Saturday, December 04, 2004

Kerala

November 15th, 2004 - November 22nd, 2004

They call it God's own country. And we were all excited to visit it. After a lot of fiddling about the trip plan itself, everything was finalized and we set out from New Delhi - Air Sahara it was. To add to the excitement, Sunit managed to lose one of the tickets within 5 minutes of us entering the airport. We later recovered it and off we went to Kerala.

We flew into Cochin and were received at the airport by our designated chauffeur. The rain outside did dampen our spirits. But as we drove towards our hotel the surroundings were wonderful. Lush, green paddy fields and palms were all around. By the time we freshened up the rain had stopped. We took quick trips to St. Francis Church and the Chinese fishing nets. And ended the day with dinner at Pai Dosa place - they served 36 different kinds of dosas.Next morning we set off for Munnar. On way we visited the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya. A spiral staircase took us up and around the tower covered with murals enlightening us on his life. We then went to Kodunad Elephant reserve on route to Munnar.





With its sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns and winding lanes, Munnar is one of the most exotic of hill stations in the south. We stayed at Willow Hill hotel. The Pullivasal tea estate was a 5 minute walk from the hotel. There was a glorious sunrise next morning - breathtakingly beautiful - a haven of peace and tranquility. We went to visit the Mattupetty Dam and Kundalu Dam. We ended the day by visiting the home of the Nilgiri Tahr - Erivakulum. Much to our initial disappointment and later delight we hiked all the way to the top without catching a glimpse of Tahr but saw it when we reached back to our parking lot.






From Munnar we proceeded to Thekkady - One of India's most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries, where one can watch wildlife at close range. The vegetation, the flora and fauna and the birds of Thekkady were uniquely rich, vast and varied. Spread across the entire district were picturesque plantations and we had a chance to visit one of them - the guide told us all about how pepper, cashews, cardamom, cinnamon etc are grown. In the evening we took a cruise through the waters of Periyar lake around which the wild -life sanctuary is situated. It offered a soul - stirring pleasant experience. We were able to catch
a glimpse of a number of deer, bison and variety of birds.



Early next morning we proceeded to Alleppey - Venice of the East. It is a water locked district, interlocked with a large number of canals and bridges. Here we went aboard our very own Kettuvulam - a rice barge or a houseboat which took us around the backwaters. My parents’ initial fear of new surroundings was easily overcome by the comforts inside. The crew on board fixed us a lovely meal of authentic keralan cuisine while we traveled through the canals and Lake Vembanad. At nightfall the boat was parked alongside a picturesque paddy field.




The following morning we proceeded back to Cochin. Here we got a chance to see a Kathakali performance along with the make-up demo before the actual performance. Before setting off for the airport the next day, we also went to see the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch palace and the St. Francis Church. All in all it was a fun packed and restful trip with lots of quality time with our parents. We came back loaded with memories and a desire to undertake such trips more often in the future.

8 comments:

Flypig said...

Nice to read about this. I plan to visit the place this December.

Pooja Aggarwal said...

Thanks. Hope you enjoy the place as much as we did.

Braveheart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Braveheart said...

Search for Kerala travelogues brought me here. It looks like you had a good time. We are going to do it on a bike though. However, it's interesting to know you caught up with a Kathakali performance. Could you please tell me how and where. I'd be interested to...

-- Akshaya

Pooja Aggarwal said...

We had rented a car in Kerala. The chauffeur knew a lot about the place and took us to this kathakali performance. It was actually at the house of an old teacher. He had a small hall where there were chairs and the front was used as a stage.

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www.myhappyjourney.com said...

Good work pooja

Regards
Karthikeyan.m
www.myhappyjourney.com

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