Categories
Blog

Celebrating Kerala Temple Festivals

Kerala Temple festivals are elaborate and exotic. The main attraction at these festivals is the elephants.

The festivals form part of each temple’s annual rituals. They’re often a tribute to the temple’s presiding god, who emerges from inside the temple once a year. Each festival has a different set of legends and myths behind it, depending on the temple god.

elephant1

When are the Kerala Temple Festivals Celebrated:

From February to April, with each festival running for around 10 days.

Where are the Kerala Temple Festivals Celebrated:

At temples throughout the state of Kerala, in south India. The biggest and most colorful festival takes place at Vadakkumnathan temple in Thrissur and is called Thrissur Pooram. It happens during the Malayalam month of Medam (April/May). Another important temple festival not far from Thrissur is the Arattupuzha Pooram, which has around 60 elephants in attendance.

How are the Kerala Temple Festivals Celebrated:

While everyday temple rituals are modest, temple festivals take place on a grand scale and are a highlight on the social calenders of Kerala’s population. The festivals feature large processions of bejeweled elephants, drummers and other musicians, colorful floats carrying gods and goddesses, and fireworks.

What Rituals are Performed During the Kerala Temple Festivals:

Detailed temple rituals are conducted by a tantri (the main temple priest) according to the temple god. Rituals involving the god statue in a Pallivetta (Royal Hunt) and Arattu (Holy Bath) are the focus of the festivals of some Kerala’s major temples. During the Thrissur and Arattupuzha Poorams, gods from surroundings temples make their annual visit on elephant back to pay their respects to the presiding temple god.

What to Expect at the Kerala Temple Festivals:

Plenty of crowds, elephants, noise, and processions. Music is an important part of the temple celebrations and the frenetic percussionists, of which there are plenty, manage to whip up quite a sound. Cultural programs, including classical music and dance performances, are also on offer.

(c) http://goindia.about.com/od/festivalsevents/p/Keralatemple.htm by Sharrel Cook

MORE

More photos and information about Kerala can be seen in our social media channels
Subscribe us https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsBr16wblPTbNcX9Ax5bVbg
Follow us in https://www.instagram.com/VisitKerala
Like us https://www.Facebook.com/Kerala
Visit Us http://www.VisitKerala.com

Also in Kerala Tourism http://www.keralatourism.org

Categories
Blog

Guide to Kerala Snake Boat Races

For a few months every year during the monsoon season, the state of Kerala comes alive with colorful snake boat races.

boat-race1

What’s a Snake Boat:

Fortunately there’s no need for concern, as snake boats get their name from their shape rather than anything to do with live snakes! A snake boat (or chundan vallam) is actually a long traditional canoe style boat used by the people of the Kuttanadu region, in south India’s state of Kerala. Typical snake boats are 100 to 120 feet long, and hold around 100 rowers. Each of the villages in the region has its own snake boat, which they take great pride in. Every year the villagers get together and race the boats along the lakes and rivers.

What’s the History Behind the Snake Boat Races:

The battling snake boats of Kerala have over 400 years of history associated with them. Their story can be traced back to the kings of Alleppey (Alappuzha) and the surrounding areas, who used to fight with each other in boats along the canals. One king, who suffered heavy losses, got boat architects to build him a better vessel and the snake boat was born, with much success. An opposing king sent a spy to learn the secret of how to make theses boats but was unsuccessful as the subtleties of the design are very hard to pick up. These days boat races are held with much excitement during various festivals.

Where are the Snake Boat Races Held:

Four main snake boat races (and as many as 15 minor ones) are held each year, in and around Alleppey.
The spectacular Nehru Trophy is held on Alleppey’s Punnamda Lake.
The oldest and most popular race, the Champakkulam Moolam, is held along the river at Champakkulam (Changanassery), around 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Alleppey.
The Payippad Jalotsavam is held on Payippad Lake, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Alleppey.
The Aranmula Boat Race is held along the Pampa River at Aranmula, near Chengannur, around 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Alleppey.

When are the Snake Boat Races Held:

Snake boat races are mostly held from July to September, with the exact dates varying each year depending on the phase of the moon. The exception is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, which is always held on the second Saturday of August. Snake boat races are the highlight of the Onam Festival in August/September, particularly the Aranmula Boat Race, which takes place mid way through the 10 day celebrations. Many other boat races are also held during the festival along the backwaters at Kottayam, Payippad, and Champakkulam. The Champakkulam Moolam is held in June/July, and the Payippad Jalotsavam is held in September.

More About the Champakkulam Moolam Snake Boat Race:

The Champakkulam Moolam Boat Race marks the day that the idol of the Hindu God Krishna was installed in the Sree Krishna Temple in Ambalappuzha, not far from Alleppey. According to the legend, those carrying the idol stopped over in Champakkulam on the way. The next morning, thousands of colorful boats were assembled there to honor the event and escort the idol to the temple. This procession is re-enacted before the Champakkulam Moolam Boat Race takes place. It kicks off with exotic water floats, boats decorated with colorful parasols, and performing artists.

More About the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race:

The Nehru Trophy snake boat race is undoubtedly the most exciting race of the year. This race is held in memory of India’s late Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru. An impromptu snake boat race was held in 1952 when the Prime Minister visited Alleppey. Apparently he was so impressed with the welcome and the race, he donated a trophy. The race has continued on ever since. It’s a commercial event and you’ll need to buy tickets from the tickets stands on the way. They cost less than $1 for for standing room on makeshift bamboo decks, up to $25 for VIP access. Do bring an umbrella in case of monsoon rain!

More About the Aranmula Snake Boat Race:

The Aranmula Boat Race is a two day, predominantly religious, occasion. Rather than being a contest, it’s more about retracing the time offerings were carried on snake boats to the Aranmula Parthasarthy Temple. This was done to protect the offerings from rivals from another village. The whole occasion is a celebration of the day Lord Krishna crossed the river. Position yourself on the banks of the Pampa River near the temple in Aranmula to witness the spectacular event. Traditionally dressed rowers, accompanied by groups of 25 singers, are cheered on by an exuberant crowd.

Travel to the Snake Boat Races:

The closest airport to Alleppey is in Kochi, 85 kilometers (53 miles) away. Alleppey has its own railway station, located a short distance south west of the town center, and is readily accessible from Ernakulum (neach Kochi). The nearest railway station to Aranmula is Chengannur, 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. It’s easy to get a train there from Ernakulum, and likewise all major trains between Kochi and Trivandrum stop at Chengannur. However, Chengannur is on a different line to Alleppey, so it’s not possible to travel by train between the two places. A taxi is often the best solution to travel around the region.

