Thursday, August 10, 2006

Our hero

When you think of Kerala, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the backwaters and the spas. Unfortunately to my mom it was still all about the temples. So I had a hard time convincing her another boat ride would be fun. But as the photo's attest, I did manage to convince her. The title you ask? Well there's a story at the end ;)

IMG_3359kumarakom Hosted on Zooomr

We were first sent to this area where the view didn't seem too great. My driver concluded the same and told us we should head of to Kumarakom.


Hence after visiting a few temples we headed to Kumarakom. I had managed to convince them to join me for an hour drive, they wouldn't have anything more than that.


The drive to Kumarakom passes by a stretch of hotels, antique shops and the backwaters on the other side. So its quite a pleasant drive.

I've always wanted to go on one of those antique looking boats so you would understand how I felt seeing this little beauty that was just nice enough for the 3 of us. My mom wasn't so please since she never liked wooden bridges nor boats but she agreed to tag along.

The good thing about getting a small boat is it creates very small waves hence you get wonderful reflective photos. The best part of the backwaters is, its a haven for photos, with its wild ducks, people, numerous boats, and river banks lined with houses, your camera never stops clicking!

Now though the boat has a captains wheel, it served more as a decoration, since our boat was powered by motor and he sat right at the back. Nice guy, the moment he sees me focussing the cam, he'd slow the boat and every other moment he'd give out info on the places we were passing.

Hosted on Zooomr

10 minutes down the river, mom agrees this was a good suggestion and they were enjoying themselves! On one side you have a wildlife bird sanctuary and on the other wild ducks buzzing around in flight.


These wild ducks would swim around daintily and just as you're focusing the cam, they'd fly off. They would then sweep down grabbing a fish for brunch. That's not fair I tell ya!


You cruise along this stretch of river banks before you see the great Vembanand Lake. It's pristine waters will bewitch you.


That's where you'll find those huge rice boats, famed across this region. The boats I deem one of the most romantic things to float on water.


As you can see I couldn't stop photographing the boats, across the lake, from up close and in all sizes. You'll have to see the whole album to see how much clicking I was doing. I love how the boats look, there's so many interesting aspects to the boat.

10 minutes down the lake, I turn back to find both mom and her friend asleep in their plush red velvet rattan chairs. Ah so I had the lake to myself!

There weren't many boats on the water. I was told it wasn't the boating season. That was fine to me, I wasn't too keen on fighting for space.

We passed a few fishermen in their even tinier boats. They were fishing for clams, and you could find boats with huge mounds on them and this special clam catcher which looked like huge claws. Anyway I'd look at them take photos and they'd look back ;p Most of the stretch of the visible lake bank is made of lake resorts.

And if you think women don't row boats, this is the best place to be proved wrong and most probably by a bunch of grandmas.

As you know I attract stories. There's no other way to describe this. We this small boat were cruising unmindful, without disturbing anyone along the river banks.

When this huge rice boat starts looming closer. Now he wasn't the first huge boat to drive past us but probably the rudest. These huge boats cause huge waves, so our boat guy moves closer to the banks to give way. Suddenly they hit our tiny boat, and puff all peace in the last hour went missing!


You could imagine our shock, the boat was shaking violently luckily it didn't capsize. At first we assumed it was an accident, but they guy hit us again and our boat man started exchanging words with the crazy boat men! They were about to hit us again when another big boat comes looming in as our saviour and horned the crazy boat men. Only then did they move on.

I still have no idea what or why they did that. I don't think they had problems with the boat man but its just baffling. Why would they want to topple our boat? So we quietly made our way behind saviour boat. You can see two boats in this image, the furthest boat is the crazy men boat and the nearest is our saviours. Heh who would have thought we'd actually have heroes!

IMG_3342kumarakomHosted on Zooomr
When I inquired with our boatman what had happened, he just brushed it off with a smile but he did seem agitated. They exchanged words again when we past the anchored crazy boat.

It had been slightly over an hour and we could see our driver nervously walking the banks. None of us said a thing about the incident though. However take my word, its worth the time, and go for the 2 hour or a few day ride on a bigger boat.


Harsha said...

GOLD and the pics are beautiful!!!

Just one small u know to swim??? ;)

Anonymous said...

wow! the photography is first class.

sreekrishnanv said...

hey that pic with a boat house in the blue waters ....hats off ...awesome

that is a real treat to the eyes !!!

XMOCHA! said...

lovely pics! Kerala is even more beautiful than I remember. You have a great eye.

Ezee123 said...

Ah such a nice time you had out there. wonderful to read heroic tales of your great adventures in the boats in the Alleppey & Kumarakom waters of Kerala.
Nice shots. Did not see them on your gallery in Flickr, but hey, I have not been doing much there so may have missed it.
As to your boat ordeals and banging and shoving, it has to be a union thing, I think you may have hired a boat which was not a part of the union or else it must have been a navigational error so they were playing bumpsy.

nice shots V.

Inder said...

the mullu land is indeed beautiful. so, both the hero and villain were boats... hahaha :P

Balaji S Rajan said...


You are a perfect journalist. The photography is excellent. It gave me a sense of travelling with you. Narration is interesting as well. I think the funny boatman must be crazy. If he had hit once, it is fine, if he had done it twice, it should have been to attract women. Thank god nothing happened. I could make out that you have enjoyed a lot and involved well in your photography. In future when you are taking photos of birds, try to camouflage yourself with the camera and only the lens should be seen. Birds normally shy camera and you need a powerful zoom lens to capture them. Even the slightest click sound can chase them away. You need lots of patience in clicking them. Hope you will develop it soon!

