Tag Archives: Kerala tourism

Meesapulimala

George Thiruvilakalayil George

Travel Related Blog Writer at touristinindia.com
George Thiruvilakalyil George is a blog writer. George is an expert on Local Business Citations, having created thousands of Local Citations for clients in USA, Australia, India, etc. George is also a web site designer with around 2 decades of experience. George started working on web related technologies from early 1996, immediately after internet access was introduced in 5 cities of India in August 1995.

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Meesapulimala is the second highest mountain peak in Munnar, Idukki district, Kerala state. It can be reached ONLY BY TREKKING which takes around 2 hours. The mountain peak is at a height of 2,640 meters or 8,661 feet above sea level.

MeesapulimalaMeesapulimala.

Image courtesy – Laser Shine.

Meesapili mala means ‘Tigers moustache shaped Mountain’ in the local language, Malayalam.

Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd, a Government of Kerala undertaking, has Package tour to Meesapilimala, as part of promoting Kerala Tourism. It can be booked online (Munnar package). The Meesapulimala trekking is an Eco-friendly tourism package.

How Do I Go to Meesapulimala?

The package tour of Meesa puli mala starts from the Forest department’s office, near to the Munnar Post office junction and close to Silent Valley Estate. The forest department takes trekkers from here by Jeep to the Base Camp at around 6000 feet above sea level.

Another place to stay overnight is the beautiful “Rhodo Mansion”, which is surrounded by Rhododendron Flowers. Rhodo Mansion is at a distance of around 28 kilometers from the Forest department’s office at Munnar hill station. It is located a few kilometers after the earlier mentioned base camp. You can enjoy the tasty food, participate in the campfire and stay overnight here at the cottages in Rhodo Mansion, at around 7500 feet height above sea level.

Actual trekking to the Meesa pulimala mountain peak starts in the morning and it takes around two hours of rigorous trekking through the forests; crossing streams, misty mountains, etc, to reach Meesapulimala.

Which are the Nearest Railway Stations and Airports to Meesapulimala?

The nearest railway stations to Meesapuli mala are Alwaye (Aluva) and Angamali, both around 120 kilometers distance. Ernakulam South alias Ernakaulam Junction (ERS) and Ernakulam North alias Ernakulam Town (ERN) are the two Major railway stations to Meesapuli mala, at around 130 kilometers distance. Madurai Junction railway station is another major railway station, at around 136 kilometers distance.

Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport at around 110 kilometers from Meesapulimala. Madurai Airport is at around 140 kilometers distance from Meesapuli mala.

Bekal Fort

George Thiruvilakalayil George

Travel Related Blog Writer at touristinindia.com
George Thiruvilakalyil George is a blog writer. George is an expert on Local Business Citations, having created thousands of Local Citations for clients in USA, Australia, India, etc. George is also a web site designer with around 2 decades of experience. George started working on web related technologies from early 1996, immediately after internet access was introduced in 5 cities of India in August 1995.

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Bekal Fort is the largest fort in the state of Kerala. Bekal Fort is spread over an area of around 40 acres on the Arabian Sea coast at Pallikere in Kasaragod district of Kerala state, India. Bekal Fort is close to Karnataka state border.

A stairway inside the Bekal FortA stairway inside the Bekal Fort. The steps lead to a tunnel and eventually to the outside wall of the fort facing the Arabian sea.

Ancient Bekal Fort was constructed in 1650 AD by Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore. One distinguishing feature of BekalFort is the water tank with its flight of steps. Arabian Sea coast can also be reached from inside the fort through anther stairway.

There is an observation center at a strategic point from which one can discover even the slightest enemy movements. The entrance to the fort is in a zigzag manner. The entrance and the observation center are testimony the defense strategy adopted to protect the fort from the enemies.

The Bekal fort was not the seat of any dynasty; unlike other Indian forts. There are no palace or other buildings inside the fort. The Bakal fort was used only for the defense requirements.

Some of the nearby places of tourist interest are the ancient Muslim Mosque and the Hanuman temple.

