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Old 20th May 2024, 00:41   #1
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Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20240518_222858.jpg

I still don’t remember what triggered it. Maybe, it was the experience of COVID-19 period, or possibly the yearning to give company to a school friend posted in the interiors of Kerala against his preference (happens when you work for a large public sector bank). Perhaps, it was the desire to see his WR-V or maybe I just wanted to drive through the green countryside of Kerala, while he was there. Whatever it was, what eventually transpired was a four days memorable road trip through the scenic roads of Kerala with two of my school friends.

While being an impulsive decision, my friend’s (let’s call him banker) familiarity with Kerala resulted in a smooth road trip broadly as follows:

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-screenshot_20240519_151536.jpg

Day 1: Kochi International Airport (A) to Idukki (B); 125 KM / 4 hours; stay at friend’s place in Idukki
Day 2: Idukki (B) to Periyar National Park (C); 30 KM/ 1 hour; stay inside the National Park
Day 3: Periyar National Park (C) to Munnar (D); 100 KM/ 3 hours; stay in Munnar
Day 4: Munnar (D) to Kochi International Airport (A); 100 KM/ 3.5 hours

While the total distance covered during the four days was less than 400 KMs, the hilly terrain and narrow roads, for the most part, made the travel a time consuming affair. The WR-V made it very comfortable though, and the breathtaking scenery of the Western Ghats made the trip a memorable one.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516_14223901.jpeg

Summary of the trip

One other mutual friend and I arrived at Kochi International airport on the first day, where banker was ready with his WR-V for picking us up. We drove through the mesmerizing roads along the hills to reach a place called as Idukki, where banker was stationed.

From Kochi to Idukki
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-videocapture_2024051902122101.jpeg

Idukki is a place which lies amid the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats in Kerala. As per the Government of Kerala's website, and evident to us during the trip, Idukki has a vast forest reserve area which make it a stunning place. After reaching his place in Idukki we had a few light moments of catching up, cooking and eating together, and just chatting for a long time.

We started early next morning for Periyar Tiger Reserve, which was close by. This wildlife sanctuary is home to tigers and elephants, as well as rare lion-tailed macaques, sambar deer, leopards and Indian bison. I am not sure if we spotted these fantastic creatures, but what we realised was how truly spectacular the sanctuary was. I think our national parks are very underrated tourist destinations. Whether it be Gir in the West, Kanha in the East or Periyar in the south, and so many more across India; these national parks are truly worth exploring responsibly.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515_11002501.jpeg

Our car was allowed inside for some distance, after which we hopped on a ferry to cross the Periyar lake as the place where we were supposed to stay - Kerala Tourism Development Corporation's (KTDC) Lake Palace, was located on the other side, within the immense Tiger Reserve.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515_11320601.jpeg

We stayed at the beautiful property, explored the nearby areas and went on a namesake safari, which was again on a ferry.

KTDC Lake Palace
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20240521_082351.jpg

We were treated to some delicious Malayali cuisine. As they say, a trip in any part of India is incomplete without taking delight in the local cuisine. While hailing from North India, I have really enjoyed Malayali cuisine, whenever I have gotten a chance. Few years back, I had the greatest fortune of enjoying a Sadhya meal in a friend's wedding in Trivandrum. Sadhya is a feast consisting of a variety of traditional vegetarian dishes usually served on a banana leaf.

A Sadhya meal
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-sadya.png

After having well rested, we started for Munnar the next morning. We were already thoroughly impressed with the views we had encountered in the first two days. However, it wasn't enough it seems, as the journey to Munnar was through some of the most awe-inspiring roads in India which I have seen.

From Periyar to Munnar
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-to_munnar.jpeg

We reached Munnar just in time for lunch. By this time, we were slightly tired. We had lunch at KTDC Tea County, where we were staying, and amidst the cloudy weather we didn't want to venture out and decided to take some rest. In the evening we roamed around the beautiful property. It was really pleasing to note how amazing and well managed some of the KTDC properties are.

KTDC Tea County
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-hill-county.jpg

Next morning we started for Kochi International Airport. Once there, with a heavy heart, we bid goodbye to banker and to Kerala, and boarded our flights home; grateful for all the memories from God's own country.

Last edited by scorpi0N : 23rd May 2024 at 20:50.
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Old 20th May 2024, 15:16   #2
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re: Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Day 1: Arrival in Kochi and Onwards to Idukki

Landing in Kochi itself was a very pleasing experience, as Cochin International airport is very differently built than most airports in India. The airport incorporates elements of traditional Kerala architecture, which sets it apart from the typical glass based designs of many airports.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-cial_t.jpg
(Source: Wikipedia; Forgot to click a picture of the airport so borrowing it)

I caught up with my other friend who was coming from a different city at the airport while we walked outside, where banker was waiting with his WR-V to pick us up.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-wrv.jpg

As it was close to lunch time we went to a nearby restaurant and did a mistake of ordering biryani! Anyway, after lunch we started for Idukki and were immediately awed by the hilly roads of the Western Ghats.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-videocapture_2024052218544301.jpeg

The mesmerizing scenery made me forget about my real life and I was ready to settle in one of these houses along the way!

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-home.jpeg

The drive to Idukki, of about 125 KM, took us about 4 hours. It was evening by the time we reached banker's home, where we relaxed, cooked, ate and chatted for a long time.

