Welcome to the ‘Mystic North Kerala’…
We are in the middle of yet another Theyyam season, vibrant days and nights… filled to the brim with drum beats and saturated colors.
Sleepless nights are well compensated by the divine dance of the Theyyams …
Theyyam make up is always interesting as it’s very much part of the transformation process, in which meager mortals become immortals, though, for a few hours.
Let me share a few images which I captured last week, while organizing a festival tour for our wonderful guests from Germany, Hans and Lilo.
I had been to here last time and shared my experiences here in my post…
Unlike it’s more famed cousins of south Kerala like Aranmula Vallamkali where the traditional snake boat race in the vast backwaters happens , it’s organised in Kuppam river by ‘Navodaya Club‘ with stunning natural settings…
Slowly people have started watching with great passion and sinking in the spirit of Vallamkali…
Local clubs have now become more competent and the races are fought with intensity.
Still visitors have an upper hand due to their experience and fine tuned techniques and the local teams are still pursuing their Quest for glory…
This time, I watched most of the race from a nearby hilltop and we had yet another great evening …
There is something really interesting about rules in Photography.
You don’t have to learn these rules and apply them. Once you start taking visually appealing images by practice, you would have already followed them unknowingly, “The Rule of Thirds” is one of the best example.
Let me share a few images taken during my travels in South India (Mainly Karnataka and Kerala).
Around six hours of boat journey in the pristine backwaters of north Kerala, for less than a Dollar.
Would you take it?
All you need is, a day to spare.
I was free for the day and needed a story so badly. I called up the boat house for the schedule and came to know that, there is one starting at 10 am from “Kotti Jetty”, which is near Payyanur Railway station.
As usual, it was a race against time for me and a photo finish 🙂
Being a weekday, there was hardly anyone around and the boat crew (Five people) out numbered the passengers.
Once it reached Thayyil Jetty, it reversed it’s direction and started the long journey northward following a zig zag pattern across the width of the backwater.
Landscape looked monotonous on both the banks for the untrained eyes. But there was a unique ecosystem so alive and thriving.
Most of the passengers used the boat to cross the backwater as there was only one bridge connecting the mainland to Valiyaparamba (narrow strip of land sandwiched between the sea and backwater).
After a small break we started the return trip and I tried to capture something I missed in the morning.
For the final leg of the journey, I planned a little twist, and jumped off the boat on the other bank, near the beach. This is my favorite beach in the whole world, solely for the reason, that, you could find not even a single soul for kilometers in either direction.
It was a long wait, but in the lap of nature, never a tiring one.
Suggestions on boat trip:
It’s always better to take the first three rows. Engine, being in the middle of the boat, causes quite some noise and vibration and it’s felt more in the rear seats.
Where to Have Food:
There is hardly any shop near the starting point (Kotti) and no option to buy anything on the way. There is a small hotel near the Ayitti boat office, which is 90 minutes away from the start. So, better take food and water along.
Where to Stay: You have some really good hotels to stay in Payyanur, the nearest town.
If you would like to finish the day, exploring the virgin beaches of valiyaparamba, and spend the night at one of the home stays, you have got some interesting options as well.
Best Time to Explore: For the boat journey it hardly matters, but, if you would like to have a great time at the beaches, it’s better to avoid the monsoon months (June to September). For mild temperatures and clear skies, you can plan for the winter months of December and January.
Boat Timing: Boat is scheduled to start from “Kotti” boat jetty at 6.30 AM, 10 AM and 4.15 AM.
If you are planning for a to and fro journey in a single boat, you can opt for the 10 AM one, which returns to the starting point by 4 PM.