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GOD’S OWN COUNTRY-Kerala under floods

Kerala is witnessing the worst nature’s call with enormous and dreadful pouring of water from everywhere which resulted in disastrous floods. Almost it has been a week, be it a newspaper, news channel or social media all are inundated with images and posts of the furious floods of Kerala. At present the condition of Kerala is very bad, everywhere you will find people battling with rising waters, risk of bridge crash and shortage of basic necessities like food, medicines and shelter. Kerala Floods have now become the Most dangerous natural calamities of nation.

Kerala : the place close to my heart

You must have seen my blogs on #GoKerala which was God’s own country in real sense. But why then God showed his anger on his own state. I don’t want to argue with God right now but I want you people to help people and donate in any way you can. The best is CM fund or state fund. I donated through NGO, paytm and Amazon as i felt safe and scam less. But be aware of such scammer as your help may not reach the needy. I believe if you can really help, nothing like it. I have my close friends staying there and they have arrived at their Mumbai home and trying to help from Mumbai so that it reaches the people who are in actual need. Today’s (23/8/18) newspaper had every information needed to donate through right agency and hence I thought to share with you .

Kerala flood help
Today’s Times of India newspaper for Kerala flood help numbers

The flood situation is something that can happen to anyone. Who can understand this better than a Mumbaikar, who themselves has experienced the consequences of dreadful floods during 26th July. Thinking about that day when the entire Mumbai was drowning in water, it gives a goose bump even today. This flood is 10 times more than Mumbai flood. I know when I didn’t see my dad for three days in flood. I can imagine the pain people must be going through while searching for their kins.
Because of disastrous rain, Kerala till now have experienced the loss of more than 8k ,crore rupees and lives of several people, which is increasing with the passing days, the death-toll in this flood hit state has reached to more than 350 people. Since, Kerala is a tourist place and has very beautiful and pleasant weather during Monsoons, it is said many foreigners and tourists people have also been trapped at many places. So, at several places of Kerala, relief camps have been organized to help people and also to remove them from danger. More than 60,000 people are leaving in the relief camps, from that about 40,000 are at Wayanand. A total of about 53,501 people have been shifted to 439 relief camps. The worst affected areas of Kerala are Kozhikode, Idukki, Malappuram, Kannur, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kochi, Alappuzha and Wayanand, etc.

Looking at the condition of Kerala, the Chief minister of Kerala Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan said, “The water level of several dams in Kerala has increased, crossing all the danger levels, especially the Idukki dam. So, they were forced to release those Dam water”. He also said they are trying their level best to help the flood affected people in all possible ways and are also asking helping hands from all the other states. He also undertook a aerial survey of rain-ravaged areas in Idukki and Wayanand, said Kerala was in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc and calamities, which in turn has caused immeasurable misery and devastation. He announced a compensation of Rs 10Lakh to the people who lost their homes and land and Rs 4Lakh compensation to those who lost their lives in the floods.

Hearing about the incidents on the News channel and also reading about them in the Newspaper gives a goosebumps. I just imagine how much the people in Kerala must be suffering, seeing all their valuables, land, home, their relatives, etc flowing along with the disastrous flow of water in front of their eyes and they can do nothing, just can cry out for help or can blame the nature and God. 2 fisherman were drowned on last Saturday, when their boat capsized off Tiruvandrum, while in another incident the bodies of a mother and daughter were found in a waterlogged area behind their house at Kuttanad in the Alappuzha districts, this are the few incidents which came in limelight, there are many such incidents of flood victims who lost their lives and properties which are unknown to us. If you see on news channel you will find people especially the kids and old people crying out in pain for help and asking for food and medicines like beggars. Many rich and sophisticated people have come on footpath, their condition has worsened to such an extreme extent that even you will find tears rolling out of your eyes if you see them.

Although the red alert has been lifted from 12 districts of Kerala but still the water level has not significantly decrease in these areas. Various government agencies are carrying out the rescue operations and also preparing to deal with a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases. Both the Centre as well as State governments are coming forward to save the God’s own Country. Although the rain has subsided now in the several parts of Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, many districts are still inundated, where injured and affected people are waiting for rescue boats and helicopters. Many residents who had moved to the terrace or the other floors of their buildings have raised alarm for help because of their deteriorating health.

How other states and nation are helping Kerala floods affected people

The Maharashtra state government has also given a hand of support with around 7Lakh litres of water in the wagons for the flood victims in Kerala. Each wagon contains around 50,000 litres of water. Even from Bollywood many Filmstars have come forward to help Kerala financially. UAE also offered a financial assistance of rs.700Crore. HAM radio operators are helping in rescue operations in flood devastated Kerala by tracing stranded people through their last cell phone location and then sharing that information with officials and army people. Also, over a dozen of FMCG firms, including ITC, Coco Cola, Pepsi and Hindustan Unilever have announced to supply water bottles, medicines, food and other necessity items to flood-hit areas in Kerala. Maruti Suzuki India said, they will donate a rupees of 3 Crore for Kerala Relief Work.

It has been witnessed that people from all over the country are providing helping hands in all possible ways. A Kerala based Mumbaikar Mr. Karthik Murali has created a group of 20 friends and created packages and cartoons of necessary things, for Kerala flood victims. Likewise many people, firms, organizations etc, depending on their capacity have taken initiative and are doing their best to help Kerala flood victims.

It is also said Rail and road traffic services have been restored in most of places in Kerala and many people returned to their places safely but many of them found their electrical appliances and furniture completely ruined. Also, at some places of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts the incidents of snake bites have been noted.
In flood affected areas of Kerala, around 32,000 people have been rescued and 3500 people have received medical help by the armed forces. Knowing, about such a critical condition of Kerala and of the people staying there, we can try to help in all possible ways and should pray God to help them come out of this dreadful condition.

 

PS : KERALA STATE HAS BEEN VERY CLOSE TO MY HEART AND THAT MADE ME #blogforKerala. Kerala Tourism has always done best to give tourist new experience every time you visit but today they are experiencing the worst. Lets help Kerala to rise again and live like before. Together we can.

