Archive for the ‘kerala Tourism’ Category

Live in Communion with Nature on Kerala Travel

Kerala Houseboat
Kerala Houseboat

Today, my post is dedicated to Kerala, the green paradise on earth. I recently had an exciting trip to Kerala with my husband, Nelson. There was no special plan of tour but I just wanted to break the monotony of the hectic city life. For past few months, I was feeling agitated with the humdrum of life and wished to relax in greenery. Nelson came up with the idea of Kerala trip that completely enthralled me and I jumped at it.

After contacting a renowned tour operator in Delhi, we left all the worries and set out our travel to Kerala. This long awaited journey multiplied my happiness when Nelson told me that we would be enjoying a sojourn in a houseboat. What else I could ask for?

We arrived in Cochin by air, the town steeped in history and headed on a visit to Fort Cochin, a popular attraction in Kerala. After enjoying the sunset cruise around, we took shelter of our sojourn at Kerala houseboat. Our houseboat cruise started and we cruised out of Alleppey and moved along the backwaters. It seemed like watching the green paradise very closely.The sound of water is a soothing experience itself.

Kerala Ayurveda Massage
Kerala Ayurveda Massage

After tickling our taste buds with scrumptious Kerala food including Dosa, Uttapam with Sambhar and Pal Payasam, we moved on to explore the vast stretch of water called Vembanad lake. My husband unfolded another surprise for me, which was a short sojourn at Coconut Lagoon Resort in Kumarakom. We had a wonderful yoga session, followed by rejuvenating Ayurveda massage at Ayurveda centre of the resort.

Moved on to Periyar, our next destination, we were quite excited about it. It was a wildlife reserve in Kerala where we could spot a number of animals including elephants, monkeys, wild boar and even tigers. How could we miss out the exciting boat trip around Periyar Lake? The site also offers opportunities for a trekking excursion.

From there a four hour drive took us to the Marari beach in Kerala. The beach of soft white sand cast a spell on the visitors. We could cover just a small part of the state on our Kerala travel and left with the wish to come again to explore other fascinating attractions of the state.

Posted on February 7th, 2013 by Uma  |  Comments Off

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

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

Recounting the Enchanting Attractions of Munnar – 2nd part

Next morning, we were supposed to go for sightseeing. The driver picked us up from the hotel and we were out for another beautiful experience to visit Neelakurinji. Though it was March, yet the temperature fluctuated dramatically. As we were loaded up on bottled waters, we could easily deal with the hot weather. Finally we reached Neelakurinji, which was a sight to behold.

Munnar Trip
Munnar Trip

Neelakurinji is a flower, which is found high on the mountains. Based on our guide’s knowledge, we came to know that the flower blooms once in every 12 years.

Having a wish to see the blooming flower, we left for Anamudi Peak. Known as the highest peak in South India, it captured us for a long time. I and Sherry just could not take off our eyes from the gorgeous sights. A drive in the hill station is totally a refreshing experience as you come across many beautiful sights that lift up your mood.

Mattupetti Dam was the next part of our exploration. Just 10 km from Munnar, it is a splendid dam with boating arrangements in its reservoir area. We saw many people with their family. With its fascinating atmosphere, it becomes a great place for picnic.

After that, comes the Echo Point. As the name suggests, the place ‘Eco Point’ allowed us to hear the reverberations of our voice. Our next halt was at Kundala, another pristine location. It has an angelic dam site. We drove back to the hotel and treated our taste buds with the delicious food.

Sherry told that next day we would be visiting Devikulam. As we started, I was unable to hold back my excitement. This small yet sensuous little town just mesmerized us with its lovely lawns and beautiful plantations. The mist-coated hills and fresh mountain air multiplied our joy of our trip to Munnar.

We also visited Sita Devi Lake. It is famous for trout fishing. While passing through the roads, we could see the locals, enjoying working in tea gardens with their families. The sight forced us to think that how these people could enjoy working outside with such enthusiasm whereas we even get tired while sitting in our cabins with all the modern facilities! May be this is the charm and aura of hill station that keep your refreshed with its cool air and natural surroundings.

Sita Devi Lake
Sita Devi Lake

At the end of our tour, I insisted Sherry to buy some tea packets from shopping outlets in Munnar as I wanted to take home the magical aroma, I smelled there. We bought few packets and came back to our hotel. Next day, we were back to New Delhi for further journey.

All I could say after that trip is, we were even more happy, contended and refreshed with our Kerala visit!!

