It was my second time and my husband’s first in Kerala, fondly known as God’s own country, and we wholly agree! Landing at Cochin airport in the wee hours of the day, we sluggishly moved towards Kumarakom in our pre-booked car. Kumarakom is approximately 70 kms from Cohin airport. After about an hour, we were in Kumarakom, a charming peninsula carved out of the backwaters.
Not willing to waste a second, we left our bags in our car and made our way to the boat jetty area near the creeks for cruising in our house boat. A spacious double bedroom Kettuvellam (‘house boat’ in Malayalam) was waiting for us along the breathtakingly serene backwaters of the Vembanad Lake.
Putting our fast lives on a pause, we entered what seemed like a time warp.
The backwaters have always been the symbol of Kerala and we were mesmerized the moment we started our journey. The backwaters are dotted by the swaying palm trees on both the sides.
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Houses of the locals are lined by the banks of the backwaters. They all have their own canoes and boats for commuting from one place to another.
Exciting, isn’t it? Everyday would seem like an adventure.
We took our own backwaters tour in Alleppey, Check it out.
Also, there were schools on either side. We could even see small children studying in their classrooms. Imagine a school, where the lake is your campus.
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We entered many small canals while cruising the lake. The islands and paddy farms on the either side were separated by lagoons, brooks and small gushing streams.
After some time, we broke into the huge lake, out of the backwaters and could see the magnanimity of the Vembanad lake, the largest freshwater lake in Kerala.
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Taking in the serene moment, we passed by many other visitors in their canoes and houseboats. Our thoughts were occasionally broken by chirpings by the cormorant cuckoos and egrets.
The entire experience was very humbling. To see local people enjoying their lives in simple activities gave us a perspective and much needed break from our hectic lives. After the idyllic backwater ride, we stopped by the creek and devoured authentic Kerala styled dinner and slept through the night.
Next morning at about 6 am, I woke up to the sound of camera clicking. My husband was already up, taking in the backwaters view, at the crack of the dawn. I was fully mesmerized by the view of backwaters from our boat. Sun had just started rising and the local people were already at work.
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I couldn't believe the calmness that the view was eluding. We could just sit there doing nothing but gazing for hours.
We saw many locals move from one bank to another. Tourists like us enjoy slowing down enjoying the pleasant cruise on houseboats. But for these locals, this vast expanse of blue is actually a way of life – a source of their livelihoods.
After taking in the momentous view as much as we could, we finally bade goodbye to Kumarakom with a promise to return soon as we had left a piece of our heart back there.
1) Nearest Airport to Kumarakom is the Cochin International Airport, about 70 km away from the Muhamma boat jetty.
2) Best time to visit Kumarakom is between September to March.
3) Houseboats are stationary from 6 PM till 7 AM when they are parked on the Vembanad lake, near the land.
Sharmistha Sahoo is a banker by profession, and is always craving to travel.
She loves reading, writing, reviewing, photography and exploring new places. She is documenting her life stories including her personal, travel and corporate life in her blog.