Captivating Kerala in Monsoon

Maharam
Thursday, December 28, 2017

As a welcome break from a hectic schedule here in Kuwait,we travel to India for every summer vacation.Though Kerala trip was there in our “bucket list” of travel places,we usually prefer to explore other countries thinking that india is our country and we can explore it any time.Luckily there was an opportunity for our friends kids to perform in Guruvayur Temple in kerala in July. We 3 families didn’t want to miss this opportunity and planned our trip to God’s own country ahead to the Guruvayur Program.

And HERE Goes…Our Trip to KERALA…

We boarded the train at around 9.20 pm. We relaxed after locating our seats and kept our luggage and began to eat our dinner packed from home.

Day 1-Allapey
Early morning,I sat near the window seat in the train enjoying the journey as my mind became nostalgic and started pondering about various things.The train reached Ernakulam station at 9 am in the morning and Mr.Naveen our driver cum tour guide cum friend was there to welcome us with a warm smile and a comfortable 14 seater vehicle for our travel .He informed us that we will reach Allapey in an hour.We all were so excited and eager to see the houseboat for the first time as we had heard a lot about the beauty of Kerala’s backwater and thrilled to experience it for the very first time.

Our first destination was Alappuzha, romantically known as Alleppey .Honestly speaking seeing the charm and beauty of the place ,I could guess as to why the place is called as “Venice of the East.”
They say “If u Dream it ; You will Get it”;Likewise I couldn’t believe myself ready to cruise in the Houseboat which was really my dream come true. The moment we entered in boat , we all were super excited and went all around the boat. It had 3 bedroom, 1 kitchen, 1 dinning hall and 1 upper deck. It was just like a 3 BHK apartment. There were 3 persons. one for driving, 1 for cooking and another for helping. There were TV, dining table and sofa. It was no less than hotel rooms.



The boat started at 11.30 am gracefully cruising along the backwaters which was crowded initially with different houseboats. After an hour we were the only one in the middle of backwater. We checked in the kitchen and were excited to see the cook preparing some delicious dishes in authentic kerala style.We were told that if we want, we can buy fresh fishes from nearby shop in between strip land . We were OK with that, so we were taken to the shop. They had all varieties of fish like kareemeen,Pomfret, and Tiger prawn. Those prawns I have never seen in my life. The size was just like lobster. We asked our cook’s suggestion, and he told us that if we want gravy, then we should take kareemeen fish and if we want it fried, then we should take pomfret. Prawns is optional. Believe me, those fishes were not even 1 hour old from water. It was so very fresh. So we got 1 kg Kareemeen for Rs. 800 which was just few pieces and also tiger prawns. Meanwhile, we got biscuits ,chips and fruits from another shop nearby in that strip and also tasted delicious tendercoconut and got back to our boat.At 1.30 lunch was ready .There were rice, sambar, 2 veg dish, fish gravy,fish fry, salad, curd, pickle and it was awesome preparation..It was best ever dining experience which will remain unforgettable in our memory.

After we relished the food, we went to the upper deck and clicked pictures amidst the picturesque beauty of the place.In the evening we were provided with hot bajjis and tasty tea. Soon after our evening snack we were asked what we needed for the dinner. We asked him to prepare chappathy and chicken and the preparation for the dinner started.The place is no less than a heaven offering visual treat along with yummy food treat that too served with lots of love and homeliness.



At 5 PM, boat was anchored to a calm and serene place.The boatwala asked whether we would like to go for ayurvedic massages.We opted for it and at 5.30 we got ready and went for a small walk around the place meanwhile a person from Amritha ayurvedic center came to pick us to the massage place.I would say it was great and very much relaxing. If you’re in Kerala, you just cannot miss this.
In the night they kept the AC running, so the room was nice and cozy. The only thing annoying about the house boat was there were too much mosquitoes.So its better to keep the rooms closed and use mosquito repellant to atleast get some relief .
Next day, we got up at 8:00 AM and took bath. At 9:00 AM, we were served breakfast. It’s the traditional kerala style puttu and kadala curry..
At 10:00 AM, they started the boat and we went all around. At 12 o'clock, we came back to same place where we started. The boat house experience was awesome. This was the best travel experience, where we did nothing except eating and relaxing.
Day 2: Allapey - Vagamon
It was really hard to bid farewell to the heavenly place but thinking about the upcoming place to visit we all geared up and were ready for the long journey ahead to our next destination Vagamon.

We took the route via cochin so as to visit our friends place.We reached our friends place at 3pm and were overwhelmed by their hospitality .We had an awesome food and spent few hours visiting their farm at their house backyard .At 6pm we started our long journey yet again and reached vagamon by 11 pm .Though the whole day went in travel ,yet the experience was awesome because the sight of greenery everywhere never failed to amaze us and kept us entertained.We checked in to Hotel Chillax which offered classy and contemporary comfort.We were very hungry and exhausted and ordered for chappathy and some gravy ,which was the only option left for us at that time.The preparation time they took was half an hour and it was worth the wait.

Day 3- Vagamon
We woke up early for a walk along the narrow, mist covered zigzag roads that wind up the hills and the experience was a true bliss. The feel was refreshing as there was no pollution by sound or any distraction.After our walk we had awesome breakfast in the hotel Chillax and checked for the sightseeing places in Vagamon and started to explore.

Green Meadows
Green Meadows is a clean, super comfortable place - nothing fancy or over-the-top; the place just merges with the landscape. It's almost like you are living in harmony with nature.The feel in the middle of Green Grass Lands with cool breeze going around is truly a bliss. The sight of never ending hills of Vagamon all round us was really amazing.It made us to realize that there is no one to disturb you, You and your Peace of Mind…. That’s it when you are here.We started to click pictures when suddenly it started drizzling heavily forcing everyone to vanish from that place in need of shelter.We waited few minutes in our vehicle for the rain to stop but unfortunately it didn’t.So we continued to move ahead to the next place .

Pine Forest
Pine forests in Vagamon is special unlike other hillstations The reason is that in other hillstations it is just a location enroute which we drive to a bigger location.. But Pine Forest in Vagamon is one of the key tourist attractions and has an unassuming charm. We stopped at the edge of the forest where it just begins and walked deep into it for a few hundred meters and spent few minutes clicking pictures amidst the beautiful place. Great place to do nothing and just enjoy nature.



Thangal Para
Thangal Para is a place of religious significance to Muslims. There is a Durgah here which is the resting place of a Sufi saint, who is believed to have reached Kerala from Afghanistan about 800 years ago. We spent few minutes in this place clicking pictures.



Parunthin Para also known as 'Parunthumpara' (the eagle rock)
Its called so because of a large area around like an eagle. This area provides a bird's eye view of an endless stretch of green forest land and low-lying areas.



The main attractions of Parunthumpara are Suicide Point and Tagor Head (a rock that appears to have the shape of Tagor, an Indian poet's, head). This place was suggested by a friend and we are really glad that we could visit this place. I feel it’s a perfect choice for those who wish to explore the unseen and the unexplored beauty as it is not included in the touristic places around Vagamon.
This place give a good view of hills often covered by mist..It was also surprising to see how quickly the mist was appearing and disappearing provided a view of parunthumpara.



We were hungry and preferred to eat some hot bread omlette in the road shops.There were many road side shops but we preferred to eat in one shop mainly because of the crowd gathered around.It was a completely different experience mainly because of the speciality of a person who prepared it.The normal bread omlette was prepared in an extremely different style.He made us realize that to establish oneself in an unique way we need to show some dedication and interest in what we do .We spent around an hour eating the delicious bread omlete served along with a special sharbath .After our stomach filling brunch we started to Munnar.

Anjuruli



While on our way we stopped at Anjuruli which is an emerging touristic destination and a catchment area of Idukki dam.The place provided a bewitching and awesome view of nature.We spent few minutes and were forced to leave the place as it was getting dark.
The travel seemed to be too long as it was already dark outside and we could no longer view out and kids really were exhausted. The road was twisty and curvy. Although they were not exactly hairpin bends, still the other end of the road was not visible. Our driver Naveen was quite experienced in driving in such roads.
We took small breaks to refresh ourselves and continued our travel and reached Moonar at 11.30 pm. The temperature decreased gradually as we climbed up the mountain roads and we sensed cool breeze as we approached Moonar but couldn’t experience face to face with the actual beauty of it due to night travel.. All were hungry and by the time we reached all restaurants were closed but we could find one thallukada(mobile restaurant) where we got to taste some delicious appam and variteties of non veg dishes.We checked in one hotel and straightaway hit our bed after the tiredsome journey.

Day 5 Moonar (the land of “three rivers” in Malayalam)
Hill stations have always attracted me more than anything. I can't quite explain in words the reason why this typical landscape attracts me so much. May be because of the silence and mystery of nature or may be its the place where one can communicate with mother nature at peace.



