Water bus, the new boat service in the Vyttila-Kakkanad sector was inaugurated a couple of days back by the Union Minister K V Thomas. Water Bus, operated by the Kerala State Water Transport Department, set off on its maiden trip from the newly built jetty near the Vytilla Mobility Hub. The boat has the capacity to carry 8 bikes and 50 passengers.
The service will be a boon for those who work in Kakkanad /Infopark as the timings are fixed in such a way that it suits the office goers. The boat will reach the jetty, near InfoPark, in 30 minutes whereas the buses take around 45 minutes.The fare from Vyttila-Kakkanad trip is fixed at Rs. 8 and there will be seven daily services, the first in the morning being at 9.30 am.
The boat service is expected to take off a considerable load from the choked roads leading to Kakkanad. Boat service is way cheaper and faster alternative to the crowded buses that ply in this route. “Proper boat jetties with ample parking space must be built on the way to Kakkanad. SWTD must also recruit 15 crew members to man the sister vessel that is ready to operate in hub-Kakkanad sector,” said Benny Behanan, MLA.
“Our aim is to introduce catamaran-type fibre-reinforced-plastic boats, which are delivered within a few months of the order being placed. Being lighter and faster than steel boats, they can cover the Vyttila-Kakkanad distance in 12 minutes,” Elias George, MD of KMRL and Chairman of Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). said.
Inland navigation, which can make travelling within Kerala a lot more faster and congestion free holds a tremendous potential and Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has drawn up a Rs 40-crore project for the purpose. There are many viable water routes that can be explored and developed like for instance the Kollam-Kottapuram National Waterway III can make a potential cargo transportation route whereas a boat service from Poothotta to Cochin city will go a long way in decongesting the city during peak morning hours as buses take around 90 minutes to cover a distance of just 22 Km due to the pitiable condition of the roads and traffic bottle necks!
Photo Courtesy: RouteCochin.com
Better known as papanasam beach,Varkala beach is the only one of its type in southern Kerala that has rocky cliffs jutting right into the sea, which makes it dramatically beautiful. The bright hued sand and the ancient Janardanaswamy temple nearby adds up to the charm of this quiet and isolated sandy beach .
The online travel meta search engine of Trivago says that Varkala is one among the five affordable Indian tourist destinations and is in the 28th position in the world list of tourist destinations that can visited on a budget. Munnar is the other destination in Kerala that occupies the 60th position in the chart. The other Indian destinations include Nashik at the 21st position, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan at 41st and Alibaug in Maharashtra at the 56th position.
The ‘Best Value Index’ is calculated based on various factors including the yearly average overnight price of a standard double room and overall hotel reputation from over 82 million traveller reviews. The spots thus chosen will be world’s best in terms of delivering the best value for your money.
Nashik, which tops the list of affordable Indian destinations this year offers a night’s stay at Rs 5,665.
Morocco’s Ait Benhaddou was voted as the first among the top 100 ‘Best Value Index’ destinations in the world where an overnight stay in a standard double room in the city can cost a visitor an average Rs 3,551.
The price-comparison website of Trivago has a monthly user base of 18 million people over its 30 international platforms. The index has been compiled according to the reviews and preferences of the users of the search engine.
Varkala beach, located between Alappuzha and Kovalam in a photographer’s delight as it offers the most spectacular sunsets at the backtrop of the towering rocky cliffs and swaying palm trees.
So in case you are planning a memorable holiday experience that wont leave a hole in your wallet, then head straight to Varkala. Apart from a beach holiday it will also offer you the best of ayurveda and spiritual experience.
The prince and his entourage enjoyed the heavy downpower from deep inside the forests and the beauty of the bountiful waterfalls in Vazhachal.
Later he met the tribals who live in the periphery of the tropical forests and enquired about their food habits and mode of living.
The Prince spent around 40 minutes in the elephant corridor and was curious to know about the unique flora and fauna of the region. He also spared time to interact with the forest range officials and other senior officials of Wildlife Trust of India and other forest conservation organizations.
The authorities also introduced snake charmer Vava Suresh to the prince, who has the rare distinction of capturing over 250000 snakes till date including king cobra with bare hands and releasing them to the wild. Elephant lover Thadikannan, traditional botanist Mari and wildlife expert S Guruvayurappan also met prince Charles.
The villagers of teh otherwise sleepy villages near vazhachal accorded a rousing reception to the visiting Prince in a traditional style when his convoy passed through the area.
Image courtesy : Mail Online
Kerala has been rated as one of the 10 best travel destinations for family for 2014. Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide book publisher gave this prestigious award to Kerala at World Travel Mart in London, attended by representatives from the tourism industry from all over the world .
Kerala was put in fourth position among the top 10 overseas family destinations by Lonely Planet while the first three positions were bagged by Denmark, Thailand and Belize. The other child-friendly destinations in this prestigious league include New York City, Hawaii, Prague, Italy and Iceland.
The World Travel Mart that was held from 4-7 November 2013 attracted a huge crowd of visitors and delegates. Some of the dignitaries who visited the WTM Kerala pavilion that had been themed on the Ayurveda included Jonty Rhodes, the former South African international cricket player and brand ambassador for South African Tourism.
“The intensity of travel in India could put you off taking a trip here with family, but Kerala is a family-friendly version, more laid back than other regions, greener, slower paced. There are also lots of national parks for elephant spotting, palm fringed beaches and boat trips along the lush canals of the backwaters,” The Lonely Planet said.
