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26 Jul 2003

Bahrain – Al Areen National Park, Al Zazayir Beach, King Faisal Causeway

This was our second trip in Bahrain. Similar to our first trip all of our batch was there. Again Ashraf took us around in his cab. Again I am keeping this extract as it was written at that time in 2003 to keep that naiveté' intact.

12 Jul 2003

Bahrain - Fort Riffa, Tree of Life, First Oil Well of Bahrain and Gulf, Riffa Golf Club

This was our first trip in Bahrain. All of our batch came to Bahrain in First half of 2003. We all hired a cab (Ashraf’s) and went around. It was hot part of year in Bahrain but in our enthusiasm we never felt that. It was very nice time together. Though with my last 7 years of Bahrain knowledge, I could have edited this this extract with lot of more information however I kept it as was written that time – time when I was not knowing anything about Bahrain. 

15 Mar 2003


Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is also its principal harbour and has one of the finest beaches in Asia. It was founded at Fort St. George in 1640 AD by Francis Day of the East Indian Company.

1 Mar 2003


The sacred island town of Rameswaram, at the extreme south-eastern limit of the Indian Peninsula, has one of India's most venerated temples. A fine example of South Indian architecture, the temple is renowned for its many pillared corridors, about 1220 metres in length. According to the Hindu epic "Ramayana", Rama sanctified this place by worshipping Lord Shiva here, after the war against Ravana and it is therefore held sacred by both Shaivites and Vaishnavities.

Alappuzha (Alleppey )

Alappuzha is the centre for backwater cruises and coir products in Kerala. It has a large network of canals which pass through the town and provide its lifeline. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race - the most colourful snake-boat race in Kerala, is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.

24 Feb 2003


Ooty, the queen of all hill stations, is situated in the Nilgiris or Blue mountains. One can see many profiles of nature here,each with a distinctive grandeur.

7 Feb 2003


Kodaikanal, a charming hill station, stands amidst sylvan beauty on the southern crest of the upper Palani Hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

24 Jan 2003


Coonoor is the largest of the 3 hill stations of the nilgiris. It stands on a lower ridge of the main plateau at an altitude of 1858 metres (6100 feet). It has a pleasant and relatively milder climate throughout the year than that of Ooty. Coonoor is a railway station on the Mettupalayam - Ooty narrow gauge section and is 69 km. from Coimbatore, 21 km. from Kotagiri and 32 km. from Mettupalayam.


The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady situated in the high ranges of the Western Ghats, spreads over an area of 777 sq.km. The Periyar Lake covering an area of 26 sq.km. is the centre of activity of almost all wildlife here. The Periyar Sanctuary has been declared a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger.

15 Jan 2003


Kochi, the commercial hub of Kerala, is a town of historical importance. It is one of the most picturesque places in Kerala with an all weather harbour and a grand seascape.


Bolgatty Island

Chinese Fishing Nets

Fort Cochin, St. Francis Church & Santacruz Church

Gundu Island

Jewish Synagogue-Timings : 1000 to1200 hrs & 1500 to 1700 hrs (closed on Sat. and Jewish holidays)

Mangrove Forest

Mattancherry Palace-Timings: 1000 hrs. to 1700 hrs. (Closed on Fridays and national holidays)


Willingdon Island.



Hill Palace Museum :Timings: 0900 hrs. to 1230 & 1430 to1630 hrs.(Closed on mon);

Museum of Kerala History:Timings:1000 hrs.-1700 hrs.Closed on mon. Entry Fee:Rs.5/-;

Parikshith Thampuran Museum or Kochi Museum: Timings:0930 to 1200 hrs.& 1300 to 1700 hrs.(Closed on mondays and national holidays)


Aluva (Alwaye) (21 Km.): Alwaye, on the banks of the river Periyar, is a famous Shaivaite pilgrim centre and a summer resort.

Vaikom (31 Km.): Vaikom is famous for it's temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Accom: Motel Aaram(KTDC), Tel:0482-625789.

