02 April Sunday

Cherai: The undisturbed lands od leisure

T VinayakumarUpdated: Tuesday Dec 12, 2017

As the boat wades leisurely forward along the backwaters, the ear picks up the muffled roar of the sea. Suddenly, you find yourself submerged in the cool sea-wind tweedling softly into the ears, as though inviting you to a never-before beach experience. With plenty of sand, surf and sun, free of noisy crowds and decaying junk you have to put up with on other beaches.
Enveloped in a heavenly lull, Cherai of fers you what, perhaps, no other beach can. The unique combination of sea and backwaters rimmed by lush green coconut palms, Cherai is considered to be the most virgin of the virgin beaches of Kerala. A virtual feast to the eyes and ears of a discerning tourist on the hunt for some real beach experience, sans the crowd and the pollution.

The sea at Cherai is quite sedate. Even during the monsoons, the sea doesn't gobble up much sand, unlike many other beaches where whole stretches of sand are washed away with the receding waves.

Yet, Cherai is more than just beach and backwaters. A brief 5-km drive will take you to the Pallippuram Fort, one of the first forts to be built by the Europeans in Kerala. Still furtheris Kottayil Kovilakom, an epitome of the true Indian spirit - communal harmony. Here a Jewish synagogue, a church, a temple and a mosque co-exist in peaceful harmony wihin the same compound.
Close to the beach is Sree Gowreeswaram Temple, founded by Sree Narayana Guru, a mystic and social reformer of the early 20th century. The peak attraction here is the Pooram, celebrated in the month of May. In a maginficent display of grandeur, 28 caparisoned elephants come together here during the Pooram festival.

Equally famous is the Chariot Festival at Sree Varaha Devaswam Temple, observed twice a year. The sacred chariot, devoutly taken on rails in a procession around the temple, is said to be worth more than Rs. 2 crore!

The Manjumatha Church is also an important pilgrim Spot in Cherai. Chendamangalam, famous for its masterly creations in handloom textiles, popularly known as Chendamangalam Kaithari, is just 4 km from Cherai.

A lot of tourism-oriented development activities are fast under way in Cherai. In 1987, a mammoth beach resort development project on 150 acres had been cleared by the Central Government. The proximity to the International Airport and Cochin city that makes Cheraian ideal haunt for those who seek the best of both worlds - beach and backwaters.

Map here: