Sunday, September 1, 2013

7 Highlights of my Kerala trip

I am guilty of not posting about our Kerala trip during 15th - 20th August. It was actually a very short holiday and no planning was involved (as compared to the extensive scheduling done for our Kashmir vacation), as my cousin brother lives in Kochi and he generously welcomed us to his abode and made our trip a very memorable one!

So when the Write Tribe Festival of Words presented itself with the wonderful theme of 'Seven', I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to highlight SEVEN wondrous things about the trip. :)

Here goes, the seven on my list - 1. Food, 2. Backwaters, 3. Beach, 4. Kalaripayattu & Kathakali, 5. Boat safari at Periyar, 6. Breathing in the Munnar Air and last but certainly not the least 7. precious moments with my Cousin.

Lets start with the food, as both hubby and me are are huge foodies and we love to try out the local cuisine of any place we go. We feasted on the traditional Keralite cuisine on Day 1. Simple and Sumptuous, we were welcomed to the land of coconuts, spices and aromas!

        
That evening after a short walk in the dreamy streets of Kochi Fort area and gorging on a plate of grilled Tiger Prawns, we headed to a very classy Japanese restaurant, Tokyo Bay. A first of its kind in Cochin, this was truly an unique experience...Well, at least for my bro and hubby, I didn't have the stomach to indulge in this after a 4 hour long flight and then a heavy meal....But it looked and smelled delicious, and by the look on their faces you can tell...can't you? :)





The entire BBQ non veg items were ordered & devoured
Day 2 we drove down to Kumarakom and enjoyed a peaceful ride in the backwaters. We tried fresh river water tiger prawns...huge aren't they? They were cooked to perfection and had the zing of all the south spices.





In Thekkady, the town of green forest belt and home to herds of elephants, tigers, bisons and lots of birds mostly Snake birds, Kingfishers and Cormorants, we happened to find a petite rooftop restaurant serving the most delicious Italian food. While sitting there, looking at the coffee and banana plantations beside us and reading our respective novels, it started raining adding to the charm of the setting.


Spinach & mushroom pasta
They have a intensive 3 page menu. The preparations take time but it's worth waiting for!
Cute isn't it?
Lovely view
Banana 
Tuna Pizza
I am so sorry, this post is going to be longer than I thought! Till now I've only covered food :) :)

The next best thing was our relaxing boat ride in the backwaters. Excellent weather and calmness all around, what else do you want on a vacation?












The third highlight of my trip was this Beach...Andharkaranazhi Beach is an hour's drive from Kochi, commercialization has still not reached here. Pristine, serene and oh so beautiful. I had a fabulous time playing with the waves, trying to make a sand castle and just being in that moment!














The Third most enjoyable experience was the Kalaripayattu and Kathakali performances.

Kalaripayattu is an Indian Martial Arts form, it has got some intense weaponry actions and requires agile flexibility. There were moments when I went Ooooo & Aaaahh :)

These guys were just too good. Later I got talking to them and they were basically from Calicut. They had never been to Delhi, although they have performed in cities like Pune and Mumbai at the request of
certain institutes. I really want their Art to be showcased in Delhi, I'm working on how to go about it. Let's see :) Fingers crossed!











Sorry, couldn't get many pictures....I was just watching them open-mouthed!

Just after this, we went to watch the Kathakali performance. We were given a brief introduction about the dance form, the different mudras and facial expressions and the story that they were going to portray. It is basically a Dance-Drama where the stories from our Hindu scriptures is depicted through the artists' expressions. I'll just let the photos do the talking.... :D


It takes about 3-4 hours for the male character to get ready














Mostly the female character in the Dance is also played by a Male due to the heaviness of the costumes.
Anger
Scorn


The story in short - Female demon changes form to a beautiful girl to woo King. King rejects her. Angry she comes in her original form to destroy the King, but he eventually kills the demon

The next highlight would be our morning Boat Safari at Periyar Tiger Reserve. It was a lovely experience, we were not going with any high expectations of spotting Tigers...(The best time to spot Tigers is April-May, the peak of summers), we just enjoyed the cool breeze against our faces and the lovely sights. The boat ride is of 90 minutes and you can book the tickets on the spot, just keep sufficient time on hands in case there is a long que. The Bamboo Rafting was highly recommended by one of the officials, in this you can cover some area by foot too. on Bamboo rafts in the middle of the lake surrounded by dense forests, the thought is just thrilling. We couldn't do this as this requires a full day and we were short of time!








