Incredible India 14 – Backwaters of Kerala

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We spent two nights in the Kerala Backwaters with our Road Scholar group.  When that tour ended we met friends from Australia for another four nights on a high end houseboat operated by the Oberoi Hotels. 

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There were 8 cabins and after the first day the only guests were the five of us!  In the morning the chef would ask us what we would like for our dinner.  

This was a real treat!  The rooms were lovely and the food was gourmet.

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Our tours were just the five of us too.  Here we are in the day boat that took us in to the smaller village docks.

On both houseboat trips we visited the village of Champakulam.  This is the church of St Mary’s which is believed to have been established in 427AD!

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On our second visit to this church a youth choir was practicing.  This cutie sang a solo for us.

Just past the church was a primary school.  The teachers were generous to let us interrupt their lessons.  Notice the slate they use instead of paper.

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On the Road Scholar tour we visited a boat yard where they build and refurbish houseboats.  The bridge we had to cross could have used some work too!

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DSC00506 C  Traditional building technique!

The boats come in all sizes, from day boats to house boats that sleep 20.

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Roofs are designed for natural cooling.

The ferries were large canoes and long boats.

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We were treated to traditional Kerala entertainment.  Koodiyattan is a form of Sanskrit theater.  It is usually performed in Hindu temples and is believed to be 2,000 years old.  The actors,all men playing men’s and women’s parts, spend hours preparing for the performance. 

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This particular show is a really big deal in Kerala but I’m afraid we experienced a cultural disconnect.  It was too long and the music was repetitive.  Though an explanation of the story was given at the beginning of the program, we were soon lost!

We enjoyed the musicians and dancers more.

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On the Oberoi boat a traditional meal was served on a banana leaf.

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The best part of a backwaters trip is the view it affords of village life along the banks.

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It looked like there were a thousand ducks at this duck farm! 

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Everywhere we saw a cow, there was “his” bird close by!

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The Backwaters of Kerala were a wonderful way to finish our travels in Incredible India.


About graciamc

Gracia's Travels is a photo blog. I always take too many pictures on trips so I justify my compulsion with this blog! The blog is mostly photos - they tell the best part of the story. Please contact me if you would like to use any of my photos.
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6 Responses to Incredible India 14 – Backwaters of Kerala

  1. Catherine says:

    What an amazing trip you had, and you’re right to have ended it in Kerala which looks like a definite high point. As I said before, shades of Srinigar so doubly loved seeing your pics and hearing your descriptions.

  2. Janet Freeman says:

    What a great trip which I took with you vicariously. Thank you once again, Gracia, for enriching my life with your pictures and commentary.

  3. Looks like a very interesting place to visit – and what a great way to travel.

    • graciamc says:

      Yes, the backwaters are unique. We were especially grateful that our boats were air-conditioned. They protected us from the bugs at night and made sleeping comfortable!

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