6 Unique Things You Must Have To Know About Kerala

           November 2017  was the best lifetime experience for me as I had a chance to be part of Go Kerala trip. This trip was organized by HolidayIQ and Kerala Tourism. Lately, you must have seen my travel post on Kerala,  day wise. Do read all the blogs related to my #GoKerala trip. Though we are heading towards 2018, I Shared 6 unique things in Kerala you have to know.

I still can’t get over the memories I collected from those 12 days. They were real vacations for me. ‘Vacations do make people happy’ is a famous saying, and this one was the best vacation which was unplanned but best-experienced one.

So are you planning to go to Kerala in 2018, then you must read this article which will tell u my experience which you should not miss? Since I know planning a trip considering all the family members can be a bit challenging task. I would make easier for you. If you read this article, I am sure you will never regret when you come back from Kerala.

Kerala is amongst one of the most mesmeric and most enchanting places to visit in India. That’s why it is called “God’s Own Country”. Its immense natural beauty, enigma behind the flora and fauna, calmness and purity of Beaches, beauty of its backwaters and its rich heritage makes it a tourist paradise.

Let me take you to some of the must-do experience in Kerala.
1) Sadya-
 sadnya-6 unique things

          Sadya is a traditional multicourse vegetarian meal usually served on Banana leaf. Typically in Sadya, banana leaves are used as plates. Kerala and its traditional vegetarian Sadya is the combo to one another. It consists of Rice, some side dishes, savouries, pickles and also desserts. It is the basic dish served during festival occasions, weddings or birthday parties in Kerala. It is basically served as lunch and people are supposed to sit cross-legged on the floor on a mat to have it.

Kerala is always been appreciated and fascinated by its cuisine. I still remember my first sadya at Pranavam homestay where the old couple made sadya especially for us and they served me as well. I still can’t forget the taste of pachadi – kind of pineapple raita. Take my words sadya define and complete your Kerala trip. It’s one of the best traditional food served in some pattern and its most healthy food. This is one of the best traditional meal from Kerala unique things.

2) Spices-

 spices- 6 unique things of Kerala

           Kerala is called as a ‘Land of Spices’. Kerala Cuisine is known for its spicy and hot foods. Kerala is famous for production and export of Exotic Spices. Spices like Cardamom, Ginger, Clove, Pepper, Turmeric etc. Pepper is known as ‘King of Spices’.

Since Kerala is called as Land of Spices so this place does no compromise with the quality and originality of Spices. The climate of this place is favourable for the recurrent cultivation of spices. The best cardamom I bought from Kerala was from spice routes houseboats. But costly but I have never smelled such beautiful cardamom fragrance. I wud prefer to buy it when you are in Alleppey. And the best part is you can see allspice plants and trees of spices. Spices of Kerala are unique things and unique test.

3) Backwaters and Snake Boats-

 snake boat- 6 unique facts of kerala

          Backwaters are one of the magnetic points of Kerala. The two most popular backwater destination of Kerala are Alleppey and Kumarakom, where the maximum percentage of tourists visit to enjoy Houseboats. Snake Boats are actually the boat which resembles the shape of hooded Snake and it has some unique things. It is also the traditional war boat of Kerala.

Kerala Backwaters are a chain of Lagoons, lakes and canals. We enjoyed backwater in many places but the best was Munroe Island which takes you to, 40 Min ride to the small village of Munroe and also shows you fish farm and prawn farming.

4) Traditional keralan Outfit-

 Traditional Women Outfit

          Traditional clothing in Kerala is an unique things and it reflects their simplicity and intrinsic lifestyle. White and off-white are the most preferable colour of the traditional costume of people in Kerala. Mundum Neriyathum is a traditional dress worn by Women in Kerala. A local Women may wear a Mundu or Saree depending on the occasion. It is made up of pure cotton. For weddings, they prefer Kanchipuram Saree made of silk and have zardozi or Kundan work on it.

Whenever you visit Kerala you will find the majority of Women in their traditional attire. It depicts purity and delicacy. Luckily our last travel meet up was very different and they gave us to wear traditional Sarees and also for my family one mundu and cute dress for the angel. So it’s my recommendation that you must try to wear once, even for one picture, wear it with grace, and I’m sure u will never forget those lovely moments.

5) Traditional Dance-

 

          Kerala is one of the substantial states of India when we talk about culture and tradition, the classical dance form of Kerala holds an exceptional place in the history of culture and tradition of India. Kerala is famous for its two classical dance forms Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, which captivate tourists worldwide.

Kathakali is one of the most graceful classical dance forms. It is basically a realistic and the oldest form of theatre in the world. This dance form means story-play. It was originated about 500 years ago and includes a combination of dance, drama, music and ritual.

Mohiniyattam this dance form embrace diverse features of Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi dance forms. It is a form of semi-classical form and is performed only by women and is broadly identified by Sangeet Natak.

6) Marinated Pineapple-

Marinated Pineapple

           It is basically a Keralan snack, available easily at the streets of Kerala. It is a type of snack in which the pieces of pineapple or any fruits are sliced or chopped in and are dipped in the jar containing the special water made by adding salt and green chillies in it. It tastes very delicious but is spicy. Whoever tastes it once, will never forget it and will take along as a memory as I have taken.

I truly speaking this is the best unique thing I have tasted in Kerala.

Last day of #GoKeralatrip was coming to end and my eyes were getting wet as I didn’t want this journey to end. One of the best trip of my life and I would like to thanks for the last time to @HolidayIQ and @KeralaTourism for this amazing life Time opportunity.

Nayyar Dam

Having said that after enjoying a satisfying and luxurious stay at Quilon Beach Hotel and Convention centre and after having breakfast we moved our journey further and reached Neyyar Dam.

Nayyar dam
Nayyar dam

It is a gravity dam situated on the Neyyar River in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. It was established in 1958 and is a very popular picnic spot, many tourists are found visiting this dam.

Especially animal lovers and beauty lovers enjoy this dam a lot. It has a huge lake and a dense growth of trees and plants surrounding it. It is a famous Picturesque picnic spot for families, friends as well as solo-travellers.

It has a beautiful Tower and a Deer Park. Being a nature lover we immensely loved the beauty of this place. After visiting this dam I was feeling really fresh and satisfied.

