Munroe Island Kollam is one of the most serene spots in Kerala. Calm and quiet banks of Kallada River, coconut rimmed canals, and the Ashtamudi Lake which is vast to touch the horizons, a visit to Munroe island is an obvious trip to the insights of your own consciousness. This nature friendly Indian paradise will catalyze introspection and give you much more than just pretty photographs from one of the best backwaters of Kerala, to cherish and remember them by.
Another charming festive season in Kerala and we were in a mood to explore some place that is new. A pretty calm morning that broke the silence and darkness of night with the Hindu mantras from a neighborhood temple was welcoming the biggest festival of Kerala, Onam. We started off from Kottayam and drove along the rubber plantations and banana farms. The early rays from the sun smeared a tint of golden shade to the edges of earth. We stick to the directions instructed by the friendly Google Maps on our android phone and headed towards the Munroe Island in Kollam district.
What is there in Munroe Island?
Munroe Island is in fact a collection of different islands at the convergence of Ashtamudi Lake, Kallada River, and several feeder canals. Also known as Mundrothuruthu, this collection of 8 islands is inhabited with a population slightly above 10,000 in a area of 13.37 km2. Visiting Munroe island or Mundrothuruthu gives you an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Kerala. Munroe island Kollam is also one of the best backwaters of Kerala considering the fact that the destination is less explored by tourists when compared to any other backwater destinations in the state.
The major attractions in the island includes canoeing in the narrow but beautiful canals along the fishing and coir producing villages. Love fishing? There cannot be any other place better than Mundrothuruthu for a wonderful fishing experience. One can also feed prawns and learn about prawns farms here. If it’s a season for migratory birds, the island is a feast for bird watchers. Here you will find hardly any crowd in case you would like to enjoy some quietude.
What was my experience in Munroe Island Kollam?
In fact, I was planning to visit Munnar during Onam holidays for a one day trip. However, Munnar was not new to me or my family and then came our decision for Munroe Island. A photograph that showed a man rowing a country boat through the feeder canals of inspired me to finalize and set off.
Very early in the morning we started off from my parents home in Kottayam and reached Munroe Island by around 6:15, just as the sun rays were clearing the darkness. We stopped by the banks of Kallada River below a signboard that said Boat Safari. When called the number that was mentioned on the signboard, I did not imagine to bag an offer of 3+ hours of boat ride (country boat – not run by a motor) at just 800 Indian Rupees (below 12.5 USD).
We sailed through the calmly flowing Kallada river by sighting the lush green edges of the river. The far end of the stream was still under the cover of fog. There were a few houseboats and a shikara boat anchored on the banks, which sway in the light waves. The early sun rays reflected on the pickle green water of Kallada river as we turned to sail through the narrow feeder canals of Ashtamudi Lake.
The feeder canals were much closer and the village was slowly escaping the grip of slumber. A colorful temple that positioned itself on the sides of canal played some morning mantras that gave charm to the already splendid nature. Some villagers waved their hands at us while some where busy cleaning their utensils in the slow flowing waters.
We sailed through the tranquil canals for another 60 or 70 minutes until we sighted a smaller opening that connected the canal to a much wider water body – the spectacular Ashtamudi Lake. A few fishermen collecting their morning catch, some small islands with dense population of coconut palms, and a vibrant sky relished us. Our boatman stopped rowing and we dangled with the boat in every movements of the water. A few minutes in that vastness of Ashtamudi Lake and we started our return journey, but through a different route.
On our way back, the country boat sailed along the mangrove forests. The sight of mangrove with hanging roots but lifted branches was enthralling. Soon we were on a new feeder canal with fish farms on one side and houses on the other. We could have stopped by one of the fish farms for feeding prawns, but we had plans to include Varkala Beach in our itinerary that day.
Most fish farms were covered with nets to protect fish from the birds. As we sailed further there was a man giving bath to his goats. We also saw several fossilized canoes and country boats on the sides of the canal. That was a complete 3 hours and 30 minutes of thrill packed voyage through the most exciting backwaters of Kerala.
How to reach Munroe Island Kollam?
Munroe Island Kollam is easily accessible by road from Kollam town or from other parts of Kerala. The nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport while the nearest railway head is Mundrothuruth (Munroe Island) Railway Station.
Distance from major places
Trivandrum International Airport – Munroe Island: 82 km
Cochin International Airport – Munroe Island: 170 km
Kochi – Munroe Island: 139 km
Alappuzha – Munroe Island: 87 km
Kottayam – Munroe Island: 88 km
Munnar – Munroe Island: 149 km
Munnar – Munroe Island: 225 km
Where to stay when you are in Munroe Island?
Planning a relaxed holiday in Munroe Island? You can select from a few exotic middle range resorts to some of the friendliest homestay facilities here. Do not expect any luxurious hotels here, yet some of the resorts offer very good facilities though.
You can also plan for a day trip in Munroe Island and return to stay in one of the hotels at Kollam town. You can also visit some of the interesting places in and around Kollam during your stay here.
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com