Saturday, August 2, 2008

Kerala back water information

There is a different Kerala along these backwaters, throbbing with its own unique culture. For you as a visitor to Kerala, it can be an incredibly different experience just floating on these waters in a country craft and absorbing this unusual representation of Kerala's life. You might begin at Alappuzha, which is hailed as the Venice of the East, because of its intricate maze of backwaters, canals and bridges. When the visitor leaves Alappuzha on a boat voyage through Kuttanad, he will find himself travelling along canals where the level of water is often higher than that of the green fields on either side. You could journey right up to Cochin via the backwaters. Many beautiful sights greet you along the way, such as the Chinese fishing nets, said to have been introduced into Kerala by the traders from Kublai Khan's court. A beautiful backwater spot accessible from Alappuzha is Kumarakom. Breathtaking green, the village slumbers by the Vembanad Lake. On-cruise scenery flashes up vivid contrasts of lush greens and deep blues. As the boat glides along the gorgeous green of the fringed palms the ripples in the blue water blend into little wavelets.

The place is so beautiful that Henry Baker, an Englishman, built his bungalow here in the last century. Now this elegant English bungalow is a Tourist complex. A 14-acre bird sanctury adds to the natural beauty of Kumarakom. Birds such as Water Ducks, Cuckoos, Siberian strokes spend happy summers here. By the Vembanad lake nestles a golden yellow island, Pathiramanal which is a heaven of peace for the tourists. The short boat ride Cochin will transport you to a world of quiet and peace of warmth and friendliness. Again from Alappuzha, you could go upto Kollam. The route winds up the Pampa river to Champpakkulam, an island hamlet, then into the Karumadi Canal. The statue of karumadikuttan is believed to be of Buddha. Some see it as a remnant of bygone era when Buddhist monks came to Kerala with the message of love and non-violence. The past Trikunna-puzha across Kayamkulam Lake and Ashtamudi lake finally drawing in the ancient port of Kollam. Throughout the scenery continues to be ravishing. It is in the months of August and September that the moist, rain-drenched earth and the glorious everflowing backwaters burst into song together, as over hundred thousand men and women gather on the banks to witness a spectacular water regatta the SNAKE BOAT RACES. Boat race crews begin to practise for the race months before the grate day. they live together, eat together, toil together to work themselves into a smooth, co-ordinated team. On boat race day, the chundan Valloms as the greatest racing boats are called are slicked down with a special oil to make them glide effortlessly through water. The crews then visit a shrine carrying the stroke and largest steering oar with them. And having offered prayers to the Almightly, they are now ready to war with their fellow men. the air crackles with excitement as the best of the 130 feet Chundan Valloms, each manned by over a hundred rowers, fly through the waters at break neck speed, egged on by the fierce competitive spirit that makes the event and the spectators lusty roars. the most famous of these are the NEHRU TROPHY BOAT RACE on the second Saturday of every august and the ARANMULA RACE which is connected with a temple festival. There are a dozen other Snake Boat races. The latest addition is the one in connection with the GREAT ELEPHANT MARCH held on 19th of January every year.

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