A Travellerspoint blog

KERALA

GOD'S OWN COUNTRY

sunny

Today i m taking u all on d tour of "God's own place" i.e. Kerala which is situated on India's tropical Malabar coast. It is so called bcz of it's lush greenery & breathtaking sceneries. It is considered one of d most beautiful Honeymoon destinations in India. D rate of poverty in Kerala is low compared to all India avg & literacy rate is comparatively very high. According to Hindu mythology, d lands of Kerala emerged out when sage Parasurama, d 6th avatar of lord Vishnu threw his axe across d sea & d water retrograded as far as it reached.
I'd visited d "Land of Coconuts" in d month of Dec2018. Winter season is d best time to visit Kerala as this time humidity drops & d valleys are lush green. So i began searching for a suitable Kerala travel package & finally booked one through MMT (MakeMyTrip) . Since flights are d quickest & most convenient way to go to Kerala so i'd booked a round-trip flight to Kerala. My dreamy vacation to Kerala began with boarding on d flight to Bengaluru as there were no direct flights availble from Indore-Kochi at that time. After spending layover time of approx 2hrs at Kempegowda airport Bengaluru, I'd stepped in to my next flight leading to Kochi. Here 1thing i want to tell to all my traveller frndz that despite dt u are going to Kerala in Winters, u don't need to pack any heavy warm cloths as d whether here is much hotter & humid as compared to North India. Although u can carry a light jacket or a cotton shawl for evenings dt might be required in d hilly areas.

My Kerala trip details:-
Duration: 6nights/7days
Date: 20Dec18-26Dec18
Category- Deluxe
Cities: Munnar, Thekkady, Allepey, Kovalam, Trivandrum
Inclusions: Cab, Hotels, Brkfast, Candle light dinner & Local sightseeing
Exclusions: Personal expenses & Lunch

The Trip:-
Day1: Cochin to Munnar- The Candlelit Dinner
Starting as we arrived at d Cochin airport & being picked up by d Driver in a Sedan AC car for getting us transferred to our stay in Munnar, a beautiful hill station. D journey to this town (135km) ws laden with serene landscapes & narrow roads and took jst 4hrs to cover. During d drive, enjoyed a short stopover at d Athirapally waterfalls. We were totally in awe of d beauty of dt place. Here u must have a pair of comfortable sneakers for d amount of walking required. To make your road trip a fun experience, you cud stop at d beautiful spice garden & take a charming walk through d garden while inhaling d scents of multiple herbs & spice plants. On d way to Munnar, we asked our driver to stop for d Lunch at any pure vegetarian restaurant but even after checking out several restaurants we cudn't find any so we had to decide to have a vegetarian Lunch at a restaurant which was serving both veg & non-veg as we had no other option available. D food was served at Banana leaf then we realized dt yes, we are in Kerala.

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At around 8pm, we reached d forest resort named Tea village which was some 13km away from d Munnar bus stand offering breathtaking views of d valley. D resort exceeded our expectations & we were totally in love with it.

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After check-in we got a bouquet along with a welcome hamper containing Chocolates/Cookies, Deodorant, Spices grown in Kerala & a Coffee mug imprinted with d pictures depicting culture of Kerala. Then Welcome drink was delivered in our room.

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After having shower, enjoyed d candlelit dinner organized for us by d Hotel staff in balcony of our room amidst d forest. D glow of d candles, d moon & stars, d setting & d scenic surroundings all made it a perfect evening. If you are on your Honeymoon, then u must order a bottle of Champagne at your own expense just to add a little spice in d romantic eve.

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Day2: Munnar Sightseeing & Ayurvedic Massage..
After brkfast at d resort, started our sightseeing from lush tea plantations, then headed to Eravikulam national park. Moreover, d route from our resort to this place was scenic dt i cudn't stop myself to capture d mesmerizing vistas.

