Unveiling the Historic Reminiscences in Fort Kochi

Kerala, the southernmost state in India grabs travelers from various corners of the world. The state is known for its captivating beauty. Outstanding culture and traditions make the state unique and charming. The state comprises historic places like palaces, museums, and galleries. Nature has showered its marvelous blessings by providing the cerulean seas, tranquil rivers, shallow backwaters, traditional houseboats sailing in the undisturbed lakes, stunning species of fauna and flora, bare misty mountains enveloped with lush green plantations of tea and spices and many more. More than the natural resources it is the pleasing climate that pulls the nature enthusiasts from Ahmedabad, Surat, and Mumbai to tour the state. The present world is so busy that people have no time to spend on their personal needs and desires. Most of them are tired and exhausted with their hectic busy schedules. Availing the packages of Ayurveda therapies will help you to rejuvenate and unwind. The state has always been the favorite destination among travel enthusiasts. Kerala is a perfect place to learn about the ancient colonial days, ritual and traditional art forms, palaces and many more. Thousands of travelers flock to the state to learn its spectacular beauty.

Kerala, when we hear the word the first thing which comes into our mind is the tall coconut trees oscillating in the cool breeze. It is the only state in India where coconut trees are seen in abundance and that is the reason why the state got the name (‘Kera’-coconut tree). Not only the scenic surroundings but also the generous mentality of the common people make the state ‘god’s own country’. The secluded hill stations, sun-kissed beaches provide the best moments to enjoy some quality time with dear ones. The national parks and wildlife sanctuaries shelter rare species of animals and trees. To tour the amazing wildlife many globetrotters from Hyderabad flew to Kerala by purchasing packages from eminent travel companies. The state is blessed with 14 astonishing districts. Each district differs from each other in many aspects such as natural resources, technology, and amenities. Irrespective of aspects each district cordially welcomes travelers for discovering the hidden gem. As mentioned each district has own specialties, the Ernakulum district which is an upcoming metropolitan city in Kerala has something to tell the world. By strolling through the following paragraphs you will learn more about the district and its peculiarities.

 Describing one whole district in a document is not possible. Hence this essay is dedicating on the special touches of Fort Kochi. Have you seen the popular Malayalam movie called ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’? people who have seen the movie at least once will never forget the location. Unlike other movies the Fort Kochi the place where it was shot acts as a main role in the movie. Fort Kochi is the place in Ernakulum that still maintains its ancient vibes and tells how it was in the olden days. It is an amalgamation of ancient and present amenities. People of all generations love to flock to the place to celebrate their special days like the New Year celebrations. It is the perfect place for night parties and many more. Before understanding the present conditions let us have a glimpse of its past. Fort Kochi was once ruled by the Chinese traders. It is believed that the word Cochin has been derived from the Chinese people i.e. Co-Chin. The spectacular monuments and building built-in Chines architectural style depict the influence of Chinese in Kerala. Followed to Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch were the other merchants who visited the place for various s trade purposes. Fort Kochi is a perfect instance of the rise and fall of European administration. The main destinations in Fort Kochi are as follows.

  1. Chinese Fishing Nets

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Chinese Fishing Nets were introduced to Kerala by the famous explorer called Zheng He during 1350 AD and 1450 AD. It would be difficult to believe that these fishing nets are still in use. To use the functioning of the Chinese fishing nets travelers are requested to visit the place either early morning or evening.  It is the time when the fishermen throw the nets into the sea for grabbing their earning. Chinese fishing nets are called as ‘cheennavala’. It is 20 m wide and 10 m long and it is operated with the help of counterweight stones and cantilever.

  1. Fort Kochi Beach

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Strolling through the Fort Kochi Beach, one could witness the golden rays of sunrise and sunsets. Traversing the streets one could capture the stupendous pictures of historical events and monuments. One could see the most ravishing images of Chinese fishing nets. Also, travelers could copy the stunning picture of the first-ever built fort called Emmanuel fort by the Portuguese. Tourists can engage themselves by indulging in various activities like fishing, boating, beach photography and dolphin sighting. While riding in the boat one can come across various small islands.

