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.

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.

 

Unending Beauty of Munnar, The Sight of Roaring Waterfalls from the Rolling Hills

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Munnar in Kerala doesn’t need any introduction since it is the most sought-after tourist destination in Kerala. Boredom is a feeling which is unknown to many who arrive at this land. Fondly called as the Kashmir of South, the extensive tea plantations surrounding the serene hills are the major cause of its enhanced beauty. The mist covered hills are the attractive part of winter and vast tea estate, the breezy air and cooling climate draw the attention of tourists. On the way to Munnar, there are many eye-catching waterfalls, where tourists used to take an intermittent halt amidst journey and enjoy the nature. The presence of a waterfall can be detected from far if it is strong enough. Each waterfall is different from each other, they wait for monsoons to get strengthened up. There are some good number of waterfalls in Munar which add up the tourism. Playing in water is something that even the bigger ones wish to do. Since some, of these, are hidden deep inside forests, the picturesque surroundings add up the thrill to visit. We know that the best place in South India to spend a holiday with our family or friends is, Kerala. There is a presence of big invisible hands of Munnar tourism behind it. Families enjoy being here as it is one of the safest tourist destination also. Having years of experience in the tourism field, the authorities are taking good care of the tourists arriving. Kids love to play in the splashing natural wonder, waterfalls. Take a midway pitstop and dip in the pool to shed away the tiresome journey effects. The food stalls attached to the locations provide tasty mangoes and pineapple mix.There are many waterfalls in Munnar and most of which are included in the itinerary of Kerala holiday packages for family.  Since families are the ones who will be enjoying the visit to these waterfalls, with extreme pleasure, the itineraries to Munnar are designed in such a way as to cover at least a waterfall on the way. In every route from Munnar, there is at least one waterfall on the way.On your way to the land of tea plantation, Munnar, take a halt at these locations and play in the pool formed underneath.

Lakkam Waterfalls

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Vacationers travelling to Marayoor from Munnar can repose at the location of Lakkam waterfalls as it is along this route. A Just 5-minute drive from Munnar town is the distance between you and the beautiful Lakkam waterfalls. To add the beauty of the location, nature has kept Lakkam waterfalls amidst vaga trees, which is having its origin from the plateau of Eravikulam. Its most of the cascades are inaccessible. There are two stages for the cascades, of which one is for ladies and age-old people while the second one is for teenagers and men.

Kuthumkal Waterfalls

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About 6 kilometres from Rajakkad and 24 kilometres from Munnar, the Kuthumkal waterfall is a scenic treat to the eyes. The water cascades down with high kinetic energy and this forms the majesty of the cascade. Since falling from great heights, at the bottom the falls form a permanent mist. The true aspect of spending a holiday with your family is best realised when you go out for a one-day trip to this beautiful waterfalls. The wild fall was captured by movie makers. A nearby locale, Kezar Kuthura formed the backdrop of some Bollywood movies. Nedumkandam is near from here and star gazing is the interesting activity at this locality.

Thoovanam Waterfalls

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Start trekking from Alampatty forest check post and the one hour of the trek will make you reach the beautiful location of Thoovanam waterfalls. This trek is the most riveting one to access the Thoovanam waterfalls. It is about 60 kilometres from Munnar and is found deep inside the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary. The waterfall is formed by river Pamba. On the course of the trek, wild flora and fauna can be encountered.

Nyayamakad Waterfalls

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Now there is another reason to visit Rajamalai as the Nyayamakad waterfall is on the way from Munnar to Rajamalai. An ideal trekking spot for avid trekkers and the nature around the falls are simply adorable. The water cascades down from a height of 1600 meters and makes up an ideal picnic spot. Honeymoon couples often visit the location on their way to Rajamalai. Since this fall is located inside a thick jungle, the location makes up for a perfect place to hang out during a honeymoon. Munnar is the most selected honeymoon spot and every year, new places are added to the itineraries of Munnar honeymoon packages and the recent one being Nyayamakad falls. A truly adventurous trek can be conducted here in the wild. Dare to enter into the pool and feel the chilliness of the water.

Cheeyappara Waterfalls

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The popular one and is along the Kochi-Madurai highway so that number of tourists encounter this great waterfall. It pours down in seven steps. The fall is located 40 kilometres from Munnar and is famous for trekking. On the way to Munnar, most of the tourists used to take a break here. There are many food stalls here where fruits chopped and mixed with chilli are served. In the chilly climate, having a small snack that is really hot is a good experience.

