Archive for the ‘Kerala Attractions’ Category

Be One with Nature on Kumarakom Tour

Staying in a bustling city with routine hectic schedule has always intensified my wish to take a break in a serene location. Kerala in India is on the top of my list. When I planned India tour, my husband was also ready to accompany me. After a rigorous internet research, at last we came across a tour operator in Delhi with whom we planned our Kumarakom tour.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

I insisted tour operator to include a rural destination as the atmosphere of a village has always been capturing my attention. And there we were in Kumarakom that lies 16 km away from the Kottayam town. It is among the most famous Kerala travel destinations.

After stepping in Kerala, what I liked the most about the state is the tranquil atmosphere, not much crowded and a perfect holiday destination. We took rest in the already booked Kumarakom backwater resort. It was not very expensive yet offered a good accommodation. Next morning, we were ready to hit the town and headed for Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, the famous attraction in Kerala. Nestled in the backwaters, this wildlife sanctuary is sprawled over 14 acres.

Situated along the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom, the bird sanctuary is truly a paradise for bird lovers. We came across interesting creatures like cuckoo, darter, heron, owl and egret. We could also view some Mammals and Amphibians there. We clicked a few shots and came back.

After this wonderful experience, we moved towards Kumarakom village to explore its rural charm. It was a cluster of islands and farms, distinguished by a maze of lagoons and streams.

How could we skip the most interesting section of our Kumarakom trip? Yes..I am talking about my houseboat trip in Kerala. As we initiated sailing towards Alleppey, we could come cross beautiful vistas of Kumarakom backwaters. The inclined coconut trees were seem like interrupting the landscapes, flanked by lush greenery.

Served as the popular attractions in Kumarakom,the houseboat we boarded had a sun deck, a sit out cum dining area, single bedrooms (it can be upto six bedrooms), kitchen, bath and wash basin. To occupy you when the boat is not moving, the facilities like TV and video player have also been installed.

Kumarakom Houseboats
Kumarakom Houseboats

Made on bamboo, Kumarakom houseboats served us the most delicious Kerala food including coconut water, Idli with coconut chutney and Masala dosa with sambhar.

At last I insisted Hubby to go for rejuvenation therapies as I had heard a lot about Kumarakom Ayurveda. The rejuvenation therapy that I availed detoxified and revitalized the body system to enable general fitness. Ayurvedic treatments in Kumarakom not only cure you from inside but these also have the magical healing to relax your mind.

We had awesome experience on our Kumarakom tour and gained truly unforgettable memories.

Posted on October 16th, 2012 by Uma  |  Comments Off

Culture of Kerala is an Important Page to Indian History

Every traveller in the world has different intention from the destination that he or she travels to. If it comes around a terminus like Kerala, then you need to open your hand to collect its mesmerising beauty such as culture of Kerala. No wonder to thunder yourself that Kerala is blessed with great natural beauty and diverse ecology. Kerala presents itself one of the ‘Ten Paradises of the world’ and ’50 places of a lifetime’ by the National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

Kottayam Backwaters
Kottayam Backwaters

On the last Saturday, I decided to take my friend on a trip to know people and culture of Kerala by Airline from Delhi to Kerala. In Kerala, we stayed to rest in a hotel near to Kottayam. On the next day, we enjoyed a lot the fresh air, greenery and the most relaxed travel experience through the pristine backwater of Kottayam, for almost the whole day.

On the next day, we moved to Alappuzha backwater from Kottayam through boat to enjoy the still waters and the sight of farmlands situated below water levels. Hereby we did not stop ourselves to click the beauty of lush Kerala.

Also, I would draw you all my readers towards why this state adds its presence important in Indian traditions. Kerala travels were fruitful of art forms such as traditional dance of Kerala as we experienced so. For the dance lovers in India, I have to come a step ahead to say that this earthly paradise can be called none other than a heaven to continue classical customs as Katakali Dance Kerala. Truly dance and music are intricately woven into the culture of Kerala.

