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

Vagamon Revisited

Vagamon is a destination that goes back to childhood, and it was only a developing tourist place at that time. One can say that even now, it is a lesser hill station compared to Munnar and Thekkady. The elevation is surely less, and it might not be as cold as it can be in Munnar. On these days, when the road to Munnar is not that great, we decided to go on another trip to Vagamon, and the result was an interesting one. The shooting of Pranav Mohanlal starrer Irupathionnaam Noottandu was going on at the place, and the number of tourists was low. The traffic was also low, and the roads were not that good. There are some areas where the road is in a pathetic state, thanks to the rain which was continuous and had hammered the state.

Well, the journey this time was still better than the last one, as there was not much of a crowd there, and the options were still there. We saw a new suicide point coming up as an attraction with those usual destinations, and it is certain that it could be something to look out for next time with much more being built around that area. There are not many restaurants here now either, as it used to be then. The town hasn’t really developed that much as Munnar and Thekkady did, and the Kurisumala Farm was closed at that time. But the climate was cooler than ever, and the fog added further beauty to the scenic world. It was the combination of Muharram, Sree Narayana Guru Jayanthi, Fourth Saturday and Sunday.

*All photos of Vagamon shown above were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone Max during my last visit.

Click here to go to the latest movie reviews.

TeNy

The South: Nilgiris

I have been wishing to travel again for a long time. It is one of those many things that I think about these days, and as I look back, I remember that it has really been a very long time. It has been so long that I have gone for a trip for the traveling purpose alone. But it doesn’t stop me from looking at those old photos of travel, and as you might have figured it out, I have so many of them. Well, I am going to need a hard disc to store them all soon – a separate one. As one journey provides thousands of photos, I have always felt that there would be the need. But here, I share ten photos of Ooty and Coonoor.

We stayed at Coonoor when we decided to get to Ooty. Well, I have been to Ooty only once and that journey actually came too late. I visited Ooty in the last few years, and I should be the last one in my friends circle to visit the hill station for the first time. Both of these places were nothing less than charming; I loved my stay at Coonoor and the tea there. The places to visit exist close enough both towns. Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris, and you will want to stop there too, along with being at those usual tourist destinations at Ooty. The photos shared here were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

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Meanwhile, I hope most of you haven’t missed Charlie.

TeNy

Further to the South

I have written a number of posts related to the places in Kerala and did share a number of photos taken during my visits there too. Among the places outside Kerala, I have visited a lot of places in Tamil Nadu, and the list is longer than the rest. It has been quite some time since I last visited my neighboring state, but I have been there a lot. I have visited Chennai more than any other city outside Kerala, and right from my childhood, the one place which has always been on our list, should be Kanyakumari which was earlier known as Cape Comorin, even though the one memorable journey to the destination came much later. It happens to be one of my favourite journeys of the time, and that was also an extended one.

It has felt good to travel in those local buses around. As almost everyone knows about Kanyakumari as the southernmost point of peninsular India and the sunsets as well as sunrise being very popular, there is not much of information needed to be provided about the town which is often added to a journey which is included with the Trivandrum visit. It used to be a part of the Kingdom of Travancore, and later of the state of Travancore-Cochin, and this district of Tamil Nadu with the same name as the town, was one place which I visited in detail and spent my time in peace with such amazing view. Thiruvalluvar Statue, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Gandhi Memorial, temples, churches and everything else will stay with you. These photos shared here were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 during my last visit.

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Meanwhile, feel free to read about the movie of the week, Paavada.

TeNy

District 12: The Heights

You should have surely heard about the District 12 of Kerala – Wayanad. As one of the more popular tourist destinations, it came into existence in its present form in 1980 as the twelfth district of Kerala right out of Kannur and Kozhikode districts. The special thing about this district is that there is no place with the name of the district, and the headquarters is at Kalpetta which has developed very well. Wayanad district also has the distinction of being the only district of Kerala to share the borders with both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and it is the district with the least population around here.

Wayanad has been known for its natural beauty, and it has no railway connection anywhere in the district; the nearest airport is at Kozhikode. Kalpetta, Mananthavady and Sulthan Bathery are its major towns. When I was a child, I wished to travel here, but the destination wasn’t considered then. But I managed to be there many years later, and I am sharing a few photos from that trip here, even though I still haven’t explored the destination in detail – that is pending, and this post could have a second part. They were all taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-310. The base of operations for the visit was fixed at Kozhikode at that time with Chevrolet Beat taking that long journey from Aluva, and it extended all the way to Kannur, with three northern districts being toured, and the final one left to visit on another day.

