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A single traverse through the cultural capital of Kerala

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Long walks are those that we remember forever. And hence on talking a walk through the places we visit, a part of it remains in us. Also, there is no better way of knowing a place than taking a walk through the destination. One such journey of mine had been to Thrissur which is the cultural capital of Kerala.Unexpectedly I had to make a tour to Kerala where after the purpose of the visit was over at Kochi, I made my way to Thrissur by contacting Dream Holidays who made me a short tour itinerary for travel. 2 hours of bus drive brought me to land where I was dropped in the bus bay. I had decided to take the cheaper form of travel for the cheapest Kerala tour package would be quite helpful in saving up. The driver came and picked me up and in a short drive, we reached the hotel where my stay was bound. He told me that he would pick me up in 2 hours and by then I could refresh and have the breakfast that is delivered to my room. After eating the breakfast, I googled of the close by places I could visit. So before the driver made way to the hotel I asked him to pick me up from Puthenpally. I made my way to the Vadakkunnathan Temple and decided to begin the day with the bliss of God. On reaching the premises of the place the positive aura could be felt.

And further, the walk continued inside where after getting in I had no clue on how to take a darshan as the temple was widespread. I was absolutely a stranger but the best part had been that I decided to follow the people who got in along with me where they lead me to the different shrines located inside. Lord Shiva is the main deity of the temple. A large number of people had been around at various shrines. After my darshan was over, I got out and sat in front of the temple clicking some pictures of its beautiful architecture. After setting Puthenpally in my google maps, I made my way to the church. It is the third tallest church located in the whole of Asia. Some function, which I guessed was a marriage was happening there. I sat on the wooden bench, prayed and made my way to the parking where the driver had been waiting for me. He picked me up and took me to Vilangan Kunnu. It was a small hillock from where I could see the pristine nature that surrounded the city. Kids have a great time at the park that had been made there.  I captured some of this beauty and then asked the driver to drop me at a mall close by as I had planned to meet my friends from the destination and have lunch along with them. As it got over, the driver asked me if I wanted to go to the zoo. It was one of the two zoos located in Kerala and hence I thought it would be better in case we made the way to the zoo for it is a rare sight at Kerala. Also, it all seemed pretty closely located that a lot of time was being saved on the travel. In some time I reached and then the person who had been there led me to the ticket counter, fetching which I walked to the zoo. Monkeys, Midhuns, Tiger and an lt more of other animals had been feeding on their food when I walked across. And when it was done, I was taken to the Chimmony Dam which again is a famous place. I got to spot quite some birds posing by the water. A small wheel cart food stall had been there from where I had an omelette for the smell was quite tempting. That was all for the day and I went to the hotel.

The next day I checked out of the room after breakfast and the driver drove me to Athirapilly waterfalls, The drive was long to reach Chalakudy. I was dropped in front of the falls from where I got the entry ticket from the counter and got in. Here again, I did not know which way I had to follow in order to reach the waterfalls. I followed the flock of people who had been in front of me and made way to the huge falls. In fact, it was literally the same beauty we had got to see in movies like Guru and Bahubali. An absolute treat to the eyes where I took some time in stopping myself from being startled at its ultimate grace. The climb down was a slight task but totally worth it as I had got to see a beautiful waterfall after quite some time. Also, the tickets were cheaply priced comparing it to the other tourist places that charge extra for the place is famous. The hard time had been in climbing back to the place where it had started. After reaching, I got a juice from the shop that had been located inside. The fun fact was that I got to share it with the monkeys there who licked them off the lid in to which I poured juice for them,

Vazhachal waterfall was located close by which was my next destination. It was around 5 km away and so he dropped me and asked me to keep a check on the variety of birds I  get to see at the destination for the place remains to be a hub of hornbills. I didn’t really know how the bird looked and hence googled to have a check where I found out that a variety of hornbills exist and mostly can be noted in black and white or brown colour. As I entered I got to see a small version of waterfalls which was again quite alluring. The streams leapt across the low lying rocks and the place seemed quite silent for not a lot of people had reached the place. Few benches had been put inside sitting on which I spend some tranquil time with myself. And then the driver reminded me that we could leave for lunch after which we had one more destination left to cover for the day which would be the last place of visit for my expedition through Thrissur.

The final destination for the day was Thumboormuzhy which is where we got to by 4 in the evening. There were two things which I could sightsee here of which one was the dam and one was a butterfly garden that was located close to the dam. We reached and he dropped me and went to the parking lot. I walked further and made my way to the hanging bridge that had been inside. To see both the garden and the bridge, all I had to do was pay a small fare of 20 rupees. And the best fact was that I had actually got to see nature blooming at such a reasonable price. After some time, I walked further and reached a point where I got to see a cluster of people who had been taking pictures of the dam along with whom I joined. The garden had an array of butterflies which literally made the place look extremely beautiful. There is some sort of an enigma in the little beings that spread a lot of colour around the place. I tried to click some perfect pictures and then made my way to the driver. That was all that I had planned on my short trip where I could keep the expenses in my hand and the economical Kerala tour package with price turned out to be the best treat of the year.

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        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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