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  • Writer's pictureKatarina Zlatkovic

Kerala, India

Updated: May 17, 2023



My second trip to India happened in March 2019 and it is one of the trips that will always carry a special place in my heart.


My two girlfriends and I decided to hit the road and unwind to this magnificent tropical Indian State carrying nothing but curiosity and a backpack.

In Kerala I discovered many things, and one of them was a deep connection with people, nature and my inner self.


Being known for its palm-lined beaches and backwater, Kerala has to offer so much more. Fresh seafood, lot of history, kind people, rituals and an abundance of delicious fruits and spices that were one of the few things that swiped me off my feet.


We flew from Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the flight was around 4 hours long, each one of us needed a visa which we got approved from ivisa website and the currency we used there were Indian Rupees INR.

Upon Landing in Kochi, we could smell the traditional Indian incense sticks in the air and the warm, sweet and rich sandalwood aroma got us falling in love with this journey at that very moment.

The weather was humid and hot with around 30 degrees Celsius. We traveled around Kerala mostly by train, bus and tuk tuk since we wanted to blend in with the locals and experience their daily routines.

I will go through the memories of this beautiful, inspiring journey and will share the details of it with you. If India is on your travel bucket list, maybe this blog will help you and guide you through planning it, and if not, I hope you enjoyed reading it.


Day 1

KOCHI

After getting our luggage from the airport, we found a bus station just a few meters away, and we got the tickets that led very near our hotel in Kochi.


The bus was painted in the brightest colors, and it had many accessories hanging from the car mirror, all the windows were open, letting the hot and humid air come in and out.


The bus ride was an hour long and we finally reached to our hotel Fort Abode ready to plan the day ahead. Refreshed and hungry we were on a hunt for some soul food - Butter chicken and a lot of parathas.



We couldn’t help but stop by one of the fruit markets and grab a delicious mangos and bananas. Okay, and banana chips too.


Since we did research on what is a must see in here, Fort Kochi was a place we wouldn’t avoid for anything.


Many small boats, fishermen, sunset and an outstanding street art proved why this place is so special. Tired but full of good impressions, we went back to our hotel for some sleep before we hit the road again.



Day 2


ALAPPUZHA

Taking an old school train from Kochi to Alappuzha was a great idea because we got the chance to witness the natural landscapes at its finest.


We were resting our eyes in front all the shades of green, untouched nature, Countless coconut trees and banana plantations.


The train was very old school with ventilators and fresh samosas being sold made us even happier.


We traveled for an hour and a half when we finally reached our destination- Pamba River. The captain of the Boat House was waiting for us with a chef who prepared delicious fruit salad and coffee for us. When we sailed away, I couldn’t help but trying to capture all the beauty in front of me.


We stopped our boat in front of one of the houses and the kind locals sold us the fresh fish they caught that morning.


The chef prepared the tastiest jumbo prawns and fish curry I ever tried in my life. Watching the sunset, I couldn’t be more grateful to be experiencing all of those blessings, so we meditated for a while and went to bed.


I don’t think I ever slept in such a peace before. The next morning, we woke up hearing the birds chirping and were ready to hit the road again.



Day 3 & 4

VARKALA



My first impression of Varkala was this: Masala Peanuts. Dear readers, if you ever happen to visit Kerala, GET THOSE PEANUTS.


Unlike the other places in Kerala, Varkala is very hipster oriented; beautiful yoga and surf communities everywhere you turn are definitely a big hit in there.

We stayed in a very oriental, simple yet beautifully decorated Boho's Hotel. Located just few minutes away from the beach we felt an urge to stop by one of the vegan restaurants on the way and grab one of the mouth-watering açaí bowls.


Varkala is very spiritual spot and has to offer almost everything for one’s personal growth. Starting from yoga retreats, Ayurveda Spa Centers, Sunset and Sunrise meditations by the beach and of course a plenty of soul food.

We spent the rest of the day swimming and practicing sunset meditation.



The new day meant new adventures, so we woke up very early in order to use the maximum of this day. We were exploring and admiring gorgeous temples and a very small island across the Mungottu Kayal lake.


A local guide helped us understand the Hindu religion better and we absorbed every word he said. On the way back from the Golden Island we stopped by the elephant orphanage and gave them a bath!


These appreciated animals in the country were very friendly and they enjoyed all the love we shared with them.



Just when I though this day couldn’t get any better, we were riding in a tuk tuk when we heard strong drumbeats, singing and lively music.


We asked the driver what was happening, and he said it was the Thirunakkara Arattu festival going on and we rushed to see this spectacle.


This is a celebration 10 days long and we saw a chain of nine elephants that were beautifully ornamented and well decorated accompanied by the drummers and the local folk dancers.


Something triggered the child in me, and I just went along with them, hypnotized by their vibrant energy. I was dancing like never before and I felt insane amount of joy overflowing my whole body and mind. Being part of this celebration meant a lot to me because it gave me the opportunity to see the life in its full colors.



I wish everyone can experience it.

We went back with full hearts and wrapped a day having a day in the famous Ayurveda spa.



I am not overreacting when I say this was the trip where I went in with my whole heart and soul and I was rewarded with memories that I will carry in my heart as long as I live.


Thank you for being here!


Yours,


Kat








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