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122 Kms from Periyar
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
75 Kms from Periyar
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....
210 Kms from Periyar
Best time to visit - May,June,September,October,November
This renowned hill station once housed the Madras Presidency during the British Rule and possesses many remnants in the ...
Day 8:- Coorg to OotyI was well aware that today’s ride is going to be a super awesome ride as we have to ride from one cold place Coorg to the queen of hills the other cold place Ooty. And the main attraction for the day was that we had to cross 3 states karnataka, kerala and Tamil nadu and the road runs through bandipur national park(karnataka), wayanad (kerala) and mudumalai with masinagudi (tamilnadu). So most of the time the road runs through dense forest. But there was a big risk involved in it, as it was a tiger reserve so you can get a change to see a tiger. If not that there been several cases of elephant attacks on these road. They are wild not the tamed one, so imagine if you are on bike and happen to meet these animals right in front of you. So with great joy we started our day from coorg and after a few hours of ride we reached nagarhole national park. We were stopped at the entrance. After enquiring we came to know that bikes are not allowed only cars and buses are allowed. Because it’s a tiger reserve. So we came to the main road and started towards bandipur . For that you will come across a place called kutta after which the kerala border starts and we have to ride for somtime inside kerala in order take the road for bandipur. It was already past 2pm so we decided to stop for lunch. Found a hotel and had an authentic kerala food on banana leaves with fried fish. After that we had to first cross wayanad forest then enter bandipur. Actually all the 3 forest wayanad,bandipur and mudumalai is a single forest but divided due to state boundaries. One important thing to be kept in mind is that we are not allowed to enter these places after 6pm. So we have to make sure we enter these place before that. If you have to go through the forest road from bandipur towards ooty, you have to take route 766 because only this route will take you through forest or else you will miss the forest ride. So once you enter bandipur by 766 it will take you out of bandipur towards gundlupete, from there you have to take the route 181 which is known as the coimbatore ooty gundlupete highway which will take us to the second entrance to the bandipur national park. The initial ride before exiting was also awesome. We are not allowed to stop anywhere on the road as it’s a forest area either you be in car or bike. No photography is allowed. But people were stopping at certain place wherever they spot deers and other wild animal’s . So unless no forest officials caught us there is no issue or else we will have to pay fine. In the first ride we spotted only deer,monkey,peacocks. So after exiting from 766 route we took the 181 route which brought us to the second entrance of bandipur national park which leads to Ooty via mudumalai forest. Only after reaching there we knew that we have to go through 2 entrances. And luckily at the second entrance when we reached it was 5:45pm , if we would have been 20 minutes late. They wouldn’t have allowed us to pass through. We now entered the gate after some distance we spotted deers again, but the fear was that neither tiger nor elephant should cross the route. And it was getting darker. Finally saw an elephant close to the road as other cars were pass we also didn’t stop. Then at many places we spotted groups of elephants some were only 2 to 3 feet close to road but none of them did anything. At a place even we spotted a tiger footprints. But luckily no tiger around. Finally we crossed bandipur and entered tamilnadu through mudumalai national park. At the entrance of mudumalai the forest officials informed me that few minutes back a herd of elephants passed from here so be care full they can turn violent anytime. It was getting colder and colder and by now it had already become dark. And we have to cross this forest . I followed a mahindra thar as this is easy way because the roads were zigzag so you need to concentrate more and chances of hitting any animal is also less during night. It had a good caption behind it which read “I may get lost somewhere. But i will not get stuck anywhere “. Kept following it as he was driving at a good pace till we exited the forest area. We came to a Junction called theppakadu, from there we took route 700 which is known as mysuru ooty road and exited the forest through masinagudi. Once out of forest we stopped for a hot coffee and bhajji. Sat there for some time. Then continued we came across a valley which is known as bison valley after which we had to take 36 hairpin bends upwards. I stopped and clicked a photo and continued as the height went increasing it became cooler and cooler. Which showed us that we are reaching ooty. But it was super fun to take those 36 hairpin bends as it was too steep. Once done with it we reached ooty in some time again halted for coffee break before searching for hotel. We came inside ooty for hotels and we saw an oyo board near a hotel and asked mateen to stop. By then a person came from the opposite direction and asked us are you looking for hotel. We said yes and he took us to the same hotel where we stopped bargained and took a room for 2 nights as 800 per day. In the end it was an awesome ride we ordered our dinner , had it and went to sleep.
