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Kerala's Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, a Birdwatcher’s Paradise

Sanctuary Thattekad is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala, India. In 1933, during  his Travancore Cochin Ornithological survey in Thettekad forest, Dr.Salim Ali  recognised the avifaunal richness of the area.  As recommended by Dr.Salim Ali, in 1983, an area of 25.16 Sq.km. covering forest, wetlands and rivers at Thattekad was notified as Kerala's first Tropical community bird sanctuary. It is located just 12 ms from Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Nine sq.km is for habitation and rest of 16.16 sq.km is available for sanctuary and is very rich in flora and fauna. 
Explore There are many ways to explore Thattekad. Here visitors are allowed to walk through the jungle. Visitors can also opt for a boat trip in the reservoir offering unusual point of view of the forest. Approximately twelve thousand species of birds are spotted in the world of which  1200 species of birds are found in India and 593 species of birds have been spotted in  Kerala. Thattekad bird sanctuary …

Walking Through the By-lanes of History in Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is known for its beaches, Chinese fishing nets, historical buildings and cafes that serve European food. But also dotting the cultural remnants of  the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English.

 The first European township in India was built as a fort city by the Portuguese. Before the Dutch destroyed Fort Immanuel in Fort Kochi, it had seven bastions. Even though you can no longer actually see the Fort after which the town is now named, but you can watch the barely existing fort walls and its old bastions. A guided walk on a  Sunday morning is the best time to uncover the city's history. The walk started from Vasco da Gama Square. You can watch Chinese fishing nets and  fresh fish stalls in this place.

TOWER HOUSE


The walk goes through Jawahar Park. Since the British period, this area has been used by the public to spend their evenings. The British administration erected a tower like machine here to measure the power of the wind

OLD HARBOR HOUSE

Once you cross the park, …

Padmanabhapuram Palace & Museum of Antiquities

Built in the 16th century, Padmanabhapuram Palace seems to have resisted the sweeping march of time. On the Thuckalay-Kulasekharam route, turn from Thuckalay to the Palace, which is just one km from Thuckalay. For many, the palace is a pitstop on the way to Kanyakumari from Thiruvananthapuram. The palace has a handful of families who have lived here for generations.  I was walking towards the biggest wooden palace in Asia. The Palace is nestled by the bustle of shops and hotels. A walk after crossing the main entrance takes you back to the reign of royal kings of Travancore. The first sight of the palace was impressive. Once you enter the large lawn, you can watch a 300 year old clock which still keeps time.

Our first stop inside is 'Poomukham', where the king entertained special guests. The entrance of this building is shaped as a triangle and it showcases the indigeneous architechtural style of Kerala.

The most striking feature of the building is the wooden ceiling, where n…

Rock Garden, Malampuzha, Kerala

When I visited Rock garden in Chandigarh long back, I was impressed by the breathtaking artwork and installations. I had the same experience when I made a detour to Rock Garden which is located 800 meters South of Malampuzha Dam in Palakkad district, in the Indian state of Kerala. This garden is situated with a backdrop of the Malampuzha dam and the collection of artwork is conceived and designed by the renowned sculptor Padma Shri Nek Chand Saini, the creator of India's first Rock Garden located in Chandigarh. This is the first-of-its-kind in South India and thousands of visitors travel to Malampuzha to see the master pieces arranged in the Rock garden.  The site was very peaceful even though it was a weekend that I visited. After crossing the entrance, you can see the central courtyard with arts in the traditional form of Kerala.

The unique feature of this garden is that the artifacts displayed here are made of waste materials such as used plastic bottles and cans, waste pieces…