April 26, 2012

Athirappilly Waterfalls - The Niagara of India

Site Name: Athirappilly Waterfalls
Site Type: Waterfalls, Forest, Dam, Tea Estate
Location:  Near Chalakudy, Kerala, India
Highlights: One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the entire India

Nearest Railway Station: Chalakudy
Nearest Airport: Cochin
How to reach: Well connected by road

Hotel: A lot of options are available within Ernakulam/Cochin; Few options including homestays are available in Chalakudy
Restaurants: It's difficult to find different varieties of restaurants
Athirappilly Waterfalls
Anyone visiting the USA or Canada would definitly love to go to Niagara Falls, the most popular waterfalls in the entire world. Niagara Falls in the east aka American Fall is 180 feet high and 1148 feet wide. The Canadian Fall aka Horseshoe Fall is 161 feet high and 2788 feet wide. Athirappilly waterfalls in Kerala is just 137 feet high and 721 feet wide and it cannot obviously match Niagara falls. However, it is the combination of height and volume that makes this spectacular waterfalls to be called as "the Niagara Falls of India".



Athirappilly Waterfalls
Athirappilly waterfalls is located in Sholayar forest range near Cochin in Kerala state. If you want to visit a calm, serene, not so crowded, not so polluted and scenic place, you should definitely go to Sholayar forest range. Athirappilly waterfalls is one of the main waterfalls in Kerala state. The scenic beauty of this waterfalls has attracted a lot of movie directors to shoot their films in this site.

Chalakudy river, one of the largest rivers of Kerala state, emerges from high ridges of Western Ghats. It flows through Sholayar forest range and finally falls as a magnificent Athirapilly waterfalls. You can reach to the topmost place from where the river starts falling into waterfally by vehicle and little bit of walking (about 600 meters). You can also take a dip at the river Chalakudy. However, if you want to experience the complete beauty of the magnificent waterfalls and get view from the bottom, you need to walk down for around 2 kms on the hills/rocks. It would definitely be a lifetime experience and it is impossible to express in words how much you would excite to encounter this demon size waterfalls.


Chapra Waterfalls

Chapra waterfalls is another waterfalls located in this area. It is a small but picturesque waterfalls located around 3 kms from Athirappilly waterfalls. It is around 63 m high and 28 m wide.


Vazhachal Waterfalls

Vazhachal waterfalls is comparitively a calm falls located near lush green forest and a small garden. It is lcoated at a distance of around 5 kms from Athirappilly waterfalls.

Thumburmuzhi Dam
Thumburmuzhi dam is an important picnic spot in this area. It has an adjoining buttefly garden too.
The stretch from Athirappilly waterfalls to the picturesque Malakapura Tea Estate falls under Sholayar forest range. The plantations in this forest area include bamboo, eucalyptus and teak. There are many animals/birds such as elephant, tiger, leopard, bison, sambar, lion tailed macaque, the rare Hornbill bird, etc. found in this forest range. The picturesque Anakayam lake, where the herd of elephants are found during the summer, also lies in between Athirappilly falls and Malakapura Tea Estate.

Happy travelling.

Anakayam Lake
Manakapura Tea Estate

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April 25, 2012

Kauthuka Park - A Unique Park in Kerala

Site Name: Kauthuka Park
Site Type: Eco Park
Location:  Near Chalakudy, Kerala, India
Highlights: A unique park where various living beings live in harmony

Nearest Railway Station: Chalakudy
Nearest Airport: Cochin
How to reach: Well connected by road

Hotel: A lot of options are available within Ernakulam/Cochin; Few options including homestays are available in Chalakudy
Restaurants: It's difficult to find different varieties of restaurants
Kauthuka Park is a unique kind of park where it is shown to the world how practical and peaceful that all living beings could live in perfect harmony with nature. It is located adjacent to Panampally college near Athirapally waterfalls.

If you enter the park, you would feel as if you entered the remote habitat of the nature - with small caves, trees and plants with medicinal values and ponds with crystal clear water. All sorts of animals, birds and insects co exist in Kauthuka Park. You can find peacocks, hen, cock, geese, duck, swan, white rats, rabbit, squirrel, varieties of fish, honey and even scorpios live happily in harmony in this small green and beautiful park.

Happy travelling.

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April 24, 2012

Replica of Holy Land, St. Mary's Church, Chalakudy

Site Name: Replica of Holy Land, St. Mary's Church
Site Type: Church
Location:  Chalakudy, Kerala, India
Highlights: An ancient church; Replica of Holy Land depicting various incidents in the life of Jesus Christ

Nearest Railway Station: Chalakudy
Nearest Airport: Cochin
How to reach: Well connected by road and rail

Hotel: A lot of options are available within Ernakulam/Cochin; Few options including homestays are available in Chalakudy
Restaurants: It's difficult to find different varieties of restaurants


Chalakudy is a small and beautiful town located near Cochin in Kerala state of India. Some dense forests and important waterfalls of Kerala are located near Chalakudy. Only few people would know about an important site located in this town. It is St. Mary's Church.

The origin of Christian faith in this town can be traced back to almost 2000 years. It is believed that St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, landed in Kodungallur in Kerala in 52 AD. He travelled to various parts of Kerala including Chalakudy and converted a lot of people to Christianity. It is believed that the early Christian community in Chalakudy who were converted directly by St. Thomas, built the first church in Chalakudy in 600 AD. It is also believed that it remained til 1300 AD and then shifted to the present site which is around few hundred meters away.

Although it is claimed that the church is very ancient, I am not sure if there are any historical records to proove that. The current structure of church was rebuilt in 1987. The replica of Holy Land is the latest addition that attracts a great number of tourists to this church. The objective is to give the visitors a feel of visiting the sites of biblical importance. The Holy Land depicts a lot of important events in the life of Jesus Christ.

Happy travelling.


 

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April 23, 2012

Jew Cemetery, Cochin

Site Name: Jew Cemetery
Site Type: Cemetery, tomb
Location:  Jew Town, Cochin, Kerala, India
Highlights: A little known tourist site in Cochin

Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam
Nearest Airport: Cochin
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air

Hotel: A lot of options are available within Ernakulam/Cochin
Restaurants: Many options and varieties across the city
 India has always been tolerant to all religions. Although the majority of Indians are Hindus, the country has always allowed other religions to enter. It includes not only Christians and Muslims but even minority religions such as Zoroastrians, Bahai and Jews.
 
Jews, who were suffering under the Roman rule, sought help from other lands. Cochin aka Kochi, an important trading port in Arabian Sea since ancient times, saw the arrival of White Jews from Jerusalem in 6th century BC. In 1st century AD also, a large number of Jews arrived Cochin.
 
Even today, you can find the settlement of Jews called as Jew Town. The city has the oldest Synagogue (Jew temple) in the Commonwealth of Nations. The Synagogue is one of the main tourist attractions of Cochin. Apart from this temple, there is another tourist attration related to Jews, which is little known. It is Jews cemetery, now located in the compound of a non Jewish family house. It consists of a collection of gravestones set within a tomb shaped concrete structure.
 
When you go to Cochin, apart from visiting the popular sites, go and visit this little known place too.
 
Happy travelling.
 

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