In an era wherein modern day couples find it very hard to take out some time to take a breather, planning a trip with your better half seems quite complicated. Going against the odds, Aniruddha Dey from Hyderabad not only took his wife on a 5D/4N romantic trip to Kerala but also discovered something adventurous for the first time in 10 years. Find out for yourself as he writes about his experience that left him rejuvenated.
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We’ve been dating for past 10 years & ever since we got married in January 2017, I and my wife have not been able to spend some quality time with each other. We’re yet to go on our honeymoon and while the process of planning is still on, we both thought why not take a short trip to Kerala. And as they say, rest is history.
Since we both are animal lovers, we wanted to go to a place which is a mix of nature & wildlife, and what else can be better than a trip to Kerala. The main reason we picked Kerala is because we wanted to explore the Elephant Junction in Kerala. During the time we were looking for suitable Kerala tour packages, one of my friends who recently booked a trip to Kerala through TravelTriangle recommended the same to us too.
Trip Type: A refreshing trip full of fun, romance, & adventure
Budget: INR 23,750
Month Of Travel: April
Inclusions: Accommodation at Rivertree Hotel, and Periyar Meadows, backwater cruise in an A/c deluxe houseboat, breakfast, transfer cab, sightseeing, taxes, and more.
Exclusions: Flights, lunch and dinner, entry fees at Dreamland, museums, and tea factory, and other personal expenses.
Being ardent backpackers, we put in a request on TravelTriangle without getting skeptical any further. Soon TT put three of the best agents in touch with me of whom, I decided to go ahead with Liva Holidays. With everything being taken care of in such an organized manner, we were super excited to getaway to God’s own country.
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Embarking On Our Trip To Kerala
We boarded our flight by 11 am from Hyderabad and reached Kochi Airport by 12 noon. It was easy to spot our driver Biju who was waiting for us with the placard of my name.
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Soon we embarked on our journey and on the way to Munnar, we relished some delicious chilli chicken and fried rice at a North Indian restaurant.
Enroute Munnar the driver took us to some famous sites like that of the Cheeyappara waterfalls and Valara waterfalls. Though the weather drained the energy out of us, the lush greens, dense forests, and the cascading waters, were a treat to watch that left us refreshed.
We reached our hotel by 5pm in the evening and as soon as we reached, we went to explore the river that flows right behind the hotel. It is due to this river that the hotel got its name of Rivertree. We sat there and spent some quiet time while we admired the nature.
On our way back to the hotel, we went to the Paprika Cafe and the best part is the way they garnish their dishes. Even if it’s a cup of tea, they decorate it in such a way that it leaves one astonished.
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I’m glad it inspired my wife so much that now I get Paprika-like servings at home too. Later we returned to the hotel and tired from all the journey, we called it a night pretty early.
Munnar In All Its Might
We started our second day by 7.30am and we finished our breakfast soon after that. Another thing which I would like to highlight about Munnar is the weather. Though it was hot as hell in the afternoon, one does not need an A/C by the evening.
The surroundings are calm and the weather is chilled out. Going ahead, we first visited the Karadippara view point, then the Munnar Tea Factory, and the Pothamedu view point.
The views were very refreshing and only left us energized. Enroute we explored many of the local attractions but we missed a few due to some strike that was going on. Our next stop was at this place called Dreamland Spice Park which is full of adventure sports and activities.
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We had our lunch there and the moment we got in, I saw my wife in a new avatar. For the past 10 years of our relationship, I have never seen her like that. It came as a shock to me to see her in a competitive mood without getting tired.
Overall it was a great experience for both of us and we enjoyed a few activities like shooting, valley crossing, and explored the mirror room, etc.
The whole day turned out to be quite adventurous and later went to the Kundale Dam by 6pm where we enjoyed speed boating and chilled out for some time. A fun-filled day had come to an end and post dinner, we retired to bed as soon as we reached the hotel.
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The Tranquility Of Thekkady
On our third day, we started out for Thekkady by 9 am post breakfast. We were totally tripping on the journey as the roads were narrow and everyone was driving at a speed of 70 to 80 kmph.
It was quite a thrilling and a memorable road trip from Munnar to Thekkady which we enjoyed to the core. On the way we shopped for some homemade chocolates and few other things.