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TeNy

An Isle and Two Towers

Among the many things, Kochi has also been known for its islands. I had earlier written about Kumbalangy which is a model tourism village and an island which has become quite popular in the recent years for its serenity and natural beauty. This time, the post is going to be related to another island, which is situated on the Vembanad Lake itself and has its own beautiful areas of backwaters. There is no shortage of natural beauty here either. Vallarpadam is situated between two other islands, Bolghatty and Vypin, and the port of Cochin is partially situated here with major portion going to Willingdon Island which is the largest man-made isle in India. The Bolghatty Palace as well as the Kochi Marina are close, with the Goshree bridges opened about twelve years ago.

Vallarpadam is home to the International Container Transshipment Terminal as well as the Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom which is also known as the pilgrimage centre dedicated to Vallarpadathamma. It is one of the most visited Marian pilgrimage centres in Kerala along with the popular pilgrimage centres at Koratty and Kuravilangad. There is a nice view possible from the top of the church towers. With the location being very close to the city with the Goshree bridges, and connected to the other side by the new Container Terminal Road, the popularity of the place has only increased. The journey through the road is smooth without much traffic and a nice scenic view. The travelers on two-wheelers at noon will feel the heat though.

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The journey to Vallarpadam has some nice scenic areas.

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The idea of stopping on the way will be nice.

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You have surely seen this one before, remember?

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The Rosary Park which is associated with the church.

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The church’s last renovation has made it look huge.

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A look from the top of the church tower becomes a necessity.

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One side of the Rosary Park – interesting views all around.

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The Two Towers: From one to the other.

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You stop the car and take the photos – I don’t see why not.

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Then you take more photos as you keep stopping 😀

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 on the way to Vallarpadam from Aluva and at the island. Btw, click here for the movie choice for Christmas 2015 season.

TeNy

Queen of the Arabian Sea

Kochi, or Cochin, known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is the city which has driven me forward throughout my life. Yes, we use both names for the city; Cochin and Kochi are used like we wish to! I have always lived less than fifty kilometres from the city, except when I had those trips which lasted not more than one or two months. I believe that this will also be the city which will drive me towards my desires and destinations in life. My mother’s place is located on the other side of the city and so I have traveled through Kochi a lot during my childhood, and later, the malls and multiplexes increased the number of city visits.

The fishing boats with the old bridge of Cochin on the background.

The fishing boats with the old bridge of Cochin on the background.

We used to love going on a drive through the city later in the night, and have food at some special places there. The traffic would be so less at that time. We enjoyed spending our time at the beaches as well as the Marine Drive during our early college life. During those times, there were multiplexes were only on waiting list as the malls were absent, and we frequented the local theatres and had fun there. We also had those historical tourist destinations of Fort Cochin making the place the one choice of antiquity – it was one design of Cochin for us, and now there is more of that design. We always considered Cochin as a city #madeofgreat.

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Cochin is an architectural beauty of great historical, religious and spiritual significance. You can also see the Jewish Synagogue which is considered as the oldest of its kind at this part of the world. The Mattancherry Palace will let you through another journey through the history of Kerala, surrounded by temples. There is also a beautiful Jain Temple. There is also the Dutch Cemetery. Saint Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India is also located at Fort Cochin. The Koonankurishu Church where the famous Coonan Cross Oath against the Portuguese domination took place among the native Christians of Kerala is located around Mattanchery area. You should also add Kumbalangy model tourism village to your journey as you have peace within the extended city!

Santa Cruz Basilica - a structure that you wouldn't want to miss.

Santa Cruz Basilica – a beautiful structure that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Meanwhile, the Kochi International Marina is the only marina in India. Pallipuram Fort built by the Portuguese is the oldest existing European fort in India; it was last owned by the Kingdom of Travancore. There is also the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, the Tripunithura Hill Palace. So many beaches are around from the Fort Cochin beach to the Puthuvype, Cherai and Munambam beaches. You see that there is history and there is the beauty of nature along with the newly arrived modernity – it is the right mixture in the design which you won’t fail to notice. Another nice mixture happens with the religious population which is like not many other cities can boast about.

Kochi has also been a city which has connected us friends coming from different suburbs, towns and villages around the place. Even now, it is where a lot of old friends arrive and we meet up there; the change in the design is with the malls though, with six malls around, and five of them having the multiplex option, Lulu being the largest mall in India. Connecting with the old friends over some food and movie has only managed to get things better. Kochi is well-connected to the towns around, and the bus option is easy, with the Kochi Metro Rail coming up, about to make things even more amazing.

Chinese fishing nets - always part of Cochin and its islands.

The Chinese fishing nets – always part of Cochin and all its islands.

