Best Things to do in Thekkady

Thekkady is heaven for wildlife as well as for nature lovers and is usually combined with Munnar for a Munnar Thekkady Package which is popular among guests visiting Kerala. Its cool climate, scenic vistas, lush greenery and the exotic wildlife sanctuary attracts tourists from the nook and corner of the world. More of all the wonderful destinations and the blissful ambiance of Thekkady have truly made it the most favored holidaying destination in Kerala, India.

Elephants near Boating

Elephants near Boating

Thekkady brings the live images of elephants pack walking along the pristine lakes and rivers in Periyar wild life sanctuary and boating in the lake, spice gardens surrounded by aromatic air, chains of lush green hills, lovely waterfalls and the call of the nature giving a soothing experience & revitalizing your soul. Thekkady is the perfect place to see the wildlife animals from the very close point from the safety of the boat cruise over the scenic Periyar Lake. The major attraction of Thekkady is the herds of elephants that walk along the edge of the Lake sprinkling water all over. In addition to the boating in Thekkady there are lot of other Things to do in Thekkady as well.

Boating

The first and foremost activity of a tourist in Thekkady is Boating in the Lake. One can see the wild animals along the gringe of the lake foraging, bathing, drinking and resting. It would be a greater fun if one is lucky enough to see the elephants playing with their babies in the lake. KTDC and Forest Departments are operating the Boat Service. Daily 5 Trips and each trips of Two Hours.

Timings : 7 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 2 pm & 4 pm . Check out the post on New Boat Timings in Thekkady

boating-in-thekkady

Boating in Thekkady

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Jeep Safari in Thekkady

The jeep safari to Gavi from 6 AM to 5 PM is the major off-the-track destination activity ideal for a wilderness retreat among the Things to do in Thekkady replete with trekking, birding, canoeing and facilities for boarding. This programme includes breakfast, lunch as well.Jeep Safari covers the dense green vegetation,thick forests,cascading waterfalls and aromatic spice plantations

Jeep Safari in Thekkady

Jeep Safari in Thekkady

Jungle Patrol – Shepherding the jungle

This programme is part of the regular night patrolling in the fringe eco-development zones of the tiger reserve. By participating in this, one is actually helping in the protection of the forests of Periyar. The trekking could be at any time between 7 p.m and 4 am. and could be taken by persons having proper physical and mental fitness to trek through the wilderness in the night. The maximum duration for a slot is 3 hours and maximum capacity of one slot is limited to 8 visitors (to move in two separate teams). They will accompany two protection watchers and one armed forest guard! Try the limits of your senses-sight, hearing and smell and take in the totally different world of nocturnal jungle life.

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Jungle Patrolling at Night

Jungle Patrolling at Night

Border Hiking – Protection oriented range hiking
This is a conservation oriented hard trek taking up a full day. The Trekking starts at 8’o clock in the morning and ends in the evening. The route passes through undulating terrains. Attitudinal ranges of 900 meters to 1300 meters will be covered in the trekkers could glimpse the lofty escarpments bordering the park watershed and the vast plains down below. Gaur, sloth bear, elephant, etc. are often sighted along this route apart from birds and butterflies. Maximum of 10 Tourist can hike the programme in two different groups. The Trekkers will go with two guides and an armed forest guard. Vegetarian refreshments can be had en route.

border-hiking-thekkady

Hiking through Forest Lands in Thekkady

Bamboo Rafting – Dawn to dusk range hiking
Bamboo rafting in thekkady is a dawn to dusk range hiking and rafting programme through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar Tiger Reserve is popular among the Things to do in Thekkady. Starting at 8 am from the boat landing, a mosaic of habitats will be traversed before the party gets in to rafts made of bamboos. The forests are rich in bird life and arboreal animals like giant squirrel and Nilgiri langur. The rafting is for about three hours and one gets a panoramic view of forest – clad hills reflected on the lake. Animals like elephant, gaur and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake. The team hitchhikes back to the boat landing by about 5 pm. An armed guard and 4 guides will accompany a maximum of 10 tourists. Tea, snacks and packed lunch will be served en route.
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Rafting in Thekkady

Rafting in Thekkady

Tribal Heritage – A peep into the past
A Tribal heritage museum built inside the Mannan settlement featuring various types of artifacts related to their ancient agricultural practices, marriage ceremonies, cultural events, dress code, rituals and death ceremonies is the hub of this ecotourism programme. Display of fishing gear, hunting weaponry, indigenous medicine and vessels, cereals, medicinal herbs, bamboo furniture etc. are other attractions providing a peep into their original culture.Tribal Heritage Visit is a two hour programme available on all days from 8 am. to 12 noon and 2 pm. to 4 pm. It involves mainly the tribal museum visit and trekking through the tribal hamlet situated within the periphery of Periyar Tiger accompanies by a tribal guide.

Tribal Cooking Show

Tribal Cooking Show

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Bullock Cart Discoveries
Conducted by a group of people who were engaged in sandal wood smuggling, later surrendered before the Forest Department. This programme is a visit in a bullock cart to the farming areas of diverse agricultural crops of mangoes, tamarind, onions, sunflower, jasmine and a score of other vegetables. The profit from this programme goes to rehabilitate this group of people. The programme starts at 6 am. In the morning and 2:30 pm in the afternoon and is a 3 hours package.

Bullock Cart

Bullock Cart

Plantation Tour

About 4000 Sq. KM of Idukki district is under verdant spice plantations. The main occupations of the natives are spice farming and trading. The original produce was cardamom, pepper, ginger and turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, tea etc. This will give an excellent opportunity to the visitor to see the spice plants and ayurvedic medicinal plants and buy some garden fresh spices from the plantations. This Tour will take 2-3 hours.

Spice Plantation Tour Thekkady

Spice Plantation Tour Thekkady

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Elephant Ride
There is park having Elephants an inmates and filled aroma of spices due to plantation of spices in the park and there are various programmes on offer here including Half an hour ride and photo session and another programme called One hour with elephant which includes Elephant Ride, Elephant Bath, Phto Session, Commands and Communication.and Two Hours with Elephant – Elephant Ride, Elephant Bath, Photo Session, Commands and Communications, Timber Dragging, Feeding, Elephant Shower.

Elephant Safari

Elephant Safari

Visit to Chellarkovil Waterfalls

Chellarkovil Waterfalls are 15 km north to Thekkady and Kumili at Anakkara panchayath. The Kerala State Forest Department has implemented community based ecotourism activities like valley view from wooden watchtower; border trekking, spice and ayurvedic garden visits.The cascading waterfalls are feast for the eyes. The village slopes down to the farms in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.Chellarkovil is the perfect place for trekking and for other adventure activities.

Chellarcovil-Water-Falls

Chellarcovil Water Falls

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Visit to Ramakkalmedu
Enjoy the wind, sunset and plains of Tamil Nadu and trek through the rocks at Ramakkalmedu which is a hill station and a hamlet. The wind gusts into the hills and recorded as maximum in Asia. Wind blows at a speed around 35 km per hour at Ramakkalmedu throughout the year irrespective of the season and time. The hilltop also offers a panoramic view of Tamil Nadu towns of Cumbum, Theni, Kombe, Thevaram, Uthamapalayam, Bodinaykannor and Vaiga.It is believed that that lord ‘Sree Rama’, had set his foot on this rock and hence the name Rama-Kal-Medu (Meaning: Rama’s foot imprints). One story says that Lord Rama kept his feet at the tip of Ramakkalmedu to search Ravana the King of Lanka who abducted his wife Sita.

Kuravan Kurathi Statue in Ramakkalmedu

Kuravan Kurathi Statue in Ramakkalmedu

Visit to Kalvari Mount

The Kalvari Mount mountain provides beautiful views of the Idukki Reservoir as well as the two prominent tribal villages of the region, namely Kamakshy and Mariyapuram. Elephants can also be seen roaming in the forests, near the foothill.The Malankara Dam, Idukki Hydroelectric Project and Nadukani and numerous tea gardens are present in its vicinity and this mount is on the way to Kattappana.

Kalvari Mount

Kalvari Mount

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Nature Walk – The guided day trek

Thekkady has different nature trails traversing diverse habitats from the trekking routes, generally to 4 to 5 km. in length. This is an interpretive programme offering excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife, flaura and fauna. The trails often pass thourgh evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands.

The programme is offered between 7:00 am. And 10:30 am. and between 2:00 pm. And 3:00 pm. and lasts for about 3 hours. A maximum of 5 persons can go for trekking at a time along each nature trail, accompanied by a trained tribal guide. The Nature walk is the right programme to feel nature, hear her whispers and smell flowers.

Nature Walking in Thekkady

Nature Walking in Thekkady

Thekkady also has other attractions like treehouses in Thekkady , Trekking to Gavi . Kathakali SHows and and Kalarippayattu Shows as well.

Which of these activities have you enjoyed in Thekkady ? Let us know through the comments

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Kerala Houseboat Menu

Alleppey, popularly known as Venice of the East, is the place of immense natural beauty with lakes , lagoons and fresh water rivers and a houseboat day cruise or an over night stay is a must if you visit tourist places in Alleppey. In any houseboat cruise food is also a icnluded as a part of the price the guests pay and complete breakfast along with lunch,dinner and evening snacks is provided on board of a houseboat in Kerala. Though based on the tradition of fish and vegetables, in keeping with the demands of a cosmopolitan clientele, the cuisine served aboard on houseboats in Kerala vary depending on the clients requirements.

