Weekends are a great time to bond with family and friends. They give us moments and memories that we can cherish throughout life, over the years to come. It's often said that the people in photographs may change but the situations in them don't and they're always successful in evoking emotions and moving one. Lying on the beaches to wake up soaked in the sun with sandy hair, exploring the plantations of coffee, orange orchards, and tasting various spices at spice gardens are a whole new level of experience that teaches one so much. A short holiday, be it close to home, helps a great deal in relaxing, getting comfortable and returning to everyday mainstream work with renewed zeal. South India, the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu namely, have a huge base of tourism and the inhabitants make one feel like it's heaven on earth. Meeting individuals from across cultures is enlightening. Leisure time must be utilised well.
These weekend getaways from Kochi are pocket-friendly, timely and easily accessible through all means of transport including roadways, railways and airways. A guide is what one always needs in life and now with ten hot destinations to cover, you have yours. Life is short and it is everyone's birthright to be happy. Short take offs are another excuse to celebrate living. Kochi is also called ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. It doesn’t let people stay away from it for too long but occasional getaways never harmed anyone.
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Located in the Western Ghats in Kerala, it is surrounded by hills, waterfalls and the fragrant tea gardens and spice plantations. The term "Munnar" supposedly means "three rivers" hinting to its situation at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. This town in the Idukki district has an excellent transport system of connected highways, railways stations such as Udumalaipettai, and the Cochin International Airport which is 110 miles away. The exotic flora and fauna of the region can be viewed for bliss at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Manjampatti Valley, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Palani Hills National Park, etc. The endemic species include Nilgiri Thar, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, the Sambar and the Neelakurinji (which blossoms once in twelve years). The delightful weather in the vicinity of the Anamudi peak also makes it a great weekend getaway from Kochi and a photographer's paradise.
Rated as the cleanest town in India in 2016, by the Centre for Science and Environment, Alappuza is reviewed to be the old planned city of the region with a lighthouse on the coast. 53kms away from Kochi, it is the land of enchanting canals, beaches, backwaters and lagoons. Since Lord Curzon had called in the “Venice of the East”, it is also called the “Venetian capital” of Kerala. Most travellers are joyous to be lost in peace here, in the lap of nature, through the means of a houseboat which can be easily pre-booked. Visitors can also cheer at the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race on the Punnamada Lake, one of the most acclaimed and recognised boat races in India, organised on the second Saturday of August annually. The mullackal chirap is another pull of Allapuzha that is the festive season held for ten days during the winter month of December.
Situated strategically near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, Thekkady is one of the perfect destinations for a weekend getaway trip from Kochi. It is considered to be a hotspot for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove to name a few. One of its main attractions is the authentic Kerala food offered with warmth and the opportunity for one to also purchase worthy and well-designed handicrafts that are mementoes for life. Though the best time to visit is from October to February, the greatest charm of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the herds of wild elephants, deer and the bison that can be explored and made companions with through trekking with loved ones, boating or safari services. Thekkady also draws attention since it shelters the majestic sambar, gaur, lion-tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. No wonder it features several times on various travel and living channels.
Being an ideal weekend getaway from Kochi, Kumarakom is a village against the Vembanad Lake marked with the backwaters of Kerala and canals where houseboats drift all day to absorb the serenity. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a famed bird sanctuary. There are expanses of mangrove forests, paddy fields and coconut groves. Also, cocoa and coffee, grow well. The 1000-year-old Thazhathangady Juma Masjid is established nearby. Special boats like Kochu-odi Vallam, Odi-Vallam, Iruttukutthi Vallam, and Chundan Vallam(Snake Boat), participate in boat races around the time of Onam. Various luxury and budget resorts one after the other on the shores of the lake bestow upon Wanderers the amenities for boating, yachting and fishing, with panoramic sites of the lake. The Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall and adjoining rubber plantations are a photographer's thrill. The Bay Island Drift Museum is for admirers of history. Kumarakom has been designated a Special Tourism Zone by the Kerala state Government. Experiences are one's greatest wealth and earning and a weekend here would without fail to bring it in abundance.
Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala, is popular for its old temples, churches and mosques. The most breathtaking and vibrant temple festival in Kerala is the Thrissur Puram. The places of interest may namely be Vazhachal close to dense forests, the Pannathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary which is the world's largest elephant park, the Peechi dam and Poomala dam that have always been exceptional picnic spots, the Chavakad Beach encompassing timely nature and the Koodalmanikyam temple from among the many Hindu temples existent. The Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours is the third tallest church in Asia and famous for flamboyant Indo-gothic style of architecture. And, the Thrissur Zoo forms the heart of the city. Palaces and museums also enable one to have a feel of India's glorious past and rich cultural heritage that can never be overlooked or ignored. South India, over the past years after independence has developed the most when compared to other regions of the subcontinent and come a long way, be it in literacy or generation of tourism due to conserved beauty and greenery.
No doubt one can have a great weekend at any location, as long as one is surrounded by birds of the same feather but nature always succeeds in finding the way to please one's heart and mind. South India has a lot of destinations perfect for a weekend getaway and making a list including all of them is practically impossible since the region is blessed. One can choose from among the spa resorts, eco escapes, houseboat tours, water sport spots and many more categories. Most of an average human's life is spent in trying to break away from the daily monotony. Weekend trips are as essential to one as sleep in order to be relieved. They also provide scope for polishing our hobbies and skills that are otherwise lost in the rat-race of the world. Getaways let one live without any rules of waking up early, reporting to work on time, preparing meals for the day, getting ready for the next day's work or going back under the covers just in time. How beautiful it sounds to lie down on green grass, to enjoy the chirping and twittering of birds, to take in the fresh scent of blooming flowers in the air. Not every time can one go out of town during the summer and winter vacations. But that should not be the cause of worry anymore. 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' is a saying known to all but how many of us actually try to alter it? The human body is like a computer which can at times have low battery and that is when it needs to be charged up for further productivity. Also, read about our guide to plan Three days Kerala trip here.
Sharing pictures on social media as well as printing copies for evergreen albums after the good days spent is a must and that’s how you also spread happiness and let everyone know of your well being.
Enjoyed your vacation? We would love to hear about your travel experiences! Share your thoughts with us and help fellow travellers take a leaf from your valuable suggestions.