  1. St. Francis Church

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It is one of the oldest churches built by the Portuguese. It was initially made from mud and water. The church was later conquered by the Dutch and followed to its Anglican Church. It is situated on the premises of the famous Emmanuel Fort. Till now the church has undergone several modifications but still, it maintains the ancient vibes and beauty. The church shelters the cenotaph of great martyrs of Kochi and the burial ground of well-renowned Vasco Da Gama before taking to Portuguese.

  1. Kashi Art Café

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It is the perfect place to hang out with friends and families. Foreigners on their Kochi expedition flock to the Kashi Café to savor mouthwatering delicacies like the chicken burger, mushroom burger and so on. It is an exquisite place for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. While relishing the dishes travelers can also enjoy the various arts exhibited over there.

  1. Pepper House Café

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People who have seen the famous Malayalam movie called ‘Premam’ will not forget the popular cake shop run by the hero. The cake shop in the movie is actually the well-renowned Pepper house café. The place gained much fame through the movie. Along with the restaurants the place also hosts jewelry, clothes, and stationery shops for travelers to buy souvenirs for their dear ones.

The other notable attractions in Fort Kochi are Kerala Kathakali center, Pierce Leslie Bungalow, Princess Street Kochi, Vasco Da Gama Square and many more. To make your travel more comfortable avail of packages from the Lelagoon holidays. They formulate by giving keen importance to customer’s desires and needs.

A Few Salient Features of Agasthyarkoodam – The Breathtaking Peak in Kerala

Kerala is a gift of the Arabian Sea. The state is abundantly blessed with natural resources. It is also called as ‘God’s own country’ and no wonder why the state has been bejewelled with the title. The marvellous beauty of the state lures travellers from various parts of the world. Words are insufficient to express the beauty of the state. The meandering rivers bubbling over rocks, sparkling waterfalls flowing through the thickly populated woodlands, undisturbed backwaters, avalanching movement of sand in pristine beaches, emerald forest ornamented with wilderness and tweaks of birds, magnificent bowl-shaped valleys and awe-inspiring mountains blanketed with the lush green carpets of tea and coffee plantations and many more. One whole essay would not be enough to beautify the charm of the state. The state is adorned with many historic monuments and herbal rejuvenation centers. Most of the foreigner avails of tour packages for participating in various kinds of Ayurveda treatments. The climate of Kerala is favourable not only to Indians but also to people from other nations. It is being a decade that the state started to give prominence to the tourism sector. And as part of enhancing tourism sectors, many disquieting hill stations and historic streets were being unveiled. Thousands of travellers visit the state by purchasing the packages for a cheap price to explore the magnificent gem hidden in unexplored parts of Kerala. Kerala is a haven for adventure lovers. The breathtaking hill stations and offers immense chances to improve their skills in trekking and rock climbing. It is not possible to describe each and every sparkling destination of the state with its peculiarities. I would like to dedicate this essay to explain the salient features of the famous hill called Agasthyarkoodam.

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Agastyarkoodam hill is the second tallest peaks in Kerala. It is situated in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. It is one of the utterly bare and precipitous hill stations in Kerala. It is situated in the premises of Neyyar Wildlife sanctuary with a height of 1868 m. The hill is known as Pothigai Malai hill in Tamil Nadu. The slopes of the hills are blanketed with purple orchids. The hill shelters to various types of birds. Famously the hill is known for trekking but most of the Hindu believers consider the hill as a pilgrimage. On the top of the hill one could find a statue of Agasthya sage withholding a stone crusher on one hand and a bowl of medicines on other hands.  Worshipers climb to the top and offer prayers to him. He belongs to one of the seven sages (Saptarishis) of Hindu ideology. He is considered the father of Indian traditional medicines and Tamil literature. The surroundings of the hill are occupied with a tribal community called ‘Kanis’. They are engaged in various activities conducted by the forest department.

