Beaches,backwaters and a walk into the Portuguese-Dutch era houses: Kochi

Well. …it was Feb already ; March was approaching and I had no plans on how do I utilize my travel coupon expiring in April … As it turns out pune is quite hot in March around period and didn’t seem anything near by was going to fill for it.
It’s challenging to plan a perfect vacation if you have just 3 days in hand.. it’s all sunny near by and you don’t want to spend those days by roaming around in nothing but too much of sun ( no offense but around Pune you mostly find either forts, mountains or lakes , none of them works if it’s hot ..stay after 10 am and you will know ). No greenery or breeze around …and most importantly may be you need a change..
So we did some googling and here comes the plan :
A 3 day trip to cherai Beach resort , Kochi .. ( we also had to consider availability of coupon resorts )..Kerala
Ya you might say would not it be hot too.. considering the temperature yes it was same but wait .. let’s not add spoilers ..Talking about transport options Though there are many trains that connect Pune to Kochi (1600+ kms, takes more than a day travel ); It’s better to use flights if u have got less time on travel .. we had 3 days ..Ours was a connecting flight from Bangalore, an early morning one, we reached around 11 to Kochi .. it was little sunny cum cloudy with temperature around 30.. so while we were still in air ; view of Kochi from the top really set the mood high. . it was so much greenery .lakes not to mention in middle of every alternate street and their truss roof architectured bunglows thoughout the city … while we landed with all the excitement once we got down we were ready to feel the touch of the weather..which kept creating a mysterious buzz for us..when we got down we noticed the airport.. it was designed with cultural details and it really felt different to see how beatifully they managed to mix cultural touch to an international airport.

quick fact add..the airport is an example of a public-private partnership model.. weather wise it felt more of a touch of humidity than the kind of real hot that we feel in sun.. we found ola to cherai (25 km, 45 min,500+) at a cheaper rate so went for it.. What makes a 45 minute ola ride interesting..umm. in our case it was..wide roads.. beautifully green side ways.. lakes that keep saying welcome to cherai every 2 kms and again my favorite from the town beatifully designed truss roof with red bricks .. it feels so better to see those designs when u live in a city full of apartments..
   Reaching cherai in the middle of the day was feeling hot so we decided to take some rest and make a plan.. oh wait if you are waiting to know about lunch options then let me tell u .. this Beach stays quite off and dull in the daytime but those who come with non vegetarian background are obviously going to love to see the sea food varieties ..all the resorts are just next to the beach and it’s quite convenient if u want to just keep trying those different sea food options you have been craving for ..

       Geographically we knew we had following options to explore in Kochi:
1. Of course the beaches near cherai..there are almost 4 of them, all of them not much far (2 to 4 kms) and the water sports
2. The back water activities like  site viewing , boating etc ,cherai had a back water place which was on a walking distance
3. If u find it interesting to think about fishing and want to explore Chinese fishing nets ..you will find plenty of them..you can try yourself too
4. In the main city, you will find an interesting area, Fort kochi… Portugese styled architecture, beach side streets , street side meuseums and places to hang out, churches , street shops with Indian comfort wear kurtas and tops.
5. There are also waterfalls in about 65+ kms radius of Kochi

 One thing that most of us forget most in the excitement of a vacation is the perfect planning so that it goes as smoothly as our imaginations want them to be..it mostly lacks the reality touch and  yeah that’s the cause we don’t want to feel sorry about , do we ..yet we don’t 😋
   Day 1 :So we reached around 12 pm and got freshen up by 2, went out for lunch and then came to know not so expected thing about Kochi…ya you got it Kochi is not a noon place ..even most of the restaurant were closed during day time..even if they are open they offer less than usual ..so we had a resort booked day after today and we had to plan three days.. we decided: Going to far places before settling in resort so that we have more time in resort Fort kochi is an area about 26 kms from cherai and it could be covered so we headed. While the traversing wasn’t much of a headache, it became surprisingly thrilling to see  that you pass the way to fort kochi via a way that goes through a farry..