Hotels in Alleppey:

The Pozhiyoram Beach Resort is located on a quiet, untouched beach, not far from the center of Alleppey. Double beach view rooms are around $40, and you can get a cottage for $80. For something a little different try Pooppallys Heritage Homestay, in tranquil surroundings on the river bank. Bed and breakfast rooms cost around $80 per night for a double. Right in the heart of town, the Arcadia Regency Hotel is recommended. Double rooms start from $25. Alternatively, you can stay on a traditional houseboat and cruise along the canals. The Green Palace Health Resort offers packages.

MORE

More photos and information about Kerala can be seen in our social media channels
Subscribe us https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsBr16wblPTbNcX9Ax5bVbg
Follow us in https://www.instagram.com/VisitKerala
Like us https://www.Facebook.com/Kerala
Visit Us http://www.VisitKerala.com

Also in Kerala Tourism http://www.keralatourism.org

Categories
Blog

Periyar National Park Travel Guide

Periyar extends around the banks of a huge artificial lake that was created by the damming of the Periyar River in 1895. It has 780 square kilometers (485 square miles) of dense hilly forest, with 350 square kilometers (220 square miles) of this being core park land.

periyar1

Periyar is one of the most popular national parks in southern India, but these days this is more for its tranquil feel than sightings of wildlife, which many people complain can be few and far between at times. The park is known for its elephants, and 30 minute elephant rides through the jungle are offered.

Periyar Location:

Periyar is located in Thekkady, around 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Kumili in the Idukki district of central Kerala.

How to Get to Periyar:

The closest airports are at Maduri in Tamil Nadu (130 kilometers or 80 miles away) and Kochi in Kerala (190 kilometers or 118 miles away). The nearest railways station is at Kottayam, 114 kilometers (70 miles) away. The scenery on the way to Periyar is beautiful, and includes tea estates and spice gardens.

When to Visit Periyar:

Unlike many national parks in India, Periyar stays open all year round. The most popular time to visit is during the cooler, drier months from October to February. However the aroma of the moist vegetation in the monsoon also gives it special appeal. The best time for viewing elephants is during the hotter months of March and April, when they spend the most time in the water. Don’t expect to see a lot of wildlife during the monsoon season because there’s no need for them to come out in search of water. Periyar is also best avoided on weekends due to crowds of day tourists.

Periyar Opening Hours:

Periyar is open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Forest Department and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation conduct two hour slow boat trips inside the park. The first one leaves at 7 a.m. and offers the best chance of seeing animals, along with the last one at 4 p.m. Other departures are at 9.30 a.m., 11.30 a.m., and 2 p.m. Guided nature walks that last for around three hours start between 7.00 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. in the morning, and 2.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. in the afternoon. All day border hikes and bamboo rafting trips leave at 8 a.m.

Periyar Cost:

Foreigners pay 300 rupees ($7) to enter the national park. Boat trips cost 110 rupees for the upper deck and 75 rupees for the lower deck. Visitors should book their tickets well in advance from the boat jetty, near the Wildlife Information Center. It’s possible to hire your own boat from the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and this is highly recommended to avoid the hoards of people and noisy children on the other boats. Nature walks cost 100 rupees per person, and bamboo rafting 1,000 rupees per person. Tiger Trail treks are 3,000 rupees ($70) for one night and 5,000 rupees ($115) for 3 nights.

Periyar Travel Tips:

Safaris are only carried out by boat, making Periyar a peaceful place to be. The lake is particularly captivating at sunset. However, the best way to explore Periyar and see the wildlife is to participate in one of the many eco-tourism activities that are on offer. These include hikes through the forest with reformed poachers as guides, bamboo rafting, night time jungle patrols, trips to local villages on bullock carts, and tribal heritage visits.

Visiting Periyar During the Monsoon:

Periyar National Park is one of the few national parks in India to remain open during the monsoon. Most of the activities in Periyar are still weather dependent, but boat trips operate throughout the monsoon season. If you do visit Periyar during monsoon time and go trekking, keep in mind that leeches also come with the rains so make sure you wear the leech proof socks that are available at the park.

MORE

Categories
Blog

Varkala Beach Travel Guide

Stunningly picturesque Varkala beach provides a relatively peaceful alternative to the now commercialized Kovalam. The setting of this beach is striking enough to take your breath away, with a long winding stretch of cliff and views that extend over the Arabian Sea. A paved footpath runs along the length of the cliff, bordered by coconut palms, quaint shops, beach shacks, hotels, and guest houses. Nestled at the bottom of the cliff is a long stretch of sparkling beach, reached by steps leading down from the cliff top.

varkala1

Varkala Location:

Varkala is located between Alleppey and Kollam, around one hour north of Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), in India’s southern state of Kerala.

Getting to Varkala:

Varkala cliff and beach are located a 10 minute drive away from Varkala town and railway station. Almost 20 Indian Railways trains stop at the station. If coming by train, take an auto rickshaw from the station for around 50 rupees ($1). Alternatively, there are airports at Trivandrum and Kochi (around 4 hours north of Varkala).

Varkala Weather:

Varkala’s climate is very tropical and humid. It receives rain from both the southwest and northeast monsoon, which produce intensely heavy downpours. The rain is at its worst from June to August, and late October to December. Late December to March are the best months to visit, when the weather is dry and sunny every day, and the temperature hovers around 30 degrees Celcius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). The summer months of April and May become very humid and hot, with temperatures around 35 degrees Celcius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Varkala Attractions:

Varkala is a wonderful place to relax and rejuvenate. It’s well known for its dramatic sunsets. Settle into one of the beach shacks with a drink, and you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the sun as it slowly sinks down the horizon. The mineral spring that flows from the cliff at the southern end of the beach is believed to have medicinal properties. You’ll also find plenty of places specializing in yoga, and Ayurvedic massage and therapies. The Scientific School of Yoga, Naturopathy and Ayurveda Hospital is reputable. Sun Moon Project & East West Connection is recommended for reiki and energy healing. Meditation and art/creative workshops are also offered. Shop ’til you drop at the endless rows of huts lining the cliff, stocking everything from jewelry to handicrafts. The Janardhana Swamy Temple festival is held every March.

Varkala Beaches:

Varkala’s main beach is called Papanasam Beach — which means destroyer of sins. The beach is divided into two parts, with the southern area at the end of the road leading from the Janardhana Swamy Temple considered sacred to Hindus. It’s where they come to perform the last rites after close relatives have died. The tourist part of the beach is located further north, past the mineral spring, at the bottom of the cliff. There’s also another small beach with black sand (affectionately called the Black Beach) near the coconut grove where the cliff ends in the far north, past Papanasam Beach. Just further north of Black Beach, quiet Odayam Beach is just starting to be discovered and developed. Head there if you want peace and quiet away from the action. From there you can walk further north up a coastal path to Edava Beach.

