My Backpacking Diary – Chapter 2(Backwaters and Beaches-West Kerala)

Tripoto
11th Nov 2015
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I always wanted to backpack across Kerela ever since i visited amritapuri during college. The greenery,the dense forests,the ports,iv always been attracted to it.And with a long weekend coming up for diwali,i had an option of spending diwali at home like usual or go on a backpacking trip on a hopeful adventure.I chose the latter.Wanted to start off at Allapey and cover kumarakom and kochi.

Allapuzha(allapey) -

  • Getting Here:

    • There are direct train/buses from Bangalore.
  • Overview :

    • Allapey is supposed to be the most famous place for backwaters and houseboats.
    • The backwater canoe trip and breakfast at hot dishes was the highlight of the trip.
    • The place is so crowded that you don't actually see all the greenery seen in movies. I felt this place is slightly overhyped and if not for the canoe trip and trvael outside city there is nothing much is there to say.Mixed experiences in this place.
  • Places to visit:

    • Alappuzha Beach,St. Mary's Forane Church,Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple.
    • Ask people around,explore.
  • Food:

    • Casia restaurant,Hot Dishes(highly recommended)
    • Loads of options available as this is a tourist destination
    • Beachside pushcart shops.Awesome food.
Photo of My Backpacking Diary – Chapter 2(Backwaters and Beaches-West Kerala) 55/58 by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of My Backpacking Diary – Chapter 2(Backwaters and Beaches-West Kerala) 56/58 by Rohan Mudaliar

Kumarakom -

  • Overview :

Kumarakum is another small town in the kuttanad region of kerela.I came in with no expectation of this place. Everyone said it has backwaters and nothing else ,pretty similar to allapey. But when i arrived at this place, i realized how wrong they were. From the time i arrived in kumarakom in a ferry till i left ,i found just greenery on both sides,nature beautiful and untouched, its a small town away from all the hustle and crowd. This place truly reaffirms the belief is that Kerala is truly gods own country.

  • Getting Here:
    • Getting here is a bit of an adventure if you are on budget. You have to get a bus from allapey to Muhamma and then a jetty. Its defnitely worth the time though.
  • Places to Visit:

    • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
    • Vembanad lake
  • Food:

    • Small restaurants available.
  • Stay:

    • Kumarakom lake resort i found to be the most beautiful one i have seen.
    • Other smaller stays available.
Photo of My Backpacking Diary – Chapter 2(Backwaters and Beaches-West Kerala) 57/58 by Rohan Mudaliar

Kochi -

  • Overview:

    • Kochi is a major port city on the south-west coast of India by the Arabian Sea .This place is again a beautiful in itself.
    • Ford kochi is the best place to stay,magical views,awesome ambience.Set by the sea with the awesome fishing nets and small hippie shops.
  • Things to do:

    • Visit jew street,princess street,take ferry to vypinn.
    • Explore the various churches around.
    • Just walk along and explore.There is so much more here in ford kochi.
  • Food:

    • As it is a tourist destination there are loads of restaurant options,ask around to find the best options.
Photo of My Backpacking Diary – Chapter 2(Backwaters and Beaches-West Kerala) 58/58 by Rohan Mudaliar

While the last journey was more about places,this journey happened to be about places and people. I met a lot of amazing people here. Overall Kerala happens to be very clean place to visit and the people being very hospitable and helpful. And you will require a lot more time to explore entire kerela.

And yes do checkout Kerala-Beyond the backwaters. I have a few other places i backpacked recently in addition to the ones here.

So before i finish another chapter in my dairy i would like to quote something that i read in a poster in one of my stay.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover"

Mark Twain

So true were his words.So will definitely be back to add another chapter to my diary and looking forward much more travel. Back on the road.

Photo of Bangalore, Karnataka, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Bangalore, Karnataka, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Bangalore, Karnataka, India by Rohan Mudaliar

The start of my destination. The town is quite crowded during the day and quite humid.I could not cover marari beach among the popular to do things in allapey. Allapey beach,hot dishes restaurant,canoe trip,cassia restaurant,mary forane church,ambalapuzha temple,muhamma jetty are the places i visited in allapey.

Well i had my stay booked here in a place called Winds N Waves(Dorm) near the beach. Well i dint find the beach ok-ok. The waves are kinda rough,and the color of the water is greenish. Though i love beaches, i preferred to just stay out and peace out in the calm breeze .The small shops selling snacks r quite brilliant. There is an old bridge that is picturesque and a lighthouse which gives a birds eye view of the entire beach.There isn't a lot else to do in the beach though.Its basically to maybe just for a evening walk or a morning jog.

