Page 1

INR 50 US $ 5 UAE 15 AED

May-June ‘10

what when where How And lot to

EAT Still the Best,Because youcan’t improve on a classic

Vol 1 Issue 3

nothing is too expensive

Top 7 Amazing Experience

SEE SEA THE

Beauty


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


vol 1 Issue 3

Cover Story

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Mohammed Shine MANAGING EDITOR Binu George CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Saju Thomas MARKETING HEAD Kurien Raju

34

what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, where to eat and lot more discussed in this very special food issue of Go Kerala

CIRCULATION HEAD Salini Saraswathy PICTURE DESK Niyas Marikar Praveen Elayi Aji Colonia CONTENTMIX, ART AND DESIGN the pendrive.in COPY CHIEF K. Keralavarma CONTRIBUTERS Kiren S Nair Sreeja Madhu Head Office NonstopKerala Door # 205 Kannadan Buildings Mattammal, Thevara Kochi-682013 www.nonstopkerala.com nonstopkerala@gmail.com Overseas Offices: United Kingdom: prabha jose: (manchester) +44 77 2898 51 81 mariaprabha@yahoo.com United Arab Emirates: ushas simon: (Dubai) +971 50 6584017 ushassimon@gmail.com Singapore: Al Ameen: (Singapore) +65 94280 842 alameenvarkala@gmail.com Printed and Published by Saju Thomas for nonstopkerala Media Group, Kochi. Published from Maya Printers, Earoor, Kochi. General enquiries 09961881930 www.nonstopkerala.com

Oh!!

TASTE MATTERS

w

What am I Saying!!! Welcome to the Go Kerala Magazine, our first issue for 2010. Putting together the content for this edition has not been easy; it has been a painstaking process of editing a relatively long list of favourite attractions. When we think of designers how do we identify what it is that is we love about their work? How do we even define what is good design? If we are to follow a theoretical approach as our definition then line, shape, texture, tone, and colour are the elements that create good design, as too a considered aesthetic. Good design also has an underlying response to a physical and emotional environment, which means the work, and end product, must be novel and considered.

Mohammed Shine

Go Kerala Spring 2010 05

editor’s note


Forts of Bekal

Go Kerala Spring 2010 06

Content

23

Travel to Kasargodu

So how do we consider and recognise these elements when we look across different mediums, in fashion, graphic, and jewellery design as well as photography? It also begs the question, is there a difference between design we want and design we need? We currently live in an age of mass consumption where the idea of disposability fuels our need and want for more. We So how do we consider

45

Football Crazy

Merry Go Round

69

So how do we consider and recognise these elements when we look across different mediums, in fashion, graphic, and jewellery design as well as photography? It also begs the question, is there a difference between design we want and design we need? We currently live in an age of mass consumption where the idea of disposability fuels our need and want for more. We there a difference between design we want and design we need? We currently live in an age of mass consumption where the idea of disposability fuels

So how do we consider and recognise these elements when we look across different mediums, in fashion, graphic, and jewellery design as well as photography? It also begs the question, is there a difference between design we want and design we need? We currently live in an age of mass consumption where the idea of disposability fuels and

regulars 2 12 15 23

editorial travel events travel gear signing off

2 12 15 23

editorial travel events travel gear signing off

2 12 15 23

editorial travel events travel gear signing off


making news House A Boat With its fleet of black-hulled houseboats, the backwaters of Kerala entice the tourists, both domestic and international, to 'God's Own Country'.

A

s northern India sizzles in scorching summer, most of those bit by the travel bug are making a beeline for tourist spots Kerala. Most of the domestic tourists arriving in Kerala are from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal. "We are from Punjab. We have chosen this destination, as backwaters are a different kind of experience. All the other tourists generally go to the higher altitudes and all other places but we want to have a soothing experience and we are really looking forward to the backwaters of Kerala," said Vikram Singh, a tourist. A typical backwater cruise takes tourists on a 40-km journey through the Vembanad