Neyyar Lion Safari Park

After having lunch we proceeded further and visited Neyyar Lion Safari Park which was located nearby the Neyyar Dam.  Actually, it is a part of Neyyar Dam.

Lion safari
Lion safari

There we got lucky to see 5 lionesses at 5 different spots but they were very well. I wish forest departments can make them healthy by giving proper food and medication.

So let’s support to save tigers also had a crocodile rehabilitation and research centre. It has 12000 hectares of natural vegetation in the form of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It has a beautiful and enchanting view of flora and fauna and several trekking options. I went to Agasthyamala Park.

it was about 1868m high and is also a famous picnic spot. The view of the fragile slopes and flat meadows from that height was so adorable and lovely which just cannot be expressed in words but can only be felt.

Neyyar Lion Safari Park has hundreds of species of fauna which includes The Asian Elephants, Tiger, Leopards, Reptiles and also Amphibians like King Cobra, Frogs, Tortoise, etc, I was lucky to have a look at those animals but while having a look at the wild animals of the Zoo I was unable to believe my eyes and was thinking like even these type of animals to survive on earth.

I even had a boating experience in Neyyar Dam and had a beautiful panoramic view of the entire area. It is the best place to visit who wants to enjoy scenic views. Then we reached Udaya Samudra Resort and had dinner there.

Uday Samudra Resort

Udaya Samudra Resort an excellent Resort, was located along the Kovalam Beach, just 15 meters from the sea. It is a luxurious 5-star leisure Beach-Hotel. It offers a  cosy cluster of rooms with gorgeous views of Arabian Sea.

Uday samudra main gate
Uday samudra main gate

It is constructed with defined architecture, spacious lawns and 3  blue swimming water pools.

Uday Samudra Resort
Uday Samudra Resort

 

It also had all basic facilities including gym, Spa, salon, ayurvedic massage centre etc.

Samudra Beach

One day in the morning we tried hands-on fishing and have a look at the fun of fishing on Samudra beach.

Fishing at samudra Beach
Fishing at samudra Beach

We pulled the strings to catch the fishes with local fisherman and look at produce we got.

Fish catch after hardwork
Fish catch after hard work

After that we had Lavishing lunch at Udaya Samudra Resort we visited Varkala Beach.

Varkala Beach

Varkala beach
Varkala beach

Varkala Beach is located in the south Kerala, in the Trivandrum District. It is an ideal holiday destination for the tourists interested in having the peaceful location. It is amongst the 10 seasonal beaches in the world because of its stunning beauty of landscapes, brown sand and sea.

Fun at Varkala beach
Fun at Varkala beach

It is also popular for Beach activities like Swimming, Sunbathing and other Water Sports. It gives an amazing view of Sunset. Varkala Beach is also called as Papanasam Beach and it is believed that taking bath at this beach washes away all your sins.

This beach is also famous for Spa, Mineral Springs and Ayurvedic Centres and offers best treatment and therapies. It was really a very clean Beach and is a place where local people used to follow their rituals. The view of a small hill makes the site more attractive and beautiful.

If you are seeking Peace from your daily life, this Beach can be a perfect place to visit and refresh yourself.After enjoying at Varkala Beach we returned back to Udaya Samudra Resort, had Dinner and overnight stay there.

The very next morning was the last day of our trip. After having breakfast we had a traveller meet at the Same Udaya Samudra Resort.

There we discussed our whole trip with its suggestions and our experience.All couples shared their experiences. They offered all the women of the trip the traditional Kerala Sarees.

All male wore Mundu and my angel wore Kerala traditional dress. We ladies tried the Sarees and had amazing Photoshoots as a couple. Our Journey closure ended with a note of Thank You from the Ceo of Holiday IQ to all the travellers.

Travellers meet with HolidayIQ and Kerala Tourism director
Travellers meet

My journey of holidaying in Kerala ended with sweet and memorable memories in my heart which will never fade. As I started in my first blog ” That footprints on beach may  fade way, but memories in my mind will never.”

Thank you every one for this wonderful journey of #GoKerala

As you must be reading my #GoKerala stories from last few days the journey which we started is about to end in next 2 days so, here I am taking you to my experience of Day 7 & day 8 where I visited Munroe Island, Alappuzha and many more places.

Alappuzha – “Venice of the East

Alappuzha is a city on the Laccadive Sea in the south of Kerala. It is famous for Houseboat cruises along the rustic Kerala backwaters. It is referred as the “Venice of the East”. It has always been important place considering the Marine Life. It is also famous for boat races, backwaters holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. It is the popular picnic spot. It is a must visit for all who seek to explore Kerala’s vast beauty.

Alappuzha also offers a great climate. The houseboat industry of Alappuzha is amongst the famous in the world. It has been likened to a canal car park during the peak season. We had an amazing houseboat experience.

Alleppey Houseboat Experience

The Houseboat traveling was a bit expensive but it is worth spending on its unique and amazing experience. Even I had a houseboat experience and in my opinion, it was very good.

The houseboat is called as ‘Spice Routes Luxury House Boat’. In which there is a variety of House Boats named as of spices like cardamom, clove, cinnamon, etc.

 

Lunch at Spice Routes Luxury House Boat
Lunch at Spice Routes Luxury House Boat

The Houseboats are of different sizes, which has either 1-room, 2- room, 3-room or 4-room depending on the size of House Boat.

Luxury House Boat

The meal was provided in the Houseboat cruise itself, or we can prepare food with our own hands as the kitchens were also available for preparing food for your own taste. They provide both veg and non-veg food.

Check-in at Alappuzha Beach

The very next day, in the morning after having breakfast I visited Alappuzha Beach. It is a famous beach located in Alappuzha town and is also a regular tourist attraction.

Alappuzha Beach
Clean & Amazing Alappuzha Beach

This beach hosts many events like Alappuzha Beach Festival. It has an old pier which extends to Sea.

Munroe Island

Then I visited Munroe Island. There I checked-in at Munroe Island Cottage. Had our food and then the local people shared with us the procedure of making ‘Local Taadi’.