 

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’.

 

Gavi- The Wilderness Beacons

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Travelling could be the best experience when it is with your loved ones; the best destination would double your joy. We go tripping in search of different elements; some would travel for joy while others as a part of their profession, and some would travel to spend some quality time with their loved ones while some travel to run away from their busy schedules. Both the ways travelling is always fun. Most travellers are people who love nature; they mostly visit areas and destinations with natural beauty like forest, lake, river, waterfalls, mountains, and hill stations, or monumental destinations with forts, monuments and other natural wonders. Gods own country, Kerala would be a perfect destination for travellers in search of tradition, culture, nature, monuments, historical forts and adventures. Kerala is also a land with a beautiful climate which could be most enjoyable for couples and newly wedded life partners. Munnar would be a perfect destination for couples; your journey would be easier and adventurous with Romantic Munnar honeymoon packages arranged by organisers like Gogeo Holidays. Planning your tour with tour operators and organisers make your journey, stay and visits easier and more comfortable. You are free to choose the destinations you wish to visit and places you like to stay, tour operators help you to organise your travel without you being bothered about the schedules and stay.

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Kerala is said to be a perfect holiday destination because of its landscapes and natural beauty. Kerala is a land with numerous numbers of hill stations, pilgrimage, museum, beaches, backwaters, wildlife sanctuary, waterfalls, palace, ecotourism destinations, dams, art gallery, forts, amusement parks, shopping malls, and zoo. Kerala is a land with everything a tourist or a traveller would be looking for.  Different Kerala tour packages  for family are arranged to attract travellers to the land of culture and tradition. Kerala is a land with many unknown or infamous tourist destinations; it is a land yet to be explored as a tourist destination.

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 Gavi is one such unexplored destination in Kerala; the place was not much famous until the release of the famous Malayalam movie “Ordinary”. The movie showed up the natural beauty the place holds and the possibility of the place being a tourist destination. Gavi is a land to the eastern extreme of the Pathanamthitta district; it is scattered across the Periyar tiger reserves and forests. These evergreen forests are abundant with magnificent wildlife including tiger, elephant, leopards, bears, Indian gaur, sambar, barking and mouse deer, lion tailed macaque other varieties of monkey, Nilgiri marten and a lot more.  The excellence of this place is worth a closer look, nature is at its unadulterated best. The place labours as a base camp for deep jungle trekkers, birdwatchers, nature lovers, researchers and much more. For the nature travellers, the land offers complete experience with the flora including Podocarpus wallichinia a highly endemic species of gymnosperm family seen only around Gavi in the whole Western Ghats. The forest around Gavi is home to over 350 different species of birds like the great Indian hornbills, sunbirds, woodpeckers, kingfishers and myriads of mynas, bongos, cuckoos, and bulbul, the destination could be a dream for any birder. Daily transportation like bus and jeep is available to Vendee Periyar from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Now Kerala tour packages from Bangalore are arranged to the place keeping in mind the importance of tourism and keeping Gavi as an important tourist destination with a lot to offer to the travellers. Gavi has the best climate at night the temperature would drop till 10degree. Some of the activities arranged in Gavi by tour operators like Gogeo Holidays include trekking, wildlife watching, birding, stay at top tree huts, outdoor camping in forest, safaris through jungle roads, visit paradise cove at Ninnum Ulli, boating in the Gavi and kochu pampa lakes, leisurely walks through spice gardens, visit cardamom factory, climb to Sabarimala temple. The active association of the tribes in Gavi makes it a novel venture, the legendary knowledge of the forest and its way of life help Gavi to control its enclosing in its original state.  Some of the breathtaking aspects at Gavi like the valley view offer a great view of a deep canyon and the forest below; from Koch Pampa, one can track the foraging Nilgiri Tahr. Another bizarre feature of Gavi is camping in the forest. Travellers can pitch a tent in the camping site which is rare in many Indian forests. At night travellers can feel the presence of wildlife an experience that cannot be explained through words. There is also tree top stays where one can enjoy forest life to the fullest.

