The best places to see in the world are always the unexplored, or sometimes the little explored. You mgt be thinking is there such place a in Thiruvananthapuram. My Ans is Yes. It is the VELLAYANI LAKE , which is the biggest fresh water lakes in Kerala. 12 Kilometeres from trivandrum city.
It is a tourist village near the Trivandrum airport (4 kms), a beautiful picnic spot, where the large lake merges with the sea by a a narrow sandbar. A floating bridge and a floating restaurant are added atraction. Facilities for boating and other water sport are available. An open air theatre serves as a centre for cultural performance with ocean at the background.(on season).
Thiruvallom: Just 4 Kilometers from the Trivandrum on the way to Kovalam. This unique water destination situated on the bank of Karamana river considered the gate way to the Kovalam Beach. Travelling back waters is one of the higlights of a visit to Kovalam.
There cruises too are available .
The Boat rides which are available given below.
1 Kettuvallam - 12 seater ( a traditional Country craft).
2.Cannoy - Single / double
3.Rowing Boat - 4 seater
4.Kayaka - 2 seater
5 .Peddle Boat - 4 seater
6. Motorised Boat - 8 seater
Daily 4 hour trip from Pozhikkara to Karmana including the visit to Edayar island and Traditional Coir making units.
Ths beautiful place is situated 22 Km from Trivandrum City.
A quiet sceneic place.
Apart from the Dam and a beautiful garden\park to walk around a mini wild life sanctuary also u can enjoy. An excellent picinic spot. Boating facilti is available and there is crocodile farm and a lion safari around the dam.
The wild life sanctuary covers an area about 128 sq KM including the Neyyar Dam.enjoy seeing a variety of vegetation, varied birdlife, animlas like lion-tailed macaque, wild boar and Nilgiri langur. Agasthy koodam, a prominent peak having 1890 m elevation is situated in the santuary.
The famous Shivananda Ashramam also very near to the Neyyar Dam.
From Trivandrum when u drive up to Ponmudi u will pass few beautifula places like, The Tribal
foundation at Vithura, Kallar, etc..
This place consists of thick forest and a beautiful river and a water fall.
You can enjoy ur packed luch\refreshments sitting in one those rocks on the bank of the stream.
A two and a half kilometer walk thru the thick forest's will take u to the meen mutti falls. You can hav a dip near the falls if the wether is gud and walk back.
(this pic is taken by Radz on our trip to this place thanks Radz).
The kalam is a unique drawing also called dhulee chithram or powder drawing. The artist uses the floor as his canvas. Kalamezhuthu pattu is performed as part of the rituals to worship and propitiate gods like Kaali, Ayyappan or Vettakkorumakan.
This ritualistic art is a common feature of temples as well as noble households. The kalams or drawings are erased at the end of the ritual to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ilathalam, veekkan chenda, kuzhal, kombu and chenda.
The coloured powders used for the kalam are prepared from natural products only. The pigments are extracted from plants - rice flour (white), charcoal powder (black), turmeric powder (yellow), powdered green leaves (green), and a mixture of turmeric powder and lime (red). It often takes more than two hours to finish a kalam drawing with appealing perfection. Decorations like a canopy of palm fronds, garlands of red hibiscus flowers and thulasi or Ocimum leaves are hung above the kalam.
The figures drawn usually have an expression of anger, and other emotions. Kalamezhuthu artists are generally members of communities like the Kurups, Theyyampadi Nambiars, Theeyadi Nambiars and Theeyadi Unnis. The kalams drawn by these people differ in certain characteristics.
The Kalamezhuthu is a forty-day ritualistic festival beginning with the first of Vrischikam (Scorpio) in most Bhagavathy temples in Kerala
Mudiyettu is a ritual dance performed in some Kaali temples of Ernakulam and Kottayam districts (central Kerala). The dance celebrates the goddess's triumph over the demon Daarikan. Mudiyettu is performed by the Kuruppu or Marar who belong to the temple bound communities of Kerala.
The Kalamezhuthu, a ritual drawing of the goddess Kaali is made on the floor with dyed powders, before the performance. Then the chorus sings hymns in praise of the goddess.
Before the actual performance, the dancer erases the Kalam with tender palm fronds. The performer in the role of Kaali is aided by 'Koimpata Nayar', the local guide and Kooli, the attendant.
Legends say that Daarikan, the epitome of evil, challenged Kaali to a duel. Kaali slayed Daarikan, with the blessings and grace of Lord Siva.