kerala-houseboat-menu

Lunch Served in Kerala Houseboat

When guests can check in at 12:00 hrs, they will be welcomed with fresh tender coconut water or juices.Once the house boat cruise starts the guests will relax and enjoy the canals and backwaters. Toddy can be bought from toddy shops on shore and it is a soft liquor made from Coconut it is safe pure and sweet. At around 13:00 hrs houseboats will stop for lunch either in the middle of the backwaters or at shore as per the request of the guest and a with lavish menu of traditional Kerala cuisine is served on board.The food is cooked inside the boat by a chef and guests can visit the kitchen to checkout the food preparation and the Kerala houseboat menu.Normally traditional kerala food is served with rice, sambar, vegetarian dishes, fish fry, pickles, papad , salads and sweets . The food is cooked from fresh and seasonal vegetables and fish and chicken are purchased just before the cruise starts. In case any of the guests are successful in catching some fish on board it will be cooked as well . Guests can also buy crab , fish or lobsters from shores and request the chef to cook the same on board for lunch or dinner in the houseboat and just imagine the taste of bug tiger prawns or lobsters cooked on the boat on your request.

tiger-prawns-in-houseboat-menu

Houseboats crew will provide guests with evening coffee/ tea with traditional kerala style snacks like Banana fry or Finger Chips or Tapioca Chips at around 16:30 and the boat will anchor on shore at 17:30. The boats will anchor on shore at 17:30 and guests can get a chance to go out and walk along the riverside or villages or go for canoeing by renting out a canoe and come back. When guests come back in the evening, they can enjoy the dinner in houseboat freshly cooked by the guest.

Early morning at around 6:30 hrs Bed tea / Coffee will be provided sipping which you can enjoy the sunrise in backwaters. Before checking out breakfast will be served at around at 8:00 hrs which will include either the option of Bread+ butter + Jam + omelets or an option with South Indian food items like dosa, idly with sambar and chutney , tea /coffee.

If guests request the menu can be changed and guests can avail continental menu or north Indian menu chilli chicken, ginger chicken chilly fish , dal fry, alu gobi, gobi manchurian etc and food can be prepared according to their taste buds and preferences, and foreign guest can get food specially made with less spice or without spice etc.Most houseboats also have trained staff with valid licenses for cooking the food and serving it fresh and tasty giving importance to hygiene.

An indicative Kerala Houseboat menu is shown below which is usually served in houseboats in Kerala

On Arrival Welcome drink/Tender Coconut/ Fresh juice
Breakfast Bread toast, Butter, Jam, Egg Omelet, Fruits
Appam/ Idiappam Veg. Curry/ Egg Curry, Steamed Banana.

Idli/Dosa, Sambar, Steamed Banana.

Poori Masala
Lunch Vegetarian Dishes
White rice
Sambar, Aviyal, Thoran, Pappad, Pickle, Curd, Green Salad.
Non. Veg. Dishes like Kerala Speciality Karimeen Fish fry.
Fruits Basket
Evening Tea Tea/ Coffee
Banana fry or Finger Chips or Tapioca Chips.
Dinner Vegetarian Dishes
Chappathi
White rice
Dal Fry, Alu- Gobi, Rasam, Curd, Mezhukkupuratty, Pappad, pickle, Green salad.
Non. Veg. Dishes
Special Kerala Chicken Curry

If you are interested in enjoying this menu and booking a Kerala houseboat cruise, check out our kerala houseboat packages

Munnar Tourist Map

Munnar was ranked as the #1 hill station in a poll by Outlook Traveler and it had also gained second spot in a round-up of vacationers’ most-preferred Asian travel destinations compiled by online travel guide TripAdvisor in 2010.

With its sprawling tea plantations, pristine valleys and mountains and cool air, it’s no suprise that Munnar rated so high with holiday-makers. In recent years, it has also been attracting adventure travellers, who are enamoured by the area’s stunning topography, which is ideal for paragliding, trekking and rock-climbing.

If you are planning a trip to Munnar to enjoy one of the Munnar Holiday Packages here is a Munnar Tourist Map of major tourist attractions in Munnar which will come in handy.

Munnar Tourist Map

If you want to download the munnar tourist map guide right click and save the image of the munnar map above.

Best Backwaters in Kerala

Kerala is one of the most charming and captivating states  in India and  this exceptional natural beauty  claims for it being named  to be “God’s Own Country”. Kerala provides tourists with memorable experiences and  tourism options which are going to delight your holidays with leisure and pleasure. Tourism in best beaches of Kerala and backwater houseboat tourism are the two sizzling sides of Kerala tourism which deserve the  attention of tourists from all over the world. One cannot think of complete tours and travel  in this state without exploring its breathtaking beaches and scenic backwaters. Here is a guide on stretches of best backwaters in Kerala.

Best Kerala  backwater Tours

Houseboats in Kerala  are made up of eco- friendly materials are available on hire for day cruise or for a night stay. Most of the boats are made of thatched roofs made of coconut leaves.  They are outfitted with modern amenities and provide   facilities of a comfortable hotel.There are several  backwater destinations in the state and the most beautiful and hence most popular among them are alleppey and kumarakom. Alleppey and Kumarakom are the fascinating backwater destinations that fulfill the desire of both types of tourists – ones who want to explore exotic backwater  cruises.

