January 6, 2015

Dal Roti Indian restaurant @ Fort Kochi

A place you get authentic Indian food with Western influence. I should say everything I tried from this home converted restaurant till now took my taste buds to heaven.
The sweet Lassies made in house here are the best you could get in Kerala. The menu is limited but they make sure what they keep on your table wows you.

Wraps are signature dishes offered here. There are all kinds of wraps veggie, chicken, tandoori etc. If you are confused with the menu just ask Ramesh or Kalpana to help. We strongly recommend Sweet Lassi with your meal.

We feel that everything is rightly priced and served clean. Make sure you specially ask for spicy options if that's what you are looking for.

November 5, 2014

Rajamala and Nilgiri tahrs of Eravikulam National Park

The Nilgiri tahr is found only in the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu. The habitat of the tahr is exposed to pressures from human disturbances such as uncontrolled cattle grazing, fuel wood collection, as well as interference due to illegal tourism activities and occasional poaching. As a result, the tahr populations are stressed and do not have access to foraging grounds during the day. Further, the habitat is also shrinking as certain areas are getting diverted for human use.

This was my third visit to Eravikulam national park in Sep 2014. Lot of things had changed since my last visit in 2003 (and before that in 1999) when we had to trek all the way up to the top. Now visitors will be transported up hill which had saved our valuable 2-3 hours and at the same time reduced the environmental impact in Rajamala tremendously by making sure there are no illegal trash disposals and threat to the animals.

On the route you can enjoy the greenery of the tea plantations and streams of water cascading over the rocky mountains from some where behind the clouds.

When you reach up you will be welcomed by groups of tahrs, which also was better compared to previous visits when we had to struggle to see even one or two.

I always found tahrs lying on the steep rocks and they have special skills for climbing up and down the cliffs.

As per the Wildlife census conducted by Kerala forest department in association with volunteers from College of Forestry & Veterinary Science under Kerala Agricultural University, from April 24-28, 2014, number of animals in Eravikulam National Park has increased to 894 individuals. This is the highest ever count recorded in the national park, with the first census in 1996 finding only 640 Tahrs The Nilgiri Tahrs are stocky goats with short, coarse fur and a bristly mane. Males are larger than the females, and have a darker color when mature. Both sexes have curved horns, which are larger in the males, reaching up to 40 centimetres (16 in) for males and 30 centimetres (12 in) for females. Adult males weigh 80 to 100 kilograms (180 to 220 lb) and stand about 100 centimetres (39 in) tall at the shoulder.

September 14, 2014

Kanan Devan Tea Museum of Munnar

The first of its kind in India, the Kanan Devan Tea museum attracting hundreds of visitors every day is located at the beautiful Nullatani estate just 3 kms  (5 mins drive) from Munnar town. We kept this as the last item in our itinerary because of 2 reasons, one; it is a museum and two; we thought we know everything about tea already.

The tea museum tour begins with a 30 min documentary about its history and the tea plantation culture of Munnar. It was an interesting presentation covering the history of Munnar as such from early 18th century. The later acquisitions of the company were really interesting from Finlay to Tatas and then the birth of KDHP. You can read more details here. Today KDHP own 85% of the total tea plantations in Munnar.

After the documentary was a session by one of the experts about the tea making process and the health benefits of tea. The way he explained how to make a perfect tea and how to drink it too, made us all silent for couple of seconds. All of a sudden we got a new sense out of the 3 letter word TEA, and whatever we knew all these years about tea just changed over an hour. Amazing bunch of information, we are going to take it going forward.

That moment we felt sorry to disregard this in the beginning. Now we strongly recommend a visit to the museum which takes a couple of hours at the most. There is an outlet were you can also purchase fresh produces of KDHP. If you are planning to visit make sure you reach there before 4 PM that is when the last batch of factory visit begins.

It also offers nice view of the tea plantation hills.

September 13, 2014

Cheeyappara Waterfalls on Kochi - Munnar highway

The cheeyappara waterfalls on the Kochi - Munnar highway between Neriamangalam and Adimali is a visual treat to all the tourists heading Munnar.

Flowing down a rocky slope in 7 step cascades this waterfalls will look best during and after monsoon months (Jun - Sep). You can walk under the falls and get wet only if the conditions permit, but its still a long way to Munnar and there are no changing rooms around.

From cheeyapara you start to feel the hills and forest towards Munnar and the temperature start to fall as you go up. The place is also famous for landslides during monsoons, one such incident took life of 3 in 2013. It is advised to verify the weather reports and alerts before you start.

May 11, 2014

KTDC Water Scapes Resort Kumarakom

When one of my friend mentioned about this KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation) resort, I wasn't really sure about staying here for a night. We Indians have a negative attitude towards any Govt run institution mainly because the service levels are always below standards.

But I must say that Water Scapes resort at Kumarakom was surprisingly well maintained for a government run resort. They have the lowest fair (40 - 50% less) in the locality, which gives a feeling of insecurity while booking. But the place is so close to nature, well designed and well kept.

The restaurant built over a water body gives a good view of the water and house boats. The quality of the food served here was also very good and the complementary break fast provided was one of the best I have seen in this segment.

Santhigiri Ayurvedic Spa is also available in the facility and is also very affordable compared to other locations.


1) Uniquely designed huts built over water canals.
2) Best lake view you can get in Kumarakom.
3) Very close to nature, this resort is connected to the bird sanctuary.
4) A deck extending to the lake were you can enjoy the sunset and sunrise.


1) Bathrooms are not at par
2) Steps to the cottages are bit rusted, but painted to avoid any direct contact.
3) The canals inside the property are not well maintained.

The below snap shows one of the low cost resort, which itself is very good and connected closely with nature.

View of the resort from Lake. There are various boating options available for you. The resort has few small boats which you can opt for an hour or two trip in the lake.

KTDC Water Scapes Kumarakom

Watching house boats from the balcony of my cottage.

When I came out in the morning there were 100s of fishermen boats in the lake finishing their catch of the day

This is not a paid/sponsored review.

January 1, 2014

Whom to contact in the case of distress? Kerala Police Tourist Alert Service

Kerala Tourist Alert: 9846 300 100
Kerala Highway Police: 9846 100 100

A large number of Tourists visit Kerala every year from various parts of India and abroad. The flow of Tourists is going up every year. Providing a sense of security to Tourists is one of the prime responsibilities of the Government, which will go a long way in improving the Tourism Sector and inflow of Tourists. One of the main problems that a Tourist in Kerala faces is “Whom to contact in the case of distress, and how to contact?”.

Considering the above aspects, our proposal for the implementation of a new system namely Tourist Alert Service, aimed at promptly attending the calls of Tourists at different Tourist locations, has already been approved by the Government. The “Tourist Alert Service” will be an additional service fully dedicated to the Tourists and will also use the help of Highway Police Patrols/ Flying Squads operating round-the-clock. In this system, a telephone number 9846 300 100 will be publicised, and any Tourist can contact this number (to be manned by Police) and seek guidance/assistance, which will be promptly provided.

Nearest Police station
Crime Stopper
Women HelplineWomen Helpline
Highway Alert
9846 100 100
Rail Alert
9846 200 100
SMS Centre
9497 900 000
child lineChild Line

December 28, 2013

Sun rise at Vagamon

Vagamon also known as the 'Scotland of Asia', was discovered by the British who found the place ideal for tea plantations. National Geographic Traveler has listed Vagamon on their directory of the '50 most attractive places to visit in India’. Vagamon is an ideal hideout for honeymooners and people who long for a relaxation.