Tag Archives: Chakrampadi

Kumarakom Backwaters – Canoe Ride To Bliss…

So after settling down in Kumarakom, I decided to make sure that I didn’t lose out on it’s true beauty… the backwaters especially in the bid to chill out and relax at homestay that I was in.. I could do that after I had taken the tour of a few places in Kerala.. Especially now, since Kodaikanal was out of the picture… I also found out that Thekady, Munnar will have to wait for an exclusive trip to Kerala next time around as they required a full 2-3 days stay in those places… So all I had to do now was chill out in the nearby places…

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as I explored a few places on my way to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, I got some really nice shots inside the Kumarakom village… Some really great surroundings and some really nice places that I enjoyed exploring… It was early in the morning at 7:30 AM… Very quiet, peaceful and serene… You could feel the fresh air, breathe it.. rather, hear the melodious sound of birds chirping in the background and a real feeling that time stood still… That is exactly what it felt like 🙂

When I reached the Bird Sanctuary, I asked the person incharge, the guy who gives the tickets there if I could also get to do a country boat / canoe ride across the backwaters… I was also told that there aren’t many birds inside the sanctuary.. Pollution via Houseboats being the main reason and a lot of them prefer staying in the backwaters for obvious reasons… access to their food… So I chose to take the backwater ride instead of walking all the way inside the sanctuary…

The bird sanctuary guy, set me up with a local boat rider ‘Raju’ and that is where my journey inside the blissful backwaters began… This is far more better than sitting inside a houseboat and enjoying the beauty around you… This is really real and much more up-close and personal to nature… What’s more, you are not contributing in any form of ecological disturbance, plus you are helping these boatmen, rowers with their daily bread and butter… Since it was season time, their rate was 250 bucks for a ride for say an hour or so… But it is truly worth it as the guy will give you details on the birds you see as well as make sure that you get enough time to take great snaps of your surroundings… So here is the journey that I took…

 

My Boat & Raju, the boatman

My Boat & Raju, the boatman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So this is my boatman, Raju… He worked with Taj, yes, the Vivant, by Taj in Kumarakom for 18 years and just a few years ago, he retired from there and started boating… That’s what he does now…

 

Here I go...

Here I go...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here we set sail to reach the Vembannad lake from this river that we were in… He was gently rowing the boat to make sure that he also keeps an eye on any birds that come our way and that I could get some snaps of them…

 

 

Spotted a Houseboat

Spotted a Houseboat

 

 

Raju tells me that there are 200 houseboats alone in Kumarakom… This is the season time and most of the houseboats get great tourists and visitors to visit them. You can find a lot of info here : http://www.welcome2kumarakom.com

 

 

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that was the first bird I spotted… Sadly my basic kit-lens of the Canon 1000D allowed me only this much focus/zoom… If you guys do come here with a DSLR, it would really best to have a better lens with you… especially since, by the time you reach close to them and try clicking a snap, they fly away….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we head further into the river, approaching Vembannad lake, we find a local fisherman set out to his daily job… Yes, imagine, that is his routine and his life.. to earn his bread and butter everyday… Such is life…

 

That is the lakeside resort and hotel, Coconut Lagoon… fancy name, fancy cottages and really exquisite hotel 🙂 Must cost a bomb though I’m guessing…

 

 

Egress Bird

Egress Bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raju tells me that is the Egress bird… And Once I come back and google it.. he is absolutely right… Not that I was testing him or anything, I just forgot the spelling / name of the bird… so did a little R&D when I came back… He sure knows his birds, in fact is honest when he doesn’t and says that this bird came here last year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s the Cromaran bird.. Very common one found in the Backwaters of Kumarakom and elsewhere in Kerala. One thing about this bird that really looks beautiful, is when it spreads it’s wings and sits!!! It’s a spectacle to watch… 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these floating plantations, I’m told by Raju, will be clean when monsoon hits Kerala.. They will just vanish… Kaput!!!