ALSO SEE- Alleppey Day Cruise Package in Backwaters

Alleppey or Alappauzha Backwaters Round

Alleppey, or Alappuzha is a small town in Kerala with picturesque canals, lakes, backwaters, and beaches with copious nature beauty and is fondly phrased as the “Venice of the East”. Major attraction of Backwater cruise is Alappuzha Round trip or Kuttanad is ideal for a house boat cruise This core backwater area is rich in natural beauty with enchanting greenery all around the backwaters, as either side of the river edges the gentle surfing of the coconut palms. You can the mirror still images of gods own country and the tree branches bending precariously over the water before they shoot skywards is mesmerizing and a sight to be hold.

ALSO SEE- Weekend Kerala Houseboat Package

The major attraction in the area is Kuttanadu Paddy Field which the farming is below sea level. 11th centaury Lord Buddha Stature ‘Karumadikuttan’is also near Alleppey.,this cruise you can enjoy the real village life and scenic beauty. No crocodiles or any dangerous precious are there in the Lake or canals. Alappuzha is the also called ‘Venice of East’. The night halt is in the lake and you are safe from mosquitoes and pollution.

ALSO SEE- Kerala Luxury Houseboat Package

Kumarakom Backwaters Round

Kumarakom is a favorite holiday destination of celebrities like former Prime Minister of India – Atal Behari Vajpayee and Britney Spears.  Kumarakom is  also famous for Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the periphery of the picturesque Vembanad Lake. It is a small but picturesque village in Kerala which is the ideal destination for eco tourism, beach tourism and backwater tourism.  A houseboat cruise on the scenic Vembanad Lake provides wonderful opportunity to see the lots of bird species of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Sunset cruise over the scenic Vembanad Lake is simply a delightful experience of lifetime. Houseboat Cruise on Kumarakom backwaters provides uniquely different but delightful  experience.

ALSO SEE- Kerala Houseboat Pictures

Alleppey to Kumarakom Backwaters Round

Alleppey to Kumarakom Round is a combination of cruises which combines the best of backwater cruises around Alleppey and Kumarakom. You can enjoy the maximum in this trip, cruises around the villages, farm fields, Resorts and Bird sanctuary and other places of interest are included. You can explore Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala at Alleppey and Kumarakom in a single backwater houseboat cruise.

Alleppey to Alumkadavu Backwaters Round

Alumkadavu is the destination near Kollam (21 kms). The eight hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala. In this trip the entire backwater area is covered but the leisure time is less. Half the way will be finished on day are and the second day reaches Kollam. The entry to house boats is restricted to some areas because of no sufficient space for canals. . This one way backwater cruise’s major attractions are paddy fields coir village, Karimadikuttan, Kumarakodi, Matha Amrithamanadha Mayi Ashram at Vallikavu. The same trip can be hired for 2 days and 2 Nights as well, and then you can enjoy atmost.

ALSO SEE- Houseboat Booking Tips

Alleppey to Thottappalley Backwaters Stretch

Alleppey to thottappalley is another popular backwater route in Kerala. The major attractions in this   route include Punnamada lake, Chavara Bhavan (traditional houses on the banks), Church at Champakkulam, 11th Century Buddha temple – Karumadikkuttan and  Ambalappuzha temple.

Kumarakom and Alleppey are popular for weekend packages in Kerala and Kerala honeymoon tours . However with in these famous backwater destinations, you can choose Best Backwaters stretches in Kerala to enjoy the best backwater experience.

Shopping in Cochin- A guide on where to buy

Cochin or Kochi also known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea” is the starting point for tour packages to Kerala . Kochi’s options to shop almost rivals its obsession with food, and nowadays barely a year goes by without some vast new retail monolith flinging open its doors to the slavering hordes. Among visitors to Kerala , the city’s reputation as a bargain-hunters’ paradise has lingered, though in price terms many items in Kochi can be cheaper and can be “bundled” with more products if you know how to bargain and where to bargain and we are outlining some areas in Kochi where you can get great bargains for shopping in Kochi below.

ALSO SEE- Is Kochi and Cochin the same?

Lulu Shopping Mall

LuLu Shopping Mall located in Edappally is among the biggest malls in Asia and is the centre of shopping activities and things to do in Kochi with fashion shows and musical performances to celebrity visits and kids activities that is organised here once in a while. In addition to brands like LuLu Hypermarket, LuLu Fashion Store, LuLu Celebrate, LuLu Connect, Walt Disney and Barbie and as many as 320 international and national brands have a presence in the mall out of which 46 set up their shop in Kerala for the first time in Lulu Shopping Mall.A 20-story, 300-room hotel managed by JW Marriott Hotels is also located on the mall premises along with an exclusive entertainment zone and a food court with a capacity of 3,000 at the top floor.

Lulu Shopping Mall

Lulu Shopping Mall is among the largest shopping malls in Asia

ALSO SEE- Chinese Fishing Nets in Cochin Kerala

Bazaar Road

Running from Fort Cochin to Mattancherry, this two kilometer stretch of road is where Kerala’s commodities are sold. This is a narrow section of road filled with tiny open-fronted shops advertising wholesale, retail or commission sales. Green cardamom, Pepper, Cinnamon, brown cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and other unique things to buy in Kochi are all on offer in he shops here .Try and pick well-sealed packets rather than open spices as the vacuum packed spices will keep fresh longer.There are many shops along Bazaar Rd, selling spices, pulses etc and is much cheaper to buy here than in Jew Town, where everything is more tourist-orientated. Some are actually whole-salers, but there are plenty shops selling small quantities of spices as well.This is also best option to buy great souvenirs to carry back from Kerala.

