Friday, January 31, 2020

Bhoothathankettu dam and forest reserve

A lot of myth and mystery revolves around this picturesque and enchanting Bhoothathankettu dam located around 50 km away from the Cochin city. It is believed that ages ago Bhoothathan or monsters from Indian mythology built this dam to flood this area so as to destroy the Thrikariyoor temple where Lord Shiva was the main deity. And hence the name Bhoothathankettu. The Bhoothathan had to build the dam before the next dawn and had got into work on that very night. But to prevent this, Lord Shiva made the illusion of roosters crow before the break of dawn. On hearing that, the Bhoothanthan on the assumption that it was dawn left the area with the dam incomplete. Hence if you go on a trek into the deep forest, at one point you’ll find boulders that were put into the river by the Bhoothathan.  
Nearby to the dam, the Thattekkadu Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is also there. Kid’s park and boating is also there around half a kilometre from the dam. There are tree houses, swings, rain forest, boating, rides for children in the park. Hence children will love this place. If you go on boating or trekking you’ll find many wild animals like elephants, wild buffaloes or deers.  

Cochin Cultural Centre

Cochin Cultural Centre is located in Sangamam, Manikath Road, Ernakulam. It is a centre founded by Sukumaran Nedungadi in 1978 where importance is given to several art and dance forms originating in Kerala especially Kathakali. Apart from Kathakali, traditional art forms like Theyyam, Mohiniyattam, Keli, Oottamthullal, Thiruvathirakali, Oppana, Margam kali, Kalaripayattu etc are also played. Kathakali is one of the must-watch classical dances originating in Kerala. Heavy and sophisticated makeup and costumes are put on by the artists who perform acts from Hindu texts that portray gods, demons and several other mythical beings. If you can make sure to reach the venue around one hour before the starting of the play, one can also witness the backstage makeup process which is a grand play in itself and watch the amazing transformations of the artists. Each colour in Kathakali portrays different roles like the most popular green painted face with bright red lips represent a noble person. Women characters are often painted yellow in the face. Hunters are tribal people are often represented using the colour black. Red is often used for the demons. So if one could understand these small details, the play would be more enjoyable. Pamphlets may be handed out in the beginning and a short description of the play are announced before the start of the play so that the non-native audience can also understand the act since the entire act does not have any dialogues. With the use of hand gestures and facial expressions the story in conveyed hence it becomes really important to pay attention to every detail in order to enjoy the act completely.

Thiruvairanikulam Mahadev Temple

Thiruvairanikulam Mahadev Temple is one of the most popular and sacred temples in Kerala. It is located near the banks of the river Periyar near Kalady. The main deity of the temple is Lord Mahadev. It is believed that unmarried people will be blessed and will soon get married. The speciality of the temple is that the sanctum sanctorum of Goddess Parvathy only open for twelve days in a year because of the popular temple folklore. According to the folklore, Goddess Parvathi herself used to make the food that was used to offer the Lord Shiva but nobody was allowed to enter her temple while she made the food. But one devotee couldn’t resist and peeped through a window to see Goddess Parvathi making food. She saw the man and got very angry at him. She said her temple door will never be opened in the future because of what he had done. But all the other devotees were overwhelmed and cried in front of her. Upon their requests, Goddess Parvathi, still angry, said in a year, 12 days her temple will be opened. This is the reason why her Sanctum Sanctorum is opened only for 12 days every year even now. This is called ‘Nadathurappu’ festival which literally means the ‘opening of the Sanctum Sanctorum’. There will be a huge crowd during this time of the year in the festival. Good parking facilities are available and there will be volunteers everywhere in the temple premises.  
Temple Timings
All Days:
4:30 AM to 11:00 AM
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Folklore Cultural Theatre

The folklore Cultural Theatre chaired by the Ernakulam district Collector is located in Fort Kochi. It is a popular cultural centre where tourists from various countries come to watch the spellbinding performance of classical art forms like Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Kalarippayattu, Ottamthullal, Mohiniyattam etc. It is an easily accessible place; hence it is really convenient to reach the place. The ticket price may be a little higher than in other places but most art lovers say the money is worth the plays that are staged. Tourists can also interact with the talented actors and musicians. The centre was opened in the year 2009 and is currently managed by Kochi Heritage Zone Conservation Society.

Daily performance timing  
5pm - 6:30pm
5pm - 6:30pm
5pm - 6:30pm
5pm - 6:30pm
5pm - 6:30pm
5pm - 6:30pm
5pm - 6:30pm

Ethnic Voyages

Voyages through the backwaters provide the most refreshing and cherishable of experiences in Kochi. It is widely recommended but is often compromised with different itineraries because voyages often take long hours.
Instead of motorized boats, traditional boats are rowed with wooden or bamboo poles which act as the paddle. The rides are usually very comfortable and provide views of the breathtakingly beautiful bounty of nature. On the way, the sound of chirping birds is like music to ears. You can also see local fishing processes going on the way. Lunch can be arranged by the tour arranger. You can also get tourist guides here.