People of Kerala had warm & friendly nature to us, while interacting with them. Truly Keralites stood with their strong culture and brought proud to their state. In addition to know you more before you step in, I got this state to have been perpetuating its matchless some other art forms as Martial arts, and Kerala handicrafts.

Dance of Kerala
Dance of Kerala

Yes, the caption-”God’s own country” affixed with Kerala is as an extension to reminisce us that exists of its natural beauty and worldwide amiable hospitality that made me to come again. Here I penned down about Kerala people culture that intends you to have a Kerala trip once in your lifetime. It will really bring close to the handicrafts of God e.g., backwaters, hill stations, forests and lakes in Kerala.

Altogether, our country stands concrete to have one of the richest and olden cultures in all over the world. The historical buildings and monuments like palaces, temples and forts are as the prologue of Indian society. The exclusive number of temples has taken to Kerala a must-visit to travellers to glean the unknown fables of the country.

Posted on August 7th, 2012 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Sojourn over the Vast Backwaters with Traditional Kerala Houseboats

It evokes memories and feelings of nostalgia for me while sharing my experience to stay in a Kerala houseboat. Well, this delightful event happened to me on my 2nd wedding anniversary when Andrew, my husband revealed the surprise. That was the first time when we visited Kerala and specially booked a Kerala houseboat tour to celebrate the occasion.

Kerala Houseboat
Kerala Houseboat

We started off at Cochin. The tranquility and serenity of place charmed us. A Kerala houseboat is locally called as ‘Kettuvallam’. These are of different types, out of which, we booked a fully furnished single bedroom luxury houseboat.  On being reached at our houseboat, we were served with a welcome drink. It was coconut juice after drinking which, we felt refreshed.

We explored the houseboat to find out the other sections of this ‘Floating Palace’. Then, we got to know that it was the suitable one for us to enjoy the special occasion. It was provided with sun deck, private balcony and all other modern facilities. The houseboats in Kerala had a separate dining area with comfortable chairs and a well-maintained toilet.

Kerala, the land of lagoons, rivers, lakes, beaches and backwaters is my dream destination and on visiting it, I felt contended. It was unbelievable to see that serving as the popular attractions in Kerala, these houseboats were made by joining Anjili wood panes along with coir ropes and still, these houseboats do not lack anywhere in durability. Use of Eco-friendly material like bamboo poles, bamboo mats, coconut fibre ropes and coir carpets gives these Kerala houseboats a traditional look.

Well, enjoying the luxury in Kerala houseboats, we reached Alappuzha Backwaters. The backwaters mainly covers the four districts of Kerala that include Kollam, Alleppey or Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi. Sitting back while the boat cruises through the compressed serene backwater canals, is a different fun, which gives a new height to your Kerala houseboat tour.

We enjoyed our lunch, which was more than enough for two people. It included local dishes like rice, fish fry, sambar, papad, thoran, pickle and vegetable salad. The food was too good that its delectable taste made us relaxing for some time.

In evening, we went on the sundeck, which is an ideal way to revive yourself amidst a tranquil ambiance. We preferred coffee with snacks including Banana Fry, which had a traditional Kerala flavour. After dinner, we went on bed. I was so excited to know the next day travel plan that included a visit to Kumarakom. Kerala houseboat vacation is simply a great experience for every couple.

Kerala Houseboat Cuisine
Kerala Houseboat Cuisine

Next morning, after treating our taste buds with scrumptious Appam with Egg Curry, we started off cruising to Kumarakom backwaters, through the most popular Vembanad Lake. Innumerable lagoons, canals, lakes, estuaries and lakes form the 900 km backwater network of Kerala. That was most probably the best way to experience the magical charm of Kerala backwaters. We had a romantic time overnight in houseboat.

The next morning was our departure. Though we had to spend some extra bucks for a luxury houseboat but the experience was worthy. The moments, we captured in our camera shed off my sadness to depart from such a beautiful land.