10. 'Golmaal Again': ultimate Ooty
How to reach Ooty:1. By Air: The nearest airport is Coimbatore which is 88kms away2. Ooty is well connected by buses. The Tamil Nadu State Transport buses frequently run services to Ooty along with private operators.3. Train: The nearest rail station is Mettupalyam which is 40kms from Ooty
Who hasn’t heard of Ooty? This stunning hill station in Tamil Nadu is one of the most visited hill stations for us, Indians and an ideal honeymoon spot. And why not. It has stunning lakes, beautiful forests and mountains with a great view. Visit it in winter and you’ll be rewarded with weather that will not make you want to leave.
Ooty, also known as Queen of Hill stations, is true to what it stands for, situated in the state of Tamil Nadu in the South of India, is one of the most popular tourist destination. Lofty mountains, dense forest and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes.Ooty offers picturesque views of valley, tranquil forests, beautiful flora and fauna with bustling music of the wildlife. So I am providing a three day itinerary to visit Ooty. So we (me and friends) took this trip in the winter season, in the month of January, where the days were warm but nights quite cold. The cost provided above is for per person excluding travel cost. So we took a car to travel to Ooty and started our trip at midnight (from Thrissur, Kerala), so that we reach there by morning, there were about 36 hairpin bends.
We booked a cab from Madurai to Mettupalayam so that we can take the toy train from Mettupalayam to Ooty. I think this is the most simplest of plan, if you are travelling from Madurai and want to discover the mountain train as well. Please make sure to check the timings for the toy train before making any plans. Mettupalayam is around 200-300 kms from Madurai, which takes around 4-5 hours in a car. The car journey is always a joy because you come to see so many different aspects about a place. I love to be on the road as it teaches me something new every time. We took the national highway NH-44 and after a few hours the weather starting showing its true colour. We stopped in between to have some delicious idlis and dosas. We got at the station in the afternoon and got our tickets for the toy train and reached Ooty by evening. One of my friend's dad is in the army, which means we can utilise Army guest houses sometime. This time also we told him to book it for us, as you always like to keep the expenses low. We reached the guest house by evening and the place is very well kept and so royal. We had some food in the guest house and asked the manager for the best options to explore the city. He told us that they have a bus service for 300 inr, which takes you from the guest house and will show you all around and back in the evening. We found this as the best option to explore and discover the exotic places in Ooty. He told us the bus will be here 0700 in the morning. We went to sleep so that we can get up early and be ready for the full exciting day tomorrow.Day2.The room was fabulous with all the necessary comfort you can ask for. We got up early in the morning and the weather was quite pleasant. We got ready and had our breakfast before leaving the guest house. The breakfast was simple south indian food, some idlis and vadas which was expected. The bus came sharp at 0700 in the morning and we along with other people who were staying in the guest house, who also opted for this joined us. It was a small group of around 10 people in the bus for the days trip. The driver was very professional and told us the full plan in advance and about all the stops.
After what seemed like an eternity, our two bikes reached Ooty. Some people stood by the side of the road next to a fire they started. We instantly stopped our bikes next to the fire and huddled up to heat our hands. Nearly half an hour later, everyone else began to arrive one by one. We flagged them down to ask them directions to the stay. I was freezing and I didn't even want dinner. I just wanted 10 warm blankets around me!Finally, 20 minutes later, we reached our stay. My friend's Fazer refused to start as he rightly predicted. He later told me that he had to have a heart-to-heart conversation with his bike for it to start and get him to the stay.I left my bikes on the bike and headed up to get into bed. I got my friend's massive blanket from Kolukkumalai and dragged a few more rugs to cover me. I stole another friend's sweater and jumped into bed. After nearly an hour, it was nearing midnight and we had reached on New Year's Eve.My friends bugged me to get out of bed and join them at the massive bonfire they'd started downstairs. We had a whole house to ourselves for this stay. I wrapped the blanket around me and went downstairs to the gate. A huge fire had been started and I didn't need the blanket. The night sky was lit up by several similar fires in neighbouring areas. Loud music and firecrackers bursting echoed through the air mixed with people laughing and singing along. We all sat and tried to eat some biryani around the fire but we were too sleepy and tired to do anything. Some of the riders sat with their drinks while I sat around talking to everyone and taking photos.
