Kerala was one of the places I always wanted to visit….even before the state tourism department coined the famous catchline”God’s Own Country”..partly because of the reason that I had been hearing stories from my uncle since childhood of the wonderful place it is..and the nice friendly people there…and somewhat coz of my dearest friend who is a native of the state…who always told me to visit the place ..so it was with lots of anticipation that I started on the journey into god’s own country..
With sunny skies above me and coconut trees all around me, I landed in cochin international airport…it is a very aesthetically designed airport…much better than new delhi airport and much better maintained…wish I had taken pictures of the airport…
Cochin is a bustling city ..it has a rich history ..it used to be a major trade port and was famous for trading in spices..people from all over the world came here to buy spices…it is also unique for having given shelter to fleeing jews way back in the 1600s , who eventually made it their home…
Today, the old cochin town has a jewish colony with its own synagogue….today majority of the jews have shifted to Israel and only few inhabitants remain…the jewish colony is a quaint little town within the town..it has narrow whitewashed lanes and shines bright in the afternoon sun…. i visited the various shops there and also the synagogue…
jewish colony..the synagouge is at the end of the street
dutch palace
There is also a palace in the old town..from where the native rulers carried out their ruling..before it was taken over by the dutch…and then by the british…the palace is now known as dutch palace…
Cochin also has a beach known as Cherai Beach..well…I won’t call it a beach in the strictest sense..more of a sandy bank where land meets sea… the incline is very steep towards the sea and a very narrow sandy shore…nevertheless the bright sun and the blue sky above alongwith the coconut trees make it quite picturesque…it was very hot during the time I visited it, 12 in the afternoon I guess…the place is more suitable for spending time during the evenings
cherai beach
I traveled to Munnar from Cochin..it take four hours drive to reach the place..and it’s a total different season there!!!!..
Munnar is popularly known as Darjeeling of the south..it is full of tea estates and the famous nilgiri tea comes from here…

the place is totally different from the image of kerala….it doesn’t have any coconut trees..but yes..it’s full of greenery….the best thing about munnar are the tea estates….the really look lovely..and one can drive around all day around the hills watching the tea gardens…they are so picturesque…

tea gardens in munnar

munnar also has a lot of dams and I visited some of them..the reservoirs adjoining the dams are used for tourism activities and one can go for speed boating , rowing or canoeing ..the lovely hills around and the delightful weather make it a wholesome fun experience…..

 

speedboating in munnar!!

i also visited erunakulam national park which is situated in the upper hills of munnar…it is most famous for abundant growth of kurinji plants which flower once in 12 years!!!…and when it does..the whole park is covered in a blanket of purple …the plants flowered last time in 2006 ..so the next date of flowering is 2018…the park also has the highest mountain peak of south india..

After spending two fun filled days in munnar , I headed for thekaddy…thekaddy is a small town most famous for having periyar tiger reserve…the drive from munnar to thekaddy is a amazing one!!…. one is surrounded by beautiful scenes of tea gardens, cardamom plantations on one side and the green valley on the other side…..
the views of the valley on the way to thekaddy

a waterfall crisscrossing the road towards thekaddy
I did not find thekaddy to be very inspiring..its full of commercial shops offering everything from ayurvedic cures, massages, souvenirs, elephant rides to kallaripayattu demonstrations…I went to the tiger reserve…however, it offers tourists only a boat ride in its lake…in which only birds and some deer can be seen…it was a boring ride….though the surrounding forest views were nice…..

boating in periyar tiger reserve
From thekaddy I traveled to kumarakom….rented a houseboat for one day and night….the boat took me through the backwaters of kerala…..

the backwaters of kumarakom!!!
it was incredible experience ..whatever i had seen in images in magazines and television….it was there in front of my eyes….absolutely lovely!!!..

another houseboat passing mine by in the backwaters
i enjoyed a wonderful day in the houseboat..it took me through the backwaters into a lake..had a scrumptious lunch in middle of the lake..and spent a delightful evening in the houseboat……
my houseboat moored for the evening!!!

