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This is a blog website for backwaterbreaks.com. BackwaterBreaks.com is an online market place to book Kerala houseboats directly from authentic owners.

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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

Best Place for New Year’s Eve in Kerala 2018

Kerala – Greet 2018 in the Kerala backwaters

New Year
Alleppey

Absolute greenery, fresh air, pristine nature, and welcoming hosts :what better way  to party away on the New Year’s eve and welcome 2018 .The beach parties are as exciting as ever. You can book a houseboat and enjoy personal time in the backwaters of Alleppey.

An ideal destination for New Year, Kerala is a real beauty for beach lovers.Main Attractions: New Year party at Holiday Inn, New Year celebration Crowne Plaza, Welcome New Year at Ramada Resort Cochin, New Years eve at Le Meridien, The Raviz New year party, New Year party at Windsor Castle

The Famous Cochin Carnival

New year
cochin carnival

The vibrant city of Cochin showcases one of the state’s largest carnival during the festive month of December. The advent of December is accompanied by the preparations in the entire city of Cochin building up to the final grand events of the 31st. The fest which commences on the day of Christmas continues for a week and is signed off by the silent prayer to the martyrs of the land. The origin of this grand carnival can be traced back to the Portuguese roots, when Portuguese New Year celebrations were held during the colonial days. The carnival includes a plethora of event and rides and adventure sports like Beach Bike Race and swimming races. Apart from that, there are Beach Football, Shuttle Badminton, Beach Volleyball and Ball Badminton Tournaments, organized during the course of the festival. The entry to this carnival is absolutely free for all and the venue for the carnival is at River Road, Fort Kochi.

CAMPING NEW YEAR AT KODAIKANAL – 2018

Camping In The Wild: New Year Party Night -With Adventure
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About The Campsite:- one of the highest Place of south India Campsite almost 2100 feet which is located at the top of the hills at Perumalmalai in Kodaikanal, its a private property of 3 Acre Land in the midst of Eucalyptus trees with the unique view of clouds & Hills where you can find a Nature As your companion.

Earlybird Offer:- INR 3499 for couples / 1749 for Singles

https://allevents.in/kodaikanal/camping-new-year-at-kodaikanal-2018/300660157106953#

New Year Weekend Camping at Vagamon

New year
new year at vagamon

Sleep Under the stars, spend the night at scenic Vagamon Mountains and enjoy natures company with music, campfire & buffet dinner. Camp equipped with all the necessary creature comforts (Modern restrooms & Comfortable tents) exoticampadventures@gmail.com

https://allevents.in/kochi/new-year-weekend-camping-at-vagamon/166269977292653#

Sunburn New Year Kochi w/ Rave & Crave

Party away into the new year at Bolgatty Palace, Cochin, Bolgatty Island, KochiNew year

 ‘ROCK THE BLU’ 2018

New year
rock the blue

Attend the Rock the Blu party at Radisson Blu Kochi, S.A. Road Elamkulam Junction Kadavanthara, Kochi, India. Featuring International artist DJ Laune #28 Top Female DJ in the World, Indian Playback singer Suchith Suresan, State Award Winner Flautists Music Director Vishnu Vijay and Playback Singer Madhuvanthi. Also featuring Pistol Heads . Along with Crystal Dance, Aerial Acrobatics, LED Dance, Face Painting Surprise Gifts etc

TRIPPY KERALA

New yearStay in a waterfront homestay; stay in a luxury houseboat; camping in a 300-acre plantation nestled in a forest; coastal Kerala cuisine; beautiful hills and grasslands, rides around backwaters, paddy fields, and tea estates.
‘Trippy Kerala’ is segment 1 of our unique 3 segment itinerary in Dec’17, coursing through the breadth of southern India from Alleppey in the West to Dhanushkodi in the East. This coast to coast epic journey presents south India in its many hues, cultures, landscapes and its diverse, intriguing history.’Trippy Kerala’ spans 4 nights, 4 days, with ~170km riding in Alleppey, Vagamon and Idukki. Event Queries : 09731280808

 

What should I expect on a Kerala houseboat trip at Alleppey?

The first visualization that would pop up into the mind at the mention of a houseboat trip or a cruise would probably be the sparkle off a modern cruise boat but add Kerala in front of the “houseboat” or “cruise” and you have a novelty promising a spiritual and rejuvenating journey. India is a land of chaos and mystery, so it is only natural to wonder what is actually going to happen in one of the famous ” backwater houseboat cruises” of Kerala.

