Planning for Kerala trip, can be, NO, is daunting, I hear you!
Especially if you’re a tourist, you have a lot on your plate.
[Nowadays, a tourist and a traveler have a clear differentiation, Google it!]
Back to story,
To take you on a 7 days Kerala tour, through my journey, is what i plan to do via this post. So, be ready to experience and MAKE NOTES of what you should do in Kerala when on a tour.
UPDATE: I’m a full time traveler now, but when i started i was a TOURIST, like most of you.
So here’s the story of a trip, when i was a tourist:
I have always wanted to visit the pristine beaches and explore the marvel of Kerala, so I hurriedly booked my tickets and headed to the Indira Gandhi National Airport for a 7 Days & 6 Nights Trip to be precise.
Day 1: Experience at Cochin
I reached the land of chronicles, Cochin at 9:10 a.m. via Indigo airlines. I checked into Hotel Keys after an hour and found the hotel calm and quiet. I have heard lots of the fantastic spa of the hotel, so I decided to give it a try, and after signing into my room, I headed directly to one of their spas.
The three hours that I spent there was worth every penny and with every tired muscle in my body jazzed up. I felt surprisingly energized after the sensational therapy and was ready to commence my week long adventure.
First on list was Fort Kochi, the fish casting only brought pleasure to my sense of smell. However, there was a scenic view that couldn’t be ignored. My eyes could see setting Sun shadowing the ships at the horizon.
The slippery sand underneath my feet didn’t let me fully enjoy the beach. But i wasn’t disappointed because Fort Cochin isn’t famous for its beach, it is however, a Port that facilitates export and import of goods from overseas, that’s why i previously mentioned about ships .
Where To Stay: Hotel Keys
Other Places to visit: Cherai Beach, Mattancherry Palace, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, St. Francis CSI Church, Indo-Portuguese Museum, and Ernakulum Shiva Temple
Food to eat: Appam, Kaalan, and Meen Curry.
Day 2: Folklore Museum + Athirapally Waterfalls
I started my Morning with Buffet Breakfast at Hotel Keys. Hotel had plethora of items to choose from, but i chose to savor Kerala’s native dish, Idli-Sambar , followed by watermelon juice and Coffee, 30 min later.
Our driver Ajin, a native of Alleppey, Kerala, asked us to get ready asap because that day was going to be hectic. We began feeding our exploration with Folklore Museum, indulging in the antique collection of the place.
Free photography wasn’t allowed, so i paid.
Although inside the Folklore Museum, local artisans had plenty of traditional artifacts to sell, but they were too expensive to buy. Besides ,you can get those in local markets for cheap.
After having Lunch we headed towards Athirapally Waterfalls, about 3 hrs drive from Cochin.
Vehicles aren’t allowed about 1-2 Km before the exact location of Falls, so wear comfortable shoes. Besides, it’s not just about walking down kms, the road that snakes down to Athirapally falls, is muddy and full of rocks.
But once you reach the falls, all your efforts pay off. The experience brings only bliss. This is one of a kind, where you even don’t have to step into water to get fully drenched.
Tip: Do wear something that can dry out soon. Believe me the falls can swamp you for no reason.
Read more about Athirapally here.
While Coming back, it took us 4 hours to reach back to Hotel Keys, Cochin. We had no idea traffic could be so annoying in Kerala.
Day 3: UpHills – Munnar
Start early, if you wish to enjoy the road to Munnar!. The uphill town has much to offer than you can imagine. I had heard that kerala = Greenery, but I was surprised to watch the actual green valleys glistening with the sun rays.
Munnar has always been one of the best tourist attractions in Kerala. I, however, couldn’t enjoy every bit of it, since one terrible mosquito imbibed me with Chikungunya fever. But, i did go for a few things that i could manage to do, for instance, visiting Tea Museum, Hydro Park etc.
Here’s how the Tea Estate look on a outcast morning:
In the evening, I managed to halt at a Theatre to watch Kalaripayattu and Kathakali dance. The energy those “Martial Artists” had was quite equal to those of the fighters in real war. I felt i would soon be drenched in blood if i enter that battlefield, lol. However, their swords and other tools weren’t sharped, reality check!
When in Munnar, do visit Punarjani Traditional Village
Here’s the schedule of the Program at “Punarjani Traditional Village, Munnar”
It all begins at 4:00 PM,
- Kathakali Make-up: You get to see how they dress up and make- up they apply – 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM
- Cultural Documentary: 4: 30 PM to 5:00 PM
- Kalaripayattu Show From 5:00 PM to 6:00PM
Here’s a Pic for you to help you make your decision:
Here’s another one for you:
Where To Stay: Clouds Valley Hotel; Staying at this hotel, in the main city, made it possible for us to have a view of the valleys through the window.
Things to do on a 7 Days Kerala Tour: Explore some of the amazing travel destinations of Munnar like Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi, Hydro Park, Fun Forest, Tea Museum, Attukad Waterfalls, Spices Park and Wonder Valley.
What’s in lunch?: The Sadya lunch with several curries and payasam appeased my stomach and soul.
Read my full post on “What to do in Munnar” here.
Day 4 of 7 Days Kerala Tour dedicated to “Thekkady”
Start early morning from Munnar and you’ll find yourself in Thekkady in no time. KIDDING!!…Umm..it should take you about 4 hrs to reach from former to latter.
My heart was dancing in excitement to visit the incredible Periyar National Park, the same day.
And then something happened…WANT TO KNOW, WHAT?
Plan changed, lol..HA HA
For lunch, I traveled straight to the kerala’s best hotel’s restaurant (Hotel Vista) and the Pazham Pori served to me won my heart. The hotel service and staffs were very enthusiastic and cooperative taking utmost care of my luxurious stay.