Kingfisher








Cormorant














Bison


Kingfisher



Short of time, we were unable to stay in Munnar. However we spent a day riding amonst the tea estates and breathing in the heavenly air.














And finally, some precious moments spent with my cousin bro. He is a year and a half elder to me and I love him dearly. How time flies no?? There we were just few decade years ago...the Orange Bar ice-cream, running around in the Nehru park, the endless games of Court piece and Teen-Do-Paanch, gorging on Nani ke haath ka bana khaana....and here we are today...all grown up...he's soon to be a Daddy... :) :) Thank you Bhaiya...you made our trip possible!!






After years we were together on Rakhi!! Some moments as they say are 'Priceless' :)





72 comments:

  1. beautiful pictures...guess I picked the wrong time to read your blog...before breakfast...now am really hungry!! felt good after reading :)

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    1. Hehe :) thanks Preethi...glad u enjoyed!

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  2. What a lovely visual ride to God's own country :D beautiful pictures.

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    1. Thanks Rajlakshmi :) good to see you on my page!

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  3. This is surely a special and a fabulous trip... the yummy food pics are making my tummy growl and the backwaters are breathtakingly beautiful. Seeing the Kalari and Kathakali art forms must be amazing! Thanks for taking us on a trip to Kerala too! :)

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    1. Yes Shilpa, it was wonderful. Not only scenic, Kerela is also very deep rooted in culture!

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  4. Superb pictures. You seem to have had great fun. I am so keen on watching the Kalari and Kathakali live ...I don't know when that's gonna ever happen, though. But thanks for the first hand account. I loved the pictures of Periyar Tiger Reserve.

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    1. It was indeed lot of fun Kajal! Plan your next trip in Kerela... :)

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  5. Lovely pics. Periyar brought back some memories when I visited many many moons ago as a little kid. I remember the elephants there.
    All the best for the festival.
    Dropping by from the linkup.

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    1. Thanks so much Suzy for coming by! :D these 7 days are going to be really fun...glad these pics revved up your childhood memories :)

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  6. Wonderful virtual tour - and I love it all the more cos I normally sweat it out when I am there and here I can enjoy it without the sweating :) Btw, you made me hungry right at the start :)

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    1. Hehe thanks Suresh!! Really good to see you here!

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  7. you took me back to the fun times we had at kerala.... lovely pics!!!!

    my most memorable things were the boat house at allepy, the cruise at fort kochi , the flower show at munnar, the lovely beaches and the ayurvedic massages!!

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    1. Thanks dear :) I didn't do the cruise at fort kochi...must have been lovely...well something for next time ;)

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  8. Awesome photographs of the backwaters of Kerala.

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  9. Ohh!!! How I miss my home state after seeing this!
    It was like a virtual tour and great pics too!

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    1. Dear your native place is a heavenly place to be!! M so glad you liked this post :)

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  10. Food rain beaches boat house and kathakali WOWOWO
    kerala is surely gods own country. Am planning by year end
    Your blog will surely help !
    Thanks

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    1. Wow Afshan thanks for the lovely comment! N you can write back for any travel tips...our cabbie was quite good too so let me know in case you require the contact!

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  11. A visual delight indeed!Kochi has a special place in my heart.But, very mean to post so many food items, especially seafood :( feeling ravenous already :P

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    1. Hehe thanks Sunita...I lv lv seafood...

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  12. Yummy seven, Aditi and am enjoying the pics. Superbly written:)

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  13. Wish you had had food on the plantain leaf, with rice and sambar and the various koottu curries that Kerala cuisine is famous for :) Chapati is not as local I feel :D and it is "Kerala" btw, not Kerela. :)

    Loved the snaps, and your post. Have a fun week at the Tribe festival, and I'll return soon for more.

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    1. Hey Leo, yes we did have Rice with Sambhar...and Rasam and Papad too :) It was not actually Chapati but what the locals called Parotha..
      N thanks so much for the correction!!