The Story Behind the Agasthyarkoodam Hill

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For long years women were not allowed to climb to the top of the hill as the Agasthya muni was celibate i.e. Bhramachary and intervention of women will affect the purity of the mountain. But 2 years ago the ban on women climbing the hill was removed and in January 2019 the first lady to conquer the mountain was Dhanya Sanal. Followed to her 100 women registered their names for trekking to the Agasthyarkoodam hill. There is also a story revolving around the hill is when all the sages (munis or maharishis) went to Himalaya for attending the wedding of Lord Shiva and Lord Parvathi the tilt to one side. Then Lord Shiva insisted Agasthya Muni to go the southern portion and balance the earth. He obeyed the commands. Gradually he liked the place and decided to reside there.

Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam Hills

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Unlike other hills in Kerala, you can plan out trekking to Agasthyarkoodam hill when you wished to do. As aforementioned the hill is dedicated to Agasthya sage and hence trekking on it is possible only in the month of January i.e. the trekking routes will be opened on Makaravilaku till Shivarathri. Actually there are two routes that lead to the hill. First is through the Neyyar wildlife sanctuary and that is closed and the second route is Bonacaud village. The village is situated 69 km from the Trivandrum International Airport. So travellers coming from Delhi, Punjab, and Bangalore can either travel in local transport or can purchase the tour packages from Dream Holidays and the tour guides will guide you to the village. Trekking the hill will require three days. Before reaching the Bonacaud village trekkers have to avail of an entry pass of INR 500. Per day 100 pass will be issued. The issuing of passes will be started a couple of days before the Makaravilaku. Trekkers can purchase online also.

Itinerary for Trekking

  • 1st-day Bonacaud – Athiramula Base Camp

Travellers will have to reach the Bonacaud base by 7 am. It will take around for registration and verification. Do not forget to carry the necessary identity cards. Collect the food coupons and purchase the water bottles. You can start your trekking by 8 am. It will take 6 hrs to reach the Athiramula base camp. Over there you can rest and encash your coupon and satiate your hunger. After refreshing, you can stroll through the jungle. Do not make a loud noise as it will disturb the animals. You can build a camp and can spend your night in it. The canteen in the base camp works from 6.30 am to 8.30 pm, therefore, collect the food coupons for the next day before you sleep.

  • 2nd-day Athiramula Base Camp- Agasthayrkoodam Hill

After having light breakfast you can continue your trekking to the hill. It will take approximately 5 hrs to reach the top of the hill. On reaching the top of the hill you can capture the pictures of serene nature and soak yourself in nature’s bliss. Don’t forget to pack your lunch. Spend a few hours on the hill and return your journey before the sunsets. You can rest in the tent in the Athriamulla base camp.

  • 3rd-day Athiramulla Base Camp – Bonacaud

Followed to the breakfast travellers can descend to the village. It will take 6 hrs to reach the slope. From there you can return to your hometown. If you are new to Thiruvananthapuram you can visit the historic places of the district before concluding the trip.

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Dream Holidays are one such travel operator in Kerala that curates special packages for adventure enthusiasts. If you have any concerns regarding the same without any hesitation you can contact their customer representatives.

Mango Meadows – An exquisite place for children and couples

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It is always said that life changes when you get married. And it is true in my case. I was just recollecting my old days when my mother used to wake me up early in the morning. Even though I have an alarm in my room I just open my eyes to stop it. Again I will cover my face with the blanket and enjoy my sleep. Those olden days were the glorious days of my life. And it is not for me alone…. It is the same for each and everyone who is reading this blog. In my deep sleep, I was recollecting my school, and college days where I wholly depended on my mother for every minute thing. She would be always busy in the kitchen in the early morning but whenever I call her… she would run to me to solve my issues… suddenly I felt like something was crawling on me… and it continued for a minute …. I thought it would be some ant… therefore I did not open my eyes and continued to be part of the dream… but something again interrupted me …. But this time it was not the ant but something else… someone was hitting with a hard material… without any second thought, I decided to uncover myself and to my surprise, it was my second child beating me with his water bottle… he is the only person in our house who wakes up so early that many a time even if we forget to set the alarm he will be there to wake up us…. thank God for gifting him for us… by the time my husband woke up and we together sort out all the household chores… later we both got ready for our office… he used to drop me to the office everyday…. That day I shared my dream that I saw in the morning and old school days with my husband…. I really miss those days I told him…. I expressed my wish to go back to the olden days…. for a moment he remained silent… and then told that we can plan an exotic vacation during the summer holidays. I was thrilled… he asked me to find a fascinating destination for us as well as for kids.