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D Eravikulam national park is famous for d Nilgiri Tahr- an endangered species of wild goat. Here u can enjoy a visit to d top station to see d beautiful view of Munnar. Here i want to advise to all d lady travellers dt don't forget to carry a Sunscreen while sightseeing at Munnar as it was too humid & hot even in d month of December & avoid wearing Sleeveless dress otherwise your sensitive skin may suffer with Sun burn. Post this, we visited d Rose garden, which had more than 100 variety of flowers.
After experiencing a magical evening, we returned to d resort for an overnight stay but before d dinner, went for a traditional Ayurveda full body massage(Abhyanga) at d resort as per our package itinerary. In a private room as soon as d girl therapist started massaging from head to toe with dt Herbal aromatic oil, tiredness of d whole day was just vanished. After dt, she locked me in some Almirah like closed structure for steam bath. Then she instructed me to take a complete bath in d Bathroom attached to dt Spa room. After dt 1hour spent in d Massage, i was feeling so fresh & relaxed dt i felt never before.
Day3: Munnar to Thekkady- Kalari Show & Dinner by d Pool..
Checked-out from d resort after relishing an early morning brkfast & got ready for a 3hour (92km) drive to Thekkady. Thekkady has a wide zone for travellers to chill out. Enroute, we saw a no of traditional Kerala style houses with each one having a Banana tree in d premise. Upon our arrival by noon, checked into d resort Crown valley, which was once again awesome & d room was so cozy!

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Just contrary to Munnar, d whether of Thekkady was so chilled & windy dt we had to wear our Sweaters. D clouds were speedly running over d hotel & we were able to capture them through d windows of our room along with an exceptional view of d valley.

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Now we went on a boat cruise on Periyar lake in Thekkady, While boating here, you cud spot herds of Gaur, Sambar, Wild boar & Elephants in d grasslands adjacent to d shores.

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Later, in d evening, we experienced d traditional Kalari show. D artists were so marvelous , as they performed different martial arts moves across d fire circles which were getting smaller stunt by stunt. I would recommend everyone to indulge in this experience if they book a Kerala trip. After d show, we headed back to d resort where a delicious dinner by d pool had been arranged for us. Here u can spend a leisurely evening with your loved one while enjoying d delicious supper. As d day came to an end, we returned to d room for a relaxing overnight stay.

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Day4: Thekkady to Alleppey- Night Stay in d Houseboat..
Checked out from d resort in Thekkady after brkfast & drove to Alleppey.

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With scenic inland waterways, Alleppey is a mesmerizing backwater destination in Kerala & is known as d "Venice of East". D 138km drive to this exotic world of beauty jst took about 4hrs to cover & once again had no trouble commuting since d route was excellent & tall Palm trees were welcoming us. We reached d 2-storey luxury houseboat at 1pm & after we had checked in & settled out luggage in our room, d houseboat began moving in d backwaters of Arabian sea.

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D houseboat was sailing swiftly by d deep waterway channel while we were sipping d coconut water & enjoying snacks. D sun deck on d houseboat offered magnificent panoramas of d backwaters. As d day came to an end, we had an amazing Candle lit dinner aboard d houseboat. Here u have to just sit back & enjoy d company of your loved one as you cruise along d calm backwater. Light music enhances d evening's atmosphere as you bask in d charm of God's own country. We loved how everything was managed perfectly here, from decorations to food & drinks. Post dinner, we enjoyed a relaxing sleep in our comfortable room of d houseboat.

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Day5: Alleppey to Kovalam- Road transfer
Post brkfast in d houseboat, disembarked from d houseboat in Alleppey & drove to Kovalam, an exotic beach destination. This place is a well-developed beach-resort vacation spot for travellers from all over d world. D 180km & 4-5hr long drive was a pleasant one with lush views of d Kerala countryside. Upon our arrival, checked-in at d Sagara beach resort & relaxed in d comfortable room. D hotel is within a walking distance from Kovalam light house & d beach. Each room had a private balcony that overlooked d beautiful natural surroundings & breathtaking views of d Arabian sea, even i cud clearly hear d heavy roars of d ocean waves.

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Later, we headed out to explore d iconic Hawa beach & Light house beach. As d sun set on d horizon, d gushing waves of d Arabian sea started shimmering & created a serene aura. Such a soothing environment is ideal for a fun time with d one you love.
As Christmas is celebrated more on Dec24th which means midnight mass & fortunately we were there in Kovalam & YES, it was a very special time. There were a no. of beach side Restaurants, Cafe, Pubs & Bars decorated with lights & fully captured by d foreigners drinking, dining & dancing. After a short beach walk we went into a beach side restaurant for a cold beer & some lovely food. While sitting there we were gazing at d ocean waves & being touched by d cool breeze directly coming from d ocean. That relaxing sitting was very much awaited after d 5days journey. I must say dt this was one was d highlight of our trip. Later, we headed back to d resort where we got surprised when d hotel manager invited us for d Christmas celebration to be held by d swimming pool. So after dinner we went to d pool side party where some singing/dancing groups & a traditional South Indian dancer performed followed by dancing of some couples on d romantic songs.