Munroe Island

It is basically a traditional drink of that place made up of coconut branches. At first stage, it tastes very similar to coconut water but if you keep it for few days by covering it with clay and pots it ferments and then the drink which you get after fermentation is called as ‘Taadi’.

small boat for a ride at Munroe Island

Then we were taken in a small boat for a ride over the river for about 35 to 40mins where they showed us the fish farming and prawns farming areas and also different types of water animals and variety of snakes.

Beauty of Munroe Beach

Munroe Island is located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada river. You can reach this Island by road, rail and Inland water navigation. It is a hidden pearl in the backwaters and is composed of a cluster of 8 Islands.

Experience at Munroe Island

Each one of them is separated by small water channels and lakes. Some of the Island’s main attractions are the narrow waterways, canal cruise, and the famous Kallada Boat Race. It was really a lovely and peaceful trip, especially the boating, I got to see rare species of birds and fishes. While traveling by boat we had a very good experience of village life and felt like experiencing my childhoods days of Grandparents village and had very tasty and delicious traditional lunch.

Quilon Beach Hotel

Quilon Beach Hotel

After that, we reached Quilon Beach Hotel and Convention center. It is 65 km north of Trivandrum.

Qullon Beach
Quilon Beach

It is a luxurious 5-star hotel located at Kollam, facing Arabian Sea and Backwaters. This hotel also offered Spa facilities and swimming pool.

It has cozy rooms which provide beautiful sea views and also has satellite flat-screen TVs. Each room has bathroom and grooming kits and Bathrobes in it.

The hotel serves local and international cuisine both if required it also has a pastry shop and a bar. We had a night stay at this Luxurious hotel and had a sound and safe sleep.

You can check out My whole Kerala Tour Journey to make sure you don’t miss out any wonderful place to visit.

Spending time with family and enjoying holidays is the best feeling one can ever experience. I thank God from bottom of my heart because I am seriously feeling lucky to experience this beautiful feeling. Moving further on our journey it’s day 5 today I visited the most trending & famous place from the movie Bahubali that is  Athirappilly Falls.

Day 5 Begins with Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum.

After having breakfast we reached Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum. It is an old traditional 2-story building. It is the museum showing the evolution of the traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicines.

This museum is located in Thaikkattussery, near Ollur in Thrissur, Kerala. This museum was inaugurated by the late president Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. It shows the history of the variety of ayurvedic medicines from ancient to modern times. It also has a library, which includes the books on Ayurveda and ayurvedic medicines. The book also describes various branches of Ayurveda. The library also includes different eye-catching digital images and a 3-D gallery. The 3-D gallery shows traditional educational treatments using ayurvedic medicines and its present developments and also a collection of raw herbs used for manufacturing of ayurvedic medicines. After visiting this museum I realized that Ayurveda is and will always remain nature’s best remedy for the majority of health problems.

Bahubali Fame The Athirappilly waterfall

After that, we went to Athirappilly Waterfalls. It is situated in Athirappilly Panchayat in Thrissur district of Kerala.

Athirappilly waterfall
Athirappilly waterfall

Athirappilly is the largest waterfall of Kerala and is nicknamed as “Niagara of India”. It is 80 feet tall. Athirappilly waterfall is close to the dense forest and also has different species of flora and fauna.  Athirappilly waterfall is the most visited waterfall in Kerala. It is situated in a beautiful location and the climate was very thrilling. One can see this waterfall from upper as well as a lower end. Athirappilly waterfall is the waterfall which was shown in the blockbuster movie Baahubali.

The continuously falling water of the waterfall was given the milky waterfalls looks. The water there flows with very high-speed so one has to be very careful especially when having kids and old-age people with them.

Tumburmuzhi Hanging Bridge.

Tumburmuzhi Hanging Bridge
Click From The Tumburmuzhi Hanging Bridge

Then we visited Thumburmuzhi Hanging Bridge. It is the well-known tourist spot on the way of Athirappily Waterfalls. It is built across the Chalakkudy River.

Tumburmuzhi Hanging Bridge
Tumburmuzhi Hanging Bridge

Standing on two pillars this bridge also works on the principle of the cable-stayed bridge with lightweight concrete-steel viaducts on both the sides of the river. It hangs and also gives sounds when you run over it.

Tumburmuzhi Hanging Bridge

 

It also has the famous Butterfly park, which has the natural habitat of Butterflies. It has almost every species of Butterfly in the world. At this place, one can enjoy a lot and can have a view of nature’s beautiful creation of butterflies and flowers together. If you reach this park early morning you can see more of the bigger butterflies like birds, which we missed out to see. It is much less known stop, a lot of travelers missed it. But in my opinion, it is the good place to spend happy time with family and friends.

After reaching Seashore Residency we had an dinner It is a place which serves a high amount of non-vegetarian food because the tourist who visits there is the majority from Arab, so we found it bit difficult to get pure vegetarian food., this is how we ended our day 4.

Muziris Heritage Project

We started our 5th day by visiting Muziris Heritage project. We visited hop and hop the boat, the experience of traveling in that boat was amazing. It is an ancient port town in little Kerala, which still holds it’s beauty that is filled with history and culture.

Muziris Heritage project
Muziris Heritage project

The Government of Kerala has initiated the Muziris Heritage Project to reinstate the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris. This region is dotted with numerous monuments of the old age era.

port of Muziris

The entire project is designed to involve and integrate the local community in all it’s development initiatives. The history lovers should visit it once.

hop and hop the boat.
Hop and hop the boat.

Paliam Kovilakam Museum

Ancient Artifact
Ancient Artifact in The Paliam Kovilakam Museum

Then we visited the Paliam Kovilakam Museum, which is built-in the Kerala style. The architecture of this museum shows the hybrid of Kerala and Dutch styles. It is functional and highly efficient two-story building of old age times.

Paliam Kovilakam Museum
Paliam Kovilakam Museum
Carved wooden staircase
Carved wooden staircase

The building has beautifully carved wooden staircase and thick walls with splayed openings.

It has a circulation space in the private area of the building which insulates the interiors, making the place cooler. Again this was a beautiful historic place to watch.