Varkala Hotels:

Varkala has accommodations to suit all price ranges, from resorts to simple rooms in family homes. If you feel like splurging, Palm Tree Heritage, on quieter Odayam Beach around 10 minutes walk from the cliff, has top quality rooms from 4,000-9,000 rupees. Varkala Marine Palace, at the south end of the cliff, has rooms, cottages and apartments from 1,000-5,000 rupees per night. The Green Palace is a popular and centrally located on the north end of the cliff next to Cafe Del Mar, with rates from 2,000-4,000 rupees a night. Keratheeram Beach Resort is a highly rated budget option on the cliff, with rooms from 300-1,000 rupees a night, depending on the time of year. Set back from the cliff, the very attractive Kaiya House is a boutique hotel run by a lovely foreigner-Indian husband and wife team. Expect to pay around 2,000 rupees a night. For a romantic retreat away from the action, you can’t go wrong at the boutique Villa Jacaranda, on a hill near the Indian end of Papanasam Beach.

Varkala Nightlife:

The nightlife in Varkala is quite laid back. Some beach shacks, such as Rock n Roll, do have parties and play music late into the night. However the party scene is restricted by complaints from nearby hotels about the noise, and also the prohibition of alcohol. As Varkala is a holy town, none of the beach shacks are licensed to serve alcohol, although this doesn’t stop them from doing so after paying adequate compensation to the local police. Other nightlife includes traditional Kathakali dance performances in the evenings.

Varkala Dangers and Annoyances:

Varkala has undergone a dramatic amount of growth in just few years to be transformed from sleepy village into sought after beach destination. This has had a significant impact on the locals. Females should take particular care around local men, as incidents of drunkenness and groping are common. Many foreign women also end up being charmed by the staff from the beach shacks, who usually end up wanting money or are married. Begging and hawking are becoming issues as well. Also bring a flashlight as power cuts are prevalent. At the beach, swimmers should be aware of strong currents and not swim out too far.

Varkala Travel Tips:

An important thing to keep in mind is the interesting tide pattern at Varkala. This sees Papanasam Beach completely immersed in the ocean during the monsoon season, while the Black Beach is accessible. After the monsoon, this trend reverses with the Black Beach becoming engulfed in water and Papanasam Beach open.

During the monsoon season it’s therefore best to stay at the northern end of the cliff near the Black Beach, while in peak season, the southern end of the cliff provides the easiest access to Papanasam Beach as the stairs leading down the cliff are located there. This end of the cliff is also quieter.

It’s cheaper to stay away from the cliff, at the Indian southern end of Papanasam Beach, however the cliff isn’t easily accessible from this area (which suits people who want to avoid the crowds!). The Indian end of Papanasam Beach also remains isolated from the tourist part of the beach until the monsoon fully retreats and the beach completely opens up.Therefore if you want to go up to the cliff from there, it’s necessary to take an auto rickshaw.

MORE

Categories
Blog

45 Of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls In India

VisitKerala.com https://www.facebook.com/Visitkeraladotcom

India has some of the best and most stunning waterfalls in the world, of which few are situated in Kerala. Each state has its very own show piece, making it vital to enlist the waterfalls in every state. You never know when you may plan a trip and having this information ready could prove handy.

1. Dudhsagar Waterfall – Goa’s prestigious falls

Dudhsagar beautiful Waterfalls in India
Goa not only has beaches to offer but also the Dudhsagar Waterfall, which is among the best waterfalls in India. The name of the falls translates in English to Sea of milk due to the transformation of the water colour from blue to white as it is crashes to the bottom. The falls are 60 KM from Panaji in the state capital of GOA. The fall is the 5th largest in India, measuring 310 meters. The best time to visit the falls is at the peak of the monsoon season when the river is at its highest flow. The fall splits into 4 tiers creating a truly awesome scene.

2. Jog Waterfall – The wonder fall of Karnataka

Jog fall

What makes the Jog Waterfall spectacular is not its height but rather the width, having a girth of 290 and a high of 259 meters the falls are spectacular to experience. The waterfalls is located near Sagara in Karnataka and is a major tourist attraction of the region. The falls are also known by the names Gersoppa falls and Jogada Gundi by the local people. It is the second biggest waterfall in Asia making it a must see. Due to the large number of tourists, you can get the required provisions, snacks and food to consume while enjoying the beauty of the waterfalls.

3. Nohsngithiang Waterfall – A surprise waiting at Mawsmai Village

Nohsngithiang falls
This is a unique waterfall not to be missed, as rather than one out flow, these falls have seven streams falling from the same source resulting in a truly wonderful water fall. The Nohsngithiang Waterfall is just 1 KM from Mawsmai village in the East Khasi Hill District or Meghalaya. The falls measure 315 meters and a girth of 70 meters making them the 4th biggest waterfall in India. The best times to visit the falls are during sun rise and sun set when the falls look more stunning. There are many places in the locality providing stay due to the high number of tourists visiting the region.

4. Thosegharh Waterfall – Maharashtra’s pride waterfall

thoseghar waterfalls
The Thosegharh Waterfall is located within a deep gorge near the village Thoseghar which is approximately 20KM from Satara City on the edge of Konkan. There are several waterfalls, the shortest measuring 15 meters and the tallest 500 meters. Visitors come from all over Maharashtra making it a popular tourist destination. The best season to experience the waterfalls is during the monsoon when the falls flowi with immense fury. The surrounding area also offers quiet and peaceful setting making it ideal for relaxing and spending an afternoon close to nature as surrounding hills are thickly covered with forests.

5. Athirappilly Waterfall – India’s very own Niagara

Athirappilly falls
Also known as the Niagara of India, this a gorgeous and most beautiful waterfall located in Athirappilly Panchayath,  eco friendly destination Kerala. The Chalakudy River feeds the Athirappilly Waterfall resulting in a spectacular showdown. It is a relatively small waterfall measuring just 24 meters but the width of the fall is what makes it an attraction not to be missed while . In addition to the waterfall the area also has an abundance of wildlife like the elusive and endangered great Hornbill, found in the forest around the waterfall. The falls are most scenic during the monsoon when the river is full, resulting in a great experience.

