Shot in the captivating water channels of Venice, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman, “Do lafzon ki hai dil ki kahani…”is a classic romantic song. The song defined an allusive fairy world for me, where lovers ride boat and travel along the mesmerizing water-channels of the city of Venice. Beauty and vibrancy of the city defined an ideal romantic escapade. Island group of Venice is no less than Agra, an apostle of Love, Beauty and Tranquility.
Years back Lord Curzon named Alleppey as the ‘Venice of East’; but I was never convinced. I used to think that it was mere humility of the Lord appreciating the beauty of Kerala backwaters. Kerala undoubtedly is beautiful, but Venice for me holds a very special place as a destination and that trophy I was not ready to give to any other place/destination, not even to the serene land of Kerala. Time passed by and the debate settled inside me somewhere and life went on. Ahhh… college over, studies over; I’m working now, going to get married soon.
On the second day of our marriage, my husband handed me an envelope as our marriage gift and I crossed my fingers. Excitedly with big widened eyes and a broad smile of my face, I opened it and in there were our air-tickets and a honeymoon booking in Alleppey, Kerala. I was very happy. On account of our both’s professional commitments and lengthy marriage ceremonies followed by post marriage parties and dinners; it was known that we would have less than a week for our honeymoon. So, we decided that we would go for a one destination specific desi honeymoon and my hubby was to make the pick. Honestly speaking I could not have thought of any better place and plan. Wow! Kerala, imaginations of the beauty and tranquility of God’s Own Land sent me on a 24X7 giggle mode. Came the day of our travel and we were flying on way to Cochin. I could not close my eyes for a single second, I wanted to enjoy every single moment of the travel, of my honeymoon vacation.
As soon as our flight neared its destination, and started getting closer to the ground; all my words, thoughts and ideas were frozen up. I was totally speechless, spell-bounded by the mesmeric splendor of Kerala alive before my eyes. My hubby could not help burst into laughter seeing me so hexed. He patted me and made me relax and then, we were both laughing non-stop on my 10 minutes’ back reaction.
Moving on to Alleppey, our road journey gave a perfect start to our Kerala trip, it was very thoughtful of my hubby to book an open roof car for our road journey. Travelling under open sky with miles of breath taking virgin beauty of Kerala we were both feeling so blessed deep inside. Holding each other hands, pointing out remarkable scenes, enjoying the succulence of palm-grooves and clicking alternatively; we covered those miles. Even after a journey of around 8 hrs, we felt so fresh and rejuvenated with the quaint beauty of Kerala.
We got freshened up and after our welcome meals we set out to explore the backwaters and lagoons of Alleppey. As soon as we rode our catamaran and started moving around from one water channel to other, unconsciously I started humming my favorite songs ‘Do lafzon ki hai…’ and interestingly my hubby too joined me and we continued singing looking into each other eyes, holding each other and enjoying the surrounding serenity.
Travelling across the river canals, lakes and lagoons lined all along with palm grooves made us felt so divine. Gentle and occasion strong maverick breezes coming from Indian Ocean was like teasing us and cheering us on our merriment. Our eyes as well as our camera both had a feast to capture; all of us refrained shutting our eyes for even a second. Thank God I had extra cells, or else our camera would shut down. The major highlights to must to enjoy/visit for those planning a travel to Alleppey are (that we loved the most):
- Kayamkulam Lakes
- Vembanad Lake
- Pathiramannal Island
Apart from these heart-stealing beauties, what other honeymoon spots we enjoyed visiting in Alleppey:
- Kuttanad Paddy Fields.
- Temples like Ambalapuzha Krishna Temple, Mullakkal Rajeshwari Temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Mannarasala
- Nagaraja Temple and Chavaran Bhawan.
- Eddakal Caves.
- Kumarakom Sanctuary.
- Kumarakom Beach.
- Pandavan Rock.
- Karumandi Kuttan.
- Krishnapuram Palace.
- St. Andrew Church and Edathua Church.
Walking around bare-footed on the cool serene sandy beaches in evenings and sitting lazily, watching the sun set across the Indian Ocean and feeling those little water droplets hitting our face and body, with every incoming waves was a spectacle that I cannot express in words. It is a feeling simply worth experiencing and not expressing.
Experiencing the live beauty of Alleppey, I had only thing to say, how wrong I have been so far, doubting the judgment of Lord Curzon and so many more travelers. Alleppey truly is the “Venice of East”. Though it is not group of islands, but the interconnecting network of various water bodies, make it an equivalent of Venice; flavored with Indianism. The palm grooves, temples, paddy fields, quaint ambience, cultural heritage and simple rural lifestyle of the residents; they all together makes Alleppey even more enticing. My final words for ‘Alleppey’ would be that it truly is the soul of Kerala tourism, yes you can base your Kerala trip to Kumarakom or Kovalam or Munnar, but Alleppey is a must to visit. And I felt so overwhelmed and so proud for we Indians, that we have the scenic, romantic and captivating ‘Venice of East – Alleppey’. It is no less than a romantic paradise for newlyweds like us. It is simply one of the best places to go for this special celebration of love-Honeymoon.