 

After an hour long boat ride in the backwaters, I truly felt relaxed… This is the closest you get to Nature and trust me guys, is a very beautiful and relaxing feeling especially when you have to think of nothing… and I mean the Jerry Seinfeld Nothing… 😛

 

What do you think about this journey??

 

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Welcome to Kumarakom

So Kanyakumari was finally over… A feeling of satisfaction that I got was marvellous… With the end of Kanyakumari, I also ended the Tamil Nadu leg of #SriniOnTour… Felt really great after achieving these locations in a span of 10 days.. What a marvellous experience it had been and so had been the learning throughout this tour so far… It’s a common fact that travelling gives you great perspective, it does, more than that this particular trip had certainly given me a lot more patience and resilience to push yourself harder… Especially when that backpack of mine kept getting heavier… I wondered to myself, why did I even carry my heavy jacket and the blanket… They were seemingly useless as there wasn’t even a hint of cold throughout my experience up until now…

 

Yes, that is what is the keyword… until now… As soon as I left Nagercoil from where I got a bus to Trivandrum, the entire scenario changed… As soon as I left Kanyakumari district and entered Kerala it felt totally surreal!!! The cold breeze blowing in your face, it was cloudy and started drizzling as well… Greenery all besides you, all you could see is a lot of trees, banana plantations, rice / paddy farms… It was truly brilliant…

 

 

Green Peace :P

Green Peace 😛

So I headed to Trivandrum, from where I got an express bus to Allepy… which could drop me off to Kottayam… So my journey this time was a little tricky… Kanyakumari-Nagercoil-Trivandrum-Kottayam-Kumarakom… It took me around 8 hours to reach Kumarakom… Thankfully my accomodation had been taken care of. Once again Tweeple to the rescue!!! @whizkidd aka Rahul Srinivas called up his uncle Anil who has a great and I mean uberly great lakeside cottage homestay… That is where I got my accomodation… I reached there at 10:00 PM… Got off at Chakrampadi stand, which is really close from the cottage where I was to stay…

 

Road to my Cottage

Road to my Cottage

Now I settled down in the cottage and saw the view, couldn’t see much then, so decided to think of it in the morning… I got online, tweeted out to @whizkidd that I reached Kumarakom and thanked him for helping me out… The most unthinkable happened… had not happened till now… @kumarakom360 an official twitter handle for Kumarakom tweeted out to me!!! Welcoming me to Kumarakom… As appropriate as it may sound their website also is called http://www.welcome2kumarakom.com Can you beat that??? Brilliant job I must say… I checked out their website and found  a lot of details about the place… It’s certainly worth checking out…

 

I had made up my mind, there are certainly two things I wouldn’t miss doing in Kumarakom,

 

1. A boat ride / canoe ride in the Kumarakom Backwaters.

2. A boat ride to Allaphuza (Venice of Kerala) from Kottayam… (It’s listed as one of the must-dos by Lonely Planet Magazine)

 

So after a really rough ride from Kanyakumari to Kumarakom, I decided to crash and wake up early in the morning… WOW is the only word I have for the view I see outside my room… The Cabin by the lake was truly blissful… I think it’s time to end the really amazing crusade of hop-skip-jump and truly start enjoying my vacation in the peaceful and ever so lovely God’s Own Country… Just relax, unwind, not a lot of travelling but more of enjoying and letting the experience of being in the most blissful place sink in..

 

That's my cabin by the lake...

That's my cabin by the lake...

 

Anil Kumarar

Anil Kumarar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Anil Kumarar… @whizkidd’s uncle.. In case you guys down here in Kumarakom, you can ask for Beach County that’s the name of the place, it’s right off the lake and  this lake facing cottage can be all yours… His contact no is +91- 9995626969

Early Morninng View

Early Morning View

Truly, it seems like a really blissful few days ahead… before I hit the grind once again…

 

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