Kerala is a state in the south of India nicknamed 'God's Own Country', and on arrival it becomes clear why...
home to a vast 900km network of canals, rivers and lakes known as the Backwaters
It's a tropical paradise
I started my journey in Kochi, Kerala’s largest city. For over 600 years it has been trading with Arabs, British, Chinese, Portuguese and many others. Therefore today it’s a real mix of influences, with these Chinese fishing nets as just one example. I met a bunch of fellow travellers and a group of us decided to journey further south to the city of Alappuzha, a main entrance to the backwaters described as ‘Venice Of The East’.
The backwaters have a unique ecosystem, where the freshwater from India’s rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea.
A popular drink here is ‘Toddy’; alcohol made from a coconut palm tree.
& Kerala’s one of the India’s safest regions, where incidents of tourists being cheated are pretty much non-existent.
One thing that really surprised me was that the villagers were washing themselves, their clothes, and their dishes in the murky green water!
However, Kerala does have the highest life expectancy in India, so I’ve come to the conclusion that they just have incredible immune systems!
A local family then treated us to Kerala’s traditional Buffet ‘Sadyha’, which can be up to 24 different items of food, served on a plantain leaf. Fish is obviously a the main ingredient in this state.
So this was a day of rowing with a local guide… However many tourists will come here to rent a ‘kettuvallam’, (houseboat), which is the perfect way to completely disconnect from the noise, the politics, the technology, and general stress of the outside world! In Kerala it’s just… Silence.
It was an amazing tour, and the ultimate contrast to the chaos and energy of a crowded city like Delhi. A reminder than in India you can find both extremes…
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Until next time, ‘pinne kanaam’ (see you later) Malayalam