Nipha virus targeting the travel and tourism sector of Kerala

 

The months of May, June, and July are all vaccinations for kids and this was one main reason for me to plan a family trip to the south so that we could get a break from the tiring workaholic life and spend some time with each other. Family time is always important for kids as it is one thing that contributes greatly to their emotional and mental development. It was on the 13th of many that we planned the trip to explore some of the best travel destinations to the north of Kerala. My first preference to travel to was to the Kozhikode district of Kerala which is said to be one fascinating destination for families with a number of attractions and special flavors. On the 14th of the same month, I booked my family tour package that was organized by Gogeo Holidays a travel operator in Kerala who offered us with one of the cheapest packages including all the best attraction in the land. One main reason for us to choose to travel to the north of Kerala was that the place had a number of unexplored destinations, hill stations and forest destinations that are yet to be explored to its best. After complete planning and packing, we reached the Mumbai airport to start our holiday trip on the 21st of May. After a flight of about 3 hrs, we reached the Kochi international airport which was one of the closest airports to our destination. It was after reaching the airport that we came to know of the deadly virus that was spreading in the northern districts of Kerala with the name, Nipha virus. According to the news and the stories of the virus, it is spread by some fruit bats. The virus is said to have no cure and is highly infective that it keeps spreading from the infected to the others through the air or even touch. According to the information spread about the virus, it is first reported in Kozhikode and is spreading towards the north of Kerala.  We were at a stage where we were not even able to get back as the flight tickets were not available and traveling through other means could be dangerous.

The safety of my family was one thing that I was more concerned about that the trip and the travel plans. All we could do was to change the destination of the travel and to cut short the days to a minimum. After referring with the travel operators we change the travel destination from Kozhikode and decided to stay at Kochi for the day and then return back home safe on the next flight. To keep the kids calm, we choose not to tell them about the infection in detail as it could make them more restless. It was after researching and collecting more of the disease that we understood that most of the stories spread were wrong it has been only reported in very few numbers. We also came to know the virus till now have not spread to Kochi and other destinations like Munnar which means we are safe from the virus as if for now. Still, to be more careful of the condition we decided to maintain more cleanliness by avoiding fruits and more vegetables from the diet. We also got some mask for extra safety. Our ticket back to Mumbai was scheduled for the next day by evening and as we were not ready to spoil the vacation we choose to stick on with the new plan.

Even though the complete trip was reshuffled the travel operators with no time organized us a room within Kochi were we could stay for the day. Traveling from the airport for about 30 min we finally reached the hotel which was located in Ernakulam district which was not too far from the airport. We checked in at the hotel after completing the formalities by 12 pm and decided to have the lunch from the hotel by avoiding fruits and much of vegetable thus we decided to have just cereal, bread, jam, and butter. After reaching the room the first thing that I did was to search of the virus and to get more information of the happenings at Kozhikode so as to get a clear idea o the viruses and its danger. To make the say in the hotel a bit entertaining for the kids they were allowed to spend their noon in the closed pool that was available in the hotel and the play area. According to the report of Hindustan Times, the number of death reported due to the virus was 10 but the numbers change from 5 to 12 in different news channels and papers which clearly showed the propaganda that was set against Kerala. The state health department confirmed only four death is due to Nipha virus whereas 25 people who have been diagnosed with similar symptoms have been hospitalized

  The disease was said to be under control and the spreading could be avoided by being careful and cautious. The government of the state has advised a number of safety methods by which one could stay away from the virus which, mainly include avoiding fruits as the virus is spread by fruit bat. By using a face mask and by being clean one could avoid being affected by the virus. According to me, the disease was not at a critical stage as it is been shown by the news and the media.

According to the travel and tourism department of the state, The news that is exaggerated and spread is believed to be a deliberate attempt to destroy Kerala tourism sector. With the emergence of such news, the panic spreads not only in local people but also in national level. In addition the Tamilnadu Govt. has given strict guidelines to avoid traveling to Kerala. It was mainly the tourism department of the state that was affected by the news that the human race. By the time I finished collecting information about the happenings, it was 2 pm and we decided to move out of the hotel and explore some of the destinations in Kochi worth exploring. As it was noon with the sun shining right above the head we decided to explore the Hill Palace Museum at Thripoonithura which was the best place that one could explore under hot climate. Traveling for about an hour from the hotel we finally reached the museum which was one best place filled with nature, trees, and shelters. Located at a distance of about 10 km from Kochi the museum was once the official residence of the rulers of Kochi. The palace housed a number of best attractions and artifacts from the past which was exhibited in the area.  Oil-paintings, murals, sculptures, manuscripts, Antique ceramics from the Far East, tombstone, hood stone, laterite memorials and wooden memorials were all some of the best attractions found in the palace. The beauty of the ancient architecture fascinated me the most in the place. After being in the palace for a while we decided to visit the marine drive located close to our hotel where we could enjoy the sunset. Traveling for another 1-hour we reached the drive by around 5.30 which was the perfect time for sunset. Facing the sea the drive was a perfect spot in Kochi where we could enjoy a facilitated sunset. After being in the drive for an hour we moved back to the hotel by 6.45 and reached back to the room by 7.30 pm. Without wasting much time we got freshened up and had the breakfast calling the day off.

