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

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.

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TeNy

Dauntless in Love and Care

I have had very few vacation trips as a kid compared to some of my friends who have traveled a lot. But as time passed, I understood the significance of having a memorable vacation journey which would refresh the mind of any normal person. Among the trips I had during childhood, there were Kolkata, Chennai, Goa, Bangalore and Mangalore which I remember. But I am ready to make sure that my child would have more vacations, and all of them shall be better than what I have had in my entire life. *I am sharing two photos of childhood here, the first one taken at Kolkata and the second one at home with my cousin brother.

I was going through an initiative from Club Mahindra at http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html about travelogues written by children. It reminded me of thinking about myself and how I would go on holidays with my child. The first thing I want to ensure is that I remain dauntless, so that my child would know that I will always be there for him, whenever he feels a certain amount of fear about anything. There is this feeling of insecurity that children feel while going on journeys, and I remember having felt the same on so many occasions. This insecurity is like a big mole on a face, as it affects the beauty of the vacation, and the significance of the journey itself is reduced.

From one of my first vacations ever, to Kolkata - a photo found and scanned.

From one of my first vacations ever, at Kolkata – a photo discovered in the album and scanned.

The fear that children feel outside their home in quite natural, and the current world, we have to be very careful – these are not the best times for the children to grow up either. So, I would make sure that I shall be the friend to him and be the friend that I rarely had during my own childhood. I have to correct the mistakes from my earlier generation, and it is my duty to make sure that he enjoys, and it is a privilege to make sure that I also enjoy the little things that he does.

Even as I strive to make things happen here, another nice thing I would like to add is another person of his own age to give him company. I would choose a family friend who has kids of the same age to accompany us on the journey so that they can nicely contribute to the fun. Otherwise, I will find a relative with a child of the same age. I have been aware of the disadvantages of being a lone child, and I shall never let that happen to my kid, and it is a promise that I have to make to myself.

An old photo with my cousin brother. Never be the lonely child.

An old photo with my cousin brother. Never be the lonely child in a busy universe of chaos.

Well, what is a vacation when the child is not happy? My mother always used to tell me to be happy, or it affects her and destroys the whole purpose of the vacation as it was always about me. She always wanted me to order what I wanted in a restaurant and would have the same thing. This is what I would do, especially when we all have the same thing for food, it is the first step to letting him make decisions during a vacation – his ideas need to be valued. I have had almost no say in even my early education, and I know the pain.

I would let my child explore the world with curiosity, but I will always keep an eye on him, making sure that his vacation universe goes perfectly, and looking at things in the way in which he sees things – it is a perspective that I would enjoy. It will be the best case of happiness for me to see my child enjoying a vacation which I had arranged. It makes my world special. When he loves the journey, my soul takes a leap forward, and it is what we should strive for when choosing a vacation. Let us remember the fact that every step that we make will also teach him something – so lets plan it well to make it a learning experience as well as an entertaining one.

This entry is my submission for the latest Happy Hours Campaign from Indiblogger in association with Club Mahindra’s Teddy Travelogues. I don’t think that Club Mahindra Holidays, a part of the Mahindra Group needs any introduction for any of us Indians. They are among the most commonly mentioned names in their field. For further details about the Teddy Travelogues from them, please spare some time to check http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html

TeNy