The Ashtamudi Lake at Dusk Appears as God’s Canvas

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!

A Lovely Kuttanad Evening in a Typical Kerala Backwater Setting

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.

Over the Hills and Far Away… The Kerala Highrange Landscape

The blue hills loom in the distance stretching for as far as the eye can see, in the wee hours of the cold monsoon day at Peruvanthanam just after Mundakayam on the Kottayam – Kumily (KK Road), now the Kollam – Theni national highway no 183. The location is idukki district though the view will contain parts of Kottayam distraict also. The high ranges of Kerala, as the Western Ghats are popularly known in Kerala form almost all of Idukki district and are breathtakingly beautiful as they lie mysteriously shrouded in mist. The highranges are populated by hardy, no-nonsense people as life is harsh here, but the experience of traveling through these roads is mind blowing. Beyond the farthest hills shown here lie the waters of the Idukki Hydroelectric project, or the “Idukki Dam”.  I feel a personal connection to these hills, somehow for reasons I can’t explain…

Green Fields and Blue Skies – The Typical Rural Kerala Setting

Big blue skies, green waterlogged fields, and a canal ringed by green trees on the horizon, bisected by a road running through the field. The typical rural Kerala setting. The incredible blueness of the skies that day was especially mind blowing! The now waterlogged paddy fields are being used by people to rear ducks during the monsoon. Not mentioning what place this this, as it would do good not to be besieged by tourists. Though some people might recognize this. Hint: A famous engineering college in Kottayam district.

Nature’s Mirror: The Serene Blue Muvattupuzha River at Dawn

The clam waters full up to the banks of the Muvattupuzha river of central Kerala lie like a corrugated mirror reflecting the vegetation on its banks, the clouds and sky of the early morning in a blue-and-yellow haze as upstream a light mist hangs over the bridge. This photo was taken early morning from a train as it passed over the bridge just before the Piravam Road station on the Ernakulam – Kottayam section of the Trivandrum division, Southern Railway. The Muvattupuzha river flows through much of Ernakulam district and a bit of Kottayam district. It passes through much beautiful locales, the banks of the river for much of its stretch have been declared a heritage project. This is how Mother Nature looks herself in the mirror every morning 🙂

The Ethereal Vagamon Pine Forests

The famous Vagamon Pine Forests at the edge of the Western Ghats in the Kottayam district of Kerala, a stunning rarity for a tropical place as Kerala. The forest is a valley full of acres of lofty pine trees growing on steep edges, which look out over the edge of a cliff. The place has an ethereal feeling, especially since it is not crowded at all. Vagamon is a hill station where the average temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius even during the summer time, at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. The Pine Forest is just one attraction of the place. Vagamon is one of the starting points of the high ranges of Kerala and its famous tea estates.