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53 Kms from Papanasam
During my flight, I read in the magazine that Kerala is basically a honeymoon destination, however, before I build an op...
During my flight, I read in the magazine that Kerala is basically a honeymoon destination, however, before I build an opinion, it was proven wrong as Kerala isn't for the newly wedded couples only. Kerala has been the most sought-after destination for the families, the backpackers, solo travelers as well as couples. My craving to crush the land of Kerala was surmounting as soon as I reached the Trivandrum International Airport.The Thiruvananthapuram airport reflects the mood and the nature of the city. Despite managing heavy traffic from the middle-east countries, the airport is compact and yet functional. From the window of my cab, even the city looked the same; knit and well-organized. However, the traffic situation is no different than any other part of India.Usually, Trivandrum is used as a launchpad by the most of travelers towards Kovalam and other cities for their pristine beaches, luxury or medial resorts, and abundance of nature. I had no different plans but I'm to stay at least for four hours in the city before I start my journey towards Kollam. I decided to spend a few more bucks on my cab driver and asked him to go round to the places that should be visited next time at leisure. In strict two hour ride, I covered many architectures that belong to British era and also touched the doorsteps of a few art galleries. I made a promise to myself to visit the Puthenmalika and Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in detail next time (Not really sure when).
After 45 hours of gruelling train journey, we, four wanderlusts came to the capital city of God's Own Country. Our hotel was clearly visible by it's large glowing billboard from the platform. Hotel Highland could make a headline for it's brilliant Restaurant. Their overall service was also decent.
Sightseeing- Zoo, Planetarium, Padmanabhaswamy Temple.Shopping City- Sarees, ChipsChecked in a hotel in eveningHotel Name- Jumayira Residency, Trivandrum. ( Rs.4000/- for 2 a.c. rooms.)Day 7 Kovalam
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.”
Eravikulam National Park
174 Kms from Papanasam
Best time to visit - April,May,June,September,October,November
This national park is the breathtaking home of a plethora of precious flora and fauna, and lies along the Western Ghats....
259 Kms from Papanasam
Best time to visit - January,February,March,September,October,November,December
A major city and commercial hub in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore offers not much in terms of touristic attractions unless you'r...
Love birds are you planning for a vacation ?? Do you want to get detached from the daily life schedule and get lost loving, caressing each other ❤, then Vattakanal is the best place to be.
We started from Coimbatore, it is just 53 Kilometres from Coimbatore and nice offbeat place to spend a weekendDhoni waterfalls is a small waterfalls near Palakkad in Kerala. We had a weekend exploration to the Dhoni and enjoyed the 4 kilometres long trek through dense forests in Wester ghats.
Known for its salubrious climate and proximity to the Nilgiris, Coimbatore is a bustling city in Kongunadu in western Tamil Nadu. Teeming with education institutions, engineering companies and textile mills, the city is also considered among the safest and fastest growing ones in the country. About 25 km from the city is the pristine region of Siruvani, through which the river by the same name flows gently. Located close to the foothills of the Western Ghats, this green belt is rife with waterfalls, rolling hills, fields and rivers; a few resorts have sprung up in the Siruvani region, offering visitors an opportunity to unwind, slow down and explore the forests in the vicinity. The newest, and perhaps the plushest, among them is VM Hospitality’s Dvara.
