Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Cherai Beach

Place : Cherai, Vypeen Island, Kochi, Kerala
Highlight : A rare blend of the Beach and the backwaters
Best time to visit : Through out the year.
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Cherai Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala bordering the northern end of Vypeen Island, is located about 26 km from Ernakulam city, Kochi. 

The place is a unique combination of sea and backwaters rimmed by lush green coconut palms and paddy fields. The backwaters are a combination of lakes, lagoons, canals and estuaries.

The 15 km long golden Beach is very clean, shallow and is ideal for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. The newly beautified 400 Meters of the main beach has a walkway and High mask lamps which make the beach enjoyable even at night. Trained security staff are present round-the-clock in the beach. The Beach is very safe and tourists of all age groups can enjoy the Beach alike. The beautiful beach is studded with seashells of various hues and shapes. There is a park for children on the beach. Water Scooter and Speed Boats are available for hire. One could catch an occasional glimpse of Dolphins as they spring out and dive back into the water. The far end of the beach is lined with Chinese fishing nets which is a beautiful sight by itself. 

A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby makes this place even more beautiful. The main attraction of Cherai is the 'Poyil' a large inland lake forming a part of the calm serene backwaters separated from the ocean by only a narrow sandbar. A boat ride along the palm fringed backwaters and paddy fields is a breathtaking experience you will never forget. The water is calm, crystal clear and you could loose yourselves in the beauty of the surrounding Kerala Village life. One could get a glimpse of country boats ferrying paddy or fish, fishermen casting for the days catch, reapers working in the paddy fields, toddy tappers climbing coconut trees for tapping toddy, ducks wading across the water with their ducklings, storks looking for their prey in the paddy fields etc. The water fields here are single crop ones mostly cultivating paddy. In between the crop season the paddy fields are converted into fish farms, mainly prawns. Cherai is also well known for the mouth lingering fresh sea food and country wine Toddy (fermented coconut water).

Cherai is just 15 minutes drive from North Paravur ( 4km). It can be approached from Ernakulam either by taking a ferry to Vypeen island which is 22km away (40 minutes by bus) from Cherai or taking the longer road route via Edappally to North Paravur and from there to Cherai, a distance of about 25km. Now, the new Goshree Bridge from Ernakulam that stretches out across the backwaters connecting the islands of Bolghatty, Mulavukadu, Vallarpadam and Vypeen make tourist access to this beach much more easier. One can also approach Cherai straight from the Kochi International airport via North Paravur approximately 22 km.

The approach to the beach is through a roadway with backwaters on either sides. Cherai known as the 'Princess of the Arabian Sea' with its still pristine natural scenic beauty, is a unique and precious gift of Mother Nature. It is an ideal place to spend a laid back, peaceful holiday amidst enchanting surroundings.

Cherai also has some ancient historical monuments in its close proximity. A brief 5-km drive will take you to the Pallipuram Fort, one of the first forts to be built by the Europeans in Kerala. Still further is Kottayil Kovilakam, here a Jewish synagogue, a church, a temple and a mosque co-exist in peaceful communal harmony within the same compound. Close to the beach is a Siva Parvati temple- Sree Goweeswaram founded by Sree Narayana Guru, a mystic and social reformer of the early 20th century. The peak attraction here is the 'Pooram' celebratedduring Januaray and February. In a magnificent display of grandeur, 28 caparisoned elephants come together here during this temple festival.