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Old 12th February 2011, 23:13   #1
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Default Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

Newbie Warning
This is my first ever travelogue/writing in any kind of Forum or Blog. Apologize for any mistakes and feedback and suggestions are Welcome. I would like to Thank the community for all the valuable and genuine information.

Trip Details
Destination – Chennai to Guruvayoor and then Alleppey
Mode of Travel – Train
Tour Agenda – Annaprasanam or Choorunu (first solid meal eating ceremony of my 8 month old baby boy) at Guruvayoorappan Temple and a small vacation trip in Houseboat at Alleppey
Trip Participants – Me, My Wife and our son – hereafter will be referred as Kutty Chetan

Here is the Teaser.
Attached Thumbnails
Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0446.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0505.jpg  


Last edited by Ananthang : 12th February 2011 at 23:18. Reason: Removed Copy Paste errors
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Old 12th February 2011, 23:27   #2
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Default Re: Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

First of all my best wishes and prayers for Kutty Chetan on his annaprasanam and must say its is a good start with the lovely waterway pictures.

Looking forward to the compleate story.
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Old 13th February 2011, 00:05   #3
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Trip Planning:
The idea for the trip started with one of our friends who visited us during Diwali told us that he completed Choorunu function for his daughter at Guruvayoorappan Temple and wife caught on this point and wanted to do a similar ceremony for our Kutty Chetan too. We were running really bad on Vitamin M, and this trip could be a big hit and some sacrifices in other areas.
But I don’t have a option here as the Manager has decided and thus we plan for a auspicious day in Feb which is 6 or 7th for the ceremony. Since we had a small baby we decided to take First Class 2 person Coupe (no AC - Vit M comes into play ) and booked our tickets by 1st week of Dec with starting date as 5th Feb 2011 and returning back on 7th Feb 2011. We got confirmed First Class tickets for the trip journey (Chennai to Thrissur).
Next phase was planning the itinerary and we had no clue on how to arrange or plan as this the first time we are doing this for a kid in our family and our first ever trip to Kerala. So we thought we can call up for friend to get more information. There, our first drama unfolds, this guys is not sure about the procedure, and on asking him how he did for his daughter, he dropped the first bomb that he did the function at a Guruvayoorappan temple at Nanganallur in Chennai. On checking this monetarily benefitting option, it was rejected straight away.

Initial plan was to reach Guruvayoor on 6th Feb morning and take a room. Freshen up go to temple and do advance booking for Choorunu and then take a cab to Athirapally falls, Chalakudi. Next day complete the ceremony, visit local temples and reach Thirussur by 4.30 PM. At Thrissur we also wanted to visit another temple called Vadakunathar temple and board train at 7.00 PM.
By second week of Jan, my wife starts talking about extending the trip by one more day and to visit some other place in Kerala. I cancel that of saying we should not strain the baby and also Vitamin M factor played role. Somehow she convinced me to extend the trip 27th Jan and by 11.00 PM, I got myself fully convinced to extend the trip. Secretly I also had the desire to extend, so it was a easy job for her

We finalize on 2D/1N trip in Houseboat at Alleppey. I login to IRCTC to check for availability of return ticket to Chennai from Alleppey. Luckily there were 2 tickets available on 8th night to Chennai and when I start to book, my Internet connection is lost. Next morning once I reach office, I booked the tickets and cancel the previous day return tickets.
I also started a thread in Travel Queries section to get some recommendation for stay at Guruvayoor and travel options to Alleppey. Thanks to Ajith, Binaiks, Ranjitp1, Ampere and Backseatdriver and based on their suggestions, I booked hotel Bhasuri Inn at Guruvayoor and booked train from Thrissur to Alleppey on 7th Feb.

All set and we anxiously waited for the Day counting days like kids.

Last edited by Ananthang : 13th February 2011 at 00:09.
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Old 13th February 2011, 03:04   #4
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Default Re: Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

Best wishes to Kutty Chetan and God bless him.

Nice travelogue. Waiting for pics.
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Old 13th February 2011, 03:56   #5
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Default Re: Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

Good job you didnt ask your friend about the temple location before finalising. I guess it was destined for Kutty Chetan's ceremony to be conducted in Guruvayoor.
Can we also call him chota chetan?
How was the rail journey? the last time I saw an AC train coach, there were cockroaches running around
We are waiting for the pics

Last edited by selfdrive : 13th February 2011 at 03:58. Reason: spelling
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Old 14th February 2011, 10:49   #6
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Finally the day arraived; my wife had booked a cab the previous day through our maid at 7.00 PM. The train timing was 9.15 PM. Kutty Chetan was also behaving nicely and we were ready by 7.00 PM.