Posted on May 8th, 2012 by Uma  |  Comments Off

Munnar –The Quaint Hill Station with Beauty and Harmony

I was not aware that my wish to visit India would be coming true too soon. It was a surprise planned by Sherry, my husband. Traveling India second time with my husband was really unforgettable. Well,  we were on a weeklong trip to Kerala.I would like to share my experience of Munnar Trip that still makes me delighted.

Munnar Trip
Munnar Trip

From New Delhi, we took a flight to reach Kerala. We landed at Cochin International Airport where we were received by our tour assistance. He drove us to the hotel in Munnar, which took around 4 and half hours.

Though we were exhausted, yet the eagerness to see ‘Munnar’ overcame the fatigue of journey. Sherry just made me delighted with another surprise, which was the hotel room. The room was facing a beautiful view of the lush greenery and the fragrance of the air kept our mood delighted. After taking rest, we were ready to catch the best glimpses of this beautiful hill station.

I found Munnar the most beautiful hill station that I had ever visited. Snuggled in the lap of an appealing terrain, Munnar is a must visit place.

We discussed our guide about the tour itinerary and we left for our first attraction-Eravikulam National Park. This sanctuary was set up for the protection of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Fortunately, we could spot them. Seeing animals in their natural habitat makes you feel as if you are their guests. You would be a bit hesitating but they will not. Followed by our guide, we could also spot the Elephants, Gaurs, Langurs, Tigers, Leopards and atlas moth.

Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park

For me, watching tigers was a scary experience due to its wild and threatened look but I saw Sherry was enjoying it rather. We also heard about Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary but at that moment, we could not visit it and left.

The day ended and we were back to hotel. While relishing traditional Kerala food, we were exchanging thoughts about that day’s visit. Soon, we left for the room and fell asleep.

                                                                                                          To Be Continued…

Posted on May 1st, 2012 by Uma  |  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

Experience the Best of Nature Glamour during Kerala Tour

Kerala-Backwater-Tour
Kerala Backwater Tour

The name of Kerala always conjures my mind with an image of the sun-kissed beaches, the misty hill stations, the enchanting backwaters and the forestlands rich in flora and fauna. Because of its celestial beauty National Geographic Traveler Magazine ranked Kerala a ‘Ten Paradise of the World’ and ‘Fifty Places of a Lifetime’.

This recognition is enough, which lures scores of tourists to this place from across the globe. And I am one of them who visited this land of scenic beauty with my two friends last month. We took customized Kerala Travel Guide from a travel agent at budgeted rates. This 4 day and 4 nights tour package was efficiently designed that provided us a chance to explore and experience the myriad facets of Kerala Tourism.

The first day of our Kerala Tour is dedicated for beaches. We spent almost whole day at Kovalam beach. This is a cluster of three crescent shaped beaches whose charm is renowned throughout the world. We enjoyed the scenic composition of sea, sun and sand at our best. The pristine, serene and scenic ambience of this place enthralls us most. This beach is also ideal for water sports activities like Kayaking, Swimming, Surfing and Skiing.

Next day of our tour was dedicated for backwater cruise. The Kerala Backwaters are a labyrinthine network of 900 km of waterways interconnected with canals, rivers, lakes and inlets. It is the uniqueness of Kerala Tourism, which gave us chance to experience the natures jubilant scattered in the form of land, sea and sky. ‘Kettuvalams’ popularly known as Kerala houseboats are the ideal way to enjoy Kerala Backwater Cruise.

With Kerala backwater Cruise, we experienced nature’s breathtaking beauty with the soothing sound of water rippling alongside the houseboat. During our cruise, we experienced kaleidoscopic view of countryside, swaying palm trees, emerald rice fields and several historical monuments on the bank. We were totally engrossed by nature’s jubilant beauty. The ecstasy we felt cannot be expressed in words.

After spending memorable night stay in a leisurely flowing houseboat, we reached Periyar in the morning. It is among the famous of all Kerala Wildlife Sanctuaries known for its exotic collections of flora and fauna. This national park is located on the bank of Periyar Lake and sprawled over an area of 777 Sq.km. The exotic collection of flora and fauna species make this place a heart throbbing destination. Whole day we spent in this wildlife reserve sighting many animals, bird species and floral species. Some of the most sighted wild animals are wild elephants, Sloth Bears, wild boars and Stripe-necked Mongoose.

After enjoying nature’s beauty, we went to dance theater to experience the rich culture fiesta of this state. Here we saw Kathakali the most renowned dance drama of all Kerala dances. It is a classical dance-drama known for its unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. The word Kathakali literally means Story-Play. The themes of the Kathakali are religious in nature whose stories are taken from religious scriptures.