The next day we got up by 11 am. After refreshing and having the breakfast we rushed to the airport as we were not ready to miss the flight. We met with the travel operators at the airport who was ready to offer us another tour package to some safer destinations in Kerala but we chose to travel back home as our flight tickets were booked. With the spread of the virus, the tourism department of the state was most affected. Even though the reports say that the over exaggeration of news was to target travel and tourism department of the state all that I was concerned of was my family and their safety which was the only reason for us to fly back home.

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Kinsfolk journey: the once in a lifetime traverse together

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Most of us are very often family bound people but we do not always have enough time to spend together. And that is probably one reason that we always look out on the requirement of setting off on a journey where you finally get to spend some quality time with them. My look out on this had finally become true where I could make my way to my hometown at Kerala and could take my family and siblings off on a journey to Pathanamthitta which we had been looking forward too since a pretty long time. Since I had been short in time to plan all by myself, I decided to give that job to Go Geo Holidays who basically did everything we were supposed to do and on reaching to my residence, I and my family packed our tiny baggage from Cochin and made way to the less famous destination, but incredibly beautiful destination of Pathanamthitta in Kerala. The Tour packages included an extra comfortable vehicle which rode us all the way to the destination where a travel duration of 4 hours was required.
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The road journey is often the best with the family where you can be as comfortable as ever and talk to each other and enjoy it all the way without getting bored. We took refreshments stop in between and finally when we reached, the location was Konni. The speciality of the destination is that you get to be at a destination where the mammals, Elephants get trained in this place where the wild ones from the forests are being trained. It was undoubtedly amidst the forests where we could be at the original residence of the being. We walked in to find the Aanakoodu or rather the wooden house-like structure that had been made in order to house them. There were a number of them who were of varied sizes. The guide took us around where the main task he had been looking out for was feeding us with information while all that I had been looking out was the sort of comfort the animals had been having residing at Konni. We walked as the guide took us in and that way we just got to be together with the elephants who had been listening to the instructions. Both I and my sister decided to be on an elephant safari as this is a one time experience. We climbed up as per the instructions and was pretty astonished at how different everything looked from the top of the mammal. We went on a short ride and after some point, both of us got down. After feeding them with some food, we decided to get started to the next destination.
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We had lunch on the midway to the next spot which was to Aruvikuzhy Waterfalls. The gem of a place had a number of streams that made the water flow forming a small waterfall. We walked through the stream,s for some time and sat on the rocks talking to each other and holding on to mother and she had a constant feeling of slipping and falling. We were totally indulged in the power that nature had in making all of us blink at its marvel. We walked all the back to the driver where the driver took us to the Aranmula Temple next. The way from Aruvikuzhy had been filled with rubber plantations which indeed added beauty to the place where we could be on a smooth ride with a view.  We were pure vegetarians and so we took the advantage of always remaining pure to enter a temple. After seeking the blessings of Lord Parthasarathy we were driven to the place where we would be having our night stay which was at Gavi. The place has been forever famous after a movie was released with the location of Gavi while we had always been in look out of the place for a long time even before the movie released.
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We reached where the sun had already set. The booking for a homestay had been made where we walked into the rooms that were nature-friendly. The best had been the beautiful dinner amidst nature where they had made a space for us with a huge wooden umbrella shade.  The coolness of nature was more like air conditioners. We were served with good hot food that made a good way to the stomach and the soul at the same time. We sat and spoke to the couple who had been running the homestay. They said that we could go on a nature walk in case we get up early in the morning. We rose up and wore our sweaters to take the walk. The owner then took us on a walk where almost all kinds of plants and trees had been by our sides. Each house had a small poultry as well. The best that we got to see is that the owner stopped at a house for milk where they had been instant getting it out of the cow and giving it. How much freshness could you have gained more than the places like these, I wondered.   The whole family had breakfast after coming back and thanked them for the wonderful stay they offered. Voting was on our cards next where we decided to go to the Reservoir located close by in Gavi itself. We felt even more blissful with the whole family when we had pedalled around the waters and got back where the rain started to sprinkle. The drive back began as we had come a long way into the woods.
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A memorable journey had hence been made where we were more than happy of having been together with the whole family after a pretty long time. the family is often the strongest pillar that stays along with you through the thick and thin and how can there be better companions to travel when they are waiting for you. And that was the whole Holiday packages Kerala where I and my family got back to Kochi by 10 in the night.My return from Kerala was bound tomorrow and  I could not have thanked the team enough for taking us all safe and getting us back home in the same way. To plan another trip would be a hard job where all 5 of us will have to find time from our respective job life.