So what exactly is a houseboat?houseboat trip

Originating from the need for transporting men and materials on the Kerala backwaters, the houseboat has its origins in the “Kettuvallams”, made from local and eco friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fibre, ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. The onset of modern transportation  soon turned these into remodelled luxurious houseboats that are now one of the chief attractions of the tourists.

What makes it special?

While there may be five star resorts and other luxurious accommodations for experiencing a tranquil vacation, the houseboats offer a rustic experience, bringing the travellers in touch with the grandeur of nature.

What kind of amenities do I expect on it?

houseboat trip

Most of the latest designs incorporate bedrooms with toilets, a living space and kitchen. 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 beenhouseboat trip made to accommodate modern fittings. The amenities vary depending upon the kind of package that you have chosen. Some of the facilities include dressing mirror, luggage compartment, writing table, wardrobe, attached bathrooms,television, music system, and air-conditioning.

How long do the cruises last?

There are two types of cruises: day cruises and overnight cruises. Usually the overnight cruise is suggested by most people. Check-in time for day cruise is approximately 11 am while checkout time is 5:00 pm. For overnight trip check-in is usually around 12 pm while checkout is next day 9:00 am (the timings vary with cruise operators). According to Govt regulations, Houseboats are usually not allowed to move from 5:30 pm to morning to allow fishermen to work, hence they are usually docked, near the banks, for the night.

What kind of cuisine does the Houseboats follow?

houseboat tripKerala houseboats in particular are famous for its reputation for good sea food. Of course, sea food anywhere is expensive but because of the proximity of the state to the seas and oceans, sea food tends to be cheaper in Kerala. But depending on your budget and liking, food served in Kerala houseboats can vary. However, most often the houseboat foods includes fish and vegetarian food because that is what is most often demanded by the customers. Breakfast in houseboats in Kerala mostly comprise of the quintessential south Indian houseboat tripfoods such as idly, dosa, sambar, with hot tea or coffee. During lunch most of the times, the menu will include foods such as different kinds of fish fry and they are also accompanied with different kinds of chutneys, papad and different kinds of sweets. During most evenings in the house boats, the passengers are given tea and other snacks which may or may not be south Indian. They could be from different parts of the country depending upon the kind of Kerala house boat package you have chosen.

 Do I get alcoholic drinks on the Houseboat?

The stringent licensing requirements by the Kerala State Government has its effects on the houseboats and consequently the boats do not have a bar or stock alcohol. Some cruise operators maybe okay with you carrying your own alcohol , or buying (at request) you beer from the local shops.

Which is the best time to go for a Houseboat Cruise?

houseboat tripThe pleasant and equable climate of Kerala makes it a favorable place to visit throughout the entire year. Winter and summer (October to March) are the peak tourist seasons. A cruise in the houseboats on the backwaters of Kerala, or experiencing the beauty of sunset over the Arabian sea from Kovalam beach during summer and boating in the Thekkady lake, or trekking the highlands of Kerala during winter,all are sure to be experiences worthy of being cherished throughout life. But for those, who really want to enjoy the day under the cloudy sky, and feel the bracing scent of the wet soil, revitalizing the body, mind and soul, monsoons are meant for you.

 

Book your houseboat cruise with: https://backwaterbreaks.com/#/ 

Read more about Kerala Houseboats:  https://backwaterbreaks.blog/alleppey/kerala-houseboats/

 

 

Climate Variations in Kerala

climate
Kerala, a state in India that lies close to the equator is bestowed with a pleasing and agreeable climate through the entire the year. Kerala owes this blessing with its nearness to the sea as well as the fort like Western Ghats on the east. Having a diverse geographical feature, the climate of Kerala is also diverse with mainly 4 seasons : Winter, Summer, South-West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon.

Following are the main Seasons affecting the Climate

Winter Season

The receding north west monsoons in Kerala marks the onset of winter ranging from the month of November till the middle of February. Although the temperatures between seasons do not vary much in Kerala, this period often experiences a slightly lower temperature when compared to the others. The highlands of Kerala, where the climate is cool throughout the year, winter temperatures often fall below 10°C. Winter season in Kerala witnesses the lowest amount of rainfall.