 

Posted on June 26th, 2012 by Uma  |  Comments Off

View the Historic Attractions with Kasargod Tour

On our India tour, we got an opportunity to visit Kerala, the God’s own country. I and Denis decided to go to Kasargod. To reach there, we landed at Manglore airport, situated 50 km from the state. The trip was supposed to be interesting as we were visiting Kerala for the first time.

On being reached there, we stayed in a good hotel and has a quick routine round up to freshen up ourselves. Enjoying the facilities and beautiful view of our room, we made a plan to explore Kasargod.

Bekal Fort
Bekal Fort

We started from the most famous destination -Bekal Fort. Standing amidst the roaring music of the sea and unlimited waves in its background, this fort is among the best-preserved forts in Kerala. It was just 16 km from the south of Kasargod located on the national highway. Bekal fort has a circular impressive structure that rises 130 ft. above sea level and stands about 40 acres of land.

Being made in a shape of a gigantic keyhole, this historic fort offers best view of the Arabian Sea from its observation towers. Huge cannons were placed on these tall towers centuries before. We entered through a zigzag entrance and saw the trenches around the fort that looked amazing. The fort is the finest example of the defense strategy.

When we reached outside, Denis denoted to an old mosque. The guide told us that it was built by the valiant Tipu Sultan of Mysore. There is an observation tower amidst the fort. We had to climb a broad flight of stairs to reach there.

Then I insisted Denis to visit the temples of Kasargod. At first, he was not ready but I persuaded him and we headed to Ananthapura Lake Temple. Devoted to Lord Anantha Padmanabha, the temple is built in the middle of a small pond. There is no external source of water to supply the pond but rain only.

With each passing day, our curiosity to explore the Kasargod was increasing. We both wanted to make the most of our visit to Kerala. Next attraction which we visited was Chandragiri Fort. The guide who accompanied us, told that the fort was built in 17th century by Shivappa Nayaka of Bedanore. A small mosque was also situated near but we could not visit it.

Ananthapura Lake Temple
Ananthapura Lake Temple

Next day, we also visited Madiyan Kulom temple, located in Ajanur village. Devoted to goddess Bhadrakali, the temple also houses some other deities like Bhagavathi, Kshetrapalan and Bhairavan.

Enjoying traditional cuisine, having the glimpses of Indian culture and viewing the historic monuments altogether was a great experience.

Renowned for its illustrious scholars who belong to Kuttamath Kunniyur family, Cheruvathur is another interesting place which we visited. The main attraction is the ruins of a Dutch fort, dating back to 18th century.

The trip ended and we bid goodbye to this wonderful place with a heavy heart but we were happy to have the snaps of our tour.

Posted on February 29th, 2012 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Spending Memorable Vacations in Kerala

I was extremely excited when we decided to visit Kerala for the honeymoon. It is the only destination that had allured me since the time I started experiencing Ayurveda. After watching dream locations in movies and reading about the Ayurveda, Kerala was my dream destination. When I got the opportunity to explore it with my life partner, it was like icing on the cake.

Ayurveda Massage
Ayurveda Massage

In the very next week of our wedding, we got the chance to explore Kerala and believe me that was like a dream coming true. I was desperately waiting for the day, when we would fly to the beautiful state of south India and it was really a tough job to wait.

Finally, the day approached and we took a flight from New Delhi and reached Kozhikode Airport. From there we hired a private car and reached our destination hotel. As it was middle of the day, so we decided to take the rest for that day.

Next morning, we started our day with Kerala Ayurveda massage to revitalize our body and soul. Use of aroma oils by skilled therapists made it an unforgettable experience. That was simply different from the treatment I had taken in Delhi. One can choose the treatment from a long list of Kerala Ayurveda therapies. Ayurveda massages not only revitalize your body but is the base of natural healing treatment with the help of plant based medicines.

Later on, we moved to explore the sun kissed beaches of Kerala. It is really hard to explore every beach of Kerala in one single trip as this amazing state is full of beaches. So, we finalized only five beaches and that too for different days. Those five names include Kovalam Beach, Alappuzha Beach, Kappad Beach, Varkala Beach and Beypore Beach.