The award function which was held in London has a special significance for Kerala considering the fact that Britain is one of the most important markets for Kerala tourism industry, Kerala had recorded a footfall of over 1.5 lakh tourists from Britain last year.
The coveted award was received from the Lonely plant by the Kerala Tourism director S. Harikishore. “With the British economy registering the fastest growth in the last three years in the previous quarter, the mood at the World Travel Mart hosted by London was upbeat” opined Harikishore.
The Kerala delegation included 12 co-exhibitors from the hospitality segment of the state. The annual event of the WTM, London is feted as one of the premium most travel and tourism events in the world. Over 5,000 exhibitors from 184 countries and different regions attended this year’s WTM.
Kannur in Kerala gets the rare distinction of being the first district in India where every family owns a piece of land.
“It is a historic step. Every family of landless poor in the district is going to get three cents of land for building a house,” Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said while declaring Kannur as India’s first landless-free district.
He urged all states to emulate the example of Kerala in distribution of land, saying it requires “political will and hard decisions”.
The ambitious project has already chalked out the list of beneficiaries who will get state and central government aid to construct houses under Indira Awaas Yojana.
Though the national land reform policy stipulates that every landless person should be provided 10 cents of land to construct a house, that allocation was not possible in Kerala due to shortage of available land in the state.
Considering the tough task for the state administration to spot adequate land, this project becomes a laudable effort, which will indeed make Kerala a role model for other states in the country.
While the recorded tourist foot falls in Kerala during the year was 4.2 lakh, it jumped to about 8 lakh during 2012 , recording a spectacular growth rate of over 85% during the period.
During the past 6 years, many major international hotel chains became operational in Kerala, which created 30 to 40 percent growth in hotel rooms. It is interesting to note that many tourist destinations in North Kerala like Bakel and Wayanad, which also emerged as major tourism destinations during the period .
All the major tourist spots in Kerala are likely to come under CCTV surveillance soon. The Police Department will set up a surveillance system in tourist spots across the state and a fund of 2 crore has been sanctioned by the Home Department for this purpose.
CCTV cameras will be installed in 20 tourist spots that are popular among foreign and domestic travelers. These will be connected to the nearest police stations and an advanced patrolling vehicle would also be purchased for the tourist police. This advanced surveillance mechanism is expected to counter the increasing number of crime cases against the tourists.
The installation of CCTV will be taken up in different phases and in the first phase all the important tourist places would be covered. The second phase will ensure CCTV surveillance in all tourist destinations across the length and breadth of Kerala. It is expected that this ambitious project would be completed by March 2014.
Some tourist places like Fort Kochi, Kollam and Mattancherry are already under electronic surveillance and the police could bring to book many culprits using this surveillance mechanism. Apart from enhancing the security cover for the tourists, this mechanism has enabled the police to comb the entire Fort Kochi area from their control room without having to do extensive patrolling.
Unlike many other tourist destinations, Kerala has always been a safe and peaceful destination for tourists. The CCTV surveillance will surely add up to the safety credentials of God’s own country in the days ahead.
The butterfly park in Thumburmuzhi near Chalakudy river in Kerala has been selected by National Institute of Agro-biological Sciences, a premier research institute in Japan to conduct a detailed research on the butterfly species in India. Located at the foothills of the Western Ghats, this butterfly park has over 180 different species of butterflies.
The study will focus on the behavioural pattern of butterflies, host plants, food habits, and swallowtail butterflies. Spread over 10 acres near the fabled Athirapilly waterfall, this butterfly park has been a huge hit among butterfly enthusiasts from far and wide. The spectacular sight of the lush green rain forests on either side of the garden makes it a feast to the eyes of the visitors.
The Japanese researchers have offered technical guidance to increase the butterfly population in the park by planting special host plants. The Thumbormuzhi butterfly park is home to a few endangered species of butterflies like Papilio Buddha and Moonlight butterfly, along with a range of colourful winged insects.
Selecting the Thumburmuzhi butterfly garden by the Japanese team is a matter of pride as this will attract attention from butterfly enthusiasts and research institutes from all over the world.
As a draft notification declaring 60,000 sq km, or 37%, of the the Western Ghats as ecologically sensitive area (ESA) is about to be issued shortly, initiatives like these assume greater significance.
Kerala is evolving as a dream destination for themed weddings in the league of Rajasthan and Goa. Though it is a fairly new concept among the local populace, destination weddings are bringing in a steady stream of foreign couples to God’s own country.
From post card pretty beaches to pristine backwaters, lagoons and hill stations- Kerala has all the frills of a wedding destination of world order. Kerala has enough and more to offer to those who are fancying something truly different on their wedding day.
There are many event management firms that offer exceptional themes and novel concepts for prospective couples. Kerala is famous for its natural themed wedding options that are held in hill station resorts, sprawling plantations or the sandy coastline of Kerala. House boat parties are also catching up the attention of party makers as it is a perfect party idea for big groups who can enjoy a night out in the backwaters without compromising on the modern day luxuries.
The excellent air connectivity of Kerala is another big plus for the tourists as it is well connected with all major airports around the world. Being a small state, Kerala is easy to explore and all it takes is a day for the tourists to travel from one end to the other of this South Indian state ! Couples can choose from various themes like traditional and modern and the best part is that all the back up services like florists , entertainment companies, photographers, priests and decorators are all available within an ear shot.
Though most of the themed wedding requests in Kerala are from European clients,the themed wedding concept is also getting popular among Indian couples. Considering the huge popularity of Kerala as a themed wedding destination, the day will not be far away when Kerala becomes an alternate wedding destination to Malaysia, Thailand, and Bali.