Tag Archives: God’s Own Country

Fragrance of Culture in Kochi

Fort Kochi - Chinese Fishing Nets

Fort Kochi – Chinese Fishing Nets

While Kerala is infamously popular for its backwaters and magnanimously known for being GOD’s Own Country, there are many other facets that describe the beauty of Kerala. One such part of the state that adds a spice of it’s own to this beautiful God’s own country is Ft. Kochi. Kochi was a fishing village in the Kingdom of Kochi in the pre-colonial Kerala, has a mix of old houses built by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in these colonial periods line the streets of Fort Kochi. St Francis Church was built in 1503 by the Portuguese as a Catholic church. 

An Ancient building in Ft. Kochi

An Ancient building in Ft. Kochi

One of the first things you’ll notice when you set foot off the boat, that arrives from Marine drive is the fragrance of the spices. Since early days Arabian and Chinese traders sourced spices, especially pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, sandal wood etc. from the Kochi region. Even today, it is hugely important for it’s spices. But other than that, from a traveler’s point of view there are far more interesting things that you’d love to take a look at.

In fact, Ft. Kochi is a place that’s far more different than any other places in Kerala. Much different from the beautiful, landscape full of trees and water, different from the valley of coffee plantations, certainly a sight far closer to the beaches of Kovalam, and yet has a distinctive look and feel about it that you can’t really spot a place like it elsewhere in Kerala.

Oldest Jewish Synagogue lies in India at Fort Kochi - Pardesi Synagogue

Oldest Jewish Synagogue lies in India at Fort Kochi – Pardesi Synagogue

St. Francis Church - Ft. Kochi

St. Francis Church – Ft. Kochi

A Hindu Temple on Dutch Street in Ft. Kochi

A Hindu Temple on Dutch Street in Ft. Kochi

The ancient, historic confluence of the Church as well as the Jewish Synagogues,  a Hindu temple on Dutch street and the Chinese Fishing nets will mesmerize you while the sun sets across the shores and the most beautiful roadside stalls on Jew Street offer a cultural expose that even the Merchants of Venice would have been envious of.

Jew Street

Jew Street

Sunset at Fort Kochi

Sunset at Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi has a thing of it’s own to offer to most travelers. You have got to experience it in a way that you’ll never experience any other place across India. And while you’re at it, you must breathe in the synchronicity of rich heritage and various cultures that still forms part of this magnificent country that I’d like to call India!

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Welcome to Kumarakom

So Kanyakumari was finally over… A feeling of satisfaction that I got was marvellous… With the end of Kanyakumari, I also ended the Tamil Nadu leg of #SriniOnTour… Felt really great after achieving these locations in a span of 10 days.. What a marvellous experience it had been and so had been the learning throughout this tour so far… It’s a common fact that travelling gives you great perspective, it does, more than that this particular trip had certainly given me a lot more patience and resilience to push yourself harder… Especially when that backpack of mine kept getting heavier… I wondered to myself, why did I even carry my heavy jacket and the blanket… They were seemingly useless as there wasn’t even a hint of cold throughout my experience up until now…

 

Yes, that is what is the keyword… until now… As soon as I left Nagercoil from where I got a bus to Trivandrum, the entire scenario changed… As soon as I left Kanyakumari district and entered Kerala it felt totally surreal!!! The cold breeze blowing in your face, it was cloudy and started drizzling as well… Greenery all besides you, all you could see is a lot of trees, banana plantations, rice / paddy farms… It was truly brilliant…

 

 

Green Peace :P

Green Peace 😛

So I headed to Trivandrum, from where I got an express bus to Allepy… which could drop me off to Kottayam… So my journey this time was a little tricky… Kanyakumari-Nagercoil-Trivandrum-Kottayam-Kumarakom… It took me around 8 hours to reach Kumarakom… Thankfully my accomodation had been taken care of. Once again Tweeple to the rescue!!! @whizkidd aka Rahul Srinivas called up his uncle Anil who has a great and I mean uberly great lakeside cottage homestay… That is where I got my accomodation… I reached there at 10:00 PM… Got off at Chakrampadi stand, which is really close from the cottage where I was to stay…