We encountered tea garden everywhere and the sight was truly a bliss.I opened my handy cam and started capturing the splendid view outside. Our vehicle progressed and the view seemed to continue. Soon I realized the meaninglessness of capturing such continuously beautiful view with my handy cam. I closed it and enjoyed the scenery with my eye instead.Eco point is the most popular sightseeing spot in Munnar.After reaching there everyone of us shouted in anticipation of hearing it back,but ended up in damaging others eardrum.Though we didn’t experience any echo ,we had all fun in screaming aloud names of our near and dear ones and hearing it back in very less frequency.



Boating is also popular at Eco point,kids enjoyed the boating a lot ,however we preferred to skip it and enjoy the amazing landscape and take a few snaps.However not satisfied with our pics we hired a photographer who took a bunch of photos by making us pose cinematically .Seeing the pictures taken by him we were tempted to take many more as he knows the exact spot and the apt pose for a perfect family picture to be framed. We did small shopping at the make shift stalls which sell small souvenirs and other accessories in the 30 mins waiting time for printing of the selected photos .The place was bit crowded but looked lively.The sight of the dales and valley witnessed at eco point is truly a bliss and treasured deep in my memory.



We had booked clubmahindra resort for our stay in Munnar.There are 2 resorts and we stayed at mount Serene which is further up from the main resort.
Although I had seen pictures before, I was still impressed with the location and the beauty of it. There was a steep road leading to the hotel. Our vehicle slowly climbed up the road and parked in front of the resort. It took us a few minutes to check in. We were shown our rooms. The suite was spacious and clean We had selected this resort for several reasons, the most important of which was that it was located at a place away from the noise of the town of Munnar.Its really a fantastic location to be with family for a totally relaxing vacation.

Day 6-Travel from Munnar to Thrissur
The next morning came with whole new expectations and promises . I hurriedly changed my dress, freshened up and went outside to take a stroll around the resort.
The view from the resort was spellbound.It was as if we are touching the clouds. The morning was misty and beautiful.Slight drizzling enhanced the beauty with mist covered mountains.The first thing I noticed while strolling in the garden was the remnants of burnt wood and many chairs surrounding it. The hotel had probably arranged a bonfire the previous night. The not so clear view of a distant mountain surrounded by mist and the adjacent greenery was making me fall in love with this place.



My heart wished to spend the whole life in the lap of mother nature.



Its time for us to check out from the resort and we started to pack and were ready for long journey yet ahead.The journey was really tiredsome ,we literally wanted to take a break and freshen up.Naveen reading our mind asked us to get down from the tempo travel,we initially thought the stop was to drink some tea or coffee,but was spellbound to view the stunning waterfalls at our sight.
The Cheeyappara waterfalls is located on the Kochi- Madhurai Highway road.The sight of the waterfalls and the taste of the fresh mango ,pineapple slices available in the local shops there is really uncomparable.Its a place never to miss for those who pass from Munnar to Cochin.



We resumed our journey back and reached Thrissur station to catch our train back to Chennai.It was time to bid farewell to the beautiful place and to my friends too who had their kids program in Guruvayur temple the very next day.
The view of misty hill tops, beautiful landscape,tea estates on the slopes and the water gushing through so many different paths though impossible to be captured in a single still picture ,is recorded in my memory forever.
The trip definitely confirmed to us the beauty of the place we live in .We often live in our made up little worlds, running on our daily routines.A break is really required to rejuvenate and prepare for the life journey ahead.

Express your comment on this article

 
PD
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Well written and took me to Kerala for a while. The beauty of Alleppey and Munnar can''t be visualize more than what you did here.
Once again stated - IT IS GOD''S OWN COUNTRY !!

Arnav
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Wow journey well written.keraal is a beautiful and homely place.Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience.

Rebecca
Friday, January 12, 2018
Well written.Feels good to read about my place .

Rk
Monday, January 8, 2018
Perfect guidance for our upcoming trip to south india.thanks.

Anand babu
Friday, January 5, 2018
Excellent blog about your kerala trip..thanks for the tip on the places we can visit in addition to boat house near Allepey..i have plans on my nect trip with friends and will suggest them these places. Wishes for more travel in 2018

Paul
Thursday, January 4, 2018
We travelled along as we read .enjoyed reading.

Shanaaz
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Completely in kerala after reading the article.Good writing.

Kasi
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Beauty of kerala is beautifully narrated

Rachel
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Awesome narration

JACOB
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
KERALA TRAVELLERS PARADISE

Shaji
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
East or West our India is the best.nice to read about our country.good.

Sunil
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Very nice and interesting write up.proud to be from Kerala

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