Kerala a paradise for family holidays to the south

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Family time is something very important in this developing world, where no one has enough time to spare. One of the best ways to spend time with family is by tripping to some beautiful destination filled with natural beauty and peacefulness. Kerala to the southernmost tip of India is one such destination which is considered as the best for family holidays by traveler from around the world. One of the main reasons for the families to love touring in Kerala is due to the fact that the place holds in a number of destinations with gleaming beauty and peacefulness that would be refreshing and entirely different from that in business cities like Bangalore. The state is one of the best family tourist destinations to the south houses a number of tour operators like Gogeo holidays which offers attractive and Fascinating tour packages exclusively for families. Most of the tourist destinations in Kerala fascinate families with its natural beauty and adventurous destinations that children would love. The climatic condition persisting in most of the tourist destination of the land adds up to the facts that attract the travelers to the land. Some of the most prominent destinations in Kerala visited and explored by families are listed below.

Munnar

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Located to the Western Ghats the misty hills of Munnar is one of the best and most visited destinations in Kerala. Most of the families visit the place to enjoy the climatic condition of the place which is mostly cold at daytime and freezing as night falls. Apart from the climatic condition of the place, the scenic destinations of the misty hills are one thing that would attract travelers mainly families to the land. The mist hills being one of the best tourist destination in the land houses a number of hotels, resorts, villas and home stays which offers the best-facilitated and safe stay that adds up to the reasons that attract families to the land.

Best destinations: Known as one of the well-known tourist destination the place houses a number of attractive and fascinating tourist destinations in the land. Some of the must visit tourist destinations in the land includes Top Station, Eco-Point, Chinnakanal, Anayirangal dam, Marayoor, Eravikulam National Park, Lakkom Waterfalls, Anamudi Peak and much more.

Activities: As a most visited hill station to the Western Ghats the place offers a number of adventurous activities which is one main thing that attracts travelers and families to the land. Some of the best activities offered in the hills include Hiking, Trekking, and Boating, Mountain Climbing, Rock Climbing, Horse riding and more.

Thekkady

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Being one of the most beautiful wildlife destinations, Thekkady is mostly explored by families. Unlike the hill stations, in Kerala, the wildlife destinations in the land are blessed with a wide verity of plant and animal forms. Most of the families visit the place to enjoy a jungle holiday in the lap of nature and vegetation. One of the main elements that attract the travelers to the land is the wide verity of animals in the land. Travelers from around the world visit Thekkady to explore its rich wilderness. Families visiting the place mostly chose to stay in the tree houses which would provide you with the best view of the forest, you could also spot wild animal from a safe distance.

Best destinations: The place being one of the best wildlife destinations to the south houses a number of well-known tourist attractions like the Periyar National Park, Thekkady or Periyar Lake, Mangla Devi temple, Chellar Kovil and many more. One of the most visited destinations in Thekkady is the Periyar National Park which fascinated the travelers and families visiting the place.

Activities: Thekkady is a destination which is known for its wilderness, being a destination known for its vegetation and the wild the place offers a number of adventure activities to entertain the travelers. Some such activities offered in the land include river rafting, bamboo rafting, boating, trekking, hiking, nature walk and much more. Families mainly visit the place to enjoy a night stay in the forest.

 Alleppey

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One of the most beautiful backwater destinations, Alleppey is visited and explored mostly by families. One of the main elements that attract the families to the place is the houseboat services provided in the land. Apart from the houseboat the place also offers a lot more to the travelers visiting the land. The cuisine of the place is very famous for its flavours and taste among the travelers from around the world. Alleppey being a destination with the most complex backwaters stretches facilitates the growth of Ayurvedic herbs and plants of medicinal quality this makes the place one of the best spots for Ayurvedic tourism. The high mineral content of the soil in the waters promote and facilitate the growth of rare plants and herbs in the place. Most of the families visiting the place make use of this Ayurvedic heritage of the land.

Best destinations: Alleppey being a place known for its backwater stretches has a number of destinations other than the complex waters. Some of such destinations in the land which are mostly visited by families are Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Alleppey beach, Vembanad Lake, Pallippuram, Krishnapuram Palace, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Kuttanad Lake, Chettikulangara Devi Temple and more.

Activities: Being one of the best and well-known backwater destinations the place offers a number of entertainment activities to the travelers visiting the land. Some of such activities are boat rides, houseboat stays, boat race, Ayurvedic treatments and much more.

With all these destinations and more Kerala is now one of the most visited destinations to the south by families. It is mostly the beauty and the natural elements of the state that attracts families to the land. With an aim to promote family tourism, the Kerala tourism department is now introducing attractive and entertaining Holiday packages to Kerala. For travelers and families who wish to explore the richness of vegetation and natural beauty, Kerala to the south of the country is one of the best and most prominent destinations.

