June 4, 2009

Kochi to Trivandrum

This is what I woke up to on my first day in Kochi. A glowering sun trying to burn through looming monsoon clouds which threatened to unload any minute. Luckily for me, the sunshine won out.
I wouldn't normally say 'luckily' about rain not showing up but it applied here because I had a long drive ahead of me from Kochi (formerly called Cochin) to Trivandrum (well, it's called 'Thiruvananthapuram' now but its too much of a tongue-twister for me and just about everyone else, I think).

The General Election results had just been announced and everywhere I looked,

I saw jubilant people riding in all kinds of vehicles,
waving their flags and celebrating .
The others were sulking at home, I suppose.

Just about the first word I think you would use to describe Kerala is 'green' .
Rambling, clambering... luxuriantly, verdantly, jade-moss-emerald-forest and every shade in between ... unabashedly GREEN!
And the pre-monsoon showers were definitely helping things along !
See what I mean?

And if it isn't the greenery, what really catches your eye and pulls at your heart-strings are the soothing stretches of water!

Glimpses of the sea,

vast palm-fringed serenely beautiful backwaters,

little streams and rivers running to the sea,

paddy-fields in-waiting filling up with rain,
quaint little temple-ponds ...
Kerala is all about the melding and merging of earth and water in myriad impossibly beautiful ways.

And all along the way, the highway is dotted with tiny little shops, often filled with the produce of the land.

Simple and unassuming they might be but they're definitely colourful!

Some of them, usually the little tea-shops, even seem to double up as the local meeting-place. A place to hail old friends and, maybe, yarn awhile or tut-tut about the state of politics and the world in general.
Kerala isn't the country's first state with 100% literacy for nothing. Everyone always has an opinion about everything and they're not shy about voicing it.

I wonder if this is how it has always been ... when King Solomon sent his ships to Kerala to buy some 'black gold' ( pepper ), or when the ancient Romans sailed in for precious cardamom and timber, did they hang around with the locals and chat like this?

(Most of these photos were taken from a fast-moving car. So if they appear a bit fuzzy or splotchy, you know why)


  1. I like the election winner pictures.. lovely!! The beach/sea looks very inviting. I've never been to Kerala...

  2. The post-election photos made me chuckle too.
    The beach in the photo is Kovalam... the more sedate one.
    You've never been to Kerala?! Just one word of advice ... GO! I almost envy you the thrill of discovery!

  3. Loved this post!! What a beautiful collection of pictures, made me nostalgic, made me want to take out mine and spend time looking at pictures too!

  4. Great! Post yours too, IH and let's make it Nostalgia Week.
    Now I'm really curious! ;D

  5. So true, an ode to Kerala! One of the most beautiful and gorgeously breathtaking places I've ever been!
    Stumbled upon your blog, and now I think I'll have to stay a bit :)

  6. Hi Gigi! Its great meeting you here. You got the right idea...do stay awhile! :)
    An ode ... I never thought of it like that. But you know what? You're absolutely right! I'm sure Skylarks and Daffodils never elicited such rapturous delight as Kerala manages to ;)

  7. Sunita so this is where you were hanging out now. Ok I don't blame you one bit. Can I tag along with you to this beautiful place? LOL It looks alot like some of the other islands especially Trinidad and Tobago when I lived there.

  8. Hi Helen! It looks like you'll be seeing much more of Kerala than you expected. I spent 2 weeks there and travelled around quite a bit. The photos of which will be finding space here as soon as I get a chance to breathe.
    And yes, it really is very beautiful.
    Trinidad and Tobago? Must be the tropical touch!

  9. amazing photos about kerala.Do have alook at my blogs too,u will find keral there too.

  10. Lakshmi, this has to be some kind of record for late replies. I thought I had but I must've missed out while zipping off to your blog to check it out.
    Kerala is always so photogenic, isn't it?

  11. I could do with a dose of Kerala too, Ashvin! I'm really, really craving it right now :(