The performers of Mudiyettu are all heavily made up and wear gorgeous attire with conventional facial paintings, tall headgears etc, to give a touch of the supernatural. The wooden headgear has a mask of Kaali. An ornamental red vest and a long white cloth around the waist complete the attire
The martial arts of Kerala - Kalaripayattu - consists of a series of intricate movements that train the body and mind. The discipline is continually practised andcomplemented by the Kerala's famous ayurvedic and nature cure techniques.These are believed to have travelled to eastern China, where they inspired the evolution of other martial art forms. 'Verumkai' is the final and most difficult of lessons taught in the kalari. The others are Maithozhil - combat through kicks, Kolathiri - combat using sticks and Angathiri - the use of metal weapons.
The are still more ...Oppana, Pulikali (kaduvakali) , Theyyam , Padayani , Panchavadyam the list is never ending.......
Theyyam, another ritual dance from of Kerela, glorifying the goddess. Theames revolve around the triumph of the goddess over the demon Daruka and other evil characters. Always performed by men, they also enact female roles wearing exotic make up and colorful costumes.
Theyyam also known as Kaaliyattam, it is a ritual dance popular in north Kerala or the erstwhile Kolathunadu. Theyyam incorporates dance, mime and music and enshrines the rudiments of ancient tribal cultures which attached great importance to the worship of heroes and the spirits of ancestors. Of the over 400 Theyyams performed, the most spectacular ones are those of Raktha Chamundi, Kari Chamundi, Muchilottu Bhagavathi, Wayanadu Kulaveni, Gulikan and Pottan. These are performed in front of shrines, sans stage or curtains, by persons belonging to the Vannan, Malayan and other related castes.
'Thudangal' (the beginning) and 'Thottam' (the invocation) are the introductory rituals of the Theyyam or the Thira, as it is known in south Malabar. The headgear and other ornamental decorations are spectacular in sheer size and appearance. Karivalloor, Nileswaram, Kurumathoor, Parassini, Cherukunnu, Ezhom and Kunnathoorpadi in north Malabar are places where Theyyams are performed annually from December to April.
The actor recites stories from the epics (based on Sanskrit text) interpreting them in Malayalam, enlivening his narration with Thandava dance rhythms and also gestures and bodily postures which are clearly derived from Natya Sastra.
The Koothu is very much dominated by the comic element. Impersonated through mime and gesture and interspersed with occasional dances, the narrative art of the Chakyar is essentially dramatic. Humorous, witty analogies and allusions to topical, political and social events are brought in during the narration and the dancer gets ample facilities for criticizing men and things of local interest. Seldom does the miss an opportunity to make comic comments on contemporary life and society. He ridicules the follies and foibles of the age with impunity.
Never Never miss a chance to see Koothu........
Take Home a Trunkful of Memories......
There can never be enough room for happy memories. Exotic, unexpected, amusing. The world's largest gathering of Tuskers for instance. Tall, majestic, caparisoned and swaying lightly in their royal grandeur. A sight worth a trip around the globe. Conducted usually from the 17th to the 20th of January every year. Starting from Trichur, this caravan will wind its way through Cochin and Aleppey, reaching Trivandrum for the grand finale. At these points a lucky group of tourists will ride them, feed them, touch them or capture their bejewelled glory on film.
Day one Trichur.,
This is where your adventure begins. A magnificent array of caparisoned Tuskers standing tall and elegant. Welcoming you to Feed them in the true ceremonial manner. Accompanied by the traditional 'Melam' (Kerala orchestra). The Fun and frolic of all these forming a backdrop for select folk dance performances. The excitement is certainly going to work up an appetite for you. For which we have a sumptuous lunch ready. Follow it up with a delightful rides atop the elephants at Thekkinkadu grounds. The ideal way to end this inaugural day of the world's most splendid of safaris.
Day two Kochi
Your Tusker friend take a break as you take on the commercial hub of Kerala, Cochin. With the scenic charm of Chinese fishing nets and a natural harbour. Indulge in some street side bargains or take an optional guided tour which combines a sunset cruise on the placid backwaters. Better still, escape to the misty tea plantations of Munnar. An exhilarating four hour drive from Cochin. Or see Thekkady, a similarly situated destination that has some of the finest species of wildlife to offer.
Silent Valley, the 9000 hectare national park is believed to be the sole surviving Silent Valleybit of evergreen forest in the Sahya Ranges. It rises abruptly to the Nilgiri Plateau in the north and overlooks the plains of Mannarkkad in the south.