ALSO SEE- Best Souvenirs to carry back from Kerala

Broadway

The area is characterized by narrow roads, quite ironical to its name! One can buy varieties of clothes and spices here which are famous in kochi. It is a perfect spot for shopping and you will get all kind of stuffs here. Electronic goods, umberllas (from Colombo Umberlla House), spices, clothes, jewellery, leather goods, stationary, watches the list is too big and broadway adjoins Ernakulam Market where you can get wholesale prices as well.broadway features many hole-in-the-wall spice shops. No need to look for them, the wafting aromas will guide you there.

broadway-shopping-kochi

Busy Streets of Broadway in Kochi

ALSO SEE- Cochin Sightseeing-Keralas Friendly Gateway to Backwaters

M G Road

The most important commercial center in Cochin is at the M.G road, which is short for Mahatma Gandhi road. Here, you can buy stuff ranging from clothes to cosmetics to knick-knacks. The road is lined with small and big shops and many shops selling spices which are among the best places to shop in kochi. The most popular items that are bought by tourists are handicrafts, spices and nuts. In handicrafts, the most commonly used raw materials are coir, brass, copper, bamboo, etc. Kairali Emprium at M G Road is one of the best place to shop for artifacts, clothes and crafts which are all typical to Kerala . A Kathakali mask makes a nice souvenir and comes in small, medium and large sizes and is available at Kairali Emporium. You can also look at large retail showrooms like Seematti, jayalakshmi Silks and Chennai Silks to get a taste for fashion and the finest quality sarees and other exquisite range of clothes and fabrics.

Seematti Shopping

Seematti Shopping Interiors

ALSO SEE- 11 must visit tourist places in Kochi

Jewel Junction

Jewel Junction is famous for its jewelry showrooms and the most popular ones are Bhima, Josco and Alukkas.Jewel Junction and the shops here is a rendezvous of ethnic goldornaments, lightweight jewellery and trendy collection and some diamond showrooms as well. You can shop and buy some traditional jewellery at some of the prestigious showrooms here like Alappat Jewellery, Alukkas, Bhima Jewellers, Ayodhya Jwellery etc

ALSO SEE- What to see in Kochi in 24 hours

Marine Drive

One can get an amazing collection of readymade items and cotton items on the Marine Drive road and the GCDA shopping compleX. One great thing about shopping in Cochin is that there are many varieties of cotton clothes that would fetch high prices in Western shops. This means that a lot of them make it onto market stalls in Cochin and with a bit of clever bargaining and ‘bundling’ you will get some great buys for a fraction of what they would cost back in your country. There are many fast food joints and cafes on the roadside and one can always stop there to munch on some eatables while on your shopping spree.

Night View of Marine Drive

Night View of Marine Drive

Oberon Mall

Oberon Mall is the first full format Mall in Kerala with Multiplex theatre , indoor gaming zone and one of the largest glass domes in South India and is among the most happening shopping malls in kochi. The mall houses shops that offer branded wear and other items, apart from food courts and amenities for children to play.

Oberon Mall

Oberon Mall is a popular Mall in Kochi

Streets around Synagogue at Fort Cochin

In the Streets around Synagogue at Fort Cochin, you will find a unique assortment of items like figurines, colorful bead jewelry, mat, bangles et al made from coir, wood, bamboo, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood.

ALSO SEE- The Many moods of Fort Cochin

In all probability, your predicament over where to buy in Cochin should end here. Though the concept of shopping malls is relatively new in Kochi / Cochin, yet there are a number of places here where you can enjoy shopping and in case you still did not buy anything, dont worry there are lot of shops inside the departure terminal at cochin international airport from where you can buy so many things but at a higher cost than the shopping paradises above.

Enjoy your Kochi Shopping.

Check out our cochin tour packages if you are intersted in a sojourn in Kochi.

Those Lovely bloggers in Kerala Blog Express

Today is the last day of Kerala Blog Express- an initiative by Kerala Tourism where 26 bloggers, writers and photographers from different part of the world converged in Kerala from all over the world and did there clicking , blogging and tweeting.

For lot of us in Kerala Tourism who had been following #keralablogexpress on twitter it was pretty awesome following the posts and tweets from blogs written by guests from other parts of the world.

Here is an ensemble of some of the best tweets and the photos we could find in the twitter stream with #keralablogexpress

It all started like this when bloggers saw the below

People voted for them and selected 26

Then… they arrived in Kerala

in flight

in train

Day 1: Estuary Island Resort in Poovar

Weather is hot, water is blue <3

and there is the #keralablogexpress bus

all the bloggers meet on the first day

serious greenery – a lovely sight in case you are stuck in a cubicle somewhere :-)

They say there are elephants in Kerala…



This is how they cross streets in Kerala…

Showing some <3 to the Varkala Beach

Welcome by welcome hotels in Kollam , Kerala

Fish is among the best food in Kerala

The Food….

