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List of Holidays for 2015

With 2015 taking over in a couple of days, most of us begin to plan our trips timing them with long weekends. Here is a list of standard holidays followed in India. This may wary between the South and North India and is marked by an asterix. So better start planning now if you want to get hold of good air fares and those popular resorts since they tend to sell out during long weekends.

2015 Holiday List
Sl No. Holidays Date Day
1 New Year’s Day 1st January, 2015 Thursday
2 Makara Sankranthi 14th January, 2015 Wednesday
3 Republic Day 26th January, 2015 Monday
4 Holi * 6th March, 2015 Friday
5 Good Friday * 3rd April, 2015 Friday
6 May Day 1st May, 2015 Friday
7 Ganesh Chaturthi 17th September, 2015 Wednesday
8 Bakrid 23 September, 2015 Wednesday
9 Gandhi Jayanti 2nd October, 2015 Friday
10 Ayudha Pooja* 21st October, 2015 Wednesday
11 Maha Navami 22nd October, 2015 Thursday
12 Diwali 10th – 11th November, 2015 Tuesday – Wednesday
13 Gurunanak Jayanthi* 25th November, 2015 Wednesday
14 Christmas 25th December, 2015 Friday

A few years back, I got an opportunity to visit this beautiful resort as part of a corporate engagement and since then had been wanting to go back. Couple of weeks back, my wife and I decided to celebrate our anniversary away from the city and Kumarakom came up as one of our options. We were primarily look for weekend getaways with good air connectivity.

After scouting for a few options on the banks of Vembanad Lake (one of the largest fresh water lakes in the country), we decided to stay at Zuri Kumarakom for their world class property and hospitality. Zuri has one of the best properties in the region with a large artificial lake covering almost half of the resort. We got a good deal from the resort under the MAP plan (breakfast and dinner) along with some discounts at their signature Spa and a complementary sunset boat cruise. There was however one deal on Goibibo.com which was even better, but we were not really sure if the resort would honor this booking. So, we took the safe route and booked directly.

View of cottages and rooms by the lagoon at Zuri

View of cottages and rooms by the lagoon at Zuri Kumarakom

Cochin/ Kochi is the nearest airport and is about 90kms away from Kumarakom and about 20 kms outside of Cochin town. We had already pre-booked a cab from ITS Cabs which offered the best rates and we were very happy with their service. Veena from the cab company was constantly in touch with us to ensure everything was in order. The trip cost us Rs 2100 one way and took about 2.5 hours. There is a pre-paid taxi counter at the airport which will charge about Rs 2300 for the same distance for an air conditioned sedan.

Zuri Reception

Zuri Reception

The moment we entered the resort property, we were treated like royalty with warm towels and a huge tender coconut while we were being checked-in. Our request for an early check-in was prioritized and we were able to get our room almost 2 hours in advance. Our high ceiling deluxe lagoon view room / cottage on the first floor was well appointed with all the usual luxuries (LED television, kettle for tea/coffee, mini fridge, locker etc) that a 5 star property offers along with a see thru bathroom and a large bath tub.

Fully furnished room with view of the lagoon

Fully furnished room with view of the lagoon

View of the lagoon from our room at Zuri

View of the lagoon from our room at Zuri

Since their in-room dining options are limited, we decided to have a quick bite at their all day cafe followed by a stroll around the property to catch a glimpse of the massive Vembanad lake which is beautiful during sunset. Their lounge bar facing the lake is also a good place to chill in the evening with a couple of drinks. Caution: Kerala does not allow sale of liquor on Sundays and first day of every month.

View of Vembanad Lake from the resort

View of Vembanad Lake from the resort

Evening buffet dinner at the restaurant has a good spread which includes both western and traditional kerala cuisine. Since a large percentage of the resort guests are foreigners, I guess this is essential to cater to their varied taste buds.

After a good night’s sleep, day 2 was to pamper ourselves with some of their signature massages and time at the pool, sauna and jacuzzi. Breakfast spread was good with live counters for dosa and egg preparations which filled us up. Massages at their signature spa are priced starting from Rs 2000 and going all the way up to Rs 7000. The evening cruise in a traditional boat took us around the lake to catch the sunset. This 45 min cruise costs Rs 350 if not added into your package. The resort also offers complimentary evening tea and cookies to all its guests either by the lake front or in their restaurant every evening.

Sunset on Vembanad Lake

Sunset on Vembanad Lake

Day 3 was a rush to start packing and getting to the breakfast counter before it shuts down by 10.30. Before we realized, it was time for us to head back to the airport with our trusty cab ready to pick us up on time. Check-out was again smooth and uneventful with everything billed according to usage. They accept all major credit and debit cards.

Island inside the resort for yoga and relaxation

Island inside the resort for yoga and relaxation

Costs: Deluxe lagoon view room – Around Rs 12,000 per night with taxes, includes breakfast and dinner, 15% off on signature massages

Flights: Bangalore – Cochin – Bangalore: Approximately about Rs 7000 per person (Will be cheaper if booked 10 days in advance)

Houseboats: An overnite stay in an air conditioned houseboat costs anywhere from Rs 7,000 – Rs 15,000

Other properties in the region: Kumarakom Lake Resort (5 Star)

Vivanta By Taj (5 Star)

WaterScapes Kumarakom (By Kerala Tourism – 4 Star)

Backwater Ripples

Abad Whispering Palms

Your escapist,

Brian

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