Day 19 – Jan 6th – Vypin
Vypin is a large island north of Fort Kochi. It hosts a number of beaches and a beautiful lighthouse.
We started our journey from Orchid Homestay at 8:00 AM in the morning. Our first stop was the Basilica of our Lady of Ransom Ave Maria. We had noticed this church on our way to Fort Kochi. Being a Sunday morning, the place was a little crowded. We attended the mass for a while and then made our way to the top of the church tower via a lift. The tower offers a panoramic view of Kochi and the harbour.
On our way towards Vypin we stopped for breakfast at a small shop near the main road. Google map has the restaurant marked as Josente Chayakada. For a total of Rs 74, we had a ton of great food, along with a cup of milky tea.
After reaching Vypin Island, a neatly painted black asphalt road led us towards the Multi-User Liquid Terminal. The place offers a peaceful view of the sea with the huge LPG tanks and a jetty in the foreground.
The Vypin lighthouse is a must visit. A ticket allows you to visit the top of the lighthouse for 30 minutes. You can choose to take the lift or climb up the stairs. Once you reach the top, you’ll want to stay longer. On one side you have the blue ocean and the sky seamlessly converging together. On the other side, you have land, covered with coconut and banana trees with the city visible in the background. We could see fishermen on the Complaint beach preparing their boats and a lovely temple just beside the lighthouse.
Next stop was an aqua tourism farm – Malippuram fish farm of Matsyafed. At the time of writing this blog, the entry fee is Rs 200 per person, which includes lunch (including fish curry), boating and ice cream. This is a superb deal if you are a non-vegetarian but not so much for us. That and the idea of boating in the mid-day sun did not appeal to us very much and hence we decided to skip the place and continue on our drive towards the beach.
The road from the lighthouse to the aqua tourism farm is worth a drive. It is bound by backwaters on both sides, and we stopped there for some time to write notes and read.
Kuzhupilly Beach is a 25 minute drive from the farm. The beach is lined with trees that makes it suitable for a visit even in the afternoon sun. We spent some time here, with ice-creams in our hand, looking out onto the sea.
Our next stop was a make shift restaurant run by Kudumbashree for lunch. We had good local food at a very reasonable price served in a clean and neat setup. The restaurant does not seem to be marked on Google but is located between Kuzhupilly and Cherai beach.
We arrived at the Cherai beach at around 3:15 PM. Even with the afternoon heat, the beach was crowded. After a quick stop there, we made our way to Munambam Beach where the Periyar river flows into the Arabian Sea. We slept at the small park here to avoid the afternoon sun. At around 4:30 PM, we took a short walk on the Pulimuttu, which I can best describe as a very long and wide jetty. On one side of the jetty, we have the Periyar river, lined with Chinese fishing nets on both its banks. The other side is occupied by a children’s park. Vendors selling freshly fried fish and tea dot the sides of the jetty. We could see motorboats followed by a flock of crows and seagulls, heading out to the sea for fishing. It being a Sunday, we also found a lot of locals with their fishing rods trying to catch some fish for dinner.
Day 20 – Jan 7th – Homestay
We spent our time at the Homestay.
Vypin is a welcome departure from the very touristy Fort Kochi. We had a great time going around Vypin, visiting the various beaches and driving on the beach road. The highlight of the trip has to be the views from the lighthouse and the church tower, which will probably be even more scenic during the evening. If you are a non-vegetarian, we would also recommend a visit to the Malippuram fish farm.
Following are the places we visited:
- Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom or Vallarpadam Church
- Multi-User Liquid Terminal, LNG road
- Vypin lighthouse
- Malippuram fish farm of Matsyafed
- Kuzhupilly beach
- Cherai beach
- Munambam beach