Walk on the beach in the morning in Kollam

A great jump to the great staff at the Leela Hotels

Helping some fishermen

Kerala – where the spirit of unity lives

Feeling excited about the room in houseboat

Slice of Paradise in Kerala at Kumarakom

Elephants seen while boating in Thekkady

Happy Faces while boating in Thekkady

Holi time on a holiday

Indian Trucks in Munnar

Sunset over Munnar tea gardens

Shopping for Tea in Munnar

Traditional Kerala Sadya

Kalarippayattu – A glimpse of The martial arts from Kerala

Cooking demonstration at the Nimmy Paul Cooking

Enjoying the last few days of Kerala Blog Express

FANTABULOUS view from Hotel Ramada in Kochi

Bye to Kerala & Kerala Blog Express

Hope you enjoyed our ensemble on Kerala Blog Express

Package Holidays to Kerala from UK – Photo Essay

We were recently honored to serve shueshue , one of the Top Contributors in TripAdvisor and her family on their visit to Kerala and were really glad to read the review “What a lovely trip Iris Holidays prepared for us!” on Trip Advisor. We had been getting lot of enquiries for Package Holidays to Kerala from UK and are glad that we were able to serve a family from UK who are currently residing at Oman.

Enjoy the photos below which was uploaded and shared in Trip Advisor by shueshue and family and if you are planning for a trip with kids to Kerala this may help you plan the holidays to Kerala.

 A photo with a group of youngsters in Kerala near a Jeep.

A photo with a group of youngsters in a film location in Kerala on the way.

Kids with Iris Holidays driver who drove  the trip

Kids with Iris Holidays driver Babu who drove the trip

 Enjoying the peeping out from an autorikshaw

Enjoying the peeping out from an autorikshaw or Tuk Tuk

 Somewhere in Kerala with an old lady who was working in the fields

Somewhere in Kerala with a beautiful old lady who was working in the fields

Elephant time for the family

Elephant time for the family

 Kalari Show in Kerala Kalari Center in Thekkady

Kalari Show in Kerala Kalari Center in Thekkady

 The verdant misty tea gardens in Munnar

The verdant misty tea gardens in Munnar.

We had been striving to prepare customised vacations to Kerala for families and belive that kids enjoy being in a place that’s radically different from home, and often times those experiences become their best travel memories for the entire family. If you are planning for family holidays to Kerala from UK or any part of the world, you should check out Kerala Family Tour Packages called P L A Ycations which we have designed specially with families in kids in mind and these holiday packages are especially designed for parents who want to travel somewhere exotic and new like Kerala but don’t want to leave their kids behind. They are carefully crafted experiences where both the kids and their parents will enjoy to the max so that the entire family get some wonderful memories that they can cherish together.

Best time to visit Munnar

Munnar is a picturesque hill station in Kerala that is nestled in Western Ghats and is encircled by the undulating hills of the Anamalai mountain range. The Scottish planters discovered Munnar but it was under the British that Munnar became a major plantation area for tea and tea gardens are among the main tourist attractions in Munnar Honeymoon Packages.

ALSO SEE Best Time to Visit Kerala

Munnar is a hill station that experiences salubrious climate and does not have extreme climatic conditions like Shimla or Manali. Munnar is situated at a height of around 1600 meters above sea level as a result of which it is one of the most preferred destinations in India at any given time. One can say that the peak season for Munnar tourism is all though the year.

Munnar in Winter (September to November and January to March)- Best Season to visit Munnar
The best time to visit Munnar would be October to November and from January to May when it is comfortably cold. There may be occasional rains which will give a misty experience of Munnar. September just after rains it would be like one of the best experiences in Munnar with verdant green tea gardens and and good amount of water in waterfalls on the way to munnar .It will be just great if you dont mind occasional shower.

Best time to visit munnar

Munnar in Peak Winter (December)- Great Season to visit Munnar
Though Munnar has pleasant climate throughout the year, it experiences colder winters and the weather is extremely cold during winter (December/January). The temperatures can drop to five degree celsius conditions during the peak winter season. However you wont experience snow like North Indian hill stations like Shimla or Manali. . The hill station does not witness heavy snowfall and tourists throng Munnar in December during Christmas and New Year.

ALSO SEE Best Time to Visit Kerala Backwaters

Munnar in Summer (April to May)- Best Season to visit Munnar
Even during the summer months Munnar is a good place to travel to and the temperature seldom goes beyond 20º C. Therefore, when you travel to Munnar during summer months you will need to carry some light woolen clothes for protection against the cold weather.

Best Season to Visit Munnar

Munnar in Monsoons (June to August)- Good Season to visit Munnar
Winters are also an ideal time to visit Munnar if you love rains in the hills. Though moving around is a bit difficult in rains and mist, a rainy vacation will lift up your spirits.D uring winters, the weather and climate of Munnar becomes too cold and sometimes the temperature can go below 0º C.Peak monsoon season in end June and July should be avoided as it rains quite heavily in Munnar and surrounding areas. The roads can get very slippery and it is advisable to travel to Munnar during day time as nights are misty.

