India
Kerala

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kerala. Discover travel destinations in India of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

69 travelers at this place:

  • Day100

    Vanuit Hampi reisde ik per nachttrein naar Mysore. Een overnight treinreis zorgt altijd voor de nodige reflectie en rust. Tien uur in een Indiase trein klinkt oncomfortabel maar het is een mooie ervaring en door het geluid van de rails, de bewegingen en donkere coupe wieg je al snel in slaap. Als je geluk hebt...

    In Mysore verbleef ik in een backpackers commune villa omgebouwd tot hostel. Van camping naar villa. Grote tuin, palmbomen, hoge plafonds, grote keuken, drie balkons, dakterras en rustige omgeving. Niet alle bedden waren bezet en dat maakte de ervaring nog fijner. Alsof je een groot huis deelt met een paar vrienden en een host. Mijn enige kamergenoot stond om 5:00 op voor zijn dagelijkse Yoga course en verder had ik de dorm voor mezelf. Leuke mensen, goede sfeer en veel ruimte. De mogelijkheid tot koken, wierook en kaarsen in de avond en ontbijten met cornflakes in de grote keuken maakte de sfeer huiselijk.

    Twee dagdelen erop uit naar het Mysore Palace, de kleurrijke echte Indiase bazaar en de stad. Verder een ochtendhike op de Chamandri Hill en genoten van de plek. Met de hangmat in de tuin, een boek en dagelijks een ommetje voor wat lokaal eten en een kokusnoot.

    Het zijn ook de momenten waarop je de afweging maakt om ergens langer te blijven of door te reizen, meer te zien. Deze afweging komt steeds vaker naarmate de reis vordert, merk ik. Dit keer een verlenging van twee dagen, maar boekte ook een lokale bus naar Kochi, de hub voor de Kerala province. Beide keuzes zijn verleidelijk, dit keer won het doorreizen. Afscheid nemen van een plek en de mensen is ook steeds een stap uit je in korte termijn gecreëerde comfortzone.

    Kochi lag op negen uur reizen met een Indiase government bus. Een nieuwe ervaring die minder comfortabel was dan de trein. Indiase muziek uit de speakers en een Bollywood movie op de schermen. Kerala heeft geen snelwegen dus op de route veel scherpe bochten, bumpy roads en hoge snelheden. Een die-hard reiservaring, zeker omdat ik nog wel eens last heb van motion sickness. In negen uur reizen stopte de bus vier keer drie minuten. Door het harde rijden, remmen en bochten wilde mijn lichaam die bus uit maar je weet dat je door moet. Mentale training. Na negen uur en midden in de nacht de bestemming bereiken voelde als een bevrijding.

    Kochi is ook een vroegere handelsplaats aan de kust waar ik twee dagen verbleef, rond de boulevard slenterende en Kerala fish curry at met een reiziger die ik eerder had ontmoet. Een heerlijk tropisch klimaat. De eerste keer Indiase kust zien.

    De Indiase Backwaters ontdekte ik vanuit Allepey op budget met lokale Government ferry. 'The Venice of the East’, adembenemend mooi. Drie uur op een boot voor minder dan een dollar door schitterende omgeving met lagunes, meren en palmbomen.

    Vanuit Allepey reisde ik na twee dagen met drie lokale bussen verder naar Varkala. Een van de mooiste stranden in India. Om tot rust te komen. Te ontbijten en lunchen met uitzicht op zee. Te genieten van de zon, warmte, van de reis, een duik in zee te nemen en na te denken over mijn volgende stappen. Het is een totaal andere plaats dan Calcutta maar India is ook hier nooit ver weg. Op het strand lopen schaars geklede Westerlingen versus volledig geklede kleurrijke Hindoes.