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Later we went to the Elephant Junction which was very nice. It was kind of funny to see how the Elephants were ignoring the instructions given by the instructor. We really enjoyed our time with Elephants and took a couple of pictures.
Later we reached our hotel called the Periyar Meadows by 2 pm. Since we did not want to go to the Periyar National Park, we just freshened up, had our lunch, and rested up for an hour or two.
In the late afternoon by 4.30pm, we went to the famous Kadathanadan Kalari & Navarasa Kathakali Centre. We were okay to go there all by ourselves as our driver Biju, was very keen on watching Bahubali – The Conclusion.
It was very fascinating to see the live Kathakali performance. It was an hour’s show and it was very entertaining to see how they explain the entire form of dancing. The martial arts show was also for a duration of an hour, and it was an great experience too.
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Later we picked up some beer and relished some nice tandoori chicken in a nearby restaurant, before calling it a day.
Time For Some Backwater Cruising In Alleppey
On the fourth day, we started out by 7.30 am and we reached Alleppey by 11 am. On the way we visited few beautiful tea gardens. As soon as we reached the port, we boarded one of the Riverland House Boat.
We were expecting the houseboat to be in a better condition but then since it was a standard houseboat, that is how it was suppose to be. The weather really took away all our energy. It really got humid but again by the evening, the whole surrounding and vistas changed dramatically.
On the way we picked up some cold drinks and chips and by 7.30 pm, the dinner was served. We had the chicken dish with all the traditional spices and rice.
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Once it was all quiet in the evening, we felt much better once the A/C was on and few old songs playing in the background. The entire ambience lightened up our moods and this is what we would love to take away from Alleppey.
Kissing Kochi A Goodbye!
Next day morning, we reached back to the port by 10.30 am and our driver Biju was there to pick us up. Since our flight was at 9pm, Biju took us to the Kochi Traditional Museum also known as Kerala Folklore Museum. My wife picked some nice souvenirs and I shopped for few “God’s own country” tees.
From there we went to Asia’s largest, Lulu Mall as per Google and our driver Biju. It’s a huge mall and we could finally lay our hands on some nice sizzlers and drinks. Hypermarket was quite fascinating as it had one room dedicated to one particular thing.
For example, if you want apples, you can find all kinds of apples in one room and the same applies to vegetables, fruits, seafood, and almost everything. Then on the way to airport we picked up some banana chips, and snacks.
By 7.30 pm we checked in to the airport and we set on our journey back to Hyderabad. We lived the best of 4 days during this trip to Kerala and to sum up our journey in one word, it was a “refreshing” one. Would love to come back to this beautiful place, but in a better season.
Highlights Of Our Kerala Trip
- Our time at the Elephant Junction was one of the best experiences
- The turbulent cab rides on the narrow roads
- The evening we spent cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey in the houseboat
Low Points: None that I could think of, but we could have explored a few more places if there was no strike!
Tips For Future Travelers
- The place is beautiful which can be explored in a much better way with good planning.
- Summer season is not the right season at all to visit Munnar, Thekkady, & Alleppey.
- Opt for any houseboat other than the standard ones for better cruising experience.
- Ask your drivers to help you out in locating good North Indian restaurants as there are not many around.
- You can easily walk downhill but walking uphill will drain the energy out of you. So make sure you’re fit enough if you want to explore the place on foot.
Few Other Monetary Tips
- Kochi to Munnar takes is a 3-hour drive to the max. Carry enough water in case you end up here in summers.
- Entry tickets for Dreamland Spice Park were for INR 800 per person.
- At Navarasa Kathakali Centre, you have to buy two tickets to watch the Kathakali performance and martial arts performance. It costs INR 200 per person for each performance.
- The entry fee at Kochi Traditional Museum costs INR 100 per person and an extra cost of INR 100 for using the camera.
Overall Experience With TravelTriangle
We loved the fact that our entire trip was planned in a very organized manner. Our experience was pretty smooth, and TravelTriangle was very transparent in all our transactions.
We did not think much about it since it was a very short trip. Even then, TravelTriangle delivered everything that was promised which we felt was very courteous and genuine. We’ll be planning another trip soon. Cheers!
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