Keralam, the land of kera or coconut, is a never-ending array of coconut palms, sun blanched beaches, kettuvallams over enchanting backwaters, magical monsoon showers, silent valleys vibrant with flora and fauna, misty mountains of the Western Ghats, fragrance of spices, evenings reverberating with the rhythm of a thousand artforms, fairs and festivals. Welcome to Kerala benign and beautiful!Besides its famous backwaters, elegant houseboats, ayurvedic treatments and delicately spiced, taste-bud-tingling cuisine, Kerala is home to wild elephants, exotic birds and the odd tiger, while vibrant traditions such as Kathakali plays, temple festivals and snake-boat races frequently bring even the smallest villages to life. It’s hard to deny Kerala’s liberal use of the slogan ‘God’s Own Country’.

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We packed our bags booked our tickets from makemytrip (http://www.makemytrip.com/)and started off to Cochin the hub of Kerela to my Uncles place in Ernakulam district.Lucky enough to stay in Dubai and get a ticket as easily that it can be because it has got the best communication flights to Kochi. Booked a SpiceJet flight at around 3 am in the morning and reached Kochi at           9 am.Welcoming us with a hot and humid weather, coconut water to gulp we started off to Ernakulam.

Cochin International Airport is an international airport situated in the city of Kochi. Located at Nedumbassery, about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Kochi, it is the busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala. Cochin airport is the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international passenger traffic after Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai .The airport is a primary base for Air India Express operations and is a focus city for Air Asia India, Air India, Indigo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet.

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Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. 

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Day 1

My uncles place was In Ernakulam distict  is the hectic transport and cosmopolitan hub of Kochi, while the historical towns of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry, though well-touristed, remain wonderfully atmospheric – thick with the smell of the past. Other islands, including Willingdon and Vypeen, are linked by a network of ferries and bridges.

We started our day with visit to Fort Kochi. Fort Kochi is a region in the city of Kochi in the state of Kerala, India. This is part of a handful of water-bound regions toward the south-west of the mainland Kochi, and collectively known as Old Kochi or West Kochi. Adjacent to this is Mattancherry. Fort Kochi consists of Ernakulam Mainland City,Willingdon Island,Peninsula of Mattencherry and Fort Kochi,West Kochi, Bolgatty Island, Vallarpadom Island, Vypin Island, Aluva, Thrikakara Town, Thripunithura, Maradu.

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Fort Kochi
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Fort Kochi

We rode a boat jetty as Kochi has an excellent system of cheap (4.00rs Park Jetty to Fort Kochi) inter-island ferries. The Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) ferry service called Junkar between Fort Kochi and Vypeen is very popular. There are regular boat services operated by KSINC and other private operators, every 20-30 minutes, from Ernakulam to Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Willingdon Island which are cheaper and in many cases faster, than buses. 

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Boat Jetty

There is  mix of stalls, fish shops,cafe’s and restaurants, old houses built by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in these colonial periods line the streets of Fort Kochi. St Francis Church,Vasco da Gama was once buried in this church which now falls under the Church of South India and is one of the national monuments. Santa Cruz Basilica, also built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The landmark that causes more public and visitor interest is a series of pre-colonial Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront, believed to have been introduced by Chinese traders in the early 14th century.

The main attractions are : 

  • Indo portuguese museum
  • Chinese fishing nets
  • Fort Kochi beach
  • Promenade with fresh sea breeze
  • Dutch Cemetery
  • Southern Naval Command Maritime Museum
  • Cochin Thirumala Devaswom Temple
  • Sree Gopalakrishna Devaswom Temple (The Only Daivajna Brahmin Temple in Kerala)
  • St. Francis Church
  • Santa Cruz Basilica
  • Bishop’s House
  • Fort Emmanuel
  • Jewish Synagogue
  • Mattancherry Palace
  • Jain Temple

 

A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the Chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a memorable experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline. The coastal stretch has loads of small stalls, which make on demand mouth-watering traditional cuisines using freshly caught fish. The Chinese Fishing Nets, Uniques views and point of interests are the so-called Chinese fishing nets and the fishermen working there, commonly known as “Chinese fishing nets” they are shore operated lift nets.The Chinese fishing nets have become a very popular tourist attraction,their size and elegant construction is photogenic and the slow rhythm of their operation is quite hypnotic. In addition, catches can be purchased individually and need be taken only a short distance to a street entrepreneur who will cook it.

 

 Day 2

Marine Drive
A stroll along the long tree-lined coastal pathway that lines the backwater is well worth the time spent,the beautiful sunset, especially late afternoon or dusk. The bustling backwaters, dotted with fishing boats, speedboats, ships, tankers and passenger boats, can be observed from this walkway that lines the coast.Marine drive in Cochin, Kerala is a popular promenade facing the backwaters. Even though it is called a “drive”, the road is actually a walkway. There are a number of shopping centres such as Bay pride mall on the other side of the walkway. There are several boat jetties along the walkway and boats offer 1 hour boating on the lake for about Rs.50 ($1). You can also hire a private boat for as little as Rs.500.The famous sites can be seen from the boat ride which included Subhash Park, Cochin Shipyard,Boat Jetty, Wellington Island, DP World,Bolgatty Island & Resort,Ship docks etc.The beautiful and pleasant weather was a worth ride for all of us.

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While strolling along the Marine Drive we had the most delectable Khatta Aam slices (Tangy mangoes),very delicious and mouth watering with sprinkles of chilli to it.The place serves some of the best fresh juices and i tasted the Orange juice,so fresh and so delicious.

The Bay Pride Mall in the Marine Drive serves one of the best Chicken Lollypops in their China Town stall.very tasty and one of my hits.

The filter coffee served by Potpouri another cafe in the ball was my husbands hit.A must try out places when you plan your next trip to Kochi.

We were lucky enough to have the Temple Festival in our neighborhood. A fun fair with lots of music,arts,dance,food stalls,souvenirs,leisure,other different stalls were arranged near the Shiva Temple in Ernakulam.

Many of the temples in Kerala hold festivals on specific days of the year. A common characteristic of these festivals is the hoisting of a holy flag which is brought down on the final day of the festival after immersing the deity.Temples usually involve at least one,but these had 13 elephants richly caparisoned as part of the festivities. The idol of the God in the temple is taken out on a procession around the countryside atop this elephant. When the procession visits homes around the temple, people will usually present rice, coconuts, and other offerings to the God.

 

Day 3 and  Day 4 

We spend our third day in Alleppey back waters, refer to my blog on Alleppey (https://theshazworld.com/2016/02/01/alleppey-the-venice-of-the-east/)

Day 4 (Evening)

After coming back from the back waters we went for a relax ayurvedic massage at Kerela Ayurveda Vaidyashala located at Kalathiparambil Road,near BSNL Bhavan,Ernakulam,Cochin.We chose the Ayushman Bhava massage which was for 2 hours and it was a complete therapy for the body,mind and soul which is a combination of face pack,Dhara and therapy of the body.This treatment increases tissue strength, improve blood circulation, rejuvenates the whole body, removes the cellulite, vitality, reduces stress and removes toxins.

We were lucky enough to get a discount as it was my uncles known massage centers.A must to do activities in Kochi.

Mobile : 00919496179798, 9526824849

Email: kerelaayurvedavaidyashala1@gmail.com.

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I have to write about this stall near to my uncles place,near Laxmi hospital Prince Coolbar, serving the best lime sodas i have ever tasted,i prefer the sweet one,the sweet syrup prepared by him is totally unique and fresh and the cuts of limes and soda to it just adds so much to my taste buds.If you visit Kerela lime sodas are a must you should try.

The coconut water is served very stylishly over here with a spoon cut out from the coconut itself.Very fresh and so soothing in this hot and humid weather.

Kerala, India’s most advanced society: With hundred percent literacy. World-class health care systems. India’s lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy rates. The highest physical quality of life in India. Peaceful and pristine, Kerala is India’s cleanest state.The monsoons (June-September & October-November) and summer (February-May) are the seasons markedly experienced here, while winter is only a slight drop in temperature from the normal range of 28-32°C.Enjoying a unique cosmopolitan viewpoint, the people of Kerala, at all levels of society, have greater access to services and opportunities – as well as a greater say in their governance.

https://www.keralatourism.org/kerala-at-a-glance/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerala

https://www.keralatourism.org/.