From everything we gathered on the internet and Couchsurfing, we figured that to reach Ooty, we'd have to take a flight to Coimbatore and then take a bus to Ooty. We found out that there are 2 terminals near the Airport. The internet suggested that there are direct buses from Gandhipuram, however we learnt that the bus services are limited and we should take a bus from Mettupalayam Road Terminus. So we took the 4:00 AM flight from Delhi to Coimbatore and took an Ola from the airport to Mettupalayam Road Terminus. We took the bus from Mettupalayam at around 10:30 and reached our hotel in Ooty by about 4. We had booked Fun City Resort through Goibibo. We had actually reached the place well before 4 but Google maps just refused to help us reach our hotel, and we ended up walking uphill in the wrong direction! Anyway, we somehow reached our hotel, and were famished! We planned on ordering something, only to find out that our hotel didn't provide room service. So, now after freshening up, we made a move to the mall road, which was about 5 km from our hotel. The bus stop was at a walk-able distance, so we took the bus going towards mall road. I remember asking people at the bus stop about the exact name of the place we should get down at, "Charring cross" is the name of the place if I remember it correctly. We took the bus and on a fellow Couchsurfer's suggestion checked out some good food joints. He also specially suggested us to go to Moddy's which is at the far end of the mall road. Ooty is famous for homemade chocolates, and we were told that this place is not only famous but has been there for some considerable number of years now. We got some homemade chocolates for home and also got some for my cousin and our host in Coorg. While heading back we saw a board which had details of cab rates for local sight seeing. As we stood there trying to figure out who to get in touch with, a cab stopped by us and asked if we were looking for some help. On getting a nod in affirmative from us, he gave us a visiting card of a travel agent. I gave him a call while getting some food packed for dinner. And in moments I had booked a cab for local sight seeing.
"Let's do that again!", the five of us vowed as we returned home to Coimbatore. Twenty-four hours earlier, we were upset that we had only one day of our semester holidays in common. Wanting to make the best use of that one day, I decided to give my friends a taste of Vattakanal. It is a small town a few kilometers form Kodaikanal. I had fallen in love with this place during my last visit, the previous year.So we left Coimbatore at 5 in the morning (one hour later than planned) in my Maruti Suzuki Swift ZDi. Construction work on Pollachi Road made making up for lost time impossible and gave us quite an off-roading experience. We had to tolerate bad roads till we reached Palani.(Tip 1: Consider the condition of the roads while planning your trip. This rule applies to any road trip.)
From Coimbatore, my place of interest to visit was ISHA yoga center and Adiyogi statue. I just enquired about buses & took a bus to Gandhipuram busstop, from where I got a bus to ISHA yoga center ie; Bus no. 14D which in turn passed through station from where I took bus to Gandhipuram...this is what happens when u r new to a place and don't know the local knowledge;)
Having finished the remainder of my assignment during the connecting Indigo flight, I was relieved. It was heartening to see the coconut plantations from the airplane window as we began our descent at Coimbatore. A little while later we were greeted by the tropical South-Indian weather as we made our way to the baggage claim. Since the Zoomcars request processing time is approximately three hours (we had booked the vehicle at 9am), we found ourselves with a little less than two hours to kill. My sister joined us in the meantime, and we had a short breakfast comprising of ready-to-eat noodles and ice-creams from the general store outside the airport. Little did we know about the adventures that lay ahead of us!After getting picked up by the Zoomcars representative, we headed to their nearest depot. Having completed all the formalities, we found ourselves driving to the Adiyogi Statue twenty minutes later. We had been looking forward to visiting since we saw the unveiling ceremony on TV, and our trip to Ooty was the best opportunity we could possibly think of. Google Maps had become our best friend, as the hour-long journey to the statue was really eventful - we found ourselves passing by fields of coconut trees, and small patches of land blooming with yellow and orange marigolds. A couple of bridges and a few narrow roads later, we found ourselves at the entrance of the parking lot.
Here it goes.. our road trip in the state of Tamil Nadu . This was my first core south trip so i was really excited to see the city ,people around and the culture . For few km we crossed various small towns and then ghat section started from Mettulapalam which was around 40kms from Ooty . I was enjoying the zig zag roads, lovely greenery and super fresh atmosphere .
We planned a day trip to get away from Coimbatore and since Ooty is so near by, we couldn't wish to have a better getaway place. But, we planned to do something different.. we didn't wanna roam. we just wanna enjoy the climate and the view through out the day. so, we went to Metupalayam on a bike and then to Conoor via a bus. The bus journey was pleasant in itself. We got a train from Conoor to Ooty. We were totally surprised by the views and the climate. And once we got down at Oort, we just the train back to Conoor and then to Metupalayam as well. Even though the Trip between Metupalayam and Conoor is more popluar( due to use of Steam engines), the other travels were peaceful and entertaining as well. A must try if you want a getaway from the city for a day.
171 Kms from Papanasam
Best time to visit - April,May,June,August,September
Translating to 'the gift of the forest' in the native language of Tamil Nadu and originally home to the Palaiyar tribal ...