ALSO SEE Nearest Railway Station to Munnar

Munnar is known as Kashmir of South India and snuggled in the lap of such an alluring terrain, Munnar is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India and a visit to Kerala is never complete with out a visit to Munnar . Do make sure that you take some photographs in tea gardens whether you are visiting Munnar in the best time to visit Munnar or not.The place is a paradise for nature lovers and provides them the best ambience, the honeymooners require for their dream honeymoon tour. Its beauty never misses to captivate people’s mind and soul with its very first glimpse. Rambling tea plantations, rising and falling hills swathe in bright green beauty of flourishing valleys are big attractions for families.

11 must visit tourist places in Kochi

Kerala is known as, Gods Own Country, for its breath-taking beauty and the city of Kochi lies on the South West Coast overlooking the Arabian Sea. For centuries Kochi has been a gathering place for merchants and tourists from various nations and people who have been here from Arabs to the Portuguese and British have all left their legacy and cultural imprints behind. Today Kochi has emerged as one of the must destinations places to visit in Kerala and the cultural and historical significance of Kochi offers variety of experiences in and around the tourist places in Kochi

Here are must visit tourist places in Kochi that you should not miss on a visit to Kerala if you are planning to enjoy Kochi Tourism.

Fort Kochi
The Chinese fishing nets which symbolises Kochi can be seen only in Fort Kochi which may be the only place in the world where the Chinese fishing nets are unique outside China for which the credit goes to the traders from the court of Chinese emperor Kubla Khan. Presently, there are 11 Chinese fishing nets dotting the Fort Kochi shoreline while it was 20 about ten years agoSt Francis Church which is one of the oldest built by Europeans in India and another landmark in this area is Vasco House where Vasco Da Gama is believed to have lived. Visitors can also enjoy walking along Fort Kochi Beach which may be the only beach in the state which has the presence of the Chinese fishing nets and which is also famous for Cochin carnival that is conducted on New Years eve.

fort-kochi-chinese-fishing-nets

ALSO SEE - What to see in Kochi in 24 hours

Mattancherry
Mattancherry is another fascinating area in Kochi. The name mattancherry originated from the house name “Ancherry Mattam”, a Brahmin house which was pronounced by foreign traders as Matt-Ancherry. Mattancherry is tourist spot in Kochi where Portuguese influence can be seen and in particular the Dutch Palace. Jew Town is another tourist attraction of Mattancherry with the synagogue dating from 1568 which is India’s oldest functioning synagogue along with other tourist spots like Mattancherry Palace Museum which hosts different weapons such as swords, spears etc , Mattacherry Pazhayannur Royal temple and Palliarakkavvu temple, Ram Mandir, Gowd Saraswat Brahmin temples etc.

mattancherry-market-in-kochi-kerala-india

Bolghatty & Vypeen Islands
Bolghatty Island is a short boat ride away from mainland Kochi and has Bolghatty Palace which is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland .Bolghatty Palace is now converted into a hotel and there is even a small golf course , a swimming pool, 9-hole golf course, ayurvedic centre and daily Kathakali performances and is a popular resort to stay for Indian and overseas tourists.

bolgatty-palace-island-hotel-heritage-resort

ALSO SEE - KOCHI- Keralas Friendly Gateway to Backwaters

Lulu Shopping Mall, Edappally
Kochi also has India’s largest shopping mall in Edappally – Lulu Shopping Mall owned and operated by EMKE Group. For a shopping experience in Kochi there are lots of markets but a visit to Lulu Mall is a treat with air conditioning and 300+ food outlets, stores and restaurants. There are both international brands as well as local specialties to see in this modern complex and there is also a premium five-star, 20-storey, 300 room hotel managed by JW Marriott Hotels is located adjacent to it, within the mall compound.

lulu-shopping-mall-edappally-kochi

Malayattoor
Don’t forget to explore the tourist places outside Kochi too. There are tourist sports around Ernakulam which are very interesting such as the Church at Malayattoor. he name `Malayattoor’ is an amalgamation of three small words. Mala (Mountain) Arr (River) Oore (Place). This is to say, Malayattoor is a meeting place of mountain, river, and land.The most famous tourist attraction in Malayattoor is the Malayatoor Church is situated atop the 609 m high Malayatoor Hill. The church on top of hill which is dedicated to St. Thomas, who is believed to have prayed at this shrine when he came to India. This church is one of the most important Christian pilgrim centres in India.

malayattor-church-near-kochi

Cherai & Vypeen beach
Vypeen Island is another island that is really popular among visitors to Kochi & Kerala . Vypeen is also the location of Pallipuram Fort which is the oldest surviving fort in India built by European settlers and was constructed in 1503. Just off the Coast of Vypeen Island is Cherai beach which is among the famous beaches in kerala and which is a beach that is shallow, calm and is ideal for swimming & sunbathing and is also known as Princess of Arabian Sea.