However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

Lake, India's longest, which is spread over 1,512 sq km. The cruises have packages tailored for all budgets with a one-night cruise costing from Rs3,000-25,000 as houseboats now come equipped with power showers in bio-toilets, LCD television sets, air-conditioners, AC-fitted lounges and even jacuzzis. They even have chefs onboard to prepare some of Kerala's culinary specials.Tour operators say the period from April to September is a good time to attract domestic tourists when there is a lull in international arrivals. "Actually the foreign tourists are coming in the months of December, January and February. And the rates will be very comfortable in April and May also. It will not be that high and it will be affordable for the domestic people also. After the examinations (are over), people come in large numbers to have a nice day in our houseboats, to see the serene beauty of the backwaters which is unique," said Abhilash Sreekumar, proprietor of Aria Holidays, a houseboat cruise operator. Meanwhile, the state tourism department authorities have decided to extend the experience of these floating hotels beyond Alleppey, and plans to give licenses for operating houseboats in Ashtamudi Lake in nearby Kollam district as well. Authorities are creating new landing points and also developing new backwater circuits in other districts. More houseboats are being.

Go Kerala Spring 2010 07

Around Town


Go Kerala Spring 2010 08

travel events

Recreation centre to come up in Kerala

S

tate-run Tourist Resorts Kerala Ltd. (TRKL) plans to set up an international standard urban recreation centre at Veli with an estimated cost of Rs. 150 crore in Public-Private Partnership mode. The complex was designed as a mix of entertainment, commercial components and tourist accommodation facilities under a single umbrella, spanning over an area of about 20 acres, a TRKL release said here on Saturday. TRKL, which comes under the Department of Tourism, was restructured recently to broaden its activities for infrastructure development and attract large-scale investments in the State tourism sector. The complex will have multiplexes, multi-level parking facilities, shopping malls and theme zones highlighting cultures of Travancore, Kochi and Malabar regions of Kerala. The process of identifying the joint venture partner of the project is on and 21 major players, including Tata Infrastructure Ltd., Oberoi Constructions and Chalet Hotels (Raheja Group) have showed their interest in the project. The project work is slated to begin in July this year.

Kochi marina starts its operations Kochi would be an ideal berthing spot for yachts from the West, crossing Suez Canal and travelling towards the north eastern parts of Asia, thanks to the upcoming Kochi International Marina

D

efence minister AK Antony to launch the project on April 24. Kochi International Marina, the first-of-its-kind in India, will kick start operations on April 24, putting the city on the global map of sea-based adventure tourism. Defence minister AK Antony will officially launch the marina at a function on Bolghatty Island, adjacent to the city. The marina can berth 34 yachts at a time. This would be enhanced to 50 later, according to Cherian Philip, chairman, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), promoters of the project. Construction of a three-storey building on the north-eastern side of the Bolghatty Palace hotel to accommodate sailors from across the world is complete. KTDC had spent Rs 8.21 crore on Phase -1 of the project with a central assistance of Rs 4 crore. A two-lane road connecting the main land with the island is also ready. According to Cherian, Kochi


making news would be an ideal berthing spot for yachts from the West, crossing Suez Canal and travelling towards the north eastern parts of Asia. Currently, there are no intermediate berthing facilities for yachts leaving Dubai until they reach their destinations in the Far East. Situated just 11 nautical miles from the international maritime route, Kochi has one of the best natural ports in Asia where Dubai Ports World is building an international container transshipment terminal. The Cochin Port Trust is also building a cruise terminal on the nearby Willington Island. Since Kochi is the nearest port on the international maritime route between the west and the east more adventurous seafarers prefer this port, he added. Floating docks built on concrete beams is the major attraction of the project. A board walk wooden structure protruding into the back waters in order to facilitate other tourists to see the yachts has also been arranged. Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone-based Gulf Marinas has constructed the marina, under the supervision of the Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation. The project would be managed by global firm Oceanic Blue on a three-year contract basis. The marina house, which has 24 deluxe rooms including 4 suite rooms, a recreation centre and cafeteria, will be managed by Tourists Resorts Kerala Limited, a subsidiary of KTDC.Cherian said 16 docks would be added in the next.

The marina will have facilities to repair yachts and for filling fuel and food items. Facilities like golf course, swimming pool, spa, health club, restaurant and beer parlour will also be provided for the sailors.

