Search

backwaterbreaks.com

Kerala backwaters

Category

travel destinations

What is a deluxe houseboat service and how to book it?

Kerala Houseboats

It was in the year 1991 that the Kettuvallam Houseboat (Rice Boat) ( Read More: https://goo.gl/WAuEME ) for comfortable cruise in the backwaters of Kerala was first launched. Most of the latest designs incorporate 3 bedrooms with toilets, a living space and kitchen. There are two main types of houseboat Services offered in the Alleppey Backwater: The deluxe houseboat service and the premium houseboat service. Each varying according to the kind of services offered, ranging from the availability of the Air conditioning to the kind of flexibility with the food on board.There are several variations ranging from lesser rooms to large living space and maybe a deck balcony at the roof level. Normally, the platforms that cantilever from the hull are used as balconies. Innovative changes have been made to accommodate modern fittings. For fixing the toilet seats, shower tray and ceramic floor finish a concrete slab is laid at the floor level. These toilets are made of steel cabinets with a network of steel meshes on which beneficial bacteria are grown with the help of a catalyst named actizyme.

One of the three main types of Houseboat Service frequently used in the backwater tourism is the Deluxe Houseboat Service: To provide this service, a houseboat must include facilities such as front living area and bedrooms with a beautiful wooden ceiling with overlapping logs to give it a contemporary feel. The bedrooms of the deluxe A/c Houseboat often have complete glass windows stretching across most of the wall to offer the guests a complete and uninterrupted view of the backwaters while travelling. It is  less expensive, with the air conditioning operational between the time 9pm to 6 am, and a common menu during the night cruise. During a day cruise on a deluxe houseboat service cruise, the air condition service would not be available since it is usually operational between 9 PM to 6 AM..

An Approximate Sample Menu Onboard Houseboats

Deluxe Non Veg Menu Deluxe Pure Veg Menu
Welcome drink

LUNCH

Rice

Sambar

Mixed Vegetables Thoran (Carrot, Cabbage, Beans)

Mezhukupurathy (Long Beans)

Fish Fry (Pearl Spot / Seer Fish)

Banana Kalan

Pappadam

Salad

Pickle

Tropical seasonal fruit

EVENING

Coffee or Tea, Banana Fritters

DINNER

Chappati

Dal Curry

Chicken Roast

Vendakka Mezhukupurathy

White Rice and Raitha

Salad

BREAKFAST

Tea /Coffee

Bread, Jam, Butter, Omlette.  OR

Iddly, Sambar. (By default) OR

Dosa, Sambar. OR

Poori Masala. OR

Idiyappam and Kadala Curry / Egg Roast. OR

Appam and Vegetable Curry / Egg Roast. OR

Puttu and Kadala Curry

Welcome drinkLUNCH

Rice

Sambar

Mixed Vegetables Thoran (Carrot, Cabbage, Beans)

Mezhukupurathy (Long Beans)

Banana Kalan

Pappadam

Salad

Pickle

Payasam-Vermicelli

Tropical seasonal fruit

EVENING

Coffee or Tea, Banana Fritters

DINNER

Chappati,

Dal Curry

Aloo Gobi

Cabbage White Thoran

Vegetable Salad

White Rice and Raitha

Vendakka Mezhukupurathy

BREAKFAST

Tea /Coffee

Bread, Jam, Butter.  OR

Iddly, Sambar. (By default) OR

Dosa, Sambar. OR

Poori Masala. OR

Idiyappam and Kadala Curry OR

Appam and Vegetable Curry  OR

Puttu and Kadala Curry

The menu usually varies according to customer preferences and the cruise owners often go out of the way to make sure that the travellers’ taste preferences are catered to, to a great extent.

Book your houseboats cruise with www.backwaterbreaks.com

Advertisements

Different Things To Do in Kochi

The scenic city, Kochi is located on the southwest coast of India, Kerala. A port since the ancient times, the city has been touch of Arab, Chinese and European influence. The city reflects of these influence through its motley architecture, customs and so on. Some of the interesting things to do while on a trip to Kochi are as follows:

1. Visit the Kathakali Center
baner3
The Kerala kathakali centre popularly known as school  of traditional arts established in Kochi since 1994 is the kerala’s foremost arts school and an authentic theatre where kathakali,music,martial arts and other dance forms are demonstrated in traditional style extolling the rich culture and experience of the Kerala’s art forms. They offer performances as well as classes for those interested.

2. Boat ride

houseboatThe state of Kerala is renowned for its backwaters and one among them is the backwaters, offering a pleasurable experience with the presence of water birds, wildflowers and lush greenery along its banks. The backwaters separating Ernakulam from Fort Kochi and Mattanchery are dotted with several small and mid-sized islands.

3. Exploring and Shopping in Fort Kochi

Promenade-shops

The little picturesque town is dotted with European heritage and a cosmopolitan temperament. The best way to explore is by walking through and discovering the Chinese fishing nets, the St Francis Church which once housed Vasco Da Gama’s grave, the trendy restaurants and little cafes and of course, some lovely boutique shopping. It’s a tourist friendly spot, with lots of foreigners as well as locals.

4. Pilgrimage

049130210kuravilangad_Main_thumb

Kerala has a variegated belief system influenced by its historical and cultural inheritance inclusive of a touch of the foreign influence. Worshipped religions include Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and plenty more. Kochi provides a small glimpse into its diverse belief system with a plethora of places for pilgrimage and spiritual enlightenment.