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 To experience the natural beauty and the life in the wild, then Gavi is the place. In Kerala, there are many such destination and island that are less popular but rich in natural beauty and natural resources like forest wildlife, flora and fauna. Kerala is also a place with different cultural tradition and much more. A visit to Kerala the land of hill stations will always give you a different experience of the world and nature around. Hill stations covered with tea plantations, freshwater lakes, rivers, and backwater, all give a pleasant stay and fresh experience for the tourists. A Kerala Holiday Packages for Family tour is always arranged and organised well with tour operators like Gogeo holidays are worth spending your money for. People who wish to experience a fresh and clear nature along with a diversion in culture, tradition, language, and religion should definitely visit Kerala with its best tour packages under affordable rate with all available facilities. There are different shopping centres organised by Kerala government especially focusing on tourism and tourist. All the products in these stores are mostly natural products like khadi. All the products in these stores are priced by the government of Kerala. 

Holiday, trips, and tours are mostly the best remembered days in a person’s life, tripping with friends and family is the best experience one can ever have. One always gets the best experience from these trips. It is very important that you plan for a trip that is worth remembering than just travelling. Now experience the best days of your life with friends and family in Kerala enjoying the best destinations in Kerala.

 

My experience of Kerala travels

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Bamboo village,Wayanad  PC: Nicolas (my hubby)

5 years seems like a long time since we have been travelling to Kerala every year in a row without fail. But every time we reach this place on exciting Kerala tour packages for couple, it looks fresh and new to me! There’s something here completely fresh every year we come. It is not about the concrete buildings that sprout every month in the cities and towns, it is more about some hidden treasure that is unearthed with every trip of ours. It might not be new to the people here, but then it’s new to us, it is new to me for sure. I am Linda and my husband Nikolas and I have been coming to Kerala every year since 2010.

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My first click..PC: me and only me..

Our first ever visit was a day’s stopover during one of our luxury cruise around the world and that one day’s trip to the Kochi city and the suburbs were enough to make us fall in love with this beautiful place. By the end of the day, we collected enough information to pack our bags next year to come back here from Kentucky, where we actually live. We would love to call this our place now as we have been coming back every year without fail for the last 5 years. Our children tease us often telling we are on our Kerala tourism honeymoon packages every year and we both are in our 50s now! The place is so calm and pleasant that we truly wished we had come here during our young ages and we would have tried to get settled here itself. Kerala has such a charm and rich culture that we just love and respect the people here.

The Mysterious Mountains of Munnar

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My happy place in Kerala, Munnar PC: Nicolas

Over the last 5 visits, we have been to many popular tourist destinations in Kerala and we know that there are so much more to visit even now. We usually take a 3-week tour here and once we just spent our days entirely at Ollur, enjoying the Ayurvedic wellness treatment. Once we even booked romantic Munnar honeymoon packages and the manager was stunned to see us ‘old’ couple booked on a honeymoon. He soon realized the matter and did not consider our age anymore as we are very much in love even now and enjoyed our ‘honeymoon’ days in the beautiful resort. We try to explore more of nearby places avoiding long travels unless necessary. When we were in Munnar, we had seen most of the Munnar like none of the other tourists would have! We spent 2 weeks in Munnar and have explored almost every nook and corner of the place including the forests and rivers.

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A naughty monkey in Munnar PC : me 

Our pictures taken in Munnar prompted our 2 children in their 20’s to tag along with us once on tour packages in Kerala. They could hardly spend a week here as they wanted to make the most of their India tour and hence, went to Delhi to explore a Golden Triangle Tour there for another week. They even managed a week at the Andaman Islands and enjoyed every bit of India they saw. That’s when they realized the magical effect of Kerala’s forests and monsoons that attracted us every year here. We enjoyed trekking through Rajamala and tried our luck with some mountain climbing too while in Munnar. It was quite refreshing even for our children to spend some quality time and we were happy about the long lost days of family tours we got back in Kerala.

Alleppey’s Alluring Backwaters

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A canal in Allepey PC: Ram (our guide)

It was so captivating that, our daughter who got married soon after decided on honeymoon packages for Kerala and they had a wonderful time exploring the backwaters of Alleppey and Kochi. We have not been to Alleppey but we have enjoyed Kumarakom, Kollam and Trivandrum through the backwaters. We had befriended one of the tour managers we met during our second trip to Kerala, a very enterprising young man in his 20’s who was helping out his father in the tourism business. He helped us book his friend’s houseboat on a customized trip through the backwaters and rivers for a week which was unlike any of the luxury cruises we have experienced during our 50 years in the US.