We even packed idlies for our dinner. The maid came and told that her grandson’s cab is stuck up in traffic and it will not make it anytime now. I call up some Taxi service and they all ask for minimum 45 mins wait time. At 7.30 PM, we decided to take an auto to the station which is around to 30 kms from our place. Luckily, we got a Fast Track Call taxi which had dropped somebody in our apartment. He claims it will take good one and a half hour to reach the station that means we will reach station on the dot. We got caught up in traffic at Velachery junction and going through nervous moments. Wife is already talking about other means of reaching Guruvayoor. But traffic eased out a bit after Saidapet and we reached station by 9.00 PM. We paid him 350 from Medavakkam to Chennai Central. The reading was Rs. 341.00. We rushed through. I was little afraid that usually the First class will be near the Engine or at the last. Luckily it was at the last, and near to the entrance into the platform.

Suddenly we realized that Kutty Chetan is crying vigourously, I think he must have got confused with all the crowd, noise etc. We got into our Coupe, yes it is a two person Coupe and we tried to console our guy. Being first time travelers and also alone, we were really confused and tensed. It took us close 30 mins to settle him. With all this pre-occupied in my mind, I did not have the mood to take my camera out to click some pics. It was clean and toilets were also very clean. I did not see any cockroaches or insects. The walls and boards were also clean and I also saw the swipe marks of the wet cloth on them.
Wife and Kutty chetan settled in the lower birth and I moved to upper birth. We closed all the windows and made sure that Kutty chetan is warm and well covered. It was getting very cold in the night and I switched off the fans also by 1.00 AM. I got up when the train reached Palaghat around 5.50 AM and I was told by the TTE that the train is running 20 mins late.
We reached Thrissur around 7.30 AM and immediately took a cab to Guruvayoor. They charged me Rs. 500/- for the drop (for 30 Kms). I was told that it is a standard rate and my hotel quoted the same amount when I asked them over the phone on the day of booking. We reached the hotel in 30 mins and checked in at Bhasuri Inn.
Some information about the hotel – Double bed AC Room costed 1100/- net and it was neat and clean. The only problem we faced is availability of Hot water. On the first day we checked at 8.30 AM hot water was not available. When we called them up, we were told that Hot water will be available only between 3.00 AM and 8.00 AM. On insisting that we have a function for a kid, they gave hot water in a Bucket. Me and my wife adjusted with the normal water. Second day we got up 6.00 AM and after getting 2/3 buckets, the hot water stopped. Upon calling the reception, it came for another 2 buckets and stopped again. I was really irritated with the system, gave my piece of mind while checking out. I would recommend this hotel for stay, only if you are not bothered about hot water. If you have kids, I would suggest Elite (budget) or Kannoos residency or Krishna Inn.
Positives – Clean and just opposite to the Bus stand and 5 to 7 minutes walk to the temple. It had two restaurants and we tried the Veg restaurant for the dinner and it was good. Food and ambience are decent.
After completing our morning chores, we started to the Guruvayoorappan temple by 11.00 AM. Me ready for the darshan with Dhoti, just second time in my life. First was during our wedding.

Kutty chetan had a small nap by the time we got ready.
We walked to the temple and saw a long queue. We were told that it would take 3 hrs. But we had previously decided to check for Annaprasanam first hence we enter the temple through one of the exits and go around the temple. On checking about annaprasanam booking at the office for next day, we were told that there is no advance booking. We were also told that we could do the same in the evening or tomorrow but tickets need to be purchased at the time of function. They also estimated more crowds the next day and recommended Sunday evening. Since we also had 9.30 AM train to Alleppey the next day, we also decided the do the function on Sunday itself.
They had closed the darshan by now and we started back to the hotel. We had our lunch at the inhouse restaurant of Elite. If I remember correctly, it was Surabhi Restaurant. After lunch we were supposed to go to Chalakudi and return back by 6.00 PM for darshan. At 8.00 PM the evening session of Annaprasanam starts. After lunch, we decide to have a nap and cancel the trip to Indian niagra (Athirapalli Falls). The overnight journey and heavy lunch takes the toll and we hit the bed. Kutty chetan is wide awake, very active and playing, he was between us but our eyes lids dropped and we slept automatically. When we got up, Kutty Chetan was sleeping, which gave us time to get ready for the temple peacefully.
Our plan is to get the Annaprasanam token first and join the queue for darshan. We started to temple around 4.00 PM and we carried Kutty chetan in the baby carriage bag and people around were looking at us as if it was very new to them and surprised. We went to a restaurant in the Krishna Inn hotel had Hot coffee and some bhajjis.
After the high tea, we walked our way to the temple. At the devaswom office, we were told that after the function, mother and child can go for a darshan directly. As it was crowded, we decided to have darshan in the morning and complete Annaprasanam alone for Sunday. We decided to visit local temples and Annakotte (Place where temple elephants are kept and maintained)
We took a auto for Rs.90/- to take us to Annakotte and drop us back at Guruvayoor temple. I will let the pictures do the talking from here on.
Sorry about boring you guys with so much writing.
Attached Thumbnails
Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0348.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0402.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0373.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0374.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0377.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0379.jpg  

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Old 14th February 2011, 12:06   #7
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Default Re: Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

Nice pics and a detailed write up ! How about some pics of the temple surroundings too ?
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Old 14th February 2011, 12:47   #8
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Default Re: Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

I thought first class Non-AC is extinct! Is it still there?
I would love to take that.
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Old 14th February 2011, 13:05   #9
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Default Re: Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

God bless Kutty Chetan. Interesting travelogue. Keep it coming..
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Old 14th February 2011, 15:32   #10
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Some more pics.

