Kerala Village Tourism, an experience in Vaikom: It has been years now that I have made Kerala as my home. This beautiful land never stops amazing me. Like my wanderer husband, Ebbin, I am also fond of travels and new experiences. Of late, I had started feeling that I do not know enough of the rural life of Kerala. My kids were also getting used to the rhythm of city life. So when I got the opportunity to experience Kerala village tourism, I grabbed it eagerly.
Vaikom village and backwaters
Backwaters are the lifeline of tourism in Kerala. Serene and placid waters look charming. You find a vast expanse of water spread endlessly, just like the oceans, but devoid of the intimidating waves! Kerala backwater tourism is something I feel you should try at least once, or you are missing a lot as a tourist. We had booked our Vaikom village tour in advance. It was just an hour’s drive from our residence. Though Vaikom is very close to Kochi, it was the first time that I was experiencing the villages, so I was terribly excited.
Kerala Village Tourism Video in Hindi
When we reached the place, I was totally surprised. While I was expecting a motorized boat, there was a shikara boat waiting for us! It was not motorized; there were two villagers on both sides, rowing the boats with wooden oars. The boat had proper seats, and could accommodate almost 10 people. A slow and smooth sail along Kerala backwaters was the ultimate unwinding from hectic city life. We sailed peacefully, enjoying the pristine greenery on the shores. My kids were lively and joyous. Ebbin started humming a local song, which was supposed to be a boat-song. Not that he is a good singer, but in that pleasant ambience, I didn’t mind his singing. Kerala village tourism surely had good effect on my family!
Toddy and more
Toddy is the local name for the wine made from coconut palms. Toddy shops are common sights in Kerala. As a part of Kerala village tourism, we got the chance to see toddy palms. Not just that, we got to watch the toddy extraction live! A sturdy young man climbed the tree, and in a few minutes, he came down with a pot full of fresh toddy. Ebbin was excited to taste the fresh drink. He cupped his hands, and drank a mouthful. Kids and I stood watching, but it never crossed my mind that I should taste the drink. Whether it was the effect of Kerala backwaters or the toddy, Ebbin was livelier after the drink.
Next was a fishing trip, for catching mussels or clams. For that, our shikara was insufficient. So we all got into a motor boat, and sailed to the place where fishermen were busy with their schedule. There were many of them, some on their boats, and some jumping into the water. There was some fish trade also happening in the water. Ebbin got so carried away that he too jumped into the water. And when he came back, he was grinning from ear to ear. He had fresh fish in hands, and sadly, I was to cook. Click here for the fish fry recipe.
Cooking and lunch
Cooking is the last thing that I want to do while on a trip. But here it was fish, my favorite, and brought by my dear husband. So I had to give a try. What he bought was a local variety of bonefish. The tour organizers provided us with all facilities to cook in the open air. I spiced up the fish, and fried it on shallow heat. Ebbin is always full of praises for my cooking, and this time also it was not different. I also enjoyed the taste.
After the cookery session, we moved on to have lunch. A traditional Kerala lunch served on banana leaves is an inevitable part of Kerala village tourism. There were a variety of items, some of which I had tasted, and some of which were totally new. There was the Vaikom karimeen or pearlsopt, which was the popular fish of Vaikom. I truly felt that the people of Kerala are ready with a warm heart and hearth, to welcome visitors.
Canoeing and village tour
Post lunch, we changed our mode of transport once again. This time, it was a canoe or country boat. As it sailed through the small canals with tall trees and bushes protecting us from both sides, I got a soothing feel. Kerala backwater tourism was enjoyable to the core!
We walked through a village, and saw their simple way of living. Coir making was a major livelihood for many. I watched the coconut fibers being spun into threads and ropes. It was my kids who were most amazed at this. It was like a magic show for them. There were some potters also, who allowed us to try our hands at making pots. My elder one, Keya, turned out to be artistically inclined. She churned out a pot and gave it a little nudge, to make a diya.
We also had a family vacation to Munnar, you can read about it here: Munnar Family Trip
We took this village tourism service from Indo World Tours.
More to see near Vaikom Village
Though our tryst with Kerala village tourism came to an end with this, there were a few more places that we missed out. I am listing some of them for you:
1. Vaikom Mahadeva temple:
This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most sacred shrines of Kerala. There are several legends attached to it. Besides, it is a fine example of traditional Kerala temple architecture, so a must-visit place.
This is another ideal location for experiencing Kerala village tourism. It is a small scenic island located in the nearby Alappuzha district. It is also home to many species of migratory birds.
3. Kumarakom bird sanctuary:
Kumarakom is a close neighbor of Vaikom, and is well-known for Kerala backwater tourism. A boat ride along the snaky canals has an intoxicating charm. Bird sanctuary is an added encouragement for bird lovers.
4. Arthungal church:
This church is also one among the famous pilgrimage places of Kerala. It is located in Alappuzha district. The church looks magnificent with its age-old architecture.
5. Marari beach:
Among the beach destinations of Kerala, Marari is one that is not as frequented as others, and for that reason, still maintains a tranquil charm. It is a must-go place for beach lovers.
Experiencing Kerala village tourism is one of the many things that await you here. If you want to hunt for more, drop a few lines to us.
Fish fry recipe
Fish: 1KG cut
Turmeric: 1/2 tea spoon
Chili powder: 1tbs
Coriander powder: 1tbs
Cumin powder: 1 tbs
Onion paste: 1tbs
Garlic paste: 1tbs
Salt: to taste
Oil: to fry (Coconut or Mustard)
1.Clean fish and keep aside. Mix all other ingredients with in a bowl. Marinate fish inside spices mix for 30mts (Good to fridge).
Boil oil in a pan. Fry Fish golden brown.
Taste the best