Ancient watch
Ancient watch in the Paliam Kovilakam Museum

Dutch Palace

Moving our journey further we then visited Dutch Palace. It is a Mattancherry Palace, actually a Portuguese palace popularly known as Dutch Palace. In the early decades of 16th century, the Portuguese build this palace and presented it to the king Veera Kerala Varma with the hope of establishing trading relations with the kingdom.

Dutch Palace
Inside The Dutch Palace

This palace is two-storeyed building build in traditional Kerala style with 4 separate wings openings into a central courtyard. From outside, the palace was decorated with white walls in the front and was having sloping roofs. It has long and spacious halls, the ceilings of the halls were decorated with wood carved with floral designs which looks very elegant. This palace also has a fascinating collection of mural paintings and antique furniture and weapons.

Visit St. Francis Church

From there we visited St. Francis Church, it is said to be the oldest European church in India. It was originally built-in 1503 and has great historical significance. It is well-known for its beautiful architecture and ambiance. The church is made of wood and mud. It is situated in the middle of the fort constructed by the Portuguese.

St. Francis Church
St. Francis Church

This church was reconstructed in 1516 and was dedicated to the patron saint of Portugal. The church has a lofty structure with a timber-framed roof covered with tiles. It has a stepped pinnacle constructed on both the sides of the church which gives a very impressive look and signifies old heritage. The interior of the church provides a magnificent view.

Visit Fort Kochi at Greenix village

At last on the 5th day, we visited the Fort Kochi at Greenix village. Greenix Village is a cultural art center of Kerala which promotes varieties of traditional dance forms under one roof.

traditional dance
traditional dance forms at Fort Kochi

This cultural art center also has an art gallery restaurant, a curio shop and a bookshop. The village opens at 6:00 a.m and closes at 10:00 p.m.

Greenix village
Greenix village

We also experienced the traditional dance forms of Kerala and a Marshal art form called as Kallaripatu.

Checked in Bolghatty Palace Hotel.

Bolghatty Palace Hotel
Front Side of Bolghatty Palace Hotel

Bolghatty Palace Hotel is a former palace built by Dutch and is located on the island known as Bolghatty island in Kochi. It is the beautiful palace with the exclusive mansion and four palatial rooms.

Bolghatty Palace Hotel
Inside The Bolghatty Palace Hotel

It provides the travelers with the world-class amenities and a luxurious place to stay during holidays. It is the place of peace in the midst of the bustling city of Kochi.

amenities
My Hubby Ringing The Bell

This resort is a combination of leisure with business and is popularly known as “Honeymoon Paradise”.

Bolghatty Palace Hotel.
My best click in the Bolghatty Palace Hotel.

The resort is neatly surrounded by the giant umbrellas of refreshing green trees. There are also six lake view cottages in this resort. It looks really amazing and let’s see how we feel and what else we experience after staying at this resort.

Also, don’t forget to check out what happened in the 7th & 8th day of my #GoKerala Trip

Also, check out my 7th & 8th-day journey where I Discovered a Hidden Gem of Kerala – Munroe Island with Luxury Houseboat on Day 7 & 8 #GoKerala

Day 4: Hotel Raviz to Sargaalaya to Uru Wooden Ship

After day 3, a luxury hotel stays in the Raviz hotel at Kozhikode, Kerala we Started our journey to sargaalaya International Arts and crafts museums. The first impression after reaching the place was, why God has given everything here only. But frankly speaking, when we met CEO of the museum, we were amazed to see how they are handling poor artisans and their art which is gonna die, if not trained to the newer generation. But these local are not so rich that they can go to the city and sell their products, so this museum is giving these artists and artisans to market their products to tourists who come and buy some stuff for them.

Sargaalaya International Arts and crafts museums

Let me take you to the history of this museum. There are around 107  artisans who are working and making handicrafts for museums to sell under museums. They get their salary or stipend.

Sargaalaya International Arts and crafts museums

They train widows or poor lady who is also bread runner of family. This is a real craft village, where 240 women work day and night so that they can make their own handicrafts and sell in markets during the exhibition.  The exhibition is on from 10 am to 6 pm. Indias best museum which is responsible tourism under state government of Kerala, they are trying to save dying art by teaching the new generation the traditional technic of handicrafts.

Sargaalaya International Arts and crafts museums

We met world best artisan who makes the mat with traditional machines. We also met Mr Arun who can’t speak but has been awarded as the best artisan for Clay portrait, he has made more than 2000 design in his life. We also met students who are trying to save this art from a local village. The museum is doing a great job by giving the platform to seek their products in their museum. A must visit for every traveller and handicraft lover.

craft village, sargaalaya

After finishing sadhya at sargaalaya museum, we went to a place where Uru i.e wooden ships are made.

hand crafted lord ganesha

Generally when we hear the world handy craft, what comes to over mind is the small idols, toys or sculptures made of stone, sand or wooden material. But have you ever heard that big wooden ships are also made in India? It is the biggest handy craft not only in India but also of the whole world.

wooden ship model

So here is the story of a wooden ship making in India. Wooden Ship or Uru as it called is connected with the traditional shipbuilding culture of Kerala and the art and science of making these ships came from the Arab world many years ago.

Wooden ship1,Kerala

Wooden ship2,Kerala

inside wooden ship

view of wooden ship

Centuries ago, Arab traders traced their way to much sought after Kerala spices.

And after coming to know about the availability of good timber in the Kerala region skilled low-cost skilled labours, they began to place orders for the ship. Beypore in Kozhikode district of Kerala is the major centre for making urus in Kerala.

After visiting beypore we visited Thrissur and check in the hotel Joys Palace

Joys Palace,Kerala

Nowadays these ships are made on orders from Gulf countries like  Qatar, U.A.E. As discussed with a manager it takes almost 2 years to complete the one ship. The main engine is procured from Japan. The normal size is  150 by 23 ft. It’s approx.

price is 15cr, It has the capacity of carrying 25000 litres of water and 20000 litres of diesel. These ships are made on specific request. The view of ship reminds us the old stories of Arabian nights.

This is how our day #4 Ended.

On day 5 & 6 on #GoKerala Tour, we visited the famous Bahubali Fame Athirapilly Falls, Muziris Heritage Project, Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum & many more.