However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

Go Kerala Spring 2010 10

travel events


Go Kerala Spring 2010 10

travel events

Kiterunners of Kerala Kerala is second state after Gujarat to host International Kite Festival in India, which takes place on 1st of May However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

k

erala Tourism will be hosting a three day international kite festival from May 1 at kappad beach. Kerala Tourism has taken ideal from Gujarat where kite festival is a huge tourist attraction. In Kerala's Kite Festival, kite flyers from 10 different countries will participate. State Tourism officials believes that the festival will attract several thousands foreign tourists in Ker-

ala. Kerala is also counting on domestic tourists since summer vacations is many parts of India begins with May 1, they hope to attract lots of families from Northern India, where kite flying is quire popular to participate in the event. Although it would have been better if Kerala Tourism had decided to host the festival in Mid-May, that would have given several fami-

lies enough time in Northern India to prepare the trip. Kerala is second state after Gujarat to host International Kite Festival in India. In Gujarat Kite Festival is quite popular. Every year more than 100,000 foreign tourists visits state during kite festival. Kerala Tourism is also expecting similar numbers for their own version of Kite Festival. However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attract large crowds. Finally we hope that Kite Festival will bring some relief for the Kerala Tourism which has failed to attract tourists in last few months. Numbers of tourists visiting the state has fallen despite healthy overall growth of Indian Tourism.


happenings Kerala Tourism gets IPL boost

K

erala Tourism is hoping for big boost from its new IPL team. Recently IPL announced 2 new teams for next year which included one for Kochi. Kerala Tourism department is jumping with joy and hoping that an IPL team will turn thing around for them next year.

IPL KOCHI

Tourism gets IPL boost

K

erala is second state after Gujarat to host International Kite Festival in India. In Gujarat Kite Festival is quite popular. Every year more than 100,000 foreign tourists visits state during kite festival. Kerala Tourism is also expecting similar numbers for their own version of Kite Festival. However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attract large crowds.Finally we hope that Kite Festival.

However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

Tourism Department is planning to start a advertising campaign next year's IPL especially in matches played in Kochi. Kerala Tourism believes that with IPL's global presence they can attract tourists in Kerala. Tour Operators has also started to plan strategy and attractive packages for tourists around IPL in 2011, which will include tickets, accommodation and visits to nearby destinations around Kochi. However some tour operators are cautious and hopes that Kochi team manage to buy big players next year or IPL won't make much difference. According to a tour operator "If we want people to visit from nearby states as well from different countries then we need at least 2-3 big Indian Players and couple of big International Players as well. You need some big players playing in Kochi team to attract tourists. We hope that our team won't turn out to be like Rajasthan's with only one big name (Shane Warne).

Go Kerala Spring 2010 11

Travel & Leisure


Go Kerala Spring 2010 11

Travel & Leisure

SEE, THE SEA Bolghatty Palace hotel to accommodate sailors from across the world is complete.

D

efence minister AK Antony to launch the project on April 24. Kochi International Marina, the first-of-its-kind in India, will kick start operations on April 24, putting the city on the global map of sea-based adventure tourism. Defence minister AK Antony will officially launch the marina at a function on Bolghatty Island, adjacent to the city. The marina can berth 34 yachts at a time. This would be enhanced to 50 later, according to Cherian Philip, chairman, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), promoters of the project. Construction of a three-storey building on the north-eastern side of the Bolghatty Palace hotel to accommodate sailors from across the world is complete. KTDC had spent Rs 8.21 crore on Phase -1 of the project with a central assistance of Rs 4 crore. A two-lane road connecting the main land with the island is also ready. According to Cherian, Kochi


However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

Go Kerala Spring 2010 12

Travel & Leisure


Go Kerala Spring 2010 13

Travel & Leisure would be an ideal berthing spot for yachts from the West, crossing Suez Canal and travelling towards the north eastern parts of Asia. Currently, there are no intermediate berthing facilities for yachts leaving Dubai until they reach their destinations in the Far East. Situated just 11 nautical miles from the international maritime route, Kochi has one of the best natural ports in Asia where Dubai Ports World is building an international container transshipment terminal. The Cochin Port Trust is also building a cruise terminal on the nearby Willington Island. Since Kochi is the nearest port on the international maritime route between the west and the east more adventurous seafarers prefer this port, he added. Floating docks built on concrete beams is the major attraction of the project. A board walk wooden structure protruding into the back waters in order to facilitate other tourists to see the yachts has also been arranged. Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone-based Gulf Marinas has constructed the marina, under the supervision of the Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation. The project would be managed by global firm Oceanic Blue on a three-year contract basis. The marina house, which has 24 deluxe rooms including 4 suite rooms, a recreation centre and cafeteria, will be managed by Tourists Resorts Kerala Limited, a subsidiary of KTDC. Cherian said 16 docks would be added in the next phase and additional facilities would be provided on 2 acres of reclaimed land adjacent to the island. During the last one decade, Kochi had become a major destination for sea-based adventure tourism. On an average 100

