Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - A journey through the Travelogues



Year 2009 is drawing to a close, we all are ready to welcome another new year. Its time to take a retrospective - a journey through the travels in 2009 ....

January
The year began with the customary New year resolutions, but while these resolutions were being made, I was driving down through the prestine beauty of Nelliyampathy hills. What a way to begin the new year!!! The hills are a treat to watch, untouched by crowds, the natural beauty still regaining its charm.
How can I forget these sights, even though the year is coming down to a close.
(Click here to read the full trip log.  )


The first month of 2009 gave another opppurtunity, when me as part of my riding group were thumping through heart of Kerala, crossing the border at Palghat, and climbing up the Nilgris for that wonderful event - The rider mania 2009 - hosted by RTMC Bangalore. The sight of 500 bullets with their ride crazy owners meeting up at a single point means non stop fun, getting along with new friends, all of whom are bonded by one reason - the passion for riding Royal Enfield Motorcycles



One of the most notable thing which happened during this ride was being witness to a truly humane gesture by one of my fellow rider friend who is a doctor (click here to read about his humane gesture)


This ride is going to be etched in my memory for long as this kind of bullet gatherings does not happen quite often in destinations within reach of a 2 day ride for us. (Click here to read the full ride log )

February passed off as a month without any travel stories, but occasional outings to the beaches made nearby made me log about the beautiful VELI - where lake meets sea


March
During march I heard a call from Kovalam (the most famous tourist destination in Kerala) and I duly obliged.







I am yet to make a full fledged post on kovalam, though I had made a post of exotic locations nearby Kovalam.

April
April was the month of long drives, some of them were to ernakulam, but the most interesting one was the ride to Bangalore via Nilambur and Gudualloor which was one of the best roads I have ever driven.



Not only the roads, but the place is blessed with lot of animals too.



At bangalore we visited the film city which the kids enjoyed thoroughly



The Bannarghatta national park presented us a new experience, by experiencing the view of the wild animals from inside the cage like bus while they were having a stroll around the forest.







May


One of the most unheralded places in 'God's own country - Kerala' was in front of us during May. We were in a different world altogether when we reached Vagamon, with the resort providing us an unexpected surprise because of the viewpoints inside this resort and the cottages deep inside the woods
Who can forget a site which presents views like this.


The road to vagamon itself is so inviting and the driver inside you is sure to have fun driving your mean machines through these winding routes.


The boating experience in the lake is something to be cherished.


(Click here to read more about the unheralded place and to watch more pictures of this heavenly place.)


June
The surprise in store for us in June was the Golden Isle - an island which is hardly 30 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram, but mostly unknown to people even in that locality.






An ideal location for a day long outing in the company of nature. (To view the full article click here)

It was during this month, that I decided to revamp my blog with the all the trip logs and photos. Eventhough I started this blog way back in 2007, I had just one post to my credit.


July
It was reunion time in July when some of the olden golden batchmates met for a marriage of our friend. The trip which resulted was blogged and this blog helped me in getting connected with lots of long lost friends. The friendship tour to Ernakulam will have a special place in my mind, not because of the scenic beauty of the place, but because of the pleasure and excitement of travelling with intimate friends, which is sure to make any boring journey extremely lively and one to be remembered.




Click here to read the blog - Destination is an excuse, Friendship is the reason -

August
August passed of as a month whose weekends were mostly occupied by visits to relatives home but all of which gave ample oppurtunity to please the eye with natural scenes of typical kerala villages.

September
September was reunion time, thanks to Onam - an occasion which brings happiness to all Keralites. The reunion was celebrated by making a joint family trip to a resort in Alappuzha. No wonder why Alappuzha is one of the favourite destinations of tourists visiting Kerala. The vast backwaters and the house boat jouney presents a really calm experience and one is made to feel how calm and easy life can be.


Click here to view the trip log and beautiful photos of Punnamada trip


September also gave an oppurtunity to visit the holy shrine at Sabarimala, a pilgrimage centre which even now retains its age old tradition, the 5 km trek towards the shrine adding to the charm. Could capture the beauty of this place, since the trip was made during an offseason.



The return trip via swami ayyappan road presented some of the breathtaking views of these hills.


Click here to view the full trip log and photos this trip -

October
October will be remembered for the photo title "Path to Horizon".



This photo was taken at Pulimutt in Beypore. For more photos and trip log click here.

I never miss a chance to visit Kozhikkode beach and this time around I tried to capture the life at this beach too

This beach although crowded, presents a unique experience and is really busy with lot of activities. Blog on Calicut beach is available here - "Kozhikkode beach, crowded but prestine".

November
November was the month of a team outing to a resort in Quilon named acquaserene, which is true to its name and presents enough avenues for entertainment. The location is so beautiful that just point and click is sure to yield beautiful photos.


To view more of this scenic place click here .

