We were in Kerala, God’s own country for a week and were having an amazing time in this enchanting land of swaying coconut palms, backwaters, and the sea. We were camping in Cherai, a small beach town near to the city of Kochi. After a lazy first half spent gorging on some authentic Kerala food and lazing in the pool at the boutique resort called Le Petit Elephant, we inquired about any nearby attractions that we could visit quickly in the afternoon. We were told that we could visit a Lighthouse which was about 24 Kilometers away as well as a Fish Park and we would just need to take the straight road that ran parallel to the beach. We were also warned that the road was not that good in parts. The options to reach the lighthouse included hiring a bike or calling for an autorickshaw or Tuk-Tuk. The laziness of the day had got into our bones. Hearing that the road was not too good, we were not up to driving. So we settled for the Tuk-Tuk.
So off we went hurtling along the road that ran parallel to the sea to visit the famous Vypin Lighthouse. It was afternoon and the waves of the Arabian Sea rose and crashed languorously on the sand. After driving along the Sea for some distance, the Tuk-Tuk driver took a left turn and moved in a direction that led away from the sea, this was ostensibly to avoid the bad stretch of road ahead and to connect back at a later stage.
We let out a shout of excitement as the road wound between water bodies on either side, these were the famed backwaters of Kerala. The water looked crystal clear and serene and was surrounded by coconut palm trees which threw their shadows on the tranquil waters.
The Tuk-Tuk then hit the main road that led to Kochi and we traveled on this road for about 15 odd kilometers before again turning right and traveling through narrow lanes and small villages finally reaching the Lighthouse.
We were in for a surprise. We had imagined an old, dilapidated structure, a Lighthouse that had withstood the vagaries of time and stood as a silent sentinel, witness to the ebb of time. A structure that had acted as a beacon to ships out in the high seas for years together.
The structure that stood in front of us was a modern one that jutted out proudly in front of the sea. We entered the gates of Vypin Lighthouse after buying tickets which are priced very nominally.
We entered through a small door and were advised to take the lift.
A gleaming high speed lift awaited us and we were whisked to the top in seconds. We emerged out of the Vypin Lighthouse to a spectacular and panoramic view. We walked around the circumference clicking pictures of the view. Though we were high up, there was absolutely no sense of vertigo as the space for moving around the tower was quite large and also the safety railings were quite high.
We first looked out towards the Arabian Sea, the horizon looked foggy beyond the beach and we could see some paddy fields just before the start of the beach.
On the Northern side of Vypin Lighthouse, lush green plantations stretched out as far as the eyes good see and enthralled us with their beauty. Picturesque houses and a church nestled amidst the greenery.
As we looked towards the western side of Vypin Lighthouse, we saw a neat little temple, symmetrically designed in the ancient architectural style of Kerala.
A road ran parallel to the beach leading towards the southern side of the Vypin Lighthouse and vehicles which looked like miniature models ran on it.
We spent about 30 minutes enjoying the views and breathing in the sea breeze that blew atop the tower before we took the lift to descend to ground level. The good thing was that there was hardly anyone around and we had the tower to ourselves.
Once out of the tower we noticed a glass covered kiosk that resembled an ATM center, our curiosity drew us inside. We discovered that this was an information kiosk with a touch screen. The system provided interesting information about the lighthouses across India as well as Naval museums. A great place for kids to learn about Lighthouses and their history and evolution.
We took another look at this modern and efficient lighthouse that must be instilling emotions of joy, hope and anticipation to sailors in the high seas every night.
We were back in the Tuk-Tuk and the driver now maneuvered over impossible stretches of road skillfully as we held on for dear life. After what seemed like hours of driving to nowhere, we reached the Fish Park. Unfortunately, the Park was closed. We were told that one could have a boat cruise at the Park and watch jumping fishes at close quarters. A meal of fish, freshly caught from the backwaters was also on the cards. We took a few pictures of the fish park which looked serene and got back to our Tuk-Tuk to ride back to our hotel.
The sun was setting on the western horizon as we reached the backwaters again. We asked the Tuk-Tuk driver to stop as we stepped out to experience a serene sunset on the lovely backwaters. We watched in silence as a boat glided to the shore and the sun slowly faded away from the sky. We felt a strange peace watching the sun go down and we made our way back to the Tuk-Tuk reluctantly.
We now headed back towards the hotel, the sea to our left, we passed some fishermen weaving nylon fishing nets, we spied some bright yellow wild flowers swaying merrily by the side of the road, a couple enjoying the evening by the beach.
The Kochi lighthouse which is also known as Vypin lighthouse is one destination in Kochi which should not be missed. The aerial view of coconut palms, the Arabian sea and the Vypin island itself is breathtaking!
Watch this video on our ride in tuk-tuk and the aerial view from the lighthouse.
Happiness coursed through our being as we thought about an evening well spent and looked forward to many more wonderful experiences on this trip to Kerala including the boat cruise in the Kerala backwaters!
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