Summer Season

climate

As the days fly by in the month of February, it is accompanied by an increasing temperature with low rainfall and slightly humid weather. Summers in Kerala are cool and pleasant, thanks to the Western Ghats which prevent the dry northern winds from entering the state and the Arabian sea for the cool breeze that blows towards the land providing it with a moderate temperature. Erratic rains accompanied by lightning and thunder is another feature of the season. Starting from March, summer season continues till the end of May or the beginning of June and is concluded with the outset of monsoons.

South West Monsoon in Kerala : Southwest monsoon is the main rainy season in Kerala. This season ( Edavappathi – as the rains starts by the middle of the Malayalam month Edavam ) begins by the end of May or early June with the outset of the southwest monsoon winds. The next few months are periods of torrential rain. Lying on the windward side of the Western Ghats and being the first state to be hit by the monsoon winds, Kerala receives copious rainfall. Almost 85% of the rains received in Kerala is contributed by the monsoons. The slopes of the Western Ghats are among the places in India which receives the highest amount of rain. Most of the rivers of Kerala are fed by the monsoons. The southwest monsoon in Kerala lasts till the end of Septemberclimate

North East Monsoon in Kerala: Also known as the Retreating Monsoon or the Reverse monsoons, northeast monsoon hits Kerala during the return of the southwest monsoon winds. These rains (Thulavarsham – as it rains during the Malayalam month of Thulam) are in the months of October and November and sometimes lasts till December. Heavy afternoon rains accompanied by thunder and lightening is the main characteristic of the season. Days are warm and humid but there is not much variation in temperature.

Climatic condition of the Earth has been changing over the past few year. This global change in weather have their effect on Kerala as well. The information provided here is based on the details available over the past 50 years.

Best Times to Visit Kerala

climateThe pleasant and equable climate of Kerala makes it a favorable place to visit throughout the entire year. Winter and summer (November to May) are the peak tourist seasons. A cruise in the houseboats on the backwaters of Kerala, or experiencing the beauty of sunset over the Arabian sea from Kovalam beach during summer and boating in the Thekkady lake, or trekking the highlands of Kerala during winter,all are sure to be experiences worthy of being cherished throughout life. But for those, who really want to enjoy the day under the cloudy sky, and feel the bracing scent of the wet soil, revitalizing the body, mind and soul, monsoons are meant for you.

Monsoon tourism in Kerala is gaining more popularity year after year. Monsoon tourism allows tourists to explore the intrinsic beauty of Kerala with a feel of adventure. Government of Kerala and Kerala tourism department is promoting Monsoon Tourism in Kerala.

 

Book Houseboats with https://backwaterbreaks.com/#/

Different things to do on your visit to Kerala:  https://backwaterbreaks.blog/uncategorized/things-to-do-on-your-trip-to-kerala/

10 Authentic, Must Try Kerala Dishes

Kerala, ‘The land of spices’, has no paucity when it comes to delectable varieties of authentic  Kerala dishes. With copious amounts of spices and seasonings topped by the touch of coconut flavor, each dish vies for the attention of a traveller’s taste buds.  

Here are 10 of the must try dishes of the authentic Kerala Cuisine:

Appam with stew

kerala dishesAppam is one of the famous Kerala dishes made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. It’s similar to a thin pancake with crispy edges. These crepe-like bowls are made from fermented rice flour, coconut milk, coconut water and a little sugar. Ishtu or stew is a derivative of the European stew and consists of coconut milk, cinnamon, cloves and shallots, eaten with appams. The stew may also feature mango pieces, vegetables, chicken or lamb. The addition of aromatic whole spices, ginger and fresh coconut milk enhance the natural flavor of the vegetables. The crucial ingredient is fresh coconut milk, which lends a sweet flavor.

Karimeen pollichathu (fish)

kerala dishesThis is one of Kerala’s traditional delicacies. Karimeen or pearl spot fish is a speckled fish commonly found in the backwaters of this state. This is traditionally a Syrian Christian delicacy but has become part of Kerala’s rich cuisine. Pearl spot fish is marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, red chillies, and other ingredients, wrapped and baked in plantain leaves, giving it a unique flavour.

 

Puttu and kadala curry

kerala dishes
This is a breakfast staple eaten all over the state. Puttu is a cylindrical steamed rice cake cooked in a mould with grated coconut. It’s usually served with kadala curry, a dish of black chickpeas made with shallots, spices and coconut milk, that can also be served with ripe bananas and grated coconut.