6. Courtallam Waterfall – Tamil Nadu’s largest waterfall

Courtallam beautiful Waterfalls in India

The Courtallam Waterfall is located south of a small town Panchayat in Tamil Nadu. The falls measure 160 meters, making it one of the tallest in India. The waters flowing in the Chittar River originate from the Western Ghat thus resulting in a continuous flowing water fall which is fabulous to see in any season. The rainy season offers a larger waterfall and due to its height it is best to observe it from a distance to be able to see the whole fall. The waters falls in steps resulting in a truly stunning view. You can reach the falls with a jetty built right across the river below the falls.

7. Talakona Waterfall – Sri Vankateswara National Park

Thalakona waterfalls

The Talakona Waterfall offers an impressive 270 foot fall before the water pools at the bottom . The falls are located in the Sri Vankateswara National Park in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. The waterfall is also famous as the Lord Siddheswara Swami Temple is situated very close to the it. The area around the waterfall offers an abundance of wild flowers and butterflies found nowhere else but here. The best season to visit the fall is during the rainy season when the river is swollen, resulting in a roaring demonstration of the power of the fall which can be heard from several KM away.

8. Khandadhar Waterfall – Orissa’s gem water fall

Athirappilly falls
The Khandadhar Waterfall is near Nandapani of Sundagarh District in the state of Orissa. The falls are the 12th highest in India. Bonaighar is approximately 19 KM from the falls and can easily be reached by vehicles during the dry season as the road leading to the falls is not paved. You could also easily hike down from a safe parking lot which is around 1.6 KM from the falls. The fall measures an incredible 244 meters resulting in its waters turning to mist before hitting the pools below. Best seen during the dry season due to the tricky paths leading to the fall, which could be slippery when wet.

9. Chitrakot Waterfall – a stunner fall from Chhattisgarh

Chitrakot Waterfall

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wendyyang/3472033351/

Measuring only 29 meters in height, this waterfall isn’t among the best in India due to its height but due to its breathtaking girth. During dry season, water flows from one of the lower exits in a steady stream but the water behind the falls have been dammed by a level rock, resulting in a spectacular showdown during the monsoons. The water rises and begins flowing from the whole rock face which measures close to 200 meters resulting in a truly awesome site. The Chitrakot Waterfall is located in Jagdalpur, Basta District Chhattisgarh and attracts tourists in thousands each year to watch this phenomenon unfold.

10. Dhuandhar Waterfall – an odd but spectacular fall

Dhuandhar Waterfall

Source: http://www.tariquesani.net /

These falls are unique in their own way as the water feeding the falls has eroded the limestone, resulting in deep crevasses through which the water flows during the dry season. In the rainy season it’s a different story as the flood water engulfs the whole area, resulting in a powerful force of nature. The falls are fed by the Narmada River in Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh. Both seasons offer a different beauty to the falls, but most tend to prefer the dry season as one can observe the beautiful crevasses the water has carved into the lime stone as well.

11. Kunchikal Falls – Ghati’s hidden treasure

The Kunchikal Falls are whopping 455 meters high and flow in steps,creating many smaller falls. The total length of all falls put together exceeds a kilometre making it the longest multiple fall series globally. The falls are also known as Kunchikal Abbe, close to Masthikatte-Hulikal of Shimoga District Karnataka. The Varahi River feeds the waterfall which flows near the famous Ghati Temple. The best season to visit the falls would be during the monsoon, when the water flow is at its height. The area surrounding the falls also offer fantastic views .

12. Barehipani Falls – Simlipal National Orissa

Barehipani Falls

These falls are situated in deeper area within Simlipal National Park in the Orissa District of Mayurbhani and is one of the tallest waterfalls in India. The Barehipani Falls measure a staggering 399 meters, just a meter shy of 400. The fall bifurcates in two, the taller one being 259 meters. The surrounding area is covered with lush green forest and while on the way there you can spott the local wildlife and bird’s, native to the region. During the night if you’re lucky you may spot leopards on prowl as well.

13. Langshiang Fall – a sight to behold

Langshiang beautiful Waterfalls in India

The Langshiang Falls measure 340 meters and comprise of a series of waterfalls, making up one long and gorgeous fall. The fall is near Sangriang Village which is 24 KM from Nongstroin in the Western Khasi District of Maghalaya. The falls can be seen from the village but only a closer view will reveal the real beauty these falls hold. This is the 3rdlargest waterfall in India. The falls are located on the Nangkhunaum river island and one will have to travel by boat to reach the falls. Make sure to carry food, drink and snacks as you may not find vendors at the fall.

14. Nohkalikai Falls – India’s largest water fall

thoseghar waterfalls
The Nohkalikai Falls is the largest and most beautiful waterfall in India, measuring a whopping 335 meter and is located in Cherrapunji, which is also one of the wettest places on earth. The constant rain feeds the rivers flowing which finally ends as the falls. The fall is located in Shillong and unlike other waterfalls requiring you to visit during a particular season, Nohkalikai flows the year round and you can enjoy the best display anytime. While visiting it is advisable to carry a raincoat, as here it rains without warning.

15. Meenmutty Falls – Kerala’s spectacular water fall

Meenmutty waterfalls

These majestic falls are located 29 KM from the small town of Kalpetta in the Wayanad District, Kerala. The water fall splits into three and stretches an impressive 300 meters and is the largest waterfall in Kerala. To get to the falls you must hike 2KM, so people with walking problems might not like to venture here. For the young and adventurous ones this is the place to visit and enjoy a weekend afternoon. You must carry food and drinks as no vendors are available. The falls are best during the monsoons when the river is flooded.

16. Kune Falls – Pune’s secret weekend outing

Kune Falls

Source: http://www.photographym24.blogspot.com

The Falls are located in Lonavia, Pune district Maharashtra and is the 14th largest waterfall in India. The Kune Falls measure 100 meters and splits into three before gushing into the valley below. The area is surrounded by forest making it a perfect picnic spot. The local council has set up a clean park overlooking the waterfall, where you could enjoy your weekend afternoon. There is an abundance of public transport during the weekends when people from Pune visit to enjoy the weekend with their families. There is a trek leading to the falls which you can opt for but be prepared to get your feet muddy as it is not well used!

17. Thalaiyar Falls – an impressive gift from Tamil Nadu

Thalaiyar Falls

Source: www.kodaikanalrands.com

The falls are situated in a forested area where the water falls from a height of impressive 297 meter, this fall also bifurcates into two. It is located on the Palani hill in the Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu. The falls are best seen from the adjourning view point, where you can see the whole fall including the smaller one at the top of the gorge. To get to the waterfall you must trek one kilometre . You will have to descend downhill the whole way but the real test comes while climbing back out, so think it over before venturing to the bottom of the falls!

