Plages à l’infini…
The Chill capital of Kerala?
Marari beach is a short tuk tuk ride from the busy town of Aleppey and if you have a choice, stay at Marari beach and travel in when you need / want to.
In terms of culture and sightseeing, well, there is ,not much here, just miles of palm-fringed sandy beach bordering a blue ocean – I know, sounds like hell doesn’t it …
We were here in January and the temperature was a nice mid 30°c, which was great, especially as there is a slightly cooling breeze coming off of the sea.
Arriving at the beach from our homestay, which was a short walk of about 4 minutes, we were greeted by an elderly man in a dhoti who spoke a couple of words of English as he thrust his business card into our hands.
The card read “K.M. Philip – Beach bed & umbrella” – he appeared to have a monopoly on the beach beds and umbrellas as far as the eye can see.
It seems he is in competition with the two ladies at the tea stall as you enter the beach, but their prices are a whopping 10 rupees more expensive than his and they are minnows next to his empire.
It turns out that he is the father of Babu, the owner of the homestay where we stayed.
Sunrise and sunset
The beach was pretty quiet during the day, just a handful of tourists, both Indian and foreigners, but at sunset that all changes as people flock to see the beautiful sight of the sea dipping down into the ocean. Well, when I say flock, I may be exagerating a little, but more people appear as if by magic to witness the beauty before the beach is plunged into complete darkness.
What to see and do
As I said earlier, this is a place to just chill out, away from the crowds of the city – a place for long walks along the pristine beach just splashing in the warm, clear waters of the Arabian sea.
Marari beach was rated as one of the world’s top five ‘Hammock Beaches’ by a National Geographic survey, and rightly so, it is a perfect chill beach and you are not hassled by people selling you stuff like at some of the other beaches along the coast, apart from the welcome fresh coconut sellers who drop by from time-to-time.
Marari beach, in the village of Mararikulam, just 20 or so minutes from Aleppey and about 40 kilometers from Kochi and is ideally placed as a stopover before heading into the hill stations, such as Munnar or further down the Kerala coast.
It is much quieter than Kovalam and Varkala beach which are a lot more commercialised and tourist centred than Marari beach, so if you are looking for a quiet place to chill, look no further.
Where to stay & eat
We stayed at a fabulous homestay Babu’s, which is a short 3 or 4 minute stroll to the beach. Babu goes fishing in the morning at around 5am and you eat his fresh catch of giant prawns, kingfish or other seafood at dinner. He also has a tuk tuk and will take you wherever you want to go to. The rooms are clean, big and you eat breakfast and dinner on the balcony of your room. The food is very nice and always with fresh ingredients and Babu will pick you up some beer too – he took me to one of his friend’s (Jackson – yes, like Michael he grinned) houses to pick up a bottle of special Indian Navy rum – which went well with the fresh coconut water as we watched the sun go down.
There are places to get tea, cold drinks and snacks at the beach as well as a good restaurant, which is a bit deceptive, as it looks like a shack from the outside, but the food is great.
Further up the beach is Coffee Temple, which does food and is good and there is another place, weirdly called ‘Le Littoral’ we took a seat here but left after 30 minutes as the waiter had better things to do, so we can’t comment on the food here, although it is right on the shoreline as the name would suggest.
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More photos of Marari Beach