    Hoe en waar mijn volgende stappen gaan bepaal ik bijna van dag tot dag. Soms zelf op de dag zelf. Ik heb nog geen vliegticket India uit, de opties zijn open. Ook dat maakt het reizen op dit moment mooi en onvoorspelbaar (...of onvoorstelbaar) . We will see...
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  • Day7

    We piled in the car for one last five hour drive with Laxman Singh from Iora Guest House to the Delhi Airport. Stopped for coffee at a modern shop by the side of the highway. The photo below was taken from our seats in the place. Can't get much more direct cause and effect than that. Open sewer from the Café runs right into the vacant lot next door which is filled with garbage from the same establishment. On the flight over I'd read about the contradiction between holding the Ganges river sacred as the mother of life, yet polluting it to unheard of levels. There are groups trying to make the connection and publicize the worst offenders. All the while we're driving through a thick haze of Delhi air in a diesel powered sedan and about to board a flight to the south of India. Can't get much more direct cause and effect than that...

    In the airport the family messed around with the massage chairs in the lounge for a bit while I knocked back a whiskey on ice before the flight. Sanju picked us up at the Kochi Airport and drove us into town. He was pretty proud of his home state of Kerala. Talked about the recent monsoon floods leading to 100,000 displaced people and 500 dead if one includes those still missing. Said the recovery was going well, but tourism was down. A big problem for a state with no manufacturing. He noted that the state was run by the first democratically elected Communist government. Their rule for the past decades has lead to the highest literacy rate in India.

    Kochi is a pretty chill town. Intrepid Travel, the company we're traveling with, arranged a tour. The guide, Peter, explained that Kochi's history as a port city on the Malabar coast goes back thousands of years. Jews first arrived following the second burning of the temple in Jerusalem in 79ce. Another wave came through in the time of the Inquisition, but they didn't worship with or intermarry with the first group. Jew Town has the oldest continuing active synagogue in the Commonwealth. In more recent centuries it was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Their architecture abounds. Lots of small shops, restaurants, and cafés. Art murals can be found all around the city.

    The guide went into a long statement about the effects of the Swiss reformed church in the area. They went to great lengths to deconstruct the caste system that had been introduced to the South from Northern India around 1000ce. They used a land tax system to make it too expensive for large feudal land owners to hold their land and incentivized its transfer to the small farmers who'd been working the land. The Reformed church also introduced schooling for all, including untouchables, which further eroded the caste system. He described the multireligious, multi economic, multi cultural tolerance that the area is known for.

    Greater Malabar is even more ancient. Dawn of human civilization stuff. Hunter-gatherers beachcombed from the African Rift Valley along the Indian Ocean coast until they reached a place of such abundance that they stopped. Kerala. It is the source of civilization in India. I learned that Brahmins pass mantras on to their sons when they reach the age of manhood. Linguists have studied these chants and found no connection to any known language. The closest correlation they can find is to birdsong. The assumption is that the mantras have been passed down since before humans took up language.

    Wild.

    This evening we took in a traditional dance exhibition. Tomorrow we're off to the mountains.
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  • Day2

    Kochi!

    November 20 in India

    We both slept amazingly well but probably could have slept for ever haha Aware we told Julie we would have breakfast for 9:30am we got up and ready, had Puttu a local dish with rice noodles, sweet black tea and then began our journey around the town. We saw the famous Chinese fishing nets which were gifted to the Kochi King from the Chinese Emperor in the 14th century. We wandered around the costal line which was clearly suffering from severe damage from the flooding a couple of months ago. We then wandered along the narrow lanes to St Francis Church, the oldest church in India built in the 16th Century and then had a late lunch around 2pm.

    In the afternoon we took a rickshaw to Jew Street and the Dutch Palace. This area was very fun and lively with lots of hip cafes. We met a mother and daughter in a cafe who had been travelling in India for a month and they gave us lots of tips on what to see and do,which was great as we have come with zero plans!

    For dinner we decided to wander down the local area and found a restaurant full of locals. We had Othampan, dosa, 2 lemon teas, we were absolutely stuffed and it cost us £1.

    Today was just what we needed to ease us into the Indian life. A few sights and great food. Perfect.
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  • Day3

    Wow and we thought the storms were bad in the Philippines! The storms last night were absolutely crazy. I've never heard rain or thunder like it. We didn't have a proper window in the room but it was very intense. The night before we had booked a boat tour along the backwaters and with this storm we really weren't sure if it was a good idea. We asked our homestay for their advise and they rang ahead to see what the weather was. They assured us that it would be fine for the morning at the least, so we just went for it.