Along with having connectivity through rail, air, water and the National Highway, Kochi’s location right at the centre of Kerala makes it easier for people from all around. The significance of Kochi has only been increasing at a steady rate throughout the the last few years. The Cochin International Airport is the largest and the busiest airport in Kerala it is also the fourth busiest airport in India according to the international passenger traffic recorded. It is also world’s first completely solar energy powered airport. Meanwhile, Cochin Port, has the largest container trans-shipment facility in India.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the home of Kerala Blasters and former home of Kochi Tuskers Kerala is one amazing place to spend some great time during a football match; you will see the love for football like nowhere else. There is one thing about which you can be more certain than many other things, and it is about the beauty of the backwaters of Kochi – it will be an instant hit going right into the soul, even more than those lovely beaches. Kochi also has some amazing food with a lot of variety, and it is up-to you to decide what drives you to connect with the grand design of Kochi. Maybe it can be the Kochi-Muziris Biennale with all the brilliant art on display?

A quote I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale :)

A quote which I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale visit 🙂

What about your favourite city? Is it also made of great things, driving you through its design and having a certain connection to your soul? http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

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

TeNy

200th Post: Renaissance II

On the 299th day of this blog’s existence, The Tea Cerebration(s), the 200th post has arrived, and on this quite long a journey, I would like to thank everyone who has inspired me to come up with more posts with their likes, comments and messages. There have been a lot of support, and being a person of doubt, I had a lot of confusion when beginning this blog, but it does stand 21,000 visits strong and going almost as my other blog, Movies of the Soul which actually has more visitors from search engines.

As you might already know, this is my fourth and the final blog which still exists now – yes, I am not planning to start another blog ever as long as this one goes on with even a quarter of the strength as it is visible as of now. The Tea Cerebration(s) has actually proved quite lucky for me, as it has worked well in the case of most of the things that I have tried to do. On this occasion, I would just share five more of the big names of Kerala Renaissance, because it was too incomplete; it will continue to be so, but I will just add five more of them.

Parasurama, who is credited with bringing Kerala out of the sea :)

Parasurama, who is credited with bringing Kerala out of the sea 🙂

1. Brahmananda Sivayogi: A believer in yoga and an athiest, he might be one of the lesser known names among the people of this age, but the impact that he made in Kerala Renaissance is something which cannot be seen as something of lesser significance, for it is a lot. He was completely against any kind of idol worship and found Anandamatham (the religion of bliss) as he strived for social equality and peace throughout his life-time – his hope was for happiness or bliss among people. He was also the founder of Ananda Maha Sabha, and a number of his disciples have continued his work through the ages within Kerala.

2. Swami Vagbhatananda: Here is another name which you would want to remember if you haven’t heard about him yet. He is often related as Sree Narayana Guru of Malabar, and is known for being the founder of Atma Vidya Sangham which spread his teachings, and also had a very secular outlook. He was a nationalist, scholar and a social reformer, as he used his knowledge to the betterment of the society as well as improving the national spirit around his world. He was intellectually superior to those who opposed him, and worked to eradicate superstitions along with spreading the power of knowledge.

3. Mahakavi Kumaran Asan: Most of us Malayalis know Kumaranasan as a poet and having the title “mahavakavi” without writing a mahakavyam. But he was more than just that, as he went on to became that voice that Kerala needed, through his writing skills. He was the one who started the newspaper Vivekodayam, and he also served as the first secretary of SNDP Yogam. If we look at his works, there is immense power in them, and a reflection of the society at that time, and there is the hope for a better society. He was a poet of his times and his world like not many others, which is why we will keep recollecting his name whenever Malayalam poetry becomes part of the talk.

Those early trade routes which touched Kerala :)

Those early trade routes which touched Kerala 🙂

4. Thaikkattu Ayyavu Swamikal: Also known as Sivraja Yogi and Sadananda Swami, he was known to have inspired three other social reformers who came later – Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali and Chattambi Swamikal. He is also known to have visited Vaikunda Swamikal, his contemporary. He had hoped for one religion, caste and God for everyone and also social equality as he preached and worked for the same. He also came up with Panthibhojanam with people of different castes and religions having food together. He was a man with a great vision and had hoped for more than he had achieved.

5. Mannathu Padmanabhan: The work of Mannathu Padmanabhan is something which needs no special introduction, as he is a well-known figure and a man of great skill. Known as the founder of the Nair Service Society (NSS), he was part of Vaikom Satyagraha as well as the same agitation at Guruvayur get permission for the lower castes to worship at the temples. He later lead Vimochana Samaram (the liberation struggle) which brought down the first Communist government under E. M. S. Namboodiripad and activated Article 356 of the Indian Constitution. Honoured with Bharata Kesari and Padma Bhushan, he was a man who brought big changes to the Kerala society.

***The five social reformers of Kerala Renaissance were randomly selected and there are certainly more who deserves a mention in such a list. ***The images used in this blog post are taken from the Wikipedia page of the History of Kerala.

TeNy