Next and the last stop over of our itinerary were at a restaurant whose delicious dishes are known across the globe. Here we ate typical Kerala Cuisine whose taste still titillates my taste buds. After satisfying our appetite, we went to airport and good-bye this land of God’s own Country.

Posted on December 30th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Kathakali Dance: A Colorful Representation of Rich Culture

Kerala Kathakali Dance
Kerala Kathakali Dance

The profound facial make-up, colorful costumes and various designed ornaments of Kathakali Dance scares me when I was child. As days passes I grow up and learned that colors are reflection of human temperament which play significant role while traditional folk dance presentations. I learned several new facts about this folk dance of Kerala which transformed my childhood fear into an appealing aspect. For the first time I experienced the live performance of Kerala Kathakali Dance during my Kerala Tour last week. I was in Kerala for my official conference and after attending it I rushed to see this cultural event at Margi Art Theater in Thiruvananthapuram.

Etymologically Kathakali stems from the Malayalam words ‘Katha’ (story) and ‘Kali’ (play). Themes of this story dance based on Indian epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. The story is narrated through proper mudras or hand gestures with a verse of the story sung in the background. This dance is a combination of five elements of fine art which includes expressions (Natyam) emphasis on facial expressions, Dance (Nritham) emphasis on rhythm and movement of hands, legs and body, Enactment (Nrithyam) emphasis on ‘mudras’ hand gestures, (Geetha) song/vocal accompaniment and (Vadyam) instrument accompaniment.

Apart from this there are several kinds of costume such as Sathwika (the hero), Kathi (the villain), Minukku (females) and Thatti. Each character of this dance is recognized by their characteristic makeup and costume.

The Kathakali show that I watched based on the theme of Ramayana in which characters of Lord Rama and King Ravana presented by artists. They portrayed the good and evil characters so efficiently that one can understand it without even music and narrations. The story of how good wins over evil is presented through facial gestures, various dance steps and hand movements which stolen my heart most during the show. The story was superbly presented and prefect coordination with ballads efficiently conveyed the messages to the audience. Throughout the show I was captivated by the facial gestures, rhythmic flow of body, various dance steps and artistic finger movements which convey several meanings.

After watching the Kathakali performance I realized that it much more than dance because its performance effectively combines the 5 major fine arts namely, literature (Sahityam), music (Sangeetham), Painting (Chitram), acting (Natyam) and dance (Nrithyam).This dance performance touched my soul and made me speechless. With various fascinating thoughts of this rich cultural presentation I returned to my hotel.

Posted on September 9th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

A Date with Lively History of Cochin

Cochin
Cochin

Stories relate happenings and express thoughts and feelings about events. Stories and imagination transport us to another time and place. They can open one’s mind to new ideas and set one free, or they can control, manipulate and trap one in a place of desperation. Such is mine too. A short but lovable journey to Cochin that may push you to plan a tour to Kerala – God’s own country!

After enjoying enough of relaxing holidays in Kerala backwaters and spending days on waters in a houseboat, I planned to devote a couple of days exploring the rich ancient Dravid touch. And what place could be better than Cochin, when it comes to historical monuments in Kerala? So without giving any second thought, I headed towards the commercial hub of Kerala. On my way to Cochin, the first thing I came across was the Chinese Fishing Nets. My driver told me that when the traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets. These nets serve as the medium of livelihood to many fishermen here.

It was quite late in the evening, so I spend the rest hours of the day at leisure in my hotel. The best part of the day was having authentic sea food delicacies in dinner while enjoying Kathakali dance. Trained dancers from See India Foundation and The Cochin Cultural Centre were invited to entertain the guests there. The traditional dance form that they presented with impressive facial expressions, hand gestures and dance moves – was simply spellbinding.

Next morning, I started my exploration with Vasco House, Dutch Palace, Fort Kochi and Jewish Synagogue. The beauty of these old structures is incomparable even today. These ancient monuments stand tall retaining the age old glory of Dravid architecture and showcase a perfect blend of Chinese and Belgian art forms as well. Before having lunch, I visited the Hill Palace at Tripunithura. This 19th century structure has now been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles of the Rajas of Kochi, including the throne and the crown.

In the second half of the day, I paid a short visit to Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary that lies in the heart of the city. It was the place where I spotted several exotic and rare varieties of migratory and resident birds. My next destination in Cochin was the Museum of Kerala History at Kalamassery, which exhibits the history and culture of Kerala through exquisite paintings.

After wandering in the city, I spent an hour in solitude at the Cherai Beach and relished fresh juice there. Roaming alone did not make me feel bored as the lively history of Cochin was there along with me to entertain.

tour to Kerala

Posted on June 3rd, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off