yachts visit Kochi every year of which majority is from European countries such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Norway apart from New Zealand and AustraliaDefence minister AK Antony will officially launch the marina at a function on Bolghatty Island, adjacent to the city. The marina can berth 34 yachts at a time. This would be enhanced to 50 later, according to Cherian Philip, chairman, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), promoters of the project. Construction of a three-storey building on the north-eastern side of the Bolghatty Palace hotel to accommodate sailors from across the world is complete. KTDC had spent Rs 8.21 crore on Phase -1 of the project with a central assistance of Rs 4 crore. A two-lane road connecting the main land with the island is also ready.

WE WILL WOW!!! Bolghatty Palace hotel to accommodate sailors from across the world is complete.

According to Cherian, Kochi would be an ideal berthing spot for yachts from the West, crossing Suez Canal and travelling towards the north eastern parts of Asia. Currently, there are no intermediate berthing facilities for yachts leaving Dubai until they reach their destinations in the Far East. Situated just 11 nautical miles from the international maritime route, Kochi has one of the best natural ports in Asia where Dubai Ports World is


Go Kerala Spring 2010 14

Travel & Leisure

building an international container transshipment terminal. The Cochin Port Trust is also building a cruise terminal on the nearby Willington Island. Since Kochi is the nearest port on the international maritime route between the west and the east more adventurous seafarers prefer this port, he added. Floating docks built on concrete beams is the major attraction of the project. A board walk wooden structure protruding into the back waters in order to facilitate other tourists to see the yachts has also been arranged. Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone-based Gulf Marinas has constructed the marina, under the supervision of the Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation. The project would be managed by global firm Oceanic Blue on a three-year contract basis. The marina house, which has 24 deluxe rooms including 4

However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

suite rooms, a recreation centre and cafeteria, will be managed by Tourists Resorts Kerala Limited, a subsidiary of KTDC. Cherian said 16 docks would be added in the next phase and additional facilities would be provided on 2 acres of reclaimed land adjacent to the island. During the last one decade, Kochi had become a major destination for sea-based adventure tourism. On an average 100 yachts visit Kochi every year of which majority is from European countries such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Norway apart from New Zealand and Australia. Defence minister AK Antony will officially launch the marina at a function on Bolghatty Island, ad-


Go Kerala Spring 2010 15

Travel & Leisure

jacent to the city. The marina can berth 34 yachts at a time. This would be enhanced to 50 later, according to Cherian Philip, chairman, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), promoters of the project. Construction of a three-storey building on the north-eastern side of the Bolghatty Palace hotel to accommodate sailors from across the world is complete. KTDC had spent Rs 8.21 crore on Phase -1 of the project with a central assistance of Rs 4 crore. A two-lane road connecting the main land with the island is

However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

also ready. According to Cherian, Kochi would be an ideal berthing spot for yachts from the West, crossing Suez Canal and travelling towards the north eastern parts of Asia. Currently, there are no intermediate berthing facilities for yachts leaving Dubai until they reach their destinations in the Far East. Situated just 11 nautical miles from the international maritime route, Kochi has one of the best natural ports in Asia where Dubai Ports World is building an international container transshipment terminal. The Cochin Port Trust is also building a cruise terminal on the nearby Willington Island. Since Kochi is the nearest port on the international maritime route between the west and the east more adventurous seafarers prefer this port, he added. Floating docks built on concrete beams is the major attraction of the project. A board walk - wooden structure protruding into the back waters in order to facilitate other tourists to see the yachts has also been arranged. Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone-based Gulf Marinas has constructed the marina, under the supervision of the Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation. The project would be managed by global firm Oceanic Blue on a three-year contract basis. The marina house, which has 24 deluxe rooms including 4 suite rooms, a recreation centre and cafeteria, will be managed by Tourists Resorts Kerala Limited, a subsidiary of KTDC. Cherian said 16 docks would be added in the next phase and additional facilities would be provided on 2 acres


of reclaimed land adjacent to the island. During the last one decade, Kochi had become a major destination for sea-based adventure tourism. On an average 100 yachts visit Kochi every year of which majority is from European countries such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Norway apart from New Zealand and Australia Defence minister AK Antony will officially launch the marina at a function on Bolghatty Island, adjacent to the city. The marina can berth 34 yachts at a time. This would be enhanced to 50 later, according to Cherian Philip, chairman, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), promoters of the project. Construction of a three-storey