18. Vantawng Falls – Serchhip’s tourist attraction

Vantawng Falls

This is a trifurcated waterfall, located in Mizo village 5 KM from Thenawi, Serchhip District Mizoram. The Vantawng Falls is 30 km from Serchhip and is the 13th largest waterfall in India. The falls are located in a lush green forest which remains partly green due to river’s constant supply of water. There are several standpoints from where you could see the falls from a distance and venturing closer should only be done during the dry season as climbing up the steep cliff while getting in and out causes complications. There are great picnic spots around where you can enjoy light meals while watching the falls.

19. Umbrella Falls – God’s wonder in Ahmed Nagar Maharashtra

As the name suggests, the falls resemble an umbrella, mainly during the monsoon when the Pravara River gets flooded . This fall is located at Ghandardara. Anmednagar Maharashtra. The falls are only 45 meters high but the volume of water flowing through the wide water fall is immense. There are jetty available for people to cross the river at the fall’s end which is a must try. Although its seems pretty scary but the experience of crossing through the river is something that is sure to have a lasting effect on your mind though out your life.

20. Hogenakkal Waterfall – Tamil Nadu’s majestic falls

Hogenakkal Falls
This fall may not have a majestic height like many other falls in India, but the unique formation is what places it among the best in India. The Hogenakkal Waterfall is located in south India in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. It is located 180km from Bangalore and you might feel the need to plan a night or two stay at the Dharmapuri to really enjoy the setting. The river has eroded the softer rocks making the water fall circle and then finally drop into a crevasse before flowing away. This is a major tourist destination and you can find many stalls and vendors selling food, snacks and drinks.

21. Abbey Falls – A surprise awaiting at Madikeri

Abbey Falls

Abbay falls , situated in Kodadu, Karnataka, in the small town, Madikeri. The waterfalls are on a coffee plantation and are best seen during the monsoon season when the river is in full flow. Only 6 km from Madikeri the river offer s a perfect picnic spot where you could visit and enjoy lunch, with the mist from the waterfall offering relief from the hot sun. It is a team outings destination and perfect getaway on the weekend for you and your family. The water of the falls later flow into the Cauvery River before spewing in the sea.

22. Kiliyur Waterfalls – a treasure hidden in the Eastern Ghats

Kiliyur waterfalls

Kiliyur Waterfalls are located on the Eastern Ghats at the Shervaroyan hill range or Tamil Nadu. The falls offer a 300 ft drop resulting in a spectacular showdown. Getting to the falls require hiking downhill for approximately 15 minutes , but the effort is surely worth it. During the dry season the falls are small with just a little water trickling down but during the monsoon the falls are at the peak of their fury. Plan your trip during the monsoon as it will ensure a fantastic view.

23. Papanasam Waterfall – The Majestic Falls

Papanasam waterfalls

The Papanasam fall in the Tinunelveli district of Tamil Nadu India, around 60 KM from Tinrunelveli, are worthwhile to visit due to its awesome view and falls. It is a popular tourist attraction seeing people come from all around Tamil Nadu to the place. The falls offer a 120 Meter drop, one among the highest falls in Tamil Nadu making it not to be missed. If you love spending time close to nature then it is the right spot for you. Due to its popularity, it is possible to find vendors selling snacks near the falls, but make sure to keep the place clean!

24. Shivasamudram Falls – one not to be missed while in Karnataka

Shivanasamudra
The right time to visit the Shivasamudram Falls is during the monsoon season, as the river is at its highest level then, which would make youlove the falls. The falls are located in Karnataka’s Mandya district near Bangalore. The Kaveri River feeds the falls and is located on the boundary of the Chamarajinagar District of Karnataka. Although the falls only offer a 98 meter drop, they have an impressive girth of over 300 meters making them a spectacle to watch. During the dry season the falls lack the required water so make sure to visit during the monsoon when the falls offer an impressive scene.

25. Soochippara Falls – the misty cascades

The biggest attraction of the Soochippara Falls is the easy approach to the falls during the dry season, which makes it possible to bath and enjoy the cold waters especially during the shimmering summer season. The falls are also known as Seninel Rock Waterfalls. The area is surrounded by lush greenery, making it an ideal getaway. The falls descend an impressive 200 meter, resulting in a misty bottom. This is what attracts the people visiting the falls as you need not worry regarding the dangers other waterfalls usually possess.

26. Bhagsu Waterfall – Mcleodganj pilgrimage offers a treasure

These falls are located very close to the Bhagsu Village which has the famous Bhagsu Temple, harbouring the beginning of a fresh water stream. The Bhagsu Waterfall is a 20 minutes walk from the temple. It is a famous pilgrim spot in McLeod Ganj and while visiting the temple it is worth to make the hike down to the falls. Due to the high number of tourists visiting the location you can get all the required provisions, snacks and drink at the village rather than carrying the extra weight. There are also restaurants and guest houses if you wish to spend a day or two at the place.

27. Amritdhara Waterfalls – a fair and a fall at the same place

Amritdhara waterfalls

The Amritdhara Waterfalls are located in Kariya District Chhattisgarh. The area is covered by dense forests, mountains and rivers. This makes it the right setting to result in a spectacular waterfall. This waterfall is great to see in any season with water flowing from the far reaches of central India, but during the monsoon the fall is full of water resulting in the true show of fury! The falls are also close to the Shiva temple where the Mahashivaratri fair originated in 1936 and continues till date. At the fair you can pick up some awesome handicraft as memento too.

28. Barachukki falls – a double treat awaits at Mandya Karnataka

Barachukki waterfalls

The Barachukki falls are located a few kilometres from the Gaganachukki falls making is a double treat for the nature lovers as you could visit both the falls on the same day or trip. These falls are located amid the rocks, resulting in jagged rocks lining the waterfalls. There are many signs and warnings for people to warn them against attempting to go close to the falls. These two falls are among the most visited ones in Mandya District Karnataka, as it allows one to see two falls at the same time making the trip to the falls truly worthwhile.It is a best day outing destinationaround Bangalore for corporates and families.

29. Bear Shola Falls – where bears come to drink!

Bear shola waterfalls

The name of the falls means ‘where bears come to drink water’ and are located in Kodaikanal Tamil Nadu. The Bear Shola Falls are located 1.5 KM from the Kodaikanal bus stand and 2 Km from a wonderful lake. This makes the area a wonderful picnic spot where you could visit and see two water bodies, delivering the required relaxation a person needs on a weekend. If you’re planning to spend some more time here, you can easily stay at the Clifton hotels located on a small hill near the fall. Plan your trip during the monsoons to get the best experience of the falls.

