I dunno the exact reason why Kerala is considered as “Gods own country”. It could be because of the almost equal populations of Muslims, Hindus and Christians; or it could be because of what you are realize as you read through this post!
Taking my first break from work at Morgan Stanley early December, I decided to take a holiday with my parents to the Andaman. As the air tickets were too costly and we did not plan way ahead, we decided to take a 5 day tour of Kerala. Now that sis, mom, dad and I stayed at four different places, we decided to meet at Chennai. We all flew to chennai on 12th Dec’09. I got the oppurtunity to see IIT (where i had fun for the past few years) again! We had an early morning flight on 13th morning to catch to Kochi/Ernakulam/Cochin.
We reached Kochi at around 10:00 Am in what was my first bi-plane looking flight. It was my first flight with the Mallya’s brand. We were treated with a mildly warm sun rays and a rush of cool breeze so gentle that you instantly fall in love with it! Dad had arranged for a vehicle for our entire trip. Surprisingly the driver spoke good English unlike at any other place in India. I then realized  i am in the state with 100% literacy rate.
We started off towards the nilgiris to munnar. We drove for about an hour and still there were houses all along the road! I asked the driver whether we were still in Cochin and to my surprise we were 100 kms away from kochi. Village after village, town after town, there was no end to this continuous line of houses on both sides of the road. Half an hour later we reached the foot hills of the nilgiris, from where the number of houses slowly started to dwindle.

The roads started to get narrower as we climbed up the mountains and the driver started to drive even faster. My heart was in my mouth every time he took a hair pin curve at 40kmph. The Scenery was awesome with lush green forests and many waterfalls along the way to Munnar. We stopped at every waterfall we could possibly see and finally reached Munnar in the afternoon. We then went to a resort 40 km away from Munnar, where we decided to call it a day and take rest.
The resort was awesome and was located on the top of a hill. You get an awesome view of the valley from the balcony. Pretty soon the sky was filled with vibrant colors. The view was spectacular.

After having my supper, i dozed off. I was woken up pretty early the next morning. We had breakfast and started off on a road parallel to one of the three streams (MUN-NAR) that converged at Munnar. On the way we came across a flower nursery, to take a quick tour we went inside the nursery. The flowers in the early morning dew were a photographer’s dream. I set off enthusiastically taking pics of each and every flower, until my family got bored and decided to leave without me.

Link to pics from Kerala on PICASA
We then stopped at a small dam (Mattupetty Dam) along the way. The view from the dam was amazing with the clear skies, the lush green mountains in the background and the pale blue water. The road ahead of the dam started to get more picturesque as we progressed up the hill. We were surrounded by tea estates all along the way. Very soon we came to the end of public road, a place called the top station. It was named because it was the highest point on the railway route for a very very long time. The SH18 from Munnar to Kodaikanal was closed as it went along one of the most treacherous jungles in south India. It is incidentally the highest motor able road in south India. It was built by the British as an escape route in case Japanese invaded south India.
On our way back we had to stop in the middle of the road as a rain bearing cloud was passing by. The visibility was as worse as 1 meter. The cloud was trying to get past the mountain peak. We could feel the water droplets gently as the cloud passed by. After a while it started to get dark, as early as 4 PM. We started back to our resort. By the time we reached Munnar it was close to 6. We went straight back to the resort, as it was getting very very cold once the sun set.
The next day we set off towards Alleppey. We wanted to spend a night on the house boat. On the way we went to the Vaikom Shiva temple. It is one of the oldest temples of Kerala built in a typical Kerala style by the Travancore kings. We were allowed inside the temple only after we removed all the clothes on the upper body. After a while we were on our way to Alleppey. The driver suggested we take the house boat at Kumarakkom instead, as it was a holiday season and all the house boats would be costlier.
We somehow managed to get a decent sized house boat for 6500 rupees (for a day, all meals inclusive). We got to eat freshly cooked fish and traditional Kerala food. We set sail along the back waters of Kumarakkom along the river completely surrounded by lush green paddy fields. As we sailed along, we saw many other house boats (some of them very very huge) along the way. We sailed for more than 2 hours and somewhere in the middle, we ventured into the fields and had fresh coconut water. It was soon sunset and a few minutes later we docked our boat close to the paddy fields.
The night was kind of miserable with all sorts of insects, flies and mosquitoes. We had to get our boat covered by a thick sheet of canvas to survive these insects (:-\). This meant we were locked inside with an old TV. Luckily it had a few movies loaded up on the VCD player, which we watched as we had dinner (yummy vegetarian Kerala food). We were all tired travelling throughout the day, so we were fast asleep.
Early in the morning my mom woke me up for a picture perfect sunrise. The sky was all orange and the water standstill. I could easily see the reflection of the coconut trees in the river water. Early in the morning, one could see the fishermen set up their nets with hope of a good catch. We could also see some divers collecting valuable shells and precious stones from the river bed. We set sail back to where we started and enjoyed a good breakfast along the way. We were treated to awesome idly along with sambhar and chutney. The entire backwaters were gleaming like gold thanks to the early morning sun. The weather was warm and we were treated to gentle winds as we sailed along. Along the way we saw amazing resorts built by the backwaters, including the Taj resort.

Soon after we landed at Kumarakkom, we started off towards Guruvayur to see the very famous Krishna temple there. We reach guruvayoor around lunch. Since it was lunch time also at the temple, we had to wait 2 hours before we could get the darshan. The temple looks very very grand from the outside and with the sabarimala tourists coming in large numbers, the temple was crowded. In the evening we went to a nearby beach, but failed to get a glimpse of the sunset. Later on we had dinner and left to Cochin, where we had booked our night stay at the presidency hotel.
The final day of the trip was spent roaming on the streets of Cochin/Ernakulum/Kochi. We did some shopping and then hopped onto a boat ride near marine road. We got a good glimpse of the Port there and the naval ship building yards. After some fun time at sea, we retired back to the hotel, and were on our way back to the airport. By night we reached Chennai and from there we were on our way back to Vijayawada.