Cranganore or Kodungallore (32 Km.): Cranganore (Muziris) was in the olden times, the premier sea port on India’s west coast. It was Kerala’s first international harbour and it was here that St. Thomas is believed to have landed in 52 AD. Accom: Garden Restaurant, Tel:807188; Marar Lodge, Telefax:0488-806383;

Kalady (45 Km.): Kalady is the birth place of Adi Shankaracharya, the great Indian philosopher of the 8th century AD. There are two shrines here, one dedicated to him as Dakshinamurthy and the other to the Goddess Sharda, both maintained by the Sringeri Mutt. In addition to this, there is an ancient Shri Krishna temple and a recently constructed International Temple dedicated to Ramakrishna Deva. Accom: Sri Sringeri Mutt, Tel: 0484-462350;Sri Sankara Guest House.

Malayattur (53 Km.): It is famous for the Catholic Church situated on the 609 metre high Malayattur hill dedicated to St. Thomas.

Ettumanoor (63 Km.): Famous for an ancient Shiva temple.

Alappuzha or Alleppey (64 Km.): The centre for back water cruises in Kerala, it has a large network of canals passing through the town. Nehru Trophy boat race, is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.

Ambalapuzha (76 Km.): Famous for the temple of Lord Krishna.

Kottayam (76 Km.): Kottayam is a busy commercial city with the backwaters to its west and rubber, tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations on its east.

Athirappally & Vazhachal (77 Km.): These waterfalls, situated near the entrance of the Sholayar ranges are of great scenic beauty.

Thrissur (80 Km.): Former capital of Cochin state, Thrissur is famous for the Vadakkumnatha Temple which is the venue for the annual Pooram Festival held in April/May.

Kumarakom (86 Km.): A lovely village surrounded by paddy fields and the Vembanad lake. Tourists can enjoy a backwater trip here.

Haripad (94 Km.): Famous for the Lord Subramanya Temple and the major snake-boat race held at Payipad (3 Km. from Haripad) during Onam in August/ September.

Peechi (96 Km.): A lovely modern irrigation project site and an ideal holiday spot with facilities for boating and swimming.

Cheruthuruthi (100 Km.): Kerala Kalamandam, the training centre for Kerala’s art forms such as Kathakali, Mohiniattam, etc., was established here in 1930.

Mannarsala (100 Km.): It is famous for the snake (Nagaraja) Temple situated in the forests. Festivals are held here in August, November and December.

Guruvayur (108 Km.): It is famous for the ancient shrine of Lord Krishna, which attracts a large number of devotees every day. Non Hindus are not allowed inside the temple.

Munnar (130 Km.): It is the highest town in the state at an altitude of 1524 metres with a cool bracing climate and extensive tea and cardamom plantations.

Idukki (138 Km.): The Idukki hydro-electric project is the biggest of its kind in Kerala. The dam is surrounded by wilderness and the Idukki wildlife sanctuary.

Malampuzha (154 Km.): With it's lake created by a high dam and terrace gardens, Malampuzha provides a tranquil holiday. Boating facilities are also available.

Vandanmedu (157 Km.) : Situated at an height of 4000 ft., it is the largest producer of cardamom in the country. Accom : Carmelia Havens Resort, Tel : (04868) 70252, (Rs.1500 - 3500/-).

Palghat (163 Km.): A big agricultural town it is a gateway to the Malampuzha dam and its garden. Haider Ali built a fort here in 1766.

Kottakal (168 Km.): Famous for the Kottakal Arya Vaidya Sala, Tel:0493-742216 a pioneering centre for Ayurveda, Kerala’s traditional system of health and medicine.


Area : 83.52 Sq. Km. Altitude : Sea Level.

Temperature : Summer Max: 35 Deg.C. Min: 22 Deg.C.

Winter Max: 32 Deg.C. Min: 20 Deg.C.

Rainfall : 254 m. (June to October). Season: October to March.

STD Code : 0484.


Air : Kochi is connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with major cities.

Fare : Mumbai - Kochi : Rs. 5990/-.

Rail : Kochi / Ernakulam is connected by rail with all major cities in India.

Fare : Mumbai - Kochi : IInd A/c: Rs. 2051/- ; IInd class : Rs. 473/-.