Soon, midnight struck and we cheered, wishing everyone a happy new year. It had been a fun way to end the year. As I walked away from the fire, I knew that I would freeze if I didn't get to bed. I ran upstairs, jumped into bed, and dozed off. Somewhere in the middle of the night, I woke up feeling cold and realized that someone had taken one of the three blankets off me. I woke my friend up and bugged him to get the blanket back.Sleepily, he walked in the freezing cold of the room and saw that five guys were huddling under my blanket from the cold. I instantly felt bad about it and let them keep it. I had two more blankets with me anyway. The worst part about this stay was that the walls were like the walls of a freezer: the cold was emanating from it.After a cold sleep, we all woke up the next morning to a cloudy and chilly day. It was still terribly cold but the sunlight made things a shade better. I badly wanted fries and a burger. I instantly headed out with a friend after packing my bags while the other got ready. By the time we were done eating, the rest joined us and we rode for hours through Bandipur forest. The challenge was to get past the Bandipur checkpost before 530PM or they close the route.We made it just in time and at this point, we had to take different routes. I had to head through Mysore road while the others were going to take an alternative route to get to their part of Bangalore.We all reached late at night. While I was exhausted and glad to be home, the winter ride had been an experience of a lifetime, something that I will repeat in the coming months.
160 Kms from Periyar
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.
85 Kms from Periyar
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 ...
Day 12 munnar to kodaikanalAs we couldn’t visit the eravaikulam national park yesterday. So we had planned to visit it today before continuing our ride further. It was hardly some 20 minutes from our hotel. So it didn’t take much time for us to reach here. We parked our bikes and purchased the tickets which was 90rs per person also we have to purchase the tickets for cameras separately . This national park is situated at a hill top. So they take us by bus and we are not allowed to use our vehicle. It takes some 10 to 15 minutes. They drop us at the entrance of the park, where we will find a souvenir shop,cafeteria and washroom. From the entrance we have to walk uphill for around 2km to 3km. Before starting we had some refreshments. The walk was little tiresome as it was uphill. We spotted a wild goat sitting a top the hill. Like samba in the movie sholay. Little ahead we found some more then further ahead we could see more and that too close to us. But there we couldn’t spot any other animal. So we started to decent. On the way down we met a old couple who enquired to us what is there at the top and we replied the wild goat and nothing else, the husband told to his wife that why should we go up only to see a goat and they returned but it seemed she wanted to go till the end. But one can travel by a forest jeep when they book a package in advance and it cannot be done there at the ticket counter. Once we returned to the entrance we waited for the bus which we get every 10min. Before that we went to the souvenir shop and purchased some souvenir and boarded the bus. Reached the parking lot took our bikes and returned to the hotel and loaded all the bags on our bikes and started our ride for the day. Todays plan was to reach kodaikanal. From kerala to tamilnadu. Throughout the way we found road work going at several places. Due to which there were many blockade. We reached at a place where the road was fully blocked so we were not allowed to move ahead. When asked to a local person he informed us to take a detour downhill and ride through the villages to reach the kerala and tamilnadu border. We rode accordingly at a distance we met 2 guys who said the road to downhill is blocked, but he said we can try and squeeze the bikes. Those guys had come in a car for travel. The car was already downhill and these guys came up to look whether the road is open. They asked me for lift to downhill so dropped them one by one and they helped me to go past the barriers. Internet was a issue so we had to ask for route. Finally we had to cross several high mountains and a late lunch and by evening we reached kodaikanal and halted for coffee. Meanwhile we booked a room online. Checked in and we were lazy to go out for dinner so we ordered it in our room. After which we crashed.
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.