After reaching Kovalam beach, I understood why people love to visit beaches. 17 km coastline and cluster of three beaches can not be explained in words. Breathtaking sea views and endless sight of coconut trees create a fascinating environment. For the next four days we enjoyed a quality time on  rest of the beaches.

Kerala Vacation
Kerala Vacation

Then, it was the time to enjoy some more quality moments and to start the new life in the beautiful houseboats in the backwaters of Kerala. This was the most fascinating time in the complete trip. Made up of natural elements borrowed from mother nature, these house boats are something out of the world. Charismatic ride on those classical Kerala houseboats and interconnected canals gave us a chance to explore the green land in the most beautiful way.

Our  Kerala vacation was over but still we were not in a mood to go back in that hustle bustle of Delhi. The whole tour was amazing. We took the same route and came back with lots of golden memories. The only thing I can say about our  Kerala honeymoon tour was it was truly amazing to know my life partner in the mesmerizing views of Kerala.

Posted on January 18th, 2012 by Uma  |  Comments Off

Visit Kerala – A Home to Aromatic Delights

Spice Plantations Kerala
Spice Plantations Kerala

Recently, I got an opportunity to experience the pure and untouched nature during my Kerala tour.  We a group of four friends went there. I had heard a lot about Kerala from one of my colleagues, whose native land was Kerala. She used to talk about the spice plantations of Kerala. I always used to relish her food in lunchtime as it was enriched with the aromatic flavour of Kerala, the hub of spices.

The reason why I felt like going there was its picturesque surroundings of gardens. We planned a trip just after the monsoons and reached there in day time. After taking rest, we headed towards the greens of Idukki, which is called as the spice land of India.

Our knowledgeable guide shared his knowledge with us and told us that the climate and soil conditions of the hilly areas of this land make it best suited for tea cultivation. He plucked some green leaves and showed us. We saw that the shiny green leaves had pointed ends with a pleasant aroma. The trees were planted at a distance of 1 to 1.5 meter along the landscape. The guide told us that Cochin is the place which is known for producing spices. The traders dealing in spices also meet at the same place, which is actually the spice market of Kerala.

As we drove through the thick forests on a road that passes through several tunnels, we witnessed nature in a new form which was a great visual treat for us. Soon we reached in a place where we were enveloped in the unmatched aroma of the spice plantations. I was so delighted to find the spice gardens and tea plantations in front of my eyes. At the edge of the Periyar, we found many spices gardens. There were dense forests, dwelling at a height of 800-1000 meters which preserved the exotic flavours.

As we moved ahead towards Munnar and Wayanad, we were amazed to find some fragrances of coffee, black pepper and cardamom. We saw the clusters of black pepper plants. As we drove by, there were stretches of cardamom plantations. I decided to get down from the car to pick up some fresh cardamom. My friends also accompanied me. After collecting some cardamom and black peppers from trees, I run a few step and saw clove vegetation. All my three friends were busy in sorting out the other spices like black pepper, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg and cinnamon.

It was an exciting and fun-filled experience that made us forget everything for some time. I simply lost myself in the captivating beauty of the gardens and plantations. After coming back, when I shared my tour experience of Kerala with my family members, I felt nostalgic.

Posted on August 3rd, 2011 by Uma  |  Comments Off

Journey through Houseboat in Kerala

 Kerala Houseboat
Kerala Houseboat

My stress took me to rejuvenation! Sounds odd, but true. Once I realized that my work is getting heavies and unbearable day by day, I planned a week-long trip to Kerala. It was the first month of monsoon and Kerala backwaters welcomed me with full enthusiasm. I was booked in a Kerala houseboat. A houseboat in Kerala is a medium that can let you explore all the major parts of this green state and offers true joy of living on waters. Moreover, you can halt at any of the beach resorts to savour lip-smacking Kerala cuisine and a wide variety of sea food delicacies. These beach resorts also offer a wide range of Ayurveda therapies for complete rejuvenation of mind, body & soul.