Photo of Alappuzha Beach, Alappuzha Beach by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Alappuzha Beach, Alappuzha Beach by Rohan Mudaliar

Read reviews about the place in tripadvisor. Its a small place near udupi temple in thondankulanga. I took a bus from my stay till here. A 20 minute journey. And i wasnt disappointed. I had puttu,egg curry and appam. The gg curry is just brilliant. They prepare everything fresh. And i would definitely recommend this place to anyone who visits allapey for breakfast or lunch.From the beach you get local buses or can always take an auto(will cost 70-100)

Photo of Hot Dishes Alappuzha, Thondankulangara, Thathampally, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Rohan Mudaliar

Well this happens to be the church from Vinnay Thandi Varuvay(A tamil movie). Had lot of expectations of a spectacular view. Maybe the view is great if you come through the backwaters. The church is differently styled from other churches you generally see. Its supposed to be one of the oldest churches in south India though. Maybe its worth a visit if you have time.Bus is the best mode of transport since its a little far from the main town.

Photo of St. Mary's Forane Church, Champakulam, Kerala 688505, India by Rohan Mudaliar

This is the krishna temple in ambalapuzha. Read good reviews of the temple and hence decided to pay a visit. The architecture of kerala temples are different from tamil Nadu. Its very evident here. However i found the temple ok-ok. Maybe its because i was fresh from a trip to tamil nadu which had humongous and gorgeous temples.You have direct buses to this place.

This is a must do if you are in allapey. Its totally worth it. Take the canoe(small country boat) if you need a true experience of the life in the backwaters. I took a full day trip(cost me Rs (900 with breakfast and lunch). I was travelling with others in my stay. The boar goes through small villages and streams and few of the views are just spectacular. The numerous tiny bridges or sight of pampa river and the tiny islands which have just 2 to 3 houses or just he view of the backwaters and the land with all the coconut trees. This is just brilliant.

This is a restaurant in allapey beach. The only descent restaurant i found.Its ok-ok.

So after spending 2 days in allapey,i set forth to my next destination Kumarakom. And muhamma happens to be the jetty where you board the ferry to kumarakom. The view of the backwaters and the numerous fishermen in small country boats away from all the crowd. The view is just magical.

This is a small town at approximately an hour from allapey. Its still untouched,still not as commercialized as allapey. Its backwaters and nature at its best. Small roads with greenery on both sides,few restaurants. You may not have a lot of things to do here. But you can just relax and enjoy the nature. Its more of a family /friends kinda place though. Definitely worth a visit even otherwise maybe for half a day or a days stop.

I read about the bird sanctuary and i just wanted to make a brief stop on my way to kochi just to visit this.Dint really expect great things. But man was i left surprised.Go early in the morning.I am not a birdwatcher so my perspective is that of purely a nature lover. You definitely can see a lot of birds and reptiles and its just so untouched. U feel like your walking through a jungle. Its just worth stopping a minute and jet listen to the sounds of birds,animals and the trees. I feel nature at its best.You have regular buses from kumarakom jetty to bird sanctuary.

Photo of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kavanattinkara Saktheeswaram Temple Road, Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kavanattinkara Saktheeswaram Temple Road, Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kavanattinkara Saktheeswaram Temple Road, Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kavanattinkara Saktheeswaram Temple Road, Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563, India by Rohan Mudaliar

Well this happened to be a chance visit. I was walking through the bird sanctuary and i saw a small country boat. The boatman offered to take on a ride to vembanad lake that was just beyond the sanctuary. You start from almost midst a forest,go through a backwater stream and then enter the lake. The whole journey is quite brilliant. The boatman asked me if also would like to paddle. I readily accepted and the next 1 and a half hours we went paddled through the beatiful backwaters at kumarakom and then the lake. The lake is beautiful with lily flowers on all sides,slight and birds and few houseboats. It all just added to the brilliant experience. It is to be told that there is not much safety here.So its not recommended for family and kids. They can hire the speed boats outside.

Photo of Vembanad Lake, Vembanad Lake, Kerala by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Vembanad Lake, Vembanad Lake, Kerala by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Vembanad Lake, Vembanad Lake, Kerala by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Vembanad Lake, Vembanad Lake, Kerala by Rohan Mudaliar

My next stop was fort kochi. I dint really find much stuff on just googling about kochi. Few places were there but nothing of a view point or anything.But the whole place is bliss with the olden architecture,graphiti at a few places,the numerous chincese nets.Its awesome the place. And ya worth mentioning is the numerous shops at the ferry stand. It makes a good evening walk till the end. A lot of stuff around to buy and few view points.So from kumarakom,the frequency of buses to kochi is less. So you will have to board a bus to cherthala from where you have regular buses to kochi.

