Vazhapally: An Accidental Discovery In Changanassery

By the time the headlights of Hari’s Datsun Go was illuminating the mossy residential walls of Vazhapally in Changanassery, I knew I had truly gone off beat with my Kerala drifting. Two weeks ago I had had to Google Changanassery and struggled to pronounce it without losing my way in the alphabets. And now, here…

Road Tripping To Sour Beaches

One understands the value of a car while travelling around a state like Kerala. In the mountains you trek to solitude, in deserts the dust and emptiness stun you and in Kerala you get travel across a never ending landscape painting. Location hopping is the most prevalent style of travel here and you will find bus…

Varkala Is An Anomaly

I had expected Varkala to be a laid back, shack filled little haven but here you’ll find swanky luxury and tiara wearing girls celebrating bachelorette parties. The Beef Masala at Edava was quite a memorable experience after starving at Varkala and politely sharing the over-priced and insignificant portions of fish curry and rice available in…

Hunting For A Decent Meal In Varkala

I would have continued staring out of the window had it not been for the out of place backpackers on the platform. Where else could there be so many backpackers in Kerala but in Varkala. However, out of the train, into the spic and span platform and then out of the station, there is no…

The Kerala Local: A Cinematic Pause For Travelers

The next morning, life has moved on. It’s a Friday and I have to push off to Varkala – the beach paradise in Kerala I have heard of so often. For a while Pabla will part. She will head down to Kovalam and will join me in Varkala, a day late. This was September 2nd….

Uninterrrupted Conversations At Trivandrum

At Trivandrum, Pabla has it all figured out. Her dedication to her phone screen has paid off and she’s found us two gracious hosts in the capital of Kerala. So once we get off the bus at KSRTC terminal, we haggle for an auto. Pabla’s Whatapp has beeped informing her not to pay any more…

Getting An Intro To Kerala At The Padmanabhapuram Palace

Today Pabla and I leave for Thiruvananthapuram; entering Kerala at its southernmost tip. But first we halt at Padmanabhapuram Palace – the architectural miracle from where the Tranvancore dynasty ruled for 65 years. But none of this before I stroll down the street at 8 a.m. to take a walk across the rock studded Muttom…

Nostalgic Lake, Ocean Fury And A Hill Top Temple

We went wherever Anbu could muster from his memory. After Vattakotai Fort, we found ourselves halting to a stop beside the Rayanthiri Lake. Sun light streaming in through coconut tree leaves on a fairly shaded road in Thamaraikulam, an occasional cycle or car passing us by, we pull to a stop by the side of…

Horsing Around Vattakottai Fort

Kanyakumari passed by in a blur; a sort of introduction to the Indian west coast terrain. I spent a lot of time gawking at the ocean, at the massive skies and clicking pictures of coconut trees. The culture shock is immense. It challenged at least 4 of my 5 senses. Today, Pabla and I leave,…

Sticky Feet At Thirvalluvar Statue

The board near the ferry counter says the ride to Thiruvalluvar is suspended due to low tides but on the way back from Vivekananda’s rock, I find our ferry bump to a stop near the statue. And again, before I can realize what’s come to pass, I’m being herded up a ramp, that opens out…

“Trust Me, Don’t Trust Anyone Else”- Said Everyone I Met In Tamil Nadu

Tamils take their rules seriously. They don’t understand different kind of travel, won’t rent to solo travelers, won’t encourage walking around in places you are ‘not supposed’ to be in because tourism can only be availed at select destinations. Every one here constantly reminds me that it’s not safe (especially for women) but everyone I meet…