30. Chunnu Summer falls – Darjeeling’s wonderful waterfalls

chunnu waterfalls

Many have heard about Darjeeling’s tea plantations, but many tourists who visit Darjeeling miss out visiting Chunnu Summer falls which are situated just a few kilometres from Darjeeling town and offer a perfect getaway. While visiting the hill station you could visit the falls, which offer a perfect setting for a family picnic. There is also a rock garden and a small lake in the same vicinity which could be visited to enjoy a boat ride. Coupled together these activities will help keep the family or person entertained the whole day making it a perfect place to visit. The area also offers great hiking trails to the famous Darjeeling tea estates  on hills of  Sikkim.

31. Elephant Falls – Shillong’s icon

elephant falls

The famous Elephant Falls have been depicted in many paintings due to their stunning appearance the falls deliver. They are located 12km from Shillong, in the far northern part of India. They resemble Scotland and is predominated with misty and foggy weather. Make sure to carry warm clothing while visiting. There are three falls which could be approached individually using small trails. You need to descend around 100 meters each time to get to the prime spots to view the falls. They tend to also be rough during the rainy season so be prepared to get wet and muddy!

32. Ethipothala Waterfalls – falls and crocodiles make a double treat

Ethipothala Waterfalls

The falls comprise of a 70 foot fall on the river Chandravenka of Andhra Pradesh. While visiting the Ethipothala Waterfalls it is also suggested to visit the crocodile breeding centre at Lagoon near the falls. The falls are 11KM from Nagarjuna Sagar, which makes it accessible even by public transport. Due to large number of tourists in the area there is an abundance of stalls offering snacks. The falls may be small but owning to the beauty of the location many people prefer visiting the area for relaxation or simply a weekend picnic.

33. Ghatarani Waterfalls – Chhattisgarh’s furious falls

Ghatarani-waterfalls

The Ghatarani Waterfalls are located 25 km from the Jatmai which is a small town in near Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. This is on the south-eastern highland or Chhattisgarh which is around 85 km from Raiput. It is the biggest waterfall in Chhattisgarh and is best visited between September to December. Unlike many other waterfalls in India, this one should be avoided during the monsoon due the rough and dangerous levels of the fast flowing waters. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery which makes it a perfect location to have a family picnic on the weekend offering the family a different screen from the usual.

34. Hanuman Gundi Falls – a jewel at Kadremukh National Park

Hanumanagundi Falls

The Hanuman Gundi Falls, also known as the Suthanabbe falls, are located in the hilly areas of the Kadremukh National Park. The national park is located in Chikkamagaluru District Karnataka, India. This is a wonderful 22 meter waterfall that can be best seen during the monsoon season. The waterfall coupled with the scenic surrounding results in a perfect setting for picnics and weekend excursions for people visiting or living in the area. You could also visit the Lakya and Karkala Dams, which are close by to the water falls.

35. Hazra Falls – lush greenery, a feast for the eyes

This is a gorgeous 1500 foot waterfall in the heart of Chhattisgarh, and is between the Dongargarh and Gondia railway stations, making it very accessible by public transport. What makes the Hazra Falls a perfect place to visit on the weekend, are the lush green sounding and the close proximity to the railway station. The falls are best seen during the peak of rainy season, when they are overflowing with the waters from the surrounding hills. Snacks and food should be carried along as only a few vendors are found near the falls.

36. Iruppu falls – the elongated Karnataka fall

Iruppu Falls
The beauty of the Iruppu Falls is the height at which the water falls and not the sheer drop. Unlike many other waterfalls, the Iruppu doesn’t fall once, but in a series of falls resulting in an elongated waterfall stretching 300 ft. The fall’s height is only 130 feet but it beautifully flows down the continuous steps, making them one of the most spectacular waterfalls in India. It is located in Brahmagiri Range in Kadago district of Karnataka near the Kerala border making it accessible even from there resulting in a large number of visitors on the weekends.

37. Karumalai Falls – Tigers and Waterfalls

Karumalai Falls

The Karumalai Falls is located in Tamil Nadu, Valparai district and is in the interiors of animal Tiger Reserve. The area is also surrounded by tea plantations and thick forest making it a perfect setting for a waterfall. The area is isolated and you would need to carry your snacks and drinks. The waterfall is best viewed from a distance as the terrain leading to the falls is rough, and from a distance, the waterfalls also deliver a much more admirable screen than what you would experience while being closer to the falls. Is is a perfect setting for a family weekend getaway so make sure you visit these falls while in the region.

38. Kempty Falls – Masoorie’s towering icon

kempty falls

Kempty Falls are located 15 km from Masoorie, a popular hill station inUttarakhand as much are best hills fortreks in Ladakh . It is approximately 30 KM from Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand. The name originates from Camp Tea which was a favorite spot for colonial officers to organize tea parties on weekends. The falls are well connected by public transport due to the large number of people visiting the falls. The falls descend an astonishing 4500 feet in series, placing it among the longest waterfalls in India. If you like fishing then this is the right place, as there are loads of trout in the river.

39. Rajdari Waterfall – a staircase made by nature

Rajdari Waterfall

This is a waterfall that is unlike any other found in India or around the world, as the screen resembles a flight of stairs when the water gushes down. This leads to a spectacular screen unlike others as you would expect. It is located in Chakai, Uttar Pradesh and has a height of 65 meters. The best time to experience the Rajdari Waterfalls would be between September and March or during the autumn and spring. This is due to the winter and summer in the region being harsh and you wouldn’t be able to enjoy spending time close to the falls due to the heat and cold of summer and winter.

40. Srimane Falls – the perfect weekend getaway

Located just 5Km from Kigga, near Sriheri on the Western Ghats or Karnataka, the waterfall makes an ideal weekend getaway for residents in the area. The Srimane Falls is small comparatively to other waterfalls in India, but the beauty and location does place it among the best . The best time to visit the falls is during or immediately after the monsoon, when the river is flooded with waters from the upper reaches on the Ghat, resulting in a fabulous setting for a perfect getaway. It is vital to make sure that you add visiting these falls to your trip while visiting the area.

41. Thommankuth Waterfalls – in remembrance of a great hunter

Thommankuth Waterfalls

This waterfall is located near Thodupuzha in Kerala and is named after Mr Thommachen Kuruvinkunnel, a great hunter of the region in the early 1900s. He was the one who found the Thommankuth Waterfalls which comprise of seven steps before the water gushes into a pool below. The area is covered with lush greenery and exotic flora and fauna. While visiting the falls, you may be able to spot wild animals so make sure to keep your eyes glued to identify the one in the vicinity. The falls are not big, but deliver the required screening for a perfect weekend picnic.