Read more : Top 21 religious places to visit in Kerala

5. Bike Tours

3

One of the most trending ways to view this beautiful land is the adventurous biking and cycling tours of Kerala. There are many in the market offering a variety of bike and cycle tours all over the city.

Read More: Bike and Cycle tours in India

6. Kochi Biennale

Kochi-biennale-boatThe Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi, Kerala. It is the first Biennale being held in India. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an initiative of the Kochi-Biennale Foundation with support from the Government of Kerala . The exhibition is usually set in spaces across Kochi, Muziris and surrounding islands. The shows were held in existing galleries and halls, and site-specific installations in public spaces, heritage buildings and disused structures.

7. Kochi Carnival

3529510470_a799868d2d_bIf there is one festival the whole of Kerala impatiently awaits every year, then it’s the Cochin Carnival held in the last week of December. The city is decked up like a bride and tourists, not only from within the country, but also outside, flock to this lovely port city to participate in the revelry. The inception of carnival can be traced back to the Portuguese New Year revelry, held here during the colonial days. Gradually, it evolved to take the form of what is today popularly called the Cochin Carnival of Kerala.

Visit Backwaterbreaks.com to book your houseboat today!

Top Places to Visit in Kochi City

To obtain an eclectic flavor and perspective of Kerala , there could be nothing more exemplar than the Fort Kochi city to set your foot in first. Seasoned with all best ingredients of culture, progress, architecture, people and so on, Kochi is enriched with the cream of local and international history and thus a variety of places to visit for an enthusiastic traveller.

The following are some of the star attractions in the land of diversity and green:

Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi

Kochi city

The chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets.

Fort Kochi beach

A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a memorable experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline. The coastal stretch has loads of small stalls, which make on demand mouth-watering traditional cuisines using freshly caught fish.

St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi

It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out.

Kochi city

Vasco House, Fort Kochi

Vasco house, located on Rose Street, is believed to be one of the oldest Portuguese houses in India. Vasco da Gama is believed to have lived here. This house features European glass paned windows and verandahs.

 

Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi

kochi city

The original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and named as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists destroyed the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town, Mattancherry

Kochi city

The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers in the Kochi city. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry.

 

 

Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace), Mattancherry

The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry.

Bolghatty Palace, Bolghatty Island

Kochi city

This Dutch palace is situated on Bolghatty island which is just a short boat ride away from the mainland. The palace has been converted to a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). The island has a tiny golf course and the panoramic views of the port and the harbour, makes it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland.

Hill Palace, Tripunithura

Kochi city

Built in the 19th century by the Raja of Kochi, this palace served as the seat of the Raja of the Kochi City region. The palace has been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles showing the wealth and splendour of the Rajas of Kochi, including the thone and the crown. The musuem also houses a large collection of archaeological findings. Hill Palace is located 16km east of Cochin in Tripunithura, a satellite town of Cochin.

Palliport (Pallipuram) Fort

It is the oldest surviving European fort in India, built by the Portuguese in 1503. Its situated in Pallipuram on Vypeen island.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Kochi city

Mangalavanam is a protected bird sanctuary situated right in the heart of Kochi city. It is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory and resident birds. Mangalavanam is located right next to the High Court of Kerala.

 

Museum of Kerala History, Kalamassery

The museum has on display spectacular audio-visual exhibits depicting the history and culture of Kerala along with many life size statues of many famous personalities and several paintings depicting Kerala history.

 

Parikshith Thampuran Museum

This Rajas of Cochin used to conduct their durbars in this impressive building located within the Durbar Hall grounds. It was later converted to a museum which has a treasure trove of archaeological findings and relics including old coins, sculptures, oil paintings and murals. The building has been taken over by the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy and now houses the Gallery of Contemporary Art. All the exhibits of the museum have been moved to the Hill Palace museum.

Cherai Beach

This lovely beach ideal for swimming is located on the north end of Vypeen island, one of the many small islands just off the mainland. The beach is lined by gorgeous coconut groves and paddy fields. Vypeen can be reached by land or by boat.

Wonder La

Wonder La is South India’s largest amusement park situated 14kms from Cochin. The park includes a range of attractions including mini castles, water theme park, ferris wheel, rides, slides, shows and fountains. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the fun and activities.

Kochi city

 

Marine Drive

A stroll along the long tree-lined coastal pathway that lines the backwater is well worth the time spent, especially late afternoon or dusk. The bustling backwaters, dotted with fishing boats, speedboats, ships, tankers and passenger boats, can be observed from this walkway that lines the coast.

 

Willingdon Island

Kochi city

This man-made island in the Kochi city was created in 1933 by sand dredged while deepening the backwaters for the Cochin Port, under the direction of Sir Robert Bristow. A while back the Airport, Sea port and the railway terminus (Cochin Harbour Terminus) were situated on this island. Today, it is the home of the Cochin Port and the headquarters of the Sourthern Naval Command. The airport continues to be the naval air station, while the main airport has been moved to Nedumbassery, 30kms north-east of Cochin. Most of the trains now terminate at Ernakulam Junction instead of Cochin Harbour Terminus.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kaloor

The Nehru stadium in Kaloor in the Kochi city has a seating capacity of 60,000 in multiple tiers. It is the fourth largest stadium in India and the largest in Kerala. The ground is lit by a set of unique convex pylon floodlights that arch over the ground. The stadium is home to both the Kerala Ranji cricket team as well as FC Kochi football team.

