Kerala,”The God’s own country” is blessed with several tourist destinations giving peace and rejuvenation to the mind and body. Kerala state is lying at the extreme south-west of Indian Peninsula having its full length of west side covered by shining beaches. The middle area decorated by nature with coconut trees, jack fruit trees, mango trees, areca nut trees ,flower-bearing plants, back waters and paddy fields, it is a feast to the eyes of tourists.
The eastern side of the state is mostly covered by small mountains, also known as Western Ghats or Sahya mountains. The entire length of the sandy beach at the western coast is around 590 Kilometers and the width of the state varies from 35 to 120 Kilometers. The topography and the weather changes distinctly from east to west. Since it is a small state, it is easy to reach from one destination to another within a short span of time. It is never too cold in the winter and never too hot in the summer. It has a mild and pleasant weather throughout the year.
Though there are plenty of ‘must-see destinations’ for a tourist to Kerala, here I want to mention only two very special destinations for the honeymoon location seekers because you need pleasant surprises with isolation, abode of peace and pure nature. It is a time for the newly-wedded couples to understand each other, their tastes, to learn more about the partner’s culinary interests and to have some private moments.
Though Kerala is blessed with three international airports, here I prefer you to reach Kochi. The panoramic view from the area near to airport itself will give you a feeling that you landed to a picturesque destination. Once you land at Kochi airport, take a taxi to the Kochi city to have a glimpse of the cultural monuments, sea shore, shining beaches and ancient architectural stones and scriptures.
You can find the best tourist package for a houseboat stay for a week in Vembanadu Lake. There are packages available from one day to two weeks’ stay. Recently I have read the experience of a European couple who stayed in a houseboat for two weeks and still do not want to leave the place. There are several travel and tour agencies providing services to the tourists at Kochi. Either you can approach them through Internet or through the travel desk of the hotel.
Normally the house boats leaves jetty (landing area) at Alleppey around 12 noon and returns to the same spot next morning by 9.A.M. If the boat is booked for a day, the breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided in the boat. There are air-conditioned and non air-conditioned boats available depending on your budget and interest.
A cruise in the Vembanadu Lake in a house boat is a thrilling experience. A journey through the lagoons, the sleepy villages around, touching the Kerala heritage and culture, paddy fields lying below the water level, exotic nature, and the balmy breeze passing touching you, the sloppy coconut trees touchable from your houseboat, and many more interesting views bring enthralling experience to your mind, body, and ears.
A bird sanctuary opposite Alleppey provides the tourist a chance to view rare species of migrated birds. A journey in a houseboat is to enjoy a life without the day-to-day hurried activities of normal life. If interested, you can try cooking your own food onboard these houseboats or try to learn cooking some special Kerala dishes from the expert chefs available on board. The specialty of the houseboat food is the availability of fresh sea food varieties. You can buy lively fishes from the small boats approaching the houseboats.
The chef on board will be pleasant enough to cook it your preferred way. The exotic and vibrant experience on a houseboat cannot be understood by this article alone, it has to be experienced to have a real feel of it.
My next destination is Munnar five hours drive from where the boat lands in Kumarakom, opposite to Alleppey. On the way to Munnar, the stretch of around 135 Kilometers, you will find many types of crops cultivated along the road, which will give you a glimpse of the crops and culture of the villages.
Rice, cashew nut, sugarcane, tapioca, pepper, coconut, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, tea, coffee, rubber, mango trees, jack fruit trees etc. in abundance and several hairpin bends along the snake roads provides the tourist a relief to the boredom of a long travel. The natural streams and misty fogs slowly appear in front of you to give a feel that you are approaching the most sought-after destination, the great Munnar!
As you move towards the destination, you start viewing the tea-plucking women, isolated tea shops, small misty mountains, and the mist touching your body. You are bound to feel the tremendously gifted tranquil beauty of the nature. Now, you are on top of a mountain 6000 feet above sea level, surrounded by several other huge mountains and overlooking valleys. In Monsoon season the area will be too cool and the wind is so strong as if it is trying to push you to the sides.
Taking winter garments with you is a must during a visit to Munnar in Monsoon and winter seasons. The fragrance and flora of the place is sufficient to sooth your soul and body. It is a nature lovers’ paradise. Though there are many tourist spots a little away from Munnar town, a honeymoon couple enjoying the flora and fauna of the place mingled with the views of mist covering valleys and mountains nearby enjoying a cool breeze will never be willing to indulge in any other activities around.
You can spend weeks together at Munnar enjoying three times meals and intermittent sips of fresh spicy tea or coffee. It is a pretty little heaven.
Special honeymoon packages are available with tour operators which can be arranged in advance through Internet. Many star hotels, resorts, and home stays are available in the vicinity.