Beautiful Sunsets at Mannanam

The Mannanam church is a great spot to watch beautiful sunsets and to experience calming twilight.
(11 kms from Kottayam, view on map).

There stands nothing between you and as-far-as-you-can-see. Just before sunset and during twilight, clouds often stage gorgeous performances. And they never repeat the same moves or hues — the view is unique every evening.

It shows how fun-loving our Earth is!

Inspired by Naalumanikkaattu

It was in January 2011 that Naalumanikkaattu was opened. A first-of-its-kind. The great amount of care and attention given to its maintenance and good-going have paid off greatly. The place is now frequented by at least a couple hundreds people, especially on weekends. The idea was fresh, very practical and the execution was flawless.

Goodness inspires. There are now two more spots in Kottayam that are inspired by the change-of-air Naalumanikkattu offered. Kalathilkadavu Puzhayorasahyanam along the Kodoor River on the Devalokam – Kolladu road (view on map) and Aattutheeram along the Meenachil River, between Cherppunkal and Mutholy, on the Ettumanoor – Pala highway (view on map). These are not as elaborate as Naalumanikkattu but are good little open places for some leisure.

Kalathilkadavu


There are about 6-8 benches here, along the roadside towards the bridge. There is an open park for kids with swings & see-saws, a locally-run hotel that serves snacks & drinks and an ice cream counter. The view get more scenic towards sunset.


Aattutheeram


The Aattutheeram project on the Cherppunkal – Mutholy stretch is a kilometre long beautification of the highway. A passionately maintained garden runs along the road on both sides and it instantly improves the feel of the trip. Even the routine, boring commute will feel better as you pass by. Extending the project, there are now few benches along the garden that overlook the Meenachil River with faint & foggy view of mountains far away.

Walkway at Kumarakom. Into the Vembanad Lake

This walkway is at a walking distance from the Kumarakom Govt. Boat Jetty. It’s about 300m long and ends at a roofed viewpoint – the point where the canal join the Vembanad Lake. (View on map)

There is an adequately sized parking lot right beside the Jetty. A 3oo-metre walk from here, along the canal-side road will get us to the walkway. The walkway is fenced on both sides and fully paved with non-slippery tiles. Savour the view, feel the air, enjoy the walk.

There is a chapel near the end which is situated in the lake. This dramatic spot has been the location for many films, including the giant-hit Mohanlal flick – Spadikam (see the screenshots at the end).

The trip could be extended to include a 30 minute (one-way) nonstop boat journey across the Vembanad Lake to Muhamma and back on a Govt. ferry service from the Govt. Jetty. Include a visit to the Bird Sanctuary located about 3kms away in Kavanattinkara/Kumarakom Tourist Complex and you have got a solid one-day trip in hand.

And hey, the Kottayam-Kumarakom road is now super-good from Illickal. It has a Changanacherry-Alappuzha Road feel to it!

List of places to visit and things to do in Kumarakom

Fish Galaxy – Public Aquarium, Now Open

The Kottayam Aquarium is located adjacent to the Municipal Jubilee Park, Nagampadam. After Naalumanikkaattu on the Manarcad – Ettumanoor bypass, the public aquarium is a wonderful addition to the gradually-increasing list of leisure spots.

Location: Adjacent to the Municipal Jubilee Park, Kurian Uthuppu Road, Nagampadam.
Working Hours: 11 am to 7 pm – Monday Holiday.
Tickets: Rs. 20/- for adults and Rs. 10/- for children.

The air-conditioned aquarium houses a huge variety of magnificent fishes and amazing marine biomass. This project is aided by the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and is executed by Kottayam Municipality in association with Matsyafed. There is sale of aquariums and accessories too.

In addition to the spacious parking area inside the compound, there is ample space on the Kurian Uthuppu road side too.
Club the Aquarium and the Jubilee Park for an evening; it will be a great family evening.

Photos

Naalumanikkaattu – A Promising Place to be at

Naalumanikkaattu is an in-house tourism project by the Manarcad-Ettumanoor Bypass Residents’ with technical support from Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences (the same people behind the Butterfly Garden). A stretch of the bypass has been worked upon and transformed into something like an open park. Benches are placed along one side with tress planted in between. Paddy fields extend to both sides. The already-wonderful landscape will get even greater once the trees grow up. This is indeed a great start.
Also read: Inspired by Naalumanikkaattu, two more similar projects at Kolladu and Mutholy

Location: 2.5 kms from Manarcad Junction (on the Manarcad-Ettumanoor bypass)
(View on map)

Go-Karting + Billiards. YAY!

Notice (May 2012): Unfortunately, the place is closed indefinitely.

This place was a real discovery. A Go-Karting track and a Billiards club at just 26kms from town.

The place – Pala Fun Track at Arunapuram, Pala – is set alongside the Meenachil River. The standards-compliant Go-Karting track is about 250metres long and is designed amidst rubber tress planted in straight rows – something that makes it unique, very unique.

Then there are the two lush-green professional-quality Billiards tables. The room is filled with multi-channel music. It is relaxingly cool and calm; thanks to the wooden ceiling. Even if it’s the first time you’re holding the cue, the personnel attending you will be more than happy to guide you with the basics and you will start playing in minutes.

With the Indian GrandPrix scheduled for October 2011 at Noida, Delhi, having something like this – a karting place in proximity – is sure to pump up the experience.

Phone Number:
+91 924 912 0777

Working hours:
(Before leaving, call the above number to confirm that they’re opened)
4 pm – 8 pm, Mon-Fri.
10 am – 8 pm, Saturday & Public Holidays
Remains Closed on Sunday.

Tariff: Rs. 100/7 laps of Go-Karting.   Rs. 60/hour for 2 players for Billiards.   Rs. 80/hour for more than 2 players.