Sacred Hearts College

Sacred Hearts College in Thevara is one of the best colleges in Kerala. It is managed by CMI and is affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University(MGU) but has been made autonomous in the year 2014. The college has had remarkable academic progress as well as in cultural programmes. It also has several notable alumni. One of the unique characteristics of the college is the lakeside view behind it. This walkway is around a huge football ground. This is a much under-rated location in Kochi. The view is so enchanting, it will capture everybody’s eyes and mind. Such is the beauty of the location. Many people come here for morning walks and evening strolls. The refreshing and energetic air here is sure to hold anybody. The college has also been the shooting location for various popular Malayalam films. The college has a canteen inside the premise. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Munambam Beach

Address: Cherai Beach - Munambam Rd, Munambam, Vypin

This is a 10-kilometre long picturesque beach with an enjoyable atmosphere near the Munambam fishing harbour where one can spend an evening with family and friends and take home a lot of memories. This is a spot where the Periyar river meets the Arabian sea. Since the place is not too crowded one can have a peaceful and relaxing time here. But it is a fast-growing tourist spot now even though it is smaller than other beaches in Kochi. Frequently Dolphins are spotted here. Kids enjoy thoroughly here as they can fly kites and enjoy kayaking, windsurfing etc. It is also an ideal place for swimming.

Cochin International Airport

Address: Airport Rd, Nedumbassery, Ernakulam
IATA code: COK

Opened: 10 June 1999

Cochin International Airport(CIAL) in Nedumbassery, Ernakulam, is the world’s first airport that is fully powered by solar energy, with 46,150 solar plants in around 45 acres of land for which CIAL received the ‘Champion of the Earth’ Award from the UN in 2018. It also India’s first greenfield airport and is located in an area of 1,300 acres near NH 47, NH 49 and NH 17. It is 28 km from Kochi. It is the biggest and the busiest airports in the state. It is also the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic. There are three passenger terminals and one cargo terminal in the airport. Where terminal 1 is for domestic flights, 2 is executive and 3 is for international travel. Online cab services like Uber, Ola etc are available on demand along with other local taxis. Buses also ply but timings of buses to different places differ. One can also book reserved seats on KSRTC buses through their official website.

Olround Sports

Address: Kollamkudimugal Rd, Thrikkakara, Kochi, Kerala
"Our mission is to bring all the people of Kochi, irrespective of their social, gender, economic status, to our affordable indoor gaming courts and make them realize sports and fitness as an essential part of lifestyle."
It is the first indoor turf in Kerala established in 2017. It is all facilities like washroom and drinking water. It is a great place to be out with friends as they also provide convenient hourly rates. Many football tournaments are organized here. Slots can also be booked online on the mobile app called Playo. There is ample space for bike parking.

Monday:- 6:30 Am - 10:30 Pm
Tuesday:- 6:30 Am - 10:30 Pm
Wednesday:- 6:30 Am - 10:30 Pm
Thursday:- 6:30 Am - 10:30 Pm
Friday:- 6:30 Am - 10:30 Pm
Saturday:- 6:30 Am - 10:30 Pm
Sunday:- 6:30 Am - 10:30 Pm

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Alexander Parambithara Bridge

Alexander Parambithara Bridge is an old 600-metre long bridge which connects Thevara and Cochin Port hence offers great connectivity to places like Thoppumpady, Fort Kochi etc. It is often locally called U P bridge as it was built by the UP State Bridge Construction Corporation. Since the view from the bridge is quite spectacular people often choose the footpath for morning and evening walks.

Sunday, January 19, 2020


Being one of the must-visit places in Kochi, Broadway is definitely worth a visit to get a closer look at the life in Kochi. It is a shopping area spanning around two kilometres between M G Road and Marine Drive which is also one of the oldest shopping lanes in the district and had been the only shopping lane during the beginning of the twentieth century. This shopping area is very active and lively in the day and most people find it a lot of fun for local shopping and to walk and explore the small shops along the sides of the street which offer a different experience of Kochi. There are a number of shops here, selling almost everything under the sun like clothes, jewellery, old copper pots, perfumes, spices and condiments, bags, stationary items, watches, umbrellas, shoes and footwear, accessories, electronics, books, furniture, leather items, food serving counters, restaurants etc just to list a few. The lane may be a little congested but a visit to Kochi is almost incomplete without doing some shopping from Broadway. Amazing souvenirs are also available here at affordable and mostly cheap prices. Since most things are sold at low prices, credit cards may not be used in all shops. Cars are not allowed inside the lane, but two wheelers can move with caution. 

Cochin Spice Market

Location: Jew Town Rd, Jew Town, Mattancherry, Kochi

Kerala is popularly known as the land of spices and has a strong historic importance in Spice trade. Cochin Spice Market which consists of numerous shops selling spices is located in the Jew Town. Good quality Kerala spices like cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, pepper and other indigenous spices are sold here at affordable prices. Apart from spices, one can also buy sweets, coconut oil, tea, hair cleansing liquids etc. Most of the products come from co-operative societies run by women, hence allowing many women to earn a livelihood.

37th Cochin Flower Show

Location: Ernakulathappan Ground, Ernakulam
The 37th Cochin Flower Show was held from January 8th- January 12th 2020 in the Ernakulathappan Ground, Kochi by the District Agri-Horticulture Society. The venue had turned into an enchanting garden during the event with beautiful flowers like roses, marigolds, orchids, hibiscus etc arranged beautifully everywhere. Several desert flowers were also exhibited here.