It was the summer of 2012 and it was vacation time for everyone. So, I, my parents and my other relatives decided to go on a long trip to explore South India. It was decided and we started packing our bags for the trip. All was set, the railway tickets booked and we came to the Manmad Junction railway station around night to board our train to Goa.
Upon reaching Goa the next day, we booked some rooms at a lodge as we were going to stay there for a day only. Later in the morning, we hired a mini-bus to travel around Goa and went for sightseeing. We visited many beautiful Churches and Cathedrals and finally went to the beach. It was pretty serene and wonderful. Everyone enjoyed the beach and then we left in a hurry as we later had to go on to Karnataka. We decided to keep the mini-bus and went on.
Karnataka is a beautiful state with loads of mountains and jungles. As we were in South India, the food that we usually got around was Udupi only. This included Dosas, Idlis and Wada and especially Appam. I had never had Appam before and upon eating it, I found it to be pretty delicious. Apart from that, we also went to the Sharavati Wildlife Sanctuary. We had to board a ferry for this and it went across the lake based inside the jungle. It was pretty beautiful.
Later, we entered Kerala, also known as God’s own country. The spices that you get in Kerala are top notch and we bought loads. There are also many big shops of saris here and my mother and my aunts shopped for a few. Then we finally arrived at Cochin, booked our rooms and stayed over. From here, we went to Alappuzha, know famously as Alleppey backwater. Here, we hired a boat and went into the river to go around Alappuzha. It was a mesmerizing experience and all had a gala time. After coming back, we left for Trivandrum also known as Thiruvananthapuram which is the capitol of Kerala. More shopping for spices and then we at last we the last place we saw in Kerala was Munnar.
Munnar is hill station situated 1600 meters above the sea level. The mountain pass that we had to go through to reach Munnar had many sharp turns which really made is giddy until we reached the top. But all was worth it. The hills here are filled with totally lush green tea plantations! Also, the fog is so dense that we feel we are literally walking through clouds and the temperature is really very chilly. Of all the places I visited in South India, I liked Munnar the best.
After leaving Munnar, we finally reached Kanyakumari, which is a coastal city in the state of Tamil Nadu. By now, I had learned a few phrases of the languages spoken in South India. Kanyakumari was a nice place and we visited many temples here. After we were done with Kanyakumari, we went to Madurai to the famous Meenakshi temple. It was a wonderful temple built in the 17th century. We reallt had a great time here.
There were many places still left to see but our time and budget did not permit us to see these. The people here were really nice and helped a lot. It was almost a 14 day trip and I still would love to go back to see more of South India.