Kerala is truly a god’s own country. Blessed with abundance of nature, you can visit this state, as many times as you can and still never get bored. I have been to Kerala, a few years ago, and then we visited Munnar and Ashtamudi Backwaters. That is the perfect plan, to cover a hillside and a backwater destination.
This time around, we clubbed Thekkady, a hillside destination famous for Periyar Tiger Reserve, and Cherai, a beach destination in Kerala but with an icing of backwaters.
Just before the corona outbreak in India, we took this trip, from February 21 to Feb 29, 2020. So glad we could travel and unwind, right before the biggest pandemic that ruined all our travel plans for the year.
How to reach Cochin?
We took a 24-hours grueling train journey from Mumbai to Cochin. I know that’s not a preferred mode for most, however, it was fun. First, good stuff is sold in trains plying to south of India. For book lovers, here is an opportunity to grab cheap books, sold in the train, and at every other station. For kids too, there were coloring books and crayons that kept my little one busy in the long train journey.
Second, the route is scenic and you will not regret taking a long train journey, after all Kerala is blessed with bountiful of nature. After we got down at Ernakulum station, we spent a night in OYO, as Thekkady is a good four to six hours drive from Cochin. If you are traveling by a flight, you may decide to continue your journey to Thekkady, but we were exhausted.
First stop – Marine drive
After a little rest, we went around to explore the Kochi marine drive. Yes, only Mumbai does not have a marine drive. This as well is a beautiful promenade featuring a rainbow hanging bridge. It is a perfect place to spend a few hours with your family, walking and enjoying the breeze. Best to go when the sun is setting to capture a magical view. You can decide to do boating in the pristine waters. We did not do it, as it was getting dark and the laziness in us had overwhelmed us to just sit and relax.
Next morning, we started our journey to Thekkady Club Mahindra resort. We booked a MakeMyTrip car for the journey, which was albeit a tiring one due to hairpin bend roads, the only consolation, were the awesome views. One tip, do not load yourself with a heavy meal if you plan to travel to Thekkady, as the narrow roads make it uncomfortable to sit for longer. After a good five hours on the road, we reached Club Mahindra Thekkady resort. Thankfully, this resort is within the market area, unlike many of their other resorts that are secluded destinations, far from the hustle-bustle. Post check-in and exploring the green vicinity, we went around the Thekkady market in the evening. It gave us the feel of a mall road, lively with many food joints and events. The first thing we relished the most here were banana chips fried in coconut oil. Heavenly and tasty. Do not miss out to gorge on these little munchies while in Kerala. Stay tuned for Day two fun in the picturesque hill station of Kerala.