Backwaters of Kerala are unparalleled in terms of the atmospheric ambience they possess, the richness of exotic flora and fauna, as well as the vividness of the natural views generously sprinkled. While sailing on the backwater is engrossing in itself, you can engage yourself in other pursuits to consummate your tour.
Fishing is taken to the next level in Kerala owing to the abundance of fertile breeding grounds and conditions for fishes, prawns, lobsters, crabs, clams and oysters in fresh waters. Just take the fishing rod and dangle the bait and a good catch await you. The Karimeen Fry and fish curry, both marine preparations, will leave you salivating over them with spices added in right quantity for lip-smacking taste.
The profusion of coconut palms all along the backwaters make coir based small scale industries the most lucrative and sensible livelihood proposition for locals. A visit to the coir workshop will leave you awestruck as the consummate skill and craftsmanship of artisans defy the efficiency of even the most sophisticated machines. A number of merchandise is prepared from coir and these products can be shopped to serve as souvenirs of your memorable trip. Fibre from husk is spun into strong threads used for making mats and handcrafts. The sight of coir creation by female workers through wheel gear driven spinner is unique.
Kerala’s country liquor is known as toddy. This intoxicating and refreshing drink is extracted from coconut palms. To tap toddy, you can scramble up the coconut palm with full body harness on and extract the brilliant ‘madhura kallu’ directly from coconuts. Drink the liquor with a sumptuous feast of baked fresh water fish and spicy pickles to have the first hand experience of Kerala’s gastronomic delights. Rural Kerala’s visit remains incomplete without toddy tapping.
The crystal clear waters are decked by resident as well as migratory water birds particularly ducks. Tending to ducks is a favourite pastime particularly on the lakes replete with romanticism. The water ways and canals filled with water lilies are abundantly habituated by ducks.
Taking a peek into the lives of the natives of Kerala as they go about attending their daily chores is an enjoyable experience. Walk through the paddy field or the narrow dykes that demarcates the field boundary and feel yourself communing with nature optimally. The lush growth around you and the slushy mud paths under your feet will blend to transport you to the times of yore where simplicity of the people and non-artificial lifestyle were the buzzwords. You can feel the content and peace quotients that prevail in the Kerala’s rural, unsophisticated set-up far from the hustle and bustle of city lives.
Imposing temples steeped in devotional charm and architectural grandeur characterize Kerala’s magnificent past’s bequeathing to the present generation. A number of temples dedicated to the presiding deities of the villages can be visited near backwaters. The robust construction and the marvellous architecture have not lost their sheen even after enduring the vagaries of the time.