Exploring Kerala by Mumbai Wanderer Couple
Hello Riders!! So here I’m with my first blog with The Solo Travellers. I am even more excited than before to share my recent ride experience which was to non other than, Kerala-God’s Own Country. I had been planning from quite a long time to ride outside Maharashtra, and eventually Kerala turned out to be that wonderful destination. I had planned to ride along with my better half who is also my riding partner. It was amazing and adventurous in its own way to ride in the city, outskirts, mountains, terrains etc. of Kerala. The plush green mountains offered us a wonderful view, beautiful scenery all around, mountain ranges covered with tea plantation which looked like a green blanket spread over the mountains. So without wasting more time i will quickly tell you all about the ride in short.
We began our journey from Muvattupuzha (30 kms away from Kochi and around 90 km away from Munnar), since we had hired a bike from a person at this place. It took us around 4 hrs (because of the twisting and twirling mountain roads) to reach our hotel at Munnar. Hence we decided to take good rest that day.
Began with a beautiful morning followed by a ride of around 40km to a sightseeing point called Top Station Veiw point, it is one of the highest point in Munnar filled with different shades of green due to the tea plantations and tall trees. It looked like a beautiful canvas, painted by God. The roads were awesome, it was fun to ride on those roads. On our way back to the hotel we went to Kundala dam and then ended our day 1 at kalarikshetra, that offered us a glimpse at the traditional dance forms, Kathakali & martial arts of Kerala.
Began with a chilling climate and the hotel gave us nice authentic kerala complimentary breakfast and we further had a nice cup of filter coffee to enhance our experience. That day we had planned to go to Nyamakad waterfall, unfortunately because of some technical reason we couldn’t go to Nyamakad falls as planned, so we made a slight change in the plan and headed straight towards Eravikulam National Park. It was like heaven on earth. But we had to wait in the line nearly for more than 2 hours, for the bus to come. After taking so much of pain we got to see just one elephant miles away from the bus. The bus then dropped us at a point from where we had to walk uphill to see the mountain goats (known as the Nilgiri Thar), which is an indigenous species of that region (shared some pictures at the end). We were starving, so we decided go and taste some authentic Kerala food. But, even after a lot of searching and trying to ask the local people in broken Hindi, English and sign language, we couldn’t find any authentic Kerala food. Finally we decided to halt at hotel Saravana Bhavan and to our delight we got to taste authentic south indian lunch on banana leaf (not only kerala cuisine but a mixture of all the southern cuisines). The food was delicious and lip smacking good. I would rate it a 4* out of 5. From there we went to Attukal water fall, which again was an amazing experience because of the narrow roads. In short we got a first hand experience at offroading for nearly 3kms straight. Coming back to the point the place was beautiful, there was a huge waterfall & tea plantations all around. Day-2 ended with pothamedu view point which was again one of the best points to visit in Munnar.
Began with a ride around of around 150km from munnar to cherthala, which is 20kms away from Allepey. We reached Cherthala at 1pm, but I must say that the climate at Cherthala was completely different and opposite than that at Munnar. It was HOT. And I am sure that you all are aware that drastic change in climate affects the body. We were so dehydrated. So again that day we just decided to rest. We were staying at Travancore Palace. In the evening we went for a small walk to have a look around the hotel. I must say the ambience, architecture and above all the interiors of the hotel were breathtaking. At the centre of the hotel there was a beautiful temple (doors were closed). After preparing a small video for our vlog, we headed straight for dinner at the hotel.
Began with a refreshing morning after so much of rest. We quickly made plans for the day, and guess what did we plan. We planned to stay in a house boat which was in Allepey backwaters. The house boat experience was too good. We had booked a deluxe boat for 17hours. In which for the first 1 hour they gave us a tour of the backwaters in the boat, during which we were offered hot coffee and veg pakora as evening snacks. After that they halted the boat in the backwaters. There was a village nearby. The water was calm and we could actually feel the fresh and natural air. Birds were hunting for fish, ducks, then the smell of woods being burnt as a repellent for insects. We were served a lovely and delicious dinner on the boat. Then we planned to just have a small stroll after dinner, but it was pitch dark and there were too many insects out there (unfortunately we had forgotten our insect repellent cream at the hotel). Still my wife managed to convince me to just sit and stare at the stars in the sky, at first i was really irritated and kept grumbling that what to stare at the sky with so many mosquitoes biting us. But let me be honest, the moment I looked up at the sky i completely forgot all the irritation and other worries. It was so serene and calm. Next day morning that is
We were welcomed by the Sun, it shone so bright over the horizon (shared the pictured below). We then quickly freshned up and got ready for breakfast. Delicious idli, sambhar and chutney, with hot coffee. By the time we finished our breakfast we reached the port. Beautiful experience finally had to come to an end. This moment will stay with me for my entire life time.
Then we headed back towards our hotel at Cherthala. In the evening we went to a beach nearby known as mararikulam beach which was around 10km away from the hotel. The beach was quite neat and clean. We had lunch at the beach. The food was delicious and finally authentic Kerala food, and above all it was super reasonable. Then we went to a Devi temple that was just 7kms from the beach. At first we kept wondering that why is everyone standing outside the temple, in one corner there was a shed under which people were cooking food, kids were waiting with sticks in their hand. We were curious to know and at the same time scared to ask someone. We decided to stand at the side and wait and watch silently. Then as the sun set, the temple bells were rung by the poojary, and then the sight that we saw was something that we won’t forget. There were lamps placed on the walls on the temple (the walls had small boxes on all the four sides), as soon as the bells rang, people just started lighting all the lamps. The scene was just mesmerizing (in Mumbai i have seen so many lamps lit at one place only during Diwali. Lol!) Overall our 5 days of Kerala tour was an amazing experience and filled with moments that we will cherish for a life time.