India is enormous, I mean like really massive. How will I ever visit every place and corner? Will I ever be able to see every Indian town and village and street?
Time will say that, but let me first talk about my little jaunt in the southern tip of India, known to be one of the most beautiful and naturally fulfilled states of India – Kerala.
Kerala, known for its backwaters, palm-lined beaches, the state is also immensely rich in Ayurveda.I was excited and wanted to explore different cities of Kerala to get a vibrant experience of the culture and food.
The places you first want to go in Kerala are Munnar, Thekkady, Alleppey, Wayanad, Kollam etc which are all in South Kerala except Wayanad. North Kerala is equally intriguing and rich in culture and good with some exquisite beaches.
I started from North Kerala, Thalassery in Kannur which is poles apart from South Kerala.Muzapalingad Beach in Kannur is the longest drive-in beach in India and featured as one of the top six beaches for driving in the world. Thalassery is known for Mussels and seafood, I did not miss the opportunity to pick mussel pickle and even fish pickle from the Fish market of Thalassery.
Old Paris Hotel is popular for its Fish Biryani and I could not resist. They do not serve Mussels anymore though they are known for the most authentic Fish/Chicken Biryani since many years.
After spending a day in Kannur, my next stop was Allepey.
Allepey is known for houseboat cruises and mesmerizing canals & lagoons. The Kayaking and Canoeing tours in the backwaters are gorgeously breathtaking. Luckily the day I went on the canoeing trip, the weather was fabulously amazing that made my trip even more alluring.
We stopped over in one of the local’s houses for our breakfast and lunch. The traditional Kerala cuisine served on banana leaves was scrumptious.
I also checked out he Mullakal temple, which is built in a traditional design and the Alappuzha Beach. I tried some fried oysters at the Alappuzha beach that wasn’t fresh and made me sick. Check out the food and popular places for seafood and make sure to get them fresh to avoid any unwanted consequences.
I stayed a couple of days in Alleppey and then moved to Munnar.
Munnar is nice and cold. After all the heat and warm weather in Kannur and Allepey, it was quite relaxing. I also liked how busy Munnar was compared to the other places. I reached Munnar around 7:00 pm and it was already dark and chill. I did not have a booking, but it was easy and I managed to get a room for myself all for 500 Rs right in the center of the Market.
There is some Wildlife in Munnar and Jeep Safaris can be explored. Mattupetty Dam is serene and beautiful. A must visit to the Munnar Tea factory to understand the Tea processing.
My final destination finally arrived, Kochi (Ernakulam). So if you are in Kerala you will encounter locals calling Ernakulam instead of Kochi. Ernakulam refers to the eastern, mainland portion of the city of Kochi in central Kerala, India. The local buses will all call it Ernakulam. There are even two railway stations in the city, North, and South, which was again more confusing for me. But I survived. I spent two days in Fort Kochi, had some delicious seafood at Seagull restaurant, explored Churches, Museums, Mattancherry Palace, took a Ferry to Kochi, went to Lulu Mall (India’s once biggest mall).
I was also luckier when cyclone Ochki also arrived Kerala with me and Met. Department gave Cyclone warnings to the coastal regions of India. However, things went normal and I had a gala time in Kerala- God’s own Country for sure.
Things you make sure you do in Kerala.
- Eat at Indian Coffee Houses.
- Try Traditional Kerala Food at Saravanna Bhawan.
- Spent a day in Houseboats in Alleppey/Kumarakom Backwaters.
- Wildlife in Gavi, Pathanamthitta (I could not)
- Explore Tea estates in Munnar.
- Watch Traditional Kerala Dance in Fort Kochi.
For Food- lovers like me, it is never going to be enough and I will return soon!