Kerala Kaleidoscope

Tripoto
8th Nov 2018

Athirappilly Falls

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood

"God's own country.
Or a heaven on earth.
Place full of mountains, greenery and streams,
Oh Kerala! God created you with utmost care."
- REKHA MENON

The South India has always exercised a mysterious fascination over us. We have been there once when we visited Goa in 2016. A visit to Kerala was always on our mind since then. So we decided to explore this paradise during the best season of the year i.e. November 2018. Just two months before, Kerala battled against the most calamitous floods due to the relentless southwest monsoon rains. So we were a little apprehensive about our tour, but after getting a clearance about the good conditions in Kerala from our travel company, we were ready to move . We decided to start for the tour on the auspicious day of Diwali. After reciting the prayers and exploding some crackers with our two kiddos in the evening, we left for New Delhi.
Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope 1/1 by Deepak Sood
Welcome to Kerala at Kochi Airport
Day 1

We took our flight on the next morning and we reached Kochi at 8:30 AM. We were received by the cab driver from the travel company. He took us to our first destination i.e. Athirappilly Waterfalls. We had a real time experience of Bahubali water falls at its best. The trek-up towards the falls is steep and arduous. Both the top and the bottom of the falls are accessible. The best time to behold this miracle would be monsoon and winter. During monsoon you can see the waterfall in full glory.

Athirapally Falls - Bottom View

Photo of Athirappilly Water Falls, Pariyaram, Kerala by Deepak Sood

Athirapally Falls - Top View

Photo of Athirappilly Water Falls, Pariyaram, Kerala by Deepak Sood

Athirapally Falls - Front View

Photo of Athirappilly Water Falls, Pariyaram, Kerala by Deepak Sood
Day 2

Then we reached Munnar, the Kashmir of South India at 08:00 PM. On day 2, we visited Rajamalai (Eravikulam) National Park. It is a beautiful National Park near Munnar. You are allowed up to a point from where only National Park buses take you for 3 km ride. From there one has to walk about 1 km up to the mountain. The walk through the winding roads with clouds kissing your head is just beyond words. Surely this park is the best spot to visit in Munnar. I took some of my memorable shots there.

Rajamalai (Eravikulam) National Park - on the way to the top

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

A View of Munnar from Eravikulam National Park

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

With the endangered Nilgiri Thar (Goat)

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

At the top of the National Park

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

We also visited some other spots in Munnar e.g. Echo Point, Shooting Point, Mattupetty Dam, Tea Factory and Munnar Market in the evening.

Echo Point, Munnar

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood

A View from Mattpetty Dam, Munnar

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood
Day 3

We stayed for two nights in Munnar. On the next morning, we started moving towards Thekkady. On the way to Thekkady, we visited Lockhart Tea Museum, Munnar. It is a tea factory located about 5 km away from the Munnar Town. You can also visit the museum which has antique stuff from the British Period. It also has an outlet where you can buy white tea, black tea and green tea. There is a porch area in the property with a beautiful view of the Munnar hills. You can enjoy the view with a cup of tea here.

Enjoying freshly brewed Munnar Tea at Lockhart Tea Museum, Munnar

Photo of Thekkady, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

We reached Thekkady at 5 in the evening. We went to see the shows of Kadathanadan Kalari Martial Arts and Navarasa Kathakali. The Kalari Martial Arts is one of the oldest martial arts of India. The performance was thrilling, spell binding and beautifully executed. The Kathakali show represents the culture and tradition of India. The expressions of the artists in Kathakali were truly remarkable.

With the Kathakali Artists at Thekkady

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood

The Kalari Martial Arts Arena, Thekkady

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood
Day 4

Next day, we visited the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Thekkady. In the morning, we went for the boat ride in Periyar lake. It is a nice calm and serene lake amidst the woods. The ferries take you far enough through the lake. Boating in Periyar lake was definitely a unique experience for all of us.

The Periyar Lake, Thekkady

Photo of Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

Then we went for the Pugmark trail inside the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. The Pugmark trail is a self-guided, 2 km walk through the dense forest. This trail is very easy for the young and the children alike. You can spot many animals grazing in the forest at a very close distance.

The Pugmark Trail, Thekkady

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood

After the tracking, it was time for the elephant ride in the afternoon.. The elephants are well trained for ride and photo shoot as well. Never miss this fun while visiting Kerala.

Kerala Elephant Ride

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood

In the evening, we enjoyed another theater show of tribal dance at Vanashree auditorium, Thekkady. Interestingly, we were the only audience and it turned out to be a private performance for us. The dancers did their best in spite of having only four people in the audience. The performance was great. The dance program depicts their various rituals like rice harvesting,marriage, function etc. We also visited the market in the evening and enjoyed the banana chips and home made chocolates of the city.

Watching the Tribal Dance, Thkekkady

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood
Day 5

Next morning, we headed towards Allepey. We spent a full day on the houseboat for a trip on the backwaters and It was really an incredible experience. The water all around gives you a completely different view. You can watch temples, market, rice fields and people using the backwaters for washing clothes, dishes and even for themselves. It is one of the best ways to see real Kerala Rural life while being in the comfort of the houseboat.

alongside the Houseboat, Alleppey

Photo of Alleppey Houseboat, Punnamada Boat Jetty Road, Punnamada, Kottankulangara, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

A View of the Alleppey Backwaters from the Houseboat

Photo of Alleppey Houseboat, Punnamada Boat Jetty Road, Punnamada, Kottankulangara, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

relishing the houseboat hospitality

Photo of Alleppey Houseboat, Punnamada Boat Jetty Road, Punnamada, Kottankulangara, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

Relaxing on the upper deck of the houseboat

Photo of Alleppey Houseboat, Punnamada Boat Jetty Road, Punnamada, Kottankulangara, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood
Day 6

After checking out of the houseboat, we went to the Alleppey town. We visited Revi Karunakaran Museum. This is a private museum with lots of precious stones, paintings and wooden stuff. There are different types of Rubys, Emeralds, Jade, Sworaski crystals, ancient wooden furniture, intricate ivory and porcelain items.

at Revi Karunakaran Museum, Alleppey

Photo of Alappuzha Beach, Kerala by Deepak Sood

In the evening, we went to the Alleppey Beach. The beach is well known for its white and clean sand. Definitely, it is a wonderful place to spend an evening with your loved ones.

beholding the Arabian Sea at the Alleppey Beach

Photo of Kerala Kaleidoscope by Deepak Sood
Day 7

We spent relaxing ourselves on the last day of our Kerala tour at Marari Beach. This beach is one of the most beautiful and clean beaches in India and is less frequented by Indians. We saw many foreigners there. This is an unexplored and virgin beach whose beauty gets enhanced with the shades of the coconut and palm trees lined up all around. You will not see the place crowded at all which makes it easier for you to listen and feel the sound of wind and water. For us, visiting Marari Beach was the best experience of the whole Kerala tour.

relaxing at Marari Beach

Photo of Marari Beach, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

enjoying the sunset at Marari Beach

Photo of Marari Beach, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

Under the Palm Grove at Marari Beach

Photo of Marari Beach, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

with a little bit of music at Marari Beach

Photo of Marari Beach, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Deepak Sood

As Jane Austen wrote, ‘To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment,’ and Kerala is one such destination that not only rejuvenates you but also cleanses your body, mind and soul. The fond memories of this visit will keep us afresh forever.

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