Pushing The Boat With A Bamboo Pole

A Day In The Kerala Backwaters

So Green

Beautiful & Green Kerala

Kerala is a special place in India. The people are educated. In fact, it’s the state with the highest literacy rate. Some estimate as much as 10% of the population is working abroad. The local language is Malayalam, but if the people there speak a second language it’s English, not Hindi. There also seemed to be more religious diversity there, as something like 50% of the population is Hindu, 25% is Christian, and 25% is Muslim.

Apart from these things, it’s absolutely beautiful. I was there right in the middle of the dry season but it was as green as can be. I was told by everyone it gets so much greener after the rainy season. That’s hard for me to believe. In Northern India everyone told me I had to visit Kerala and see its beauty. To them I say, ok, I understand now..

Chinese Fishing Nets

One of the interesting features of the historical city of Fort Kochi is the Chinese Fishing Nets. Introduced centuries ago by Chinese explorers or the Portuguese via Macau, these nets are lowered into the sea for a few minutes and then brought up. The catch is usually minimal, and often sold on the spot to tourists, locals, or market middlemen.

The nets work on a lever system and the balancing weights are several large stones strung together. Often, the net is lowered into the sea by a man walking out across the lever, providing enough weight to tip the balance.

Kerala Backwaters

I spent a day in the Kerala backwaters. The backwaters are basically a system of waterways that link 38 rivers to five lakes. From top to bottom it extends for nearly half the entire state of Kerala and these freshwater systems are crucial for local irrigation and farming. An entire ecosystem and way of life has developed here, much like it has in Inle Lake, Myanmar.

Along the way we learned how to make rope from coconut husk, visited a spice farm, had a fantastic lunch on a banana leaf, and took in the fantastic scenery. Our mode of transport was a converted houseboat, which I tried pushing using the traditional bamboo pole. I could do it, but by no means did I have much stamina!

All in all it was just a fantastic day taking in a very different way of living. Enjoy the pictures below.

Kerala Tourism Promotion

Kerala Tourism Promotion

Kerala Tourism Promotion

Kerala Tourism Promotion

Kerala Tourism Promotion

Kerala Tourism Promotion

8 replies
  1. Owen
    Owen says:

    It sounds (and looks) like a really lovely. I’ve also heard (perhaps you can confirm) that the food there is primarily vegetarian. All of this and what you’ve written lead me to wonder whether this is an exceptionally happy place 🙂

    Reply
    • Adam Pervez
      Adam Pervez says:

      I’d say Kerala is probably less vegetarian than most other Indian states since roughly 25% of the population is Muslim and 25% is Christian. It’s not difficult to find beef in restaurants, which is basically unheard of in northern states.

      I don’t know if Kerala is exceptionally happy, but true, probably more so than other places I went in India. I could speculate why that is, but maybe it’s best you visit and see what you think firsthand 🙂

      Reply
  2. Owen
    Owen says:

    Thank you Adam! That’s something I very much look forward to doing! In the meantime, I’m eagerly looking forward to your next post 🙂

    Reply
  3. Ash Clark
    Ash Clark says:

    Its great that when ever I have heard about this place the literacy of the region is always one of the key points mentioned – hopefully it continues to spread from there.

    Im fascinated now with your comparison of inle lake…

    Reply

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