The Bakal fort was declared as a special tourism area in the early 90’s by the Central Government of India. “Bekal Tourism Development Corporation” and “Bekal Resorts Development Corporation”, now look after the promotion and tourism of the fort at Bekal. Bekal fort has special significance in Kerala tourism map.

The ace Indian film director Mani Ratnam, shot the famous Tamil film song, ‘Uyire’, at Bekal Fort. This Movie Mumbai , was considered as one among the top 20 Indian films in rankings by the British Film Institute.

How Do I Go to Bekal Fort in Kerala?

Bekal Fort in Pallikere village of Kasaragod district was well connected by rail and road. Near by railway stations are Palliker, BekalFort, Kanhangad, Kotikulam and Kasargod (the first two, being the nearest ones).

The nearest towns to Pallikere are Kanhangad at 8 kilometers and Kasargod at 18 kilometers distance respectively. There are regular bus services from these cities to Pallikere.

Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport at around 60 kilometers from the Bakel fort.

Is There Any Good Hotels in Bekal?

Vivanta by Taj alias Taj bekal is a good hotel in Bekal. The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal, Hotel Bekal Palace, Nirvana at Bekal, etc, are some of the other good hotels near to the Bekal fort at Pallikere.

Queen of Arabian Sea – Kochi

George Thiruvilakalayil George

Travel Related Blog Writer at touristinindia.com
George Thiruvilakalyil George is a blog writer. George is an expert on Local Business Citations, having created thousands of Local Citations for clients in USA, Australia, India, etc. George is also a web site designer with around 2 decades of experience. George started working on web related technologies from early 1996, immediately after internet access was introduced in 5 cities of India in August 1995.

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Queen of Arabian Sea - Kochi
(Chinese Fishing nets at Queen of Arabian Sea – Kochi – Image Courtesy : Wikimedia).

Kochi, The Queen of Arabian Sea, is in the Western Coast of India, in the ‘Gods Own Country’, Kerala.

Kochi, Queen of Arabian Sea is regarded as one of the best Kerala tourist places in India. Kochi is a major spice trading center from the 14th century on-wards and is known for its mouth-watering spicy food.

Fort Kochi is a tourist enclave. There are several historical monuments, which includes Jewish Synagogue( Paradesi Synagogue or Jewish Church ), Mattancherry Palace, Dutch Palace, Museums, The Spice Market, Kochi Tirumala Devaswom Temple, Jain Temple, etc. These historical places attracts a lot of tourists.

Chinese fishing nets or ‘Cheena vala’, as it is known locally, is another major attraction among the tourists. This is a system of fixed land fishing net installation.

Backwater tourism is a major attraction for tourists in Kochi and nearby areas. Aathirapally (The Niagara of India) is a nearby Kerala tourism destination.

Kochi, or Cochin as it was known previously, is the commercial capital of the state of Kerala. Kochi was the first princely state which willingly joined the Indian Union when India got independence in 1947. Kochi is also called Ernakulam, which is the mainland part of the city.

Kochi has an International Cricket Stadium, known as Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium at Kaloor, Kochi. It is second largest cricket stadium in India with a seating capacity of 75,000 people; the largest being the one at Kolkotta, with 1 lack seating capacity.

Wonderla, situated at Kakkanad, Kochi, which was previously known as Veegaland, is one of the most popular theme parks in South India.

How Do I Go to The Queen of Arabian Sea – Kochi?

Kochi or Cochin is well connected by air, road and railway network (and by ship also) to the rest of the world.

Cochin International airport , Nedumbrassery is the nearest airport, at around one hour drive from Ernakulam city. Angamaly Railway Station, with station code ‘AFK’, is the nearest railway station to the Cochin International airport, at 4 kilometers distance.

Ernakulam South alias Ernakulam Junction, with station code ‘ERS’, is a major railway terminus which has trains to most parts of India. Ernakulam North railway station alias Ernakulam Town station, with station code’ ERN’, is another station around 1 km from the Ernkulam Junction, where almost all trains stops.

Kochi is well connected by roads to the rest of the country. NH 17 (Panavel, New Mumbai to Kochi), NH 47 (Kanyakumari to Salem) and NH 49 (Kochi to Rameswaram via Dhanushkodi) are the three National Highways which connects Cochin to other parts of India.

