Good Health begins with a Healthy mind. Kerala, God's Own Country, is blessed by a lot of Natural sceneries that helps to relax your body and mind. The fresh and non-polluted atmosphere helps you to rejuvenate your mind and the body.
Amala Ayurvedic Hospital has some internal arrangements for time-pass. The in-patients can spend time in its Herbarium, Herbal Garden, Zoo, etc., which are worth visiting. There are much more to see outside Amala. Eventhough patients should be relaxing most of the time, a trip can be made once in a week to some beautiful spots nearby. Here are some locations worth visitng: (Thanks to John Schütte, Sweden, ex-patient of Amala Ayurvedic Hospital for contributing write-ups and photographs for this page).
Athirappilly Water Falls, located on the Chalakudy river, is situated 57 kilometers (35.4 miles) South-East of Amala. This 24-metre (80-feet) waterfall and the nearby Vaazhachaal Falls are popular tourist destinations. The journey from Chalakudy to the Athirappilly Falls passes through a landscape of winding roads, small villages and lush green trees. Visitors can reach the top of the waterfall via a paved path that leads through thick bamboo clusters. A steep narrow path also leads to the bottom of the falls. Read more about Athirappilly in Wikipedia.
Vaazhachaal Falls is a rushing waterbody joining Chalakkudy River in Thrissur district, located approximately 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from Athirappilly Water Falls. The route from Athirappilly to Vaazhachaal is marked by beautiful nature and a small waterfall right in the midway. This is one of the smallest waterfalls in India, but very scenic. Many endangered species of flora and fauna are found in the dense forests of Vaazhachaal. This area is the only place in Western Ghats where all the four endangered hornbill species can be seen. This is one of the most important bio-diversity hot spots in the world.
The Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine, a monument to St. Thomas is situated at Marthoma Nagar, Azhikode, Kodungallur, Kerala. Built in the model of St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, this shrine is a historic pilgrim centre of the Indian Christians. It is known from historical evidence as well as from the living traditions of the people that St. Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ landed in Kerala, on November 21, 52 A.D. at Kodungallur, then known as Musiris. After sharing his deep faith experience with the people of India, St. Thomas himself is believed to have formed seven churches or Christian communities here in Kerala, the first one being in Kodungallur itself. Click here to read more about Mar Thoma Church, Azhikode.
St. Thomas Church, Palayoor, located 23 kilometers (14 miles) from Amala is the oldest church in India, believed to have been established by St. Thomas, the Apostle, in AD 52. St. Thomas, the Apostle arrived in AD 52 at Crangannur (now Kodungallur) with Jewish merchants for the propagation of Christ's message and through the sea route reached Palayoor and built the Church there. The 14 granite life-size statues of various scenes from the life of St. Thomas installed on the main entrance of the Church is an excellent archeological attraction. Vanchikkadavu, the Boat Jetty in Palayoor, where St. Thomas reached from Kodungalloor through the backwaters, still exists in the form of a large pond, which is called Bottukulam.
Vilangan Hills, situated 900 metres (0.56 miles) South of Amala Hospital, is the is the highest hill of the District. This hillock has been converted by the tourism department as an amusement park. While grown ups relish the scenic splendor from the hill top, children can relax and play to their hearts. Lot of people use this place for their morning walk. Early in the morning walking to the top of hillock is a good exercise. View from top of the hill is really good especially at the time of sun rise and sun set. We can have a wonderful panoramic view of the Thrissur city from this hill. The road from the check post at the bottom to the top is narrow and rather dangerous at some places. Now this place is under control of Thrissur District Tourism Promotion Council and they charge nominal fee for admission to amusement park and parking the vehicle. At the top there is an open theatre on the left side of the road, that is now covered with high grown bushes. From the top we could see Thrissur town in all its glory! There is a playground for children at the edge and it seems well protected from the cliff. There is an open room on the top to sit and chat. There is also a small ice-cream shop below.
