Take Joy in the Celebration of Pongal Festival in Kerala

Pongal Festival Kerala
Pongal Festival Kerala

Pongal festival in Kerala reminds me of my most enjoyable experience of Kerala tour. I, accompanied by two of my friends went to Kerala in January to enjoy Kerala sightseeing. At that time, we were not aware that we would become the participants of the most heard Kerala Pongal festival.

As the festival was related to agriculture, we came across the amazing sights of village folks, soaking in the traditional festivity. It is mainly enjoyed for three days but few parts of South India keep the festivity on even fourth day. Pongal is among the most celebrated festivals of Kerala.

We were very excited to celebrate that traditional festival on our Kerala tour. When we got to know that the next day would be the “Bhogi Pongal”, I kept tossing all the night and got up early. In the morning, I saw a totally different sight. People were busy in cleaning their homes and they also made “Rangoli” from rice flour.

Accompanied by people, I also went to worship rain God Indra. In the evening, our tourist group also enjoyed the bonfire before sunrise. People took out all the useless things, which were being burnt in the bonfire in front of their houses. First day was wonderful and our joy multiplied with Surya Pongal, which was the second day. That day, Sun was being worshipped.

Farmers gathered in an open area and prepared Khichdi according to the auspicious time. The ritual attached to it, when the Khichdi fermented and fell out of the pot then ghee and milk was added. The fermentation marks the prosperity and happiness in the family. The milk in the Khichdi started felling out of the pot, it was considered as it would prosper the farming.

The cooked food was distributed among people as “Prasad”. Mattu Pongal was the next day of the festival. On that day, farm animals were being worshipped which created a different spectacle. Bullock cart races and ox races were also organized which was really rewarding to see. I simply relished the “Khichdi” on banana leaf, which represents its ancient tradition.

That was a really wonderful experience, which I want to enjoy again and again.

Posted on March 19th, 2013 by Caper Travel  |  Comments Off on Take Joy in the Celebration of Pongal Festival in Kerala

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  |  Comments Off on Kerala Sightseeing : The Land of Enchanted Beauty