Kerala in 8 days

Tripoto
6th Jun 2016

The homestay at Vagamon

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Fort Kochi, favourite Seagull Restaurant

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Kerala's beauticious roads

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

A game at Marari Beach

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Holiday Home in Thekkady near Uttakatalamedu

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Trippy man

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Periyar National Park

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Hotel Seagull features yet again

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Mustard yellow church amidst the lush green

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Taj Vivanta, Kumarakom

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Vagamon love

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Vagamon love zillion

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Varkala - north cliff

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Rains no stop no seaman's routine

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Jackfruity

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Cochin Shipyard

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Vembanadu Lake

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Taj Vivanta, Kumarakom

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Fort Kochi gems

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Beach guest house in Varkala

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Vagamon AGAIN

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Welcome in Trivandrum

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Cafe in Thekkady

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Off season, more play no work yo

Photo of Kerala in 8 days by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Pretty much a transit town for us. We reached pretty late but to our sheer luck, one of our friends who is a local there happened to be around. At around 10.30 PM and 3 failed attempts at finding a toddy shop cum restaurant, we settled on this excellent "Tatthakada" (Dhaba) opposite the Malayalam Manorama headquarters on Kumily road. Stay: Hotel Arcadia (Great location and good facilities) This is where we rented the car from Mr. Anoop - +91-8137812892 and decided to venture into the monsoon clad Kerala. Anoop doesn't know any other language properly other than Malayalam so you may want help. We found this on OLX and got a car for barely INR 550 per day. By the end of the trip, it turned out to be cost effective.

We left hustle bustle of the cities and headed for the rolling hills - Vagamon. This hidden beauty more of a local weekend gateway than a fancy tourist spot but that's what I like about it. Kilometres of hills laden with systematically organised tea plantations will land you in this quaint little town. Stay: There are a few homestays and since it is not a very popular destination, it's easy to find great accomodation at low prices. We stayed at Jose's homestay (+91-9744967049) which was a one BHK house with a decent equipped kitchen. The best part about it is the view though. The only thing your eye will find is green for as long as it can reach. It's a homestay right on top of the hill with the best verandah ever and nobody to disturb. Food: We suggest you carry a few packets of instant noodles on you just in case you want to not move from the verandah. Porotta and curry will also find its way to you if you can sweet talk Jose.

Photo of Vagamon, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Vagamon, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Vagamon, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Vagamon, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Vagamon, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar

This slightly touristy town in Kerala in just by the Periyar National Park. There are a lot of activities to partake in so do a quick google search before going and settle on few things you like. Here are some of the things we did:Spice Walk: http://www.spicewalk.com/. A walk through the spice and Ayurveda garden will be quiet a nice experience. Leeba from the garden will educate you on the plants are processes for harvesting. Uttakatalamedu: View point. Stay: Thekkedy Lake View Holiday Home was what we stumbled upon while we were driving upto Uttalakatalamedu and we decided to take it the moment we spotted the watch tower above the house that overlooks a valley. It also had a cow shed and some rabbits. Seemed like the perfect place for a family. Food: MUST MUST MUST Kuttanadu Restaurant in the main market - try the Chicken Kothy Pori for sure. It is the best food I have eaten in my Kerala trip.Other than that Breakfast at Cinnamon County would also be a great idea!Travel Tip: Please ensure you have researched on what activities are to be done in Periyar well ahead of time so that you know what time do you need to reach there. The park shuts at around 3.30 and boating is usually full post 2 PM so I'd say, early morning is the best time.

Photo of Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Well needless to say some generous voucher that we had got because of the mercy Amex showed, we stayed in a private pool villa at this premium property by Vembanadu Lake. What a beauty. We barely found any time to get out of the Taj property but the boat ride on the lake was a surreal experience. FOR THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD IT, I SAY GO FOR IT!! I mean they after all have a huge private lagoon for in which you can go boating or fishing.

Photo of Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, Kumarakom, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, Kumarakom, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar

Long white sand beach lined with coconut trees that creates for the best combination of sun, shade and sand. Plus, it doesn't draw too much crowd except for a couple of small local shops with must try local candies, amla compote, raw maango with salt and chilly and of course coconut water. Stay: The beach has a lot of homestays and we stayed in one of them bang on the beach. You should easily be able to find one online or after reaching there. Food: India Coffee House has some good spread of extremely cheap food. The ginger lemon at ICH was one of the best gingery drinks (I am super fond of them) that I have ever had.

Photo of Marari Beach, Beach Road, Mararikulam, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Marari Beach, Beach Road, Mararikulam, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Marari Beach, Beach Road, Mararikulam, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Marari Beach, Beach Road, Mararikulam, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar

The buildings and the finely lined by lanes of Fort Kochi makes it one of the most beautiful colonial architecture towns in India. The churches, the synagogues and the temples, all exist here peacefully. Fort Kochi is a melting pot of cultures, language, identity and most of all art. The Bienelle Festival happens at Pepper House and other locations during peak season. During season, you will easily find more foreigners on this island than Indians. It's also known at Mattancherry locally and Welington Island to make it sound cooler. Hire a bike, bicycle or just walk up the alleys and soak in some sun. Go to a cafe or two. See museums and at times performances at the several performing arts venues that it boasts. It's basically a place that has an activity on offer for everyone. Stay: Very many options for all budgets but the ones I recommend are Maritime Hostel, Backpackers hostel by KTDC (BEST LOCATION), Vedanta Wake Up. The Fort Hotel is good for those with slightly higher budgets. Food and Drings (as mallus call it):Hotel Seagull - A Restaurant that draws me back to Fort Kochi. Every sunset in Fort Kochi is religiously spent at this picturesque pier bar. Grab some beer or some local port wine staring at the movement of ships in the busy harbour of Cochin. Carry a book in case you are not into sheeps.. oops ships. :PKashi Art CafeFusion Bay

Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar

One of the key towns in Kerala where we merely landed for a wedding and as the first stop for our journey through this drop down goregous place. Great food options available though. Even roadside 'Tattakadas' (stalls) will dish out some incredible snack items. Must try are banana fritters, daal vada, "Pupps" (us outsiders also know them as Puffs). The meat and egg pupp is a must.

So this laid back town on a cliff by the Arabian Sea offers spectacular view of the ocean, almost from all guest houses. Its one of the hippy towns in India and obviously the Banana Nutella Pancakes here are to die for. Stay: Claffouti - Pricey and view from the rooms is not good at all. Prasanthi Guest House - After one night at Claffouti, we moved to a guest house right next door which offered a spectacular view from all its rooms. I highly recommend for this places because instead of doing fancy lawns and other tacky things, they have hung just a hammock in the courtyard and let the coconut trees do the trick. Food: Because of off season, we couldn't explore many cafes but the ones mentioned here are a must try:1. Cafe Italino: Prawn curry in coconut milk, beef chilly and prawn masala fry made us very very happy. 2. Bohemian Masala Art Cafe: They have a clay pot buffet. This picturesque art cafe was unfortunately not serving food because of heavy rains but I have heard people raving about it. So try anyway and do let me know how you like it.

Photo of Varkala, Varkala, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
Photo of Varkala, Varkala, Kerala, India by Prajakta Kuwalekar
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