Kochi Port connects Kochi to outside world. Luxury cruise ships regularly visits Cochin.

Where can I Stay in The Queen of Arabian Sea – Kochi?

Taj Malabar (Viventa by Taj), is an Upper Upscale Brand, 5 star rated hotel, from the Taj group of hotels. Le Méridien Kochi, at Maradu (near Vytilla junction), is another 5 star hotel on the highway side.

The Malabar House at Mattancherry, The Renai Cochin, The Gateway Hotel in Marine drive, Dream Cochin, Beaumonde The Fern, Holiday Inn Kochi, Trident Cochin, Crown Plaza on the NH bye pass road, Abad Plaza on M.G. Road (next to Kavitha theater), Abad Atrium, The Wyte Fort at Vytilla, etc., are some of the other luxury hotels in Cochin. Ramada Resort Cochin is a good resort on the Vembanad backwater lake side. Many of these hotels have eco-friendly solar power systems to tide over any power disruptions.

“Greenest” is one of the new budget hotels in Ernakulam (Kochi) with next door supermarket, library, roof-top conference hall, etc, They offer pick up and drop facilities for guests. They also arrange car rentals and sight seeing.

Where can I Go for a Movie in Kochi city, The Queen of Arabian Sea?

There is a 4 screen multiplex theater run by Cinemax at Oberon Mall, Edapally. Another good theater where latest movies are screened is the Q Cinemas, Gold souk, Bye-pass road, Vytilla, Kochi.

Kavitha Theater, M.G. Road, Cochin, the largest single screen theater in Cochin with around 1000 seat capacity, is also a good option for cine-goers in the Cochin city. Saritha Theatre , Savitha Theatre and Sangeetha Theatre is another leading theater complex of Kochi at the heart of the city in Banerji Road, Ernakulam,Cochin.

Shenoys Theatre complex is another good theatre complex in the heart of the city, at M.G. Road, Ernakulam. Padma Theater is also a good theatre in the heart of the city.

What About the Hotel and Theaters in the New Lulu Mall in The Queen of Arabian Sea – Kochi?

The new Lulu Mall hypermarket is at the Edapally Junction, Kochi. Lulu Mall at Cochin is the second largest mall in India after the Phoenix Market City in Mumbai.

JM Marriott Hotel inside the Lulu Mall has 300 rooms, spread over a 20 storied building, inside the Lulu Mall premises.

There is a Nine Screen PVR Cinemas, inside the Lulu Mall Hypermarket complex.

Public transport facilities at the The Queen of Arabian Sea – Kochi

A new bus terminus called Vytitila Mobility Hub, offers convenient public transport bus facilities to other parts of the city and the state. Old bus terminus, off M.G. Road and Chittor Road, near to the Ambedkar stadium and the railway track between Ernakulam North and Ernakulam South railway stations, is also available to commuters using bus services. There is also a small bus station at the Boat Jetty.

Kaloor Private Bus Station serves as the main hub for private buses operating in the Kochi city.

Ernakulam North railway station (Ernakulam Town station) and Ernakulam South railway station (Ernakulam Junction) offers railway connectivity to other major cites.

There is regular public transport boat services by the state government boats to different islands of Kochi.

Kochi Metro Railway

Kochi and its suburbs are excited after the inauguration of part of the Kochi metro railway network line from Aluva to Palarivattom, in June 2017. Work is going on in many parts of the city. Palarivattom to M.G. road line is undergoing trial run and is expected to be opened in the third or fourth quarter of 2017. The old railway over-bridge near the North railway station was demolished and a new wider bridge was constructed as part of the metro project. Kochi is the first Tier-II city in India to go for a metro railway network.

