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4.33 

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God's own country can be yours for a few Days ...
Nov 20, 2010 07:48 AM 28772 Views
(Updated Apr 22, 2011 12:18 PM)

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It was Oct'10 that we went for a Holiday to Kerala. It was a short trip of 4 days at Kerala covering Cochin, a day in House Boat from Kumarakom near Alleppy . a days' stay at a Hotel in Munnar and a visit to Athiri palli falls.


Though the site seeing at Cochin including beach was far from impressive, the rest of the tour was great despite hectic road travel and reduced resting hours. First the best,


House Boat from Kumarakom


was costing us Rs.8K and that was a bit expensive we thought. But after we went iside a new experience started unfolding. The boat was manned by three young men One specializing in Piloting the boat, one in cooking and the third in serving. Based on our AP-Veg status conveyed earlier, the cooking oil and items were suitably chosen.


They served welcome drink in the form of Tender coconut, followed by a light snack. They took food order and started cooking. The boat was taken into the huge Vembanad lake from the Vembanad river that we were in. Incidentally, Vembanad Lake is formed by inflows of river waters of three rivers namely, Vembanad, Pamba and Periyar. They anchored the boat in the river and served Veg lunch that was very well prepared with good white rice and Roti. After taking us around the huge lake in the A/Noon we were anchored in Pampa river near a wooded shore for the night.


The Boat had Two Bed Rooms with Split ACs, Hall, Dish TV, Music player, Fridge and a full kitchen. The night was serene and cold and so was the morning. After a heavy breakfast, the boat was taken back by about 10 AM for us to unboard after a brief meeting with Manager and filling up a nice feed back form like a star hotel. The boat staff knew Hindi and English and were friendly. After a Photo with crew we were back at Kochin.


Munnar:


Next day we were at Munnar by about 11-30AM and after lunch visited the following after consultation as to the Best spots:


Mattupetty Dam and LakeMattupetty is situated at a height of 1700 m above sea level. Mattupetty Lake and Dam is a beautiful picnic spot with the panoramic view of the tea plantations and the lake with boating.


Echo Point Echo Point has a natural echo phenomenon and offers panoramic views. Also offers scenic beauty and boating.


There are two Water falls enroute from Cochin which are good for Photography. The Town Munnar as such has very little in terms of expanse or beauty.


Wild animals and birds as well as plants are peculiar to this hills . Wild plants such as ‘Neelakurinji”(which flowers once in twelve years) Rhododendsons Orchids are the rare species which found only in Himalayas and Munnar hills can be seen along the drive way .


Next Day we touched the Athirapally Water falls on the way back from Munaar to Cochi(with a Digression in route). The falls were very large with good inflow of water. You also get to see the Villages and towns enroute with lavish houses and sparse populations.


But for the relatively bad roads and expensive hotels and limited meals options for Vegans, Kerala has a lot of surprises to offer for a first timer at least.


Points for Tourists:




  1. The house boat is best booked thro a friend and that would cost you Rs. 6-12K and if booked thro Internet or Travels may cost abt 10-20K.




  2. Kerala's best roads are its NHs and state govt seems to be doing nothing else but to educate peolple and send them abroad(gulf) to earn goodies.




  3. Hotels at Munnar are too expensive and one has to be selective. avoid C7(an expensive ill managed hotel)




  4. If a Vegan carry something along as U are always confronted with Fish, Coconut oil and burly boiled rice that U may not be used to.




  5. The most literate state doesnt offer the most sophisticated taxi drivers, insist on one knowing English/Hindi.




  6. If You are into charity . donot look for beggars at traffic junctions. you will be disappointed. This is a reason good enough to keep Kerala a class apart.






God's own country can be yours for a few Days . for a price You may not regret .


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