When you are tired of working 9 hours in office, you start looking for an escape. This place was a beautiful escape and memory of my life.
Kerala is so rightly called as God’s own country. The unmatchable beauty, serene atmosphere, picturesque backwaters, beaches, its rich culture makes you travel to this place once in your life time.
It was a long 6 day trip to Kerala from Delhi which helped me explore the most beautiful places.
Our first stop was Kochi. Mesmerized by the austerity of this place, we took a bit of the rest and visited seaside to have a look at the Chinese fishing net, Dutch Palace, St Francis Church – the first European church built in India,. Later in the evening we went to Marine Drive – Rainbow Bridge and the second largest shopping mall in India – LULU Mall.
The next morning we left for Munnar which is approx. 130 kms from Kochi. Stunning, breathtakingly beautiful, majestic, peaceful are some of the adjectives to describe this place. The roads were flawlessly clean and the cold mountain breeze lifted our spirits. Munnar is a hill station in south western state of Kerala. Munnar is famous for its tea garden.
It took us 5-6 hours to reach out resort. On our way to resort, we took a halt and went to Hindustan Spice Garden in Idukki district. Kerala in Idukki district is also known as heaven of all Spices. We checked in to the hotel and it was nestled in the quainter corner of the Munnar and you can find the natural beauty all around.
Next day, it started with Attukat waterfalls, Devikulam, Mattupetty Dam, Echo point, top Station Eravikulam National Park, Kundala Dam, Tea Museum and tea plantations. Maggi Point is the core of every hill stations and Munnar is no different in this regards. Small markets could be found near each points. Handmade chocolates, dry fruits and spices are the essentials of Kerala.
Next morning started with new memories with new place – Thekkady. The sound of the word Thekkady invokes up the images of elephants, chain of hills, spice- scented plantations. In the Periyar forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India and spread across are picturesque plantations that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.
Plantation tours, Elephant rides, trekking, Boat cruises on Periyar Lake are some of the activities you can look forward to. One can also go to Kalari Art Centre for and experience Kerala’s glorious skilled forms of art. Kathakali and Kalaripayattu are two strong pillars upon which the state’s art and cultural heritage rests. On this two hours of experience, you will witness these forms being performed in front of your eyes, it takes you through enthralling experience of captivating performances. This tour has two time slots, 5pm or 7pm.
Coming up next was Alleppey. I had always known Kerala for its beached and backwaters. Although it was an amazing experience, I‘d suggest that one should visit this place during onma festival. The fact that people use ferryboats to commute across the place is intriguing. Each boat has some name. Mine was a Kingfisher. We stayed in boat for one night. They will provide you lunch, dinner and snacks. The boat has 3 rooms, kitchen, and balcony. It was the most memorable experience of the entire trip.
Next morning we were travelled to our last destination the capital of the state,Trivandrum. Being the capital of the state, it has everything. We decided to stay in Kovalam instead of Trivandrum for the sea side view. Kovalam is a renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. Unlike other Kerala destinations, it was bustling with life even after sunsets.
It is perfect for street shopping, long walks in beach and sea food is nothing but amazing. There were shacks or food joints displaying choicest of fish. Shark, butter fish, lobster, prawns, crabs; you name it and you will get it. The shops were mostly of Indian antiques, gem stones, handicrafts, beach wear, and silver accessories. The place reminded us of Goa.
You can also visit Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. There is a strict dress code that needs to be followed while entering the temple. Men need to wear mundu or dhoti and should not wear shirts of any kind. Women need to wear sari, skirt or half sari.
Conclusively, my trip to Kerala was a joyride across all kinds of terrains. It is one place for completed mental peace and beauty to be admires. It is undoubtedly God’s own country.