42. Vantawng Khawhthla – a two step gem

This is a gorgeous waterfall situated 5 km from Thenzawl. It is in the Sachhip district of Mizoram. The Vantawng Khawhthla waterfalls comprise of two steps and have a height of approximately 100 feet, making it a spectacle must see. Due to its immense height this fall is best seen from a distance as you can see the whole waterfall as it drops. The local authorities have set up the required view point where you can enjoy you afternoon while watching the falls. The falls are surrounded by lush green forests making it a perfect setting, away from the noise and hassles of daily life.

43. Barkana Falls – India’s tenth largest fall

Barkana Falls

The Barkana Falls is among the ten largest waterfalls in India, measuring a staggering 850 feet. It is located in the state of Karnataka, in the town Agumbe, Shimoga district. The river feeding the falls is the Sita River which has been dammed for hydroelectric power in Karnataka. The falls are accessible by road and public transport is available. There are many vendors prowling the view point selling different snacks and food. It’s best seen during the monsoon, but as the area encounters leeches during the rainy season, you may be better off visiting during the dry season to avoid these blood sucking parasites.

44. Duduma Falls – Orissa’s biggest waterfall

Dumduma falls

The Muchkund River in Orissa feeds the wonderful Duduma Falls, which are 157 meter high making them one of the biggest and most wonderful waterfall to visit in India. Duduma is located 95 km from Koraput and approximately 200 km from Visakhapatnam, making it vital to consider staying the night if you come to see the falls. This would give you adequate time to spend around the falls and also give rest after the long journey. The falls are best visited during the monsoon season when the river is full and delivers the awesome power of nature.

45. Lodh Falls – the marvel hiding in Burhaghaugh

Lodh falls

The Lodh Falls,also known as Burhaghaugh falls ,are located in the Palamu Division of Latehar District Jharkhand. This is the tallest waterfall in Jharkhand and is ranked 21st tallest in India. The falls are located on the Burha River within the Chota Nagpur Plateau forests. The falls measure a whopping 143 meters and make a thundering sound that could be heard from over 10 KM away. This is a reason enough to visit the falls during the peak of monsoon. Due to its deep location you must have private transportation or hire the vehicle to visit the falls. They are best seen during the rainy season.

More photos and information about Kerala can be seen in our social media channels
Subscribe us https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsBr16wblPTbNcX9Ax5bVbg
Follow us in https://www.instagram.com/VisitKerala
Like us https://www.Facebook.com/Kerala
Visit Us http://www.VisitKerala.com

Also in Kerala Tourism http://www.keralatourism.org

Categories
Blog

Social Media in Travel and Tourism – India Blazes a Trail

By Philip Calvert It hit me the moment I stepped through the exit of Trivandrum airport in the state of Kerala, India. A blanket of warmth enveloped me – a rich mixture of balmy temperatures and the friendliest welcome I have ever received on arrival to speak at a conference. Emerging from the quiet coolness of the arrivals hall, I dived head first into the busy, bustling, bursting streets of Thiruvananthapuram and was whisked speedily to the wonderful Leela Hotel with its magnificent views of the Kovalam shoreline.

The International Conference on Travel Technology India had been many months in the planning. It was a first-of-its-kind conference for travel operators, hoteliers and travel industry professionals in India to explore the considerable opportunities that Social Media and the Internet was presenting them.

With twenty five presentations on every conceivable aspect of Social Media in the Travel industry, the conference was a triumph, with delegates from all over India being treated to a wealth of knowledge and sharing of best practice from a range of speakers from their homeland, the USA, the UK (myself) and Australia.

What was particularly important and encouraging for delegates, was the clear and highly visible support from important dignitaries such as Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala and Dr Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development – plus Anish Kumar, Organising Secretary for the Association of Tourism Trade Organisations India.

All too often, politicians around the world talk a good talk when it comes to Social Media, but Shashi Tharoor sets his own trailblazing example, with over 1.8 million Twitter followers.

To some extent there was mutual acknowledgement that, to date India might have missed a trick when it came to using Social Media to interact and engage with potential tourists to the country. But that was about to change. Indeed, the organisers of the International Conference on Travel Technology India had set an excellent example by effectively using Facebook for many months leading up to the event itself.

This was my first visit to India, and I couldn’t have picked a better state for such a trip if I had tried. Kerala, AKA ‘God’s Own Country’ or ‘Land of Coconut Trees’ was simply stunning. India is extremely ‘full on’; everything about the country constantly assaults your senses – it’s sights, sounds, colours, aromas, food, spices, stunning landscapes, weather, culture, yoga, spirituality, history, its friendly people – oh, and its driving! A country better placed to explode onto the global tourism scene it would be hard to find.

But the challenge for any country investing in the Internet to bring the tourists flocking, is not to necessarily view Social Media as a Sales and Marketing tool – tempting as it is. It’s abundantly clear that Social Media and Travel go hand in hand, and many of us are profoundly influenced in our travel purchasing decisions by people we know or are connected to online. Trust is a key issue, and whereas we once entrusted our choice of vacations to a local travel agent, increasingly we hand that responsibility to friends, relatives, fellow travellers – and very often complete strangers who enthusiastically write about their experiences in blogs, forums, tweets and review sites.

The end of the travel agent is a long way off yet – indeed many are offering a range of added value and personal services which are of huge value to the traveller and travellers in a range of niches.

But the Internet is here to stay, and those in the Travel industry are only limited by their imaginations as to how Social Media and Internet technologies can be employed to add value to global travellers.

One of the most striking examples I have seen recently, and one that I talked about in my own presentations at the conference was the inevitable growth in crowd-sourced travel. Every year millions of people have conversations with their partners about where they would like to visit for this year’s vacation. Whereas once upon a time a trip to the local travel agent would follow, more and more of us immediately turn to our laptops or tablets, and within seconds beautiful photos are being clicked and swiped on the screen.

However what if you really can’t make up your mind where you’d like to go. Well, increasing numbers of Apps will help you to decide – like KLM’s TripShake. Simply shake your mobile device and it chooses a destination for you! You can even make the booking there and then.

But I predict a big increase in people asking their friends where they would suggest. Nothing new in that you might say – but what if you get the Internet to help. And that’s just what John Ellis and Laura Preston did when they decided they wanted to travel across the USA for a year.

On February 1st 2013 they set off on their journey – guided only by the suggestions of their followers. They wouldn’t be the first people who wanted to travel across the US, but to be guaranteed of making the most of every inch of the journey, why not get suggestions from people and then put them to a vote.

