Kerala

Budget Cruise in Pristine Kerala Backwaters

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.

Backwater_18I planned this journey many a times, but couldn’t make it, till yesterday.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Being a weekday, there was hardly anyone around and the boat crew (Five people) out numbered the passengers.

Backwater_1Backwater_2As the boat entered the backwater and traveled due south, the Ezhimala hills provided a perfect backdrop.

Backwater_4

Once it reached Thayyil Jetty, it reversed it’s direction and started the long journey northward following aย  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).

Backwater_3Backwater_15It was really interesting to just sit and watch people in action with a cool breeze on your face and thousand shades of green cooling your eyes and mind.

Backwater_7Backwater_14Backwater_17We reached “Ayitti” jetty, by 11.30 am and there was a break for lunch. 12.30 pm, we resumed our journey and reached the northern most point of the trip(Padanna) by 1.15 pm.

After a small break we started the return trip and I tried to capture something I missed in the morning.

Backwater_6Backwater_12Backwater_13Backwater_16For 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.

Backwater_19

Backwater_20As the sun started to descend, I collected shells for my daughter and waited for the country boat to come.

It was a long wait, but in the lap of nature,ย  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.

Kerala, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge, Kottappuram Foot Bridge

Let me take this week’s theme literally ๐Ÿ™‚

The subject here is a long foot bridge over a beautiful back water in north Kerala…

Please have a look ๐Ÿ™‚

Kottappuram-15-rsKottappuram-10-rsKottappuram-14-rsKottappuram-13-rsKottappuram-11-rs

Kerala

Exotic Kerala: Mangalassery Snake Boat Race

Is it a bit of an exaggeration to call my native Kerala, “God’s Own Country” ???

This question used to pop up in my mind on seeing ads from Kerala Tourism department.

But, one year of travel through the length and breadth of this state wiped off all the doubts in my mind.

And now it’s your turn ๐Ÿ™‚

1We were on our way to watch the annual Snake Boat Race, organized by “Navodaya Club“, at Mangalassery. A small village of Kannur district in North Kerala. This was the view waited for us, as we took a turn and descended to the riverside.

2

We stopped for a while and savored the beauty at our backyard for some time.

People always associate “Vallam Kali” or “snake boat race” to the vast backwaters of south kerala.

Here, in northern districts of Kannur and Kasaragod it’s a rare event and been introduced only a few years back. This year’s event was the third edition at Mangalassery and held on 21st September.

35Before the race began there was a tableau showcasing the art and culture of the region.

As it’s something quite new for most of the crowd, they really enjoyed even the practice sessions.

67

141312Scorching sun didn’t have any effect on the festive mood and people made their own custom VIP seats and enjoyed the show ๐Ÿ™‚

109

As the real race started, I just became part of the crowd.

161718The event, the crowd and more than anything else, the whole setting by nature,ย  certainly had an unforgettable impression on us.

I am sure, I’ll be back there for the next edition…

Kerala

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art – The Transformation

If there is one picture, that could undoubtedly represent the exotic North Kerala, then that should be of “Theyyam“.

Where meager mortals transforms to immortals andย  bless the devotees with the divine dance.

Let me share this image for this Week’s Photo Challenge

CoverArt_Theyyam-1You can have a look at my post Theyyam: The Divine dance from God’s own country for more images.

Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

Last week I went to a harbor construction site near my home.

The beach near the harbor is really beautiful but to reach there we have to cross the dusty construction site with all these heavy trucks and all moving continuously.

I hesitated for a few moments, but saw this family even carrying an infant braving their way through the dust and going to the beach to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

You can find a great variety of posts on this challenge here.

Perceptions modified_rs1

Perceptions-2_rs