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Review : Xandari Pearl, Marari

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While on a vacation, we the mothers generally don’t get to be on a break, with kids walking, jumping even trampling our already frail nerves. Myself along with few other mothers, decided to award our husbands with some bonding time with the kids and go somewhere. One would think of a hill station for a getaway from scorching heat. We chose the beach.

Armed with our swimwear, a hat, sunscreen, beach ball, games, et all, five of us set out for Marari Beach. Not much planning went into it. The only criterion was to go somewhere close to Kochi, preferably at a driving distance.

A tea seller from Kochi travels the world

 

When I did an article about “7 must do’s while in Kochi”, I had not heard, let alone visit Sree Balaji Coffee House on Salim Rajan Road. The attraction to this place is not their INR 5 worth tea or their piping hot snacks, but the mood and air around this small shop that reeks of dreams that were dreamt, chased and dusted.

8 years in Kochi, and it needed a video for me to learn about a humble tea seller from Kochi, who managed to travel around the world with his frugal earnings. I simply had to meet them! So, along with few friends, I planned an evening of chai and kaddi (tea and snacks) at his tea shop.

Visit Kerala Campaign

From scenic hills, lovely beaches, green forests, culture, history, art… Kerala offers a complete package to a person of varied interests and a visit to Kerala becomes even more attractive with the Visit Kerala Campaign! Here goes the details…

7 must do’s while in Kochi (Cochin)

 

The coastal city of Kochi has attracted explorers and traders over hundreds of years. With lush green surroundings, rich culture, mouth watering dishes, reminiscent of historical influence and last but not the least, with good air and sea connectivity, it’s no wonder Kochi, appeals to the wanderlust of travelers of all sizes and shapes.

Chinese Fishing Nets at Fort Kochi Pic: Bindaas Thankam
Chinese Fishing Nets at Fort Kochi Pic: Bindaas Thankam

As you descend at the Kochi International airport, from the flight, a verdant landscape awaits that is soothing to the vision. The cosmopolitan city of Kochi, which is 35km away, is a melting pot of various ethnic identities. Besides the local Malayalees, there are Jews, Gujaratis, Konkanis and Jains in huge numbers, who have made Kochi their home. If destiny brings you to this beautiful city; here are the 7 must do’s for you.

Camping at Munnar

Anaerangal Camp, Munnar, Kerala Pic: Priya Q
Anaerangal Camp, Munnar, Kerala Pic: Priya Q

Anaerangal Camp, Munnar, Kerala
Anaerangal Camp, Munnar is about 155 kms from Kochi and was the chosen destination for our last outing. With schools closing down for the summer, I along with 16 friends, decided to head to the mountains for a camping and trekking experience.

With the sole intention of unwinding and soaking up the splendor of nature that Munnar has to offer, wecar pooled and hit the road early in the morning. The traffic started to thin out as we moved out of Kochi city limits and the air got fresher and cleaner.As we got closer to Munnar, the vast and sprawling tea estates inspired the singer in few of us and we sang all the way up the winding roads.

Wildlife Reserve

Parambikulam, Kerala

Parambikulam Pic: Priya Q

The beauty of staying in Kerala is that it gives you many varied options of vacationing. It has something for everyone. Beaches, mountains, wildlife, backwaters, city life, country side, history, religious places, you name it.

Most of our extended holidays are well utilized where we try to get away from city madness; bundle up some sweet memories, laugh like there was no tomorrow, rejoice in each others company and get back totally rejuvenated.

Kumarakom

Kumarakom Pic: Priya Q

About 2 hours drive from Kochi, Kumarakom is a beautiful backwater location and is a must visit. Meandering canals, sprawling paddy fields, Vembanad Lake, rich variety of flora and fauna, stunning views constitutes Kumarakom.

Kumarakom’s close proximity to Kochi was a decisive factor for our impromptu trip with our friends. Idea was to drive down to place somewhere close by and just relax. So Kumarakom is where we headed to.

There are quite a few good resorts in Kumarakom one can stay like Kumarakom Lake Resort, The Zuri, Coconut Lagoon, Kayal Resort, Taj Garden Retreat,…etc. All the good resorts are built with backwaters as the backdrop and offer a boat cruise service on demand.

Vythiri

I had heard about Vythiri Resort during my stay at Lakkidi, the gateway of Wayanad district. Though I did explore the neighbor, I could not personally go and check out the Vythiri resort. My friends Anjana and Avinash took a break recently at this resort with their two daughters and came back to Kochi in happy spirits with lots of tales to tell.

In this post Anjana share her exploits at the resort while Avinash contributes through his beautiful shots. Btw Avinash happens to be the official photographer of our gang of friends 🙂 Thanks guys for sharing this….

Road Trip

The advantages of a road trip are that it allows you to travel at your pace exploring places enroute. Pooja Shri is a marketing professional, currently on a sabbatical pursuing her creative interests. When she is not busy making Tanjore paintings or murals, she indulges in cooking and traveling with her better half.  Here she shares her road trip experience from Chennai to Munnar.

Travel from: Chennai; Destination-Munnar, Kerala;

Mode of transport: Car; Route decided Chennai-Trichy-Madurai-Munnar

Cochin

50 – Things to do in Cochin / Kochi

When I decided to do a “things to do” article on Kochi; I never thought I could come up with such an exhaustive list. And I know for a fact that even this is not complete! If you know of something that is not mentioned in this post, feel free to add in your inputs in the comments section 🙂