The Two Sides of Kappil

Kerala’s long coastline continues to assure us of the presence of more beaches, and there are a few which are less known, but are more beautiful than most of the other beaches around. One such beach is Kappil, in Trivandrum district, but close enough to Kollam. It is a place which you can visit in combination with the journeys to the beaches of Varkala, Kovalam and Vizhinjam. It is located at around one hundred and fifty kilometres from Cochin, fifty kilometres from Trivandrum and twenty kilometres from Kollam. Varkala Beach itself is just about eight kilometres from there. The places is less crowded in comparison, and there is more than what you see from the roadside, about this beach.

Kappil has lake on side and the beach on the other, separated by a tiny stretch of land full of sand, and on the side of the lake, we can see some jelly fish at times. It makes a beautiful view on both sides, and even better when you see both together. With less crowd, it is enjoyable in a better way. The parking needed to be more though, even as you can choose to park on the side of the road some distance away from the main beach area. On most part it is clean, even though on some areas, some waste thrown here and there can be seen, mostly on the side of the lake. But Kappil is clean as a whole, and the beauty that it provides is to be witnessed and loved, as it stands above many other overrated beaches.

A small, beautiful church of the local people near the sea.

Parking the car near the lake on the sands.

Just the lake being beautiful as usual.

Finding the jelly fish around the place.

Beyond the sands, sea on one side & lake on the other.

Just the usual day at Kappil Beach near Varkala.

Not many people to be seen at the Kappil Beach.

Two worlds, of the lake and the sea – call Aquaman.

Looking towards the lake between the trees.

The path on the side of Kappil Beach.

Click here to read reviews on some of the best movies of the year, Unda, Virus and Uyare.

TeNy

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Varkala: The Beach and the Cliff

With its long coastline, Kerala is certainly not short of its beautiful beaches, and the names which everyone knows and is full of visitors at all times might be Kovalam and Cherai. Muzhappilangad is our lovely drive-in beach to remember. On that long list, there is one place which stands tall. Varkala Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches, one which is not to be forgotten. It is the only beach in Kerala with cliffs like these so close to the sea. It is the kind of place which reminds one of Dover Beach, and that wonderful lyric poem by the English poet Matthew Arnold, which we have studied more than once – “the cliffs of England stand, glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay”. About 170 km from Cochin, and 35 km from Kollam, the beach is Thiruvananthapuram district, with its capital 45 km from there. The town of Paravur is only 12 km from the place.

Along with its beauty, Varkala also have some places of spirituality with its temples. There are some fine options for food while walking through the cliff. There are some nice shots to be taken both from the beach and the cliff. In comparison with other beaches, this one has its shops opening late in the morning and closing late in the evening. When coming from the North of Kerala, both the Kottayam and the Alappuzha routes can be chosen. There is much to be seen through the latter route, even though both routes can be joined at different places except for certain parts of the low lying areas filled with water. There are some fine choices with food and accommodation, and if it is off-season, the better idea is to book directly from location as rooms should be available, unless some huge event comes up.

You look down from the cliff, and you want to be there right now.

Reached the hotel a little late for lunch, and had to rush through.

As the sunset approaches, you are always hoping to stay on.

Just another side of Varkala Beach which is not that explored.

Spent some time looking at Varkala beach and cliff at night.

The colours of the sunset spreads, and leaves us with a happy feeling.

Not exactly the while cliffs of Dover, but Matthew Arnold won’t mind.

Had some variety food from God’s Own Country Kitchen on the cliffs.

It is happy walking through the Varkala Beach and surroundings at night.

Thiruvambadi Beach Retreat Resort provided some good space.

Also read on the Indonesian Bali journey.

TeNy

The Indonesian Saga

Being at Indonesia, especially at the island of Bali is a fantastic memory, something which would stay for a very long time. Before visiting the place itself, we knew that the two things which would rise above others were to be the temples and the natural beauty. The beaches were to be there, and the greenery too. It was just a few days before we planned the journey that there was a fire at the Bali airport, and there was a volcanic eruption just the day before we had the tickets booked. It is the same thing which kept us wondering as we couldn’t find the name Bali on the list of flights – well, the place was named Denpasar, and that was were we had to go in Bali. From the moment our flight landed at the beautiful airport with sea around, we know that there would be a lot to see.

