I was in a dilemma to decide whether I should travel to Kerala or choose some other far-off exotic destination. But in the end, Kerala won. It turned out to be a scintillating experience, something which foreigners feel when they travel to Kerala.
They say the gateway to Kerala is Kochi (Cochin) and from there itself, one gets to feel the Kerala vibes. Kochi is today a pilgrimage site for art. Nowhere in India would you find such ‘giant fishing nets’ from China or a 400-year old Jewish synagogue. I will tell you what you can do in a day while you are in Kochi.
Every day at 5pm, you get to watch “Kathakali”, the signature dance form of Kerala, at the Kerala Kathakali Center. Other than this, Kochi hosts the largest and most anticipated celebration of contemporary art in South Asia – The Kochi Muziris Biennale. A total of 97 artists from 31 countries, including 36 Indians showcasing their creative oeuvre at the Biennale, is a feast for the eyes. This year, the show will continue to run till 23 March (2017). The lineup is a mixture of style, disciplines, and sensibilities with writers, dancers, sculptors, musicians and theatre professionals sharing the Biennale space alongside a host of visual artists.
I had already done my homework, so I had booked my accommodation at Happy Camper even before I stepped my foot out. I always try to find the cheapest mode of transportation while I travel and thus, without further ado, on 5thfeb I boarded the Kanyakumari express from Bengaluru to Kochi. I reached at around 7:30 in the morning and walked a little to board a state bus and reached my hostel in merely 15rs. Soon I had befriended Charlie, Zoi, Jack and many other solo travelers.
We decided to hit off the vacation and went to the Cherai beach. A couple of beers and a game or two of Frisbee kept us entertained. The day at the beach wasn’t just about getting baked under the sun, but about some much-needed soul-searching. Just for fun sake most of them tried doing a handstand while I watched and clicked pictures.
When we were soaked enough, we went down to one of the beach restaurants to quell our hunger pangs.
On our way back, the tuk-tuk driver took us to some of the art gallery shops nearby even though we were pretty much exhausted. Later on, when our stomachs started growling again, we tried some Indian cuisine at one of the famous restaurants over there, the “Daal Roti”. Eva from Poland whom I met in the hostel, was quite anxious about how her first day in India would go and she was excited about having her first Indian meal. I took care of that by getting her some lip-smacking palak paneer and roti and I was glad that she loved it.
The next day I left for Varkala to get a glimpse of one of the beautiful beaches of India.
My recommendation to Stay, Eat and Explore.