.

building on the north-eastern side of the Bolghatty Palace hotel to accommodate sailors from across the world is complete. KTDC had spent Rs 8.21 crore on Phase -1 of the project with a central assistance of Rs 4 crore. A two-lane road connecting the main land with the island is also ready. According to Cherian, Kochi would be an ideal berthing spot for yachts from the West, crossing Suez Canal and travelling towards the north

.

However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

Go Kerala Spring 2010 16

Travel & Leisure


Travel & Leisure Go Kerala Spring 2010 17

The Journal highlighted the importance of the paper by carrying a photo of the beaches in its cover page. Gamma radiation

However it would be little difficult since its only the first year of the festival. It may take 2-3 years for the festival to attra

Radiation Tourism The coastal belt of Karunagappally, Kerala, is known for high background radiation (HBR) from thorium-containing monazite sand. Places of Interest in Kollam District is the world's hottest spot of natural radiation. The radiation is caused by monazite sands which contain the radioactive element, thorium. [1] The people in the area are exposed to radiation which is 10 times greater than the worldwide average. Tourist spots that offer the chance of the Radiation experience are very rare in the world. Karunagappally

Coastal area Photo by Shanadas Now it is official. In the January 2009 issue of the Health Physics Journal, researchers from the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Thiruvananthapuram, and their collaborators have shown that there is no excess cancer risk to people living in the area of high natural background radiation in Kerala from exposure to terrestrial gamma radiation.

The coastal belt of Karunagappally, Kerala, is known for high background radiation (HBR) from thorium-containing monazite sand. In the coastal panchayats, the median outdoor gamma radiation levels are more than 4 mGy y{+-}{+1} and in certain locations, the levels are as high as 70mGy y {+-}{+1}.(Gy is a unit of radiation dose; mGy is one thousandth of a Gy; the annual gamma radiation level in normal locations is on an average one mGy). During 1990-97, survey teams collected data on 359,619 subjects in 71,674 households using a standardised questionnaire which covered socio-demographic factors, lifestyle, dietary habits and tobacco and alcohol use. Follow up study Based on radiation level measurements, by a method perfected by scientists of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, they chose a radiation sub cohort consisting of 173,067 residents and analysed the cancer incidence in the sub cohort, aged 30 to 84y (N=69958 followed up for 10.5 years). They estimated the cumulative radiation dose to each individual in


the age group based on the radiation doses received indoors and outdoors and taking into account how long and where they stayed during the period. By the end of 2005, they identified 1379 cases of cancer including 30 cases of leukaemia. The results

January 2009 issue of the Health Physics Journal, researchers from the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) and their collaborators have shown that there is no excess cancer risk to people living in the area of high natural background radiation in Kerala from exposure to terrestrial gamma radiation.

Statistical analysis of the data showed no excess cancer risk from exposure to terrestrial gamma radiation. In site-specific analysis, they did not find any cancer site or leukaemia to be significantly related to cumulative radiation dose. “Although the statistical power of the study might not be adequate due to the low dose, our cancer incidence study, together with previously reported cancer mortality studies in the HBR area of Yangjiang, China suggests it is unlikely that estimates of risk at low doses are substantially greater than currently believed,” the researchers concluded. It appears that the researchers were in a hurry to publish the paper. They did not use the complete data but selected four coastal panchayats (Chavara, Neendakara, Panmana and Alappad) which had HBR and two control areas (Oachira and Thevalakkara) which have relatively low natural radiation levels. They estimated the excess risk as -0.13 Gy{+-

}{+1} (95 per cent confidence limit:-0.58, 0.46). The authors pointed out that the upper limit of 95 per cent confidence limit was lower than 0.97, which other researchers got for pooled analysis for nuclear workers from 15 countries (BMJ, 2005) and slightly lower than 0.47 Gy{+-}{+1} reported in the study of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Radiation Research, 2007) Authors highlighted some unique features of their data.

