There are so many options one has, to get away from the clamor and clatter of busy Kochi (Cochin). One such place where I retreat is Cherai. About 30 kms from the commercial capital of Kerala – Kochi, Cherai energizes your tired mind with beautiful and picturesque landscape. The pristine sprawling beach, charming lagoons, alluring backwaters, panoply of coconut trees and the gorgeous paddy fields – simply takes your breath away. Such views are the best companion one can have in addition to a book and some music, to refresh your body and soul!
My best time on the beach is early mornings when the sun is just about kissing the beach and the people on it. As you walk on this 15 kms of rolling beach you can’t help getting mesmerized by the beauty Cherai beach has to offer. The colorful shells in various shapes and sizes dot the beach. And if you are lucky you might see dolphins sliding around!! So, I was told! And luck definitely hasn’t favored me yet on this account!
Sandwiched between the vast Arabian Sea on one side and Vembanad backwaters on the other; Cherai offers its visitors best of both the worlds. Cherai beach enjoys a reputation of being one of the cleanest beaches in the country. Lena Malm, a very dear friend visited Cherai during her stay in Cochin and has to say this about her experience
Want to walk alone on the beach (well almost!)? …it is possible if you go on a weekday! Nice, fresh air and soothing warm water is a contrast to the busy city of Cochin. I took a ferry ride from Fort Kochi and then took a local bus at the bus station which is just around the corner. Cherai beach is about 40 minutes drive. One suggestion I will make is – Don´t walk from the bus stop, take a rickshaw instead. It takes only few minutes and takes you straight to the beach! It is breathtaking and I almost got the long clean beach to myself. I had an amazing day on the beach. Am sure you will love it too!
And yes, don´t hesitate talking to the locals on your way back on the ferry to Cochin (Ernakulam town). Most people are interested in who you are and why you are there. It’s a totally different experience; sometimes the locals surprise you with interesting local stories which are always a bonus!
For the sportyuns, you have the option to have a go at water sports like water scooter and speed boats that are available on rent. You can also go swimming if you wish. Cherai beach is also open for sunbathing. The clean and impressive walkway is lined with high post lightings that illuminate the surroundings post sunsets thus making it possible for the beach lovers to enjoy the sea and the sand even in the night.
Visit or a stay at the beach locale is incomplete without the mention of sea food fresh from the sea! One can immerse themselves into the wide variety of cuisine available coupled with country wine – toddy extracted from fresh coconut.
Check out the prawn farming at Cherai for it remains their main industry. Siva-Parvati temple, Azheekkal Shri Varaha Devaswom and St. Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Church are few of the pilgrim centers at Cherai.
The easiest way to reach Cherai is via Vypeen Island by road which is approximately a 40 minutes drive from Marine Drive, Kochi. Or else you can do what my friend Lena did. Take a ferry ride to Vypeen Island from Fort Kochi or Ernakulam (near high court). The ferries ply at regular intervals from the boat jetty. The nearest railway station is Ernakulam Junction (south) while the nearest airport is the Kochi International airport.
Cherai offers accommodations ranging from economical to most luxurious ones in and around the beach. Cherai Beach resort is quite popular amongst the tourists. A friend of mine stayed at Blue Waters and had a pleasant experience.
Cherai offers the sheer beauty of Kerala in the simplest possible way. The salty breeze, the undulating stretch of sand and tranquility awaits you at Cherai.