Road : Kochi is connected by road with Alappuzha 64 Km., Bangalore 565 Km.,

Chennai 694 Km., Coimbatore 223 Km., Kodaikanal 305 Km., Kollam 150 Km., Kottayam 76 Km., Kozhikode 224 Km., Madurai 324 Km., Mangalore 484 Km., Munnar 130 Km., Mysore 484 Km., Ooty 312 Km., Thekkady 190 Km., Thiruvananthapuram 223 Km.,Thrissur 80 Km.

Sea : The Kerala Inland Water Transport Corporation operates regular backwater boat services to Kollam (8 hrs.). 'SPORTS’ operates tours from Kochi to the Lakshadweep Islands from Mid-September to Mid-May.


The following tours are operated by the Kerala Tourism Devt. Corpn. from the Tourist Reception Centre, Shanmugam Road, Ernakulam, Tel: 2353234 / 2362799.

1) Boat Cruise cum Sightseeing Tour : (Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St.

Francis Church, Chinese Fishing Nets and Bolghatty Island.) Timings : 0900-1230

hrs. & 1400-1730 hrs. (Daily). Fare : Rs.75/-

2) Sunset Tour (Boat cruise) : Timings : 1730-1900 hrs. (Daily). Fare : Rs. 40/-

3) Backwater Village Tour (Coir Village, Chinese Fishing Nets, Toddy tapping,

Prawn farming, Crab rearing & village market) Timings : 0900-1330 hrs. & 1400-

1830 hrs. (Daily). Fare : Rs. 315/-

Tours are also conducted to Thekkady (Periyar) every Saturday (Rs.315/-) and to Athirapally & Vazhachal Waterfalls and Kalady every Sunday (Rs.150/-).

ACCOMMODATION (*Hotels approved by Dept of Tourism, Govt of India.)

Single Double

*Taj Malabar Hotel*****Dlx Rs.3500-6000/- Rs.4000-7000/-

Willingdon Island, Tel: 2666811. Fax: 2668297.

*Casino Hotel***** Rs.3500/- Rs.4000/-

Willingdon Island, Tel : 2668221

*Taj Residency***** Rs. 2700-3450/- Rs.3000-3900/-

Marine Drive,Tel: 2371471. Fax: 2371481.

*The Avenue Regent**** Rs.1650-1850/- Rs.1950-2500/-

M.G. Road, Tel: 2372660. Fax: 2370129.

*Quality Inn Presidency**** Rs.1495/- Rs.1995/-

Parmara Rd., Ernakulam,Tel:394300.Fax: 393222.

*The Renaissance**** Tel : 344463/4. Rs.1600/- Rs.1900/-

*Hotel Fort Heritage(Heritage) Rs.2420/- Rs.2860/-

Napier Street, Tel : 225333.

*The Malabar House(Heritage),Tel : 221199 Rs.5280-6160/-

3-Star Hotels:

Hotel Abad, Chullickal, Tel:228211, (Rs.800-1400/-); Hotel Abad Plaza, M.G. Road, Tel:381122, (Rs.1190-1780/-); Hilltop Resorts,Joymat Nagar, Tel:538198, (Rs.1750-1950/-), Hotel Cochin Tower, Lisie Junction, Tel: 401910, (Rs.750-1050/-); Sealord Hotel, Shanmugham Road, Tel: 368040 (10 lines), (Rs.800-1500/-); The Brunton Boat Yard, Fort Cochin, Tel:221461-8, (Rs.8500-12900/-); The International Hotel, M.G.Road, Tel: 382091, (Rs.1100-2200/-); The Metropolitan, Near South Railway Stn., Tel:352412, (Rs.550-1800/-); The Surya, Railway Stn. Jn., Angamaly, Tel:456765, (Rs.900-1500/-); The Trident, Willingdon Island, Tel : 669595, (Rs.3000-3700/-); The Woods Manor, Tel:382055/9, (Rs.1400-1800/-); Yuvarani Residency, M.G. Road, Tel:370040, (Rs.650-1400/-).

