Trip to Kuzhippilly Beach & Narikulam Tharavadu

100 Happy Days – Day 90

I had made a bucketlist 2016 when this year began and one of the elements in it was to make at least 5 trips this year. I don’t think the number went very well. But as unexpected as life could be, I found myself in a few immensely beautiful places a couple of days back – Kuzhippilly Beach, Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty.

Writing professional exams could just wear you off big time. So, the five of us and a qualified CA decided to meet up, spend a night together and go on a trip the next day. Nothing fancy, somewhere in or around Kochi. After a night full of clicking pictures, non-stop chattering and barely few hours of sleep, we drowsily picked ourselves up and went for breakfast. Nothing else could shun your drowsiness better than food. So after the breakfast, we were on fire! We made our way to our first destination. The Kuzhippilly beach.

Lined with pine trees and rusted benches, this beach is more beautiful than the famous Cherai beach. Situated in the outskirts of Kochi, Kuzhippilly beach is around 4 kms (Source: Google Map) away from Cherai. For those who prefer less crowd and more shade, this place is the best option. With lots of tiny brown crabs (I think they are called Sand Crabs) running around and emerging from the sand, and the thatched roof Umbrellas, this is one of the most picturesque beaches near Kochi.

DSCN4913.JPG
Pine trees at the Beach

We spent about 2 hours in the waters, clicking pictures & walking amidst the shady pine trees. We found a beautiful shell and, after ensuring that the owner had deserted his home, my friend pocketed it.

When the thought of food started creeping into our heads, we made our way to destination number two, the highlight of the trip (Food always comes first) – Narikulam Tharavadu.

DSCN4931.JPG
A View enroute to Narikulam Tharavadu
Kerala - God's own country
Those white cranes were everywhere!

Tharavadu is generally an ancestral home in Kerala where people lived as a joint family. Nowadays, most of these families have split and live separately, but many of the ancestral homes remain. Situated near St. Augustine Church, Nedungad, Nayarambalam, is the Narikulam Tharavadu. Set amidst the lap of nature, with greenery all around and a canal behind it; they have preserved the house so well that, if you are a Keralite, a wave of nostalgia hits you the moment you enter the premises. Such houses are the true essence of Kerala.

Paul chettan gave us a very warm welcome and patiently explained everything about the place. He answered all our queries, showed us around and made us feel at home. As they went about preparing our food, we were left to explore the place.

One of the things that fascinated me was, the way they had managed waste and artifacts that were no longer in use. They had used dried seeds and parts of the palm tree to decorate the house. We even found two shoes outside with plants in them. They also had grown plants in an old, rusted Kindi (pitcher) and an Aattukallu (Wet Grinder). The base stone, Arakkallu from the grinding Apparatus was used as the base for the pitcher. They gave an aesthetic look, placed around the Nadumuttam (The central area with a meshed ceiling) and never for a second did they seem out of place.

The plant in the pitcher placed atop the base of the grinder. What you see behind is the Nadumuttam.
The plant in the pitcher placed atop the base of the grinder. What you see behind is the Nadumuttam.

My favorite part about these houses is the Nadumuttam. During the day, it is the source of natural light that gives a mellow glow to the surroundings and during the night, you can watch the stars. Don’t get me started on how it looks when it begins to rain. I can’t believe that these houses are dwindling with time!

A peek at the interiors of a typical tharavadu
A peek at the interiors of a typical tharavadu

We spent a lot of time outside, near the canal awed at the abundance of nature, clicking pictures and wondering why we never got to know about this place earlier. A photographer’s paradise, my friends simply couldn’t stop clicking pictures. Our grumbling tummies showed us the way to the dining table and now I’d call it a Foodie’s paradise too!

So we saw this irresistible spread on the table… Er… Isn’t the post getting a bit too lengthy? Besides, I am reminded of all the food we ate that day and I so need a break. I’ll be back with part 2 of this post; all the yummy food and a surprise thereafter. Heads up: The Food part is focused on the Non-vegetarians & it is going to be a bit heavy. So, ensure that you are filled up. If you wish to visit this Homestay, the details will be given in the next post – Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty (Part II)🙂

Image courtesy for the first 3 pics – My dear friend Hrusheekesh Anilkumar

The Butterflies and Mighty Waterfalls

Thumbormozhi and Athirappilly Episode

Our trip began with Ezhattumugham about which you can read here. This is the continuation of the trip.

3. Thumbormozhi

This is a butterfly garden situated next to Ezhattumugham. There is a separate entrance for the same. But if you are crossing the suspension bridge, it will take you to the backside of the park. When I heard about the place, I expected to see multicolored butterflies fluttering all around the garden. But, I was wrong. There were many brown butterflies and a few blue ones. The blues where enigmatic I must say.

IMG_20151218_145456

You can see a lovely blue butterfly below. She was very hesitant to open her wings. I stood there for a long while expecting her to spread the wings with no luck.

IMG_20151218_145536

 

The one at the rightmost corner is bold enough. The blue is still all tightened up. 😀

IMG_20151218_145541

4. Athirappilly Waterfalls

Known as the Niagara falls of India, Athirappilly waterfalls is the biggest one in Kerala. To see it close up you have quite a bit of walking to do. But in the end, it is totally worth it. Here are some glimpses of the path. There is a steep side through which we could reach the bottom really fast, but it is dangerous. For those who do not prefer that, there is a path laid from rocks. You will spot many monkeys on the way.

IMG_20151218_155921

 

IMG_20151218_155927
Bamboo fences.

 

IMG_20151218_160422

After walking down for some time, we reached the waterfalls. The closer I got to the falls, the faster I walked. You cannot stop yourself when you see it so close! I sat there watching the water lash the rocks. I felt like I had reached the end of this world and the swirling white milky mist was a pathway to another more beautiful and enchanting world. If I could, I would have stayed there, watching the waters and feeling the cool sprays. It was sheer bliss.

The mighty misty waterfalls
The mighty misty waterfalls
IMG_1617
The water turns into clouds they say 🙂
Athirappilly
Rocks basking in the love of water

IMG_1618

A rather unclear picture of me on the rocks 😛

IMG_1628

This is how close you can go to the waterfalls. They don’t let us go beyond that rope. It is a very dangerous area and they might open the dam at any moment. They have written the warning in many places. There is another place where you are allowed to enter the waters. It is more shallow and safe.

IMG_1640
A Proof that I was here and I took the pictures 😛

At the end of the day, the image of the waterfalls is what lingered. It is definitely a heavenly place. If you are planning to go, ensure that you have enough time to sit on the rocks and enjoy the falls. 🙂