ഞങ്ങളുടെ ആദ്യത്തെ മലയാളം വീഡിയോ#tripjodi #travel
This is the vlog that we made for our Kodaikanal Trip. If you would like to read about all the details please do refer to the trip that I had published in my other post.Thankyou for visiting , hope this video gives you a good understanding of Kodaikanal and help you plan your trip better.Have a great day :)
Day 2 - Kodaikanal, What a love place, very beautiful, I stared riding at 7, got up late again. anyway reached kodaikanal around 3 pm, Got a decent hotel, took my camera and went for exploring kodaikanal. Climate is always chill at kodai (No Fan in rooms). Many places to see in kodaikanal. Pillar rock Pine forest Devil's kitchen Dolphin nose (Trek)All places are open for limited time. Till 4.30-5Pm so make sure you start early to cover all the places. In evening you can spend a very beautiful time near the lake. You can hire cycle and many fun games are available around the lake.
Day one : We reached there early morning from Chennai and my friends from Bengaluru. We have already booked our homestay "Cherry Hills Kodaikanal" and they have arranged a pick up vehicle for us as well as for sight seeing. It was a lovely place with all the arrangements. We decided to visit the major tourist places on day one and keep our two days in hand for further exploration. We visited- Kodaikanal lake - Little crowded place but must visit for cycling around the lake.- Coaker's walk - In the city its the most peaceful and scenic place where you can sit and relax for long.- Guna cave or The Devil's Kitchen - Pine forest- Lake view pointP.S. Your cab driver will guide you across all these places.Day Two : Vattakanal :Stoner's paradise- Vattakanal is a place of serene beauty just situated a few kilometers away from kodaikanal. You can see clouds forming from the cottages which are made on hills and trip on it. You can find lot of hippies chilling there. You can find peace across the valley.- Altaf's Cafe -They specialize in middle-eastern cuisine and we decided to have breakfast there. The food was good and so the view from cafe.- Dolphin's Nose - You need to trek few kilometers to reach this point, its a normal trek with least difficulties. The view is amazing from there.- Vattakanal falls- Its a small fall to chill around.Later as advised by our cab driver we went for the forest tour and our ultimate destination was Berijam Lake. The place was quiet and is perfect if you are planning for some snacks beside lake. The way was beautiful with few view points in between.*Pro tip- Never carry alcohol or any other thing while going to vattakanal from kodaikanal. There is a checkpost where police may take your liquor or magic mushrooms if you have them.*Pro hack- if you are carrying any such stuff please do tell you cab driver(only if you trust him) he might help in smuggling.Day Three : ManavannurWe started early in the morning to visit the beautiful Manavannur. We were greeted by first showers of the season which made our trip awesome. This place is bit far from Kodaikanal so best is to start early. If you are lucky enough you can find wild Bison and other animals on the way.- Poombarai Village - this place comes on the way to Manavannur. It is known for it's colorful houses which gives a mesmerising view from the top.- Manavannur - This is a small village which has lush green sceneries and grasslands around. We had a coracle ride in small lake surrounded by hills. Though the ride is small but it's worth. You will be spell bound by the greenery and the beauty of the place. It's a perfect location to relax and chill with friends.
As part of the Winter Ride I'd been on last December, we rode to several (cold) locations everyday. Our first ride had been from Bangalore to Kodaikanal. From Kodaikanal, we had set our sights on getting to Kolukkumalai.Kolukkumalai, near Idukki, is famous for being the world's highest tea plantation. The tea plantation is about 7100 ft above sea level, and the view from the top of those mountains was something I didn't want to miss. It was less than 150 km from Kodaikanal and the guys who were serious about testing their bike riding skills were looking forward to a challenge that waited for them at Kolukkumalai.
When we reached our stay in Kodai, it was nearly 7 PM. And it was freezing cold. My fingers had become numb even through the riding gloves and I felt the cold hugging my legs and body. We stayed in a homestay arranged by my friends for all of us. They had dormitory style beds and because it was winter, the floor was as cold as the black night sky.I rushed inside after unpacking my bags and jumped straight into bed. Not only did I wrap my blanket around me, but my friend's shawl, a neighbouring bed's rug, and my bed's rug. Only then did I fall asleep.
