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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

OVER TO KERALA BACKWATERS


Travel opportunities!


 TRAVEL DIARY: KERALA

For more than three weeks, I'd disappeared from the blogosphere. Yet I missed my weekly creative journey and favorite blogs!

In fact, my husband and I were in the Indian state of Kerala to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. From the usual cake cutting and partaking goodies with friends and family, we had planned to explore the picturesque land of coconuts, lakes, rivers, canals and inland waterways of Kerala about which we had heard a lot.

Kerala is known as God's own country. It is a land of coconut groves, sunny beaches, intriguing backwater cruises, fragrant spices, banana plantations,  herbal plants and lush green verdure. It is an exotic travel destination.

"Kerala lies along the coastline to the south-west of Indian peninsula. It is flanked by the Arabian sea on the West and the mountains of the Western Ghats on the east."

 "Backwaters in Kerala is a network of 1500 km of canals both manmade and natural, 38 rivers and 5 big lakes extending from one end of Kerala to the other. Backwaters are one of the major tourism product of Kerala, being unique to the state." Wikitravel.

Kochi which was our destination is a gateway for travelers to Kerala and is its commercial hub. Its 'Marine Drive' is a posh area with eating joints, show rooms and shops selling all brands of mobile phones. People here look dark but are strong and healthy. The locals throng all the tourists' places even on week days. At every other corner stood a church. Did not see any Hindu temple, though. It has a sizeable Muslim population also.

" Bolgatty Palace ( where we stayed) is a former palace built by the Dutch in India, on Bolghatty Island in Kochi, Kerala. ... Bolgatty Palace has a swimming pool, 9-hole golf course, ayurvedic centre, and daily Kathakali performances and is a holiday destination for tourists." Wikipedia.

The structures here exude an old world charm. The sloping stylish roof lined with brick tiles looks imposing. On the right is the dining hall and in the foreground is the swimming pool for hotel guests.

 Another dignified looking building having suites for guests.


 The sprawling lawns of 'Bolgatty Palace' were well manicured with gorgeous plants around.

The 'International Marina' bordering Island Resort, offers mooring facilities for pleasure yachts and small sailing boats. Here we met an English couple who had been sailing around the world since 2014.


The Swimming pool at Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort.


Kerala Govt. sponsors some special cruises called sunset cruises for which we got a booking.  It's a kind of a small ship and had AC cooled interiors. But that was no fun. All converged on the deck and had a blast of a time. Captured a similar boat from the deck while being awe struck by the vastness engulfing us. Here we 're already in the Arabian Sea waters.


Took this one from the border of our  Resort.


The two of us hired a boat for a one and a half hour cruise in the lake. The wind kept on playing with our clothes and hair but was cool and naughty.

Friends welcome here as always.
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