Vypeen to Munambam: Offbeat route to beat the daily grind in Kochi

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The 25-km road from Vypeen to Munambam in Kochi offers a refreshing experience to travellers, especially those riding a bike. On the right side of the path are spread the backwaters and prawn hatcheries while on the left is the wide sea. The area is an island in the shape of a snake gourd and the road cuts right through its middle. A rural landscape beckons travellers in the narrow strip of land that separates the sea from the backwaters.

The route

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Crossing the Goshree bridge and turn to the road heading towards North Paravur. From Njarakkal market, turn left and soon large paddy fields lie on both sides of the road. 'Pokkali' farming is carried out in the paddy fields. In many areas, prawns are cultivated.

The road is deserted most of the time and travellers can relax in shade of tiny trees lining the path. Boatmen pass by and respond to the greetings of travellers. In the evening, the path seems even more beautiful. The waves are violent and threaten to swallow even the sea wall and groynes laid to prevent erosion.

Places to see

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Before starting the trip, visit the Vallarpadam Basilica in Vypeen. Another attraction of this area is the light house at Vypeen. Also on the Paravur route is the Njarakkal fish farm of the Fisheries Cooperative Matsyafed.

An interesting aspect of this road is that one need not stick to the main path to enjoy the scenery; even the by-lanes offer stunning sights. Attractions include prawns spread out to dry; youngsters catching pearl spot fish with a bow and arrow; and cranes and herons standing still in the waters as if in meditation, among others.

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At the village of Edavanakkad, you can notice sand deposited on the road by the sea. Stop the bike and try listening to the sounds of the ocean. This area is ideal for a bath in the sea but listen to the advice of local people who will warn you of any dangerous spots. Many of the beaches are deserted most of the time. Noted ones are Kuzhuppilly Beach and Cherayi Beach, but there are several others too.

Continue along this road to Munambam Beach and then turn to North Paravur before heading back to Ernakulam. The route along Vallarpadam highway to High Court Junction offers a smooth ride as well as beautiful views of mangroves.

Things to note

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Venture into the sea cautiously. Seek help from local people in case there is a need. Take their advice. Local knowledge is more reliable than Google.

Food

Several small eateries offering meals with fish items are located all along the road. However, carry enough drinking water. A restaurant on the left side of the road to Kochi just across the Varappuzha bridge is noted for its fish delicacies.

Other attractions

Kottayil Kovilakam and the historic synagogue at Paravur should not be missed.

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