Redefining faith and dependence in the spiritual centres of Kerala

Two major places that are most sorted for pilgrim traveling in the south zone of India is Kerala and Chennai. Innumerable temples, churches and mosques are located in the state of Kerala where the believers come in search of peace and tranquility. The inhabitants of Tamil Nadu often visit the pilgrim sites in Kerala which are famous for the beliefs that reside in the pilgrim. A lot of families also follow it on a tradition basis that happens to be the customs of both the places. Hence most of the families residing in Chennai visit the sites in Kerala where they get to enhance their faith in the mythical stories relating to the temples. A Kerala family tour package would let the people move on a journey that lets them walk through traditions that are similar to those that are being followed by them.

Guruvayoor Temple

Location: Thrissur

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Guruvayoor

Guruvayoor temple, which is situated at Thrissur is a place of worship for believers. The deity here is Lord Krishna who is referred to as Guruvayoorappan. A number of rituals are followed here and thousands of people visit the temple to do the rituals on a daily basis. The Prasadam which is provided to the people in the temple in the form of Payasam and Butter are also famous to the people. The believers who visit Kerala during the Sabarimala season visit Guruvayoor as it is a tradition followed by the people to visit maximum temples on their route to Sabari Mala. The temple which is 5000 years old also has a dress code which is to be followed by the believers to enter the temple.

Aanakotta is also located in the temple premises where the elephants that belong to the temple are taken care of. 

Malayatoor Church

Location: Ernakulam

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Malayatoor Church

Malayatoor Church which is located at Ernakulam is a major place of visit by the believers of Christianity.

It is situated on a hilltop where the pilgrims reach to heal themselves through the environment in the place.

It is a Catholic church and the footprints of St Thomas can be found on the hills. A statue of St Thomas is also there on the premises of the church. Malayatoor Perunal which is the church festival is celebrated during the months of March and April. The cultural bond between Chennai and Kerala is prevalent here where the families travelling to the destination also visit Kurisumudy at Tamil Nadu when visiting Malayatoor church. The believers visiting the church are also fond of the architecture of the Church.

Cheramaan Juma Masjid

 Location: Kodungallur

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Cheraman Juma Masjid

Famous as the first mosque built in India, Cheramaan Juma Masjid has a lot of religious significance as the King of Kodungallur, Cheraman Perumal, who was from the Cheras Dynasty who is believed to have travelled to Madina in order to meet the Prophet. but on his way back, he passed away. His travel companions came back to Kodungallur where the mosque was built in his name. As it is the first place where the significance of Islam started n India, a lot of people travel to the destination from various parts of the world. Even though the mosque has been renovated, the hall and internal structure have been preserved in its natural form.

Cheraman Parambu, where the Palace of the Cheras Dynasty is located is also often visited by the people reaching to the mosque. 

Believers also come here from places like Chennai where they visit several other mosques located in Kerala but only men from the families enter as women are denied entrance into the Masjid.

Sabarimala

Location: Pathanamthitta

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Sabarimala Temple

One of the most visited temples in Kerala, the major deity of Sabarimala is Lord Ayyappa. 50 million pilgrims visit the temple every month where the significance of the temple becomes evident.

The pilgrims have to climb up the hills barefoot to reach the temple. The believers travelling to the temple have to take a Vritham of 41 days.

Certain pilgrims walk all the way from their residence to the temple, barefoot.  The temple opens during the Mandalapooja, the first 5 days of every month in the Malayalam calendar, Maha Vishuva Sankranti and on Makara Vilaku which is when the believers can visit the temple. Women who are aged between 10-50 cannot visit the temple as per the rules and regulations of the temple. People come in lakhs all the way from Chennai to visit this temple which is located in the mountain ranges of Western Ghats.   Makara Vilaku is an auspicious day at Sabari Mala to witness which a lot of pilgrims reach to the temple.

Arthunkal Church

Location: Alleppey

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Arthunkal Church

St. Andrew’s Basilica, which is a Roman Catholic church is located in Arthunkal at Alleppey. It was originally built by Portuguese missionaries and was rebuilt twice. The believers who visit the place of significance often reach the place during Thanksgiving. The people who had been affected by diseases often reach up to the church to seek blessings and to give offerings for the wellness they have been granted by God.

The history revoked that men from Hindu religion had also been helpful in building the Church which shows to the people, the respect the people living in Kerala provide to all the religions.

Thousands of devotees reach up to the church where extended families join together for pilgrim purpose to seek the blessings from the church.

The pilgrims from all the religions visit Kerala where they get to indulge in peace by seeking the blessings from the pilgrim sites. Despite any climate, the travellers coming all the way from Chennai get to the Gods own country where they also get to go to so many other tourist destinations that are located close to the sites. Families also visit during the auspicious festive period where the temples, mosques and Church celebrate various festivities. All the people devoid of religion become a part of it. Pilgrim tours to Kerala have become very prevalent and whenever a tour package from Chennai is planned, the travellers make sure that they visit one place that had temple significance where they seek blessings for their journey.