My days(Gops) said...

aiyo water, aiyo boat, naan varala...paarkavey bayamaaa keedhu....appuram engatha.....he he he

btw, photos are....... (thanks'nu neenga solluveeenga i knw)...

kG said...

Few things:

1.How manyyyy memory cards doo you have?!

2.That house, by the waters, it's just splendid, Vis.

3.The reflective effect is one of my faves about photography in water-areas.

4.We should soo Go to India together.(I have soo many trips that Ive promised! Bali with Ariel, Penang with a friend, and now India. hehe)

Prasad said...

I stopped reading your narration somewhere after first couple of para.. the pics are so awesome!!!!!!!

I will try to visit kumaragam next trip. Last time i went to poovar island resort near tvm which also is very very beautiful with floating cottages, backwaters, beach etc..

back to finish reading your travelogue. thanks.


p.s btw, why zoomr? do u like it better than flickr?

Keshi said...

Kerala seems like my next dream!

**Unfortunately to my mom it was still all about the temples

To my mum too...and it doesnt have to be Kerala!


Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Visithra, it's time you wrote a coffee-table book on Kerala. Would spare me from this daily tease that prompts me to pack my bags and take the train! :)

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Er, I meant 'tempts', not 'prompts'. If it was prompts, I would be writing this from a backwater boat.

Keropok said...

First class photography again, Vis!

Aravind said...

wow..... lovly fotos visit

visithra said...

Ezee : ah havent seen u for some time ;)

yes it was a wonderful time ;p hehehe who knew id have a hero ;)

actually i was just posting them on flickr ;) just as u posted the comment - what coincidence

a union thing? Humm but y would the other guy save us then ?

The first time we did think navigational error but not the second - oh well it made a good story ;p thanks ;)

inder : hehe yeah both were boats ;p but since this is reality non got the gal ;p yep estremly beautiful ;)

Balajis : ahh how i wish ;) thanks ;)

i agree - one time would have been a mistake - incidentaly thats what my mom thought - but didnt know hitting boats were flirting styles ;p

Luckily nothing happened - i did enjoy myself n love photography

ah that was a joke at the birds - they actually didnt see me i think coz the boat glides by n theyre unaffected - n my cam is on silent mode - hate the sounds ;)

U know ive actually done that before - hid in my car n watched these birds nesting in my house tree ;p

Mydays : hehehe avlo bayamma? Lol sohnamaariyeh thanks ;)

Kg : heheh i have only 2 a 512 mb n a 32 mb - what i do have is a portable hardrive to store the images when travelling ;)

Thanks ;) - yeah me too love reflections

Ehhehe we should - dang i want to travel too ;p now if only i strike lottery

visithra said...

prasad : thanks ;) ah havent heard of that island thanks for the info ;) - but thrivandrum has a beautiful beach ;)

ps : well i have both accounts - im pro on both and heres why

zooomr is more blog friendly - the choices of image sizes - theres no restriction of photo numbers - its a growing hosting - its easier to upload faster - 10 images at a time - the original image size stays - n many more stuff

flickr - ure there for the community - u want ur images to be seen by ppl who love photography - to be discussed - u go there

on zooomr i upload everything - flickr i choose my images

but zooomr is growing one day it will be an awesome community - plus the support team is extremly friendly

Keshi : it is - believe me ;)

ehhehe u know i was telling her - im going to spend 1 week in the backwaters one day n she tells me that too long 4 days enough hehehe

Bishwa : the idea is to tempt ;p coffee-table books wouldnt do that ;p so where would i listen to complaints of temptation ;p hehe [figured the tempt part ;) ]

keropok : thanks ;)

visithra said...

aravind : thanks ;)

Vani said...

your photographs distracted me the first...second...and third time, from the story. finally read it with much difficulty. beautiful pictures.

Sundar Narayanan said...

i agree with vani. the photos are sooo good that i just went to the photo site and started looking at the pictures..


kG said...

ohh.. portable harddrive.. smart move.

Jom beli lottery! woohoo!

WA said...

I wanna go to Kerala now :(( Mummy :((

My days(Gops) said...

//avlo bayamma?//

neenga vera, aadha vida bayam,....

Jeevan said...

Aasai varuthu Aasai varuthu, pakka pakka aasai varuthu. WOW!! No word other than Beautiful. Ya it should be really shocking for u if another boat hit, nice it was not a big hit.

The 4th pic form last was awesome, with orange color. I like the small wavers in the last pic; the house surrounded by water is a dream home. Hope I should visit these places and experience the beauty in my future.

Jeevan said...

Forget to tell, the photos in Zooomr are wonderful. Showed to my mom, really appreciated the photos.

visithra said...

Vani : hehehe awww glad you enjoyed them ;) thanks ;)

Sundar : hehe so so vani has a photo distracted partner ;) thanks ;)

kg : yeah i asked around :)

hehehe kaching kaching ;p

Uma : mummyyyyyyyyy me tooooooooo wanna go

Mydays : hehehe pathen pathen

Jeevan : ehnakum pakka pakka asai ;) luckily nothing happened

thanks jeevan ;) i like that house too - would be nice to live there huh
u will one day ;) thanks dear - n tell mom i said hi ;)

Anonymous said...

the pictures were was the account

Hip Grandma said...

the previous commentwas mine

visithra said...

hipgran : thanks ;) and thanks for telling me who the anon comment was from ;)