After reaching down we straight away went for dinner in Punjabi Dhaba which is a place I would not recommend to any one visiting Kodaikanal as the food they served was not of good quality and also the taste was not up to the expectation, after which a little market exploration and then back to our hotel room.
240 Kms from Papanasam
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Thrissur, the land of temples, is one of the most visited cities in Kerala. The waterfalls and the scenic temples here o...
Here's to the main purpose of the visit. It was my first being part of a church wedding. 4. The Church- Urgh.. I forgot to note the nameIt was a Mass marriage where a collective couples get married at the same time. Never ever miss to admire the interior, architecture of the church. Oh yeah the pretty flower girls too.
Here I am, safely returned over those peaks from a journey far more beautiful and magnificent than anything I had hoped for or imagined.....It's always fun to pack your bags and join your travel buddies without knowing a single plan on the itenery. Oh yeah I did the same.This whole trip is two in one travel purpose, A collegue's marriage and mainly sight seeing.After a long tiring day in office we boarded the bus from Bangalore to Ernakulam heading towards Thrissur.
The vibrance of the culture of Kerala is best highlighted during the annual festivals dedicated to the village deities. Thrissur Pooram is one of these post-harvest festivals that promises a grand spectacle to travellers who wish to be a part of local culture during their travels. The festival is celebrated from April to May and showcases a spectacle of an assembly of village deities on bedecked elephants from around the region. The procession reaches the Vadakumnathan Temple, where a strict ritual for 36 long hours is an absolute sight to behold for any visitor in town.Suggested accommodation: Clayfingers - Art Cottages; rooms start at Rs 4,000You might also like: Vadakumnathan Temple, Thrissur: A stillness within the chaos by Shilpa Shinde
Athirapally: One place you shouldn't miss while on Kochi. 85 km from the city centre. Athirapally and vazhachal waterfalls can be covered in a day trip basis. The beauty of the waterfalls can only be matched by its vastness. Nobody can actually describe it so it's better to watch it for yourselves.
Payyanur to thrissur (250km) :Road to calicut or kozhikode is filled with twisties and forests. Though the road is 2 lane, its still a treat to drive on. It Always keeps you on your toes. No trip to calicut is complete without a chicken biriyani at the world famous PARAGON hotel! By having The biriyani, suleimani and milk sarbath you are having a slice of calicut culture which dates back to the olden days. A ride on the jhangar boat in beypore is also a novel experience. Thrissur is just about 120kms from here. Easily accesible yet confusing once you reach the city. So we rode as a group in the thrissur city. The city is built around the vadakunnathan temple. The vadakunnathan temple is an ancient hindu temple dedicated to lord shiva. This temple is a classic example of the architectural style of kerala and has monumental towers on all four sides and also a kuttambalam. Mural paintings depicting various episodes from mahabharata can be seen inside the temple.Tip: Guruvayur temple is just 27km from thrissur city and can be covered easily
This humble district is finding its way on most Kerala Itineraries owning to its splendid display of culture and festivals that form a highlight of the trip.
Athirapalli waterfall and Guruvayu Temple
157 Kms from Papanasam
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,August,September,October,December
Kerala’s Idukki district is home to the beautiful hill-station of Munnar. An erstwhile summer resort to the British, t...
Day 2- In the 1st half of the day, we covered Top station, Echo Point, Photo point, Mattupetty Dam, Rose Garden. Our driver suggested us to cover Top station first as normally people start with the lower places first and then proceed ahead to top station, we did the opposite to avoid the crowd and he was right, when we were coming back from the Top station, there were many people going there. We bought home made chocolate too. Again, Munnar to top station, the views are amazing, really beautiful.
God’s own country, Kerala, is famous all across the world. Owing to the presence of the tea gardens and hilly climate, Munnar can be called ‘the Darjeeling of Kerala’. Though it lacks the Kanchenjunga peak, it makes up for that with its coffee plantation. There is something for everyone in Munnar, whether it is kids or honeymooners. Located 1600 metres above sea level in Idukki district of Kerala,Munnar is also home to exotic and threatened animals.If you have just two days at your disposal, then follow this ‘tried and tested itinerary’ to explore Munnar in 48 hours flat!Day 1
Day 4-5: MunnarThe place that I personally was looking forward to visit! We all have seen the beauty of this place in so many movies, heard about it from so many people, and I was so happy when I finally reached there. It met all the expectations that I had from it. Do nothing in Munnar and you still will fall in love with the place. Tea gardens, Tea museum, waterfall, view points, long walks and just enjoying the beauty of the place is all what we did in Munnar. The air there is so refreshing and cool that it makes you feel happy high.