Erissery or pumpkin and lentil curry

kerala dishesThis is a popular curry in Kerala, made from either raw plantains or sliced yams. It also usually includes slightly sweet pumpkin that has been boiled in water with salt, chillies or pepper, dried lentils, grated coconut, turmeric powder, cumin seeds and garlic, served on a bed of rice. It appears on most menus at religious festivals like Onam.

Palada payasam (dessert)

A sweet rice kheer prepared with palada is a delicacy made in almost all Kerala households during the festival of Onam and many other special occasions. There are many variations of it, however, the traditional recipe uses only basic ingredients like rice ada, milk, sugar and ghee. Rice ada is easily available in Indian Kerala grocery stores.

Malabar Parotta with Kerala beef curry

kerala dishesLayered flat bread that originated in the Malabar region called Parotta is made by kneading maida (plain flour), egg (in some recipes), oil or ghee and water. The dough is beaten and later shaped into a spiral with thin layers. The ball is rolled flat and roasted into a Parotta with ghee. This is then eaten with beef curry – pieces of beef simmered in a curry made with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices like bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns and star anise.

Kerala prawn curry (chemmeen curry)

This is a signature dish of the state – a prawn curry from the Malabar region made with a blend of fenugreek, black mustard and fennel seeds, coconut milk and green chilli. It also includes a special ingredient called kudampuli (also known as brindleberry) to give it a sour taste, plus it uses marinated prawns, drumsticks and raw mango to give it a spicy, tangy flavour.

Thalassery biriyani

kerala dishesA rice biriyani is the most common dish of the Muslim community. Thalassery sea port was a centre for the export of spices where European, Arab and Malabar cultures came together and influenced the cuisine. Thalassery biriyani uses a unique, fragrant, small-grained, thin rice variety named kaima. The biriyani masala and cooked rice are arranged in layers inside the dish. Meat is cooked with the masala on a low heat and layered with rice before the lid of the container is sealed with dough. Hot coal or charcoal is then placed above the lid.

Fish moilee

kerala dishesOne of the most well known Kerala dishes, the fish stew is a dish made with coconut milk, which is a typical Syrian Christian delicacy. The curry is usually prepared in a traditional manchatti (earthen vessel) and stews lightly fried fish in coconut milk, and spices like turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and cloves along with fresh green chillies to give it a tangy taste. The fish (usually kingfish or seer fish) is marinated with oil, turmeric, red chili powder, lemon juice and salt for 30 minutes before being used in the curry.

 

Banana fritters (dessert)
One of the most common tea time snack in the variety of Kerala dishes available, 
Pazham pori
or Ethakka appam or juicy banana fritters feature as a kerala dishestraditional tea time snack. They’re available throughout Kerala and are simply ripe bananas coated with plain flour and deep-fried in oil.

 

Some famous Kerala breakfast dishes: https://backwaterbreaks.blog/kerala-houseboats/5-must-try-authentic-kerala-breakfast-dishes/

Get the ultimate rustic experience of the backwaters of Kerala: Book now at: https://backwaterbreaks.com/#/

Festivals Celebrated in Kerala

Kerala in addition to being endowed with profuse flora and myriad fauna, is also rich in culture and festivities. Every festival involves a multitude of art forms showcased with all pomp and show ranging from vibrant music and dance to elaborate elephant processions and amazing fireworks. Kerala is truly God’s own country in the respect to its secular celebration of all religious festivals as one unit. Some of the famous festivals celebrated with all splendor in Kerala is as follows:

Onam

festivals
onam sadhya

Onam is the biggest and the most important festivals of the state of Kerala. It is one of the biggest harvest festivals and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities.

Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August-September according to Gregorian Calendar.  It is a festival of flowers stretched over 10 days. It features traditional songs and dance performance like thiruvathira Kathakali, feasting, various indoor and outdoor games and boat races. According to a popular legend, on this day, the great, mighty and kind demon king of the region known as Mahabali returns to his people every year after he was condemned to live in abyss as a result of one of the deceitful ploys of God Vishnu, which he played to save the Kingdom of Gods from him but granted him an annual trip to his people. Onam celebrations ensure a colorful reception of the great King Mahabali. The legend is believed to have happened at Thrikkakara, the legendary capital of King Mahabali.

Vishu

festivals
Vishu kani

Vishu Festival heralds the beginning of New Year in Kerala and is celebrated in a big way in the state of Kerala and the adjoining areas of Tamil Nadu. Vishu falls on the first day in the Malayalam month of Medam. When the sun enters into Sidereal Aries, Ashwini nakshatra—it is celebrated as Vishu. It is said that what one sees when one first opens one’s eyes on Vishu morning is an indication of what one can expect in the year to come. Thus on Vishu, effort is made to assure one opens one’s eyes before an auspicious image—the Vishukkani.