 

An escape from the city of I.T hubs to the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum

 

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Bangalore is a rocking city mostly known as the city of dreams by the younger generation and it is true to an extent. Living in Bangalore for the last 8 years all I saw in the place was a number of forts and places of great historical importance. Even with all these wonders, the place had a weak point too, nature and wilderness. The city known as the I.T hub of Kerala lacks natural resources. One thing people living in Bangalore look for while travelling would be nature and natural beauty. It was the same for me too, 8 long years in the city and all I missed was greenery, mountains, waterfalls and forests. Tired of the busy life in Bangalore finally I planned a trip to Kerala with my family, the land known for its natural beauty and destinations filled with greenery.  On the 20th of October, I planned a trip to Trivandrum the capital city of Kerala which is known to have a number of fascinating tourist destinations. Planning a trip was something that I can never get right so to make my trip tension free I decided to avail the best Kerala tour package from Bangalore organised by Gogeo holidays. One of the best things in availing a tour package from tour operators like the Gogeo holiday is that you can have a hassle-free trip enjoying the nature and the place. On the 25th of October, I with my family set off to Kerala taking a two-day leave from my office; we reached the airport at Bangalore by 7 am. After a 3 hr long flight, we finally reached the Trivandrum airport by 10 am and was welcomed by the tour operators in Kerala. The representatives of the travel operators were of great help, without much lag we were taken to the taxi which was waiting for our arrival and then straight to the hotel which was already ready to receive us. The hotel that the tour operators booked for us were perfect with great facilities and the best view of the city. After freshening up we decided to start with the trip for the day.

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Our first destination as planned by the tour organisers was Agastyakoodam, which is said to be the second highest peak in Kerala and a part of Sahyadri range. After a drive of about 1 hr, we reached our destination 11 am. Rich with wildlife the forest of the mountain was filled with rare medicinal herbs, plants and brightly hued orchids. The place could be best referred as bird watchers paradise, this majestic mountain is best accessed by foot from Koror which is located near Meyer dam, and from Bonacaud. The travel guide informed us that the best time to visit the place was from the month of December to April as it is the best time for trekking. This park that is located in Thiruvananthapuram is a part of the Agasthyamala biosphere reserve which is located on the borders of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The place was added to the world network of biosphere reserves in the month of March in the year 2016 by UNESCO. The place is one of the best that people living in cities like Bangalore would love. The view that the peak exhibits of the city are so unique that it would attract travellers like us living in Bangalore. After enjoying the view of the city and the hills we decided to move on with our trip to the next destination.

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After the tour of the peak we reached back to the taxi by 1 pm, as all of us were hungry we decided to have the lunch and then continue with our journey. After having the lunch from the nearest hotel we started our trip to our next destination, the Veli tourist village. We reached the place by 2.30 after a drive of 1 hour. The place is one of the best picnic spots for a family where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea. The place offered us with boating facilities which we enjoyed to the best. Travellers are free to hire the pedal boats to explore the flavour of the lagoon in an easy manner. The place is one of the best families could enjoy as it offers different activities for the families. Children visiting the place could enjoy the beauty of the place by climbing and playing over the sculptures which dot the landscapes. We explored the beauty of the place by enjoying a boat ride through the waters. It is not that boat rides are not there in Bangalore, one of the major difference that one can feel in the boat rides in Kerala and Bangalore is the sight and beauty that each provides. By enjoying a boat ride in Bangalore one could explore the beauty of the city while in Kerala you could explore the beauty of nature. The vile tourist village is one of the best destinations where families could enjoy the evening availing different Kerala tour packages for family. The place promises to entertain the whole of the family even children with complete safety. Families could enjoy tension free picnic in the place. One of the other attractions for the travellers visiting the place would be the Veli beach which is located 8 kilometres away from the Trivandrum town and provides the best view of the waters and the sunset. After enjoying in the place for a while we decided to move on to our last destination of the day.

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After enjoying the boating and tour of the village we started our trip by 3.30 to our next destination, Ponmudi. A mesmerising hill station with twisty pathways and chilling, green, wooded surroundings the place is one of the best destination where travellers could spend a peaceful day. We reached the place by 4.15 after a 45 min long ride. The place is filled with a verity of colourful and beautiful mountain flowers, rare species of butterflies, small rivers and springs. Apart from being a picnic spot, the place is also known to have some perfect trekking trails which attract a number of trekkers. People living in Bangalore are more attracted to trekking but as the place lacks much of trekking destinations its Kerala that they prefer to trek. Ponmudi is one such destination in Kerala which most loved by the trekkers in Bangalore. Ponmudi, also known as the golden peak among the nature lovers and trekkers is an enticing and breathtaking hill station in Thiruvananthapuram. One of the major attractions of the peak is its scenic view and the 22 hairpin turns located along the narrow and short routes which the bikers and riders love to explore. These hairpins make the ride to the destination thrilling and entertaining. By the time we decided to leave it was already 6 pm and so we voted to stay in the place to enjoy the sunset. After enjoying the sunset we decided to get back to the hotel as we had to check out the next day. After refreshing and having food we decided to sleep as we had a busy day ahead.

