A riot of colors makes the sky above the Ashtamudi lake backwaters near Kollam in South Kerala appear like the canvas of a beautiful oil painting, the sky being God’s canvas. The picture shows the typical idyllic picture postcard perfect Kerala setting: palm fringed shores, lazily lapping waves, a boatman or two on the water. The picture was taken from a running train on the Ashtamudi railway bridge just after sunset when the sky is usually even more spectacular than during the actual sunset. The Ashtamudi lake is the most visited backwater in Kerala and a major tourist attraction in Kerala. Merry Christmas!
Kathakali face cutouts hung on display at the LuLu Mall in Ernakulam (Kochi), Kerala during the Onam festival season like all mall interiors are decorated. Along with Onam, Snake Boats etc., Kathakali and its faces are among the strongest cultural synonyms and representative images (and tourist attractions) of Kerala. Kathakali is a world-famous art form that originated and is practiced in Kerala, a kind of dramatized dancing usually depicting stories from the Mahabharata performed by actors wearing highly stylized makeup, elaborate headgear, and costumes that are often a riot of colors. The end result of this makeup generally looks like the faces in this picture.
Two of Kerala’s main tourist attractions, the beauty of its backwaters and houseboat vacations come together with the Vembanad Lake shining all sapphire blue dotted by houseboats on a very hot day under impossibly blue skies, with the little emerald green island with its coconut trees standing in sharp contrast to the blue above and below. Paradise is this! Pay a visit to God’s Own Country when you can, to unwind and leave all your troubles ashore! The location is just off the “finishing point” at Alappuzha (Alleppey).
Blue sky, blue horizon, blue lake and a houseboat. Surrounded by a deep blue as far as the eye can see, a houseboat sways gently on the waters of the Punnamada (Vembanad) Lake in Kuttanad, Alappuzha district, Kerala, whose shores are also shrouded in a deep blue at the horizon. This beautiful setting is at the heart of what is called the Kerala Backwaters, famous for its houseboat cruises which make up the bulk of Kerala tourism these days. It was midday, the sun up in a spotless, cloudless blue sky stretching a brilliant blue from horizon to horizon, the water calm and blue, dotted with houseboats in every direction. This is one such houseboat. No two houseboats are same, and this particular one seems to be specially designed for those who want to sleep 🙂
Kuttanad, that part of Kerala in Alappuzha (Alleppy) world-famous for its backwaters. This is the “backbone” of those backwaters, the Pampa river lazily cutting though its center at Chennemkari in a typical Kerala backwater setting: A wide expanse of clear water flanked by palm-tree fringed banks, reflecting off the lazily flowing water. Taken at water level from a small “shuttle” boat used to cross the river by the local people. Two houseboats can be seen in the distance.
RA102 is one of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation’s (KSRTC) three old Volvo B7Rs bought to run Bangalore – Thiruavanathapuram services in October 2008. After running on and off for six years, they were replaced by brand new Volvo B9R multi axle buses in 2014. RA102 was then assigned to run special services in a new “Kerala Tourism” livery featuring a Mohiniattam dancer, a “Chundan vallom (snakeboat), half of a Kathakali face and a houseboat. Brilliantly designed. After hunting around for quite some time, I finally caught the elusive bus running a Guruvayur – Alappuzha special service at the Ernakulam Vyttila Mobility Hub one fine evening. You can see KSRTC’s other two old Volvo B7Rs also here: RA100 and RA101.