This was suggested by a friend whose from kochi.I found the church ok. Yes the interiors are beautiful and yes it might have an historical significance,but i wasn't very amazed. Maybe because i am more of a nature person and i only am amazed by truly spectacular architecture. Walkable from fort kochi.

I was in fort kochi .I thought id just take the ferry to vypin. Take the ferry in the nights and have a look at both sides. You will just be left amazed with how beautiful kochi looks and vypin looks from the ferry. Fully lit up and also the sight of the coast gaurd and other ships adds to the experience.

Photo of Vypin-Fortkochi Jankar Jetty, SH63, Fort Vypin, Puthuvype, Vypin, Kerala, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Vypin-Fortkochi Jankar Jetty, SH63, Fort Vypin, Puthuvype, Vypin, Kerala, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Vypin-Fortkochi Jankar Jetty, SH63, Fort Vypin, Puthuvype, Vypin, Kerala, India by Rohan Mudaliar

This church is in VYpinn.Its quaint. Maybe because its just the location or the church itself. Its definitely worth a visit.The ferry from fort kochi to vypinn is Rs 3.

Photo of Church Of Our Lady Of Perpetual Help, Schoolmuttam, Vypin, Kerala, India by Rohan Mudaliar

Well i read a lot on google about how beautiful the Chinese nets are in kochi.I found them always crowded with people , id suggest come over to vypin and take a walk along the path opposite the church. The chinese nets there and the fishermen throwing nets to clean plastic. Its far less crowded and i found it quite pleasing. And yes walk along he path on to the other side. U can see few fisherman catching fishes in a pond in picturesque settings.

Photo of Chinese Fishing Nets, Vypin, Kerala 683515, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Chinese Fishing Nets, Vypin, Kerala 683515, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Chinese Fishing Nets, Vypin, Kerala 683515, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Chinese Fishing Nets, Vypin, Kerala 683515, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Chinese Fishing Nets, Vypin, Kerala 683515, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Chinese Fishing Nets, Vypin, Kerala 683515, India by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Chinese Fishing Nets, Vypin, Kerala 683515, India by Rohan Mudaliar

This was the other famous place ,a must visit as per the numerous travel blogs. It was an ok experience for me.Another church,good architecture.

Well this was one of the places which i thoroughly enjoyed. It gives me slight memories of arpora market in goa(:P) . There are numerous shops selling hippie stuff and authentic kerala handicrafts. Its quite a good evening walk.Its closed on fridays and saturdays in what i heard from my stay guys. So schedule a visit accordingly. Its around 3 km from ford kochi.Auto generally costs you 40-50 bucks.

Well i visited this place on a saturday evening.It just a small lane with its own handicraft shops and coffee shops and quite peaceful away from the hustle of a crowded place.

Well this place is near jew street .The architecture and the building inside is unlike anything i have evr seen. Its definitely worth a visit provided at a less crowded time or maybe evening.I visited this in the morning.

Well as a friend of mine rightly put,few places are just to be discovered. You cant find it online or in any travel. This was one such place. I dropped by for breakfast on a sunday morning. Appam and egg curry and retuned back to have biryani in the afternoon. It was one of the best meal i have had during my 4 day stay in kerala. Just mouth watering.

This beach is 23 odd km from vypin . You get frequent buses to the beach from vypinn bus stand. I heard loads of people speak about how good the beach is and so on and so forth. So since i had around 5 hours left to my bus to Bangalore ,i decided to go check it out.There are frequent buses from vypin. Its an hours journey . And from the bus stand you have either the option of taking an auto for the 2.5 km to the beach or walk. I took the walk hoping to find some nice spots on the way. And my decision was just so right .There are few ponds,few houses with walls of just plants. And then just before you go the beach,the backwaters. The 200 meter road through the backwater stretch is bliss. And once you reach the beach u need to climb the wall,and you are treated to the beach. the water is just brilliant. Silver in color. Not strong waves,ideal. I couldn't hold myself from just jumping into the water for a brief period. But minuses are it is very crowded. Anyone visiting should probably take walk left to the beach. Its fairly less crowded. And yes it is worth a stop just for the water and maybe relax a bit on the rocks .

Photo of Cherai Beach, Cherai Beach, Vypin, Kerala by Rohan Mudaliar
Photo of Cherai Beach, Cherai Beach, Vypin, Kerala by Rohan Mudaliar
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