 

The last day of my trip, i again traveled to cochin and took off for delhi from there.

my last morning in kerala…the pic above is of st.peters church..near which my houseboat moored and let me off for cochin
My trip was really wonderful..though I feel I need to come back to this place again…there are so many things I haven’t seen yet…for one palakkad…and the people here..right from my driver, to the shopkeepers, hotel attendants and boatmen ferrying me…were so wonderful, polite and ever smiling…I don’t wonder why…if I lived in this green haven ..i would be amiable24/7…
Truly..it’s god’s own country….

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  1. Before I comment leme introduce myself! I am Rinzu Rajan, the shy coy girl you met at the Samsung party bloggers.

    I happened to visit all these places in this January and am yet to write a post. The memories are still etched much like you bringing back such colorful memories.

    And lastly, I admire the style quotient you carry! Will keep a watch on this space for the latest on fashion.

    Please visit

    http://www.rinzurajan.blogspot.in

    Thank you

  2. Kerala never fails to surprise me everytime I visit her. I have been there almost 10 or more times, still I end up discovering something amazing.A well written post, enjoyed reading and revisiting Kerala again

  3. hi,
    been going thru ur blog.seems like u had a great trip.kerala is very beautiful,especially aleppey.i have worked there for a few months.ur snaps are very good.they bring back those memories.these are exactly the places i visited before leaving alpy.cochin,munnar and alpy.wish i had taken my camera then.its ok,i can always see the snaps in ur blog!

  4. Sorry this is off-post. I’m just replying to your comment on my A Is For Australia post. So many bloggers asked me about my Mum’s response to the official that I emailed my brothers to find out. I’m just waiting on their answer!!!

  5. Did you know that in Thekkady you could go trekking or on a jungle or elephant safari if you like these kind of adventures?

    Palakkad fascinates me as well and I am looking forward to exploring the Silent Valley sometime.

    Btw, I’ve made a mention of house boats (called kettuvellam) in one of my recent posts:

    http://indicaspecies.blogspot.com/2008/01/reminiscing-on-2007-travels-part-i.html

    A lovely post with lovely pictures of God’s own country. Allepey has equally delightful backwaters like Kumarakaon. I agree Munnar scenery is awesome! Kerala is superb!

  6. What a lovely trip. The photographs show such serene surroundings and beauty that is far past what any magazine could show.

    Thank you for showing how lovely this area of the world is and your experience in it. Sometimes there are places we can never go and only see anothers eyes.

    Soft love,
    T

  7. Wow! Some of these photos are stunning! Cochim, for some particular reason, probably dating back to 1503, was always a mirage place for me. Now, seeing your photos, I’m sure that the beauty actually exists and will try to get there one day…
    Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter.
    Have a great weekend!

  8. Hi,SS..after a somewhat busy work schedule,I seem to be returning to ‘normalcy’..i.e. reading good blog posts.hehe..

    Hey,I see you loved Kerala too..same here..we went there 3 years back,and,I absolutely loved the tour,right from Cochin to Munnar to Kovalam to Periyar…

    Lovely pics.Didn’t it make you wish that you could settle in ‘God’s own country’, with some simple job instead of the complexities of city life??

  9. nice snapshots .. and write-up too .. I had been to Trivendrum once.. stayed there for a few days and absolutely loved the beaches out there… since then had been planning to go there again and try visiting few other places. Munnar is tempting .. but then.. so is Cochin and the rest .. :)absolutely loved that houseboat .. wonderful experience it should be..

  10. WoW…some really speechless shots…these photos just make the phrase ‘God’s own country’ more apt…lovely reading & nice knowing you had a wonderful time out there…stay well!

  11. Happy New Year darling Sushmita! And CONGRATTTZ! MWAHHHHHHH!

    Im yet to see ur pics…hvnt touched hotmail emails yet…so busy. But I did see that email from u…I received it. Yet to open it..cos I wanna see it when Im really free…so I can enjoy em fully. THANKS for sending em to me!

    These scenery pics r AMAZING! WOW I wanna go there on a holiday. U know how much I love the water.

    TC see ya soon!
    Keshi.

  12. good view with some nice writing skills.. and the view bring to the fore about sumthing… sumtime back sum1 complained of literally about to be dragged off to Kerala .. n was sore about it coz didnt like it at all… n at that time some vapor of thought wafted up in me n i felt the subject expression was just made at the spur of the moment… not to be meant and interpreted..after all ppl around me do cut serious joke with me….

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