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The next day we woke up by 8 and after refreshing and having breakfast decided to check out. It was our last day in Kerala as we had to return back to Bangalore. We started our trip to our first and last destination of the day Varkala by, 10.30 am. After a ride of 45 min, we finally reached the place by 11.30 am. Varkala is a place with a number of seaside resort and spa and hence known as the land of resort and spa. The travellers visiting the place are mostly over-see tourist who visits the land to enjoy the magic of rejuvenation and spa. Apart from being a mesmerising tourist destination, the place is also a well-known Hindu pilgrimage centre. The place is the final resting place of Sree Narayan Guru is located at Varkala, at a top hill called the Sivagiri. With the presence of high cliffs with mineral spring raising from the coastline the place is one of the best and well-known pilgrim centres in Trivandrum. According to the mythical story of the place, a sage named Nerada was once visited by a group of mendicants who admit to having sinned it is believed that Nerada threw his valkkalam which is a cloth made of the bark of a tree into the air, and the place where this piece of cloth landed was later named Varkala. The place where these mendicants are believed to pray for redemption came to be known as the Papanasham beach. The other attractions of the place are the presence of Sree Janardhana Swami temple and the nature care centre. By the time we finished the tour of the place we decided to get back to the Trivandrum international airport which was another 1-hour drive from the place.

Sree Janardhana Swami temple

We reached back to the airport by 2.30 and board the flight back to Bangalore by 4.40. Trivandrum the capital city of Kerala is a place considered to be one of the best destinations for families to tour and hence is a prominent tourist destination in most family holiday packages to Kerala. The day spends in the place with my family was the most relaxing and refreshing that we enjoyed o the best. Entirely different from Bangalore Kerala is a state which is a rapidly developing city that conserves and preserves its natural resources. For travellers and families who wish escape from the busy life of the city the capital city of Kerala is one of the best and most prominent destinations.

A Romantic Escape to the Misty Hills of Kerala

honeymoon-packages-munnarMarriage is not just a word in the dictionary for a girl but a word with a whole lot of emotions and dreams attached to it. It was on the 20th of August that this word brought in a meaning in my life as I was happily married to Ashik. We were settled in Bangalore one of the busiest business city, mostly known as the city of dreams. Even after marriage, we had no much time for each other as we were totally busy with our work and tight schedules; we never got enough time to understand each other. After a week of our marriage, Ashik planned a surprise honeymoon trip to the misty hills of Kerala. Our honeymoon trip was organized and managed by Gogeo Holidays as we opted for one of their best and most attractive Kerala tour packages from Bangalore. According to the plan, we were to spend our honeymoon days in Munnar which was one of the very famous tourist destinations with hill stations covered in mist. The only reason to choose Kerala to be our honeymoon destination is due to the climate and natural beauty of the place which a city like Bangalore lacks. A rapidly developing city like Bangalore lacks nature as the place is mostly filled with buildings and flats which make the city look more congested and stressful. People in the town are driven into never ending work which makes them look more like systematized machines than humans. Even after having a number of tourist destinations in Bangalore we choose to enjoy our honeymoon in Kerala so as to escape from the loud busy city life of the place.

Couple-portraitsWe started our trip on the 20th of August at 8.00 am to the land known as ‘gods own country to enjoy the days in the misty hills of Munnar via flight.  We reached the Bangalore airport by 6.00 am and were welcomed by the tour operators. After a 3 hour flight, we reached the Kochi international airport by 9.00 am. As soon as we reached the Kochi airport we were welcomed by the trip organizers and were led to the cab. We decided to have our lunch on our way to Munnar. After riding for an hour we finally got to a restaurant to have our lunch. It was after reaching the restaurant that we realized that we were really hungry, the smell of Masala and flavors of the food were more tempting for us.  As soon as we got the menu we ordered for the very famous chicken Biriyani, which was one of my favorite dishes in Kerala. The smell of the Masala and flavors in the food with the delicious taste of gravy of the chicken and the rice with the salad would make your mouth water. After having the lunch along with some juice and dessert we decided to move on with the trip. Due to our very busy schedules in back in Bangalore, we never had enough time to eat, even if we eat. We never had enough time or piece of mind where we could enjoy and explore the taste of the food we eat. It was in this restaurant in Kerala we actually explored the taste and flavours of the land to the fullest. We reached Munnar by 11.45 am after a ride of 2 hrs. As soon as we reached the town we were helped to check in to the best budget hotel in Munnar where we could enjoy the stay. After freshening up we decided to start the tour of the place.

