Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Kochi Muziris Biennale

The Kochi Biennale foundation is non-profit charitable trust that is engaged in promoting art and the rich culture and heritage and along with these educational activities in India. With support from the Government of Kerala they are promoting Kochi-Muziris Biennale. This is an international exhibition of contemporary art set in spaces across the city of Kochi and surrounding Islands with shows being held in existing galleries, halls and sites installed in public spaces, old heritage buildings and other old and disused structures across the city. Indian and international artists exhibit their artworks across a variety of mediums like films, paintings, sculptures and performance art. The biennale seeks to invoke the rich cosmopolitan legacy of the metropolis of Kochi along with its mythical predecessor Muziris, the ancient port.

The Kochi Biennale foundation was founded by artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu in 2010. This idea got conceptualized when Department of Cultural Affairs of Government of Kerala approached both these artists to organize an international platform for displaying art in India. They proposed this idea in lines with the Venice Biennale.  The challenge was relative to the ambition of the project. A Biennale has never got past the thought process in India. Because there was no existing infrastructure to exhibit art on this large scale. But with the support of the Government, private financiers and local businesses, the Biennale found spaces and opened them up for displaying art. International art community supported the cause by sending art and artists to take part in this affair.  The Indian art community also got a platform for working with international artists. And all these artists became the spokespersons of Biennale.

 The KBF foundation promotes the conservation of Heritage monuments and the upliftment of traditional forms of art and culture. The first Kochi Muziris Biennale began on 12th December 2012. 80 artists of which 50% were international artists showcased their work and a sustained education program in three months. As a run up to the event artist Eberhard Havekost’s exhibition called ‘sightseeing trip’ in collaboration with Dresden State Art Collections was showcased at Durbar Hall Kochi. Aspin wall house showcases the work of 44 artists spread across the premises. The third edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale was inaugurated on 12th December 2016 and is curated by Sudarshan Shetty. Kerala tour packages from Ahmadabad will include stay in places close to these art galleries so that you can admire and enjoy the exhibits showcased in the Biennale.

The different venues that exhibit the art are
1.      Aspin wall

    Originally this was the business premises of a company owned by  English trader John H Aspin wall which traded coconuts, spices, timber, lemon grass oil, ginger, coffee, tea and rubber. It is a sea facing property in Fort Kochi and has a number of buildings, warehouses and smaller outer-lying structures. This is the primary venue for Biennale and has been loaned over to them by DLF limited in association with Gujral foundation.

2.      Pepper house

     It  is a water front heritage property on Kalvathi Road in between Fort Kochi and Bazar road. The building consists of two godowns or warehouses one facing the road and the other facing the water front and the two are separated by a courtyard and with Dutch style clayed roofs. 

3.      Kashi Art Café 

     It is an Old Dutch property converted into a café by Anoop Scaria and Dorrie Younger. This gallery opened in 1997 with an exhibition by CV Ramesh, and hence forth has become the hub of Kochi’s contemporary art scene. The café has a beautiful collection of art work by some eminent artists likeChristina Mamakos, K S Radhakrishnan and many more.

4.      Cabral Yard

   The property gets its name from the Portuguese navigator Cabral who made the first shipment of merchandise from Cochin in 1500AD. The Aspin wall company acquired the Cabral Yard property in which they constructed a hydraulic press for coir yarn and they began trading in coir.

5.      David hall

    Named after a Jewish businessman David Koder. He lived here with his family. This is a Dutch bungalow built by the Dutch East India Company in the year 1695 and located on the north side of Parade Ground in Fort Kochi.  Since 2007 this place has been leased by CNO India to CGH Earth which is an ecological conscious hotel group. This hall is currently an art gallery and café.
6.      Durbar Hall 

    Located in the heart of the city, this hall was constructed in 1850’s by the Maharaja of Cochin to host his royal court and over 150 years this place has had major incarnations, but the recent renovation by Kochi Biennale Foundation has converted it into an international quality venue for exhibiting art.
7.      MAP Project Space

   Currently owned by Museum of Art and Photography, Bengaluru, these structures dates back several hundreds of years. Built at a time when Dutch ruled Cochin this place was used for the storage of spices for trade.

8.      Anand Warehouse also known as Gujarati warehouse

    This place is a standing testimony to the Gujarati community who have made this city their home for more than two centuries.

9.      TKM Warehouse

    It is now the venue for co-founder Riyas Komu’s Uru Art Harbor, which he formulated as a center for the arts and will also serve as the venue for the coming edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

10.  Kashi art Gallery in Napier Street

    It  was acquired by Kashi art café as a dedicated gallery space and center for cultural exchange and renamed it to Kashi Art Gallery.
11.  Cochin Club

    It is a bungalow on a 3.5 acre plot and formerly used as a colonial mansion. Now this is a luxury hotel with beautiful landscapes. The narrow strip parallel to Cochin Club is used for Biennale as a venue.
12. Kottapuram Fort

    It  was built by the Portuguese in 1523 and it served a strategical position until it was captured by the              Dutch in 1663. The fort was a site of negotiation between the Dutch and Tipu Sultan and it was bought
     by the then king of Travancore Ramavarma Dharmaraja in 1789 to use the fort in safeguarding Travancore      against Mysore ruler. These are the various venue, Keralatour packages from Hyderabad will
    include travel to each one of these venues so that you will not miss out anything especially if you are  
    an   art lover.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Top 17 destinations for Kerala honeymoon - Lelagoon Holidays

Kerala is definitely the right place for planning honeymoon holidays in India. With amazing natural landscapes and locations that are beautiful and serene, Kerala tour packages from Ahmedabad isthe best way to escape from the hustles and bustles of the city and the tensions of the hectic work life. Once you decide to visit Kerala for your honeymoon days, you will have a tough time choosing the destinations to visit while in Kerala. But if you have ample time, say a couple of weeks, you can visit some of these 17 destinations perfect for a honeymoon:

1.      Poovar  

Poovar is located near a confluence of a river and the sea. The floating cottages here are very popular among the tourists, especially the honeymoon couples, as they offer a lot of privacy and beautiful sunset / sunrise view from the cottage. These cottages are jutting out into the backwaters and you can spend the evenings watching the sunset from your balcony of the bamboo cottage sipping your favourite drink. You can also enjoy the sumptuous Kerala cuisine during your stay here.

