My first Backpacking tour in Kerala | Solo Women Trip in Keala | Fort Kochi and Theyyam Tour
A glimpse of the travel memoir by Ms Athira Kumar from Bangalore who experienced Solo Women Trip in Kerala with Tyndis. Tyndis Tours curates best Solo Woman Travel in India. If you are interested, you can contact us to create a customized package for solo female travel in Kerala.
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Backpacking Solo Women Trip in Kerala
Kerala is indeed a god’s creation. Being a Keralite, I have experienced it all: the beautiful landscape, the backwaters, traditions, and lip-smacking food. But the Solo women trip in Kerala with Tyndis was something extremely enticing and new to me.
I have always been a travel enthusiast, back in my childhood days I used to travel with my dad on his small official trips to the northern and western parts of India.
However since I moved to Bangalore, I love to travel solo. Travelling solo has brought out my inner confidence and gave me a different perspective on livelihood. That’s what made me book this Solo women trip in Kerala on the first hand – to experience Kerala in my way. And so, I went on a backpacking tour in Kerala with Tyndis.
Without further ado, here was the itinerary for my backpacking tour in Kerala.
Stay during Solo Woman Trip in Kerala
I left from Bangalore on Saturday night by the Kannur express at around 9 p.m. and reached Kannur on Sunday morning by 10 a.m. It was a pretty long journey, so I was prepared (booked my tickets in advance). I stayed in a homestay arranged by Tyndis during this entire backpacking tour in Kerala.
In this solo women trip in Kerala, my stay was booked for a heritage backpacker homestay in Payyanur. But later, the accommodation was upgraded to the Heritage Inn – a brand new heritage home.
Team Tyndis helped me with the beautiful stay at the Swastikam Heritage Inn, situated at a 4 k.m. radius from the Payyanur railway station. Tyndis Tours having local members in their team from Payyanur were also helpful when it came to Theyyam Tour. They confirmed me the dates on which the Theyyam dance was being performed prior to my journey. (So, if you want to experience some of the rare art performances it’s good to get in touch with experiential travel companies like Tyndis for Theyyam Tour in Kerala).
Also, my host Rahul Narayanan from Swastikam Heritage Inn was very friendly and the Kerala food from their own restaurant was also great. (Must try: Idly-Vada combo)
I was fortunate enough to experience the ‘Perum Kaliyattam’, a form of Theyyam festival which is conducted in intervals of 12 or more years.
What is Theyyam?
Theyyam is a ritual art form in which it is believed that the God enters the body of the Theyyam performer and hence, believers consider the man dressed, as the visible manifestation of God and seek his blessings.
It was past dusk and I headed towards the temple ‘Sree Muchilott Bhagavathi Temple’, where the Theyyam ritual was going to take place. A massive crowd is all that I could see from a distance. People had come from various parts of the state to see the dance of the gods.
I was informed at first itself that the Theyyam performance would last the whole night. So I decided to stay and came prepared. I stayed at the temple the whole night with other onlookers.
In intervals of an hour or sometimes two, the performer would enter the temple with the god’s paint on his face, (red designs which are very delicate and are almost invisible to our eyes), wearing godly costumes with a large headdress. He would then dance to the beats of the folk instruments like the Chenda and Elathalam.
As time went by, the crowd got thinner, but then too I felt safe. I loved the people there, so welcoming and loving. Some even invited me for breakfast at their place. The overall experience was mystical and thus fulfilled my ultimate purpose of travelling to the Malabar.
Quickies for backpacking tour in Kerala
- When to book a Theyyam Tour in Kerala: It is played during the months between November and May.
- Where to experience: Temples and sacred groves in and around Kannur and Kasaragod districts. (Confirm the Theyyam dates with the localities)
- What to carry along: As you are gonna stay for some time to take all the essentials you would need.
- Do not forget to research on Theyyam before coming, will certainly help you understand it better. (Books like Nine lives by William Dalrymple and Theyyam: Merging with the divine by Indu Chinta can be referred)
I reached Ernakulam after a train journey of about 8 hours from Kannur. I was happy with the good memories of the Theyyam tour and pleasant experience. From the railway station, I took a paid auto to the Fort Kochi, took me around 20 minutes to reach the Zostel, Kochi. I always love to stay in Zostels and Backpacker Hostels, plus point being they are easy on the pocket and also, you get to meet and interact with many travellers from across the world. Hostels are best for solo female travel in Kerala. I have used them on each of my solo women travel in India.
Fort Kochi Backpacking Experience
As I took a stroll through the streets of Fort Kochi, my first thoughts on the city were “colourful and lively”. The streets were all lighted as it was Christmas and there were stalls in each corner selling Christmas goodies. I picked Kochi to experience the famous Biennale which is conducted from the months of October till March every year.
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is India’s largest contemporary art event exhibited by Indian and International artists, at various venues across Kochi. Due to inadequate time, I decided to visit the main venues: I went to the primary venue, Aspinwall House, where I got the pass to the venues.
Entry Pass costs a 100 INR and lets you visit all the venues with the same pass. Aspinwall house is an oceanfront complex with scenic views and a number of warehouses exhibiting different kinds of art. My next stop was Pepper house (it has also a cafe and a small library inside the compound).
Lastly, I visited the Kashi art cafe. The cafe was packed so had to wait for some time for my turn. I ordered the famous “Chocolate cake” (and it did justify all the hype given to it – A must try!!)
I spent the entire day visiting the venues and taking a stroll through the local market. And finally, I ended my small backpacking tour in Kerala by taking a ferry from the Kochi Port to Ernakulam, at around 7 p.m. After just a 10-minute ferry ride I reached Ernakulam and where I got the train back to Namma Bengaluru. It was truly an amazing solo women trip in Kerala.
I would recommend Tyndis Tours to anyone who’s in search for help in planning their backpacking tour in Kerala or Solo women travel in Kerala. They are the perfect choice you can have!
Book your Solo Women Trip in Kerala
Interested about the experience of solo women trip in Kerala shared by Athira? You can also book similar backpacking tour in Kerala or solo women trip in Kerala. Tyndis Tours features a wide range of packages for solo women travel in India. Get in Touch for more details.