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 onĀ  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.

OurĀ  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 ourĀ  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.Ā  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 Worldā€™ and ā€˜Fifty Places of a Lifetimeā€™.

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. ā€˜Kettuvalamsā€™ popularly known as Kerala houseboats are the ideal way to enjoy Kerala Backwater Cruise.

With Kerala backwater Cruise, we experienced natureā€™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 natureā€™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 natureā€™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 Godā€™s own Country.

Posted on December 30th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  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 ā€“ the Venice of the East. My guide told me that these luxurious houseboats were earlier called ā€˜Kettuvallomsā€™ 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

Kerala Ayurveda: Art to Revitalize Yourself

I had enjoyed enough of Kumarakom Backwater Cruises in Kerala. Later I started my exploration for sheer hospitality, luxurious aura and blissful Ayurvedic therapy. While going through Kerala travel guide, I came to know that the science of Ayurveda was originated in India around 5000 years ago, and it still occupies a prized place in Kerala. While exploring Kumarakom, I noticed that the place was blessed with rich flora consisting of rare herbs and natural oils.

Kerala Ayurveda
Kerala Ayurveda

I was booked in ā€˜Coconut Lagoonā€™ ā€“ a CGH Earth Group Enterprise (formerly known as the Casino Group). The respective luxurious resort is located amidst palm trees on the eastern shore of Lake Vembanad, at the mouth of the Kavanar River. I could see abandoned coconut plantations all around. The place was designed to give visitors an authentic insight into Kuttanad life. Moreover, the vast Vembanad Lake also adds to the beauty of the place.

I was provided with an AC cottage and I free to avail facilities like swimming pool, multi-cuisine restaurant and Ayurvedic massage centre. Those small cottages are called ā€˜Tharavaduā€™ in local language. The best part was that I could enjoy magnificent views of Lake Vembanad from my room. The staff there told me that the resort offers a plethora of magical Ayurvedic massages by experienced masseurs that have the power to cure any chronic ailment like arthritis, paralysis, obesity, sinusitis, migraine, premature ageing and skin problems etc. And such therapies are performed under the guidance of expert vaidyas (physicians).

I observed all the eight branches of Kerala Ayurveda there, which include: Internal Medicine (Kayachikitsa), Pediatrics (Kaumarabhritya Tantra), Psychology/Psychiatry (Bhuta Vidya), Ears-eyes-nose-throat (Shalakya Tantra), Surgery (Shalya Tantra), Toxicology (Agada Tantra), Rejuvenation (Rasayana Tantra) and Fertility Therapy (Vajikarana Tantra). As I was on a relaxing vacation in Kerala, I preferred going through a rejuvenation therapy. The therapists there gave me an awesome massage with natural herbs and medicated oil. It helped in refreshing my mind as well as senses.

Lastly, I asked the manager for some leisure activities, to which he provided me with an assistant for sunset cruise. Spending the waning hours of the afternoon just watching the sun go down was an incomparable experience. This relaxing trip was fascinating in every perspective.

Posted on February 11th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Exploring Uncharted Land in Kerala

 Kerala House Boat

Kerala House Boat

Come January, and I arrived at Mangalore airport (Karnataka). This trip of mine was especially organized to explore lively Kerala backwaters, heavenly greenery, interesting wildlife and multi-coloured festivities. I hired a taxi to Kasargod (50 km) and headed to the northern Kerala. As I had observed in Kerala travel guide, the local people were busy with the celebration of Kerala Gramam. After a quick shower, I headed for the fair, where I came across traditional houses, bright & colourful attires, traditional cuisine, superb handicrafts and many such items.

The best part with my stay at Kasargod was backwater cruise. Being a history buff, I also visited sites like Bekal Fort, Madiyan Kulom temple, Ananthapura Lake Temple, Chandragiri Fort etc and captured them in my camera for a lifetime. While enjoying my backwater cruise, I also had a closer look at the dense greens of Kasargod, which provide a home to about 24 species of the rarest of mammals, 200 species of birds and about 100 species of butterflies. While leaving Kasargod, I visited the market area with my guide and bought a few coir products, handlooms and tobacco products for my friends.