As at today, they have been on the road for 137 days, visited 13 states and completed 76 crowd-sourced suggestions for places to visit. Not only will the crowd-sourced suggestions be of benefit to John and Laura, they will of course be of value to countless other people who are looking for interesting places to visit in the USA. John and Laura are also documenting their travels in a glorious Blog, thus passing on their own feedback and suggestions to people to act on or ignore as they see fit.

To the casual follower of their Blog, Instagram posts and tweets, there is also an extra dimension to all this, in that they have a feeling of involvement in John and Laura’s travels. They may not actually be physically there on the journey with them, but they can hop along for the ‘virtual ride’.

Of course, India is just made for crowd-sourced travel. Many people would love to visit India, but could really benefit from some inside knowledge of great places to see. Again, tourist operators in India are only limited by their imaginations as to how they can use Social Media to engage with the curious traveller who is eager to explore “Incredible India???.

Although the Incredible India marketing campaign was devised by the Ministry of Tourism as long ago as 2002, it is as relevant today as it was then. Even from my short trip, India is indeed an incredible and magical place to visit. Whilst I fully intend to visit again at the earliest possible opportunity, I have gone out of my way to connect with individuals through Social Media, so that I can keep up to date on developments in the tourism industry there.

India has much to offer the discerning and the curious traveller – whether you are backpacking or travelling five star, and I for one couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Congratulations to the organisers of the International Conference on Travel Technology India. They took on a big task and not only carried it off with confidence and assurance, but took an important step forward in helping India to engage with the world’s travellers through Social Media. Thank you also to everyone who made me feel so welcome.

Categories
Blog

Ayurvedic Massage

Hailing from the ancient India more than 5000 years ago, Ayurvedic massage is a holistic method of healing and reviving the body. It makes you feel in harmony with the universe and gain a new attitude towards life. The massage is performed with herb-infused oils, chosen according to your body type that have a distinctive smell and supplies proper circulation, which helps your body grow and renew.

Kerala’s composed climate, moisture in the air, loads of forests with a plethora of medicinal herbs makes it an ideal place for Ayurvedic massages. The massages are given using hands and feet and focuses on tapping, squeezing, kneading the “marma points???, which are like the pressure points in reflexology, acupuncture and acupressure.
An authentic Ayurvedic massage that includes Shirodhara ejects toxins and provides deep relaxation to the body. Shirodhara involves a continuous stream of oil that is dripped gently on your forehead helping your mind to relax by removing past tensions and emotional problems.

The full body massage begins soft as you are soaked in oil and the therapist begins to work your body, rubbing out aches, pains, and bad karma from the tips of your hands and feet. The massage, when done by two therapists, has a better healing effect on you. You can also partake in a bit unusual and special type of massage that uses ropes to suspend the masseur as he uses his feet to massage you.

Ayurvedic massage, which has become Kerala’s lifestyle, have been found to miraculously treat severe ailments like Arthritis, Slip Disc, Frozen Shoulder, Stress and Strain, etc., which allopathic medicines fail to treat.

Categories
Blog

Elephant Race Held at Guruvayoor Temple

Guruvayoor Temple celebrated the beginning of annual festival with the famed Aanayottam (elephant race). Hundreds of people including tourists turned up to cheer the 29 elephants who took part in the race from Manjulal to the temple. The racing distance added up to half a kilometer approximately.  Barricades were in place to control the public from venturing onto the track which had its finishing point in front of the deity Lord Sree Krishna inside the temple.

Guruvayoor Devaswom’s Kesavankutty won the race comfortably beating Junior Vishnu and Nandini who finished second and third. This is the third consecutive win for the 65-year-old tusker. As the reward, Kesavankutty will lead the processions in this year’s annual festival at the temple.

Elephant race is a yearly event at Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple in Trissur district of Kerala where the elephants owned by the temple administration (Devaswom) contest to decide which elephant  will carry the coveted ‘Thidambu’ (The replica of the deity) during the festivities celebrating annual Guruvayoor  Festival. Legend has it that one year the Kochi royal family refused to  lend elephants for the temple rituals but at the time of the event,  the elephants came running to the temple by themselves. It is to commemorate this unusual event, the elephant race (aanayottam) is conducted every year. It is a highly anticipated event among local people and tourists alike.

Categories
Blog

Kerala Blog Express Second Edition Flagged off

Blog express 2.0, an initiative by Kerala tourism to get world-renowned travel writers to know more about Kerala by experiening it in person is into its second season. Kerala Minister V S Sivakumar flagged off the bus taking the chosen bunch of writers from around the world on a two-week trip around the state.
This year’s group includes names from United States , Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria , Brazil, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Uruguay, Mexico, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, France, Indonesia and Philippines. There are also two Indian writers in the 30-member squad.
According to Kerala Tourism Additional Director (General), Anupama T V, The participants were shortlisted based on their profile, popularity and an online voting system. The selection period saw 702 entries this year.
Conducted in financial year 2013-14, the successful first edition of Blog received a big thumbs up from those who participated. Kerala is the first state in India to implement this unique concept in order to increase its popularity and reach as a tourist destination among worldwide audience. For details, check out keralablogexpress.com.

Categories
Blog

Gavi One Day Eco-tourism Package by DTPC

3333

 

The District  Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Pathanamthitta launched this one-day package tour to the wild interiors of Gavi, situated in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in October 2014. The tourists are being taken to Gavi in A/C and non A/C vans. The package costs Rs.1,600 (5-seater A/C), Rs.1,300 (5-seater non-A/C), and Rs.1,600 (12-seater non A/C). The tour party would leave Pathanamthitta or Konni at 6.30 a.m. to return by 8 p.m.

The route

The tour groups set off to Gavi via Angamoozhi, Kochandy check-post, Moozhiyar, Kakki dam, Anathode dam, Eco View Point at Kochu Pampa, and Pachakanam and return to Pathanamthitta via Vallakadavu, Vandiperiyar, Kuttikkanam, Mundakkayam, Erumeli, and Ranni the same day.

Gavi-2

For tourists coming from Thiruvananthapuram, and Kollam, Konni is the nearest pick-up point.

For those from Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta is the nearest pick-up point.

The tour package is being organised in association with the Forest Department and the Kerala Forest Development Corporation.

The panoramic view of the Kakki, Anathode, and Kochu Pampa reservoirs of the Kerala State Electricity Board, especially in the twilight hours, is a major attraction.Gavi is known for its wild fauna, especially birds. The forest patch is rich in its diversity of amphibians, reptiles, insects, and plants.

905 tourists including foreigners, had visited the lush forests over the past six months, as per the numbers by DTPC sources.