My sightseeing stated with Alleppey – the Venice of the East. My guide told me that these luxurious houseboats were earlier called ‘Kettuvalloms’ and were used as a medium to transport food grains and spices. My houseboat was well equipped with facilities like spacious bedroom with attached bath, kitchen, dining area, sun deck, living area etc. it was no less than an accommodation unit of a star rated luxurious hotel. The best part with the houseboat was it was completely made of natural products like bamboo mats, sticks, palm leaves and wood. The smooth wooden flooring and coir mats also added to the beauty of my houseboat.

The houseboat took me to places like Kumarakom, Kasargod, Guruvayur, Periyar, Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram. While staying on waters I easily explored all these cities. I wandered across market streets and collected some of the rarest handicraft items. I visited the most ancient Hindu temples. I witnessed the finest of greenery. I spotted the rarest of animals in picturesque wildlife sanctuaries like Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The best part of my tour in Kerala was a long relaxing nature walk amidst spice and tea/coffee plantations in Periyar.

Posted on August 6th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

The Elephant Festival Kerala: A Royal Festivity

Kerala Elephant Festival
Kerala Elephant Festival

Blessing in disguise is what I say regarding my last official trip to Kerala. Though I was not ready for this tour but my senior insisted, and I went to Thrissur from Delhi in Trivandrum Rajdhani train. On the third day of my journey I reached Thrissur at midnight. Though the journey was exhaustive but I got ample of time for myself. I enjoyed this long journey by eating, reading, watching my favorite movies and seeing beauty of passing by places.

I rested the whole night in my office guest house and when I woke up the next morning my office peon informed me that office will remain closed today because of Thrissur Pooram, the most colorful temple festival of Kerala. He advised me to go outside to enjoy this most vibrant and cultural festival of Kerala. I had also heard about this festival but never enjoyed it. So hurriedly I dressed up and ate ‘masala dosa’ in my breakfast and went straight to Vadakkunnathan Temple which is the center stage of this celebration.

When I reached the temple I saw numerous people pushing each other in order to get through the temple entrance gate. Thrissur Puram is a two-century old temple festival which is well known throughout the world for its unique pomp and pageantry. This elephants festival is held in the Malayalam month of Medom (April-May) and lasts for 36 hours. It is a grand assembly of gods and goddesses from villages and towns in and around Thrissur. The foremost attraction of this festival is the grand elephant procession. These elephants were lavishly decorated with jewels and sequined silk parasols. I was also impressed by the beautiful decoration of elephants. Along with this the elephant parade was accompanied by orchestra band playing folk music of Kerala.

The festival reaches its peak when 30 richly caparisoned elephants emerged from the Vadakkumnathan temple escorted by three efficient priests sitting atop them. The rhythmic beats of the orchestra heightens the beauty of this procession. The beat and sound was pulsating which created mystic atmosphere throughout the temple premises.

I was enthralled by the cultural beauty of this festival. This cultural representation of religious belief provides a platform to people to share their common interests which develops cohesion among several social strata. The spectacular display of colorful fireworks, parasol exchanges, an umbrella showing competition are the other attractions of this colorful celebration which I liked the most.

After spending 6 – 7 hours in the temple premises I returned to my guest house in the evening. After watching TV for sometime I went to the dinning hall for dinner where I ate delectable Rasam with Tapioca and Fish Curry. After that I returned to my room with a thought to read something but don’t know when I got lost in my dream.

Posted on April 8th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Munnar Tour: A land of Celestial Beauty – Part II

 Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park

Cool breeze drenched in tea aroma awakened us from our deep sleep. We had our morning tea in the balcony facing the vast expanse of tea garden. It was for the first time I had ever tasted such a nice tea, its aroma and taste is still lingering on my tongue. After taking bath we had Idli & Sambhar in our breakfast and headed to Eravikulam National Park in an auto rickshaw. This park is situated approximately 8 km from the Munnar town and spread over an area of 97 sq km in and around Rajmalai Hills.