Unwind yourself in the majestic forest of Wayanad by zipline

The places in Kerala not only gives a pure atmosphere but also a beautiful experience of heaven. Especially the hill stations located in Kerala are must visit. Among the three hill stations of Kerala, we first visited the hill station Wayanad on the third day of our trip. It is located in the western ghats of Kerala.

Lobby Decoration at Windflower Resort and Spa

Wayanad hill station is a place famous worldwide for its inspiring beauty, greenery landscape, and beautiful environment. It has a various and wide range of plantations of tea, coffee, and cardamom.

This hill station gives an aromatic weather which attracts a lot of tourists all over the world. After 2 day traveling and visiting different places of Kerala, we planned to have a stay at this hill station. We booked our stay at windflower resorts and spa. After the second day of Kerala tour, we had a pleasant stay at one of the luxurious room of this resort. After having breakfast at the restaurant’s expansive open-air balcony we proceeded forward and had a look at the entire resort. The mesmerizing view and the unique interiors just stole our heart. It had an outdoor pool and also a spa for warming ourselves. It also had chargeable wired internet and a peaceful yoga room. We then tried our hands to the Zipline which is the best and longest Zipline in Wayanad (Vythri) and also in Kerala and it is organized by Mudd boots.

Wayanad adventure camp also has the longest zipline across the Karlad lake. Karlad is one of the beautiful lakes in the Wayanad. It is said to be the second largest freshwater lake in Wayanad and a famous boating and picnic spot. The zip line experience in Karlad is one of the best experience you can get in the Wayanad hill station. The Zip-line goes all across the Karlad lake and then comes back to its starting point. It is the beautiful place loved by all, especially by the peace lovers. But we did over a tea and coffee plantation which was longest and also highest in Wayanad.

Heading from Wayanad, We then visited Pranavam Retreat .it is made by Mrs. Rama and Mr. Ravindra. It is an adventure-centric experimental homestay with the residential accommodation. One can stay and cook their own food and can have a home like an experience in the beautiful atmosphere of Kerala.

Pranavam Homestay, Wayanad Hotel is a 3-star hotel in Wayanad. It is an elegant place made with a mixture of mud, wood, and tile. It offers luxurious rooms with unique architecture spacious family suites surrounded by plantation tea and coffee. It is one of the oldest homestays and is a place which keeps you completely away from the daily stress and strain of life. There we enjoyed delicious and yummy traditional Kerala food called as Sadhya. It includes a variety of dishes traditionally served on abanana leaf.

Sadhya is the traditional vegetarian feast of Kerala, usually served as lunch. It consists of boiled rice, side dishes, pickles, desserts spread on a single banana leaf. And we also made Pachadi which is pineapple and curd chutney.

After having lunch we travelled to Calicut. It was a two hours journey. There we checked in hotel Raviz. It was a 4- star hotel. There we went to a famous S M street and bought the delicious Halwa and the shopping lover can shop unlimited. And the most lovely thing was a variety of halwa.

After coming back from shopping we went to swimming pool. They have an awesome swimming pool, which they opened for us on a special request. This was our 3 day of Kerala trip and so far the experience was awesome, waiting for many more new places to visit.

After having fun on day 1, we started for Day 2.

Detailed Information About Kerala And its History


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As we all know Kerala is called ‘The God’s own country’. It is an enchanting and beautiful land, surrounded by the western ghats on one side, the Arabian sea on the other. Kerala is the land of ‘kera’ called as coconut. Kerala has its own traditions and culture.  Most tourists attracted places are beaches, hill stations, backwaters, bird and wildlife sanctuary etc.
Kerala is also one of the richest states in India with forests and plantations of rubber, cashew, and coconuts. It has a rich heritage of dance and drama like Kathakali, koothu, mohiniattam, etc. People here are very industrious and have the highest rate of literacy.
The mother tongue of Kerala is Malayalam and the people here are called as Malayalees. It is believed that Parasurama is the creator of Kerala. He converted a portion of the sea into land by throwing his axe.
This place has become one of the best tourist places nowadays. People all over the country wish to visit Kerala at least once to experience its divine beauty. Even I visited Kerala to enjoy during vacations with my family. Here is a list of the places I visited.

1. St. ANGELO FORT

 St. Angelo is a fort facing the Arabian Sea. It is situated  3 km from Kannur, a city in Kerala state.  It was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, he was the first viceroy of India. The Dutch captured the fort from the Portuguese in 1663. They modernized the fort. St. Angelo’ s fort is a most important and historical monument and also a very popular tourist attraction of Kerala.

St. ANGELO FORT

Six tourism policeman are posted for the protection duty. The fort has very spacious interiors. It also has decorative plants and a watchtower in it. The cliff-like end of the fort gives the amazing view of entire Kerala. It also has gravestone of Dutch commandments wide and two children with Dutch inscriptions. It has the remains of the early oil lamp lighthouse. It has the stairway which leads to the top of the fort wall.

St. ANGELO FORT

It is overall a very ancient and beautiful fort to watch during a visit to Kerala. The most important part of Fort St Angelo is Old prison and jails where the prisoners used to be mentally tortured. The fort top view has a beach view which is quite beautiful.

2. MUZHAPHILANGAD BEACH KERALA

It is a beach in the southwestern part of Kerala. It is located parallel to national highway 66 between Thalassery and Kannur. This beach is 5″5 km long and it is the only drive in the beach of Kerala where people can use their 2 wheeler and 4 wheeler vehicles for a drive. We got to do cot bike ride.

MUZHAPHILANGAD BEACH KERALA

There are single seater or double seater cot bike ride. On a drive to this beach, you come across examples of Malabar cuisine in the shacks. It has shallow waters and is a swimmers paradise as the black rocks protect the beach from deep currents. This beach also has several water sports like paragliding, parasailing, and microlite flights but we couldn’t get a chance to do all.

MUZHAPHILANGAD BEACH KERALA

There are also power boating and a catamaran ride there. It is the most wonderful beach of Kerala and is also a must visit one and shore of this beach has lots of starfishes, shells, crabs.