‘Kani-Kanal’ is prepared in big pots comprising of coconuts, fruits, cereals and Konna flower in the night before the festival and behind the pot, a mirror and the garlanded deity of Krishna are kept. It is the first thing that people see as a good omen when they get out of bed and ask for the blessings of the God. In Kerala, the Kani in the temples of Guruvayur, Ambalapuzha and Sabarimala are famous.

Eid Ul- Fitr

festivals
Eid

One of Islam’s most important festivals, Eid ul Fitr is the culmination of the month-long period of fasting and austerity known as Ramzan or Ramadan. It is believed that the Holy Quran was revealed during the month of Ramzan, and in commemoration of that sacred revelation, Eid is celebrated on the day following the sighting of the new moon.

Family gatherings, fireworks and much feasting round off the festivities. People wear new clothes, houses are decorated, friends and relatives visit each other to exchange greetings. The highlight of banquet tables is the sweet milk-and-vermicelli pudding known as ‘seviyan’- because of which many people refer to Eid ul Fitr as ‘meethi’ or ‘sweet’ Eid.

Navaratri

festivals
navaratri

Durga Puja of Bengal, Dussehra of Bombay and the Saraswati Puja and the Ayudha Puja of the South, is a 10-day long festival devoted to Saraswati, the goddess of learning. In Travancore especially, the Navaratri is a state ceremony celebrated with great magnificence since the times of Padmanabhapuram when the Maharaja of Trivandrum stood in the Verandah of the ‘Karivelappura Malika’ in front of the Trivandrum temple and threw money to the masses standing below.

Deepawali Or Diwali

festivals
Diwali

Deepavali is the festival of lights and crackers and sweets and is celebrated to commemorate the riddance of the world from the oppression of the Naraka by the god Krishna. The chief feature in the celebration of this festival is the oil bath early in the morning.

Trikartika

festivals
trikartika

It is a festival celebrated to commemorate the birth of Goddess Bhagvati. The houses are illuminated and people flock to the temple of the goddess and make offerings. In the evening, women go out to worship the goddess.

Maha Siva Ratri

festivals
shivaratri

‘Maha Siva Ratri’ or the great night of Siva, is celebrated in the month of March. On this day, people fast. The celebration of this festival at Siva temple at Alwaye on the banks of the Periyar River is a splendid one. The Lingam of Siva is worshipped for the entire night. A fair is held on a very large scale featuring shows, dances and dramas.

Christmas

festivals
christmas

Kerala is known to be the best destination in South India and is famous for celebrating Christmas. Kerala is certainly famous for its celebration of Onam with all the glitz and similarly, Kerala also loves to celebrate Christmas.Everyone in Kerala irrespective of religion, imbibe the true spirit of christmas by decorating their homes, and taking part in all the festivities associated with the festival. Kerala is also known to have some of the most artistically constructed churches.

Thiruvathira

festivals
thiruvathira

The festival of womenfolk of Kerala, it is celebrated to commemorate the death of Kamadevan, the cupid of Hindu mythology and then was granted an eternal spiritual life to him by Lord Siva. The maidens of the Nair families perform rituals since early morning and enjoy swings accompanied by songs and music. Special delicacies are prepared and a dance known as Thiruvathirakali or Kaikottikkali is performed by a group of women dancing in a circle around a lighted brass lamp wearing traditional dresses and singing exclusive Tiruvathira songs.

Thrissur Pooram

festivals
thrissur pooram

Touted by UNESCO as “the most spectacular festival event on the planet”, Thrissur Pooram, celebrated in the month of April/May, is literally a behemoth of festivities that surpass everything else. On the day of Pooram, the sight of beautifully clad fifty or more elephants passing through the streets of Thrissur on the sound of beating drums is simply otherworldly. But this glorifying sight of the creatures isn’t the only highlight of the Thrissur Pooram, for the 36 hour long celebrations of the festival are undertaken with utmost discipline, following a proper schedule that begins with routine puja and ends with grand display of fireworks that match the best in the world.

Read more about Top 21 religious places to visit in Kerala

Visit Backwaterbreaks.com to book your houseboat today!

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

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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 recent trending experience offered in Kerala is the bike or cycle tours.

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.

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