My next halt was Cochin, but en route I spent a relaxing day at Wayanad ā€“the land of Spicy Hills. Though I paid a short visit to the famous Edakkal Caves and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and clicked a few bisons, elephants and deer playing near the lake, but rest of the day was at leisure. My hotel was at close proximity to the tea / coffee & spice plantations, there fore the air was filled with refreshing fragrance.

The next morning, I reached Cochin ā€“ the Queen of the Arabian Sea by train. Located between the Western Ghats and Arabian Sea, the city is blessed with spotless natural beauty and serves as an important trade centre too. I was booked in a luxurious houseboat (traditional Kettuvallom). Apart from exploring the best of aquatic life and living of villagers along side the serene waters, I also relished various traditional dance forms, music and the sweet dish ‘Payasam’. I spent a couple of hours at an ancient Ayurveda & Yoga resort to rejuvenate my senses. During my entire tour, I found the coastline of Kerala dotted with canopies of coconuts, gorgeous greens, balmy beaches and the breathtakingly beautiful backwaters.

Posted on December 10th, 2009 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Kollam Tour: Kerala in Miniature

Kollam

Kerala Houseboat

Searching for a destination gifted with the best of waterways and the best of greenery?Ā  Plan out a Kerala tour and go through Kollam travel guide. ThisĀ  old seaport is also known as Quilon and is located on the banks of AshtamudiĀ  Lake, about 70 km from Thiruvananthapuram. Apart from serving as aĀ  wonderful gateway to Kerala, this beautiful district is also known as aĀ  renowned trade and commerce centre.

Background
Earlier aĀ  renowned trading point for spice, Kollam has been a favourite place forĀ  the traders of Persia,Ā  Arab, Rome and China. It was established as aĀ  modern trading centre by the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch and the British. For the past few years, it has emerged as a leadingĀ  cashew trading and processing industry in India. Moreover, Kollam is anĀ  important hub for the state’s marine products.

Major Attractions:

Ashtamudi Lake
This secondĀ  largest lake of the state offers the best of backwater cruises. The backdropĀ  of Chinese fishing nets forms the spell binding view here. Dense coconutĀ  groves and palm trees surrounding the entire lake make it an idealĀ  place for your vacations. Kollam Boat Club offers ample opportunitiesĀ  for cruising alongside the waterline.

KottankulangaraĀ  Chamayavillanku
This is aĀ  unique and interesting festival, in which all the men dress themselvesĀ  like women and perform various art forms in devotion to Goddess Bhagavathy.Ā  Organized at the Kottankulangara temple in Chavara in March – April, theĀ  festival is marked by the ‘Damsels’ that come to the temple at night inĀ  a long procession with lighted lamps in their hands.

Jatayupara
As theĀ  name suggests, this huge rock at Chadayamangalam is dedicated to theĀ  mythical bird Jatayu in the epic Ramayana. As the legend goes,Ā  that huge bird died here only while fighting against the demon King Ravana,Ā  who kidnapped Devi Sita. Jatayupara serves as the venue for the ‘CraftsĀ  Festival’ that is held annually during December-January. ThisĀ  festival features the craftsmanship of artisans from all over the country.

Kottarakkara
EarlierĀ  being the capital of Travancore Royal family, Kottarakkara is popular asĀ  the place from where the famous Indian classical dance form originated.
KollamĀ  has no dearth of attractions. It is also frequented for the Picnic Village (the main centre of recreational activities), Rameshwara Temple, Palaruvi Waterfalls and the fresh water lake Sasthamkotta.

Kollam is favourite among history buffs because of several ruins of palaces andĀ  forts that are worth visiting. The scenic beaches are a treat to all theĀ  honeymooners as well as the routine vacationers.

Posted on November 9th, 2009 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off