3. WINDFLOWER  RESORTS AND SPA VAITHRI  WYANAD

The mystic quality of mountains and an awesome view of the hills has inspired many newly married couples to visit and have a long stay at this hill station in wyanad, Kerala. This Resort gives you lot of positive vibes when you enter.  This hill station has ‘The Windflower Resort and Spa’, which people prefer to stay.

Wind Flower resort

Surrounded by tea and coffee plantation and built in the centre of jungle or forest. You will find monkeys all over and they eat coffee beans a lot. Luckily we got a stay at Villa, which was upgraded for us from Rooms. Villa was so big to accommodate 2 families together. It had big king size of bathrooms equally like king-size bedrooms.  It has a luxurious and a traditional style architecture.

Wind Flower resort

The windflower RESORTS and SPA vythiri has a picturesque hill and carries a rich legacy of being a tea and coffee estate. It has beautiful suites and villas along with swimming pools and spa and treatments rooms for a luxurious stay with large Windows to have a beautiful view of nature. The accommodations have high ceiling and, warm and soft interiors, modern fixtures bathroom and free Wifi designated areas. The resort has the activity room with board games like chess, and SPA offers steam bath, sauna, jacuzzi and chilled shower and along with banquet hall.

Wind Flower resort

It provides a stunning view of the valley and serves world-class cuisine and tasty local delicacies.  It is the most wonderful beach best place to stay and enjoy during Kerala holidays. The food is so delectable and they serve all three meals for guest. People usually come to unwind and relax and get detox from the digital world for weekends. I wud highly recommend to people who want to see Kerala in an instant way if you come to Wind Flower resort and spa.

Signing for #day2 I would only say take life as uncertainty because if you accept the fear it becomes an adventure, and if you don’t accept it becomes fear. So #GoKerala and explore the unexplored-Kerala on your next vacation.

Thank you HolidayIQ & Kerala Tourism for the mesmerizing experience at Muzhappilangad Longest Driving Beach.
This journey is so exciting – check out the day 3 of my #GoKerala where I had best memories at  Longest Zipline in Wayanad

Kerala is one of the most common destinations for vacation. From the city of hassle like Mumbai and Delhi, people want to live in peace for some time and that’s why most of the people plan Vacations in Kerala. Usually, families go to travel planner and all the travel planner gives you same itinerary starting from Munnar, Allepy, Thekkady and Trivandrum.

Undoubtedly they are the best place to Visit but have u ever thought why Kerala is called as God’s, own country. The reason is Kerala is full of natural places and very much connected to oceans and lakes. The first thing which I imagine for Kerala is coconut trees and banana trees near, lakes and beaches. But frankly speaking HolidayIQ is showing us the other face of Kerala, which is yet to explore and we are as a wanderer, exploring the unexplored part of Kerala. If u guys wondering what Is HolidayIQ, then let me explain you, it’s a platform and a travel community where common traveller gives you honest Review of particular hotel or sightseeing. Usually, we see some websites have some reviews but when you go and experience it, you see the review you saw on a particular website is not true. HolidayIQ is a platform where a real traveller gives you a real-time review of that particular place. So next time when you visit any place, Do check in to HolidayIQ App and find out the real review of traveller’s  experience.

You can follow my profile on the holidayIQ app too for Kerala. Or my Facebook page for all Kerala related queries.

So today as Day1 we started our journey from Mangalore Ginger hotel to hotel Bekal Palace in Bekal which is in Kerala state. From Bekal Palace hotel, we went to Ananthapura Lake Temple or Ananthapadmabhaswamy Temple.

Lake Temple in Kerala

This is the Hindu temple built in the middle of a lake in the little village of Ananthapura in Kasaragod district of Kerala. This is the only Lake Temple in Kerala which has the original seat of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Trivandrum.

sunset at kerala

The lake in which the temple is built 2 acres. In the Right corner of the lake, you will see a small cave, which the deity Anantha Padmanabha chose to go all the way to Trivandrum. Hence both the place have the same name in spite of being on either end of the region.

Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple

This Temple has a history of Lord Narayana. An interesting thing about this Temple is the crocodile guardian Babea.  the crocodile is a vegetarian crocodile, who only eats Prasad given by the priest. Babea has never harmed anyone including the fishes in the pond. It is very unpredictable to assure the timing of crocodile visiting the lake. If you are lucky enough to see the crocodile, you can also feed with your own hands. Another interesting thing about babea is that no one can kill the crocodile.

Once a soldier killed the crocodile, but very next day, the crocodile was back, this mystery is still unsolved because no one knows how it reappears after dying too. But since it’s protecting the temple and the cave, which the deity took to reach Trivandrum from Kasargod, it’s very fortunate if you get to see it.

kerala tour
The second destination was Bekal fort which is in north Malabar in Kasargod district. It is the largest Fort in Kerala in Bekal village measuring over 40 acres. The most important feature of this Fort is the water tank with its flight of steps. IV as a tunnel opening toward the south and I magazine for keeping amination with broad steps leading to the Observation  Tower. From the topmost point of the tower, one has an ample view kanhangad, pallikkara, Bekal and Uduma. This fort is very near to Bekal Fort Bekal railway station. This fort is actually built specially for fulfilling defence requirement. But now a good green lawn and a beautiful beach view. You can see PALLIKARE beach from the topmost point of Bekal fort. I highly recommend it as a family destination.

PALLIKARE beach
Just 10 minutes walking from Bekal Fort its  PALLIKARE  Beach, which is our third destination. We reached 5 p.m exactly before sunset to capture some beautiful moments near the seashore. The magnificent Skyview of sunset has left me to spellbound.

sunset at PALLIKARE beach

The footprints in the sea may not remain for seconds but memories of PALLIKARE beach will remain forever in my life. The cleanest beach in Kasargod district, less crowded. Just rewind yourself by diving in the sea and enjoy the water waves coming towards you. As the sunset and sky show you different shades of orange from the horizon, you swim in deep thoughts of your life and dream about your positive future. I enjoyed the beach with my beautiful daughter like a kid.  Thanks to @HolidayIQ and @KeralaTourism for a wonderful day of #GoKerala tour.