Read more about other things you can do in Kerala: Things to do on your trip to Kochi

Book your Kerala Houseboat Cruise with: https://backwaterbreaks.com/#/

Bike and Cycle Tours in Kerala

Kerala-ST.jpgKerala, one of the well known tourist destinations in the world has time and again stayed true to its title of “God’s Own Country” with its plush green sceneries and rejuvenating aura. There is no dearth of exhilarating experiences when it comes to tourism in this green splendor of a state tucked away in the south western corner of India.

One of the most trending ways to view this beautiful land is the adventurous biking and cycling tours of Kerala. There are many in the market offering a variety of bike and cycle tours all over South India currently, especially Kerala.

Not only do they take care of the travel but also the safety and the route.If you are a solo traveller, there is no dearth of rentals offering bikes for ride. 

Following are some of the people who offer cycling or biking tours in Kerala:

Kerala Bike Tours (http://www.keralabiketours.com/) was founded in 1999.

The owner and Tour Leader Daniel, with over 100,000 miles and 20 years experience of India and her roads has refused to compromise on his core objectives; Combining a love of India, her people, scenic beauty and culture with a strong passion for motorcycling, the corners, the character and longevity of the timeless Enfield Bullet to give you.

Responsible Travel (http://www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/3750/cycling-holidays-in-kerala)

This company was started in 1999 by two friends with a passion to introduce the great outdoors of India to global travellers to India. In a shift from normal run-of-the-mill tourism, they encouraged travellers to go out and ‘feel’ the place through people, experiences and local food. From a small repertoire of tours when they started out, the company now covers the whole country in a wide canvass of activities; like bird watching, wildlife safaris and experiential journeys that involve unusual adventures in the remotest parts of the country. In the bargain, they introduced kayaking in the fascinating backwaters of Kerala, great trekking & cycling challenges across the Western Ghats and youth travel to the remotest villages amidst these mountains’.

Spiceroads (http://www.spiceroads.com/tours/kerala)

The SpiceRoads family began back in the mid 1990s, when Hamish Keith was creating, operating and leading ground breaking cycle tours throughout Thailand and in emerging destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar for well known companies such as Exodus Travels and World Expeditions and his own company the Wild Planet.

This well-planned eye-opening cycling tours provide an active immersion into local cultures, languages, scenery and, of course, the most delicious of foods. By combining legendary service and rare opportunities for cultural experiences, our travel philosophy continues to excite, enthuse, and positively impact every guest.

Mountain Bike Kerala (http://www.mountainbikekerala.com/home/our-destinations/kerala-singletrack)

The Mountain Bike Kerala began in the year 1996 and consists of a  small team of passionate MTB and cycle enthusiasts who ride and guide on the trails they love to ride. Since 2005 they have guided riders from World Champions to new enthusiasts on some of the most stunning trails on earth.

Top 21 Religious Places to Visit in Kerala

IMG_2145

Kerala is colored with a multitude of shades ranging from natural beauty to cultures and traditions. One highlight from amongst this being the revered places of worship. Not only is Kerala overrun with a plethora of floral grandeur but it is also packed with an assortment of religious splendor. Each of these places of religious pilgrimage breathe its own unique and mystic stories with roots entrenched over more than a 1000 years.

Some of the praiseworthy spiritual and  sacred places are as follows:

1.Sabarimala

7430_1416108040Sabarimala (in Pathanamthitta) – is an august Hindu site of worship, famous for its deity Lord Dharmasastha or Ayyappan  believed to son of Lord Shiva and Vishnu. The saintly god, is always in meditation, believed to give darshan only for 41 days in a year starting from 1st of Malayalam Month of Vrishickam (16 or 17th of Nov) till last week of December, which is known as Mandalam Pilgrimage. Mandalam Pilgrimage is reported to 2nd largest pilgrimage in the world, with nearly 300 million devotees from all over world reaching here. The appearance of celestial flame in skies on Makara Jyothi day (Mostly on mid of Jan), is one of the most auspicious day. This is one of the most crowded places in India during the pilgrimage season from November to January. Also, temple authorities do not allow women into the temple grounds, supposedly to avoid tempting the deity, as being the lord considered as a chronic bachelor. The temple is open only on 41 days during Mandalam (Pilgrimage) Season as well as on 1st day of each Malayalam Month. Ideally male tourists can choose the second option, as best time to visit. Ladies above 60 and girls below 12 are permitted in. The temple is well known for its secularist values. A visit to nearby mosque (Vavar Palli), considered to be tomb of Muslim warrior Vavar, believed to Lord Ayyappa’s friend, is a must before entering the main temple.

3. Guruvayur

anayottamThe Sree Krishna temple located in the Thrissur district of Kerala is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in India. The temple is one among the 108 Maha Vishnu temples of India and is is believed to constructed by Deva Guru (Guru of Gods) as well as Lord Vayu Deva (God of winds) on orders of Lord Krishna, during his death time. The temple also includes a deity worshiped by Lord Krishna during his lifetime in Dwaraka (Gujarat) and brought to Kerala, after Dwaraka was taken over by seas. The temple is lauded for its murals and sculptures. The temples follow stringent rules which prevents non-hindus from entering its premises

4. Sree Padmanabha Temple

The temple located in the heart of the Thiruvanathapuram city is one of the 108 Great Vishnu temples. The Lord, Sree Padmanabha is an unique form of Lord Vishnu, in a sleeping posture which is rarely seen else. This temple holds a very important position in Kerala History, as the Lord Sree Padmanabha was crowned as Emperor of Travancore in 17th century and all the later rulers of Travancore ruled the state in his name and with designation as Sree Padmanabhadasa(servant of lord padmanabha).

