Thursday, 31 December 2015

Alleppey – The Venice of the East

DAY 1 – MUMBAI – KOCHI – ALLEPPEY

Flying down to Kerala
At last we were going on our vacation!! The planning had been on for the last 5 months. It was on 2nd October 2015, a Friday (and a national holiday), when we finally left Mumbai for our first transit destination – Kochi (also known as Cochin) which is a major port city on the south west coast of India .


Clouds from the Plane
Clouds from the Plane
It was a two hour flight and we were at Kochi’s airport by 1:30 pm. It was a sunny day and as soon we got out of the airport, we all were in the holiday mood…  Since we had not arranged any taxi, we booked a pre paid cab (a Toyota Etios – costing approx INR 2,100) from the airport itself. The first stop in our trip was Alleppey – The city of Backwaters.

While driving out from the airport we saw numerous solar panels… Later we came to know that the entire Kochi Airport is run on solar power (WOW!!!!). Since Alleppey was a 4 hour drive and we all were very hungry, we requested our driver to stop at a decent restaurant for lunch. The waiting charge of the cab was Rs. 90 per hour. After a decent meal of daal, raita, roti and papad we were again on our way to see the beautiful backwaters of Kerala.


Enroute Alleppey
Enroute Alleppey

The traffic was slow as Kochi Metro work is in progress. Once we were out of Kochi the drive was smooth and beautiful. The roads are smooth and the drive peaceful.

I had already booked our stay at Malayalam Resort in Alleppey which is located near the fishing point of the snake boat race. Our driver was not aware of our homestay and therefore we stopped over for directions.

Our homestay was situated such that no car could possibly reach at its door step. There was a pleasant twist!! Since the homestay was located by the backwaters, we had to go on a boat to reach Malayalam Resort. Once we reach the point by road closest to our homestay – Pramod & I walked down to the Lake Resort.

There we were greeted by the ever smiling Jeswin – manager of Malayalam Resort. We asked him how we can get our luggage and he pointed us to his very own sleek boat.


Alleppey Backwaters
Going to pick our luggage



We sat on the boat along with him and headed towards our car.  Once there, we put our luggage on the boat and sailed back to the homestay – Preeti and me on the boat along with Jeswin and Nikhil and Pramod walking along the narrow by-lanes.


Walk to the Resort
Walk to the Resort

It was a beautiful & a different experience. Something that I will always cherish. :) 

We were shown rooms on the ground floor as well as on the first floor. We choose rooms on the ground floor as they were cheaper and there was not much difference in the rooms and the view. The ground floor rooms naturally gave quicker access to the garden and back waters.


Wooden Cottages
Wooden Cottages

Our resort was simple yet beautiful. It was on the bank of the back waters. We could see the house boats floating on the back waters from our verandah. It felt very peaceful and close to nature. The rooms were entirely done in wood and spacious.

Once we had put our luggage in our rooms, we all sat in the verandah – just in front of our rooms overlooking the backwaters. We requested Jeswin for some coffee and were busy discussing with Jose places to see in Alleppey.

After having enjoyed the strong coffee we were all very eager to head for a body massage. Since it was dark by now and the walk from the main road to our resort very tricky we asked Jeswin for a torch.


View from Malayalam Lake Resort
View from the Resort

We walked down the road, enjoying the thin lanes of Alleppey, the road lined with coconut trees, road with hardly any traffic and soon we reached our massage center.

Three of us went for massage – Two of us opted for a relaxing full body massage lasting 60 mins costing Rs 1,200 per head, while one of us settled for a back and shoulder massage which took around 45 mins and made us Rs 500 lighter.

The thing with massage is Kerala is that they strip you out of clothes completely. To cover your dignity they give you a small piece of cloth (which serves no purpose). The second thing to keep in mind is that their oil massage is actually an OIL massage. Oil will be poured on you. Trust me you would not have applied so much of oil in your entire life by now.


Boating on the backwaters
Boating on the backwaters

Through with a relaxing massage and a relaxing warm water bath, we all walked down again to our resort. In between we picked up our dinner which we will eat at our resort. While going back we saw the sky – saw so many stars… felt as if they are smiling on us.

The homestay only provided us with breakfast. For lunch or dinner we had to inform them well in advance to cook for us. Since we hadn’t done that on our first day, we got some dinner parceled from one of the restaurants (which was nothing great) and borrowed a few plates from the resort. Post dinner we all chit chatted for a while and then decided to call it a day. 


Points to remember:

  •  If you want to visit Alleppey, then Kochi is the nearest airport.
  •  You can easily book a prepaid cab from the airport. The road between Kochi and Alleppey is nice.
  • Alleppey is a small place and does not require a car. One can easily hire an auto and move around.
  • Alleppey is known for its Backwaters. Don’t forget to enjoy this wonderful experience.
  • We stayed at Malayalam Resort in Alleppey and we strongly recommend it. You can contact Jeswin Thomas at 09633 48 0329 or mail them at malayalamresortsalpy@gmail.com 
  • Expense Details of the day:


Expense Head
For 4 People
Per Head
Flight Ticket from Mumbai to Kochi
            10,460
        2,615
Cab from Kochi Airport to Alleppey
              2,100
           525
Lunch at Kochi
                  450
           113
Waiting charge of cab during lunch
                    90
             23
Massage
              2,900
           725
Dinner
                  360
             90
Malayalam Resort (2 rooms)
              2,400
           600
TOTAL
            18,760
       4,690