Next day we made our way to Munnar. It was a long drive and we visited a couple of spice plantations on the way. Our room had a nice view of the tea plantations and the hills. In the evening we went to see acts of Kathakali dance and Kalaripayattu(Martial art form).
5:00 AM - Woke up at a hotel at MUNNAR , Kerela .5:30 AM - Bathed fresh clothes on gone for breakfast .6:30 AM - Breakfast DONE , Safety Gears on everyone going to get on their motorcycle and ride off .7:00 AM - One of Motorcycle Thunderbird 350 did not perform very well we were fortunate enough to throw it in a garage nearby with a caretaker and left for IDUKKI , Kerela . around 40 Kms away .
142 Kms from Papanasam
Best time to visit - January,February,August,October,November,December
This seventh largest city of Kerala is popular for its houseboat cruises along the Kerala backwaters. Alappuzha is bed...
The biggest regret, if I want to count, I couldn't cruise the backwaters of Kerala enough except boat riding. Kollam to Alappuzha is about 80km through the backwater cruising, which takes around 6 to 7 hours journey at the expense of Rs 600(Not at all costly) Instead, due to time constraints, I had to choose a car. The road is no different than that of Trivandrum to Kollam. The same backwater channels; looking even more gorgeous through the thick layers of trees, green fields, and plantations. The only thing that changes is the places to visit. I did not miss Vembanad, Marari beach, Krishnapuram Palace, and few other places before extending my journey to Kochi the same day. (You forgot my friend's wedding? I did not)The distance between Alappuzha and Kochi isn't much, just about 50 km. Instead of spending a day in Alappuzha, I straightaway went to Kochi, where my friend was waiting for me. The reason being I was so allured to spending a day and a night with my friend in a houseboat that I did not worry about me being exhausted after two days of continuous journey and a little rest.
Day 6: Alleppey BackwatersAnother thing that I was excited about Kerala vacation was the HOUSEBOATS. We had taken a day cruise (better option) for Alleppey houseboat and I must say that the backwaters are truly a beauty. You can just get lost in your own world amongst backwaters and enjoy the serenity that it gives. We had a great time on the houseboat and happily ended the trip to beautiful state!Kerala has taught me to "Slow down and look at the beauty around!" It's so beautiful and serene out here that you will definitely come back with great memories and enthralled by its picturesque beauty!
After 24hour journey in sabar express from hyderabad i reached ernakulam (district in kerala). Then from ernakulam i caught a train to allepey. There are many passenger trains from ernakula to trivendrum in which alleppey is one if the stops. I totally suggest you to take this train to feel more like a local. In the evning i went hostel 'artpackers.life' which was amaazing and near to all the main attractions. In the evening just went for a stroll in alleppey beach.
Leave early morning for Alleppey/Kumarakom. Check in to your houseboat and just relax. Around sunset, you can go kayaking or canoining through the narrow backwaters of Kerala dotted with palm trees on both sides. I learnt a lot about Kerala and their lifestyle at Alleppey and you can read this article to know how life is in Kerala.Day 7:
We got up, freshened up and walked out for breakfast. When you're in kerala, never miss Kerala parota and Kerala style chicken curry and most importantly tea.We had our breakfast in a small restaurant.The destination is Alleppy. Which is 58 kms from Kochi.
On Day 3 leave for Alleppey, which is known as Venice of the East because of its vast backwater stretches. It’s advisable to book a houseboat here, as the backwaters are extensive & one can enjoy their time on a luxurious houseboat while cruising down the mesmerising backwaters.
Made forA getaway holiday for family, friends and couples, and a refreshing option for enlightened corporate meetings. The place is kid friendly and is a definite foodie paradise for Keralam cuisine.