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We had fun till midnight although we didn't dance on d floor despite so many requests from d Manager. Then we returned back to our room for a relaxing overnight stay whereas d party kept going on till late night. In d room we didn't even need to switch on d AC as d cool air coming from d ocean had completely chilled out our sea facing room but d sounds of ocean waves now became thunderous in d deep silence of d night.

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Day6: Sightseeing in Kovalam & Shopping..
Started our day with a delicious brkfast. After starting our day on such a beautiful note, moved out to spend some quality time at d beautiful beaches of Kovalam where you cud soak in d warmth of d sun, make sand castles or take part in some thrilling water sport activities. Though i'd visited Juhu beach in Mumbai which was so dirty & d water was filled with full of garbage and d beach was over crowded, unlike dt d beaches in Kovalam were so calm, clean & truly beautiful. I seriously felt in love with this place. There were several foreigner ladies wearing Bikinis & swimsuits who were laying down on d beach having Sun bath. This was beyond my expectation as u can't expect this level of boldness in India except Goa. But 1thing i want to warn you about dt swimming in d ocean here can be dangerous. It is strictly advisable to keep upto d marked areas only & not beyond dt as d ocean waves here might go higher than normal. This is d reason dt d lifeguards are always here to overlook d behavior of d waves & to alert d swimmers. Here staring d ocean from a distance is much more pleasant & safe rather than diving into d water, so don't put your life on risk just for d fun of a few minutes.
There is a wide range of shops on d beach offering mostly beach wears, tees & shorts with designs of Coconut trees & other symbols depicting Kerala. I also bought a Kurta & a pair of shorts as a souvenir of Kerala. After dt we enjoyed d Fish massage on d beach, YES.. Fish start massaging our foot when we stepped down in a box filled with small fishes without teeth & it was really exciting.

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When light faded & d sky started twinkling, we returned back to d resort for a relaxing overnight stay. Before sleeping we had dinner at d rooftop restaurant of our resort offering a variety of Indian, Chinese, Thai & Continental delicacies.
When thinking of beaches in India, Goa usually comes to mind first, but i must say dt Kovalam could become a tough competitor of Goa. I think Kovalam was d best place in our whole journey of Kerala.
Day7: Kovalam to Trivandrum- Visit of Padmanabhaswamy temple..
Today was going to be d last day of our exciting holiday in Kerala. After brkfast, checked out from d resort & been transferred to Trivandrum. On arrival in Trivandrum, visited d magnificent Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, one of d 108 Divya Desam & a fine example of Dravidian architecture. In this sacred temple of Lord Vishnu, he is worshipped with his two wives - Sridevi & Bhudevi, laying down on Anantha, d hooded Serpent. Before entering d temple it's compulsory for all men & women(wearing anything other than Saree) to wear d traditional white cotton Lungi, women can tie it up over d dress they are already wearing. Then we had explored d famous Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, which is home to royal tigers, panthers, cheetahs, lions & deer etc.

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After d excursion, our driver dropped us at d Airport to board our flight for return.

Low points: D only disappointing thing was to see d sign board outside almost every restaurant writing "Beef is available".

Tips for future travellers:-

Rather than travel by your own, try to book a complete travel package by a renowned travel company as that would be more convenient, safe & better planned.
With MMT, You can customize your travel package as per your needs rather than just go with a pre-defined package. But prefer to select only 4-star or 5-star hotels for accomodation if you really want to enjoy a comfortable stay with d mouth watering food.
Don't miss to taste d finger licking South Indian Onion Raita as you can't find d authentic one in North India.

Overall Experience: We lived d best of 7days during this trip to Kerala & to sum up our journey in one word, it was a "refreshing" one. This place is a must for tourists who truly love & really want to embrace d nature.

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Posted by SonalTiwari 08:24 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes waterfalls mountains lakes beaches bridges churches art trees animals birds sky night boats

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