In the most densely populated island of Asia, Vypeen, lies one of the most clean, long and beautiful beaches of Kerala. Known for its vibrant population and high educational standards, Vypeen Island is one of the most characteristic representations of Kerala’s coastal culture. Great food is available on the beachside and the greenery is unparalleled. World-renowned tiger prawns are just one among the unique features of the prawn fields of this island. Known as Pokkali farming, the prawn fields are cultivated with paddy after the harvest of prawns. The paddy and prawns are alternatively farmed, the waste of each proving to be fertiliser for the other.
The five-km long Cherai beach comprises several secluded lonely beaches and open crowded beaches. The sand here is reckoned to be the best in south India. There are a few private beaches as well. Coconut groves provide abundant cover from the bright sun. The 400-m long walkway created at the open beach is the best way to enjoy the energetic atmosphere, and if you want to unwind and enjoy the sounds of the Arabian Sea alone, there are many lonely beach fronts to choose from. The beach is also ideal for swimming during low tides.
The food here will give you the real taste of coastal Kerala. Tapioca or rice and prawns, and toddy (local drink) is a common combination. It’s worth the time to take a day or more just to check out the various tastes on offer. The beach resorts available here are of exceptional quality and offer a host of extra services.
HOW TO GET THERE
Cherai beach is just about 25km from international airport. The ride takes you through towns and villages to the heart of Kerala’s costal life. If you are coming in from Cochin city don’t miss the boat ride from Ernakulam to Vypeen. Or you could easily take a bus or a cab.
Boating through the lagoons, canals and prawn fields here is as enjoyable as rides through the sea. Seasonally, there is paragliding facility available here. The Cherai temple festival during January-February is one of the most renowned festivals of the state. It is especially famous for its grand display of elephants. Many festivals are celebrated during this period in different temples nearby as well.
The abandoned fort here is said to have been built by Tipu Sultan. If you make friends with local fishermen, they’ll let you try your hand t fishing in both lagoons and also at the shallow sea.