cherai-beach-vypeen-island-kochi-kerala

Kodanand Elephant Training Centre
Kodanad Elephant Training Center which is a rural riverside village located near Periyar river is another must visit place if you are travelling to Kerala with children as kids may enjoy bathing elephants in the river . Watching elephants at an arms length is a wonderful experience and all part of coming to a beautiful place like Kerala. Kodanad is among the Ecotourism destination projects of Govt of India and currently is an Elephant rescue center for captured Elephants from the forests in the adjoining mountains.

kodanad-elephant-training-center-kochi

Andhakaranazhi Beach
Andhakaranazhi is still a virgin & lovely beach which is located at a distance of 30 km from Kochi towards Alleppey located near Ezhupunna. You can see many fishing boats in the beach from the neighbouring fishing village & fishing is the main activity of the village folks here. The sight of local fishermen launching out every day morning in their country boats attacking the the turbulent waves of the Andhakaranazhi beach is a must see especially if you are planning for a houseboat trip from Kochi to alleppey as the beach will fall on the way to Nehru trophy finishing point or to Kumarakom from which Kerala houseboat packages start.

andhakaranazhi-beach-near-kochi

Marine Drive
Marine Drive as its name suggests in not a drive way through which vehicles can be driven , but a scenic promenade in Ernakulam which has the rainbow bridge that has become a symbol of Ernakulam. The Marine Drive was built on the land reclaimed from backwaters and the initial plan was to build a beautiful road along the coast line but the coastline rules prohibited it because of which the road was converted to a walkway which also has a Chinese Fishing net bridge as well. Private Boat operators offers hourly cruises starting from Marine Drive that goes through Cochin Harbour , Bolgatty and other places around. The GCDA Shopping Complex near Marine drive is the first mall in Kochi and is a major shopping arcade in Ernakulam city.

rainbow-bridge-marine-drive-kochi

ALSO SEE - Fort Kochi – History and some scenes in a video

Hill Palace Museum
Hill Palace was the abode of erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi and was coverted to a Museum in 1986. The museum complex exhibits crown and ornaments of erst while Cochin royal family, paintings, sculptures in stone and marble, weapons, inscriptions, coins etc and has an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children’s park . The weapon gallery & horse cart gallery are really amazing.The Hill Palace Museum is opened to public everyday except Mondays and national /state holidays from 10am to 12.30 noon and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm and this is a must visit for tourists who are interested in culture and history of Kerala

hill-palace-museum-kochi

Museum of Kerala history, Edappally
When you visit the Museum of Kerala history in Edappally, you will be greeted by a statue of Parasurama, the sage who is said to have created Kerala. The museum is a is a quiet ethnic building hidden in the shades of huge trees and has an unassuming gallery houses immortal creations that will give you glimpses of the glorious history and rich cultural legacy of Kerala. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays and public holidays and the MNF Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures and the Centre for Visual Arts has paintings from Raja Ravi Varma, M F Hussain, folk painter Jamini Roy, abstract painter Manu Parekh and mural maestro Mammiyoor Krishhan Kutty Nair.

museum-of-kerala-history-kochi

Munnar Tour-Planning the trip

Munnar means “three rivers” in Malayalam and Monnar or Munnar derives its name from the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundale. Munnar is a hill station and is easily accessible from Cochin, Coimbatore and Trichy. However please note that if you are planning a Munnar tour and want to reach Munnar you will need at least two days to enjoy the complete beauty of Munnar since there are lot of sight seeing spots on the way in your trip to Munnar which will require one day and the entire sightseeing of Munnar will take one day.

ALSO SEE Munnar Holiday Packages

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Trip to Munnar from Kochi

If you are planning a trip to Munnar from Kochi, on the way visit the Kodanad Elephant Training Centreto watch the elephants bathing and baby elephants. Kodanad is the only elephant training center in central kerala. In Kodanad you can take an Elephant Safari and play with Baby elephants. The other attractions on the drive include Spice Plantations, Valara waterfalls, Cheeyappara waterfalls, Karadippara view point, Attukkad water fall view etc. The distance from Munnar to Cochin is 145 Kms.

ALSO SEE Munnar Tourism

Trip to Munnar from Coimbatore

If you are planning a trip to Munnar from Coimbatore, use the road via Udumalpethu from Coimbatore. The route is Coimbatore – Pollachi – Udumalpet – Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary – Munnar and the sightseeing on the way are Lakkom Falls and Sandalwood Forest in Udumalpet – Munnar road.The distance from Munnar to Coimbatore is 160 Kms

Trip to Munnar from Trichy

If you are planning a trip to Munnar from Trichy use the road via Trichy – Dindugal – Theni – Munnar.The distance from Munnar to Trichy is 195 Kms and hence you can also opt for a stay in Madurai and a darshan at Madurai Meenakshi Temple to make it less hectic.

ALSO SEE Best Time to visit Munnar

If you are planning to visit Munnar, What we would recommend is the Cochin route as it is more scenic and verdant and would take less time.You can also try out our holiday packages in Munnar or our 2 night Misty Munnar Package which offer sightseeing exclusively in Munnar. Our only advise to you if you are planning a visit to Munnar is to make sure that the trip is not hectic and you enjoy the beauty of Munnar on the whole.

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