It kind of carries all the vehicles and drops them to the other edge where  u land in fort kochi… can u imagine a village lying on beach side with buildings having Portugese, Dutch and french feel to it and yet again added with Indian historical vibes including meuseums that sing old heritage having things ranging  from clothes , instruments,  sculptures to the spices ..and not only meuseums, even the cafes, hotels, church  carry this theme..

you can definitely fix a time that make you catch evening colors extending to nighty shines that this place holds ..we kind of missed night time as we started before sun set from the place- one of the flaws of our plan. Another one was we also missed to visit one of the most recommended place called Mattencherry palace, as it stays close on fridays.Sorry for no photos from there.So there are plenty of attractions in about area of 5 kms and you can definitely find them on map ..sounds better than I repeating same.
Once you are back at cherai beach , you can always sit on the sand, feel the freeze in air and relax your way back ..ya cherai is always open ..
Here comes the day 2… If you are a morning person and love to check beautiful sunrise views, cherai won’t offer you one…we woke up early and went to Munambam beach for a morning view, it was peacefull serence with a nice walk way and fishermen set up.

but you have a back water residence hotel then that still might do a better job for you .. we spent some time on beach and checked in to club Mahindra resort..and what can I say… who wouldn’t want an individual house opening to the back waters and having all the keralai vibes on ..it was a peacefull set up indeed…I say if you stay in Kochi, make sure you get a back water facing hotel or resort else you will miss having one of the most different things about this place .. so moving on..you also get to explore different water sports on cherai..

We were done exploring resort and headed to beach, it was a sunset.. talking about beach.. the beach here is a friendly street beach .. what I mean is it stays up all night, gives u sand to sit, rocks all over its edge and a small cemented side stand along its way that separates it from the main road.. it normally gets a lot of crowd from the localides, you also get to see a lot of fishes liying there while u walk..

Now let’s see what day 3 looked like ..

  I know waking up early doesn’t seem fun to many but how would it be if you wake up and open the doors of your balcony to see a lot of calm water which is beginning to see touch of the early morning rays we call sun rise …from far a distance a few boats with fishermen performing their routine ritual.. fishing.. I am sure you will sit there ..till the rays keep touching ur skin in a gentle manner…

Oh wait not just the balcony, you can have a ship ride experience too, we had it available in our resort but I am sure you can avail this other ways too.

Really wanted to stay there for quite a while but then what I realized I couldnt ; it was last day of the trip and I didn’t want to lose any opportunities of exploring things near by … So we had the last day in hand we wanted to make sure whatever we explore we get an evening time at resort so that we can relax before the trip gets over…we wanted options which are not more than 60 kms (6 hrs) : Waterfalls, Elephant training centers.
     We went with the most popular waterfall of kerela … Athirapilly .. it was almost 2hr ride..the way to this waterfalls is surrounded by forest on a hilly area.. the ride is even more beautifull once you get to the golf area..on the way before the waterfalls you get a garden cum dam place ..Thumboormuzhi Dam, it also has a hanging bridge and a garden area near by..this place is best visited around monsoon but still worth a shot in summer too.. 

Athirapilly is a very dense dam , you get to see both the view from the top and bottom around this waterfall..though less flow in summer it still feels quite functioning even in summer . Yeah it’s the dam where bahubali was shot..when you enter the area you get to walk down in the forest area, friendly monkeys on the way, people really play with them, after a little walk (500 m) get to see the top view of the falls, the river actually. And for the bottom view you get to trek down the hill area a little, so better be ready for a little treck experience. To be honest these picturs are no justice to how beautifull it is in real.

Around 4 kms from here you get another waterfall called Vazhachal falls.. one more thing .. there is a little bit of tracking that you will need to perform to reach down view of dam, it’s better to be comfort ready cloth wise ..not only these dams are quite scenic ..even the ways to these dams are throughout followed by the river flow and beautiful greenery scenes of the dense forest 

And then came the time to pack the bags ..

I had some take aways from this trip which I would like to share :
1. Plan your days better in terms of what can fit in according to ur Location and willingness to rush .. which areas u can cover during noon and which during night. Which places visit first day and which ones last . For example I should have visited waterfalls on first day when I had most of my energy.. should have left early morning. And could have cover fort kochi next or last day , anytime when most of the churches are open.
2. Fix ur days for shopping but know in advance when market may stay close in that locality , check timings 
3. Don’t forget to Pack up according to each day and occasion, adds onto comfort nicely 
4. And most importantly keep your mind and heart open so that you explore and live everything u see, you sure will meet beautiful ways to shine ur day over any plans you make …:) 

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