Having spent 6 years of my life with my beloved husband, our travelling synergies have reached a level where each moment has become more profound and cherish-able. Our recent trip to Kerala was an extraordinary experience because of these synergies and mesmerizing beauty of Kerala. The plan was to enjoy 5 days of sheer relaxation.
Planning any trip is as usual a hectic task, but this was particularly very tedious for two reasons. First, every place in Kerala is so beautiful and unique in itself, it is tough to zero-in on places to visit in limited no. of days. Initially we decided to go to Munnar, Thekkady and Alleppy. Then we got to know from friends that it is raining heavily and often in Munnar since it is a hill station, so enjoying the outdoors won’t be possible. Hence, we dropped the idea to visit Munnar and considered only visiting Alleppey and Thekkady. This plan also could not withstand our whimsical minds and finally we decided to visit Alleppy and Kovalam, since both the places have beautiful beaches, especially Kovalam and my husband is a summer guy all year round.
Another difficult task is to select a place to stay. Since Kerala is a prime tourist attraction in India for tourists around the world, it is flooded with all sorts of lodging options (Hotels, resorts, B&B and specialty stays). When you will start looking on internet for a suitable place to spend the night, you will be bombarded with so many choices, all having great reviews, you will feel like lost and exhausted.
After putting in a lot of thoughts, we finally booked our lodgings, houseboat and a self-drive rental car. The plan was to fly to Kochi and fetch a car to drive places.
Finally the D-day arrived, 3rd July. All packed, we flew in the morning and reached Kochi around 10:30 A.M. The weather was slightly hot and humid which was expected because of the city’s proximity with the sea. We received our rental car on airport itself, although after some wait. Around 12:30 P.M. we started for Athirapally waterfalls, which is 40kms, around 1 hour drive from Kochi airport.
Athirapalli Falls also known as “Suren Chellakutti Falls” is situated in Athirappilly panchayath, Chalakduy Taluk in of Valparai, on the southwest coast of India. Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and the Sholayar ranges, this 24-metre (80 ft) waterfall and the nearby Vazhachal Falls are popular tourist destinations. It is the largest waterfall in Kerala and is nicknamed “The Niagara of India”.The falls have been shot in many movies such as Guru, Raavan, Dil se and the latest one Baahubali.
The drive to the fall is very scenic with widespread plantation of Palm, pepper, jackfruit and rubber on both sides of the road. Few meters before the falls, there is an area road-side from where one can view the entire falls from a distance. The view is very picturesque. We stopped at the point for few minutes and clicked some amazing pictures.
Soaked in the beauty of the falls, we drove further to the parking area, parked our car, brought the tickets for visiting the falls and started our journey to the fabulous falls. There is a short trek to reach a point where you can see the Chalakudy river flowing and then falling (top of the waterfalls) and then there is a further trek, which is little tough, to the bottom of the falls.
We first trekked straight to the bottom of the falls, all excited with the thoughts of getting ourselves wet under the magnificent falls. When we reached there we found that it was not allowed to enter the falls because of high force in the water and slippery rocks, but still everyone was easily getting wet in the drizzle splattered all around the area.
The entire experience sitting and gauging the falls was refreshing. We spent some good amount of time enjoying the falls, and then trekked back up to see the top view. When we reached up, we were again exhausted but the splendid view erased all the tiredness.We spent some more time there before heading back to the parking lot.
Two things I want to recommend here: one, there are monkeys in the area, so be careful and do not carry food items with you to escape possible conflict. Two, the trek would be easy if you wear sports shoes or trekking shoes instead of casual slippers or sandals.
After a content day, we drove towards our hotel which was in Fort Kochi. Interestingly I got to know that we could even board our car in a boat and take to the other end. It was a thrilling experience sitting in the car which was parked on the boat while the latter was sailing in the sea. The local term used is boat jetty for the boat that is a local transport across the sea. It was a 10-15 mins ride which we enjoyed watching Chinese fishing net in the setting sun, a golden view.
We reached our hotel in around 2 and half hours, exhausted and hungry. Our booking was in Rosetta wood castle. The hotel was a nice property, with a vintage look and just 2 mins walk from the sea, but the hospitality was awful. We checked-in and found the room was clean and decent size. We quickly got freshened up and went to the in-house restaurant for dinner hoping to eat some authentic Kerala cuisine, but they had nothing other than chapati and daal. So we stepped out to go in some other restaurants. While walking we saw few road side small eating joints, which promised to offer authentic Kerala food. Since we are vegetarians, there are limited food options, so we ordered Puttu and kadala curry. The food was disappointing. We moved ahead but could not find anything. Then decided to not roam around much in night time and walked back. Among those street food joints we saw an Italian food joint. We thought to eat something more since we were hungry. So we stopped there. The chef was a Russian guy and suggested us to try the pizza. That was the best pizza we had.
On the way back we stopped near the sea for few mins to say goodnight and reached our hotel to call it a day.