The metro line will connect Aluva to Petta. The stations in between Aluva to Petta are Ambattukavu, Kalamassery, Cochin University, Edapally, Palarivattom, Kaloor, Lissie Junction, M.G. Road, Ernakulam South, Kadavanthra, Vytila,

There is a proposal to extend the metro railway line to Kakkanad, the hub of IT industry in Kochi and administrative headquarters of Ernakulam District. Kochi Info Park, the second largest IT park in the state of Kerala is situated at Kakkanad.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

George Thiruvilakalayil George

Travel Related Blog Writer at touristinindia.com
George Thiruvilakalyil George is a blog writer. George is an expert on Local Business Citations, having created thousands of Local Citations for clients in USA, Australia, India, etc. George is also a web site designer with around 2 decades of experience. George started working on web related technologies from early 1996, immediately after internet access was introduced in 5 cities of India in August 1995.

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Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea. Kumarakom Birds Sanctuary, Kerala, India.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the Vembanad backwaters front in Kottayam District of Kerala state, India. Kumarakom is home to many species of birds and June and August are the ideal months to visit the Sanctuary.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist’s paradise. Migratory birds comes in large numbers here. Earlier it was known as Baker’s Estate as the area was the estate of Alfred George Baker, who got 500 ares of land from the then king of Travancore and planted many trees there in a few acres on the southern bank of River Kavanar. Later on, he did not do anything on these area. Migratory as well as local birds came to these groves in  few years and it thus became a bird Sanctuary. It is  a water bird sanctuary.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread over 14 acres of land and is the first scientifically developed bird sanctuary in India.  There are 180 species of birds found in Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is adjacent to the Vembanad backwaters, which helps in getting abundant feeds like insects to the birds. It is also called Vembanad Bird Sanctuary. Take your bird watching binoculars with you when you are going there.

How do I go to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary?

Kottayam, ‘The Press Capital of India’, which houses many of India’s leading vernacular newspapers like Malayala Manorama, Mathruboomi, Deepika, etc, at 18 kilometers away is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport. Kumarakom is well connected by roads to nearby cities like Kottayam, Allapuzha and Cochin.

Boating from Allapuzha is a good option for any tourist, as the journey covers the backwaters of Vembanad lake; ‘The Venice of the East’.  Kumarakom is at the extreme end of Vembanad lake. Pathiramanal, an island en route to Kumarakam from Allepy, is also a tourist spot worth visiting.

There are many hotels at Kumarakam and Allepy alias Allapuzha, which caters to tourist’s accommodation requirements.

Silent Valley National Park

George Thiruvilakalayil George

Travel Related Blog Writer at touristinindia.com
George Thiruvilakalyil George is a blog writer. George is an expert on Local Business Citations, having created thousands of Local Citations for clients in USA, Australia, India, etc. George is also a web site designer with around 2 decades of experience. George started working on web related technologies from early 1996, immediately after internet access was introduced in 5 cities of India in August 1995.

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Silent Valley National Park is spread across Palakkad, Malappuram Districts of Kerala State & Nilagiris District of Tamilnadu, in India. It s a tropical moist evergreen forest.

Silent Valley National Park
Lion-tailed Macaque
, endemic to the Western Ghats.

Silent Valley is the home to the largest population of Lion-tailed Macaque, an endangered Primitive species. Public outcry over their habitat led to the establishment of the area as Silent Valley Park. In the year 1986, this National Park was declared as the core area of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve. This has resulted in efforts to promote the Ecosystem of the Silent Valley. This National Park is part of Western Ghats, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Kunti puzha (Kunti River) runs through the entire length of 15 kilometers of the park from north to south and then  into the Bharathapuzha. Silent Valley receives most of the rainfall in Monsoon season, from June to September. During the North West Monsoon season months of October and November, Valley receives moderate rainfall.

Silent Valley is part of Western Ghats and is rich in flora and fauna. 16 bird species has been listed as threatened or restricted. There is an estimated 138 species of birds in Silent Valley.

A minimum of 24 species of Mammals are found in Silent Valley including many threatened species. Bats,rats,mice, etc, count to 9 species. There are 730 insects identified in Silent Valley National Park, as per last count.

How do I go to Silent Valley National Park?

Silent Valley National Park is in Palakkad and Malapuram districts of Kerala state, which is well connected by road, rail and flight services to other parts of the country. “Palakkad Junction” is nearest major railway station. Cochin, Kozhikode and Coimbatore airports are the nearest airports to the Park.

