Trip to Kerala with wife- August 2016

#1 Aug 27th, 2016, 01:07
Join Date:
Apr 2011
Location:
Dilli
Posts:
712
  • drk is offline
#1
Glimpses before we begin the narration:

Kanyakumari:



Trivandrum:


Varkala:


Kollam:


Allepy:


Kumarakom:


Cochin:


Kathakali:

Athirapally:


Thrissur:



Prologue:

I am a biker, and for a long time, I was planning a bike trip to the Western Ghats of Kerala and Karnataka in the monsoons.
Yet, it so happened that I ended up converting the ten day bike trip from Trivandrum to Nagpur,
to a six day trip, with wife, by public transport, covering Kerala.
We explored the state as locals,
roamed around, without plans,
and were left speechless as this land showed us some of its hidden treasures.
This is how it happened.

We landed at Trivandrum airport at 1 30 am on 20th August, 2016.
A friend of mine was in the same flight and she asked us to come along with her till Kanyakumari,
from where we could start our trip.
The idea looked good as we could catch the sun rising from the Bay of Bengal.
So together, we moved towards Kanyakumari at top speed,
and after dropping her at home,
we reached the Cape at 4 am.
There was still time for rthe sun to rise,
yet, the place had a lot of people who were on a pilgrimage to this town.
I clicked some photos to kill time,
and at 4 30, we went to the temple of the Virgin Godess- Kanyakumari.
One has to remove their shirts before getting in,
something which I would be doing often on visits to other temples in the coming days.
Last time I visited Kanyakumari, I gave the temple a miss,
as there was a long queue for the darshan.
This time at 4 30 am, the place was relatively empty,
and really peaceful.
After coming out,
we waited for the sun to rise,
killing more time taking pics,
and noticing how the lights at the rock memorial are switched on and off at dawn.
The constellation orion was just above the rock memorial,
and soon after, the horizon became orange.
The presence of clouds dimmed our hope of seeing the sun,
and as we were about to leave,
we saw the sun rising,
conches blew from the rock memorial,
people rejoiced with joy and the sun rapidly came up from the sea,
as if in a hurry, getting late for its journey across the sky.
We moved towards the railway station to catch the 6 50 train,
which would take us to Trivandrum.

We had left from Nagpur- in the centre of the country, at 9 pm,
and now, after 9 hours,
we had reached the southernmost tip of the country, roamed around and were returning.
This was quick.

The train was going till Mumbai,
but our destination was Trivandrum.
We caught some sleep in the train,
and were agile and awake when we moved out of the railway station at Trivandrum.
After breakfast,
we walked towards Padmanabhaswamy temple-
the temple famous for its stores of gold.
there is a lot of police now securing the temple premises,
and after the mandatory change of dress to a mundu and nothing above waist,
I got inside the temple.
The exterior of the temple is in Dravidian style, with gopurams.
The inner sanctum is in Kerala style.
The temple is beautiful but unfortunately, photography isn't allowed.
The idol is of Lord Vishnu, lying on the serpant Anantha-
thus giving the deity its name- Padmanabhaswamy Ananthashayanam.
The city also derives its name from the temple- Thiru Anantha Puram- The land of Anantha Padmanabhaswamy.
From here, we went to the Napier Museum.
Named after the then Governor of Madras- and still not renamed,
the building houses many beautiful bronze idols, stone idols and idols carved out of wood and ivory.
In fact, the ivory carvings at this place are among the most beautiful peices carved out of ivory.
The Museum also has a large wooded temple chariot,
and other things carved from wood, many centuries ago.

Nearby, is a hidden treasurehouse-
the Shree Chitra Art Gallery-

Raja Ravi Varma's paintings need no introduction,
and this art gallery has the biggest collection of his paintings.
From small paintings to life size and even larger portraits, scenes depicting everyday life- of royals and commoners,
all such paintings can be seen here.
Besides, there is a collection of paintings by Nocholas Roerich and his son,
and some other paintings.
The place was peaceful and calm,
and visiting it was a fulfilling experience.

From here, we decided to conclude our stay and Trivandrum and move northwards.
Varkala was our destination,
and we took a bus going Northwards,
which would drop us to Kalambalam, near Varkala.
We could have taken the train as well, which is a quicker way to reach Varkala,
yet, wanting to see the roads as well, we took the bus.

Highways in Kerala are non- existent,
and even National highways here are narrower than district roads in some states.
The reason is lack of space and high population density,
Yet, we did not find traffic jams anywhere.
The traffic is disciplined and that is how, they still manage with roads that are a fraction of what we are used to seeing.
Since the state has achieved zero population growth,
they would probably survive in spite of these roads,
provided that public transport retains its popularity.

One striking feature in Kerala is the beautiful houses.
each and every house looked beautifully designed, spacious and colourful.
The choice of paints is vivid and tasteful,
and one is amazed by the kind of homes that one sees, everywhere in the state.
This is probably indicative of the remittances from the Gulf,
and the importance given to building a house by the locals.
After getting a connecting bus from Kalambalam,
we reached Varkala bus stand,
and started walking towards the beach.
Meanwhile, I had booked a hotel room online,
and we reached there after a fifteen minute walk through the lanes of this quaint little town.
The Hotel was bang on the Papanasham beach,
with a swimming pool and poolside restaurant.
The room has a beautiful view of the beach,
and I was glad to chose this place.
We caught a nap and woke up hours later,
realizing that we had missed the sunset.
Yet, this seemed to be a place where we wanted to spend more time,
and decided that we would stay for more than a day.
In fact, at the reception,
it was written- 'Learn the art of slowing down',
and we were learning it too fast I guess.
So finally, Kerala managed to slow down our frantic pace,
and the remaining vacation went on a very leisurely pace,
enabling us to soak ourselves in the experiences that Kerala offered.
Last edited by drk; Aug 27th, 2016 at 12:40..
#2 Aug 28th, 2016, 15:16
Join Date:
Jul 2014
Location:
Tokyo, Japan
Posts:
380
  • miyu is offline
#2
Is very nice the photos. Did you book hotels in advance ?

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