Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aruvikkara Dam: the Foster Child of Kerala Tourism

 Aruvikkara Dam, Trivandrum, Kerala

It may be its location. It may be its lack of coldness. Aruvikkara Dam once enjoyed its status as a good picnic spot, but now is a bushy land that no one wants to take a second look at.

A temple near the dam still attracts people, as the belief is that feeding the fish here with rice and flower is remedy for warts (yes that skin condition).

There is literally no option for a snack or refreshment, except for a DTPC restaurant. The surroundings of which too have wild bushes. I fear snakes and didn't get the courage to go walk to near the door of the restaurant.

I've been to Aruvikkara on Wednesday morning, running some errands. I had my camera with me and a quickly snapped some shots on the run. The immediate thought was to get away from the location as fast as possible, that is the amount of bush and thorn that has grown into the areas once preserved as a decent picnic spot. However, I shoot a few snaps, which turn out to be decent photographs. I wonder now why I didn't take more photos.

Reaching the place is equally difficult. You need to be extremely cautious on the road to this location. The road is full of potholes. Luckily I ride a two-wheeler and I could somehow maneuver through the sides of the potholes. Still it was tough task not hurting my backbone.

It will not be too much of an exaggeration to carry a bag, so that you will not lose your vertebrae on the road.

If you want road adventure, the most dangerous of them all, welcome to Aruvikkara Dam.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Grand Kerala Shopping Festival in December

Shopping fever will grip Kerala this Christmas and yearend – thanks to the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival under the aegis of Government of Kerala, aimed at promotion of trading activity and to cash in on the festival mood.

The Shopping Festival will be on from December 1, 2007 till January 15, 2008. The shopping festival coincides with the biggest tourism season of the state is expected to attract people from India and abroad.

Government has announced prizes worth Rs.10 Crores (Rs. 100m ~US$ 2.5 m), in the form of luxury cars, consumer durables, holiday packages, etc. There will be special entertainment and sales events in all 14 districts of the state.

Any purchase of Rs.1000 will entitle the customer for a free scratch-card and a lucky draw card, which could win you instant prizes. It can also entitle you to win the mega prizes.

Retail stores, consumer durables showrooms, lifestyle stores, jewelry stores, hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas, Ayurvedic resorts and treatment centers, participate in Grand Kerala Shopping Festival.

Any merchant establishment in the state can register their business for the festival to get advertisement and technical support. Merchants can register their business under three categories and registration fee is Rs.20,000, Rs.10,000 and Rs.5000. On registering, the business gets scratch-cum-lucky-draw cards. Additional cards can be bought at a rate of Rs 15, with minimum purchase of 50 cards or in multiples of 50. Merchants also have special prize schemes, independent of the consumer prize schemes.

It is not immediately known if there are any tax benefits for purchases during this Shopping Festival period.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Kallara Rock Top Temple Kerala

Have some adventure climbing this rock, over which Kallara Ayiravilli temple is perched. Just about a 50ft or so high, these rocks are slipping too.

From the temple courtyard, you can get a panoramic view of Kallara, a small town in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.

To reach there: About 45-minute drive from Thiruvananthapuram, on Kollam route, via MC road. Take an eastward deviation at Karette, to a not so perfect road to reach Kallara.

No, this place is not in the map of Kerala tourism and I don't feel this place will catch up, but still I was there and I liked the place, and still I have not posted here for a long time, here is something to enliven Kerala Traveller.

kallara rock temple kerala