146 Kms from Periyar
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
57 Kms from Periyar
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 11 kochi to munnarAgain today it has to be an awesome day as we were heading to a place which we have only heard about it on television and from people for its beauty. So we were heading towards munnar. The place covered with tea estates. This place was fun to see on television and now it will be fun to see it practically. But before that mateen had to change the engine oil for his bullet. So we headed towards a royal enfield service center . When we reached there it was not opened for the day. Upon enquiring we found out that it was Sunday so the service center is closed. And we were looking at each others face asking is it Sunday today. As we were not aware because we were on ride and everyday was a Sunday for us. So we continued from there. Today the most part of the ride was through a city road. And it turned out to be one of the boring ride as people were crossing haphazardly and some used to stop their vehicles midway without signaling once out of this route we came across 2 waterfalls and we were hardly 18km away from munnar. But the route didn’t seem so as there was no tea plantation visible. As we approached closer the plantations were visible. It was afternoon by now so we found a hotel and unloaded our bags and then went for the lunch. It took a while there. Then we planned to go to eravaikulam national park and by the time we reached it was closed. So we decided that tomorrow before leaving we will come here again. And left, on the way we decided to visit the tea museum and it was the best decision we took. And minutes before the ticket counter closes we arrived there got our tickets which was 125rs per person. Once inside they showed us a movie on how the tea plantation in munnar came into existence. This was really informative. It also cleared one of my doubt as i came across many tamil speaking people in munnar while the local language there was malayalam. And through this movie i came to know that the british people had brought people from tamil nadu to convert this barren mountains into tea plantations and some of them remained here. It was there people who converted this place into tea estate and they used to work here plucking tea leaves and constructed railway line during earlier times . After this movie we were taken through several process of tea powder preparation and a good information regarding various type of tea like green tea,white tea, was given. 2 main info which i liked was if the green tea tastes bitter then it was not prepared right as it should not taste bitter also it should not be taken too much in a day or else it will effect the kidney and other harmful effects. And the other one was boiling the tea powder too much will only over cook it and will not add more flavor. After this we had a cup of tea there and there is also a shop at the ground floor with varieties of tea and souvenirs. It was time to close so we came out. We chatted with some security guards there. They were saying that sometimes wild elephants enters this place and we have to be careful even at nights. It was already dark. On the way we saw a pizza store. We went there for dinner had some good pizza and barbeque chicken wings. That’s all for the day.
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 .
84 Kms from Periyar
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...
Day 14 kodaikanal to alapuzzaOur ride was again from tamilnadu to kerala. Went for the morning bath and heard a small sound. Initially thought the mobile phone which had kept for charging had fell on the floor so i called out for mateen. I didn’t get any reply so called him again and again. Again no reply so i opened the door slightly and found 2 to 3 monkeys inside the room all the bag was open. So i shouted mateen get up monkey’s have entered the room. He some how got up and was shocked to monkeys inside the room. The left the room and we checked for our camera’s as we were worried that they might have taken them. But all the things were in place, they had used the glucose packet. After a while we saw that monkey eating cashews then mateen checked his bag for the salted cashews he had purchased in goa. And that cashew was the same which the monkey was eating. After all this drama we left kodaikanal and before leaving our rode towards pillar rocks as we couldn’t see it yesterday because of fog. And upon reaching there the same fog had spoiled the view as nothing was visible. Anyways we had to leave. We stopped at places to click few pics. And after a while we got to ride on smooth roads on top gear. We clicked pics of rubber trees, saw field of pineapples. At a small turn when i was at a low speed i missed my balance as the bike engine switched off i stood but couldn’t hold the bike so i left and got down from it the locals came together and lifted the bike and continued. After a while we booked a room online and rested for the day after a good dinner.
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.
Day 2-3: ThekkadyThekkady is the adventurous place in Kerala. It offers jungle trails, jeep safari, bamboo rafting, boating, elephant shower and bath, cultural events like martial arts, Kathakali performances. It's always good idea to book tickets for all these activities online. We had taken a jeep safari which was a fun ride with the bumpy roads and scenic beauty around. Boating ride is beautiful in itself. It's a very slow ride which takes you through jungle and if you are lucky enough you might spot a tiger! (We didn't spot any animal though:p). We spent some time in shopping chocolates, spices at Thekkady. It's better to shop from local market in Thekkady which has reasonable prices rather than from Munnar which is bit pricey. We also went for martial arts show which was amazing performance with tough acts. We indulged ourselves in ayurvedic spa one evening; a must-do when in Kerala!
At the brink of dawn , next day , we went to visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. We were taken on a boat on Periyar lake from where we could see elephants, wild boars and different birds that visit the sanctuary at this time of the year. After coming back from the tour which lasted for a couple of hours we came back to our hotel . I tried some of their local food. I was not familiar with the taste and so could not complete the meal. I had an elephant ride in the evening.