The core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the Silent Valley National Park. Despite its name, the Silent Valley (the clamour of Cicadas is conspicuously absent here) echoes with the sounds of teeming wildlife. The denizens of this sprawling habitat of endangered virgin tropical forests include rare birds, deer and tiger.
Located in the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats, the Silent Valley National Park holds a valuable reserve of rare plants and herbs. The park is rich in its wildlife, and elephants, lion-tailed macaques and tigers are the most common denizens of this park. A visit to this park should be considered a lifetime experience, as this is the last representative virgin tract of tropical evergreen forests in India. Perhaps, nowhere else can one also find such a representative collection of peninsular mammals, over a 100species of butterflies and 400 species of moths and other fauna like the Ceylon Frog Moth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque.
Vehicular transport is only up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the park. The rest of the way has to be covered on foot up to the source of Kunthipuzha, which flows through the valley before merging with the Bharathapuzha (Nila). There is huge, hollow tree in the park, which can hide at least 12 people in it.
Take Home a Trunkful of Memories..continued
Day Three Alleppey
The pace accelerates on the famous backwater lagoons here. Home to Kerala's traditional watersports. Watch a hundred oarsmen beat the clock on their snakeboats. Then try maneuvering one by yourself. Be sure to pack some fast action film to capture these scintillating moments. In a slower tempo you can also see the traditional coir industry here. Picking up a memento or two from the many showrooms. Feeling tired? Take a cool sip of tender coconut water.
Day four Trivandrum
The lush green capital of Kerala. All set for the grand finale. Get down to Kovalam, the famed beach resort in the morning. Joyrides and seaside fun keep you occupied till late afternoon. Come evening and you experience the Great Elephant Show. In a typical rural ambience. Recreating the fabled Thrissur Pooram, which celebrates the friendly rivalry between two temple factions. Along with a specially choreographed cultural programme. Set in a typical Kerala village ambience. Featuring martial arts, dances and the mesmerising crescendo of Panchavadyam. Your pachyderm pals bidding adieu with a salute. But like all good things even the Great Elephant March must come to an end-To make it easy for you is a seaside barbecue and a fireworks display. Leaving you with some unforgettable memories and a never before story to entertain your grandchildren
The colourful festival of Onam is an attraction for thousands of people within Kerala and outside the state. The state Government itself has taken the initiative to celebrate Onam season as tourist festival with the motive of attraction tourists. Various cultural forms, old and new, are presented in all-important towns in the state during the festival.
In Trivandrum, the tourism department organises 10days long Tourism festival during the Onam season. Many venues will be open with tradditional art orms and ends with a cultural parade with elephants and floats. It's lot of fun and excellent opportunity to be a part of a great festival.
In Trichur, a vibrant procession with resplendently caparisoned elephants is taken out. There is magnificent display of fireworks. The temple at Trikkakkara (where the legend of Mahabali is beautifully depicted) is one of the major attractions of the Kerala's festivities.
The Vallamkali (boat race) is one of the main attractions of Onam. Some of the sites famous for these races are Aranmula on the Pamba river in the Kuttanad region, Papiyad near Quilon, and Thayathangadi near Kottayam.
One remarkable thing about Onam is that it is celebrated by all, not only Hindus but also by Christians and Muslims who are living in Kerala. It is one festival that unites all people regardless of race and religion.
Location: 2 km from the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple,Thrissur District.
Visiting hours: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Over forty elephants are groomed at the Punnathur kotta ( kotta means 'fort'). Many elephants are brought as ritual offering to the temple. You can spend a whole day with these huge mammals here.
Watching the naughty baby elephants' playful antics is an entertaining experience. The place provides you an opportunity to watch how the sick elephants are medically treated in the traditional manner. One can also watch the training given to the elephants for various ritualistic performances.
Remember you are in the land where people worship the elephant-faced god Lord Ganapathy.Grooming elephants was considered a status symbol. With the decay of the joint family system, supporting elephants became a financial burden for many families.Gradually various temple managements took the charge of looking after these animals.Anyhow, even today elephants play a key role in Kerala's fairs and festivals.
Getting there:Guruvayoor is about 32 km from Thrissur town.
Nearest railway station : Guruvayoor station is at a walkable distance from the shrine.
Nearest airport : Cochin International Airport, about 58 km from Thrissur town.
Kumarakom North Post, Kumarakom, Kerala, 686 566, India
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