Daily Archives: 14/06/2022

Kerala, India. Part One.

Kerala, with the rightful slogan of ‘God’s Own Country’ can be found in the southern region of India with its balmy, temperate personality exuding a tropical freshness for those needing a change of pace. Here the diversity of the cultures intwined with beaches, backwaters and mountains whereby the slopes are awash with tea and coffee plantations.

Did someone say spices? Come with a half-empty suitcase and you’ll return home with a myriad of delicacies and a new way of making that chai latte.

To visit India ensure you fill out the relevant visa details and at the time of writing this blog post the correct website for an eVisa at a cost of USD80.00 plus credit card fee. The participating countries are listed within the website: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in

Additionally, a health self declaration being the Air Suvidha Self Declaration Form is to be mandatorily filled out online by all international arriving passengers into India.

https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/apho-registration

Welcoming local musicians upon our arrival – always makes you feel special – even if only a domestic flight on this occasion. Most Indian airlines fly into Kannur (CNN) with excellent connections to international flights and return.

Kannur International Airport (CNN) servicing the northern region of Kerala including North Malabar, Kodagu and Mysore districts of Karnataka and the Mahé district of Puducherry. Relatively new and only opened on 9th December, 2018 it’s easy to navigate, spotlessly clean with friendly staff to assist wherever possible.

Though not accessible directly from Australia, it has the ease of an international airport’s arrival and departure areas like no other in India – adding to a stress-free holiday.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has modified the Visa Manual to include Kannur in the list of Integrated Check Posts (ICP) and is now the 29th airport in India to accept eVisas for foreigners who are permitted to attain them. Updated 7th June, 2022.

Read more at:
https://travel.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/visas-and-passports/keralas-kannur-international-airport-included-in-the-icp-for-e-visa-facilitation/92051943

The Incredible landscape of northern Kerala makes it an attractive getaway for those seeking a quieter less intrusive holiday than say, that of a beach location. Plenty of resorts here with natural surroundings of lush forestation and fauna make it an ideal location for nature lovers.
Kingfisher Beer from Kerala has qualities that make it a superb accompaniment to any occasion. According to Google, its name is synonymous with beer in India and stands for excitement, youth and camaraderie. “Cheers, I’ll drink to that!”
India has a long-standing tradition of serving food on banana leaves and is offered with an assortment of vegetables, pickles, appalam and other regional condiments (usually sour, salty or spicy). The banana leaf acts as a disposable plate and it in itself is not consumed – which is far more admirable than throw-away plastics and can be composted as well.

Especially popular in areas such as Kerala, eating food by hand off the banana leaves is considered quite healthy and acceptable. Serving an authentic south Indian spread at festivals and family get-togethers is a common tradition.

Recognise these? This photo is only showing a small portion of delectable spices available and the list is far more comprehensive of what I’ve captured here.

  • Pepper is called the ‘king of spices’ and is the most commercial crop produced in India.
  • Cardamom. The queen of aromatic spices as it is generally known as this spice is mainly used for medicinal purposes and for flavouring. (Yum always add these into my own chai tea and is my favourite beverage each afternoon.)
  • Chilies
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Coriander
  • Fenugreek
  • Mustard
Some kinds of herbs and other goodies for those wishing to improve their immune system.
Read all about it! Ayurveda’s healthy living is an old traditional way in India and a new way in modern times such as in Australia, which are seeking new methods of trying to change inherent lifestyles addicted to preservatives and other food additives.
(More about Ayurveda in my later blogs …)
Abida Rasheed is one of the finest home-based chefs – not just in Kerala, but she is gaining international recognition for her incredibly easy style in cooking great, wholesome cuisine suitable for any food lover.

My travel mates and I had the absolute pleasure of spending a Saturday afternoon with Abida who lovingly cooked up a magnificent Chicken Bryani. And, let me tell you we devoured it with gusto.

Abida is based in Calicut and she can be found on https://www.facesplacesandplates.com/abida-rasheed/ should you wish to book. Also, check her out on You Tube, Instagram and Facebook in case you can’t make it to Kerala in a hurry.

Happy to see signage wherever possible advocating the upkeep and disposal of throw-away plastics and the like being demonised for the want of a cleaner, greener environment for all concerned and of course future generations to enjoy.

When the environment is being cared for, then you have time to enjoy real forestation in a natural setting such as this one. Relaxing at the stunning rainforest within the Vythiri Resort Lakkidi, this is definitely one to ear mark for your next holiday to destress and go back to an essential winding down of your overworked senses. It’s an exquisite jungle getaway located in Wayanad, a largely mountainous district in northern Kerala and worthwhile checking out, especially when temperatures are predicted to be extremely high in other parts of India.
How about this? You might even have the pleasure of staying at the Vythiri Resort in a Tree House. Just to make all your friends envious and unless they bring the right beverages and food, they won’t be invited in because you can have it all to yourself listening to the birdlife and soft music …

Well, if you can’t manage a lofty Tree House? Don’t panic, we all settled for a fantastic pool party at the Vythiri Resort’s Pool Villa. Kerala enjoys a relaxed lifestyle and friends from all walks of life are easily made here and wherever there is water, upbeat music and a sense of fun then this is the place to be.
No stopping these new-found mates. Party Central!

Not to worry, if you don’t have a tree house or pool in your package deal, then you can relax in a superb room which is charming with a massive floor space, coupled with a jacuzzi and walk-in shower.

At the Vythiri, meals are included and mostly buffet style. No extra charges are incurred.

P.S. The Vythiri review was based on a two night stay and with no vested interest from me. For bookings contact me for quotes.

More of Kerala to follow in the next blog post.