After enduring some of the worst floods in a century, the beautiful state of Kerala reopens its doors to those with the thirst for pristine nature and vibrant cultures. Travellers in Kochi have the fortune of getting to drive to some of the most scenic destinations in Southern India. With self drive cars easily available via apps like Zoomcar, it has become very easy to plan some nice weekend trips with friends and family. So if you too are planning to go for a vacation then here are some of the best recommendations that are easily accessible from Kochi.
Wayanad awaits the curious traveller in the misty cool climes of the Western Ghats. The spellbinding journey is a climb north from the sweltering coasts and the destination is most well-known for its monsoon showers, waterfalls and forests filled with wild pachyderm herds. Wayanad is made for nature lovers – photographers can enjoy the golden hours and the rugged, verdant terrain filled with shadows and light. Those who like a bit of a workout can indulge in a nice hike or two. Some of the landmark places here are the Chembra Peak, which is 2000 metres above sea level, and the cascades of the Soochipara Falls. The trip to Wayanad via the NH66 and NH766 can be an eventful one with stops like Thamarassery and Koduvally, the latter famous for its gold shops, on the way.
From the shores to the high tea estates, that is one apt way to sum up the 125-km journey from Kochi to Munnar. The winding roads and well-manicured plantations are juxtaposed with the rugged peaks of the Nilgiris in the background. Munnar town has many quaint attractions and the Tea Museum is recommended. Driving around the outskirts of the town is a recommended activity – there are plentiful viewpoints and perspectives that will engage the shutterbugs. The Eravikulam National Park is home to a national treasure – the Nilgiri Tahr, a wild goat species found only in these regions. The Anamudi Peak is a stage for hikes and wildlife spotting and one can enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Matupetty Reservoir.
Beaches near Kochi
If a trip to the hills is not on the cards, then Kochi is also close to some very charming shoreline landscape. Shack up near the Varkala Beach, known for the overlooking cliffs. The beach in Alapuzha is another good recommendation. One can explore further inland and enjoy the sights and sounds of Kerala’s famed backwaters. Kovalam Beach’s most prominent landmark is the lighthouse and the eatery-lined promenade is a perfect place for a romantic evening walk. One can witness the theyyam rituals near Kannur beach – October onwards is when most of the cultural events here happen.
Now a days informed travellers are choosing rentals over regular transport for privacy, comfort and extra space. For those looking for quality self drive cars in Cochin at affordable rates, the app-based Zoomcar platform offers the widest range of vehicles. Assurances like 24/7 on-road support give an additional layer of security.
Kerala has rightfully earned its moniker of being God’s Own Country and is a living cultural and natural extravaganza. Make the plans and get behind the wheel to soak in the best of India’s resilient southern state.