Houseboats of AlappuzhaAlappuzha, better known as the Venice of the East, is well established for its endless backwaters. It is heavenly to sail through these waters with nature playing hide and seek with you. And what better way than a houseboat to blend with the atmosphere? When visiting Marari beach, a ride or rather an overnight stay in one of the houseboats has to be on your agenda. They provide homely and authentic Kerala delicacies. How about a tasty meal in the traditional way, spread out on plantain leaves? Don’t complain about your fingers getting messy, though.
159 Kms from Papanasam
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
With an intriguing history, the oldest inhabited city in the world is a delight to discover. Visited by people from all ...
Madurai's air, rail and bus connectivity makes it an ideal place to start Tamil Nadu backpacking trip. It is often referred to as 'the Athens of the East', it boasts some of the best Dravidian temples, an Indo-Saracenic palace and a Romanesque cathedral. And, it is the right place to explore the flavours of Chettinad cuisine.
Travelling in a toy train/Nilgiri mountain train has been on my list for a long time. I was in Madurai for some work along with two of my friends and we had a big weekend off. As I always wanted to go and explore Ooty also known as Udagamandalam sounds crazy isnt it ;), it took me a long time to say this name properly. This was the best time and opportunity to do it with my friends. Ooty was on my list because of its famous tea estates, sprawling grasslands and incredible weather in the south of India.
Madurai is known as the "Athens of the east" purely because of the major attraction of the city, the Meenakshi Temple, the entirety of the city can see its magnificence, just like the pantheon of Athens, hence the name. There is a ruling that no building above the height of nine metres be built around the area.
I am not exactly a big fan of temples but this one definitely took my breath away. The architecture that you can see here is pure bliss and the carvings will leave you spell bound. At the very entrance you will be able to see the tower welcoming you to Meenakshi Temple with a variety of idols carved in stone on the tower. It just makes you wonder, how much time, effort and money was spent to build this marvel. This marvel was built keeping in mind all architectural details. Initially it was designed in the form of a square and owing to this square shape, it has entry gates from all the four directions. There are 14 Gopurams inside the temple, the tallest one being 52 m in length.
But never mind that the beaches were pretty clean even if the water was not also there were small huts on the beach where one can sit and enjoy the view of great Indian ocean. The plan after Rameswaram was to visit the ghost town Dhanushkodi which was cancelled due to lack of time, so just after we were done with our town exploration and lunch we straight away headed towards the railway station from where we boarded a train towards Madurai. After reaching to Madurai we packed our stuff, had our dinner and boarded a bus to Auroville.
After getting into our room we got ready and went to explore Madurai at around 8 P.M., and everything around was so beautiful that one can easily fall in love with the city and the first thing you want to see is Meenakshi Temple. After which we had our dinner at A2B restaurant where one can taste different cuisines but I’ll say it is an average place to eat, there are better places in Madurai that one can find only if you are going to have your dinner before 10 P.M. because after that even the city likes to sleep a bit.
and then at around 1 P.M. we boarded our bus to Madurai. I was shivering when we left Kodaikanal but just after an hour or so I was sweating which was expected after leaving a hill station. After a journey of three hours we reached Madurai, an ancient city filled with wonderful ancient architecture that will make you think “Just how can they make something this huge with so much detailing and with a plethora of colours”, but after reaching there we first searched for a hotel and our search came to an end after almost looking in the hotels of that area for one hour and finally finding a hotel with good facilities and reasonable price “Hotel Padmam” from where one can have a direct view of Meenakshi Temple’s east gate and if you can get up early you can have a perfect view of sunrise as well from its roof top.
The highlight of the trip was the ancient and vibrant city of Madurai. Often referred to as the Temple city or the Athens of East, Madurai claims the soul of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamed of. People from all over India and abroad come here for the absolutely amazing Meenakshi Amman Temple, a dazzling maze-like structure ranking among India's greatest temples.
Day five you arrive at Madurai. Lovingly called the 'Athens of the east', Madurai is a city, the skyline of which is defined by the 14 colourful gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple, making it a true centre of religion and spirituality.Sights covered: Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show.Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.Timings: Meenakshi Amman Temple at 10am, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show at 6pm.During the afternoon you can either stay and relax on the train or go out to shop.
