Friday, February 10, 2006

Serene BackWaters of Kerala

World famous Kerala Backwaters are noted for its tranquility and serenity. A boating through the lush backwaters is a thing too good to miss.

Although I live in Kerala, I had only once dared a houseboat journey across Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam. It was so beautiful and memorable a journey that I can never forget the experience.

This time we (means the whole team of Journalism students from Institute of Journalism, Thiruvanathapuram) were returning from an intra state tour to Karnataka.

After enjoying the timeless beauty of Buddhist temples and monasteries at Bilakkuppa in Karnataka, we returned to our homes in Thiruvananthapuram. On the way our great master Mr. Soman, the director of our institute fancied the idea of spending a whole day in the calm serenity of Lake Ashtamudi.

We got to Ashtamudi Resort, a nice picturesque resort silhouetted against the backwaters of Kollam. Partly because of our director’s connection with the resort people and partly because of an off-season, we got the opportunity to use a full resort for the whole day, enjoying the calmness and real ambience of backwaters of Kerala.

Jacob, the poet among journalists got inspired by the natural beauty and the cool breeze from the backwaters. Then it was time we all got a special treat by Jacob in the form of an unstoppable recitation, not fully enthused by the backwaters.

A journey by a houseboat, the vehicle of backwaters is also something we couldn’t afford to miss. Our team got into the houseboat. It could house 100 people according to the proprietor of Ashtamudi resort, (I forgot his name, if someone know his name please let me know as a comment below) who is also the owner of the houseboat and he too joined us in the houseboat journey.

This Ashtamudi Lake is free from mosquito, though I don’t know the reason why.

There was a couple in their late fifties (or early sixties) at the resort who hired a speedboat to browse the whole of Ashtamudi backwaters, whom waved us from the boat as we left the resort in our own little Titanic (God bless it, let it not sink), to Kollam town where our bus would wait for us.

From the houseboat we saw Neendakara bridge and buzzing fishing harbor. It was quite a marvelous sight to see the long bridge as a thin line above the waters, and from beyond came the rays of setting sun to paint the backwaters with gold and to fill the skies with little orange-red clouds.

We all cheered the owner of Ashtamudi resort for preparing such a grand day and evening for us in such a short notice. We all (reluctantly) got out of the boat and dragged our feet to the footboard of our tourist bus which would take us to our homes in two or three hours.

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