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Sunday, 25 October 2020

God's Own Country Kerala

 

        Kerala is a state on the Malabar coast of South-India, popularly known as "God's Own Country." Home to a wide network of Brackish lagoons called backwaters, Ayurveda massages, sanctuaries of wildlife, expansive tea gardens, hill-stations, palm-tree-lined beaches & vibrant dance styles, Kerala has all to choose from!

        It will take about 8-9 days to visit Kerala. Starting from Kochi-Ernakulam, then from Cochin to Munnar by bus or car, next to Periyar, then to Kovalam and Thiruvananthapuram, next Kollam. Then Alappuzha or Alapujha by water-way. Kochi back again at the end.

What is the Best time to Visit Kerala :

            September to February, when the weather is comparatively colder, is a great time to visit Kerala. Though summers (March to May) make the region too hot and the monsoons (June to August) can obtain a downpour that can be heavier than imagined and not fully recommended to all visitors. But for others, festivals, spectacular scenery & the much-talked herbal treatments can be a lovely amalgamation.

Kochi-Ernakulam

            Cochin and Ernakulam, on the shores of Lake Vembanad, are also known as the twin cities of Howrah-Kolkata, a joint city on the banks of the Ganges. Ernakulam is the commercial capital of Kerala and Cochin is the port city. 

            Kochi or Cochin, located on the south-west coast of India, is a busy commercial port city with a trade history going back at least 600 years. The city, named the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is Kerala's financial, industrial & commercial capital.

        Jew Town and Fort Kochi, though their presence is also marked by palaces, beaches, temples & heritage sites. Kochi is also a significant place to see performances and the yearly Biennale Festival of Kathakali and Kalarippayattu.            

            Ernakulam is Kerala's central district and is home to Kochi, its financial and industrial capital. The district is known as Kerala's economic and political centre. This district also includes the Cochin Stock Exchange, Kerala Municipal Corporation & Kerala High Court. While it is Kerala's most industrial city, it also boasts beautiful tourist attractions that link man to nature and God. Ernakulam remains the heart of Kerala, holding a close balance between nature, faith & industry. 

How to Reach

                There are frequent Kochi International Airport flights linking major cities. Kochi serves three stations, one of which is Ernakulam Junction South, the largest and possibly the busiest. Trains are an economical and simple mode of travel.

                The International Cochin Airport links Kochi by air to the rest of the world. On a daily basis, the airport operates both domestic and international flights.

Airport : Kochi Airport

Hotels :
        Eden Grande Inn, HONZA RESIDENCY, Peter's Inn, Coconut Grove Kochi- Guest Room 3, Abode Suites, etc.

Munnar

                Munnar is a famous Kerala hill-station in the Western-Ghats, perched at an altitude of 1700 metres. Munnar is well known as the 'Kashmir of South India' and is renowned for its tea estates, varying shades of green, clouds of mist and craggy peaks.

                Located on the banks of 3 rivers, Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru, besides the tea-plantations, Munnar is also blessed with natural viewpoints. Munnar is divided into Old Munnar, which is home to the tourist information centre, and Munnar, which is home to the bus station & most of the guest houses. Its main attractions are the Eravikulam National Park, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and tea plantations, which is a major view.

How to reach

            The closest airport is Kochi, which is 128 km away. Angamaly is 125 km away from the nearest railway, with the next alternative being Kochi station. Kochi to Munnar is linked by buses and tourist taxis.

Hotels :

        Tea Castle Munnar, Rainforest Munnar, Exquisite 1BR Home, Vishnudevi inn, Lacos Holidays, Foggy Dreamz, etc.

Periyar

            In Thekkady, Kerala, Periyar National Park is one of the globe's most bio-diverse regions and the better-protected reserve area in India. Famous for its elegance, greenery and quiet, the park is home to many important animals, including royal tigers and magnificent elephants, as well as other reptiles, fish and birds. An incredible mix of nature, adventure and charms is this National Park. Periyar National Park is full of wonderful sights and sounds, a place that gives you the peace and serenity you so crave, an opportunity to be one with nature and just a regular sighting of a Tiger or two.

            The national park attractions are great places to enjoy boating on the beautiful lake, trekking through the thick forests, or just sitting down to spot an animal or two. There is no wonder that this location is the perfect destination for holidays, offering adventure and wildlife beautifully bundled into one.

How to Reach

            Periyar is 110 km from Munnar and by car, time will be taken approx. 3-3.30 hrs. Also, The closest airports are located in Madurai (137 km) and Kochi (160 km). At Kottayam, the nearest railhead to meet Thekkady is. In addition to other South Indian towns, frequent buses operate from Kottayam, Madurai and Trivandrum to Thekkady.

Hotels :

        Cassells Jungle Resorts, Aranya Homestay, Sopanam Heritage Thekkady, Hotel White Portico, Nature View Inn, etc.

Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

Padmanabha Swamy Temple
                    An enticing combination of a deeply rooted heritage and a nostalgic colonial history is the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum. One such city, built on seven hills, has long since left behind the days because it was only used by seafaring adventurers. Trivandrum offers a wide range of attractions, including stunning museums, beautifully built palaces, holy temples and mesmerising beaches, making the place one of South India's best tourist destinations.

     The temple of Padmanabhaswamy (also temple is dedicated of Anantha Padmanabhaswamy) is a must-visit temple in India. The Attukal Bhagawati temple, the Aazhimala Siva Temple, the Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple, and the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple are other popular temples in Trivandrum.

How to Reach

              The city has an airport and a train station of its own. Trivandrum International Airport is connected to all of India's major cities. In Southern India, Trivandrum railway station is the third biggest. If want to travel by road, there are buses to Trivandrum from all the major cities and villages.

Hotels :

    Bio Veda Ayurvedic Hill resort, Happy Lodge, BGM Home Stay Neyyardam, Tiny wooden traditional Kerala cabin, 10 min walk distance from Rly stn, etc.
Kovalam 
View from Resort
                 Kovalam is an area of Trivandrum City in Kerala, India, situated about 20 km south of the city centre. This part of Trivandrum city is home to the world-famous Kovalam Beach. Kovalam is an internationally renowned resort with three beaches adjacent to the Crescent. Since the 1930s it has been a favorite destination of visitors. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters perfect for swimming at sea.
            Kovalam means a coconut-tree grove and the village provides an endless view of coconut trees, true to its name. This exodus started turning a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of India's most important tourist destinations.
             When it comes to Kerala beaches, there is no doubt that Kovalam Beach seizes one of the top positions in terms of visual awesomeness and tourist inflow. This beach lies 15 km from Trivandrum. Among Kovalam's vast array of tourist spots, it's the beaches that visitors, both local and foreign, are most in demand.
            Visitors' lodging facilities at Kovalam vary from five-star hotels to budget hotels and food choices at restaurants and cafeterias range from Continental varieties to South Indian delights.
Varkala Beach
             One of the major tourist spots in Kerala is  Varkala which is a small green town nearly 45 km from Trivandrum. Varkala tourism has a rare ability to please visitors to every group. The beach has lots to offer, bordered by golden sands and blossoming green plantations.
Light-House Beach
               Lighthouse Beach got its name because of the old Vizhinjam Lighthouse situated on top of the Kurumkal hillock 35 meters high. Built using stones, the lighthouse is colored in red and white bands and enjoys 118 feet high. At night it's sporadic lights leaving the beach with an unearthly beauty.

Hawah Beach
        Eve's Beach, popularly known as Hawa Beach, early in the day, is an activity beehive of fishers setting out for the sea. This beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights, with a high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters.
Samudra Beach
      This section is separated from the south by a wide promontory. Samudra Beach has no thronging visitors or hectic business in there. Here the local fishermen follow their trade.

Nearest Railway Station: Thiruvananthapuram Central, about 18 km.
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 10-12 km.
Private cars are available.
Hotels :
      Devikripa Homestay, Johny's Beach House, Padmini House, Bougainvillea Home Stay, Karma Ayurvedic Beach Resort, Devika Homestay, etc.
Alappuzha or Alleppey

                Alleppey, officially named Alappuzha, is a city in the state of Kerala in Southern India. It is known for its large network of interlinked, palm-fringed canals known as backwaters and revitalising Ayurvedic resorts bordering the Laccadive Sea. Allepey is also renowned for its houseboat cruises that pass through the peaceful backwaters, where anyone can catch flashes of green paddy fields, choir events, beautiful avifauna, and experience the lives of Kerala residents.

            The Alleppey beach in the Arabian Sea lies towards the shore, a lovely example of the gems you'd find along the coast of Malabar. Only the past attached to it amplifies the charm of this beach, and a stroll down the 138-year-old pier is a must. n the months of Aug. and Sept., be sure to catch a typical snake boat race and try some toddy (palm wine) at a nearby toddy shop to add a touch of reality to your travel experience in Allepey.

How to Reach

                It is possible to enter Alleppey via airways, railways & by road. The closest airport is the International Airport of Cochin. A 2/3 hour drive will be enough to cover the distance from the airport, situated approx. 80/100 km from Alleppey area. In the area, there are a couple of railway stations, one of the major railheads being the Kalavur Halt. There is also a KSRTC bus terminus right in the centre of the city, about a kilometer away. The Valicherry Ward is another bus stand, around a 6-minute walk from the city.

Hotels :

            The Pamba Heritage Villa, Maria Heritage Homes, Serene Home Stay, The Lake River Side Resort, Sunny Days Homestay, Abella Lakeview Homestay, etc.

** Unexplored Offbeat Places in India

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