We actually had a very good guide to help us there, and the person named Putra from Pacto was a very understanding person. Everyone around there would ask if we were from Delhi whenever we said that we were from India – maybe because all Keralites are going to Thailand focusing on Pattaya, there are not many people from South India who come that way, except for Hyderabad which a few people knew. Being close to nature, this is the first time I am seeing an active volcano, and also the friendliest beach around – there is also the first sight of terrace farming, and we could also deal with money in lakhs and many thousands – considering the fact that one rupee was two hundred rupiyah. It is one way of becoming a millionaire even though you need to spend thousands to buy anything. There are two sides to a few things, but Indonesia remains a cheaper destination for sure, and Bali proves the same.

One of the two active volcanoes of Bali – the lava flow route can be seen in black.

There is something about the sunsets of Bali – they make you feel immortality.

This marks our first encounter with rain when in Indonesia – the highlands with clouds.

Watching sunrise from a hotel at Semanyak with a cup of tea never gets tiring.

You look at the options you have, with beaches as well as these rocky beaches.

Mountains and lakes will have your attention, as you stop at different places.

More than one happy monkey family will wish to say hi to you from the trees.

This certainly looked like a perfect place for a wedding shoot, but its too late.

The rice terraces of Bali are worth your attention, a closer one, will do more good.

The Kuta beach makes sure that you have a lot to walk around and into the sea.

*All these photos were taken using my Samsung Galaxy J4+ that replaced the Asus Zenfone Max which I used for taking photos in Bangkok and Pattaya.

TeNy

Day of the Fire-starter

The title refers to Sunday, and it has been the special day, the one holiday at the end of the week which everyone has been waiting for. Throughout our lives, we have prayed for Sunday to come earlier, especially during the school and college days – Saturdays were mostly holidays, but the threat of the arrival of special classes was eternally present. So, Sunday was the one safe day, and it was the day on which the plans could be made without thinking too much about what else could happen on the day. A nice Sunday treat makes a better Monday!

Plan A: The movie :: Watching a movie is always the best choice. Even as I watch one movie on Friday or the first day of its release itself, there are always more movies around here to give a try. Sunday movie watching program means that there will be also another person to accompany you. Well, it is needed for me because not everyone is that jobless as I am. I try to leave the more family-oriented movie for the Sunday if I go with parents or relatives; otherwise I leave the more fun movie for later, watching the lesser known movie on the first of day of release.

Plan B: The mall :: The malls came here quite late, but the biggest mall in India did come to Kochi in the form of Lulu Mall. With a total of six malls in the city area itself, we are provided with the option to spend the Sundays there in peace. Five out of the six malls actually have the movie option with the multiplexes too. So, it is only fair to spend some time there and the movie option can also add to it. The option of watching three or four movies on one day itself is also there in these malls considering the number of screens available.

A shot on one of the early days of Lulu Mall after the grand opening :)

A shot on one of the early days of Lulu Mall; isn’t this a nice weekend choice?

Plan C: The beach :: Kochi has no shortage of beaches, as the new tourism initiatives have made it better. A day at the beach will be another nice option, even though the rush will be higher at those more popular beaches like Fort Cochin and Cherai, but then we have those smaller and lesser known beaches which can give us the peaceful experience. I used to try this beach option very often when the friends were around the city, but not that much anymore with almost all of them working far away.

Plan D: The nature :: The closest destinations in the heart of nature includes Paniyeli Poru, Bhoothathankettu, Ezhattumugham, Thommankuthu and many others. As Kerala is blessed with such natural beauty, there is no need to travel much, with beautiful locations exist near and around the river Periyar, the state’s longest river. We friends used to go to some of these places on every Sunday – those were some wonderful days, which can be brought back at some point of time, I hope.

We go through places like this one, and we wonder why not be here forever?

We go through places like this, and we wonder why not choose nature right away?

Plan E: The relations :: There are the relatives who join us on a nice Sunday, but that situation has been brought down a lot to very less impact these days in our case. Not many relatives remain around here, and I am sure that I can find more relatives at Bangalore than in our district. But it wasn’t the case until a few years ago. The relatives were here and we could go to places with them. Nowadays, we still go to their houses at times, only two find the parents there who await the arrival of their children some day!

