My mother was visiting and we went to Kumarakom for a few days at the beginning of Navarathri holidays. S and I have visited most of Kerala but the backwaters had always been waiting patiently to be crossed off the bucket list :) I had booked a houseboat for the first day and night and a KTDC luxury resort for the next few days, the latter based on TGND's gorgeous pictures and recommendation! Thanks, TGND!
First things first. Kumarakom is absolutely lovely. I'd expected it to be touristy, imagining us to be jostling on the lake with a whole bunch of other houseboats, speedboats and what not. That scenario couldn't have been farther from the reality- fortunately. The lake is so large that we felt like we had it all to ourselves. The only sounds were the gentle lapping of the waters and the twittering and flapping of birds (snakefish! brahminy kite! blue jay! as Ads excitedly pointed out). The houseboat droned monotonously through the still waters as we snoozed in comfortable loungers on the upper deck, books in hands but words swimming as we sank into a post-lunch stupor. We were roused by the arrival of filter coffee and tapioca chips :)
In the evening, I was back to my usual frantic photo-clicking self, as the kids played, squabbled and had loads of fun, running up and down the stairs and taking turns at "steering" the boat along with the pilot. The boat travelled from Kumarakom (Vembanad lake) to Alleppey before mooring at Kumarakom for the night. We had ample time to disembark and walk through a tiny village, every house boating a large solitary brass and oil lamp at it's main door for Navarathri. We walked through the fading light through narrow but silent streets to the temple and back.
This was the view next morning, as we woke up to steaming cups of coffee :) Kerala is utterly mesmerising.
The next few days were spent in the resort where the main activities were snoozing, playing games (chess for the dad and son), watching the glorious sunsets and chatting. We did spend an active day in Fort Kochi where I was bowled over by the antique shops in Jew Town. Amma and I spent a couple of happy hours floating in and out of shops and picked up a few brass artifacts.
I can't wait to go back to this gorgeous state - next trip up in January!!!