2-Star Hotels:

Hotel Airlines, M.G. Road, Tel:366633, (Rs.200-600/-); Hotel Aiswarya, Jos Junction, Tel:364454, (Rs. 400-750/-); ATS Willingdon Hotel, Willingdon Island, Tel:728292, (Rs.950-1500/-); BTH- Sarovaram, Tel:305519, (Rs.800-1300/-); Gaanam Hotels Ltd, Chittoor Road, Tel:367123-8, (Rs.550-960/-); Grand Hotel, M.G.Road, Tel: 382061, (Rs.900-1600/-); Hotel Excellency, Tel: 374001, (Rs.500-850/-); Paulson Park Hotel, Tel:382179, (Rs.280-800/-).

1-Star Hotels:

Hotel Chandini Park, Tel:557628, (Rs.250-450/-); Hotel Highway Garden, Edappally, Tel:335391 (Rs.350-750/-); Hotel Luciya, Stadium Road, Tel:381177(Rs.260-600/-); Royal Village, Tel:545162, (Rs.2000/-); Hotel Sangeetha, Chittoor Road,Tel: 368417, (Rs.350-990/-)

Other Hotels

(i) Hotel Abad Metro, Rajaji Road, Tel:364162, (Rs.800-1550/-); Gokulam Park Inn International, Kaloor, Tel:400707, (Rs.2100-2700/-); Hotel Meridian Days Inn, Vyttila, Tel:307999,(Rs.1195-1995/-); Hotel White Fort, Tel:302367, (Rs.1550/-)

(ii) Tariff of the following hotels ranges from Rs.150-300/- for a Single room and Rs. 200-850/- for a Double room.

Hotel A.J. Residency, Kaloor, Tel:347480, Apex Lodge, M. G. Road, Tel:355355; Bell's

Tourist Den, Tel:364618; Bharat Hotel, Gandhi Square, Tel:353501; Hotel Blue Diamond, Market Road, Tel:382115-9; Cochin Tourist Home, Opp. Ernakulam South Rly. Stn., Tel:364577; Hotel Chakky's, Edappally, Tel: 345519; Chiramel Residency, Fort Cochin, Tel:227310; Hotel Crescent Park, Paramara Rd., Tel:395282 Elite Tourist Home, Paramara Road, Tel: 395070; Hotel Hakoba, Shanmugham Road, Tel:353933; Hotel Kavitha International, Chittoor Rd., Tel:350618; Hotel Mayura Park, Kacherippady Jn., Tel: 390560; Hotel Megha, Banerji Rd., Tel:390004; Hotel Mercy, M.G. Road, Tel: 367373; N.M. Hotel, Tel: 353641; Hotel Orchid, Girinagar Link Rd., Tel:319135; Piazza Lodge, Tel:364923; Sahara Lodge, Near Public Library, Tel:352178; Hotel Sea King, M.G. Road, Tel:355341; Star Tourist Hotel, Tel:347213; Hotel Udupi Anand Bhavan, M.G. Road, Tel:382071; Woodlands Hotel, M.G. Road, Tel:368900.

Other Accommodation

*Bolgatty Palace (KTDC)-Heritage, Bolgatty Island, Tel: 355003, 372134 (Rs.3500-10000/-); Railway Retiring Room, South Rly Junction, Ernakulam, Tel: 361265; YMCA, Chittoor Road, Ernakulam,Tel: 353479/365479 (Rs.250-650/-); Tourist Bungalow, Fort Cocin, Tel: 225797; Youth Hostel, NGO Quarters Junction, Thrikkakara, Tel: 422808, 424399.


India Tourism, Willingdon Island, Kochi. Tel: 668352/340352.

Tourist Reception Centre, KTDC, Shanmugam Road, Ernakulam, Tel: 353234.

KTDC C/o. Kairali, Nirmal Bldg., Nariman Point, Mumbai- 400 021.

Central Reservation office (for KTDC Accommodation), KTDC, Mascot Square, Thiruvananthapuram, Tel: 0471-318976, Fax: 314406. E-mail: ktdc@vsnl.com Website: www.ktdc.com