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As we both had a shortage of leaves I did not surf any places outside Kerala. More than the duration of the trip it is the way how much we enjoy it… therefore we decided to search places in Kerala itself… many places came into my mind…. at first we decided to plan a stunning trip to hill stations like Munnar…but when I discussed the same to my hubby.. he said that it will be boring for kids…as our kids are too small and they cannot enjoy the adventurous activities… then we thought of amusement parks…but over there only kids can enjoy and we will have to look after them and we will not be able to celebrate the trip in our own way… even spending more than an hour on the computer we were not able to finalize the destination…hence with disappointment, we shut down the system… to refresh my mind I started to spend some time surfing social media sites …. suddenly I came across the family pictures of my friend … she and her family had an amazing vacation somewhere in Kerala…after zooming one of the pictures I got the name of the place… it is the Mango Meadows… it is for the first time I am hearing the place… I showed the same to my hubby… he found it interesting and asked me to inquire about it to her… the very next day I contacted her … and asked about the place…she told me that it is the Mango Meadows in Kottayam. It is the biodiversity park and best place for vacationing… she gave me their contact numbers… before ending the call I ask her whether the park is suitable for couples she replied that the park is suitable for both couples as well as for kids… there are separate sections for kids and adults. Therefore we availed of the family tour packages from Gogeo Holidays. The name of the travel operator was suggested by my friend… we utilized the online services.

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It took nearly two hours to reach the Mango Meadows. It is situated in Kadathuruthy in Kottayam district. It is one of the largest biodiversity parks in the world. The park is sprawled in an area of 30 acres with more than 4500 varieties of trees and various species of birds and animals could be seen there. It was Mr. Kurian’s dream to build an amusing agricultural and he took 14 years to accomplish his dream. As my friend told the park comprises separate sections for couples and kids. For kids, there are amusement parks and for couples, there is a special place called ‘valentine’s corner’ and only married couples are permitted to enter. As we both were busy we hardly found time to spend with each other and this valentine’s corner really helped us to spend some quality time. We indulged in many activities like badminton, cycling, shooting, pedal boating and may more. For more than a decade it was for the first time I was riding the bicycle… It took half an hour to regain the cycle balance. And we also had a cycle competition. And in that our kids defeated us. Followed to it we played badminton too… by noon we savoured traditional Kerala foods in their restaurant the food was served in a long banana leaf. Over there we saw many families coming from various parts of India as well as foreign countries by availing of the family tour package. It is the traditional custom of Kerala to serve food on banana leaf…it was a new experience for many of the non-Keralites. Followed to it we visited the sacred grove called ‘sarpakavu’… It is the place where serpents were protected. Then we moved to the ‘Nakshtraval’ it is the place where you can find trees corresponding to your zodiac signs. Many of the foreigners found it difficult to identify the trees related to their birth star and I helped them. It was a proud moment for me. We clicked on many lovely photographs. In the night we opted for treehouse to refresh. It was a mind-blowing experience for us. It was for the first time we spend a night in the midst of trees. As aforementioned it was our son who wakes up early in the morning. On that day it was the melodious chirp that called us back from the deep sleep. A one day tour really gifted us life long memories. We are really thankful to the Gogeo Holidays for organizing such a wonderful trip and also to our friend for suggesting this place.