Unforgettable Anniversary at Jhula River Stay: A Romantic Escape in Kerala

The stay

Celebrating our special days in a unique way has always been a priority for me and Ishan. For our first anniversary, we chose adventure with a fun-filled trip to Thailand. For the next, we opted for luxury, staying at Taj Bekal, where everything was dreamy and filled with comfort. This time, we wanted something different. One Sunday afternoon, while searching for places to stay near Bangalore, we landed on the Airbnb site. Under the “unique stays” category, we found something unreal, something surreal.

We found a homestay near a river, about 20 km from Kochi, called Jhula River Villa. We were thrilled to have finally decided on a place to stay for our anniversary. We were content too because a river was something we had never explored as travelers. We immediately booked train tickets to Kochi from Bangalore because trains are always full these days, and I don’t find booking tatkal tickets very legit as they are expensive.

As the days were approaching our anniversary we were hell-like excited because we’ve seen mountains and the sea, but we haven’t explored a river yet. I call Ishan a river person because he always seems to be flowing, always seeking new things in life and never stopping. He feels like a fresh stream to me, with an aura of newness. He used to say he was a beach person, but nah, the truth is he’s a river person.

Finally, the day came, the 30th of June. We started packing in the evening; our train was at 8:30 PM from KSR Railway Station, Bengaluru. All packed and very excited for the trip, we boarded the train and slept early to wake up fresh the next morning. Ishan is an immediate sleeper and lucky enough to sleep anywhere, unlike me, who struggles to sleep. As usual, I struggled that night as well. Half awake, half asleep, I managed to pass the night. The next morning, we woke up, had tea on the train, and our station came. It was Tripunithura (a station in Kochi) where we got down. I had so much difficulty getting down the train because of my ligament tear, but my travel bug makes me take all the pain just to travel!

Triupunittura Railway Station

At the station, Ishan had one more black coffee as he never gets tired of it. We booked an Uber cab to Jhula River Stay, a 19.5 km journey from the station, costing us Rs 700, which was quite cheaper than we thought. Initially, the plan was to book a Zoom car in Kerala to get to the river villa stay, but I suggested to Ishan that Zoom car was unnecessary. We were going on a staycation, staying in a villa, and wouldn’t go out much, so a car would be an unnecessary addition. We could move freely with cabs/taxis. It took us around 40 minutes to reach Jhula River Stay. We passed through Kochi city to get there. It was drizzling, and the weather was as good as expected.

As we reached the riverside, I was bursting with excitement to enter the villa. We got down the car, and the first thing that was loud and clear was the loud chirping of crickets. It felt like we had entered a rainforest. The cab driver dropped us on the road, and we went inside a small street. Going ahead, on the left side was the villa. As I saw the river, I was amazed. The Airbnb owner had informed us that the previous guests would check out by 11, and the villa would take an hour to clean. We agreed to put our luggage inside and have tea and breakfast in the meantime.

We put our luggage in the villa and went searching for breakfast. It was a small village named Rammangalam, where our villa was located. There was a temple nearby and a cute panchayat office. Near the office, we found a small food place, so small that at first, it didn’t look like a restaurant. We went inside to try our luck, and the lady running the restaurant served us Kadala Curry (Black Chana Curry) and Appam (similar to dosa, white and without any oil or ghee). I am more particular about food than Ishan. Ishan can eat anything, irrespective of the taste, for any number of days. But I need variety, taste, and spiciness. To my surprise, the curry and appam were good and edible enough to feed us till the afternoon.

Breakfast place

After breakfast, we roamed around the place to get a sense of what was available in the village for dinner and breakfast. There were grocery stores, medical shops, bakeries, and everything we needed.

By 11:30, we thought to check if the villa was clean. As we reached, I saw a wide river flowing silently in front of a dreamy villa. It was a moment to believe. Ishan and I sat in the veranda of the villa, and the view was crazy. Something we never imagined.