Aranmula Snake Boats, Temple, Metal Mirrors

George Thiruvilakalayil George

Travel Related Blog Writer at touristinindia.com
George Thiruvilakalyil George is a blog writer. George is an expert on Local Business Citations, having created thousands of Local Citations for clients in USA, Australia, India, etc. George is also a web site designer with around 2 decades of experience. George started working on web related technologies from early 1996, immediately after internet access was introduced in 5 cities of India in August 1995.

Latest posts by George Thiruvilakalayil George (see all)

Aranmula Snake Boats, Temple, Metal Mirrors
The annual Snake boat race is conducted during Onam Celebrations on the Pamba River at Aranmula near Pathanamthitta.

Aranmula Snake Boat Race

Aranmula Snake boat race or Aranmula Vallamkali, as it is known in the local language of Malayalam, is held annually on “Uthrattathi” day, normally the 4th day after “ThiruOnam”. Aranmula Snake boat race is conducted during the Onam (or Thruonam) Festival Season. Thiruonam is Kerala’s traditional harvest festival celebrated during August or September. Aranmula Snake boat race is a canoe racing kind of activity among the various nearby villagers.

Each boat is more than 30 feet in length with a minimum of 124 oarsmen rowing; many others standing on the boat singing traditional ‘Vanchipaattu’; traditional songs to encourage the oarsmen. These trophy boats are decorated with Kerala’s traditional golden lace, flag and colorful umbrellas. Only men are allowed to row the snake-boats in these races. Nobody wears shirt or footwear. Traditional ‘Mundu’ also known as “vesti” and ‘Turban’ to head are the dress allowed. It is a pleasure watching these snake boats glide swiftly through the water. 48 snake boats have participated in the last year’s Aranmula Vallam Kali.

Trophy Boat races are the highlight of Kerala Tourism during the Onam season. Allapuzha Nehru Tropy Boat Race, Aranmula snake boat race, Champakulam Moolam Boat Race, Neerattupuram boat race, etc, are to name a few.

Anamula Parthasarathy Temple


Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, Kerala, India.

Anamula Parthasarathy temple is a temple which is one of the ancient temples dedicated to Parthasarthy or Lord Krishna. “Thanka Anki”, which is the Golden dress to Sabarimala temple’s Lord Aiyappa which was donated by the Tranvancore royal family, is kept at Ananmula. It is taken to Sabarimala temple every year, for a few days. Back side of the temple is the holy river Pamba. Temple celebrates its annual festival during regional calender’s month of ‘Meenam”. It is believed that Lord Aiyappa of Sabarimla temple, after getting the Tiger’s milk from Sabrimala , came to Aranmula in a country boat made of six bamboos and landed here, on his return journey to Pandalam palace, ;where his parents were residing. Thus the name Aranmula. ‘Aru’ is six and ‘mula’ is bamboo in Malayalam, the local language of Kerala.

Aranmula Metal Mirrors

Aranmula metal mirror
This is a metal mirror created from special metal alloys. This is manufactured in Aranmula near Chegannur in Kerala, India.

Aranmula Metal Mirror or Anamula Kannadi as is known locally, is handmade with metal alloys. Unlike mercury coated mirrors, which has mercury at backside, these mirrors reflect image from the front of the mirror. Exact metals used to make the mirrors are still a secret to the outside world. It is made of some alloys, and takes many days of polishing by hand to make it smooth.

There is also the famous ‘VastuVidyaGurukulam’, supported by government, which promotes the traditional art, culture and heritage of Aranmula.

How to reach the Site of Aranmula Snake Boats, Temple, Metal Mirrors

Aranmula is at a distance of 110 Kilometers from the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, previously known as Trivandrum. Chenganoor is the nearest railway station to Aranmula snake boat race site, at 9 kilometers away. Aranmula is well connected by roads. Cochin International Airport and Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, at around 110 to 125 kilometers away ;receptively, are the nearest airports.

Being a Village, there are no hotels at Aranmula. One can stay at Aranmula home stay or  nearby Pathanamthitta homestay.

Aranmula is a beautiful heritage village.