 

Road to my Cottage

Road to my Cottage

Now I settled down in the cottage and saw the view, couldn’t see much then, so decided to think of it in the morning… I got online, tweeted out to @whizkidd that I reached Kumarakom and thanked him for helping me out… The most unthinkable happened… had not happened till now… @kumarakom360 an official twitter handle for Kumarakom tweeted out to me!!! Welcoming me to Kumarakom… As appropriate as it may sound their website also is called http://www.welcome2kumarakom.com Can you beat that??? Brilliant job I must say… I checked out their website and found  a lot of details about the place… It’s certainly worth checking out…

 

I had made up my mind, there are certainly two things I wouldn’t miss doing in Kumarakom,

 

1. A boat ride / canoe ride in the Kumarakom Backwaters.

2. A boat ride to Allaphuza (Venice of Kerala) from Kottayam… (It’s listed as one of the must-dos by Lonely Planet Magazine)

 

So after a really rough ride from Kanyakumari to Kumarakom, I decided to crash and wake up early in the morning… WOW is the only word I have for the view I see outside my room… The Cabin by the lake was truly blissful… I think it’s time to end the really amazing crusade of hop-skip-jump and truly start enjoying my vacation in the peaceful and ever so lovely God’s Own Country… Just relax, unwind, not a lot of travelling but more of enjoying and letting the experience of being in the most blissful place sink in..

 

That's my cabin by the lake...

That's my cabin by the lake...

 

Anil Kumarar

Anil Kumarar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Anil Kumarar… @whizkidd’s uncle.. In case you guys down here in Kumarakom, you can ask for Beach County that’s the name of the place, it’s right off the lake and  this lake facing cottage can be all yours… His contact no is +91- 9995626969

Early Morninng View

Early Morning View

Truly, it seems like a really blissful few days ahead… before I hit the grind once again…

 

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#SriniOnTour – South India Trip 2010 – A blogumentary

So this is what my #SriniOnTour looks like as of now… It’s certainly a different kind of vacation that I have ever taken. Yes, I have certainly blogged about most of my long weekend, on the spur of the moment type of trips. Certainly have always wanted opportunities like these to glorify my travelogue and make sure that I let loose the wild traveller within me. This journey however has much more significance than just one of those blogs or travelogues.

 

What I truly want to do with this blogumentary is to achieve some true respite and get my travel writing skills up one notch. We all have such vacations and in fact one of the reasons why I chose this vacation was to make sure that I expand my travel portfolio… I know of a lot of enthu, photographers, travel buffs reaching out to people with their creative art form and expressing a truly meaningful self…

 

What I wish to attain through this blogumentary is to document not just geographic locations, but also the true emotions behind every single photo I take, every single temple I visit. Document the theme that India down south represents. Something that we all know and have already discovered. But to me it’s more than just that. I need to really rediscover some of the elements that a lot of us forget many times. Every minute details of the trip will help me understand a lot of  things that are really help make me who I am…

 

With every blog that I post, I hope to tell a story that will build and develop itself. A story that will mean a lot more than what it seems. A story that we all hope for and expect to really make some sort of a difference to our lives.

 

My presentation on Slideshare got featured in the travel section by the editorial team of Slideshare. Now, it also has over 1000 views. I will be live blogging, tweeting, and updating my experience here. So do stay tuned. Also would love to hear feedback and tips from all of you guys about the trip. Tips, places of interest, expert comments are more than welcome 🙂

 

You may want to stay tuned to these links below as well Hope you find this interesting too.

http://facebook.com/srinistuff (Photo Journal)

http://bit.ly/sriniontoursouthindia (My Tour map for this trip)

http://everlater.com/srinistuff (My travel planner)

http://bit.ly/SriniOnTour (My Travel Map so far)

http://twitpic.com/photos/srinistuff (Travel Photos On the Go)

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