Ishan started scrolling his phone, and I took a tour of the place, putting our luggage in the almirahs. Picture this: in front of the river, there’s a garden. Beside it, a veranda with sofa chairs, a table, and a dining table. As you enter the house, there’s a small kitchen equipped with a mixer, all spices, a water tank, a fridge, and utensils. It was perfect for someone who likes to cook during vacations. When I showed the villa to my mother, she was most interested in the kitchen because she likes to make her tea even while traveling. She was amazed that the kitchen had a direct view of the flowing river, which was very picturesque.

Beside the kitchen was a small bedroom, and near the bedroom was a bathroom. The highlight of the stay was the beautiful Kerala architecture-inspired veranda and the river in front.

I asked Ishan to tour the villa, and before he could spoil anything, we did a video tour. What a visual treat it was! It was raining, and the droplets in the river looked so beautiful. One thing I realized staying in that villa is that nobody can sit inside the bedroom or kitchen for too long. There’s a constant urge to go outside, look at the river, and sit near it. Sitting inside felt like wasting money, as if I was missing something. It was very humid, so the air conditioner was calling, but the river was more appealing. In this race, the river won because I realized I could sit in AC in Bangalore as well, but I wouldn’t get a river view there.

Swinging Around Jhula

Soon after the shoot, we posted a story of our villa tour on Instagram and received many inquiries about the location. It filled us with joy that people liked our choice of stay.

After some time, we had black coffee, sitting in front of the river, and then decided to get ready for the day. I wore a floral dress, and Ishan complimented me with a dark navy blue t-shirt. We took amazing shots for our content game. Suddenly, the wind started blowing heavily, adding to the overall atmosphere. The humidity adjusted, and we got used to the temperature.

Ishan ordered lunch from a nearby restaurant via Swiggy. In half an hour, lunch arrived, and it was already 4 PM. We had lunch on the dining table in the veranda, chatted, and had one more coffee. It was serene and peaceful, with only the sound of crickets. The river had no sound of flowing water; it was very calm (or at least it looked calm).

After some time, the owner came to give us an emergency torch and mosquito repellant. She was a fun person to talk to, having retired from a government job and then moving to the village to look after the Airbnb. She lived behind the stay. She told us the village people weren’t fans of eating out, so there weren’t many food places. The village starts at 6 AM and closes down early. She suggested some food joints and mentioned that the river was quite deep and had a heavy flow, even though it looked calm. That’s why nobody bathed in it. She also shared a fun fact: the river changes colors. When it drizzles, it looks like coffee; when it rains heavily, it looks like strong tea; and sometimes it looks transparent when the weather is clear. Observing nature so closely was fascinating, and it was good to talk to a local. To me, the river looked like sugarcane juice 😛.

View from the Terrace

Later, we went outside for a walk and bought Maggie for the evening. As it turned dark, the river disappeared in the darkness. We lit some lights in our veranda and talked about everything. Ishan and I never run out of topics. We have so much to talk about, and this is the best part of our relationship—the never-ending conversations. Without these conversations, staycations would be boring. There’s not much to do on staycations; one can only feel the silence and enjoy the solitude. Thankfully, I had Ishan to talk to because I can’t be silent for too long.

The insects tried to bother us, but we didn’t care. We watched a movie sitting in front of the river. After that, Ishan (the Maggie Specialist) cooked Maggie, and we ate it to our heart’s content. We slept early because it had become a habit and we couldn’t help it.

The next day, 2nd July, was our anniversary—the day we got married. Life has been so much fun since then. We had black coffee again in front of the river. By now, Jhula River was a best friend, sharing all our moments with it. Then the anniversary wishes started coming in through phone calls. We were very happy, reimagining all our beautiful memories from the past three years.

After that, I decided to do some stretching because my anniversary could wait, but my leg couldn’t. I didn’t want it to get stiff again, so I decided to exercise while traveling. After my exercise, we went outside for breakfast at the same place near the panchayat office. We thought the breakfast would be the same and manageable, but it was something weird, and I didn’t like it. I gave my plate to Ishan to finish. As mentioned earlier, he can eat anything, no matter how miserable it is. He finished it, and we went ahead on the main road to find another place to eat. There was one Soni hotel, where I ate aloo sabzi and appam—another weird combination but edible.


