Kerala – an inspiring state
It’s difficult to bundle all my feelings in this blog post about how I felt after visiting Kerala. But let me try my best to narrate my experience.
Bang bang !! It had to be a heavy alarm as its difficult to wake up at 2:30 am when you have slept at 11:00 pm. Woke up my spouse Amy and got ready to move. The taxi (Taxi for Sure) came on time to pick us and drop at Airport on time as the flight was scheduled at about 5 am.
Indigo was on time as usual and the sunrise welcomed us in Mumbai thereafter. We waited for about an hour then caught Spicejet to fly to Kochi. The scene from the window was really amazing. The skyline of Mumbai was visible, although it was a top view but one can get an idea about the complexity of it. After an hour or so we saw coconut trees lined up outside a building and almost everywhere. Kerala, this is!
Mr. Abraham from Evergreen Holidays received us at Cochin Airport and introduced us to the guide Mr.Georgee (Straight forward person with slight smile). I really had a good time travelling with him in a Verito.
The first thing I noticed about Kerala while enroute to Munnar was the tendency to do business and development in harmony with nature. Plantations were present everywhere while we traveled through turns and dips to reach a beautiful little waterfall by the roadside.
We moved on to visit a nice Spice Garden with various Ayurvedic plants. After getting a lot of knowledge about possible Ayurvedic cures for headache, diabetes, chronic pain etc, we traveled higher to witness the beautiful hills of Munnar. At about 5:00 pm, we checked in to Seven Springs Resort which is situated on Manakulam road. After little rest we went on for a stroll to gasp in the refreshing atmosphere.
The dinner at the resort was really delicious. I loved the Kerala Parantha by the way. Next day was Jeep ride in nearby areas of Munnar. We also went off road during the ride which became more than thrilling due to torn path from downpour previous night. The first stop was a mild waterfall. The whole surrounding was full of spice plantations across the river. I tasted a fresh pepper, shiny green; but it pierced through my nostrils I must say. Next was an old bridge made of metal and hanging on reinforced cable with no pillar. This was made on a dry valley in line to a stream which came from Ponmoodi Dam. We visited the dam and went to the far end of the reservoir which looked like a giant lake.
We also saw the other side of that reservoir which was way down in a valley.
Then we went to the highest point of the region. View from the highest point of surrounding region was breathtaking. On one side we saw banana plantations and cardamom plantations and on other far side it was Munnar. The jeep drive was a really nice experience. We had a light lunch then. Of course I was ready to gorge on Kerala parantha.
Next was Dreamland fun park. We did a lot of acrobatic activities there. I walked on a rope way; of course with a harness on! There was Camel ride as well. After spending a couple of hours at Dreamland, we returned to the resort and had some snacks. We had a sound sleep before moving on to Thekkady next morning. After breakfast, Mr. Giorgee asked me if we wanna go for Speed Boating. I promptly agreed. The view at the Lake was amazing and the boat rider was a veteran in his own style. While I was clicking some photos, he asked me for my Mi. He clicked at many places for us to have a great background view in the photos. He took acute turns to give us thrill.
After enjoying the speed we moved on to Thekkady. Persian Paradise was the title board when we took a left turn just before reaching the Kumli town. We took an elephant ride over there. We took the ride on Rupa according to Mahawat. That was the only activity that I didn’t enjoy/like. I believe it was because of the setup (Location), an artificial circular path of about 100m. Afterwards, we checked in the hotel to keep our luggage. We booked the tickets for Kathakali and Martial Arts Shows at evening while we were going to “Periyar Tiger Reserve”. We entered the reserve and the next minute we spotted a big dear resting in the shade of a tree. From parking lot, we had to walk about a quarter mile to reach the boating ticket counter. The walk was blissful, I must say. 100ft long trees on both sides and chirping of birds to make it more dramatic. We booked the tickets and spent some time in a caged restaurant. Why Caged? The Macaques were the reason. They must be more than 50 in numbers, I think. In fact one of them tried to snatch the soft drink from Amy’s handbag.
There were about five boats to travel the lake. We started in little overcast conditions and thence the atmosphere was most comfortable. Of course we didn’t spot a tiger as they generally live in far deeper zone of the forest. But we saw bison, deer and a monitor lizard other than many Kingfishers and storks. Our first show was of Kalari Martial Arts at about 6 in the evening. It was nice to witness the heroics of the Kalari warriors but it was difficult for me to gulp the claim by them that Kung Fu and other Chinese arts are based on theirs. Next we saw incredible eyes and facial expressions used in Kathakali. The show was a good one. We went to Kumli market after a great meal comprising of Butter Chicken, Biryani & Kerala Paratha (Once Again 😉 ) We rested and then early morning next day we were off to Kochi. At noon we reached Kochi and then I checked in a hotel near Ernakulam Junction. Okha Express for Ahmedabad was scheduled at 8:10 pm and so I had some hours to roam Kochi.
First we went to the Fort Kochi beach. As per the reviews, it was not at all clean. There were many fisherman using Chinese nets to catch fish and many restaurants selling sea food. I hate sea food, so we had Chicken noodles at a restaurant. He told us about the timing of ferry to Vypin. And Google guided me to Puthuvype Beach which was in Vypin. A so called island near Kochi can be reached by ferry. An auto then dropped us near Puthuvype Beach. “That’s what you call a BEACH!” came out when I stepped on the clean shore.
There was nice silence I must say. Just another couple enjoying the waves other than us was present. There was also a vanity van standing by one end of the beach; and many boats for fishing. We moved farther towards the lonely part of the beach. I really felt dismay that I didn’t have much time to spend there. Though we enjoyed the breeze for some time and also made sand castle. Then we had to return back to the road. The vanity van we saw earlier was of a crew preparing to shoot a Malayalam movie shot. Charlie is the upcoming movie. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to wait and watch, so we moved on. A bus dropped us near the ferry point.
We traveled to Ernakulam via a ferry from Vypin and then reached the hotel by an auto. After light dinner in a Punjabi restaurant, we went to Ernakulam junction to catch our train to Ahmedabad. Complete a journey of 35 hours and then one can reach Ahmedabad via train from Kochi. This is how it ended. An unforgettable experience !!