Discovering Kerala: My First Visit To a small Keralian Village

August 24, 2013

in India,Kerala,Travel Experiences

So yesterday we finally visited a Keralian house hold, belonging to my good friend. Anticipating a small town at first, the place turned out to be quite like a village, but it’s not like any village in my state West Bengal. And I wish every village in the country was like this one. A fool’s wish!

What really stunned me were the people I met.  The people I got acquainted with. It was like going back to my home. Yes we were received as guests but there were no unnecessary formalities that were shown. Our hosts presented us with a very homely environment, and opened up their home to us, strangers belonging to a state 2500 kms away.

Discovering Kerala

In villages unlike cities, (especially in the metro cities like the one I grew up in), everybody knows each other. That is a known fact, and to be fair, that’s how the villages are ought to be. However, situated on the banks of the beautiful Chalakudy River, Annanad seemed to me more like a large closely knit family than just a village. I’ve been to villages in my state but I have seen the lack of unity, lack of togetherness in them. So are all villages here like this or is this a special one, an exception?? Are all villages in this state like this? If it is then there is a lot the other states in the country can learn from. If this is an exception, then there is a lot the entire country can learn from.

Annanad

The main occupation of the people in the town wasn’t too hard to guess owing to the large horticulture and coconut fields. In addition there are a few vineyards as well, manufacturing good quality red wine.

The Chalakudy River in itself is one of the most important and major rivers in Kerala owing to its rich biodiversity of fauna and its scenic beauty in the upper reach. The river is the heart and soul of this small town. However river is plagued with serious problems that have been caused due to the illegal sand mining activities upon reaching the relatively plain regions, in the nearby regions of Annanad. As a result this once mighty river has now shrunk alarmingly in its width, and its water ceases to flow forwards unlike in the upstream regions or other major rivers of North and Central India. Another recent problem that had arisen in this river is the pollution problem due to the presence of fertilizers and gelatine industries that dump their wastes on the waters. These activities have somehow increased the will power of the good people of this village to fight against the injustice against their river, and save their dying river from further damage.

kerala

Annanad is good enough for a weekend visit if you want redemption from daily hustlebustle of the city and pollution free, cool environment. The place itself is only 40 kms from Ernakulam and only 5 kms from Chalakudy town, on NH-47, and can be easily visited by availing the Kerala State owned buses costing only 35 rupees. I thank my Keralite friends for taking us there. We’ll be back in Annanad again expecting more and travelling around Kerala anticipating more surprises.

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