Located 28 kilometres North-East of Amala Ayurvedic Hospital, Peechi Dam is an excellent picnic spot, especially when the shutters of the fully filled reservoirs are open. The dam project was started as an irrigation-cum-water supply source for nearby locations and the Thrissur Municipal Corporation, but is also a source of drinking water to the animals in the nearby wildlife Sanctuary. The dam built across the Manali River is endowed with an immense catchment area that stretches across an expanse of nearly 3200 acres. Occasionally, tuskers can be sighted in the thick dense forest surrounding the catchment area. The colourful botanical gardens, the fountains and the statues accelerate the beauty of the place. Boating facility in the reservoir is now temporarily withdrawn after the Thattekkad Boat Accident in the Periyar River on February 20, 2007.
Snehatheeram Beach is located 33 kilometres West of Amala Ayurvedic Hospital. This wide and long golden sand beach was recently renovated by the Government of Kerala. The beach now contains a children's park, benches, refreshment stalls and the like. There is heavy rush in the evenings here to view the Sunset. There are coastguards to prevent people from risking their lives. You can always move to either side to stay away from the rush. Near the Beach is the "Naalukettu" Restaurant which offers sea food in the Kerala style. To the South is the Nattika Beach where we can see fishermen coming with their catches.
Chettuva Backwaters, located 31 kilometers (19.26 miles) from Amala Hospital, is a popular backwater destination and tourist spot. Houseboat cruise in the backwater is a favourite choice of tourists to Chettuva. An overnight stay in one of the House Boats will give the tourists an unforgettable experience. The backwater is dotted with small islets. Dense mangrove thickets on the banks enhance their beauty. View videos of Chettuva Backwaters from the official website of Kerala Tourism.
St: Theresa's Ship Church, Eravu, is a unique attraction for its magnificent ship model where the ship church is seen sailing in surrounding water stream which breeds attractive fishes and beautiful flowers. This ship church, unique in Asia or perhaps in whole world, rightly portrays and proclaims the pilgrim nature of the earthly church as was depicted by Vatican II council. Located at Eravu, around 16 km west of Amala Ayurvedic Hospital (en-route to Vadanappilly), this monumental church attracts devotees and tourists from all over the world.
Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, located near Guruvayoor, 18 kilometers (11.18 miles) from Amala Ayurvedic Hospital, is very unique in being the largest elephant park in the world with more than 60 elephants in it. This pound is maintained by the Guruvayur Devaswom and elephants are trained here for purposes related to the temple. Almost all elephants here are offerings by devotees. The oldest elephant here is around 75 years of age. This was once a palace of a local ruler. (Aanakkotta in Malayalam, means "Elephant Fort").
The huge, elegant Chinese Fishing nets that line the northern shore of Fort Cochin add grace to an already characterful waterside view, and are probably the single most familiar photographic image of Kerala. Traders from the court of Kublai Khan are said to have introduced them to the Malabar region. Known in Malayalam as cheenavala, they can also be seen throughout the backwaters further south. The nets, which are suspended from arced poles and operated by levers and weights, require at least four men to control. You can buy fresh fish from the tiny market here and have it grilled on the spot at one of the ramshackle stalls. Courtesy: www.fortcochin.com
A sea shore lying on the coast of Arabian Sea, famous for rare scenic beauty. Situated 20 kilometers (12.42 miles) West of Amala Hospital, this beach is said to be one of the best beaches along the western coast of India, which is also an important tourist spot. This beach is unaltered by modernization and laced on the borders by an array of coconut trees. At evenings, arrival of fishermen with boatful of fishes is nice to watch. Fringed shadow of coconut lagoons and the mesmerizing atmosphere make Chavakkad Beach a tourist spot throughout the year.
Cherai Beach is approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) South-West of Amala. The lovely 15 kilometers long golden beach bordering the Vypin Island is very clean, shallow, and ideal for swimming and sunbathing. The sea on the west and backwaters on the east give this upcoming tourist destination, a uniqueness which can be found only in Kerala. This is one of the few places where we can see the lagoon (poyil) and ocean separated only by a few hundreds of metres. One of the main events in this beach is the tourism fest during December.
The Sree Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor, one of the most important and sacred Hindu pilgrim centres of Kerala, is located 27 kilometers (16 miles) West of Amala. The idol of Guruvayur temple is unique, since it is carved out of "Pathalanjana Sila", and is considered extremely sacred. However, only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple.