Kerala to Promote Night Tourism Kerala is planning to boost tourism by promoting night activities in select locations. The new venture is aimed to attract more travellers even during the lean season. Plans to promote night activities in the houseboat tourism sector in Alappuzha are already afoot. Also, Kerala Kalagramam projects are to be promoted in destinations such as Pallathuruthy and Thottappally to boost night activities. At present, the houseboats stay anchored in the evenings, and there are no major tourism activities. The proposed project on night tourism will ensure various cultural activities between 06:00 pm and 11:00 pm. Kothamangalam in Kerala’s Tourism Map The town of Kothamangalam has already gained popularity as the gateway of to the high ranges. Now, with better infrastructure, it is all set to be the stopping point for tourists before they enter Munnar and Thekkady. Bhoothathankettu Dam and Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary here have been listed as potential places of tourist attraction. Inchathotty and Ayyapanmudi too have been developed and are ready to welcome more visitors. Inchathotty features the largest hanging bridge in the state and the calm waters here make it ideal for kayaking, while Ayyapanmudi boasts of a serene hilltop temple with fabulous views. 20 lakh followers for Kerala Tourism on Facebook Steeply raising the benchmark across India’s tourism social media platforms, the number of followers on Kerala Tourism’s official Facebook page has now spiralled to over two million. Innovative tourism products and experiences of Kerala such as ‘Responsible Tourism’ and ‘Village Life Experiences’ form a part of the daily updates of the page. “This achievement has brought recognition for Kerala Tourism not just from other parts of India, but from countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, Australia and the UK also,” said tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran.
Home to many basadis (Jain place of worship), Shravanabelagola is a major pilgrim destination. The sacred places here are spread across the Chandragiri and Vindyagiri hills and also in the village at the foothills. One of the world’s tallest and largest free-standing monolithic statue is situated atop the Vindhyagiri Hill, and yet, one has to toil up 600-odd steps to see it in its entirety. The roughly 60-foot tall statue of Bahubali seems to gaze down at the rather scenic landscape. Anyone, who climbs up the 600 steps to this place, may enjoy these views. Carved out of a single block of granite, this gigantic ancient statue has lifelike features and perfectly precise geometrical dimensions. It was built in circa 981 A.D. and one can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the architectural might of the ancient folks who built the statue.
Mysore – 85 (km)
Belur – 90 (km)
Hassan - 52 (km)
Bangalore – 145 (km)
Best Season: October to March
Pichavaram Far away from the maddening crowds, the picturesque village of Pichavaram lies nestled amidst mangrove forests and backwaters near Chidambaram in the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu. It is situated between the Vellar and Coleroon estuaries, with the Vellar-Coleroon estuarine complex forming the Killai backwater and the mangroves that stay permanently rooted in a few feet of water. This stunningly beautiful offbeat destination is just perfect for connecting with nature.
There are a number of islands here interspersing a vast expanse of water covered with mangrove forest. Covering about 1100 hectares, it’s the world’s second largest mangrove forest. The area attracts a rich local as well as migratory birdlife and so far, 144 species have been recorded. There are facilities for kayaking, canoeing, fishing and leisurely boat rides amidst the mangroves.
Chennai – 228 (km)
Nearest airport: Pondicherry Airport 75 (km)
Nearest railway station: Chidambaram (20 km)
Best Season – September to February
Event date: March 11, 2019
Venue: Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple
Chettikulangara Bharani is a spectacular festival celebrated at Chettikulangara Temple near Mavelikara in Alappuzha. Dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy, this grand festival is celebrated during the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February-March). The entire town comes alive with merriment.
The primary attractions during the festival are the Kettukazcha. These are 90 to 100 ft. tall structures decorated with cloth, flowers, and ornaments. It is an important moment for the 13 'karas' or regions that comprise the area. Thousands of people work with whole-hearted devotion to build these gigantic structures. There are three categories - the Theru (chariot), Kuthira (horse) and three other figures of Bhima, Hanuman and Panchali (popular characters from Indian epics). These are taken to the temple through the city roads amidst much jubilation, with locals as well as visitors joining in with great gusto. Many art and folk shows are performed as well that make it ensure an all the more memorable event, year after year.
Nearest railway station: Mavelikkara, about 6 km away.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha
Ada Pradhaman is considered the king among the desserts in Kerala and is seen at almost major celebrations in God’s Own Country. The recipe contains secrets that have been passed down the centuries home.
• Raw Rice - 1 cup
• Sugar - 1 cup
• Coconuts – 2
• Jaggery - ½ kg
• For Garnishing
• Cashews - ¼ cup
• Raisins - ¼ cup
• Cardamom – 6
• Ghee for frying
Method of Preparation
Making the Ada Batter
Soak rice for an hour, and then strain well and dry in a piece of cloth for two hours.
After that, grind it to fine powder and sieve through a fine sieve.
Now add 2 teaspoons of melted ghee, 2 tsp. of sugar and medium hot water to get the consistency of chapathior cookie dough.
Making the Ada
Take plantain leaves and cut them into 6" squares roughly. Hold these squares over a fire for a few seconds to make them flexible.
Boil plenty of water in a big broad vessel. Take lime-sized portions of the batter and spread behind the plantain leaves. Immediately drop in the boiling water.
Do this till all of the batter is used up. When the Adas are well cooked, they float.
Alternately, you can steam them 3 or 4 at a time in a steamer. Remove, strain and scrape out the Adas and wash in plenty of water; changing the water three or four times to remove the stickiness. Chop finely.
Making of Ada Pradhaman
Grate the coconut and keep ¼ cup of the first milk, 1 ½ cups of the 2nd milk and 2 cups of the 3rd milk ready.
Heat up a vessel and add ¼ cup of ghee and fry the cooked ada well. Then add the 3rd milk, jaggery and sugar and boil on a medium flame for 10 min.
Add the 2nd milk and boil for 5 minutes. Add the first milk and remove at once from the stove; stirring thoroughly. Add 1 tsp. of cardamom powder and mix well. Add fried cashews and raisins.
Now, if you're an amateur cook, you may just be wondering what all this first milk, second milk, third milk business is all about. It’s quite simple, really. The first milk is the milk extract that you strain out from the coconut the first time you beat it in the mixer with water. You shouldn't use too much water this time. Then, the coconut from which the first milk has been extracted is beaten in the mixer again with more water to get the second milk. Put that aside and then extract the third milk.
SpiceJet flights to London from Delhi and Amritsar SpiceJet is all set to commence its international operations with the launch of direct flights connecting London with Delhi and Amritsar from March 2019 onwards. It will employ A330 planes on the long routes of 6 hours’ duration or more. Singapore’s Scoot Airlines to begin operations in Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam Scoot, the low cost arm of Singapore Airlines, will be introducing flights to Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam during the course of 2019, in an effort to boost passengers in addition to its already operative routes to Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow, and Tiruchirappalli.