After reaching Thekkady, check in to your resort. Relax. Reach Thekkady Elephant Camp around 3 pm to experience Kerala yet again. The programmes start at 3 pm, so don’t be late. You can go for Elephant ride followed by an elephant shower (yes you read it right), Kathakali dance show, Kalaripayattu show, magical fountain show and then a magic show in the same order. Trust me, it’s a complete package of entertainment. They also offer jeep safaris which you can book for another fun-filled day.Stay at Thekkady:Yet again, I would suggest you to stay in a resort, rather than a conventional hotel to experience the raw beauty of Kerala from a closer perspective. There are several resorts in Thekkady. We stayed at Coffee Routes Bungalow which was fairly good. The service didn’t live up to our expectations. Food was very nice. The resort is a huge property with most amenities and a nice view to offer.Day 4-5:
For adventure lovers, Kumily and Thekkady combinely offers a wide range of opportunities. One can have a leisurely walk in the spice gardens of Kumily or trek the spice growing hills around the small town. Looking for a bit more challenging activities? Try a jungle walk in the periyar tiger reserve or an elephant safari in the forest. You can also enjoy a tented camp organized by the Forest Department of Kerala. Any activities that you wish to do in the national park can be booked in advance from their website.
Thekkady serves as the entry point to the renowned Periyar Wildlife Reserve. It's a small city as such but serves the basic requirements of stay. There are good restaurants, home stays and hotels to cater to all your needs. More importantly there are a lot of guided tours which are organized from this place into the wildlife reserve.
What is the first thing that a tourist will have in mind while travelling to Kerala? The answer is predictable. View the splendid beauty of this evergreen land. Endowed with innumerable sights to amaze visitors, Kerala has everything a tourist craves for. Thekkady, part of Periyar National Park, is one such destination which has always fascinated tourists with its natural beauty.
b. ThekkadyAnother major tourist attraction very close to Cumbum is Periyar National Park and Thekkady. At a distance of 24 kilometers from Cumbum, Thekkady offers a wide range of attractions including a 2 and half hours of boating through the Periyar lake to experience wildlife.
ThekkadyPeriyar National ParkAllepeyBackwaters of AllepeyKovalamKovalam Beach – P.C. Kerala Tourism website coz I was among the wavesFor a week long trip, we decided to spend two days in Munnar, two days in Thekkady, one day in Allepey and two days in Kovalam. But God had other plans! Our flight was scheduled for 5.10a.m. And with all the chill of not-first-timers, we reach airport 50 minutes before the flight time. And totally cool, instead of checking in immediately, we are taking loo breaks, browsing through the shops and basically, admiring the Airport! Not realising that the check-in time passed and we missed our flight! After the initial bhasad (chaos), we finally calmed my hyperventilating mother and booked another flight for that afternoon.So instead of reaching early that day and utilizing it, we reached late at night. Our adda for the night, Gokulam Homestay was actually situated in a little village, off the main city in Munnar, making it very peaceful and serene. The host was warm and slightly amused at our morning adventures. We were all tired, so we called it a night! But I couldn’t resist the little terrace that opened out near our rooms. I went to sit there quietly for a while, listening to the night noises and also…umm.. trying to connect to wifi! Hey! Judge all you want, but I ain’t no saint, brother! Anyways, I tried sitting there, all the while, calming my heart, that no, no ghost is gonna jump up from any direction to kill me! I did, I truly tried to get acquainted with the nature and the breeze and the night and the beautiful twinkling nights of the valley, but mortal fear for my life drove me to say “Fuck this shit” and run to the safety of my room!Next day, though I had promised myself I would wake up early in the morning to walk around, I drag myself up at 9a.m. Since it was our first day in South and we were promised home-cooked food, we were pretty excited! We were served ‘Appam’ with a bowl of spicy masala peas curry. Though we were left with streaming noses and eyes, it was pretty tasty! Soon I would realise why it is not that good an idea to travel to South India with a vegetarian family! Its food is predominantly non-vegetarian!! But still, the vegetarian couterparts are no less, so maybe next time.Soon we were on our way for a sightseeing tour of Munnar. Here is the best part – IN A JEEP! Now Munnar is a beautiful hillstation and a must visit if you like greenery and want to experience the cold in the southern parts of India. The roads are a roadie’s dream, smooth like Elvis Presley’s shaved cheek (or chest coz I am a feminist perv eehihihihihin)! *Drool* And driving down the curves with that slight fear of falling out since there are no doors in this jeep, if that is not an adrenaline rush, I