Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Day IV started out very well too – had the best tomato uttapam ever, for breakfast! Hee hee! We started off at 11 am or so for our next destination – PERIYAR TIGER RESERVE in THEKKADY. But first we went to the Allepey beach. It seemed to be much cleaner than the Bombay beaches. The sand was also a lighter shade, almost, but not quite, white.
We passed countless townships on our drive to Thekkady – Kumarakom, Kollum and a few others I cannot recall.
The whole of Kerala can be compared to the northern temple town of Varanasi, except in Kerala, there is a church at every corner you turn. Most were very intriguing looking buildings, the builders had crafted them with much imagination!
One thing I was thankful for on this journey was that neither were the mountainous roads terribly twisty-turny like the ones up north, nor were they isolated. I remember, some 8-10 years ago we had gone on a pilgrimage to Gangotri, Yamnotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. The highways between these places were so isolated that it was very, very depressing! We would see one car, bus or truck very few and far in between. I would actually be happy to see another vehicle on the road that is, when I was looking out the window and did not have my head buried in my mother’s lap!
Anyway, on the way to Thekkady we stopped at a waterfall by the roadside and took some pictures. The scenery was equally breath taking! We saw hilltops covered with clouds! It was just beautiful!!
One or two kilometers from the Periyar Tiger Reserve we stopped at HIGHLAND SPICE GARDEN. I was very excited to see spice plants as I’d never seen them before. We saw cardamom bushes (according to Ma raw cardamom tastes sweet), spearment, peppermint, jackfruits, different kinds of chilies, ginger, a natural insulin plant, kaveri coffee, lemon grass, capsicums. Ma bought a few spices for herself and some relatives, and mango pickle and honey for me.
We reached Aranya Nivas, our hotel, which is located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, at about 4:30-5:00 pm, famished yet again!
For dinner we had “Fried Fish Kerala-style”! It was simply scrumptious! So the end of Day IV was very good too!


AmitKen said...

"much cleaner than the Bombay beaches" .... ???

Cleanliness and Bombay Beaches dont get along. If there is one word which describes bombay beaches completely, it's "Filthy"

Phoenix Rises said...

I totally agree with you!! Bombayites have never ever even heard about the word "cleanliness"!! The beaches are not only dirty, but stinky as well as!