Unlike the nuclear workers study, RCC study included smoking habits, an important contributing factor. The estimate of atomic bomb survivors is a sex-averaged estimate for solid cancer unlike the RCC study. The currently accepted radiation risk estimate is mostly based on atomic bomb survivor study. Regrettably, the researchers did not estimate the substantial contribution of airborne radon and thoron daughters to the individual radiation dose. This may not affect the main conclusion that there is no excess cancer in areas of high natural background radiation. The limitations Though the analysis limited to six panchayats cannot be faulted scientifically, they should use complete data including internal dose from all panchayats for a reanalysis to do justice to the project and to examine whether precise radiation risk estimate can be arrived at from this study Highlighting the negative radiation risk coefficient of -0.13 Gy{+-}{+1}, proponents of those who believe in the beneficial effects of radiation (hormesis theory) may argue that low level radiation is helping to lower cancer risks! They may not agree that lack of statistical power may be the reason for the negative result

.

Go Kerala Spring 2010 18

Travel & Leisure


Go Kerala Spring 2010 19

Reader’s Digest This week´s post is an interview with my mum Sheila McNeaney. My parents recently returned from a trip to Kerala in February 2010, so I thought it would be useful to share their up to date tips and advice on planning an itinerary for a short six day trip to Kerala. Hopefully this will help you plan your own short (or long) trip to Kerala. What was your itinerary in Kerala? After visiting Goa we took the overnight train to Alleppey and spent 5 nights in Kerala: 2 nights at Green Palms Homes homestay near Alleppey, 2 nights in Kumily (near Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary) and 1 night in Cochin. How did you get around and did it feel too rushed? Our trip didn´t feel too rushed. We initially wanted to include Munnar as well but that would have been too much. It helped that we travelled by hired car and driver which saved on travel time. We didn´t hire a driver for the whole time: we took a taxi from Alleppey train station to the homestay and then we just arranged a taxi with our accommodation to take us to the next destination when we were ready. This made things really flexible. Taxis are very easy to organise. How much did it cost to hire a car and driver? The taxi from Alleppey train station to the Green Palms homestay cost 400 rupees, and then we had to take a short canoe trip across the river to reach the house. Thomas arranged an an a/c

Interview with A Recent Kerala Visitor Sheila McNeaney

car to take us from the homestay to Kumily. It took 4 hours with one stop and cost 2200 rupees. It was a lovely drive with stunning views and unusually for India the driver was very sensible and safe! The taxi from Kumily – Ernakulum/Cochin cost 3100 rupees and took 4.5 hours. What was your favourite place in Kerala? Green Palms homestay. The house was full but despite the number of guests we really enjoyed the peace and quiet there. The family were so friendly and welcoming, and it had such a relaxed atmosphere. We found the rooms comfortable and the home-cooked food was delicious. One of our favourite experiences was taking a trip on a


Why didn´t you take a houseboat trip? The main reason was time but we felt we got to see the backwaters well enough by staying at the homestay and taking a small boat trip around the smaller canals and lake. We saw many houseboats in the backwaters. There are now around 1000 in the Alleppey area and Thomas at the homestay told us that they are causing a lot of pollution problems to the local people. How was Keralan food? The food was lovely – it´s not too spicy, uses fresh ingredients and there were lots of options. It can be difficult to buy beer though as only big hotels have a licence to sell it. If you ask around though you can usually find a place to buy it. What was your worst experience? We didn´t have any bad experiences in Kerala but the overnight train journey from Goa to Kerala wasn´t any fun. We accidently booked the sleeper class instead of AC2 (which had been recommended to us as the best class to travel in), and it wasn´t very comfortable at all. It was crowded, noisy, the toilets were awful, there were no blankets so it got chilly at night (you must bring your own in sleeper class), and as there was

no a/c it got very hot during the day. It was cheap though – only 375 rupees per person. On the way back to Goa thankfully we took a flight via Bangalore with Indian Airlines and this cost 6400 rupees per person. Would you recommend Kerala to others? Do you have any tips for people planning a trip there? Yes we´d definitely recommend Kerala to friends, in fact I already have. My main advice would be to have plenty of time – don´t think that you can see it all in a few days. It´s such a relaxing place that it´s good to take your time and enjoy it. We would have liked to spend more time in Kerala, especially to explore Fort Cochin. I woud also say that although houseboats are nice they aren´t very good for the environment and are an expensive way to see the backwaters. We´d recommend staying at a homestay and exploring on a small boat or canoe. Finally, if you are looking for a comfortable place to stay, don´t rule out accommodation listed in the Budget section of the guidebooks – some of them in Kumily looked really nice.

