf for the first 2 days of my trip. Jayakrishnan ("JK" as his loved ones call him) accepted my request and I landed at his house in Trivandrum. Rahul was already there. He was the other guy who was couchsurfing at JK's. Rahul has been into wildlife conservation since the age of 16. He took it up formally and now works with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and it's truly astonishing what he has accomplished at the age of 22. He has dedicated his entire focus on otters and their conservation in India. Once he spent 3 months in solitude in a tent on an island in the Ganges (Gangetic floodpain) to study the behaviour of otters and educating the villagers about their conservation.JK and his cousins, who I must add are absolutely fantastic hosts, took us out to, Sri Mulam Club, one of the oldest clubs in Trivandrum, where we met Balan Madhavan. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and an acclaimed wildlife photographer. He spoke at length to us and spoke his heart out; about elephants, about conservation, about photography, about humanitarian causes and about life. We discussed about the loss of habitat and nomadic routes of the elephants. He said, "If today an elephant wants to kill human beings, he has every right to do so for all the cruel things we have ever done." We sat in silence for a while, had our drinks and parted after exchanging phone numbers.Kerala is unlike any state I had visited. It is crazy green and there's abundant water everywhere. It has mountains, it has beaches, it has lakes, it has backwaters, it has thick forests, it is very clean, offers lip-smacking food; truly God's Own Country. The people are calmer and mindful of the fact that public spaces are truly public. I visited the Trivandrum and the Cochin railway stations and there wasn't any clamour or shouting. People were disciplined and the stations were very clean. some things else; jackfruits, coconuts, fish and beef are ample.Trivandrum, as a city, seemed very royally humble; green overlay, clean roads, vintage buildings in white, windowless buses and a knack for rains. It's neither crowded like the metros, nor are the roads crammed with cars. Public transportation is great and the buses are not overcrowded. In fact, I travelled extensively in KSRTC buses and never faced any issue of delay or discomfort. Moreover, there are a considerable number of food-joints that offer you brilliant food 24X7.
Born and brought up in the 'God's own Country', Trivandrum is quite a familiar place for me..But the city seems to be different when you visit it every time..In each travel, you will get a bunch of memories... ABOUT TRIVANDRUM - The Capital city of Kerala:The city gets its name from the Malayalam word thiru-anantha-puram , meaning the "City of Lord Ananta".The name derives from the deity of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple at the center of the city.Anantha is the serpent Shesha on whom Padmanabha or Vishnu reclines.This temple of Vishnu reclining on Anantha remains the iconic landmark of the city.Trivandrum is responsible for nearly 80% of software exports of Kerala, and boasts of a strong presence of MNC's as well as for being fourth biggest IT destination in India.