Poda “Patti”

Kerala

Warning: Please DO NOT use the title of my post on any Keralite or Malayalam understanding folk, unless you want to be smacked in the face or endure a riot/protest outside your home.

God’s own country with their very own law! Shakee-law (sex siren of my dad’s era). Hairy peoples, thanks to the coconut oil they apply not only on themselves but cook almost everything with. No offense to the beautiful women and their luscious, jasmine scented hair.

A gastronomical foodgasm awaits everyone who travels here. One of the trademarks of Kerala is ‘Chukkuvellam’ the boiled, medicated drinking water served everywhere.

The only place in the world where you get government regulated “Toddy” (coconut sap) and ‘NO’ you do not need your passport to procure it.

Enraptured by its beauty! A nestle made by the gods, I ventured to explore its charm.

Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach (Asia’s longest Drive-In Beach)

I accidentally stumbled upon this beach on a road trip with friends through Kerala. We were to stay at “Mahe” a Union Territory (Read: Cheap Booze) with back to back counters all over. It is part of Pondicherry but surrounded by Kerala on all sides. It was close by but the drunk locals persuaded us against it. Apparently there was no room for us. Praise Jesus! and we landed here without knowing its real gem. The beach is wide and about 6km long. All you drifter’s and doughnut’ers, this is your avenue.

Munnar

This hill station is quite synonymous with Kerala, and one of the major tourist destinations in the Idduki district. The rolling tea estates, spread across the vast expanse of valleys and mountains is a sight to behold. One of the exotic flora found here is “Neelakurinji” a flower which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years. “Anamudi” is the highest peak in south India for all you trekking enthusiasts.

You could stay in posh hotels and admire the plush tiles or you could venture into a tree house, such is the variety on offer. I have stayed at “Suryanelli” & “Mankulam” which is about 30-40 kms away from the hustle in the town.

You can spot herds of wild elephants at “Anakulam” which is about 9kms from “Mankulam” and is located within the forest reserve. The pachyderms congregate at this strict “Elephant’s ONLY Pub” for vital nutrients.

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Wayanad

Another popular hill station in Kerala, surrounded by the Bandipur, Nagarhole and Mudumalai National parks. A getaway for adventurists, naturalists and wedded hipsters. Top attractions are “Banasura Sagar Dam” India’s largest and Asia’s second largest earth dam, Edakkal Caves for their stone age pictorial carvings and Chembra Peak.

Calicut/Cozy-Code

A coastal city made famous by “Mallu” (my buddy) in search of vices and Vasco Da Gama in search of spices. There are some pretty decent beaches such as “Kozhikode Beach” which is close to the town and its unique stone sculptures along it’s bay. ‘Kappad‘ Beach where Da Gama landed and “Payyoli” Beach which is about 30kms from the main town, is hidden and quite isolated. A bird sanctuary at “Kadalundi” for all those ornithophiles.

Vagamon

A quaint hill station located in the Kottayam district. Mighty green meadows, pine forests and super sleepy locals.  It has a chain of 3 beautiful hills Thangal, Murugan, and Kurismala which promises to be a trekking and parasailing hub.

Thekkady

This is where the Periyar National Park/Tiger Reserve is located and is spread across 770 sq km of lush evergreen forests. You can rent a cycle to explore the sanctuary. Rafting and Boating on the Periyar River is an absolute must.

Post which you can cool off with a super strong beer and a side of “Bat Tost” or get a fancy haircut at the “BARBAR” shop

Varkala

A coastal city close to Trivandrum (40kms), known for its pristine blue waters and red cliffs. “Papanasam Beach” as its also referred to, has two sections. The northern part is for the tourists, while the southern end has a temple and a path leading to the beach. According to Hindu beliefs, a wash taken here is sacred and washes away the sins of the person. Hence the namesake “Papanasham” or “Destroyer of Sins” A backpackers paradise! Numerous cafes and restaurants adorn the cliff-side where you can get lost in its trance.

Kovalam

Another coastal town in Trivandrum (20kms). The Lighthouse beach known for its iconic striped lighthouse serves as a viewing deck. The beach has been divided into different sections for bachelors, spinsters and families to swim. Please ensure you contact the local lifeguard accordingly, else you might be dragged to the nearest police station for indecent behavior.

Do take it in your stride for the special “Sar-bath” and “Lessy” offered to you post the harassment!

Allepey “Alappuzha”

A city famous for its backwaters, beaches and lagoons. It is known as the “Venice of the East” and is synonymous for ‘Kettuvallam’ or houseboats that traverse the maze like waterways. This network of interlinked waterways, estuaries, lakes and canals is spread over 1000km. Travel without leaving your house, for one of the most relaxed and exquisite sojourn of a lifetime. I preferred the “Kayak” for a more immersed and adventurous experience.

Kumarakom

Another popular backwater destination, 35km from Allepey. A village set in the backdrop of “Vembanad Lake” the largest lake in Kerala. The Bird sanctuary here is a favorite haunt to some exotic migratory birds such as the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. I have absolutely no inkling as to what these birds are all about but for all you ornithophiles, this is should be on your bucket list.

Disclaimer: This post isn’t meant to hurt any sentiments but purely a work of art. I love Kerala and its Malayali brethren! Peace & Love, until next time.

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