March 21, 2022

Illithode: A Secluded Getaway!

It got greener, denser and darker as I drove through the winding road to Illithode, an eco-tourism site along the banks of River Periyar, near Malayattoor in Ernakulam. I was reminded of Paniyeli Poru from the photos I found, and the diverging road that led me to the place.

Bordering forest reserves, the Mahagony Thottam here is resplendent with innumerable Mahagony trees intimidatingly staring down at you. A short trail meandering through the tall trees with bird calls in the distance made it a delightful walk from the information counter. Swirling branches, the sunlight filtering through the canopy, fallen tree trunks and the rustling foliage made it seem like I was deep inside a forest. The wind swishing once in a while, and the chattering of the monkeys made it all the more engrossing, until the break of a laughter among a few visitors behind brought me back to the moment. 

Strolling further, while dodging past the trees, I could hear the gurgling of waters as we neared a clearing. Soon, I was staring at the Periyar, flowing relentlessly, and the water glittering like precious stones. Despite the sun blazing away, I waded into the cool shallow waters, placing my feet with caution over pebbles, some of which were round and smooth, while a few not so much. While the waters at Paniyeli Poru are gushing, and with dips, under currents and whirlpools, it is much calmer here, and you can into the waters, which are mostly knee high. Making myself comfortable on a protruding rock, I gazed at the flowing waters, greenery along the opposite bank, and pebbles, which were so visible through the waters. The water was so pure and clear that the pebbles seemed like they were right on the surface, and not a foot below. I sat there for a while in the midst of the peaceful surroundings, watching in oblivion the Periyar flowing away.

Illithode is a great place to connect with nature, to play in the clear waters, or sit idle under the shade of trees, watching nature in all its glory.

How to reach Illithode: 

The closest city is Cochin, which is 60 km away from Illithode via Aluva and Malayatoor. Cochin is well connected to other cities across India by trains and flights. It’s ideal to take your vehicle or a private cab to get to here.

March 14, 2022

How to Visit Manali on a Budget

Manali is one of the best and most alluring holiday destinations in India, and one does not have to take so many leaves to visit this little hill station located in Himachal Pradesh. The things that make Manali mesmerizing and breath-taking are too many, with some of them being the great weather, mountains covered with lush green forests, and amazing sight-seeing options. While you are there you can experience the best recreational and adventurous activities that will make your trip worth it. So, if you are bored and do not have any plans for the summer, pack your bags and visit this beautiful place. Below are some points that will help you to plan the entire trip on a budget.

Book the tickets in advance

The best and first thing you have to do if you are planning a trip to Manali is to book the tickets in advance. Since it is a popular hill station, and most travelers plan their vacation to visit there, it is highly likely that you might not get tickets for the required dates. Also, if you book your tickets in advance, there are high chances that you will get them at a cheaper price. If you are traveling from Delhi then you are in for some luck, as you can catch the bus from the Kashmiri Gate bus stand, and it would take you about 12 hours to reach Manali. The fare is approx. Rs.1000, which is nominal.

Book the hotel rooms in advance

Once you have decided your dates, make sure to book the hotel rooms as well, especially if you are traveling during the peak season. During this period most hotels charge double the rate than they usually do. So, if you are a little tight on budget, or do not wish to spend a lot on the trip, ensure to make your stay arrangements as well in advance. You can book the rooms in advance with affordable price from Makemytrip, Cleartrip, Agoda and more. To avail the extra discount use coupon code. Try to book a hotel room near Mall Road since the hotels there are comparatively cheaper and more affordable.

Rent a bike or a scooty

When it comes to visiting the local adventures, an ideal way to save money is to rent a bike or a scooty for commutation. There are several places that you can visit on a bike, which includes Vasisth Temple, Solang Valley, Naggar, Jana Waterfalls, and many more. All of them can be reached on a two-wheeler.

Skip the big restaurants

The best part about Manali is you will get ample eating options along the roads. So, if you don’t want to spend a lot, skip the restaurant at least for a day. This will save you a lot of money and you will get to taste the local dishes as well. The place has so many street food options including Bombay Bhelpuri, Samosas, Sidu and Babru among others.

Take every essential thing that you may require

It is an obvious fact that when you visit Manali, you will go there with the thought of having some adventure. However, do not forget to carry all the necessary things required for the same with you, as everything there will be expensive since it is a touristy place. So, if you don’t want to spend unnecessarily, pack a little more. Also, take a few packets of wafers and snacks to keep yourself satiated.

Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is one of the major attractions of Manali, and if you are planning a trip here, make sure you plan to add this to your itinerary as well. However, Rohtang Pass cannot be visited throughout the year; it opens from May end to October third week, which also depends on weather conditions. So, if you have to go there, make sure to book the cabs in advance since last-minute bookings can cost you a lot. So, to avoid any type of inconvenience, make sure to do all the books before your departure date.

The above tips can save you money while you are exploring Manali. Being on a vacation does not mean that you have to spend a fortune. You can easily plan a trip on a budget, especially to a place like Manali.


P.S. This is a collaborative post.

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