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.

The Full-Flowing Bharathapuzha River During the Monsoon

The Bharathapuzha river, the longest flowing river in Kerala flows (almost) to the brim all muddy and swirling amidst heavy rains during the Monsoons in June 2015. The river, known poetically as the Nila in Malayalam, has shaped the culture and ways of life of Valluvanadu (southern Malabar). But the Nila is in dire straits today, victim of human greed. Indiscriminate sand mining has eroded the river and is killing it. What looks like a patch of grass in the middle is actually a mini forest-sized group of tall shrubs growing on an embankment in the middle of the river, showing how much the river has been mauled and raped to satisfy the need for human “development”. However, nature stuck back and has leveled it once again! Taken from the Shoranur railway bridge.

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 🙂

Kerala’s Pretty-Postcard Picture Perfect Chalakudi River

The beautifully green, green Chalakudy river near to the Chalakudy town in Thrissur District, Kerala, depleted of its water thanks to the summer, but still looking stunningly beautiful. Typical of all rivers in Kerala and any river in tropical regions, this one too has vegetation covering its banks, reaching out towards the water with everything clearly reflecting on it, making the river appear green. The Chalakudy River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the state. The Athirappally and Vazhachal waterfalls are situated on this river. It is technically a tributary of the Periyar, and its lower stretches are substantially polluted. However, here it is still pristine. It originates in the Anamala hills on the Kerala – Tamil Nadu border and flows 142 km all the way through Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts. Not sure if the river is named after the town or vice versa. Picture taken from a train. Location:

The Blue Periyar River at Aluva at Dusk

As dusk was falling, the blue Periyar river flows silently past Aluva in all her glassy majesty. Aluva is Ernakulam/Kochi’s most important suburb which is slowly getting integrated into the city. Facing us in the distance is the famous Aluva Manappuram where thousands of people congregate during Sivaratri to do “pithrutharppanam” or “Bali tharappanam” to honor their ancestors. The Periyar river is closely tied with Kerala and her culture from ancient ages. Shot from a railway bridge. This is the location.

Periyaare, Periyaare, Parvathanirayude Panineere…

The Periyar river flows around an island at Kalady in south-central Kerala. The rain is falling on the river and all around as the darkened skies clear the decks for another of the epic Kerala rains. It seems to be late in the evening even though it is only 1.45 pm. The photo was taken from the creaking Sree Sankaracharya bridge which carries the MC Road across the Periyar, looking east towards the far-away mountains where the river originates, in the remote reaches of the mountainous Idukki district of Kerala which lies across the Western Ghats. The white structure to the left of the picture is Sree Sankaracharya’s birth place.

The Periyar is the second longest river in Kerala after the Bharathapuzha and historically probably the single-most important entity in the history of the state. The Periyar formed and shaped the culture of South-Central Kerala. It created the ancient port of Muziris which attracted traders from Arabia to Rome to the shores of Kerala, and then destroyed it by flooding it in 1581. The result was Kochi. She held off Tipu’s armies from conquering Travancore and formed the boundary between the Kochi and Travancore states. The Idukki Hydroelectric project which supplies power to all of Kerala is located on the Periyar, as is the notorious Mullaperiyar dam.

The Periyar was once a powerful force of nature has been tamed to an extent and is today only a shadow of her former self. But she is only sleeping, and her fury as the port and city-destroyer will be unmatched if she decided to wake up.