Some time back as a part of an office excursion in 1997 went on a tour of Southern Kerala..and is worth recording and mentioning.It basically covered Alleppey , Thekkadi and Munnar..the latter two places in the Idukki district of Kerala. Ernakulam, Alleppey, Thekkady and Munnar form a circular travel loop.
Allepey also called Alapuzha is on the Arabian coast few hours drive from Ernakulam also called Cochin. Alapuzha translates into a Sack like river..technically it could also mean Big River..but what is seen here is not a big river but a big pond or lake formed by the backwaters from the Arabian Sea.A Back Water is formed due to certain coastal conditions and the pressure of the sea water inward forming a large lake in-land.At high tide the excess sea water drains into this lake with its height increasing a few meters and during low tide the excess water tends to drain into the sea.The waters in a back water will be very quiet and serene with very less or minimal directional water currents making it safe and ideal for boating. The backwaters at Alapuzha is formed through a large narrow conduit running tens of kilometers upstream from the sea making it even safer.
A boat ride on a small steamer could last more than an hour and would cover a large expanse and many boat houses are permanently anchored in the lake for permanent stay for tourists an interesting phenomenon.
We took a halt for the night at Kottayam and set outfor Thekkadi in the bosom of the Western Ghat mountains a lake formed by the streams of the Western Ghat forests and part of the Periyar game reserve. The boats used for boating here are smaller in size and the rides are smaller than the one at Alleppey and wild animals like elephants can be spotted on the top of the Ghats near-by. Being the Boss I got to sit on top of the steamer and had a very splendid view of the surroundings for nearly an hour.
Few Hours deep into the Western Ghats towards the Tamil Nadu border is the hill station of Munnar. I just happened to stay in the resort there for the night after having a stroll through the narrow roads and small townships. Munnar is a very quiet and eloquent place like say Madikeri in Coorg which I had visited an year before on a similar trip.
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