Our Kerala trip started in Trivandrum, continued to Varkala and Alleppey.
Why to visit Kerala?
Sailing through backwaters from Cochin or Alleppey
Kerala is a traditional holiday paradise in the European sense. You will find mesmerizing beaches in this southern Indian state, where you can freely relax and enjoy the Arabian sea. Our first accommodation was in the Treebo the Royal Heritage Hotel with fascinating architecture and design. It has excellent “Ayurveda-wellness” atmosphere, friendly staff and a decent food.
Our first stop was Kerala beaches. By the way, from the very first moment, Kerala surprises the majority of tourists, who have visited other Indian states, with its higher standard of living.
I highly recommend visiting the Kovalam Beach and the Light House Beach, where we enjoyed the pleasant sea, sandy coastline with deck-chairs and sunshades. Go also farther south, where you can find smaller beaches and pass by a lot of Ayurveda centers and hotels offering traditional Indian medicine. There is a recently reconstructed beacon, which you can enter after buying a ticket. However, it may unpleasantly surprise you, that a railing is built much lower than is the European standard. Also, the fact that a large number of tourists are let in at once will not increase your sense of security.
Our next stop was Varkala, where we booked an excellent hotel the Varkala Marine Palace. We also felt like we were lucky to get the best apartment house available. Enough space, original wooden construction, the detailed ornamental decoration, porch with enough seats, excellent cleaning service. You can spend the Varkala beach, but be aware of two things:
- The Beach is a sacred Hindu place and therefore it is necessary to respect locals. It seems wrong to sunbath in swimsuits on the beach, therefore instantly after swimming in the sea I recommend to cover yourself or do what we did and that is to enter the hotel area.
- Be careful of the sea. It is not easy to swim there. Both waves and underwater currents are quite intense.
In the evenings it is nice to visit the market town located on a high cliff above the sea level.
Kathakali theater is a typical art form in Kerala. It’s entirely different artistic experience for the western tourists. The Kathakali is based on gestures, mimic movements. Actors make almost no sounds, they act with a heavy make-up on, dressed in traditional costumes, accompanied by music. It was an unforgettable experience.
We decided to arrange a boat trip to see well-known backwaters, a chain of rivers, lakes, lagoons connecting the Arabic sea with fresh water flows of Kerala. The network forms a 900 km long water labyrinth. In Alleppey, we rented a ship with a captain on board, equipped with 4 deck-chairs and sofas and a shelter. It was a calm three-hour ride, a little dull though. I missed a commentary on the way.
One last tip. Don’t book the Geeyo on the beach hotel in Alleppey. We didn’t get, what they claim on booking.com and they forgot to mention a large road construction going on directly in front of the hotel.