I spent some time filming and challenged my capabilities with Border Hiking and Bamboo Rafting in the wildlife reserve. I had an amazing experience traversing the beautiful park and also spotted a deer, two tigers, and herd of elephants. Hiking in Kerala is not a hyped thing, it is like a daily errand, for most of the people. For, photographers & travelers, ofcourse, hiking is inevitable.
When in Thekkady, do go for “The Elephant Ride” & “Jeep Safari”
Our guide took us to a place famous for for Elephant ride, which is one of the most wanderlust thing you should do in Thekkady, Kerala.
Elephants in Kerala are well fed, and regularly taken for bath. They are like family members. Loved, nurtured, and taught social manners.
To illustrate one such manner; most elephants would raise his trunk whenever his trainer or rather father asked him to. The elephant we were riding, greeted us so well that it almost felt like we were kings.
Here’s a pic for you: and yes, I still had CHIKUNGUNYA!
Next was, Jeep Safari!..I have to say this was the most THRILLING EXPERIENCE, i had on my trip to Kerala. The road was muddy and slippery, but our driver made no excuses and was as rustic as the roads. For him, rain was boon, and we were praying for our lives. Each time our jeep took a leap over the rocks on the road, we felt next second we would be falling into the colony of Tribals (Adivasis) of Kerala.
But reaching top of the hill, i felt the journey was much needed,
The picture will explain, why?:
Place to stay: Hotel Vista
Things to do on a 7 Days Kerala Tour: The spectacular Periyar, Border Hiking, Bamboo Rafting, Elephant Shower, Elephant Ride, Jeep Safari etc
Day 5: The Houseboat relaxation, at The Alleppey:
Continuing with my lovely holiday, I arrived at Alleppey after a 4 hr drive. By now, i had lost all my energy owing to high fever but i was still enthusiastic. Alleppey will MESMERIZE you!. It is often called “venice of the east”.
Ummmm…i honestly don’t have the right words to explain, why you should go to Alleppey?
Here it begins:
We reached Ramada Hotel around 10 AM in the morning after a 4 hour ride from Thekkady. Freshened up and headed towards the coast where all the boats, opss, HOUSEBOATS, were anchored.
Were keen to find our boat, our driver coordinated with the driver, and finally we found it!
To my surprise, my boat appeared quite lean & compact as compared to the other ones. I thought, did i not pay enough to the tour agent.
Well, there are two things to mention here:
- If you are two or less, you’d be allotted a smaller boat by your tour planner, so do tell them to book a bigger boat for you.
- Smaller boats have one bedroom, a sitting area, a kitchen and one washroom.
Bigger boats are premium ones, so they make you feel premium.
When in Houseboat, do check the bathroom!
Tip: Since our boat was smaller compared to almost all the other boats sailing in the backwaters, the water almost managed to reach out toilets. That was gross, but our boat driver managed to solve the issue in no time. However, i would ask you people to peak in your washrooms before you step into the houseboat.
Houseboats are a must on a 7 days kerala tour.
After all the rustic experience, Alappuzha Backwaters would take away all the tension in a couple of minutes. You would see the life of locals for whom the only mode of transportation is “Ferries” and “Personal Boats”. You would park your boat to get down and fetch a “Biscuit”, or a “Raw Coconut” etc. After two hours or so, you’d be taken into the open waters, and you are surrounded by the others boats and WATER!
Here is what it looks like:
Read more about “Backwaters Alleppey” here
Day 6 of 7 days Kerala Tour belongs to “Kovalam”
Kovalam was my next location on Kerala adventure, and I signed into Uday Samudra Beach Hotel at 1 PM after my astounding journey from Alleppey to Kovalam via road.
In the evening, we visited the Lighthouse beach, and some breathtaking palm backed beaches like the Samudra beach, the Hawa and Samudra beach park enjoying the serenity and exquisiteness of the beaches.
At about 1 AM, we leveraged the open gates to the Uday Samudra beach. On a dark night, vision the horizon, where ships are sailing, and the Moon is rising. Well, ships have lights!.
Tip: In the morning, do remember to #Yogaonthebeach!
Next afternoon, we spent an hour at the Sagarika Marine Research Aquarium, and Hatchery and the diverse variety of the fishes, turtles, crabs, and lobsters present there was enthralling. The place also boasts a collection of starfishes and corals making it a prominent tourist spot.
When in Kovalam, do visit Kovalam beach, and enjoy watching kids who have befriended water.
Other Things to do on a 7 Days Kerala Tour: Bagavathi Amman Temple, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, and Padmanabhapuram Palace, Vattakottai Fort, Mathur Aqueduct and other beautiful sites.
Where to stay?: Uday Samudra (Their Buffet Dinner is worth savoring)
Day 7: Planned for Poovar!…But what happened?
Plan change, lol!!..This time owing to Strike in Kerala. I missed Poovar, but it is said, that Strikes are taken very seriously in Kerala, so don’t even think of bribing someone to take you on an adventure.
If you wish you could travel to “KanyaKumari”.
Conclude at Trivandrum: Hotel Keys
I ended my journey by traveling to the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum and stayed at Hotel Keys and had an amazing spa experience again at the beautiful hotel. I went to Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Napier Museum, Attukal temple, Kowidar Palace and Shankumugham beach.
I boarded my flight from Trivandrum International Airport with my heart content, having enthralling memories. Kerala truly rejuvenates the body and soul.
This was a brief of my 7 Days Kerala Tour, do comment if you have been to Kerala. What experiences you have had. Would love to read and reply!
Do comment or share if you liked it and have anything to say!!