This month also gave a totally unplanned tour when I travelled along with my friends for a colleagues marriage and since the marriage happened early in morning decided to just roam around, this roaming eventually led us to Idukki and was literally dumbstruck by the engineering marvel on display.




The route to Idukki, the arch dam view from both sides, the cheruthoni dam, and some of the other hilly roads of idukki were explored and needless to say each moment was captured on camera and shared here (Click here to view the awesome Idukki )

December

December was a month of more long travels and the first one was a weekend outing to untouched, scenic and historic places near kanyakumari, the first one being Udayagiri fort which houses a biodiversity park.

The de Lanoy's tomb inside this fort has a story to tell. Photos and a log of this trip can be found here - Udayagiri fort - Biodiversity on Display.

The next one shooted down was Vattakottai (Round Fort) which is very near to Kanyakumari, but very less crowded. The big fort facing the sea (bay of bengal) presented a beautiful picture.



To have a virtual tour to vattakottai click this link

The family reunion during Christmas was celebrated at a relatively unknown destination - The NC Gardens @ Parappanangadi near Calicut.


As is the usual trend being to unknown places is sure to give some big surprises and this was no exception as is evident from the fotos and log avaliable here (Click here to read the log)


Travelling to these places, most of which are within 1000 kms from where I stay helped to keep me fresh and bubbling with energy. This year the major difference was that I started enjoying blogging and sharing the photos which I took as much as travelling.
Getting feedback on my posts is something which really encourages me to post more and more and I must thank my regular readers and all the followers of this blog who has been my well wishers and supported this blog.
Thank you to each one of the blog readers especially to my blog friends who keep on commenting.

Wishing you all a very very happy and prosperous 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

NC Gardens & Beach Resort


Wonder how many locations in Kerala are unknown to me. Here is another one which I have missed eventhough I have been a regular traveller through these routes for the past 8 years. Well lets now go and explore this beach resort @ Parappanangadi - 20kms away from Calicut.

The name of the resort - "NC Gardens" was suggested by one of my family members when we were planning to have an evening outing to one of the less crowded places within 30 kms of Calicut town. Since this was an unknown place to all of us, we set out to check out this place.

From Calicut (Kozhikkode) we travelled through NH 47 till Feroke bridge


After this bridge over the chaliyar river, we turned right towards Feroke - Kadalundi route. Once feroqe town was passed, it was typical village roads with neatly maintained roads

The sun was already in the setting mood and since our destination was a beach resort it did not bother us much

Some of the trees in this route were really huge.

We saw a board of NC Gardens on the right side of the road in the Kadalundi - Parappangadi route. This board was not really noticeable. Anyway we turned right and got inside. The roads inside were not tarred, but had some huge trees on both sides and driving down these roads gave an offroading kind of experience.

We parked our steeds in the vast parking lot and a quick look around itself gave an ample indication of the fact that we were already late since there was much to explore in this really vast resort.

This statue was greeting us at the parking lot

An evening pass of Rs 50 per head (includes one free scoop of icecream) and Rs.50 for the still camera was issued to us and we were informed that the resort will be closed by 7.00pm. That means we had only one and half hour to stroll around.

We decided to explore the beach.

This seems to be the boundary of the resort which had to be crossed to reach the beach

Once we cross the fence, there was a long sea wall made of rocks.

Climb up the rocks and you get to see the vast beach.
Towards the northen side we can see this.

This is what we see in our front

The sea changes color according to the sky making it ever interesting to watch it again and again.

Towards the southern side we could see this



A small boat could be seen at a distance.

Zoooooomed the cam and got hold of a close up of this distant object.

The trademark coconut trees of God's own country was aplenty, giving it a nice ambience. The atmosphere was little cloudy due to which photos were not so clear.

The beypore port(Click here to view) is towards the northern side. There is a light house in beypore which was visible from this point.

It was getting darker sooner than we expected.

Lot of eagles were prowling around. One of them was captured in my cam.

We soon stepped out of the sea wall towards the gardens.

While each one of walked back from the rocky wall, one among us decided to stretch legs

Next target was the kids park.
Found this theatre on the way. Corporate events could be organised here easily.

The park was really vast, with many seats and table like structures around for those informal chit chat meetings of the touring group.


Kids enjoyed using the equipment in the park which were neatly maintained.

After a good workout it was time to make the exit.
Before that we had a cup of ice cream scoop from the restaurant in the resort, which is also inclded in the ticket rate.


Overall this place exceeded our expectations in terms of the avenues of entertainment provided by them near this beautiful and calm beach.

This is an ideal place for corporate outings since it houses, some neat villas, a good beach, a vast play area, a good kids park, a theatre where meetings/cultural programs can be arranged, a good restaurant (indoors/outdoors) etc .
For the time being it is completely uncrowded unlike the Kozhikkode beach / beypore beach.

So all in all this is a place worth exploring if you are in and around calicut.
You may also like to read my travelogue on

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