5. Ettumanoor-Vaikom-Kaduthurthy Temple:- The Trio of Temples located at Ettumanoor, Vaikom, Kaduthurthy temples (all located in same road with a distance of 20 to 30 Kms between each), in Kottayam district of Kerala, are popular Shiva temples, believed to have been established on the same day, its sacred to visit all the temples within a Day. Very famous for its large super imposing structures at Vaikom and Ettumanoor Templs. Ettumanoor Temple is also well known for its Seven and a Half Golden Elephants (Idols) which are taken out during festivals.

6. Kodungallor Temple

The temple situated in Kodungallor, Thrissur District on NH 17, is a very famous Devi temple, that highlights the historical relation between the Ancient Tamil Empires of Chera, Cholas and Pandyas. This temple is believed to have Kannakki (Heroine of Ancient Tamil epic-Silappadikaram) in a fiery form, after destroying Madurai. The temple was built in 1st century AD by Chera Emperors. Thus, many unique ancient tamil customs still adorn the temple culture. The Goddess is believed to be Goddess of Epidemic and worship helps to control it. The sacred red turmeric of the temple is said to be highly effective against diseases like chicken pox etc.

7. Churches

Some of the prominent churches are the follwing: 1. Syro malabar church (syrian catholics) 2. Latin Catholic Church 3. Syrian Orthodox Church(Jacobites) 4. Indian Orthodox Church 5. Syro malankara church 6. Marthoma syrian Church 7. Various Protestant Churches

8. Seven and Half Churches- Ezharapallikal

St Thomas the Apostle, after landing at Kodungallur in AD 52, established seven and half churches for Christian communities. These churches are known as Seven and Half Churches or Ezharappallikal.

The seven churches are located in different parts of Kerala. The church established at Thiruvithamkode (Thiruvamkode) in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu is accorded the status of a half church.

  • Paliankara- (Kodungallur – Azhikode), 40 km from Trichur: Diocese of Irinjalakuda
  • Palayoor (Near Chavakkadu & Guruvayoor), 28 km from Trichur: (Arch) Diocese of Trichur
  • Kottakavu (North Paravur): (Arch) Diocese of Ernakulam – Angamaly
  • Kokkamangalam (Alappuzha Dt, 5 km from Cherthala) St Thomas Church, This is also headquarters of Archdiocese of Ernakulam – Angamaly
  • Niranam, Nr Thiruvalla: St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Niranam (Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church)
  • Kollam: The Headquarters of Diocese of Kollam
  • Chayal (Nilackal), Nr Sabarimala, Pathanamthitta Dt: Ecumenical Church, Kerala
  • Thiruvithamkode, Kanyakumari Dt, Tamilnadu (Half church): Orthodox Syrian Church, Tamilnadu

9. Malayattoor Kurisumudi church

This is an important Christian pilgrimage centre near Angamaly. It is believed that St. Thomas held his prayer at the top of this mountain after being attacked by some tribes when he landed in Kerala. Due to his meditation, the rock where he sat started bleeding and a golden cross appeared. Due to this belief, a pilgrimage to this mountain is considered one of the most holiest among Indian Christians. The most important pilgrimage season is the days just before Easter, when hundreds of thousands of devotees climb the rocky mountain by foot, with a heavy cross on back, recreating the painful Last Journey of Christ. A kiss on the holy rock is considered as most divine moment. The hilltop church is located 10 km away from the town of Kalady.

10. Korattymuthy

The name of the church means Hail Mary of Koratty. It is also known as the Lourdes of South India and Vailankanni of Kerala. Korattymuthy shrine is also known as ‘Our Lady with Poovan Bananas’. This Marian Apparition is situated in Central Part of Kerala. Offering of ‘Poovan Bananas’– a special variety of plantain and ‘Muttilizhayal’ are major offerings in this pilgrim centre. In the month of October, during the Feast of Korattymuthy, major pilgrimage travel is seen on this Holy Place.

11. Cheraman Palli (Cherman Juma Masjid), Kodungallor

India’s oldest mosque and World’s 2nd mosque built in 629 AD soon after Medina Mosque in Saudi Arabia. This Mosque was built converting Kerala’s Chera Emeperor’s Palace into a mosque on his orders, after Cherman Perumal’s (The Great Chera Emperor) conversion to Islam. Due to traditional relations with Arabia, soon after formation of Islam, champions of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) came to Chera Capital of Kodunagallor (Muziris)and demonstrate Prophet’s miracle. This made Chera Emperor to convert into Islam and expressed his desire to meet Prophet. He met the Prophet, married sister of Nejd King and settled at Muscat, where he died and his tomb exists there today. As per his last wish, his royal palace was asked to convert to mosque, which resulted in formation Cheraman Palli. The original mosque was destroyed during Great Periyar floods in 1341, and several later mosques on its same site were destroyed during various wars and raids. However the current mosque was recently rebuilt. The important legacy of this mosque, is its effective harmony with Hinduism and adoption of several Hindu customs into its system. The Royal Lamp used by Cheras are still used inside the mosque and one of the most important highlight. The Mosque is built in traditional Hindu Kerala architecture with lot of murals, hindu motifs etc and several traditional Hindu lamps is used. A white block of Marble blessed by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) brought here from Makkah. Unlike other mosques which normally faces westwards towards Makkah, this mosque faces towards East (as Makkah mosque was not built, at time of Cherman Mosque as well as following Kerala Hindu system of facing eastwards). Most of Muslim festivals as well as Hindu festivals particularly nearby Thiruvanchikulam Temple festival.

