In the current era, in whichever place we
live in, life seems to fly fast. We seem to lose track of the breaking of a new
day or the setting in of dusk because of our busy schedules. But there are
places like the villages of Kerala where time seems to stop still. Life goes on
but in its own pace. There’s no hurry of speeding to workplaces on time,
there’s no hurry of meeting the targets at the end of the month and there’s no
hurry to climb up the corporate ladder.
The serene villages of Kerala by the backwaters offer an unforgettable panoramic view with variant shades of green all around. The blue sky above, the green hills, the tranquil water and the slow but steady lifestyle of the simple villagers here offer a natural detoxification rejuvenating your lives.
The Cochin Shore Excursions team has listed down the following 4 best Kerala Village Tours which would provide a very relaxing experience to you.
Kumarakom Village Tour:
Kumarakom village is close to the largest lake of Kerala, Vembanad Lake. The area is famous for the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary which is home to a great variety of birds. The sanctuary is open from 6 AM to 6 PM and can be accessed by canoe rides. The slow-paced canoe rides towards the Sanctuary offers views of the village scenes - the people busy in making handicrafts, kids swimming around, men climbing coconut trees to collect coconuts or traditional fishing activities in and around the Vembanad Lake.
Another amazing site in Kumarakom is the Pathiramanal Island. The scenic beauty of the Pathiramanal island is unparalleled. If you are a birder, you must stop at Pathiramanal to spot some rare migratory birds here.
Nature is a great sculptor and it has the affinity to sculpt anything which comes on its way. The exhibits of the Bay Island Driftwood Museum are brilliant examples of natural sculpture which got a bit tweaked by human beings later on. The museum treasures a fantastic variety of root sculptures and twisted trunks of trees.
The boat races held in the backwaters of Kumarakom are spectacular events. There are two boat races, one is known as Sree Narayana Jayanthi Boat Race commemorating the visit of the great social reformer Sree Narayana Guru in Kumarakom and the other one is known as Kavanattinkara Boat Race which is conducted on the Onam Season. Both the races are organised within the months of August and September annually.
Kumbalangi Village Tour:
Kumbalangi village is located along the backwaters and is famous for Chinese Fishing Nets as well as fishing activities demonstrated on the tour of this village. The mangrove trees here acts as a barrier between the land and the water bodies providing a safe haven for the breeding of prawns, crabs, oysters and small fishes. Not only fishing experiences, but there are also guided farm visits, observing toddy tapping and coir making on the tour of this village. The humble livelihood of the people here will surely create a great impact on your weary minds. Nearby the Kumbalangi Village, there’s an artists’ village known by the name of Kalagramam. Kalagramam displays a wide collection of handicrafts and indigenous fishing equipment.
On the canoe or houseboat tours conducted in and around the Kumbalangi Village, you can view the different techniques of fishing and can also participate in the fishing activity yourself. You can learn handicrafts and cook from the local people on your stay here.
Kumbalangi was developed as a model village promoting fishing activity and tourism as a means of rural livelihood. A visit to the Kumbalangi village can serve as awareness about the rural scenery in India and self-sustainability by judiciously using natural resources.
Vaikom Village Tour:
Pic Courtesy: Iris Holidays
Vaikom Village is an awesome destination to observe the handicraft workshops distributed across the village. There is a Khadi Weaving Centre where people weave with the help of handlooms. You can stop by and observe how weaving is done with perfect finesse by using simple machines operated by hands. Thereafter you can see how coir ropes are being made from dried coconut husks. Here, the villagers use wild pineapple leaves for making straw mats. The potters make clay pots and carve ethnic designs on them. On a walking tour around the Vaikom village, you can view all these activities.
Non-mechanised boat or canoes are available for cruising around the backwaters skirting the village. The quiet and relaxed lifestyle of the villagers can be best viewed through canoe cruise around the famed backwaters.
One more important spot in Vaikom is the Shiva Temple here. The Vaikom Shiva Temple is called ‘Kashi of the South’. The temple is constructed in Kerala’s traditional temple architectural style and is a very important part of the cultural heritage of Kerala.
Alleppey Village Tour:
Pic Courtesy: Agoda
With the narrow connected canals and backwater, Alleppey is also known as ‘The Venice Of The East’. The place is famous for being the epicentre of most of the backwater cruises on houseboats or canoes. This is because the village brings out the true essence of Kerala as ‘God’s Own Country’. The verdant ambience comes alive with the lush green forests, coconut and palm groves and rice farms. The farms here are situated around 4 feet below sea level.
Alleppey had been an established port city since ancient times and there is a 137-year-old pier that still stands as a proof to that. There are an old lighthouse and a wonderful garden at the Alleppey shore which adds to the beauty of the Alleppey beach.
In Alleppey stands an architectural marvel constructed during the 18th Century by the king of Travancore. This building is called the Krishnapuram Palace. The palace contains ancient sculptures, elegant mural paintings and sculpture. The Krishnapuram Palace showcases the traditional Kerala architectural style.
Alleppey is a place that makes you feel the religious diversity of India. There are churches, Krishna temple at Ambalapuzha and a black granite statue of Lord Buddha in Karumadi village that shows how the ancient people had accepted the peaceful coexistence of different faiths in one region.
In Alleppey, we have a unique collectors’ museum named Revi Karunakaran Museum after the person who was behind the thriving coir industry of Kerala. This museum displays exhibits that are collected items belonging to Revi Karunakaran and his family. The exhibits include one of the largest private collection of Swarovski crystals, precious and semi-precious stones, silverware.
All the four Kerala villages mentioned above have one thing in common, the connection to the backwaters. This connection makes them naturally exquisite. There are very few places such as these where you can feel the true beauty of the Man and Nature interaction.