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

Kerala Sightseeing : The Land of Enchanted Beauty

 Cherai Beach, Kerala
Cherai Beach, Kerala

Vibrant pictorial representations of the God’s Own Country in several magazines, newspapers and television enraged my curiosity to visit this land of enchanted beauty. Finally this curiosity ended up with a plan of Kerala Visit with my friends last month. We contacted the Delhi based tour operator Caper Travels Pvt Ltd, which is a National Tourism Award winning company to book a tour of 10 nights – 11 days. The destinations included in this package were Cochin, Periyar Munnar and Backwater Cruise, which were enough to fulfil my desire of exploring beaches, backwaters, hill stations, wildlife etc.

With my friends I boarded the Hazrat Nizamuddin Eravikulam Express from Delhi and arrived Cochin after 51 hours of long journey. During the journey the train passed by many cities which gave us an opportunity to get a glimpse of their culture and taste the different kinds of cuisine. When we reached the Eravikulum Railway Station, a hotel representative was standing with a placard. He greeted and transferred us to the well-maintained hotel where we were booked. At the hotel reception we were welcomed with flower garlands. We enjoyed the delicious dinner which we rounded off with sweetdish. After that we had a comfortable night at the hotel.

Next morning the call from the hotel reception awaken us and soon we prepared for the sightseeing  in Cochin. After having the sumptuous breakfast we with our guide left for the Cherai Beach. This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala which is ideal for swimming. It is formed by the combination of lakes, lagoons, canals and estuaries. Here we enjoyed swimming, played with sand and quenched our thirst with coconut water. Later, we visited St. Francis Church and Mattancherry Dutch Place which is renowned for its architectural beauty.

Our next destination was Munnar. Here, we stayed for two days. It is one of the most popular and beautiful hill stations of India which is situated at an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level. It is a romantic destination known for its sublime greenery, tea and coffee gardens and pleasant climate throughout the year.

The Mattupetty lake is another major attraction of this place which is noted for alpine setting with green fields. The arresting beauty of this place forced us to capture several beautiful sights in our cameras. After spending the whole day in the lap of nature we returned to the guest house and enjoyed the traditional south Indian cuisine in our dinner.

Next morning, we woke up early in the morning and our guide took us to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary which is located at Thekkady. It is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries of India which is situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake. This sanctuary is known for its dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grasslands surroundings. According to the census of the forest department this Sanctuary has around 40 tigers, 20 leopards, 900 elephants, 280 gaurs and a wide variety of other wildlife.

The reserve is also known for the Lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, the Malabar giant squirrel, porcupine, wild dog, sloth bear, jungle cat, sambar, palm civet, wild boar and jackal. We enjoyed elephant safari and saw many animals, colourful birds and various species of plants. This slow and steady elephant ride was full of fun and excitement.

Posted on January 4th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  1 Comment »