      I'm loving the idea of this Writetribe week :) connecting with such lovely people!!

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  14. Wow you were in Kerala on a rakhi! Such a wonderful way of celebrating the festival :-) And well Kerala is no doubt one of the most beautiful places in india and your pictures speak the same story :)

    Richa

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    1. Yes Richa I was there on Rakhi :) Thanks a lot!! :)

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  15. you are so cute. :) the deer, the stormy beaches, the cormorants, all beautiful. some interesting food and performers, too.

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    1. Awww thanks a lot Theresa for such a sweet comment!
      It was tough clicking the birds...I don't know how you manage to capture such perfectly lovely shots every day!!

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  16. I had to come back to your post, Aditi. I always wanted to visit Kerala and yet its kind of jinxed for us. Now I have seen it through your eyes. That Japanese menu is so interesting!! Wish I could go to Periyar, so many birds. The photos are just awesome. Best is the beach one...with the green moss covered rocks and the wild waves.. Glad that you had such an amazing vacation and shared it with us.

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    1. Thanks Sangeeta :) I saw on your blog girl...quite a bird watcher you are!! Can you spot here any other bird other than Cormorants??

      I hope you have your Kerala vacation soon!! *Love*

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  17. What lovely pictures and accompanying writeup. A perfect post for Kerala tourism. Inspite of my husband hailing from Kerala and we spending all our vacations there, I am yet to visit some of the places you have mentioned. I have of course been to Thekkady but the rest of it I'm still to do. Loved loved your detailed pics. Glad to have stopped by.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Awwww so sweet of you Susan...thank you so much! :)

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  18. I have been planing to visit Kerala for 3 years, but somehow, something or other comes up... Your pics really inspired me and now I will visit is as soon as I come to India. I cant have sea food, did you really try it????

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    1. Hey Himanshu, where have you been? Gorgeous places you've been travelling to...really envy you ;)

      Thanks for stopping by...don't miss out on Kerala!! It's beautiful...the pics have not even covered half of what it is!

      I did have seafood...simply love it :)Fish and prawns anytime!!

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    2. Yea, working abroad has its perk... Glad you envy :P

      I will soom visit Kerala. It is on top of my list, it is just that I don't like sea food...

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    3. Wish I had such a job!! Lucky you :) Kerala has a lot of options apart from seafood...I'm sure you'll enjoy a lot!

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  19. Replies
    1. I did!! Thanks so much Joshi for visiting :)

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  20. Wonderful post Aditi. I am planning to drive down to Thattekad sometime soon, any tips you can give me regarding a good place to stay.

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    1. Thanks Sumeet! Did you mean Thekkady...We stayed at the Club Mahindra resort there....other options that we had checked were Green Woods resort, Spice village...you can check on trip advisor...and this is the peak season so you might want to book in advance!

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    2. Our trip to Kerela was very successful. Here's a note

      http://highwayodyssey.blogspot.in/2014/02/birds-of-thattekad-birds-of-munnar.html

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    3. So glad Sumeet!! Fabulous shots on your blog! :)

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  21. Aditi!!! i never knew you hd ur own blog! i am a fan!!!! kerala is a beautiful place. I never knew the value of it as a kid when i have been there to visit my great-grandparents in the ancestral kerala home,with bana trees, cows, and the most beautiful vegetable garden ever! Now, living in the west with a nice backyard, my memories go back to my grandparents home and it makes me think of the vast green lawns in my yard and a small strip of vegetable garden. we tend to give in to the stereotypical aesthetics adopted by the west and waste the rich soil on green grass rather than productively on vegetables ..
    Our country has so much to offer! so much to see, so much to appreciate!!!

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    1. Thanks Madhu for the wonderful comment. :)
      And I absolutely agree that India has so much to offer, every little city/town is so diverse and so rich in every aspect. We tend to forget/take for granted our own green lands in search for deluded greener pastures.

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  22. Wow ! Beautiful post ! Lovely pics... thanks for the tour . enjoyed and hope to revisit kerala sometimes with my family ! I had visited earlier before marriage, now I want to go back again after reading your post ! thanks for sharing !

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    1. Thanks Angela! You should definitely plan a visit soon! :)

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