Pic 1 - Elephants being bathed by 2 or 3 persons.
Pic 2 to 3- The Pond which we usually see with high density of Green Algaes, for some reason was Empty with sludge. OTR guys make note of this place
Pic 4 to 5 - Getting free Pedicure and watch the tool
Attached Thumbnails
Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0384.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0390.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0391.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0392.jpg  

Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue-dscn0393.jpg  

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Old 14th February 2011, 18:49   #11
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Default Re: Guruvayoor and Alleppey Trip – A Newbie Travelogue

Loved the elephant snaps. I can never tire of watching them and taking snaps of these animals which are very common in Kerala.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive
How was the rail journey? the last time I saw an AC train coach, there were cockroaches running around
I travel by overnight train every alternate weekend and IMO cockroaches are OK - you can stomp on them and be done with. I have seen mice running around the cabin - gives me the creeps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere
I thought first class Non-AC is extinct! Is it still there?
I would love to take that.
Still exists on some trains. It is mutually exclusive to AC-1st Class - a train will have either FirstClass or FirstAC - not both. And I agree it is the best way to travel, especially if you are with friends or family.

Last edited by Technocrat : 15th February 2011 at 01:44. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old 14th February 2011, 23:34   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Phrangmung View Post
First of all my best wishes and prayers for Kutty Chetan on his annaprasanam and must say its is a good start with the lovely waterway pictures.

Looking forward to the compleate story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by idlebrain View Post
Best wishes to Kutty Chetan and God bless him.

Nice travelogue. Waiting for pics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
God bless Kutty Chetan. Interesting travelogue. Keep it coming..
Thanks a lot for the wishes San Phrangmung, gd1418 and Idlebrain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Good job you didnt ask your friend about the temple location before finalising. I guess it was destined for Kutty Chetan's ceremony to be conducted in Guruvayoor.
Can we also call him chota chetan?
How was the rail journey? the last time I saw an AC train coach, there were cockroaches running around
We are waiting for the pics
Thanks Self drive. My wife has kept lot of names for him, we could add Chota Chetan also to it. Even kutty chetan was her find only. Rail journey was good, except it got very cold late in the night. We were little luckily and did not have ay such problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannan666 View Post
Nice pics and a detailed write up ! How about some pics of the temple surroundings too ?
Thanks Kannan. Since we are not supposed to carry Camera, Mobiles we did not take any. It was buzzling with activity though. Off Topic, even we are not supposed to take Leather Wallets or belts inside the temple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Loved the elephant snaps. I can never tire of watching them and taking snaps of these animals which are very common in Kerala.

I travel by overnight train every alternate weekend and IMO cockroaches are OK - you can stomp on them and be done with. I have seen mice running around the cabin - gives me the creeps.

Still exists on some trains. It is mutually exclusive to AC-1st Class - a train will have either FirstClass or FirstAC - not both. And I agree it is the best way to travel, especially if you are with friends or family.
Thanks Supremebaleno. Even I love elephants, other place where I got so close is Dubare Elephant camp in Coorg. Lovely giants they are.

The house boat in which we went, had mice running around. It also climbed to the other side of the false ceiling in our room and created noise by moving here and there on the ceiling

Last edited by Ananthang : 14th February 2011 at 23:46.
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Old 15th February 2011, 07:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Still exists on some trains. It is mutually exclusive to AC-1st Class - a train will have either FirstClass or FirstAC - not both. And I agree it is the best way to travel, especially if you are with friends or family.
Thanks need to figure this out. FC was always a preference as one can open the windows compared to AC in the non-winter times.
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Old 15th February 2011, 10:08   #14
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I wont be surprised if the Pedicure pic posted here is first of its kind in this forum.
We have seen enumerous elephant pics in this forum. But the pics here are really different.

Good stuff!!!
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Old 15th February 2011, 11:42   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ananthang View Post
By second week of Jan, my wife starts talking about extending the trip by one more day and to visit some other place in Kerala. I cancel that of saying we should not strain the baby and also Vitamin M factor played role. Somehow she convinced me to extend the trip 27th Jan and by 11.00 PM, I got myself fully convinced to extend the trip.
Dude, I highly suspect that you planted this idea in her mind . Anyway, nice start and great pics.
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