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

Kerala Handicrafts Bringing the Talent Ahead

Kerala, the land which has already established itself as Greenland, offers tourists much more than this. With its lush greenery, skilful locals and available resources, Kerala serves as the hub of traditional handicrafts. Tourists have a great choice to select from a variety of handicrafts in Kerala.

Handicrafts of Kerala

Handicrafts of Kerala
Handicrafts of Kerala

The amazing Handicrafts of Kerala are the true showcase of cultural heritage of the state. The traditional Kerala handicrafts encompass religious manifestations where statues of different Gods and Goddesses are exquisitely carved in rosewood or sandalwood. The art forms of Kerala like masks of Kathakali are also portrayed in the traditional handicrafts of Kerala. Models of the popular snake-boats are very popular among tourists.

The handicrafts of Kerala include popular items like:

Coir and Cane Products

Kerala abounds in coir and cane products and therefore, it produces Eco friendly items like coir mattresses, mats and floor furnishings. Coir products manufacturing is an important cottage industry in Kerala, especially in districts of Kollam and Calicut.

Brass and Bell Metal Works

Kerala boasts of its bell metal art. Bell metal is basically an alloy of tin, brass and copper, which can be utilized to cast different mythological occasions like the well-known “Tandava Dance”. In intricate art forms, it has been termed as the ‘Gaja Tandava’ or ‘Gajasamhara’. These articles can be also used for crafting lamps and other household items.

Lacquer Ware

These are made of woodcraft and metal. Wood carvings are famous as these enabled skilled persons to show their talents in artistic works. The trees of sandalwood and rose wood are mainly used for carvings. Myriad shapes are exquisitely carved in these woods after that a lacquer finish is given to the ready products. The finished product is then adorned with several precious metals. Ernakulam district is famous for Lacquer ware work.

Sandalwood Carving

Many gorgeous product are carved from the fragrant Sandalwood. The product array carved in this manner includes boxes, ashtrays, candle stands, tiny models of animals and Kathakali dance postures. Cochin, Ernakulam, Trichur and Thiruvananthapuram are the place where Sandalwood Carving can be found.

Ivory Works

Ivory Works
Ivory Works

Ivory carving is also counted among other popular traditional handicrafts of Kerala. Different items beautifully carved in ivory encompass mythological characters. These are available in form of showpieces. Buffalo horns are the main articles used for ivory carving.

Textiles & Wooden Toys

Kerala offers a distinct collection of textiles that has gained popularity among tourists. These include Kancheepuram silks and others.

Another popular item includes wooden toys. The wooden carving is done to make various toys, which fascinate tourists on their trip to Kerala.

Posted on October 30th, 2012 by Jagjit  |  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

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

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