Saturday, February 2, 2013

Serene & Scenic... Kumarakom

Travel features are always a reader's delight. and, why not? They bring to you some beautiful destinations, some exotic locales, and some splendid stays. When the writer herself is a reader of ALLWHATSHEWANTS, and decides to share her own Travel memories, the feature becomes even more interesting. 
New Delhi-based Taran Deep, AGM-Marketing & Communications, Jaypee Hotels is sharing one such wonder journey, which was actually a surprise gift by her loving hubby!

Exactly a year back, my husband gave me a beautiful surprise - my birthday celebration in a luxury houseboat in beautiful Kerala.  The place was Kumarakom, near the city of Kottayam in Kerala. You can imagine how ecstatic I must have been, and my next few lines will make you believe that. The D-Day arrived and we were all set to leave for Kocchi. Even during our flight from Delhi, we desperately wanted the plane to land before time, so that we reach our much-heard, and talked about destination Kumarakom, set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Kerala.
Yes, we finally reached there,we got into our cab that drove at a speed of 100 passing by the city of Kocchi and then, the water bodies and a bit of countryside enjoying every moment till the time the sun started fading off and bidding adieu to us. It was turning pitch dark and we didn't know where we were heading to, all in the hands of an unknown driver. I started having goosebumps although, I had booked this luxury houseboat from Grandeur Houseboats that boasts of the largest fleet of houseboats in Kerala.
We kept asking people passing through lanes and by-lanes, and alleys till the car stopped. Four people came running towards us scaring us completely but as soon as we heard greetings from them, we were relieved. We were escorted to the entrance of our houseboat looking like a long piece of wood with no clue how it would be from inside in that darkness. The moment we stepped in, we were requested to put our slippers to a side as the houseboat for them was no less than a temple. We all (including my in-laws) checked in to our rooms.
The houseboat had a beautiful lounge area with a deck or top as I saw the next morning. We were told that Kumarakom is famous for serving sea food including squids and crabs in spicy preparations. Karimeen is offered in the hotels which is grilled fish with spices wrapped in banana leaf or else it is fried in a chilly paste.For vegetarians,you have rice preparation ,lentils, idli and other typical south Indian delicacies but spicier than usual.After the satiating meal, we tried sleeping but couldn't stop appreciating the ambiance of this houseboat.

Tarandeep,  our Reader & Writer
Next day morning, after having a strong aromatic tea, we were told that we would be sailing in the backwaters. It was going to be dream come true experience, I thought. And yes, it surely was. As we sailed through, we saw all luxury hotels and boats by our side, and the other side was all about tall coconut trees. Kumarakom is simply beautiful. It has a lot to do apart from sailing. From Bird Sanctuary, to dense flaura and fauna, to canoe trips, to some oldest temple and mosque visits, one has endless options. Also, there is an island called Parthirameral that covers 10acres of land and emerges out of Vembanand lake and features a zoo and an acquarium. Its also called as sand of night
Bay island driftwood museum is also there in the region that has a collection of twisted stumps of driftwood collected from Andaman and Nicobar islands.
I could have stayed forever , and could also have finished writing a book on the placid waters overlooking such a scenery, but as they say all good things come to an end. So, was my sojourn!

Fact File: 
The houseboat for 2 pax costs 8000/- upwards depending on the boat you opt for with all meals included.During off season, the same costs 6000/- for one bedroom with all meals.

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