the author can be contacted @ emileysarova@gmail.com

Go Kerala Spring 2010 20

small motor boat out into the backwaters. It was so peaceful watching the world go by, and we stopped at the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Another great trip was the 6.30am bird watching walk where we spotted many unusual birds. We really enjoyed our time in Kumily too though. We did a one hour boat trip on the lake which was lovely, although we didn´t see any big animals and at 450 rupees it was a bit overpriced. We also enjoyed an interesting trip to a tea factory and plantation. What was your favourite hotel? For comfort and facilities I would say Chrissie´s Hotel in Kumily. It doesn´t look like much from the front but when you go inside you come to a lovely garden at the back. It´s a tranquil place on a quiet street off the main road although it´s still very central to town. The rooms were large with a comfy bed and a balcony with fantastic views of the forest. You have to be careful not to leave anything on the balcony though or the monkeys might get it! They have their own rooftop restaurant which is also very good with delicious Italian food. We thought the room was good value at about 2000 rupees a night.


Go Kerala Spring 2010

Reader’s Digest

Best Sellers

S

ongs of Blood and Sword by Fatima Bhutto, niece of late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, dominates the non-fiction list while Amish Tripathi's The Immortals of Meluha tops the fiction category among bestsellers this month. The top five in each category are:

Non-fiction 1. Songs of Blood and Sword Author: Fatima Bhutto Publisher: Penguin Viking Price: Rs.699.00 2. Becoming Indian Author: Pavan K. Varma Publisher: Penguin/AllenLane, Price: Rs.499.00 3. The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma Author: Gurcharan Das Publisher: Penguin/Allen Lane Price: Rs.699.00 4. Nixon, Indira and India Author: Kalyani Shankar Publisher: Macmillan Price: Rs.445.00 5. The Veiled Suite Author: Agha Shahid Ali Publisher: Penguin Books Price: Rs.350.00

Fiction 1. The Immortals of Meluha, Author: Amish Tripathi, Publisher: Tara Press, Price: Rs.295.00 2. The Temple-Goers, Author: Aatish Taseer, Publisher: Picador, Price: Rs.495.00 3. Empire of the Moghul: Brothers at War, Author: Alex Rutherford, Publisher: Headline Review, Price: Rs.495.00 4. The Palace of Illusions, Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Publisher: Picador, Price: Rs.395.00 5. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, Author: Stieg Larsson, Publisher: Quercus, Price: Rs.495.00

“In our country we need more pride and selfconfidence. Hitler developed his country in a very short time through industrialization. Yes, he definitely had some bad qualities, but we can learn from his management style and leadership skills,” reader Ram Kumar believes.

Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” on India’s best sellers list

T

he book that outlined the political ideology of Nazi Germany has found an audience in India. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is banned in countries that suffered from fascism, but New Delhi booksellers are enjoying strong sales. In India, which escaped many of the horrors of the Second World War, Adolf Hitler's “Mein Kampf” is consistently on the bestseller list. Jaico Publishing House first published the book twelve years ago, and has since sold over 100,000 copies. “People from abroad wrote to us and said, ‘Why did you publish this book? You could have done many other things, and you are a reputed publishing house.’ But we gave our side of the story, saying it is in no way propaganda or eulogizing Hitler. But the man wrote this book, and let the world be the judge. Today we are in a different era, a different time, where people can judge and take a call on that,” Jaico Publishing House’s Chief Editor Rayasam Sharma said.


T

here is nothing more jubilant than driving a motor bike through the green and blue lithosphere of kerala. However, this is something that most of the backpackers journeying to the state miss out. One cannot carry a motor cycle from his home all the way to his destination, for sure. But there is indeed something one can do - rent a bike. In the peak season, a Royal Enfield Bullet may cost just above hundred euros a week. For every additional day, one must pay 10-15 euro extra. To avail of this bike rental facility, one should mortgage his return ticket and some petty cash with the tour operator and needs to sign the document. Documentation should include the user's passport, a valid two wheeler license, a valid international driver's license and adequate insurance coverage for the duration of the

rent a bike

In the peak season, a Royal EnďŹ eld Bullet may cost above hundred euros a week. For every additional day, one must pay 10-15 euro extra.

