Backwaters

Zen Moments on the Romantic Backwaters of Kerala

God’s own country had been beckoning us to its fold for some time, but though we had traveled to different places in Kerala we had never spent time in the interiors of this beautiful southern state of India, known as Kerala. But last week, things changed, the stars collaborated with the hand of God and we found ourselves waking up to a beautiful morning, nestled between the sea and the serene backwaters near Kochi, off Cherai Beach. We were in Kerala for a week and staying at a lovely little boutique resort called Le Petit Elephant. We explored places in and around Kochi from this lovely place that we had made our home during our stay.

We have a great fascination for sunrises and love to catch a glimpse of the radiant beauty of the sun against different backdrops, hills, sea, waterfalls, desert, and many others. So, of course, we had to experience the sunrise across the serene backwaters of Kerala. So off we went in the wee hours of the morning on our sun chase.

It was still dark as we walked towards the place from where we would board our boat for an hour long cruise on the backwaters. As we walked in pitch darkness, we could hear our footfalls above the roar of the sea to our left. The sound of the sea receded as we walked away from it towards the backwaters. The birds had now risen and were up to their daily morning chirping. We heard strange bird noises, including seagulls who made a wailing sort of sound. Coconut Palms swayed in the darkness as we passed them. The small village that we passed through still seemed to be in deep slumber as not a soul stirred. A small chapel emitted an ethereal light as we passed it, a dog gave us a silent and benign look and scurried off in the distance, a curious toad hopped in front of us and let off a sweet croak, elsewhere crickets were chirping while a rooster crowed “cock-a-doodle-doo”.

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We soon reached our destination and waited on the edge of the backwaters near a small wooden jetty as the boatman readied the boat. The water shimmered with a silvery hue in the darkness. In the distance, we could see the dim shapes of the Chinese fishing nets and crows flying over them in search of early morning prey. A flock of seagulls flew past in a graceful white wave as the boatman silently beckoned us to board the boat. The boat was quite a big one and could have seated at the least 10 people. But it was just the two of us on board.

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The boatman gently and expertly rowed us away from the jetty and into the wide expanse of the backwaters. He used a single, huge wooden pole as an oar to row and steer the boat. His oar gently caressed the water as if afraid to damage the fragility of the water as we headed towards the distant coconut groves in an easterly direction.

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We looked at the shimmering water, at the lush green coconut palms all around us, at the sky which was just transforming into a shade of blue from a somber gray.

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We saw a few fishermen in their small canoes casting their nets for an early morning catch. A pelican swooped down gracefully on the water and flew away with a fish between its bills. It was just the two of us with the water, the sky, the trees, the birds and a silent and unobtrusive boatman and his boat. None of us spoke as we immersed ourselves in the intoxication of the moment. The only sound was the gentle sound of the oar against the water and the chirping of the birds. At that moment the world seemed in perfect harmony and we felt one with the environment silently cruising along on the water.

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And then we had our first glimpse of the morning sun. He peeped out in the distance from behind a clump of coconut palms in resplendent orange. As he slowly emerged from behind the trees, the water turned from silver to gold and the sky was bathed in shades of orange and yellow.

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A few white clouds seemed to serenade the rising sun and also cast their shadow on the water. It seemed as if the clouds had fallen into the water from the sky along with a slice of the sun as they reflected in the water.

The spectacle before us thrilled us to the core but none of us spoke, for we had no words, words seemed so woefully inadequate to express our emotions at that lovely moment. As we cruised along bathed in a golden glow as if the sun was blessing us with his benign touch, we realized why the state of Kerala was called, ‘God’s own country”. We felt we were close to God amidst the beautiful environs, it was our moment of Zen. Tears flowed from our eyes as we were swept away in the bliss of the moment.  Both of us were immersed deep in our own inner selves, yet we were strangely connected by some magical thread of romance woven by the hands of the sun and the enchanting waters that flowed beneath us.

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We sat silently absorbing and relishing each and every nanosecond, knowing fully well that the moments would not last forever, but making the most of it while it did.

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By now there were quite a few fishing boats but all of them moved silently, almost reverently in the water as if afraid to break the delicate balance of nature. A fisherman cast his net and heaved in his haul as we watched silently. Another pelican swooped gracefully and swished away with its catch. A flock of seagulls and crows crossed each other creating a mosaic of black and white against the backdrop of the blue sky.