2.      Trivandrum 

Trivandrum, the capital city, offers many beautiful beaches and tourist destinations to all types of visitors. There are very famous pilgrim places here, the most famous ones being the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Bheema Palli and Vettukaud Church. The Shanghumugham beach is another popular destination for the tourists. Veli lake and village is a beautiful experience to cherish with an amazing garden to explore and the boating through the backwaters. The palaces and museums are also frequented by all types of tourists.

3.      Kovalam 

Kovalam is probably the most popular beach destination for honeymoon couples. The sight of the orange sky during the sunset from the crescent-shaped beaches where the Arabian sea meets the Indian Ocean look surreal, especially on a full moon night. You can enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beachside resort relishing the flavours of Kerala under the moonlit sky.

4.      Ponmudi

Ponmudi is a hill station near Trivandrum and a perfect escapade from the rushes of the city. It is a cool and refreshing place with a lot of greenery and stunning views of the mist-clad hills and valleys. The highest peak on the Western Ghats, Agastyarkoodam is located in Ponmudi. Tourists will enjoy the plantation tours and the refreshing air quality in these hills.

5.      Thenmala 

Thenmala is a popular eco-tourism spot near Kollam. Tourists enjoy the trekking through the lush rainforests and boating at the reservoir. The Dam, reservoir, river, garden, amusements, dancing fountains etc at the Thenmala eco-tourist park offer an unforgettable experience to the tourists on Kerala honeymoon packages from Ahmedabad.

6.      Thekkady 

Thekkady is another beautiful nature’s abode in Kerala. It is famous for the plantations, Periyar Reservoir, Periyar Tiger Reserve and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Boating at the Periyar reservoir takes up 2 to 3 hours during which tourists can witness many wild animals in the wildlife sanctuary coming to the reservoir to drink water. Deer, elephants and bison are regularly seen. There are Kingfishers and many other beautiful birds that feed n the fishes in the reservoir which is another beautiful sight that attracts the tourists. Explore the plantations and go on trekking through the tiger trails along with an experienced guide while in Thekkady.

7.      Kumarakom 

Kumarakom is famous for houseboat cruises through the Vembanad Lake and the Pathiramanal island bird sanctuary. Tourists can enjoy the beautiful landscapes of coconut groves and greenery that lines the emerald green backwaters here.

8.      Vagamon 

Vagamon is a serene destination of hills and valleys with a cool climate and quiet environment. It is a perfect destination for honeymoon couples.

9.      Munnar 

Munnar is the most popular honeymoon destination in Kerala. All across, you will see tea gardens that sprawl across hills and valleys. Mist-kissed mountains and fog-covered plantations make Munnar the perfect place for romance.

10.  Allepey 

Allepey is called the Venice of the East. The beautiful water canals and backwaters of Allepey are frequently visited by tourists who come to enjoy a tranquil holiday enjoying a backwater cruise watching the coconut groves and munching on some fish fries.

11.  Mararikkulam 

Mararikkulam is the most beautiful beach to visit in Kerala. The traditional resorts nearby offer luxurious hospitality, relishing Kerala food and invigorating Ayurvedic treatments.

12.  Kochi 

Kochi has the perfect blend of nature and modern amusements in Kerala. From shopping malls and star hotels to amusement parks, Kochi is perfect for the tourists who do not want to miss the modern elements of life. The suburbs of Kochi are quite opposite and offer a serene atmosphere of backwaters, villages and small-towns where there are many heritage sites.

13.  Athirappilly 

The ravishing waterfalls of Athirappilly and Vazhachal are a must-visit during your honeymoon holidays in Kerala. The treehouse resorts here offer the perfect accommodation amidst forest, overlooking the gorgeous waterfalls.

14.  Wayanad 

Wilderness reckons in Wayanad. The place is quiet and in most places, you won’t even get mobile range. This makes it the perfect escapade for tourists on Kerala packages from Hyderabad. Wildlife, nature, waterfalls, caves, plantations, trekking and nature photography can be enjoyed in Wayanad.

15.  Kannur 

Kannur is a beach lover’s perfect destination. The beaches of Kannur are unexplored and clean. The Muzhappilangad drive-in beach and Ezhimala beach that lies on the side of a mountain are loved by all tourists. Do not miss visiting the Bekal fort which is located next to the sea.

16.  Kasargode 

Kasargode offers a totally different experience of Kerala to the tourists. The place has some amazing beaches that are rarely explored by the tourists. The culture here is quite different as there’s a high influence of Karnataka, this being a border district.

17.  Nelliyampathi 

Nelliyampathi is hill station is located near Palakkad and is a welcome change from the hot and dry climate of Palakkad. The greenery and climate here will remind you of Munnar which is in stark contrast with the extremely hot and dry climate of Palakkad.

Visiting these places will leave a lasting impression of Kerala on the tourists’ mind. They will enjoy some most cherished moments of their honeymoon holidays from Ahmedabad in thecradle of nature in Kerala’s beautiful landscapes.