Plan Z: Home sweet home :: We call it Plan Z because it is the last plan. But it has been a usual plan for me during the last few months. There are not many friends left to go out with, and most of the time, the number remains a zero. So, the “home sweet home” option usually becomes the right choice. It is still a nice option to spend some time home with parents and the pet. After all, there is no other place like home, and there will be some nice movies on the television which can be watched together.

The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

TeNy

The Sea and the Sands

I have always loved to visit those lesser known places. The usual beaches to visit for someone from Cochin would be the Cherai, Fort Cochin, or even the Aleppey beaches. If you go further South, it would be the Kollam, Varkala, Kovalam and Shankumugham. The Northern Kerala has Payyambalam, Muzhappilangad, Kozhikode and others. But it is a few of those lesser known beaches that caught my attention more than the others. They have provided me some interesting moments. Well, there is no shortage of good beaches in Kerala, and those with lesser crowd means more happiness.

Kappil Beach
District: Thiruvananthapuram
Along with the beautiful Varkala Beach or Papanasam Beach, you can add this one to your journey there, as it is quite nearby. It has sand between the meeting points of sea and the backwaters, and the beach is a wonderful place to enjoy your evening. There are many coconut trees and not many people – the rain makes things more beautiful. You can also see Jelly fish in the waters of the lakes as they come very close to the land. There is not much of a crowd around which also means a lot of peace and cleanliness. We stopped there on our way to Varkala, and then also just for the sake of a detailed visit.

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Azhikode/Munakkal Beach
District: Thrissur
This is not to be confused with he place having the same in Kannur. This one is near Kodungallur, and as you travel beyond the popular and crowd favourite Cherai Beach while coming from the city of Cochin, you reach Munambam, a beach by itself, and when looking from that side, you can see Azhikode Beach on the other side, and Ernakulam district changes to Thrissur then. You can cover all these beaches in one stretch if you go this way. It is also known as the Munakkal Beach, and it has a very long and wide shore line, and with less visitors, you get a lot of space to yourself. There are many benches and trees around to give you a better feeling.

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Puthuvype Beach
District: Ernakulam
We first visited this beach when there were supposed to be the off-road vehicles called beach buggies. I thought that this was going the adventure sport way, but that wasn’t to happen. But it still remains a nice choice with not much crowd. The location makes sure that it won’t be that popular, and there are some interesting religious places on the way there, both Hindu and Christian. There is also a lighthouse, and as far as I know, this is the only beach in Ernakulam district to have a lighthouse nearby. It is also closer to Cochin and also close enough to Cherai Beach, which means that a connection can be made as a group of tourist destinations.

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Chavakkad Beach
District: Thrissur
We travelled all the way just to visit this beach. It is only five kilometres from Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, the most famous Hindu temple in Kerala and just three kilometres from the oldest church in India, the Palayur Saint Thomas Church. So, spirituality is surely not that far away. This is one of those bigger less explored beaches, and the number of tourists present there when we visited there was absolutely zero. Someone seemed to be coming by the time we were leaving though. There is something like a peaceful beauty related to this beach, and you can add this to your list of lesser known beaches to visit.

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Andhakaranazhi Beach
District: Alappuzha
For some of the beaches, the name itself gives a thrilling effect. It has recently acquired more tourists, but when we visited Alappuzha some years ago, that was not the case. It can be easily accessed from Cochin, Kottayam and Alappuzha, and the place is a clean as well as having more natural beauty than a regular beach because of the presence of the backwaters side. Movies like Idukki Gold were shot here and there are some very old churches and temples around. This one actually has a lot of scope due to its location and how beautiful it looks during a sunset with some tourist support already there. This one can inspire a poem on a beautiful day.

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Snehatheeram Beach
District: Thrissur
The shores of love? Insteresting name for a beach. As you enter, you can see a stone which says that this place was the winner of Best Tourism Destination in Kerala for the year 2009-2010. It seems to have lost some of its power, and there was hardly any visitor there when we were there. There are some raised platforms around, and the place has the serenity to make us feel better. The maintenance is good. More than a beach, it provides a lot of options to spend time on. It can be enjoyed as a park, and may be an interesting place to sit and write a blog post.

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***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot Camera.

TeNy