12. Kanjiramattom Mosque

The mosque is situated at Kaniramattom, 20 Kms from Kochi. This mosque is the right example of antique beauty of mazhars and dargahs. This was an official temple classified by Kochi Maharajas and most of the Imams (Priests) are chief scholars at Kochi Raja’s court. The annual Chandanakudam in January attracts many pilgrims. During the festival, pilgrims carry pots smeared with sandalwood paste in a procession to the mosque, with caparisoned elephants and percussion musics – both found in temples – form essential parts of the Chandanakudam festival.

13. Palayam Pally, located in heart of Trivandrum, is the principal mosque of Trivandrum. It is a Juma Masjid (Friday Mosque). The Mosque is one of the largest in Kerala and famous for its regular sermons. The mosque was established with patronage of Travancore Kings.

14. Thazhathangady Juma Masjid,Kottayam:- is a mosque situated in Thazhathangady, one of the Heritage Zones of Kerala near the town of Kummanam. It is one of the oldest mosques in India and is more than 1000 years old. It is famous for its richness of architecture, wood carvings and the beauty. This mosque is situated on the banks of the Meenachil river. Thazhathangady Juma Masjid is also called as the “Taj Juma Masjid”. The ancestors of this Masjid came and settled in Kottayam, from different parts of Kerala.The Muslims who lived here played an active role in Freedom Struggle and other National Movements. This mosque is known for its intricate wooden carvings and architecture and looks similar to Kerala Architecture.

15. Chempittapally;West Kochi

The name “Chempittapally” is derived from the Malayalam word “chemp” (means bronze) and “palli” (means mosque). The roof of this famous mosque was decorated with bronze tiles, hence chempitta pally. The compound has 3 gates; one in west which opens way to Panayapilly, second in south which opens way to Goldenmukku and Kochangadi, and the main gate in the eastern side of compound, which opens way to Angadi, which in turn leads the way to Jew Street and Mattancherry Bazaar towards the north and to Chullickal towards south.

16. Odathil Palli(Odathil Mosque) Thalassery; is a famous 300 year old Mosque. This land originally belonged to Dutch, who had started a sugar cane farm and a Garden (Odam in Dutch means Garden), which was transfered to East India Company who gifted this land to a Muslim contractor. He built a small mosque, using Sugarcane stem to make a Dome and Minaret. This was the first mosque to have a Dome and Minaret, which was laid by Hindu Zamorin Ruler, marking the great tolerance. This is famous among tourists to visit, as its historic tradition and a mosque in pure typical Kerala Hindu style and a golden dome covering over its original sugarcane dome.

17. Jain Derasar in Mattancherry(Kochi) – This derasar is dedicated to Theerthankara Shree Dharmnath Swamy. It has completed 100 years and has become a Theerth. A sthanak is also there inside the big temple complex. There is a big Jain Community in Kochi. It was built by Gujarathi Community who have settled here for past 200 years for trading. Its more popularly known as Gujarathi Temple. A must visit for any tourist in Kochi, due to its towering North Indian Architecture.

18. Jain Derasarin Alleppey – This temple is located in Allepey (Allappuzha) which is also known as the Venice of the east. It is very calm and quiet temple. Allepey has a very small Jain population.

19. Jain Derasarin Kozhikode city – There are 2 temples inside the temple complex of which one is over 2500 years old and has 1000 pillars.

20. Karumadi-Kuttannear Ambalapuzha, which has a small shrine dedicated to Lord Budhha, worshipped by locals as Karumadi Kuttan.

21. The Statue of Buddha at Mavelikara, in Alleppy district has the largest statute of Buddha, nearly 4 four feet sized. This is the most preserved statute of Buddha in Padmasana posture. A small shrine is constructed around it, though no rites are performed.

 

Top 10 Places to Eat in Kochi

Toddy Shops

If you are looking to have authentically prepared Kerala food especially sea food like 1.jpgprawns and fish along with the famous alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees then the toddy shops are a must visit offering some of the scrumptious dishes prepared in the real Kerala way. If you are picky and choosy about ambience and finesse then this definitely is not the place for you.

Check out some of the famous toddy shops that provide comparatively good quality service:

http://www.toddyshop.in/ernakulam/mullapanthal-toddy-shop-kerala.html

Tibetan Chef

16017123_S3NBWoWhwytb_dNfnWH7cDfHoRhxbqvhjVQaTlCetVQIn mood for simple subtle Chinese food minus fine dining? Tibetan Chef is your perfect place to be. Get a feel of the simple and humble setting where you can sit down with your family or friends, relax and have savoury food. It is tucked away down a quiet street away from noise and traffic and the food and service makes up for their lack of superior elegance and feel.

 

 

 

Dal Roti – Lilly Street, Fort Cochin

Located in Fort Cochin, on Lilly Lane, this place stays true its tag line ‘Desi Khana’ ( oetrNEjeaffeh_biggermeaning native food). The menu has an assortment of North Indian food such as Mughlai Parathas (breads), paratha stuffed with minced chicken and cooked to crisp perfection, Lachidar Parathas served with Lucknowi chicken and so on. The place comes alive in the evening with beautiful lighting.

