Travel Theme: Colourful in Varkala

Two words are synonymous in my mind: colourful and India. At times the colours are shocking and overwhelming. These Ganesha were taken down to Varkala Beach, Kerala, India for part of Onam festival. If you think these colours are loud, imagine the volume of the speakers!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrighten your day by visiting Ailsa’s other colourful offerings this week.

Travel Theme: Belonging in Kerala, Onam Festival

Belonging in India during Onam festival means attending the various street parades and feasts throughout this four day event. We watched the procession of drummers and dancers in the streets of Kumily, in Kerala. The young drummers have a sense of pride and belonging as they lead the procession.1-IMG_3417

As part of Onam in southern India, dancers paint their bodies in the likeness of tigers to perform the annual ‘Pulikali’ or Tiger Dance.


The festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug – Sep) and marks the commemoration of Vamana avatara of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali who Malayalees consider as their King.  Onam is reminiscent of Kerala’s agrarian past, as it is considered to be a harvest festival.

1-IMG_3415Although we didn’t belong to this community, we were welcomed by the locals. Indians are very inclusive and community minded. 1-IMG_3426

Thanks Ailsa, for another travel prompt in Where’s My Backpack. Where’s my backpack indeed! I feel like heading off to Kerala right now.

Travel Theme: Bountiful Kerala

The Bountiful tea plantations of Munnar, Kerala,
The bountiful tea plantations of Munnar, Kerala.

When I think of bountiful, I think of Kerala: the words almost seem synonymous. Kerala is a stunningly beautiful state in Southern India. Spices have been exported from Kerala since 3000 BC. Driving through the lush hinterland, hills are covered in rubber, coffee, and tea plantations, followed by bananas, coconuts and palms. Vanilla and peppercorn vines climb towards the light from the forest floor: cardamom bushes form the lower story. It is indeed ‘God’s own Country’, a garden of Eden.

The State’s coast extends for 595 kilometres and around 1.1 million people are dependent on the fishing industry.

A holiday in Kerala is a most relaxing experience. Recommended is a stay on a houseboat/rice barge along the backwaters of Alleppey, a stay in a yoga retreat and spice garden in Munnar, and some beach time along the cliffs of Varkala, taking in the afternoon breeze of the Arabian Sea. The Keralans are so friendly, you will never want to leave. Thanks Ailsa, from Where’s My Backpack for the prompt.

Dinner for two? A bountiful feast on board a rice barge in the backwaters of Kerala, India.
Dinner for two? A bountiful feast on board a rice barge in the backwaters of Kerala, India.


Travel Theme: Close-Up.

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack is Close up. Instead of a macro approach to this theme, I have chosen a slightly different approach. These were all taken at the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race snake boat race in Alleppey, in Kerala India.

Some handsome young police officers had a close – up view of the finishing line in one of the final round of trials. The races go all day!


It is heart warming to see many sari clad women’s teams participating in this this huge event. Close- up view of a local women’s team.


Those who can park their house boats on the lake get a fabulous close- up view of the finishing line.