TRAVEL DIARY: God’s Own Country

TRAVEL DIARY: God’s Own Country

With the winter chills barely setting in, travelers are packing their bags for their much-needed travel break. If you are one of them, then what are you waiting for? Go on, pack your bags and hop onto to the next bus or train or plane (not literally!) and be the next Vasco da Gama!

kovalamIf you aren’t packing your bags already, confused about your options, fret not we are there to help you out. In this travel diary, we will be travelling to Kerala(virtually) and hopefully by the end we will convince you to book your tickets down south.

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Kovalam Beach

My flight touched down at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport at about three in the afternoon. Sea loving person that my dad is, he told the taxi driver to take us straight to the Kovalam beach because he wanted to be near the sea. Initial hiccups done, we finally succeeded in booking a bed and breakfast at surprisingly affordable rates. Our plan was to stay for two days, one day primarily left out for shopping.

Okay first things first, Kovalam is a beautiful beach. The sunset (make sure to watch it!) is simply breath-taking.

Kerala Welcomes  you

Kerala Welcomes
you

But Arabian sea being a rough sea, it is exactly not a beach to bathe in. the second day, pretty much pre-planned was spent in shopping. In what seemed like hours, Mum had bought the whole of the Keralite market.  Our room was flooded with sarees (Kerala cotton) and if I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought my Mum had opened a mini shop herself.

We were up early the next day. Mum surprisingly managed to stuff those sarees in the bags, we were set to go to our next destination with a small stop on the way – the Kairali backwaters.

Kairali Backwaters

Kairali Backwaters

Let me say, it was worth it.

Kairali backwaters is a beautiful place. It’s the calmest I’ve ever come across in India and that is saying something.  Even though I have never paid attention to my geography class, backwaters are essentially lagoons lying across the Malabar coast. Filled with the salty water of the Arabian Sea, some of them end up meeting the Indian ocean. The unification is beautiful, the calmness of the lake is sucked up by the roaring Indian Ocean.

Alleppey

Alleppey

Alleppy being our nest stop, Dad was adamant on staying on a houseboat. After looking through at about ten of them, we ended up staying at the first one.  Staying at the house boat was a different experience and Dad made the best of it by shopping from the local sea fish vendors and convincing the cook to cook the freshly bought fish.

Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park

Next stop was at a higher altitude – Thekaddy.  We opted for a home stay this time, giving us a chance to taste the local cuisine.

Malayali cuisine was not much different, except for the use of coconut oil and mustard in every dish. And I mean every single dish. Thekaddy provided beautiful sceneries and of course, the Periyar National Park. The tiger reserve lies on the seat of Periyar and if you are lucky, you may spot some tigers.

Finally, our last stop was Munnar.

Tea Gardens in Munnar

Tea Gardens in Munnar

Munnar, as everyone knows is the tea garden of the south. Beautiful tea and coffee plantations adorn Munnar. The beauty of Munnar is nonpareil, which is why Kerala is called God’s Own Country.

By the time we returned to Kochi, Mum had shopped so much that we had to buy another luggage bag.  Dad was much more excited than my Mum in Munnar though.

Malayali Cuisine

Malayali Cuisine

Seeing the variety of Tea available, he couldn’t stop himself and ended up buying every flavor available. Other than tea, spices, condiments and fragrant oils graced our absolutely brand new luggage bag.

Touring Kerala had been a wonderful experience. Truly beautiful, serene and calm. Kerala is a gem of a place and definitely warrants a visit from everyone.

-Achirava Raha
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