Return to a Model Village

Kumbalangy is known to be India’s first model tourism village, and it has been a place where I spent a lot of my childhood; and a long time later, I made a return to the place. It looks the same as there is the scenic beauty close enough to the city of Cochin, but with better roads and more facilities for tourism than during those earlier days. Here is something that I leave for you readers from my visit, and you can check my earlier post too 🙂

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***All images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone 5 or Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

Model Village: Kumbalangy

If you look through the map of Cochin, you will see a number of island all around, and among them, there is one which is going to be the focus in this post – Kumbalangy. Located about eleven to thirteen kilometres from the popular tourist spots Fort Cochin and Mattanchery, Kumbalangy is that extra location which one can visit while going through the usual destinations around the City of Cochin. Yes, you don’t really need to make those two places with monuments that crowded, for there is this option where you can spend the night peacefully.

You get to island - Welcome to Kumbalangy!

You get to the model tourism island – Welcome to Kumbalangy!

It was some years ago that we had to take the ferry to get to the island of Kumbalangy. There was no bridge connecting Perumpadappu and the island, and when I was a child, I had to take the ferry to reach the island. There were two boats operating, and the vehicles and some of the cargo also joined us. The journey to the island was not something that I really cherished during that time. But things have changed with the new bridge being built and Kumbalangy finding its position in the tourist map of Cochin with ease.

Do you wish to be welcomed be the coconut trees for a change?

Do you wish to be welcomed be the coconut trees for a change?

It was in the year 2003 that Kumbalangy was selected as a model tourism village by Kerala government, seeing its potential. The same has transformed it into a model fishing village and a tourist location which is getting more and more popular. It is associated with my childhood nostalgia, and now it is a lot more. Now, Kumbalangy is the place where you can really go on a trip, and it might be the next big tourist destination around Cochin as there is a lot of peace all around, and the place is also quite easy to reach.

The Chinese fishing nets - you will keep seeing them.

The Chinese fishing nets – you will keep seeing them.

There is the city service bus facility available from Aluva to Kumbalangy, and you can also choose the Perumpadappu buses and get an auto. There will be AC and Non-AC low-floor buses starting from Aluva, Angamaly, Perumbavoor or Cochin Airport which will go to Fort Cochin and Mattanchery and you can get down at Thoppumpady to choose another bus to Kumbalangy or Perumpadappu which is just the other side of the Kumbalangy bridge. The island is just about eight kilometres from Thoppumpady too. Well, in one way or the other, it is part of Cochin and Greater Cochin Development Authority should agree.

As you look far far away, what is it that you see?

As you look far far away, what is it that you see?

The distance from the Cochin International Airport is about fourty five kilometres. It is almost the same distance to Aleppey and its backwaters. But the backwaters of Kumbalangi and its fishing nets will make sure that you don’t really want to leave that early. The availability of the option to find peace and happiness not that away from city is a boon. Kumbalangy is also a nice eco-tourism centre. It is also only about fourteen kilometres to the city centre, and so everything is easily accessible from there, even though there will be the problem of traffic at some points – but it depends on the time when you are traveling.

This is also a good place to park your car unless coconuts fall :D

This is also a good place to park your car unless coconuts fall 😀

You just need to travel thirteen kilometres from the Ernakulam South railway station to reach here, while it will be about seventeen kilometres from the North station. But if you are coming through the road from Aluva on one side or Perumbavoor/Muvattupuzha on the other and beyond, you can avoid the city by traveling through Maradu as it will get you to Thoppumpady. At the island, the most beautiful parts might be accessed through the smaller roads, just like the path which leads to heaven, as it is said. You might need the calmness and beauty here; you can keep bringing this to your mind whenever you are busy.

You stop, you look, and you enjoy the beauty.

You stop, you look, and you enjoy the beauty of all that is on the way.

At Kumbalangy, you will see a good number of churches and temples. Most of them can be seen on the way itself. You can also travel to the famous pilgrimage centre, the Kannamaly Church from there. One the north-western side of the island, there is another smaller island which is connected to Kumbalangy, called Kallenchery, and it is a very scenic location there. It can be reached by traveling on the road by the side of the village office. There are some nice home-stays there, including the Kallanchery Retreat. New facilities are always being set up at Kumbalangy, and it has been some time since I last made a visit there. Maybe it is time to be surrounded by the backwaters again!

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

TeNy

The Favourite Shots

I am sharing a few of the favourite shots taken on my camera through this post. I don’t claim that any of them is worthy of a special photography award, but as I have not shared them on this blog, I feel that I will share them anyway. The camera used is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 on each and every occasion, and they were all taken at different places. The first one is from Vagamon or somewhere near the place when we were on the way there. I loved this path! It was like the road less taken, and the journey was also very good towards the place of beauty!

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We stayed at Coonoor during our journey to Ooty. Unlike most of the people who keep going on a trip to Ooty and Kodaikanal, I have only been the former once and I have never been to the latter, and that has come as a surprise to many people. I was more than happy to stay here though, as there was so much tea, and walking with tea all around, was always going to be a thing of joy. There are also some interesting place around this one, and Coonoor is not a lesser town.

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Ilaveezhapoonjira remains that blessed tourist place which is so less explored. It will always be something of bliss to be there, and the view is always splendid. The fog actually provides an even better experience. It provides the feeling being somewhere beyond the world that we know, and it is during one of those days that I wish to be there again. I don’t think that I am that much of a traveller any more, but if I go into that more, may be I will be back there and witness the fog and rain.

ilaveezhapoonjira

The lovely model tourism village, Kumbalangy has been among my favourites for very long. It has a nice place to enjoy the beauty of nature in the form of backwaters. I have visited the place for a very long time, even before it developed. There are some nice shots which one can manage from here and it can be joined with a Fort Cochin-Mattanchery trip during the usual journey to Kochi, and the place also has some old churches around which adds to the beauty. The place gives the opportunity for more beautiful photos.

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Athirappilly Falls might be the best known waterfalls in Kerala, and located well within reach from the Cochin International Airport, the place is visited a lot, and I have wandered around the place quite a number of times myself. With Vazhachal Falls also nearby, this is one shot which I always love. The shot actually reminds me of a number of computer games with waterfalls, and it is actually the place where parts of a lot of Indian movies were shot, including the most talked about flick of recent times, Baahubali and the upcoming Puli. There were also shots for movies like Dil Se, Pukar, Guru, Madras Cafe and many others.

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I have always loved the sculptures of gargoyles on the church buildings, and that interest increased with the movie I, Frankenstein. When I climbed to the top of this church tower at Thrissur, and looked down, I felt like a gargoyle on the tower even though the churches here don’t have that. But looking down from there looks good, as it is known to be Asia’s tallest church, and there is some good view from the top. You do see this church in a lot of movies shot in the city, dominating the skyline – like in Pranchiyettan and the Saint and Thiruvambadi Thamban.

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Munnar has inspired a lot of interesting photos for me, but nothing like a walk through the tea gardens. It has been a long time favourite hill station for me as I have visited the place multiple times. This shot was taken on a beautiful day when we stopped on the side of the road for taking some photos. After some great morning tea, wandering through the tea plantations was going to be an interesting thing to do. After all, tea is life and most of my life has been about it. I still wonder what I will do without tea – I will be without my strength and also without many other things. Then there are movies like Life of Josutty which reminds you of the beauty of Kerala highlands!

munnar

TeNy