25 Apr #KonaKonaKotak – Explore the Magical Beauty of Kerala!
As you might have heard ING Vysya Bank is now Kotak Mahindra Bank. With this move, Kotak has now made its home in many cities and towns across India. India is more than just big cities- it’s the villages and small towns that give India its unique flavor. Did you see the new TVC of Kotak Mahindra Bank #KonaKonaKotak (every corner Kotak)? Kotak now showcases the extended reach and offering through this step. Kotak says “Desh ka kona kona badal raha hai. Aur hum garv se iss badlav ka hissa ban rahe hai” (Every corner of the country is changing and we are part of this)
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. – Lin Yutang
I’d never thought about my love for travel until I did so. For me travelling is a dream come true. It is all about the experience of new cultures, history of a place, cuisine, places of interest and meeting new people. For me it’s about learning about myself and some new things. Travelling is my passion.
Kerala is a state in India situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of south western India. Named as God’s own country it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Kerala is my native place. I am born and brought up here. No holiday to Kerala is complete without a journey across the backwaters. The natural beauty and greenery of Kerala is well known since ages. The remarkable scenic beauty of Kerala attracts tourists from across the globe. When you travel, you come back with beautiful memories. Today, I am going to share with you a mini travelogue of my favourite three places in my state namely Kannur, Aluva and Kollam.
Kannur (also known as Cannanore) is a lazy town situated in North Kerala Malabar region influenced by the Kolathiris, Portuguese, Dutch, Arakkal Rajas and the English. Pepper trade flourished here in the early part of the sixteenth century. The Portuguese Viceroy to India, Don Francesco de Almeida built a fort in 1505 AD as they gained control of the Arabian Sea to trade. St. Angelo’s Fort is a massive laterite (vettu-kallu) triangular shaped structure built on a cliff protruding into the Arabian Sea with a moat that separates it from the mainland. The Dutch and the English made it into a military station and used it as a protective mechanism on the west coast. The Ruins of the fort still remain. The history of this place is connected to the biblical times and the ships of King Solomon are believed to have been anchored on the shores of Kannur. The Mapila bay, an important fishing harbor and Arakkal museum, the light-house are all in close proximity to the fort.
The name of Kannur is marked in the modern history of Kerala for its rich heritage and pulsating culture. Kannur is a land of looms and the fabric industry is dominant here. There are many temples in Kannur, the most eminent ones being Sundareswara Temple, Kottiyoor Shiva Temple, Oorpazhassi Kavu Temple, and the Kizhakkekara Sree Krishna Temple. Kannur has many modern style buildings and churches like Gundert Bungalow, Holy Trinity Cathedral. Some of the beaches in this region include Payyambalam Beach, Meenkunnu Beach, and Muzhuppilangad Beach. The town is a centre for textiles and jewellery shops.
The flavours of this region are yummy. Thalasseryi Dum Biriyani is a heavenly dish out there. The list goes on with Ari Unda, Neypathiri, Unnakkaya, Pazham Nirachathu, Elayada, Kalathappam and Kinnathappam.
Kannur is well connected from all parts of India by rail and road. There is a place called Kelakam, which is a tiny hill station in Kannur. The climate is very plesant and chill there. I visited this place almost three years back. The Bavali River runs through this town. The name Kelakam refers to resting place of the bullock of Lord Shiva. It is in the Christian migration belt. The town is known for its hill produce including pepper, rubber, tapioca, and coconut.
Kollam or Quilon in the state of Kerala is an old sea port town on the Arabian coast. This town stands on the serene Ashtamudi Lake. The history of Kollam dates back to 14th century AD during the time of Chinese trade when Ibn Batuta had visited Kollam as one of the five ports, in the course of his travels. It is said that Kollam was built by the Syrian Merchant; Sapir Iso, in the 9th Century A.D and was one of the early centres of Christian activity. There is an old proverb and the saying going like once you see Kollam, you won’t need home any more. Kollam is the headquarters of Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation.
The main centre of attraction is the 144 ft. Thangassery Light House built in 1902 and The Ananda Valleswaram Temple. There are several Churches and Mosques in and around Kollam like The Pullichira Church established in 1700 A.D and Chinnakkada Palli Mosque. Mahatma Gandhi beach & park at Kochupilamoodu, Thirumullavaram beach and Ashramam picnic Village are some of the important spots of local sight-seeing. There is an adventure park near Ashtamudi with types of boats, including luxury cruise boats, power boats and motor boats. You can easily find government guest houses and budget hotel like Yatri Nivas, run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, located in this village.
There is a tranquil resort named The “Green Channel Back Water” at Alumkadavu which offers a peaceful stay. Kayamkulam and Amritapuri are towns nearby. At Aryankavu there is a waterfall. Jetayu Para, a huge rock, is another attraction in Kollam district. There are a large number of rubber and tea plantations in Kollam. Kulathupuzha is a forest area well known for elephants in Kollam. Kollam was referred to as the “Venice of the East.” Besides its regional South Indian dishes, restaurants in Kollam serve mouth-watering seafood starting from raw fish, crab curry to processed sea fishes in Chinese, multi-cuisine, continental style.
Aluva (Alwaye) is a town of Kochi in the Ernakulum district of Kerala, India. Located on the River Periyar, Aluva is the industrial epicentre and transportation hub of the state. Aluva is a destination famous for its Mahasivarathri, a six days festival held annually in the Shiva Temple. Aluva was the place where Travancore Kingdom was based.The Aluva Palace built in English-Travancore style offers a majestic view. The Thiruvairanikkulam Mahadeva temple and Uliyannur Temple are considered as holiest places in India with rare statue of gods and grand festivals. Aluva is a bit far from Fort Kochi, but close enough to Cherai Beach and offers some lovely Ayurveda treatments.
The Parish Church located in Kaprassery is popular for its festival known as Little Flower Parish fiesta. The Aluva Advaita Ashram in Aluva founded by Sree Narayana Guru in 1913 is another pilgrimage spot. Aluva is special for Malabar Foods. You get everything ranging from seafood dishes to spicy authentic Indian flavors dominated by coconut.
Have you ever visited any of these places? If you ever get to visit Kerala, do visit these places and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.
This post is written for #KonaKonaKotak Campaign !