Surely I explored the #unexploredKerala today through my own eyes.

Don’t forget to check out Day 2 of #GoKerala tour where I covered Muzhappilangad Longest Driving Beach with HolidayIQ

 

Maharashtra Ecotourism|Building a Greener and sustainable tourism

India because of its diversified nature is said to be one of the most popular Eco-tourism destinations in the world. Whether it is snowfall in Himalayan region or ancient caves in the Khasi and Garo hills and also be it the backwaters of Kerala or the unique sand dunes of Thar desert, India right from the decades has been a famous Eco-tourism hub for many. Among all the states of India, Maharashtra is called as a hotspot of Eco-tourism in India. Maharashtra Ecotourism is said to be the land of diverse factors with varying topography with unique and varying species of flora and fauna. Eco-tourism destinations not only allow the travelers to see some of the beautiful and rare natural wonders but also allows them to help the nature indirect way, because in majority of Eco-tourism places the money gained from the travelers is used for conserving and preserving natural environment.
If you are an Eco-adventure traveler and love to go for a trip which is full of natural world then let’s go for a refreshing journey through some of the best ecotourism destinations of Maharashtra.

Saguna Baug-
For an Ecotourism lover, Saguna Bagh is a best place to visit under Maharashtra Ecotourism . It is a place developed by a Gandhian freedom fighter Harikaka Bhadsavle with a strong motive of creating a farming outfit which can effectively support the social worker. Today hundreds of people visit Saguna Baug to find peace, happiness and gain the knowledge of hard-earned field of Agriculture. Trekking and various adventure activities can also be done at this place. The best part of saguna Baugh is that they cook what they grow and recycle the waste from kitchen to give fertilizer to farm which the are cultivating. Nothing is wasted here, every thing is utilized properly. You are not allowed to throw plastic inside the campus.

Karla Caves-
With lots of ancient architecturing of caves, Karla Caves is situated at the lap of Sahyadri range. Greenery and waterfalls lovers are the most attracted to this place. The mosses surrounding the caves and the mystic environment around the caves definitely looks picture perfect spot for Eco-tourism lovers to visit. During Rainy Season you can also various species of migratory birds. You can also enjoy visiting Karla Fort too. It is also a well known destination for people going for Trek. People here are so grounded that they dont believe in wasting and spoling the environment.

Bhimashankar, Pune-
Bhimashankar lies in the ghat region of the Sahyadri hills and it looks like a beautiful green carpet during Rainy season. It looks fresh and pure. It gives the view of bio-diversity of nature. With the abundant flora and fauna, dazzling scenic beauties, rare animal breeds, it is the place to explore with family and friends and make them aware that even eco-tourism travel can be so beautiful and appreciable. You can easily travel by road from several places of Maharashtra to Bhimashankar and the nearest railway station is Shivaji nagar railway station of Pune. Mostly trekkers who are expert in trekking, come here and enjoy the activity. Newbies should avoid it.

Matheran-
Matheran is said to be a hill station and has almost 28 view-points scattered all around the place. Matheran is famous for its amicable climate and various trekking points. This place is favourite of many tourists especially the people or students from the Mumbai who loves Eco-tourism, for them Matheran is their nearest and favourite spot during Rainy season. There are various trekking routes in Matheran, the most famous one goes from Garbert Plateau. There is also Chanderi caves for the trek lovers and the going for Kalavantin Pinnacle Trek helps the trekkers to explore the fort and also have a mesmerizing view from the peak. The best time to visit Matheran is from March to May, and during rainy season it is the best to visit Matheran.
The rain adds to the flawless beauty of this place. The roads and lanes become muddy but people dont want concret roads as they believe in sustainable tourism. They believe that this is the beauty of Matheran.

Morachi Chincholi-
Morachi Chincholi, the name itself gives hint about the place. It is basically a village of tamarind trees and a town of peacocks dancing all around. It is said to be an auspicious one day picnic spot for fun and nature lovers. Nature has always showered blessings on this place. This place is located near Pune and is well connected by road transport. The main attraction of this place is its unmatched natural beauty and spotless fresh colours of the nature. It is also a hub of various recreational activities. There are several activities like puppet show, magic show organized there especially for kids. The location of this place is best for the people looking for break from daily life and who are in search of peace and love from nature. Local earn through the natural resources available and do not sell Chinese or technical things around this place.

Igatpuri-
One of the well known tourist spot in Maharashtra, Igatpuri is situated near Nashik. This place becomes alive will all around liveliness during Monsoon. It gives a true symbol of natural beauty with a complete freshness in the air. It is a place decked with several waterfalls, straggling greenery and lakes. Bhatsa river valley and Camel Valley are two main attractions of this place. You will get a spending view of nature and different species of flora and fauna, once you visit this place.

Kolad-
If you are planning to make your trip memorable as well as adventurous then Kolad is a perfect place to visit. It is said to be a beautiful destination in Maharashtra with picture-perfect homestays, sprawling campsites and many adventurous activities to try. Whitewater rafting is the most famous activity to perform in the waters of Kolad. Zip lining, canoeing and trekking are some other famous activities available in Kolad. Some of the nearest places to visit for nature lovers are Tamhini falls, Bhira dam and kuda caves, etc. Turquoise water and lush greenery make it even for exciting place to visit for Eco-tourism lovers. Dont forget to read my article on Durshet Forest Lodge. 

Tapola-
Tapola is popularly known as mini Kashmir. It is basically a small village at around 25kms from Mahabaleshwar. This place is quiet famous for boating and its rare scenery and natural landscapes. If you are planning to visit Mahabaleshwar, Tapola is a beautiful place which one should not miss. An Eco-tourism lover will love to visit Kas Pathar at Tapola which turns into bed of flowers during Monsoon. A nature lover will like the view of Koyana Dam while if you are an adventure lover than enjoying several activities at Shivsagar Lake will be best for them. During the Season of Strawberry’s the fragrance of Strawberry farms will touch your heart.

After reading my blog, I am sure the search of nearby and efficient destinations in Maharashtra by Eco-tourism lovers will definitely end. What do you think about my take on  Maharashtra Ecotourism. Please comment below and add your suggestions too.

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