    The road outside the homestay was just a river and we had to walk to the end for the pickup so we just had to wade through! Luckily it wasn't as bad as it looked and the bus soon came to pick us up. We met Jerry (from Vancouver) and Charlotte (from Essex) on the bus and they were super nice and the hour sat in crazy traffic soon passed and we were soon on our first boat.

    The ride was basically silent the whole way. The boat driver pushed the boat the whole way using a stick and therefore there was no annoying engine noise just the subtle splash of his stick coming out of the water. I must admit I do wish I brought my book as it was perfect for it. Instead I spent the first part updating my blog.

    Along the way we saw beautiful eagles, a green king Fisher, lots of red dragon flies, cormorants and A LOT of coconut trees.

    For lunch we stopped in a local village and were treated to a really yummy kerela spread. I must admit I'm currently in food heaven being in India and everything being vegetarian!

    The journey back after lunch was unbelievably peaceful and still. I think the whole boat was asleep at one point. I'm so so glad we didn't end up cancelling. The boat ride wasn't eventful but it was so peaceful, relaxing and calming.

    In the evening Will, Charlotte and I went to a hip teapot cafe and then we joined up with Jerry for dinner and had a paratha thali. It was super yummy. We've been here a couple of days and I just can't get enough of the food. I'm definitely going to gain weight here!
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  • Day4

    Road Trip to Munnar!

    November 22 in India

    Last night Jerry had very generously offered to share his trip to Munnar with us. He had it already booked and asked if we wanted to join him. Of course we said yes and it was so much fun.

    We had a private car the whole day and we visited waterfalls, saw monkeys, saw lots of sea eagles, saw the gorgeous landscape along the way, ate endless amounts of incredible food and experienced our very first full journey on the roads of India. I must admit there were quite a few hair raising moments and moments of our life flashing before us but we arrived in the Beauty of Munnar safe and sound. Wow. Munnar is in the countryside on the border of Kerela, famous for growing spices and tea and it was just beautiful. The absolute highlight of the trip was when all of a sudden we saw all the cars pulling in and a cop sat at the side of the road. There was a family of wild Elephants!! I just can't explain their beauty. It just couldn't have been more perfect. They looked nothing like the beaten, flabby elephants in the zoos. These were magnificent.

    Our favourite Indian quote spotted for the day was from the Indian Navy, "Hit hard, hit fast keep hitting".

    That night we stayed in Munnar and did a bit of planning for our next steps. After taking a few people's advise we decided we needed to get up north ASAP before the weather gets bad and the fog ruins the beauty of the north. So we last minute decided to completely change our plans and go to Dehli! So tomorrow evening we will be in the hectic North of India. I don't think I'm mentally prepared for the craziness after all this peacefulness!
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  • Day146

    Trekking zwischen Tee und Bergen

    December 12, 2017 in India

    In Munnar starte ich den Tag schon früh, um vor meinem Tagestrek noch ein ordentliches Frühstück zu bekommen. Obwohl das kleine Städtchen schon sehr geschäftig ist, gibt es hier leider erst ab 8:30h Frühstück. Da muss ich mich mit einem Stückchen Kuchen und dünnem Kaffee begnügen.

    Gestern hab ich mal wieder, klassisch indisch, mit den Händen, gegessen. Es war superlecker! Kokosreis mit Kichererbsen Masala und Daal (Linsen). Yummy!

    Vorbei an zahlreichen Teeplantagen ging die Wanderung heute gemütlich hoch in die Berge von Munnar. Wunderschöne Ausblicke, Teeduft, Kaffeepflanzen und frische exotische Früchte und Curry zum Stärken waren die Mühe allemal wert.
    Nachmittags bin ich dann mit dem Guide noch mit dem Motorrad die Berge hochgekurft. Fantastisch 😊

    Leider ist indische Sonnencreme (LSF 40!) eher eine bessere Feuchtigkeitslotion und dank der starken Sonne in den Bergen, leuchtet mein Gesicht jetzt auch im Dunkeln 🙈.
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  • Day144

    2. Advent in Kochi

    December 10, 2017 in India

    Nachdem ich heute Morgen um 5h vom Gesingsange des Muezzins geweckt wurde, bin ich mal meiner christlichen Pflicht nachgekommen und habe heute Abend eine christliche Messe in Indien besucht. Nunja, ein wenig anders ist es schon.

