Tring tring….Got a call from college friend… good news, she is getting married. Great news, wedding ceremony is taking place in Guruvayur temple, Kerala. So will get to attend Keralite wedding plus got a golden opportunity to explore kerala. We planned 6 days 5 nights trip to kerala. This was a very spontaneous trip, we were deciding where to go tom and booking hotels on the spot on make my trip.
Kerala, also referred as Gods own country, is a tropical state which has a lot to offer to tourist from hill stations to beaches, from tea gardens to backwater houseboats.. People are helpful, some understand hindi/English.
- Dishes we tried – Kerala meal, Appam, idiyappam, idli/wada sambar, paratha, various chicken preparations
- Places we visited – Guruvayur, Munnar(Hotel Munnar Inn), thekkady(Periyar nest resort), allepy(Acardia regency), cochin
- Travel – Booked a return flight from Pune to Cochin via makemytrip.com. For internal transfers in Kerala, we used govt/private buses. Bus frequency is quite good.
Tips – don’t forget to pack sunscreen 😛 and make sure to keep body well hydrated.
Day 01 – Guruvayur temple
From cochin airport we booked a taxi from airport itself. They have fixed rates for AC/Non AC cabs. There are buses/trains to and from airport. But we reached cochin around midnight. There were no direct buses to the temple so decided to book the cab(Rs 1842). Takes around 2 hours to reach Guruvayur from cochin.
We attended wedding next day, paid visit to the Krishna temple. Its a 5000 years old beautiful temple. This was my very first visit to kerala and I could feel kerala culture, its antiquity, silk sarees, mandu(lungi), banana leaf meals, coconut trees, elephants, humidity. Exactly like how I imagined. Traditional dress code is compulsory to visit the temple. For men shirts are not allowed inside the temple 🙈
We took a bus from guruvayur bus stand to munnar. Direct buses are difficult to catch. Overnight at Munnar.
Day 02/03 – Munnar
Munnar is a beautiful hill station surrounded by tea plantations. We reached by night and it was soo cold. I was only expecting hot and humid weather everywhere, wasn’t prepared for this 😂. Our hotel was located in the main area so bus stop and restaurants were all easily accessible. For sightseeing bikes, jeeps, auto rickshaws, cabs are available. We rented a bike from Gokulam bike shop next day. Mopeds are charged around Rs 400 for a day. It was an awesome experience riding bike through green tea plantations.
There are about 4 different directions around main city where all viewpoints are located. We tried to cover maximum in 2 days. Since it was end feb, waterfalls run dry. But dams have ample amount of water. We covered Madupetty direction on first day since we started late. There are many small places to eat near main viewpoints where you can get local food.
Trick was to go the farthest point first and then enjoy all remaining viewpoints while coming back. On 2nd day we covered Madurai direction, Tea museum and Cochin direction. Mostly restaurants close by 9 pm. There are some roadside food truck like places to have dinner in main area. They offer good veg and non veg food (like partha, appam, chicken, omelette, local vegetables, sambar etc)
Munnar’s local market offers authentic spices, tea, coffee, chocolates, sarees, creams, oils etc. We bought spices, tea powder, homemade chocolates, lungi, sarees, medicated oils, chips.
Day 04 – Thekkady
We left munnar around 9 am. Munnar to thekkady journey is very scenic. It takes 3-4 hours to reach. Main attraction in thekkady is periyar national park and lake. National park can be reached by road as well as by taking a boat ride in periyar lake. We got to see sambar, Indian giant squirrel and lots of monkeys 🐒 Tigers are rarely visible. We booked kathakalli and kalari evening show tickets. Hotel manager can arrange these. Kathakalli is a colourful folk dance which means story telling via dance. And kadathanadan kalari is a stunning, thrilling display of ancient marshal arts. Ticket costs around Rs 200 each and duration is 1 hour. Stayed overnight at thekkady and left for Allepy next morning.
Day 05 – Allepy
Allapuza also known as allepy is famous for kerala backwaters and houseboats. Allepy was hot compared to other places. We reached by noon. Allepy beach was at walking distance from hotel. Spent evening Strolling by beach with a sunset view, roaming in nearby areas. We booked a Shikara ride near finishing point next day. Coasted around Rs 1400 for a couple for 2 hours. It offers beautiful view of backwaters along with houseboats surrounded by coconut trees. Tried fresh fish fry at a lakeside restaurant. There are many Ayurvedic treatment centres in the city. We tried medicated oil massage, costed Rs 1000 for one. Left for cochin by noon.
Day 06 – Cochin
Cochin was the last destination of our journey. We had very little time to explore cochin before boarding time. So we planned to visit most famous tourist destination which is Fort Cochin. Happening area of the city with beautiful churches, beach, Chinese fishing nets. From there we boarded AC bus direct to airport.