Sunday 3 November 2013

Day 3 – Fort Kochi and Munnar, Kerala

I was never an enthusiastic traveller. I was the typical Indian sheltered girl from a conservative family for whom travel meant family vacations, and that was it. I never had the desire to see the world…until my trip to Kerala. My trip to Kihim placed the proverbial travel bug in me, and so, I wanted to take another solo trip, but this time a lot further than a jetty at Gateway of India in Mumbai.

I really wanted to stay in a tree house, and that’s how I chose Kerala for my first solitary sojourn. I did some research that led me to a tree house in Munnar. So I booked myself a seat on the Kanyakumari Express and called the resort to save me a room. But as the day arrived, I found out my ticket wasn’t confirmed and still on RAC. I was too eager to take this trip and I had already made up my mind that I would get on that train one way or another. And so I did.

My adventure however didn’t end there. I was not only young, but also foolish. I thought my train was going to reach Ernakulam in 24 hours, instead of its actual 36 hours. So while I sat happily awaiting my station after 24 hours, a fellow traveller told me I had another 12 hours to go. My phone’s battery was out and I hadn’t informed the homestay in Fort Kochi I was to stay at that I would be arriving late. All I could do is wait for the next morning…

Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi

I reached Ernakulam at 4am, somehow found a rickshaw and headed straight to Fort Kochi to Sithara Homestay. Unfortunately, there was a lock on the gate. Not knowing where else to go, I ended up sitting at Santa Cruz Basilica with my luggage. The sun had barely risen with its rays slowly threading through the trees in the yard outside the church, and the church was empty. The peaceful silence was surreal. I sat there till the morning mass began in Malayalam, and then walked back to the homestay. I finally had a hot shower and a delicious home-made meal with the thought that the unexpected adventure had ended here…

Santa Cruz Basilica

The next morning I took a bus to Munnar to stay in the coveted tree house. But Murphy had other plans and the hotel informed me that the couple staying there the previous night had extended their stay and they had no record of my booking. Incredible India indeed! I was now stranded and without a place to stay. Fortunately, the Harry family from Fort Kochi’s Sithara Homestay saved the day by requesting their friend’s family in Munnar to let me stay with them. Not only did they take me into their home, their daughter even shared her bed with me.

It has often been said that it is people who make a place a home. Those words couldn’t be more true. The kindness of these strangers made me realise what makes travel such a fulfilling experience. I guess sometimes things have to go wrong for them to be right.


By air: There are daily flights to Kochi from across major cities.
By rail: There are three stations in Kochi namely, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town, and Kochi Harbour Terminus, which are well connected to all major cities across India.
By road: Private and public transport services connect Kochi to all major cities. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation runs the bus service in Kerala and it has a central bus stand near the Eranakulam Junction railway station.

Sithara Homestay
House No. 1/308,
Lilly Street,
Fort Cochin,
Cochin 682001,
Kerala, India.
For more information, call 91 484 2215065 or e-mail:

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NEXT: Day 4 - Jodhpur, Rajasthan


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I enjoyed reading..!nice written article..!I have never visited Munnar...have heard a lot about it..

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