    Die Abläufe sind die Gleichen. Aber es gibt um einiges mehr Heiligenstatuen zum anbeten, alles ist recht bunt und zusätzlich mit bunten Lichterketten geschmückt & die Lieder kommen laut und schrill aus den Boxen und hören sich eher nach DJ Ötzi- Apres Skihits an.
    "Friede sei mit dir" wird hier, ganz süß, nicht per Handschlag gesagt, sondern klassisch per Namaste-Handstellung und kurzer Verbeugung.

    Jetzt sitzte ich in einem Restaurant, in welchem ausschließlich Weiße sitzen. Auch ne Premiere 🙈

    Morgen gehts dann weiter nach Munnar.
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  • Day149

    Auf zu neuen Ufern

    December 15, 2017 in India

    Ganz gemütlich und leise hab ich mich heute durch die Backwaters kutschieren lassen. Komischerweise bin ich trotzdem total k.o. ... mag aber auch an der kurzen Nacht und dem frühen Gekrähe des Hahns liegen.

    Mein Guesthaus hat nicht das Frühstück, dafür aber das Dinner inkl. (Kostet trotzdem keine 5€ die Nacht 😊). Der Grund dafür ist simple. Morgens steht jeder zu einer anderen Zeit auf. Dinner ist aber fix um 20:30h. So kommen alle an einen Tisch zusammen und können sich kennenlernen. Schöne Idee! Führt aber leider zu wenig Schlaf 😏Read more

  • Day143

    Kochi

    December 9, 2017 in India

    Erster Tag in Kochi und schon wieder so viel gesehen. Kerala ist offensichtlich Indiens reichster Staat und Kochi ist touristisch voll erschlossen. Selten so viele Weiße auf der Straße gesehen. Trotzdem bin ich hier noch exotisch genug um eine ganze Schulklasse auf ein Selfie zu bekommen 😎

    Vielleicht bekomme ich hier auch ein bisschen Weihnachtsstimmung ab. Im Supermarkt gibt es Adventskränze und es werden Christmassongs gespielt.

    Es soll sogar einen Weihnachtsmarkt in der main city geben. Check ich dann die Tage mal aus 😊.
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  • Day84

    Kochi - Auf gehts!

    March 30, 2017 in India

    Heute um 12 Uhr sind wir in Kochi angekommen. Unser erster Halt in Indien! 😊

    Um 12:45 ging es schon mit der zweiten Vorbereitung für die Reise zum Taj Mahal los. Gegen 13:30 haben wir das Schiff verlassen und uns auf den Weg zum Flughafen gemacht.
    Erst einmal erstaunt über den Verkehr haben wir ziemlich schnell bemerkt das es mit unserem Flug knapp werden könnte. Um 15:30 sind wir also ohne Pässe und Flugtickets am Flughafen gestanden (hatte alles noch Costa). Nach der Gewöhnungsbedürftigen Sicherheitskontrolle (Männer und Frauen getrennt) saßen wir dann um 15:50 im Flugzeug. Pünktlich um 16 Uhr startete unser Flieger nach Neu Delhi. 😄Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

State of Kerala, Kerala, كيرلا, كيرالا, Керала, केरल, কেরল, ཀེ་ར་ལཱ།, কেরালা, Kérala, ކެރެލާ, Κεράλα, Keralao, کرالا, Cearala, કેરળ, קרלה, Կերալա, ケーララ州, კერალა, ಕೇರಳ, 케랄라 주, Malabaria, കേരളം, केरळ, केरला, କେରଳ, ਕੇਰਲਾ, کیرالہ, केरळराज्यम्, கேரளம், కేరళ, รัฐเกรละ, کیرلا, קעראלא, 喀拉拉邦

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