Kashi Art cafe

29KIMP_KASHI2_1127644fKashi Art Café offers a tranquil lair for art lovers and lovers of continental food . The café serves all-day breakfasts, thick soups and uniquely flavoured sandwiches in addition to brewed tea and coffee. Kashi Art Café also serves homemade cakes and pies, which are prepared daily .

 

 

Kayees biryani

A mouth watering dish, Malabar biriyani is one of the most sought after dish in Kerala and one you will not be disappointed in can be found at Kayees Biriyani. You can either visit them at thier branch in Mattanchery or the one opposite Durbar Hall in Kochi. Rich in taste, the biryani here is cooked alongwith the meat and rice, and fragranced with whole garam masalas, raisins, cashews and fried onions.The must-try dishes here are the mutton biryani, which is served with papad, onions, dates chutney and chicken fry.

Fusion Bay

DSC06291The Fusion Bay is adorned with sturdy wooden furniture, low ceiling fans and exposed brick and terracotta entrance. It might not seem the ideal fancy place you would want to sit down for a long time but their extensive Kerala specialties does not cease to blow one away. This place should be on your culinary adventure list. Satisfaction and foodogasm guaranteed.

 

Dhe Puttu

Dhe-puttu-interiorPuttu is a favourite dish among the Malayali people. It is a type of steamed rice cake which is usually served during the breakfast. It is quite common in most households ofs Kerala. The restaurant servesl a variegated range of puttus , along with myriad side dishes too . Some of the marked dishes in the Menu are – Mambaya , Chirattaputt, Gothambu, etc.

 

Grand Pavilion

The Grand Pavilion Restaurant is an elegant restaurant that serves a rich menu with  dishes from a large number of places ranging from the West, North India, South India and most of the rest of the Asian continent.

Ginger House Restaurant

filename-dsc05897-jpgAs the name suggests, the restaurant specialises in ginger-based dishes, offering everything from ginger prawns, ginger ice cream and ginger lassi to ginger milkshakes and the zingy ginger tea. The waterfront view, coupled with Kochi’s old world charm, makes Ginger House a perfect place to relax and watch the boats sail by. Its uniqueness lies in its location within a museum. Situated behind an antique warehouse  Ginger House has a classy feel.

Malabar junction

ca282a85fd594d448569787c80480717_featured_v2Malabar junction is located on the Portuguese courtyard with an elegant ambiance and savory food. The dishes are prepared using quality ingredients which are locally sourced. Their sumptuous  thali is one of the must have dishes. They have a huge range of options ranging from the native to continental. One of the highlights of this place is the Carnatic music band  that light up the place at night.

 

Book Your Kerala Houseboat cruise with Backwaterbreaks.com and set adrift on the scintillating backwaters!

https://backwaterbreaks.com/

Continue reading “Top 10 Places to Eat in Kochi”

Travel Tips – Kochi, Kerala

chinese_fishing_nets

If you want to get the best of the flavors of Kerala, then Kochi is the city that you would want to set your foot in first. Seasoned with all best ingredients of culture, progress, architecture, people and so on, Kochi is enriched with the cream of local and international history.

How can you reach Kochi:

Irrespective of whether you are an international tourist or a domestic traveller, Kochi is one of the most easily accessible city, of not just Kerala, but India as well.

By Air

Cochin/Kochi (Airport Code: COK,  http://www.cochinairport.com/   ) is an international airport, located 30kms north-east of the city, with regular flights to major cities in India.

cochin-international-airport-nedumbassery-airport.jpgAirlines operating from Cochin include Air Deccan, Air India, Air India Express, Air Sahara, Emirates, Go Air, Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Mahan Air, Oman Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, SilkAir, SriLankan Airlines, Air Asia and Qatar Airways and so on, making it the fifth busiest airport in India.

The International and Domestic terminals are located right next to each other. The airport architecture embodies the traditional Kerala architectures. Prepaid taxis are available from the airport and can be booked from within the arrival.

The To and from Timings are given in the below link:

http://m.cial.aero/ToAndFromAirport

By Train

Kochi (and Ernakulam) has an extensive network of railways connecting its different districts as well as connecting it with the rest of India. There are three main railway stations in Cochin: Ernakulam Junction (main station), Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus. Many important trains start from here and many others from/to the south of Kerala stop at these stations.
Railway enquiry: Ernakulam Junction: +91 484 131; Ernakulam Town: +91 484 2390920/2395198; Cochin Harbour Terminus: +91 484 2666050
( find train information at : http://www.indianrail.gov.in/  )

By Road

Kochi prides itself on the vast network of roadways i.e. national/state highways and local roads link Kochi to rest of the country. Three important National Highways(NH) pass through/start from Kochi, apart from many state roads. NH 47 from Kanyakumari to Salem pass right through the heart of Kochi while NH 17 to Mumbai and NH 49 to Madurai (in Tamil Nadu) starts from Kochi. Private and public transport services are available to/from all major cities of South India from here. Long distance coach tickets to Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Bangalore, Coimbatore, etc. can be purchased from private coach operators operating from Jos Junction in the heart of the city.
http://www.ksrtc.in/

KSRTC enquiry: +91 484 2352033/2372033 – for state and inter-state public buses. 

