Kerala- God’s own country, that’s what it is called and I feel that there is much truth in it. Majestic natural beauty that’s never been seen before. Dense forests and lashing greenery appealing the comforts of heaven on earth with flora, fauna and the human character at its best. It’s a state whose every village is somewhat a tourist attraction. One needs an ample time to enjoy the complete richness in the environment and the culture.
It is said that the best time to visit Kerala is from September to January. But going around May end or June beginning is not bad either, just before the monsoons. Going in May-June can cut your expenses to half and can enjoy the peaceful time with your family and friends. In season time, the place becomes extremely crowded and the rates shoot up to approximately double the prices in June. No matter when one goes, carrying an umbrella or a raincoat is a must. The rain is spontaneous and short. Something that we don’t see in the northern regions.
On reaching upon Trivandrum- the capital of Kerala, one should avoid lodging in the city. Preference should be given to resorts along the beaches- either Kovallam beach or Payyambalam beach. The beaches are a pie to the eyes of mainly north indians. A peaceful day at the beach with a cup of tea or drink is simply a moment to remember. One complete day must be given at the beach to really enjoy the subtlety.
One can take a tour taxi which will take around the various famous temples in Trivandrum, the zoo, the art gallery and of course the historical museum which is a must watch. This tour will not take more than half a day. Next place to visit is Ponmudi. It’s a superb hill-station in Kerala 60 kms away from Kerala. Located on the Western Ghats, it’s a newly designed hill station by the KTDC-Kerala tourism and development corporation. It is situated on the hill top and the route to Ponmudi is extremely eye opening. Passing through deep valleys, watching tea plants along, water falling through the mountains and the aroma of caffeine in the air just makes you spell-bound. The KTDC must be accoladed for finding such a beauty and constructing the route. This route has 22 hair pin curves that make u swing in your car. Upon reaching there one can rent a room at the lodge provided by KTDC. One is actually living in the clouds. Thick clouds that come and touch you and go away. The fresh air, the stunning view and the peace in the ambience can never make you leave that place. It’s a place with whom everyone will fall in love with. One can trek to the hill top, 2kms upside from the lodge. One night s stay is a must at that place.
Kanyakumari is the lowest tip of India. One should spend time at the Vivekananda rocks and the point were the 3 seas meet- Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. One can clearly see the difference in the color of water of the seas from the elevated Vivekananda rocks situated 500 meters into the sea on a bed of huge rocks. One must enjoy the sunset and sunrise at Kanyakumari. It’s a tourist attraction to see the sun rising from the sea and falling in the sea. 1-2 days stay in Kanyakumari is enough to explore the city.
On the way back to Trivandrum, there comes the Padmanabhapuram Palace- a palace made completely of wood built by the Tranvancore kings in the 16th century. Royal architectural beauty isn’t really just skin deep. Just for the records, you are in front of the biggest wooden palace of the country. To boot, this was the seat of the Travancore kings and boasts of 127 rooms spread across a 6.5 acres complex. A myriad of inner courtyards and underground passages fill the compound which is a repository of cultural treasures that include 17th and 18th century murals, exquisite woodwork on the ceiling and walls, the famed black and red shiny floors made up of a unique mix of jaggery, lime, burnt coconut, egg white, charcoal and sand from the rivers.
Kerala reminds us of the innermost beauty that remains unexplored within ourselves. Cool chirpy environment relaxes the soul and brings the feel of nature and the joy to live with it. Beaches, sunset and scenic beauty will last forever in the mind which will always call the desire to be there again.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/babydinosaur/1918088013/]