Mattupetty-Dam-near-MunnarAs per the plan, our first destination of the day was Mattupetti Dam, which is a well-known reservoir which is located almost 13 km away from the Munnar town. We reached the place after a drive of about 30 to 45 min by 12.45 pm. the main attraction of the place is the natural surroundings of the concrete dam which is well built between the hill ranges of the Western Ghats. And it is used mainly for water storage for hydroelectric projects. The place is a very prominent destination in almost all Kerala holiday packages for family where they could enjoy the trip in the lap of nature and enjoy the sight of the dam which is surrounded by the misty hills and the Western Ghats. A family trip to the dam could also be made educational as the dam is mainly used to store water for the hydroelectric project.  Another attraction of the place is the fact that a number of elephants visit the area to have water from the dam. After enjoying the sight of the place, we decided to explore the Mattupetti Dairy Farm which is located at a distance of 30 min from the dam. We reached our 2nd destination, the Mattupetti Dairy Farm by 2.00pm. The farm is one of the well-known destinations in the place which is a well-known Indo-Swiss Farm. The main attraction of the farm is its existence for being a highly specialized dairy farm which is named and listed under the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Another importance of the farm is that the place reared a number of high-quality cattle and new varieties of cattle are developed. after enjoying the beauty of the place and spending some romantic time with each other we decided to move on to our next destination of the day, Top Station.

 

 

Kerala Tourism Packages.jpgLocated about 40 km from the Munnar town the place is one of the best sightseeing destinations were the trekking facilities are provided for the travelers.  We reached the top station after a travel of about 1 hr by 4.00 pm. the misty cloud of the place was something that attracts a number of tourists from around the world. After enjoying a small trekking from the base we reached the top station to take in the panoramic view of the Western Ghats and the valley of Theni which is breathe taking. The place got the name from having the top most located railway station at the Kundala Valley Railway. After enjoying the beautiful sight of the city and spending some quality time with each other we decided to get back to our restaurant as the watch already showed the time to be 6.00 pm. lost in the nature we didn’t realize the running time. Back in Bangalore we never have enjoyed the peace and freshness we felt in the land of mist hills, Kerala. This beauty of the state with misty hills, rivers, and fresh air and nature makes the land entirely different from busy cities filled with buildings and factories. Kerala is one of the best destinations where one could enjoy the nature and relax in the lap of nature forgetting every tension and stress of the daily busy city life. From the top station, we headed back to our hotel by 6.30 pm. after a drive for about 1.30 hrs we reached back to our hotel by 8.00 pm. by the time we entered our room we were exhausted and tired. After being in the room for a while we decide to refresh and head to the dining to have the dinner. After having the delicious dinner we headed back to the room, after spending some quality time with each other we decided to sleep as we had a flight to catch the next day.

munnar-honeymoon-packageWe woke up the next day by 9 am and after refreshing and having the breakfast we checked out of the hotel by 10.30 the stay in Munnar was one of the best I could remember and cherish for a life time. Newly wedded couples like us could easily avail a Romantic Munnar honeymoon packages where they could enjoy the climate and the mist which sets up a perfect romantic ambience. The natural elements of the Western Ghats with the beauty of nature would make your honeymoon the most memorable and special. After checking out of the hotel we were taken back to the Kochi international airport. A travel of about 3 hrs, we reached the airport by 2.00pm. After boarding the flight back to Bangalore we reached our place by 5.00 pm. the days we enjoyed back in Kerala were the best in our lives. The ambience of the place gave us enough time to know more about each other and understand each other well. After reaching back home we were engaged and busy in our works, but after the trip, our relation took a beautiful turn where we decided to enjoy our life together by understanding and cherishing each other’s dream. The newly wedded couples could make each day of their honeymoon count by exploring the hill station in Kerala the land called ‘Gods Own Country’.

 

Kerala culture- the amalgamation of influences

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Kerala, the minuscule state in the Southern tip of Indian continent, has been capturing the attention of travelers from all over the world for many years. There are many simple yet alluring facts of Kerala that make everyone fall in love with it, in the first glance itself. The local culture is such one fact. When everyone goes after the glamorous backwaters and misty hill stations with the help of some amazing Kerala tour packages, that are covered by many travel operators like Gogeo Holidays, some of them may wish to experience the unique culture and traditions of this God’s own kingdom. Kerala holds a unique and distinct culture that is sure to boast of by every Keralite. This uniqueness is visible with everything that is home to, in the colorful vibrant festivals, art forms, performing arts, world-renowned literature, painting, music, the amazing cuisine and so on.