BY Sea/Backwaters

Kochi has a magnificent all weather natural port that is used regulary by large cargo ships. Regular boat service to places like Kottayam, Kumarakom and Alleppey are available through the scenic backwaters of Kerala. The outlying islands that make up Cochin, like Vypeen, Mattancherry, Bolghatty, etc are connected to the mainland by regular public and private boats plying from the main boat jetty off Park Avenue and from the boat jetty near the High Court. Many cruises ships also currently berth and the Ernakulam Wharf, which is part of the Cochin Port located on Willingdon island.
Local Transport

Getting around Cochin is quite straightforward. Cheap and affordable private buses (bright red) will take you to most parts of the city, but they may not necessarily stop near a location of interest. Tickets must be bought on board. Short distances can be covered in an auto rickshaw. Taxis or reserved taxis are generally recommended for longer trips.

 

Promenade-shops
Important Travel Tips:

What to wear

  • The best attire for a kochi/Kerala tour would be loose fitted modest clothes. There are basically two reasons why it is recommended ; the first being prevention from hurting the sentiments of the local people and second, to protect you from the weather conditions.
  • Places of worship holds a different decorum that varies between regions and religions as well as the code of a particular place. It is essential to respect the traditions and etiquettes of each place. Nudity, semi or full, is a strict no-no in these parts of the world.

General tips

  • The people here are generally friendly and helpful and the risk of personal threat is very minimal for a traveller in Kochi.
  • Like the rest of India, men here hold hands and walk arm and arm as a sign of a close friendship
  • Kochi is comparatively less conservative than the rest of Kerala but it stil stays true to its conservative culture for a larger part
  • Tipping is a common practice in Cochin city of Kerala. You need to be really savvy about these things if you are an outsider. You will meet a myriad of people once you set foot in Kochi expecting a tip from you, but in certain places like hotels and taxies, a service charge is already levied so make sure you don’t end up paying unnecessarily.
  • Ayurveda has its origins in Kerala and you haven’t seen it all unless you have experienced the wonders of ayurveda. At the same time it is important to verify the authenticity of the ayurvedic centers
  • Kerala cuisine can be spicy and unless you wish to be bombed with the heat, it is essential you clarify at hotel and restaurants that you require your food to be less hot.
  • November to March denotes the  peak tourism season in Kerala and hence the prices are higher. Thought he monsoon may seem appealing, getting around during the monsoon season is pretty tedious and in terms of houseboat, the safety and navigation becomes a hassle during this period.
  • People in Kerala communicate well; they understand English and Hindi and to a great extent can speak the languages as well, though not extremely fluently.
  • The police in Kerala are quite strict and stringent about abiding the rules and regulations of the land.
  • Kochi with all its traditions, is also filled with influx of the modern culture. There are every type of food joints ranging from dominoes, subways,McDonalds, pizza hut and so on.

For places to visit in Kerala, read more at:

http://blog.backwaterbreaks.com/2014/09/27/top-6-places-to-visit-in-kerala/

Book Your Kerala Houseboat cruise with Backwaterbreaks.com and set adrift on the scintillating backwaters!

https://backwaterbreaks.com/

Your Guide to the Nehru Trophy-Snake Boat Race, Kerala

139-Boat-Race.jpg

The calm backwaters of Alleppey, Kerala come roaring alive every year on the second Saturday in the month of August. The waters are dotted with the famed snake boats fighting neck to neck in the palm fringed Punnamada Lake in Alleppey; each vying to be the victor and the proud owner of the prestigious Nehru Trophy.

It is once again the time to feast your eyes and  lose yourself to the mesmerising ripples of the backwaters.

The Race Particulars:

Venue: Punnamada Backwaters in Alleppey, Kerala

Date : August 8,2015 at 2:30 PM

Location: Punnamada

District: Alappuzha

Nearest Railway Station – Alleppey

Nearest Airport – Kochi International Airport

2759219597_9d19565cb9_b.jpg

How to get there:

Alleppey is well connected by trains, but Ernakulum (Kochi) has better connectivity by both air and rail. Ernakulum lies 62km from Alleppey; multiple local buses and taxis are available. Taxis charge as much as ₹2500 for a one-way ride during this weekend. Overnight buses from Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other cities can be booked via state run operators

Where to put up:

This is a super busy time of the year with people flocking in from all over the state, the country and world.

It is best to stay somewhere close to Alleppey to witness this great race. You can take your pick from Alleppey, surrounding villages, Marari beach or Fort Kochi. You can always book a houseboat(backwaterbreaks.com) and relax and maybe get a good view from the boat as well.

Ticket Tariff (official)  :-

http://nehrutrophy.nic.in/pdf/2015/ntbr2015-2015-06-27-ticket-rates-eng.pdf

Book Tickets Online

(http://in.bookmyshow.com/events/63rd-edition-of-nehru-trophy-boat-race/ET00032013)

 

 

images.jpg

DO’s and Don’ts for the Visitors of Nehru Trophy Boat Race

Do’s

* Purchase tickets from authorized retail outlets (through Govt. depts. And tourism information office– authorized ticket counter)

* Please check the tickets for authorized seal of the committee and serial number

* Authorized counters can be identified with banners having logo of NTBR

* Try to reach Alappuzha by 9 AM

* The committee already arranged separate boats for the tourists and ticket holders to reach the race area

* The ticket holders must reach the specially arranged boat jetty by 11:00 for catching the boat

* Try to bring food items and water and can take to the venue

* Occupy your seat by 12:00 noon

* Vehicles can be parked in Municipal Stadium north of Zillah Court Bridge

* This facility will available only up to 11:00 AM

* Less luggage more comfort

* Show your tickets at the entrance of the boat jetty and also at the entrance of the pavilion

* For any help please contact the control room 2243441 / 100 (police)

Don’ts

* Do not purchase tickets from unauthorized person

* Do not purchase complimentary passes by paying cash

* Do not purchase tickets having no seal or serial no. etc.