Varkala is also famous for the 2,000-year-old Janardana Swami Temple which is an important Vaishnavaite shrine in India and is often referred to as Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the South).The temple is located close to the Papanasam beach, which is considered to have holy waters which wash away sins, and is also an important Ayurveda treatment center.Train- Kanyakumari Express – seven days in a week- from KR Puram to Varkala stationThings to do in Varkala: Among the several picturesque beaches of Varkala, the prominent one is the main Varkala Beach, which is also known by the name Papanasanam Beach. The beaches of Varkala have steep cliffs. These cliffs, termed as Varkala Formation, that are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea are declared as geological monuments by the Geological Survey of India. Paragliding from the cliffs The most significant religious spot in Varkala is Sree Janardana Swami Temple. Sree Janardana Swami Temple or Dakshin Kashi is more than 2000 years old. With the rise in Varkala tourism, the healthcare industry here has flourished well. Varkala is a famous center for Ayurveda treatments. Natural therapies and spa treatments have become very popular here. Backwater cruising at the estuarine stretch between Edava and Kappil is another popular activity in Varkala. Traveling to VarkalaVarkala is well connected by road to various cities. Tourists can choose to reach Varkala by buses, trains, flights and taxis. The nearest airport is located at Trivandrum, 50 km from the destination. The best time to visit Varkala Beach is from November to March.We went by flight from Bangalore to Trivandrum. It just took 1 hr & 30 minutes & from there by a cab (provided by the hotel) took 1700 Rs.Accommodation options in VarkalaApart from budget hotels in Varkala like home stays and a few resorts, tourists also have luxurious options while visiting Varkala.We stayed at Hill top Ayurvedic Beach resort situated in the north CliffVarkala has a sizeable number of people from all over the world visiting during New Years. The ideal time to visit is during November to March as its crowded by the foreigners. Now a days people prefer to go to Varkala than Kovalam as its very lonely & perfect for relaxation, yoga & Ayurveda treatment. However, if you are looking for a much cheaper deal, you could choose to travel much before the peak season starts. A trip only to Varkala can last you 4-5 days, however others differ. As I have gone in the first week of April, the weather was also surprisingly very pleasant. I stayed in Hill top ayurvedic resort, situated in the north cliff. The main attraction of this resort is the Tibetan restaurant adjacent to the resort which offers good Tibetan food & also tasty sea foods. And by sitting their you can enjoy the beauty of the calm & quite sea & can spend the entire day. Importantly the manager, Mr. Ernesto a Spanish guy, very helpful person. You can find lot of restaurants, shops which sells dresses, show pieces, leather bags, libraries in the entire cliff. If you do plan to join them on 31 Dec, it is advisable to head in early to the Cliff and leave real late. The local crowd may increase in number and getting out of the cliff gates would get tough and suffocating. Having been to Varkala first time, I would like to next time also & just want to sit & do relax. I do have a favorite restaurants there- Clafoutti & Tibetan kitchen. Goes without saying that you must try the sea food there
Varkala beach waters are also enriched with mineral water springs; believed to possess medicinal values. It is regarded that a dip in these waters washes off all the sins giving the seashore an apt tag 'Papanasam'. Neighbored by the sacred Vaishnuvite shrine Janardhana Swami Temple this location is of high reverence for the Hindus who perform ‘Vavu Bali’: ritual for the liberating their ancestors’ souls. Holistic atmosphere coupled with soothing waters is fast turning Varkala to a key Ayurvedic treatment centre.
If you're fed up with the crowds and prices at Kovalam, and you are looking for beaches option around then you should head to Varkala. Situated along Kerala's coastline and known for the towering red cliffs offering stunning ocean views, restaurants, shops and a real traveler scene. Everything is based around the North Cliff area of Papanasum Beach (also known as Varkala Beach) with all the shops, restaurants and all the action are close to the cliff's edge.
Image location: Paapnasham Beach, VarkalaI sat by the shore of its beauty,And then it was time to leave to find new wondersIt was then she pleaded to stay back a little longerEach time I rose, each time she smiled with a more intense hue.Like the moon and the wave, one trying to pull the other trying to push away