don’t know what is!Anyways, as you look into the distance, you can even make out various shapes in the mountains. That’s how the highest peak in the Western Ghats and South India got its name. From a distance, it looks like the head of an elephant and thus got called ‘Anamudi’.Can you spot it? A little to the left! Slightly right! Right there!Kerala is called the ‘land of spices’ for a reason! Lemongrass, vines of black pepper and many medicinal plants grew not just in courtyards and gardens, but on roadside as well! Our driver, who was himself a very enthusiastic and passionate photographer, stopped on his way a hundred million times to make us sniff this plant or that spice, pulling up with dramatic breaks at one beautiful spot to next beautiful spot so that he… I mean WE could click pictures! Not only that, he kept on insisting on grabbing our camera to capture us. Such a wonderful man!With the waterfall, he also caught my long nose! Sigh!Now, I am not going to make “go-to” list here! But we had a super fun day! We went to a few waterfalls, a sugarcane plantation where we stole a few globs of freshly made jaggery, asked shamelessly for few pieces of sugarcane, stopped on picturesque spots between tea leaves plantations, plucked all kinds of spices like black pepper, coffee beans, an All-spice plant (named coz it gives a fragrance like all spices mixed together. Ummm almost like Garam masala which is a mixture of all the spices, I hope I am not confusing anyone), a plant that helps control Insulin and Diabetes, Cocoa and of course, lemon grass.Finally we reached Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and went for a nature walk. That is, we follow the jungle-man on a trail to the Watchtower, from where we can spot animals. Now I am not bragging but we were lucky because we spotted the most amazing family of elephants, complete with a little cutie patootie baby elephant!! Come on! Say with me – “Aaaaawwwwwwwww”. Coz Baaaammmm!! There it is!Dumbo and his family! :)We were super excited on spotting Dumbo, we never realised we had missed a big party! What was it, you ask? Well, while we were taking pictures of Dumbo, complex ant-holes, a a beaver-cum-squirral being and no kidding, a langoor panchayat (long story short- I saw, I clicked, langoors pissed, hoo-hoo-haa-haa and we left in a hurry before a faeces war broke on my account). Wow, I can get distracted.The Langoor PanchayatAm I a beaver? or a squirral? Keep guessing!Anyways, while all of that was happening, unbeknownst to us, the full khaandaan of local monkeys had descended on our jeep, opened up the Velcro latch of back, gone through our bags (mind you, they opened our zipped bags!) and thought that was too much junk food for a small family like us! Not healthy at all! They took pity and felt it good to ease off our burden. When we came back, the party was all over, with only leftover pieces of chips and namkeen and fruit cake lying around and inside our jeep as evidence. The real loss was they had stolen the same jaggery balls that we had stolen!! Do unto others and they WILL do the same unto you! But they were good monkeys. They were considerate enough to leave one untouched bag of cake and namkeen for us! So that’s a win for us! Hurraah!Parrtttaaayyy!!!This innocent looking bugger was sucking on MY piece of sugarcane!!After the excitement died down, we left chattering among ourselves. We took the last detour to see if we could spot some other animals! And darn, if that wasn’t our lucky day! Soon we came across a herd of deer frolicking around.The lady luck wasn’t done yet! Once we, that means me and the driver, both fervently clicking pictures, were done and moved on, we came across one huge Bison. Again the camera frenzy!Imma kill you, Nigga! Get your paparazzi butt off my face!After we were sure, the bison was teased enough, we left him to his grass and grooming! Side note – I have always wondered how the Great Indian Bison found his name! My best guess is that when Britishers colonised India and met this particular monstrosity, our Indian ancestors introduced him as “our Bhai Saand”! And can’t you just imagine a British chippy saying “Bai San” and thus Bison! Ummm.. just to be sure I don’t get sued or something, Disclaimer – This particular tit-bit is from my own imagination and any relation to someone living or dead is completely ridiculous and coincidental!Finally the great day came to an end and we came back to the homestay. But that was not an end to the surprise! So basically, South Indians do not use normal wheat flour or Atta but the fine version or maida. Hence the chappatis made from Maida are not that good on your tummy, or so we will find out very soon!On that “loosie” note, I ll take your leave.Loca Chica
Day 4, we move to Thekkady. Now away from beaches to a hilly area. Again, on the way we were to stop at Pandikuzhi Waterfalls, but driver says he don't know any waterfalls and waterfalls dry up in January. As we insisted him by showing google maps he stopped at some place where water was just falling.We stayed at Forest Canopy, where you need to take a car or climb up to the rooms. Its almost 5-10 minutes walking up hill.