October 29, 2011
After a good night’s rest, we started early from Kottayam. Since it was the final day of our trip and also the weather being much hotter and humid in the plains, we decided to take it easy and restrict ourselves to places in and around Kottayam.
Our first destination was the famous Krishna temple at Ambalapuzha. The temple is 60 kms from Kottayam city. But it is just a 15 km drive, if you are staying at the backwater haven of Alleppey. We reached the temple at around 11 am, driving through beautiful backwater scenery, especially the stretch from Changanassery to Alleppey. The temple is famous for Paal Paayasam, a traditional sweet delicacy offered to the devotees everyday after darshan. We had a quick darshan since there was only a limited crowd. But unfortunately we couldn’t get a taste of the Paal paayasam, since it was due to be delivered to the pilgrims at only around 1 pm.
We next moved into Alleppey town and headed straight to the Boat jetty. This was the first time my wife was coming to Alleppey and though we hadn’t planned any boat rides, I wanted her to have a look at the variety of houseboats being lined up to cater to the needs of the tourists. The boat rides through the famous backwaters would have to be done another day, preferably with a bigger group.
Alleppey beach beckoned us and we reached there in the scorching mid-day sun at 1 pm. We didn’t spend much time at the beach because of the extreme heat. We started looking around for a nice restaurant for lunch and the local suggestions led us to Hassan Restaurant, just half a km from the beach, on the way towards the town centre. We had delicious Chicken Biryani and rice with fish curry. After a hearty lunch, we drove back to Kottayam, passing through the picturesque locations of Kumarakom with the Vembanad lake and its adjoining five-star resorts on one side of the road and fertile farmlands on the other side. We couldn’t visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary because of the lack of time.
At Kottayam we did some shopping, checked out and reached Railway station, boarded our train and reached Tiruppur the next morning at 3 am. And thus ended a highly satisfying Diwali trip, where we were fortunate to witness the abundant beauty of Kerala through its dams, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, temples, backwaters and beaches.