* Do not bring any explosive items and dangerous electronic devices

* Smoking is not allowed in the pavilion

* Do not bring liquor to the pavilion

To Know more about Tracks and Heats:

http://nehrutrophy.com/heats.pdf

Book Your Kerala Houseboat cruise with Backwaterbreaks.com and set adrift on the scintillating backwaters!

https://backwaterbreaks.com/

Travelling Safe in India

image

India is a land of boundless cultures, flora and fauna, languages, attires and so on with a dash of unpredictability and uncertainty added to the mixture. It offers the world the adventure of a lifetime ranging from lifestyle to natural splendour.

And just as you would pack your safety gears on your other adventure trips, India requires a certain amount of safety measures for those coming from a more predictable and routine life.

Because India, you would find is far from what you can ever imagine to be ‘predictable’.

High Risk Areas Advised Against  Travelling

As per the government guidelines  issued on Thursday, 26 March 2015, places like State of Jammu and Kashmir (except Ladakh region, Jammu and Srinagar) and India-Pakistan border (except Atari crossing) are not allowed for travelling.

The government recommends reconsidering travelling to locations like North-eastern states (Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur) and Chhattisgarh and the border areas of neighbouring states owing to unrest in the region.

Awareness About the Locations

image

India is a vast land stretching across  3,166,414 square kilometres and the number of locations worth visiting and near to infinite with the prevailing diversity in regions. Hence it is very important to have a very good idea and knowledge about the climate, terrain and facilities in a region you intend to visit apart from the necessary knowledge about the lifestyle and beliefs of the people there.

Health

It is generally advisable to get vaccinated for some of the known tropical viral diseases prevalent in the said geographical conditions. In addition to it, carrying a first-aid kit is always a sensible way to travel in case of emergencies.

The quality of medical services and facilities varies throughout the country. Medical facilities are generally good in major centres, but are usually limited or unavailable in rural areas. Private facilities often provide a higher level of care, which can be expensive. Most hospitals require up-front payment or confirmation of insurance coverage prior to commencing treatment. Government hospitals provide services free or at minimal cost.

Transportation

It’s always advisable to book prepaid taxis from known taxi companies in the country  if you intend to travel by a cab.

If you are looking to get a real feel of the land by travelling by public transport, then it is best to use trains for long distance travelling.

Almost all the places are connected by plenty of buses as well. The time chosen to travel usually determines the rush in the buses. It is essential to take good care of your valuables as the buses and trains are usually pretty crowded and there’s a lingering threat of pick pocketing and thievery.

image

Auto rickshaws (three wheelers) are another common mode of transport used quite frequently and a ride worth experiencing. Though these should be given a second thought when travelling at night particularly if you are not aware of the route to be taken since rickshaws function independently and not under a company like cabs excepting the prepaid ones at the Railway station or airports.

If you value your personal space when travelling, then public transports are definitely not for you as this is the last thing that a crowded train or bus would ever offer you in an India.

Personal Safety

There are numerous incidents and stories circulating in the media regarding the safety of tourists in India especially women. It is necessary to know that all of India is not the same, nature of the people and the security and protection available from the police varies from region to region. Having said that it is a must to take some basic precautions against any such unpleasant situations.

The body language and mannerism in addition to the attire in India varies considerably from cities to villages and region to region hence its safer (especially for women) to dress up a little more conservatively as per the norms of the land so as to not attract any undue attention. The Indian cotton ‘kurtis’ form one of the most comfortable ways to tolerate the climate as well. Loose fitting cotton garments form the best option in this regard.

It is not uncommon to find yourself being stared at by every second person in several locations but sometimes these are usually harmless; although its best to ignore and not respond to avoid miscommunication.

It’s important to be alert at all times, especially when travelling alone and to keep emergency numbers at hand to call for help at any point.

Avoid travelling late in the night, and if there is a necessity travel in groups if there are people accompanying you or using recommended and registered transport system like the prepaid cabs who are accountable.

Southern India including states like Kerala are generally safer in comparison to the Northern states

Eating Right in India

India is ridden with numerous mouth watering cuisines and drinks; all the more reasons to be careful about what and where you eat from since it’s hard to resist the delectable looking food. Make sure you eat from good reputed restaurants if you have weak stomach. Not all places offer hygienic and fresh food. Its best to take recommendations and opinions before having food or water at any particular place.

image

Its best to always carry bottled water whose seal you should check before buying from a shop.

Other Tips and Points to Keep in Mind

Beggars are a common sights in the streets of India and their condition and poverty very heart wrenching but it’s crucial to harden your heart to such sights as they are usually part of intricate web of a network which usually forces children and women to go begging . The people begging might not even get the money that you give them. The networks are often run by petty criminals who harass the children and compel them to begging.

image

They also involve a large number of people who have no interest in working and make a livelihood by just begging. Women with babies in the scorching heat is usually a heart wrenching sight but these babies are most often borrowed and drugged for the sole purpose of begging by gaining sympathy.

It is also important to stay on your toes dealing with friendly strangers; some may be good but there are plenty who may be up to no good.

Book Your Kerala Houseboat cruise with Backwaterbreaks.com and set adrift on the scintillating backwaters!

https://backwaterbreaks.com/

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