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Gas delivery in Alleppey…that was really surprising  PC : Nicholas

This was life to the fullest and the best enjoying the basic elements of nature which gave us the kind of happiness, serenity and relaxation none of our luxury trips have ever given! Though the boat driver was telling us that this particular boat was more booked for Kerala honeymoon packages, he was very kind to help us with seeing the places around and also served as a guide when the boat was anchored for sightseeing in the land. He even helped us with a small canoe ride that took us through the narrow channels of water in the interiors where the houseboat could not enter. That was amazing! In fact, that was the most beautiful part of Kerala we had ever seen so far. We actually saw people live on the banks of these rivers and living quite happily with the limited resources which were quite humbling.

Romantic Rendezvous at the Beaches

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Sunset at Kappad beach….Hatsoff Ram for this wonderful click…

One of our cheap Kerala family tour packages was theme-based as we wanted to enjoy the beaches of Kerala throughout the state. During our previous visits, we had visited the Kovalam beach, Fort Kochi beach and Trivandrum beach only. We read a lot on Kerala’s locations and came across an article that explored quite a lot of beaches some of which were world famous. Since we did not want to miss them, we booked on an exclusive beach holiday and landed in Trivandrum from where we took a car to take us to the various beaches and the resorts nearby during the trip. Even though we had visited Kovalam’s beaches, they have a special charm and we spent our first night of the trip in the Leela Kovalam beach resort to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise there.

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Camel ride at fortkochi beach..that was thrilling PC: me

The next day we visited all the beaches nearby and went to Trivandrum. We had not visited the famous palace of Travancore which we visited on our way. It was unlike any other palace I have seen so far in my life! Apparently, this was a popular place for family tours and honeymoon packages as the place was quite crowded. Sankhumukham beach was particularly beautiful with the Mermaid statue were we took some pictures too. After spending some time at most of the beaches in Trivandrum, we went to Varkala Beach which was also called Papanasam beach! The cliffs and the warm springs from them converging into the ice-cold sea at Varkala were amazing. We visited the Allepey beach next and stayed over at the Marari beach resort. Though we had read that this was ranked among world’s top 5 beaches, we had never imagined it would be such a beautiful experience.

First stint with Ayurveda

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For those from the Western countries, Kerala’s beaches may not make sense in the first place. There won’t be coast guards, beach benches, bikini-clad women or kids playing with a beach ball! But I can promise you, your mind will go all blank for a good reason. All your worries and tensions will fly away, the moment you step out in these amazing beaches. It is plain nature in its raw elements that relaxes you rather than the beach chairs and a host of other facilities at the beach. Believe me, Mararikkulam turned is where we tried out our first stint with Ayurveda and it was an awesome experience. This is something you must try out while on exclusive Kerala tour packages for family. We were so awestruck by the place and the Ayurvedic massage that we enjoyed there that we enquired more about it later in our tour and decided to indulge in 3 weeks of Ayurvedic rejuvenation on our next tour of Kerala.

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We booked in advance as advised and were booked in a cottage at the center. It had no air conditioner or swimming pool! The food was plain and mostly bland. They gave you medicines from time to time which tasted extremely bitter. But all that endured, we felt at least a few years younger and stronger inside and outside after the treatment. It was a 15-days treatment and a week’s rest after that and we were back to the US where our friends and our children kept wondering what magic potion we had in Kerala! The staff seemed initially detached but we realized it had more to do with the language than the attitude. Over the years, we also understood the basic words in Malayalam and soon befriended most of the staff at the center. We even learned Yoga which was practiced there and continue it over the year and a half now since we learned it.

And miles to go…

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Meet my friend..a young vedic student, Thrissur PC: me 

We have planned our next trip and this time, it is going to be a longer one as we want to travel first and then undergo the rejuvenating treatment before we come back to Kentucky. This time, we have planned a trip to the North of Kerala to explore Kozhikode, Kannur and Palakkad and then visit the plantations in Thekkadi. We are thinking of investing there but need to find out if there are any legal restrictions as we are American citizens. Once we are done with the travels, we will enjoy our days of Ayurveda at Ollur where we went during our last visit. And we realize, there’s so much more we have to explore in this God’s Own Country for which we will keep coming back!!!