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Soon it was time to head back and the boatman still silent, slowly rowed us back to the jetty and helped us disembark. When we thanked him, he gave us a warm smile which melted our hearts.

We turned around to take one last look at the backwaters. The sun was now a blazing ball of fire, the water reflected the blue sky and the white clouds, birds still flew over the placid waters, but something was missing.

“The magic is over”, I said, as we slowly retraced our steps back to our hotel.

Experience a slice of the magic our Kerala Backwaters Boat Cruise by watching this video.  

 

Do let us know through comments if you enjoyed this journey.

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Voyager - Sandy & Vyjay

We are a travel and lifestyle blogging couple, founder of Voyager site. We love to experience and enjoy this world and share these experiences with others to inspire them. We are self-confessed social media addicts.

48 thoughts on “Zen Moments on the Romantic Backwaters of Kerala

  1. Wow Kerala looks so beautiful – the sunset with the burnt orange sun looked amazing. And then you got to see the sunrise with all the fishermen…what a great experience.

  2. You guys really have a way with words. Every time I read your posts, I feel like I’m traveling with you to those exotic places. I especially like how you described the dog scurrying off after being disturbed. How romantic to be the only two on board the boat and watch the sunrise together! It sounds like the morning is so peaceful.

  3. I love a good sunset, who doesn’t. But there is something magically about sunrises and early mornings. The pastels and the quiet really makes you mindful of your surroundings. Watching the fishermen with those nets must have been fascinating, I’ve never seen anything like it before.

  4. Enchanting Kerala! The scenes are mesmerizing! I did Kerala long back. Need to refresh memories by visiting again. Never saw a pelican there though plenty of storks kept flying high and low.

  5. A lovely almost poetic piece it really made the journey come alive. Kerala looks very beautiful. I have heard a lot about the area but it certainly looks worth a visit from your writing.

  6. your article brought back fresh memories of our stay in a houseboat in the backwaters of kerala almost 6 years back. This is really a one of a kind experience. We had clubbed that with a visit to munnar. And the trip totally made us understand why Kerala is termed God’s own country

  7. What a beautiful experience! When I travel to new places, I like exploring sites that are not too tourist-y but rather help me learn more about the culture and way of life in the land. And this is exactly what this can offer!

  8. I really enjoyed reading your post. You write in a lovely descriptive manner and along with the photos, I almost felt like I had been on the trip with you ! Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  9. Kerala has been a destination I have longed to see for a while now, especially after we spent time in Goa. Your post has re-ignited the idea of visiting, especially if we get to do a sunset trip as you did – how romantic. Thank you for sharing your zen moments from a little piece of paradise. #feetdotravel

  10. Such a beautiful, fun story. I could read your writing all day. I do think the area is gorgeous and really so captivating. And what an interesting fishing method; very different from our practices in the States.

  11. Hi Guys,

    Beautiful pictures and beautiful story telling. We swung through Cochin for only a minute to catch a bus, and when in Muhamma I got really sick and had to miss the boat tours. Oh well. On our next trip. And we got an up close and personal experience via your inspired post, anyway 😉

    Ryan

  12. What a moving account of your Zen morning cruise! I love moments like that, when you feel part of a bigger vision of the world. God’s creations are so beautiful and we are part of that, too. I can see why you enjoyed the backwaters of Kerala…

  13. Wow a what to start a day with am amazing morning cruise
    The river and sights like amazing at this time of day.
    This region seems to be getting lots of publicity with the Blogging express happening most years now

  14. Sunrise is always such a lovely time to be up. I’m not a morning person and am rarely up to catch the sunrise. I bet I’m missing out on a lot that happens at that early hour, like the fisherman you captured hard at work.

  15. Wow it looks beautiful! I think I just always pictured India as a big desert. But I understand when people assume things, as I live in Arizona, but the part of Arizona I live in gets tons of snow and people are usually perplexed by that.

  16. Kerala seems like such a peaceful place in the midst of a bit of a manic country 😉 I’ve heard wonderful things about the Ayurvedic centers, have you been to one? I’m dying to visit next time I’m in India.

  17. The place looks so interesting. I find the water unwinding and so as the ambiance totally calming and perfect for vacation. I love to try the boat. hahaha I am sure it is a good activity to give a try indeed.

  18. We did the backwaters of Kerala a couple of years ago, and I agree it was wonderful . There is something about floating through people’s lives that makes it an amazing trip. I loved it.

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