My itinerary 2

Kolkata – Chennai – Cochin (Ernakulam ) -Lakshadweep – Cochin – Munnar -Periyar- Cochin -Kolkata

Lakshadwip was my childhood dream destination. I made a contact with the local agent of SPORTS, an agency that conduct cruise package for Lakshadwip. We bought train tickets to reach Cochin and air tickets for coming back from Cochin to Kolkata. I included Munnar and Periyar in the same plan. I wanted to go to Aleppy by backwater but my son was not interested in it as according to his opinion after a cruise tour to Lakshadweep it would not be a worthy one to enjoy.

Nilgiri Thar

After finishing our Lakshadwip package we went to Cochin Inter-state bus stand and caught a bus for Munnar at 3 PM and reached there in the evening .There are quite a number of hotels in the mall and road side food stall. Munnar is a small hill station in Western Ghat range. Anaimudi is the highest peak of Western ghat. There is Eraviculam National Park. There are several places to visit. The whole area is covered with tea gardens and Sandalwood forest . We stayed 2 nights in Munnar and booked a car for local sight seeing.

Then we went to Periyar. There was local bus service from Munnar to go to Periyar, but we hired a car. The journey from Munnar to Periyar was pleasant due to the scenic beauty. Periyar is also a very nice place with a reserve forest, lake and spice market. We stayed in a home-stay there.

Spicy Periyar

Kerala is a very beautiful and tourist friendly state. As soon as the train enters into the state one can find the difference in the nature with green all around and lots of coconut trees. We reached Periyar from Munnar. The road was beautiful with tea gardens on both side and the orange trees with ripe saffron colored oranges among the different shades of green enhanced the beauty. Though I was not well due to my upset stomach still I enjoyed that pleasant scenery. Periyar is famous for it’s reserve forest, lake and spice market.

We went to the lake early in the morning. My son went for bamboo rafting in the forest of Periyar for the whole day. I took a ticket from the counter of the forest department for a boat ride in the lake. It was a pleasant trip. There was a group of local pilgrims, who came back from Guruvayoor temple. They were eating something from cans which looked like jaggery. I became curious and asked them what it was. They told it was the prasadam of the temple of Guruvayoor and shared a part with me. The boat was large. It gave a round through the whole lake. I found some beautiful birds and animals. The weather in the morning was pleasant due to the presence of dense woods.

After the boat ride I went to the market and had lunch. There was a strong smell of spices everywhere. I surveyed the market and bought some cardamom, clove, and black pepper. Though the town was small there were many jewellery shops. People of Kerala are very much fond of gold, and people wear gold without any fear of snatchers. I watched most of the women were wearing more than one gold chains. Kerala is a comparatively peaceful state in India with less crime and hundred percent literacy rate. I found lots of foreigners there. It is famous for its health spas which provide herbal treatments. One can see coffee trees in every lane.

Bamboo Rafting in Periyar lake