The stark beauty of rolling grasslands with steep mountain slopes is the most striking feature of this place. This park was established with the objective to protect the mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr. Apart from this Tigers, Atlas Moth, Elephants, Gaurs, Lion-tailed Macaque and Leopards are the other attractions of this sanctuary. We were in this park for 3 to 4 hours wandering here and there capturing natures’ beauty in our camera. The foremost attraction of this park is Anamudi, the highest peak of South India. This peak towers over the sanctuary whose slopes are abundant in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. It is an ideal place for trekking but we were not interested because it would have exhausted us completely.

The Eravikulam National Park is really a romantic destination which is known for its sublime greenery. The arresting beauties of this place make it a paradise for photographers and nature lovers. We came out of this natural wonder and headed for Echo Point which is located approximately 15 km from this place.

On our way to Echo Point we had a palatable lunch on a roadside restaurant. The use of fresh spices provided distinctive taste and aroma to the food which was tabled to us. After satisfying our taste buds we resumed our journey to our next destination.

When we reached the Echo Point we heard lots of people shouting out into the air and delighted at the multiple echoes that came back to them. This is among the most visited places of Munnar which is known for its adventure tourism and trekking. The fresh mountain air, the mist-clad hills and panoramic view makes it a worthy place to visit. It is such a mesmerizing and peaceful place that it can provide solace to weary souls. This place is so captivating that we cannot resist our temptation of yodeling and shouting. And the echo of our loud cry mesmerized us which tempted us to repeat it many times.

In the evening the departure of sun casts spellbinding effect over this panoramic land. The landscape also changes it color pattern governed by the Sun rays. After spending an incredible evening in the lap of nature we headed for the hotel. There we rested and packed our memories of this place along with our clothes and moved towards the dining hall. After having ‘Sadya’ a well known traditional cuisine of Kerala in our dinner we boarded private luxury bus for Ernakulam.

Posted on March 12th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Kumarakom Backwaters Cruise: Water World Paradise

 Kumarakom Backwaters
Kumarakom Backwaters

After visiting popular tourist destinations of Cochin, Periyar, Munnar we headed towards Kumarakom for backwaters cruising. This is one of the centres of backwaters cruise and tourists comes here in great numbers to enjoy cruise on the pristine waters. The Kerala Backwaters are interconnected network of rivers, lakes, inlets, lagoons, canals etc. which form 900 km of labyrinthine waterways system. They are perfectly combined together to form one of the best parts of Kerala tourism.

At Kumarakom we were received by the hotel representative who took us to the Houseboat or the Kettuvellam called Saint George which was named after it’s owner and captain James George. It has large bedroom attached with bathroom and a hammock on deck. It is equipped with a sophisticated living room which gives exhilarating views of nature that makes the cruise worthiness and memorable for lifetime.

Kerala Backwaters has its own significance. It is an irrigation system of Kerala which prevents the saltwater river to de-fertilise the paddy fields. The canals are lined by stone walls and fringed by coconut palms. Backwater destinations are known for its glorious environment which is full of scenic beauty. While on backwater cruise one can see the mesmerising views of bright green rice fields and small homes with steps down into the river. As the boat moves the views of scintillating natural beauty is awe aspiring. It gives the true ambiance and mighty pleasure to be in the God’s own country.

Houseboat silently passed through the serene and scenic natural ambiance which engrossed me completely. The most fascinating part of this cruise was when the houseboat crossed the Kumarakom Bird sanctuary which provided us an opportunity to watch the exotic birds flying over the boat. This place is a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. We halted our houseboat for two to three hours so that we can enjoy this mesmerising environment at its best. Fluttering wings and mellifluous tunes of teal, cuckoo, wild duck, egrets, herons and darters are like a nature utterance which makes us speechless.
Kumarakom backwaters is a water world paradise where one can see the epitomization of nature’s beauty. Emerald green paddy fields, coconut grooves, azure blue waters, mangrove forests are the elements of backwaters which make this place an enchanting and an incredible destination of Kerala.

Posted on January 28th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off