“Travel only with thy equals or thy betters, if there are none, travel alone.” a quote well said by Dhammapada. I am lucky that I will never have to travel alone as my partner is a better traveller than I am and a better explorer than I will be. It was on our honeymoon trip that I truly recognised the potential of my husband in planning and executing a trip so well. Even though we had a number of travel operators like Gogeo Holidays offering a list of different honeymoon packages, we were determined to explore our dream coupes destination Kerala on our own. Filled with the pristine beauty of nature, this fascinating state to the south is one of the most explored honeymoon destinations in India. It was actually not the fame that the place had as a traveller’s hot spot that attracted us, but the climate and the unique geography that the place holds within. Out of all the best travel attractions in the place, it was the backwaters of Alleppey and the misty hills of Munnar that excited us the most. The complex beauty of the water and the misty aromatic mountains of Munnar according to me was the best combination for a honeymoon trip to the south. It was on the 14th of March that we began our romantic journey to explore Kerala, the gods own country.
As per the great researches conducted by my husband Leo, the easiest route to reach our first travel destination Alleppey from Delhi was by booking a flight to the Kochi international airport and then by taking a cab or bus to our backwater paradise. After a pretty long flight, we reached the Kochi international airport on the 15th of April by around 5 am. By the time we finished the check-out the time was almost 5.30 am. As our main aim in organising a honeymoon trip all on our own was to take a step closer to the local lifestyle of the place and to explore the land in its true natural form thus we choose to take a bus ride to Alleppey where we had already booked a lodge so that we could refresh, change and eat. It took us about 3 hrs of travel to reach our first honeymoon destination. The one thing that we truly enjoyed throughout the ride to this backwater paradise is the beauty of the coconut plantations and the beach alongside the roads that we could spot alongside the road. After reaching our destination and refreshing we decided to eat out so that we could enjoy the authentic taste that the land has to offer. The Kerala backwater dish that I would never get tired of eating would be Karimeen Polichathu, Appam and chicken stew and the prawns Olathiyadu. The taste of the coconut pieces that were fired in oil tasted heavenly that I had it whole.
The first activity that was planned at Alleppey was the houseboat ride as it was the most known activity at the place and most of the travellers both national and international travellers to the backwater destinations just to enjoy the feel of a houseboat trip. Even we were excited to board the boat and to start the sail along the waters and the backwater lagoons enjoying the beauty that the place had to offer. Well, set for the travellers visiting, the houseboat that we choose to travel in was having a traditional interior with a completely traditional Kerala touch which was enjoyable. Even the bedrooms were decorated in such a manner that it exhibits the true culture and tradition of the land. One of the other best parts of a houseboat service offered in Kerala was that they had an open kitchen where the travellers are free to watch all their food preparations and works. After sailing for a while we took our first halt at Pathiramanal which was a backwater island in Alleppey mostly filled with mangrove plantations. Not just a honeymooner’s hotspot the place according to me was a true birdwatchers paradise. Home to a number of bird species including the migratory birds this fascinating destination exhibited the virgin beauty of untamed nature. After being at the place in privacy we continued with our honeymoon trip to the next destination.
The beauty of Alleppey is best enjoyed and admired while sailing through the waters in the land as it let you see the place form a very different angle which is not just beautiful but is also charming and enchanting. Our next halt was at the backwater village. Exhibiting the local lives in the area, the village was a place with some hidden beauty which is hard to describe through words. Even if during a honeymoon trip a visit to these villages let you see the truly traditional and the lifestyle of the people in the state before civilisation or modernity. Low roof houses with small rooms less in numbers actually showed the way the people in the backwater destinations live. After seeing all the happy faces and spending a while with the people talking and knowing more about their lives we moved on with the voyage. By the time we got back to the boat, it was time for lunch and we decided to have our traditional Kerala meal. Even though the boat authority gave us food options we prefer to enjoy the traditional meal where we were served with rice and a list of side dishes with a need that we don’t remember. After filling our tummy we decided to enjoy the sun and the beauty of the water from the deck where they had arranged the sliding chair which was once in use at the state. But now with modern amenities taking the place of the old ones these chairs was no more to be seen or used. by around 4 pm, after having the tea and snacks like Pazhampori, Samosa, Cutlet, Kozalappam and Suhiyan our boat docked as boat rides through the waters after 4 was not permitted by the government due to safety issues thus giving us time to explore the other travel destinations in the land.
Apart from the houseboat trip and the waters the other places that we explored at Alleppey were the backwater industries like the coir industry that the place had which was the largest in Kerala, the handloom and the handicraft industries that offered the female in the land with a job opportunity. One of the best parts in exploring the backwater industry is that this place was now a part of responsible tourism which was introduced by the state government with an aim to increase travel and tourism in the land, here we were able to be a part of the activities held at the industries like coir making, handicraft making and more thereby educating as well entertaining us. The handicraft industry at the place really exhibited the true effort of the expert hands in the land. After being at the place for while exploring the art in the land we moved back to the houseboat where we were to enjoy the night. By the time we reached back at the boat, it was 8 pm and thus we decided to call it day after having our dinner at the boat. Thus the first day of our honeymoon came to a beautiful end.
The first day of our honeymoon trip to Kerala was not just memorable and fun but was also fruitful in a number of ways. The taste that the land had to offer, the rich greenery of the island destinations and the backwater village was all so great that one would fall in love. The next day morning after having breakfast we continued with our honeymoon trip to Munnar.