Then we started hunting for a cake and found that cake was not available. We had to celebrate one more special day without a cake (the previous special day was my birthday, where in the whole of Gokarna, there was not a single bakery).

We came back to our stay. Unlike the previous day, it was hellishly hot and humid. I missed the previous day’s weather—rain, wind. Sadly, it was nothing like that. We got ready, did some shooting, and got tired very early because of the weather. In the afternoon, it was hard to sit outside, and that’s when, between AC and the river, AC won for an hour. After an hour, we came back outside, had lunch ordered from Swiggy, and sat by the river. It was coffee-colored that day, and aunty was right.

View to Die for

As it began to turn dark, we set up a romantic vibe. We lit candles (brought from Bangalore, planning huh!). It was beautiful, like a scene from a movie. A river, a garden, a villa, and candles lit up inside, with two people putting all their effort into making their DIY anniversary special for each other.

Date Night

It was truly a special day. Ishan and I later talked about the things we like about each other and how we uplift each other in different ways. The conversation was beautiful, not just about complimenting each other but sharing what we adore in each other.

Being in solitude gives you a different perspective. It wasn’t a celebration among loved ones, friends, and family. It was just us, trying every day to make each other happy. Celebrating an anniversary can’t get better than this.


The next day, we woke up very early, probably because it was our last day and we wanted to make the most of it. We had black coffee, talked about how the river would miss us and our conversations. Then we packed our bags to be free for the rest of the time. We went outside for breakfast, came back, and it started raining again. I wondered why it had to be hot and humid on our anniversary day. It rained on the first and third days but not on the second, testing our patience to enjoy the humid weather.

It was a working day for both of us, so we decided to start work by 10 to finish early. The Airbnb owner also told us we could check out by 2:30, and my reaction was priceless because I was in no mood to leave the property. It felt amazing to sit by the river and work.

Ishan working

After some time, we had lunch and then it was 2:30, time to leave. I am always sad during checkouts, but this was the hardest one. I went around the property, feeling all our conversations and our 2.5 days spent there. I stood in front of the river, my eyes filled with tears. I truly became friends with Jhula River. I filled my eyes with its memory and bid goodbye, very sad.

Ishan Chilling

From there, we went to Fort Kochi. The plan was to sit in a cafe and work till the evening, as our train was at 8:30 PM. Believe it or not, there wasn’t a single cafe in Fort Kochi with AC, and it was hard to sit anywhere without AC. Our last resort was going to Starbucks and working from there.

By 7:30, we reached Ernakulam Railway Station, had dinner there, and waited for our train. Our hearts were filled with love and good memories, and smiles gleamed on our faces. Jhula River Villa made our special day very special. I would highly recommend this place to couples looking for a chill spot to spend quality time together, listen to crickets, and talk!

At last, happy 3rd anniversary, Ishan! <3

Airbnb Details

Sr. No.LocationCommentsAirbnb URL
1Ramamangalam, KeralaPrefer booking for at least two days.https://bit.ly/JhulaRiver

Estimated Spend details for 2 People

Sr. No.HeadAmountComments
1Stay₹ 8,953For two nights
2Train Tickets₹ 1,500Both Sides
3Commute₹ 1,500Both Sides
4Food₹ 2,729All days, including travel/train journey.
Total₹ 14,682

1 Comments Unforgettable Anniversary at Jhula River Stay: A Romantic Escape in Kerala

  1. Dr Mamta Ojha

    I read the blog of Jhula river stay. I must say that the narration helped me totally visualize the place. I felt like I too was present at the place.
    The best part apart from Jhula river was about you litting up candles on your anniversary and making the place more special. That was really romantic….I loved it when you wrote about conversations….the visuals which you have shown in your blog are a real treat to the eyes…and yeah the verandah is the best of all…you both complemented each other well in photographs….loved reading your blog.


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