What we now describe as the culture and traditions of Kerala is actually a confluence of the amalgamation of different kinds of influences that this land has faced with. According to the archeological and historical evidence, the first and earliest inhabitants of Kerala were the Dravidians. And you can still see the influences of this Dravidian culture in different aspects of Kerala it’s day to day life.

The land of counts

As the name Kerala literally indicates, this state is indeed the land of coconuts- the tree of life. Many cultural habits of this state have been revolved around the cultivation of this crop. The tender coconut water is Kerala’s own soft drink that is now loved by many. And if the soft flesh is mixed with the water, it makes up for a wonderful snack.  The matured coconut is grated as used as an ingredient for almost every dish that Kerala own. And the coconut oil made from the dry county is also using to cook almost every dish. The toddy, which is got from the coconut tree is Kerala’s own unique alcoholic drink which is made from the sap of the flower before it blooms.

Not only the land is full of coconut fringed landscapes everywhere, this tree also has made a great impact on the lifestyle of many people here.  Toddy tapping is the source of income of many people here, and you can find Toddy shops in many parts of Kerala.  The course that is made from the coconut husk forms the basis of the coir industry here. The choir is also used in many interesting ways. The fiber of the coir is used to make mats, rugs, baskets, and many other fascinating handicrafts. Many tourists buy these as typical Kerala souvenirs. So do not forget to visit the major coir hub- Alleppey in Kerala with your cheap Kerala family tour packages at low price, during your trip to Kerala. The list is not needed here. The outer shell of the coconut is also used to make different handicraft products and attractive traditional pots and ornaments.  The coconut leaves are used for the purpose of thatching the traditional houses and the dried ones make up a form of fuel. So as you can see, the coconut indeed is the tree of life in Kerala and makes up a big part of the culture in here.

Mind blowing tourist destinations in Kerala

Unique performing arts to preserve the tradition

If you want to watch the live performance of the portraying of Kerala’s culture- then the best way is to watch some vibrant performing arts, which still maintain the Kerala’s culture in its purest form. The major performing arts that belong to Kerala are the Theyyam, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Panchavadyam, Kalaripayattu and do on. All these musical extravaganzas and performing arts reveal the unique culture and the old era of this vibrant state.  IN the ancient times, these kind of art forms were only part of temples and places that are linked to religions. But now these are more become like public spaces. Try to include Kalamandalam, one of the renowned cultural center in Kerala with your itinerary of the affordable Kerala tour packages, the experience would be experienced for you.  Most of these unique arts of Kerala is now packaged as cultural products and is preserved for the future generations.

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The fascinating beauty of Kerala’s tuskers and elephants

Well, we call it tusker mania.  When you head out to explore the cultural roots of Kerala, you would be amazed by the fact that no even a single temple festival in Kerala passes without and the array of beautifully decorated tuskers on the display for the public.  Keralites are simply big fans of elegant elephants and the tuskers. And these form an important part of the culture of this land. Elephants are considered to be a symbol of royalty and prestige for the Keralites, and also a big source of good fortune.  In all the major temple festivals in Kerala, the idols are carried out by only by an elephant, who are considered as the Lord Ganesha himself.  One of the popular such tuskers- Guruvayur kesavan who used to carry the deity of Lord Krishna in the temple of Guruvayur has a statue erected in that area, These tusker heroes are more like legends who are kept in the memory of people even after their death. You can also find fascinating paintings that portray these tuskers in their all glory. You can include the places like Kodanad elephant training camp, and Punnathur kotta near Guruvayur with your affordable kerala holiday packages for family to watch the elephants in its natural habitats.

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The unpretentious food- the remarkable simplicity

No love is sincere than the love of food. The Kerala’s own dishes are known as one of the most healthy dishes in the entire world. Like many other popular cuisines, Kerala’s cuisine also takes advantage of the different mixture of flavors, spices, seafood, and especially coconut. Even just the simplicity of all these food items will make you want to try them. The cuisine of Kerala reflect the influences of many cultures and historical, geographical, social conditioning effects. Especially those from the colonial era, when the British, Dutch, used to rule here. Kerala is one such rare place in the entire world, where you can find as many varieties as for both the vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisine in equal amount.

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The vibrant celebrations and festivals

Kerala is also home some of the most vibrant and unique festivals in the entire world. And these reflect the musical, religious, historical aspects of the state. And one of the common thing you would find about these festivals is the traitor harmony and oneness among them. Which means, regardless of different religions and culture, everyone takes part in these and celebrates in harmony, The traditional practices of the land is cultivated in the same spirit by the people here, and many still hold on to the ethics and values of the culture. Each of these celebrations is not for a particular people, or community or religion, it is for the entire society.

So, as a sum up, it can be said that the culture of Kerala reflects the confidence of many communities, civilizations, and most importantly the ones of people with the mother nature. People here carve out their identity preserving this unique culture and still being open to the modern aspects and plethora of influences from the outside world.

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