All posts tagged: Kerala

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5 Must See Holiday Destinations In Kerala

Kerala holds enough charisma with its stunning beaches on the Malabar Coast, green patches of coffee and tea plantations in the east, and the many intertwining backwater canals that can be found all across the state. Rich in heritage, abundant in wildlife and tropical charm, Kerala will give you that relaxing, laid-back vacation, that you are looking forward to. And for some quick assurance, here are my top five hand-picked destinations in Kerala: Bekal: Located in the Kasargod district on the west coast of Kerala (about one and a half hour drive from Mangalore) Bekal boasts of many scenic attractions and an offbeat holiday experience. Attractions like the Bekal Fort, a feisty beach and calm backwaters moreover always add to the experience. Enjoy the sun-kissed beaches from Bekkal Cliff and coconut palms that sway in the breeze with a view of the emerald ocean on the horizon. And if you’re planning a short visit only, look no further than staying at Taj Bekal. Spread across 26 acres of beautiful open space, with an amazing view of the sea & backwaters, Taj Bekal is a visual delight. Periyar Tiger Reserve: Thekkady is home to Kerala’s largest …

9 Best Experiences I Had In South India

No matter how little or how deeply travelling interests you, the southern part of India is one of those places that can’t be missed. From carefully watching the locals getting hold of their lungis to discovering a culturally intriguing way of life, the southern part of India is where you will never disappoint you in finding the stereotyped Indian experiences. But to tell you the truth, I was a bit unsure about my survival there the first time I visited, given all the distinctions between India I was familiar with, living in New Delhi. But when an invitation from a friend in Kerala landed in my inbox, I knew I had to go there and test its waters. Though I was only staying at his place for a couple of nights, it still came out as a security that I would, at least, survive my arrival, and it seemed enough for the moment. Thanks to that friend and to many others I met on the way, here are some incredible moments I had in south …

Kerala: A Well-Behaved, Tranquil State; Truly A God’s Own Country

Kerala, the southernmost state of India, as I found it, has some sort of warmth in its air.  Its people, despite walking fast – with their lungis, all tucked up –never seem to be in hurry. This place has some sort of force full of magic, and if it is, it speaks for a magic that only knows the language of friendliness and peace. They say, people in Kerala are most educated, I say they are well learnt. And what makes them so qualified is the culture they follow and the kindness they preach. I always wondered what’s in this place (and perhaps in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu) that it gave India so many great teachers of philosophy – from Shankracharya to Chinmayananda, and many others – and I found the answer only when I personally visited it. Almost every other person here – from the older, more religious to the younger, more practical – live in their own world of self-effacing originality. Their lifestyle is uncomplicated, simply unfussy and they seem to …

Varkala: The Dying ‘Benares’ Of South

Despite being an avid traveler myself, I often find myself writing a story, almost innocently, trying to discourage the idea of frenzied and mass tourism. I’ve seen local cultures turning into commodities when religious rituals and traditional ethnic tires reduce and sanitize, to conform to tourist expectations – as so was the case with Varkala, a coastal town in India’s southernmost state of Kerala. Once a destination is sold as a tourism product, it starts losing its originality – which, with time, brings about nothing but yet another modern tourist destination, providing us with perfectly staged, not so authentic, experiences. Varkala is a calm and quiet hamlet, having its presence on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It is one of those places, which has a perfect beach and a great crowd. The only thing, however, that differs Varkala among its other tropical Indian counterparts is its rich history. It was less than 20 years ago when Varkala, which today, has become an ideal spot to amble, for tanned westerners, was always found swarm with sadhus, …

Life In The Backwaters Of Alleppey, Kerala

Tourists in their fancy houseboats seemed high in spirit, with their impressive camera doing most of the work. But in the local ferry, the atmosphere was rather regular. Here, no one appeared to be in hurry or amazed by the arresting beauty of the backwaters in Alleppey – one of the prime highlights of tourism in Kerala. I heard a lot about the backwaters of Kerala. I heard that tourists here hire a floating houseboat and wander through its maze of interconnected lagoons, canals, lakes and inlets – home to a dazzling assortment of flora and fauna, and local villages. I heard that they spend days sitting on the deck, experiencing the tranquillity of the backwaters in Kerala, with a book in their hand, while swiftly sailing through one village to the other. I wanted to explore this place too but in my own way. And there I was, in a government ferry, surrounded by a bunch of locals who were heading back from the mainland Alleppey, with all the ration they needed, and a newspaper …

In Photos: Discovering Fort Kochi By Foot

Every place has its own defining attraction. And when it comes to Kochi, the cultural capital of Kerala, the Jew Town and the Chinese fishing nets make the headlines of most of the travel guidebooks. But there is much more to see and a plenty more to do in Kochi, and the best way to submerge in its romantically artistic and historic outlook, is by travelling on foot. Ideally, Kochi has two parts, the new Kochi (South Ernakulum) and the old harbour part (popularly known as Fort Kochi). Fort Kochi can easily be the most non-Keralite city. It does not give you the Kerala we picture in our mind. It does not have the relaxing houseboats, nor does it have the expected views of street-lined coconut trees. Expect something more refreshing when you’re here. From the smell of spices in its bylanes to some of the most colourful architecture in India – Fort Kochi has its own charm, and remains a preferred destination for tourists, over the new Kochi. Its narrow and confined streets seem struggling …