Day 2: From Idukki to Periyar

Early morning the next day, we started for Periyar tiger reserve. The national park was about an hour away and we thorougly enjoyed each and every moment of the scenic drive.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20240520_025016.jpg

A light drizzle only made the ride more enjoyable.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515-1035340101.jpeg

The national park, located among the hills in western ghats, has a long history, with early efforts to preserve the wildlife in the area by local rulers starting about 80 years ago.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515_11005001.jpeg

We were allowed inside with our vehicle for some distance.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-videocapture_2024051911090901.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-videocapture_2024051911112901.jpeg

After which we were supposed to park the WR-V in front of this hotel, whose name I seem to have very conveniently forgotten.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515_111515.jpg

We were welcomed by this buddy and its group, who incidentally were the only animals which we saw up close during our entire stay at Periyar.
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515_111153.jpg

Banker told that he had booked the most coveted stay for us within the national park and as the place was located on an island we'd have to board a ferry to cross the lake and reach there.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515-11321001.jpeg

Crossing the Periyar lake was another highlight of our trip. Such serenity!

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-lake_1.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-lake_2.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-lake_3.jpeg

When we reached the other side to KTDC Lake Palace, we realised that banker wasn't kidding at all and the place really surpassed all my expectations. It was luxury with the local culture at heart.


We were treated with traditional Sadya cuisine for lunch. After which, we relaxed by the lake side.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220515_12151201.jpeg

And went on a namesake safari, which was more remarkable for the peaceful lake ride than spotting of wild life. I think we spotted a bison though, it seems (after zooming all that our average smartphones could manage). Isn't it?

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-namesake.jpg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-spotted.jpg

In the evening we again had some light moments over good food in the amazing place.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-night1.jpeg

Before calling it a night!

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-night2.jpeg


PS:

I think I had automatically clicked this without even thinking.

In its natural abode
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-perfectly_placed.jpeg

Last edited by scorpi0N : 23rd May 2024 at 21:46.
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Old 20th May 2024, 20:45   #3
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re: Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Day 3: Periyar to Munnar

Overnight the clouds had descended over the hills.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516_08011401.jpeg

After breakfast, we bid good bye to Periyar.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516-10342001.jpeg

And started our journey towards Munnar. The roads were no more narrow but smooth highway with breathtaking views.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516-14543701.jpeg


In fact, we had to stop just to appreciate...

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516-142314.jpeg01.jpeg

... the majestic view!

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516-14214001.jpeg



As we proceeded through the hills and elevation increased, dense clouds reduced the visibility of a section of the path to barely few meters.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-fog_144804.jpg


After half an hour or so, the fogs lifted and with visibility restored we continued towards Munnar.



Munnar was now visible to us.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516-15153901.jpeg

We encountered some traffic after entering Munnar and after a while reached another fascinating choice of banker - KTDC Tea County.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516_16500501.jpeg

We had lunch, but were too tired to venture out. Also the weather made us feel lethargic. So, we had a nap and in the afternoon roamed around the beautiful property.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-videocapture_2024052308304501.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516_17031301.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516_17000801.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516_17041601.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-image_171643336818901.jpeg
Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516-163045-2.jpeg

Day 4: Munnar to Kochi International Airport, and return

There is nothing much to write about the last day. It was a day of goodbyes. I bid goodbye to Munnar, to Kerala and to my friends. Grateful to them for stroll down the memory lane, and to Kerala for such a wonderful and memorable experience.

Epilogue: Attitude!

I found this picture in my dump, wasn't sure if I had clicked this. There is only one word which naturally came to my mind on seeing this "attitude"! There is only car in the market (up to 40L), I feel, posing next to which one can say this.

Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V-20220516-14175101.jpeg

I tried to convince banker to buy one, but he purchased WR-V instead. Great choice! And the car, with the diesel engine, showed it during the trip. Will I buy that car which I am talking about? I'm not sure. Maybe someday. But, for now X-pedition (Mahindra Scorpio-N Review) shall be enough!

Last edited by scorpi0N : 23rd May 2024 at 21:01.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 22:23   #4
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re: Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Moving the thread from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 24th May 2024, 00:33   #5
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re: Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Made for an enjoyable read. Thanks for posting this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpi0N View Post
After which we were supposed to park the WR-V in front of this hotel, whose name I seem to have very conveniently forgotten.
KTDC Aranya Nivas.

Quote:
When we reached the other side to KTDC Lake Palace, we realised that banker wasn't kidding at all and the place really surpassed all my expectations. It was luxury with the local culture at heart.
Used to be the summer palace of King of Travancore.
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Old 24th May 2024, 02:19   #6
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re: Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Wowww!! Beautiful travelogue and breathtaking scenery. Kerala is big on my bucket list.
Which month did you visit? The weather seems very inviting.
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Old 24th May 2024, 17:03   #7
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Re: Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpi0N View Post
Once there, with a heavy heart, we bid goodbye to banker and to Kerala, and boarded our flights home; grateful for all the memories from God's own country.
Beautiful pics. Kerala truly transforms after the rains, so this is perfect for traveling with good company. The Kerala "sadya" (banquet), in particular, is a veritable vegetarian feast. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the trip!
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Old 25th May 2024, 08:01   #8
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Re: Beautiful Kerala road-trip, in a Honda WR-V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy$Cars View Post
Wowww!! Beautiful travelogue and breathtaking scenery. Kerala is big on my bucket list.
Which month did you visit? The weather seems very inviting.
Thanks. We visited in May last year.
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