Go Kerala Spring 2010

Travel Gear


Go Kerala Spring 2010

Travel Gear tour. The user should always carry with him the originals of these documents and photocopy of the motorcycle registration papers. Even though these motorcycles will be theft insured, the personal luggage of user is not. Some service

providers even offer an accidental coverage up to twenty five hundred euro upon additional payment. However, these being the normal norms, one could find even cheaper bike rentals at prominent tourist destinations like Fort Kochi, Ko-

valam, Kappad etc… at even lower rates. (Ivan’s Rent-a Bike at Fort Kochi offers daily rental services- Rs. 350 a day for Royal Enfield Bullet and Rs 200 for scooter) To know more: nonstopkerala@gmail.com

Aqua Show 2010

T

he India International Aqua Show 2010, an Ornamental Fish & Accessories Exhibition and Trade Fair organized by the Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala in association with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India drew huge crowd attraction in the second week of February at Kochi The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, played host for this mega Aquarium fair held from February 12 to 16th. The five daylong event acted a meeting place for exhibitors, breeders, traders and visitors within and out-

side India. One could find everything about ornamental fish – aquariums, illuminations, aquarium plants, regu-

lators, heaters, instruments, fish food and medicines and fish-related books and periodicals, in the stalls.

Queen Mary

T

he Queen Mary 2, billed as the grandest and most magnificent ocean liner ever built, came calling at the Kochi port on its third visit in the past three years on last week of january. This vessel had come on its maiden voyage two years back and returned last year also. The liner arrived from Dubai and left for Phuket in Thailand in the same evening. The vessel was berthed at Ernakulam Wharf and the tourists, including from US, Britain and Germany, disembarked for sightseeing in and around Kochi.


S

ituated on the banks of the Chaliyar River, Nilambur is beautiful town in the Malappuram district of Kerala. Famous for having the world's first teak plantation raised in the Conolly Plot about 150 years ago, the Teak Museum here is worth visiting if you travel to Nilambur. Established by the Kerala Forest Research Institute in collaboration with the Kerala Forest Department, it is a thematic museum housing historical, cultural and aesthetic aspects of teak, all under one roof. A collection of bamboo trees on the

way to the museum imparts a special beauty to the place. The carved teak door at the entrance of the museum has a painting of the Kannimara teak. It is the oldest living teak tree not only in India but also in the world, located in Parambikulam Wild Life Sanctuary in the district of Palghat, Kerala. It is 47.5 m tall with a girth of 642 cm. Among the several exhibits displayed in Nilambur, the root system of a mature teak tree is perhaps the most interesting of all. Paintings on the walls remind one of the early histories of teak planting. The

miniature model of an antique sailing vessel made of teak wood and a painting of a sailing ship are the other attractions. Logs of a 116-year-old tree have also been preserved. The museum presents scientific information and exhibits on various aspects of teak. A world literature on teak is available in the library. Tourists planning to holiday in Nilambur during their Kerala travel can reach Nilambur either by going via Kannur, which is 70 km away or through Ooty, which is 100 km away.

Go Kerala Spring 2010

The world’s ďŹ rst teak plantation and oldest living teak tree is in Nilambur -a beautiful town in the banks of the River Chaliyar in North Kerala.


Go Kerala Spring 2010

Coverstory

WONDER THIS IS

KERALA


Top 7 Amazing Experience

2

Maramadi

1

What Bull fighting is to Spain is Maramadi to Kerala. Beef bodied jockeys races couple of trained bulls- each pricing more than ten thousand dollars. The time is what it counts. The pair who outpaces the rest is announced the winner. Maramadi, performed in paddy fields after the harvest, attracts hundreds of spectators. One team consists of an oxen, a bull, a rider, two co-riders and three assistants.

4

3

Nilambur Teak

Theyyam

Trissur Pooram

World’s biggest teak tree and first teak museum is in Nilambur, a hamlet in the north of kerala. The teak plantation here is over 150 years old and is the home for rich variety of fauna and flora. Tropical evergreen bamboo forests and grasslands make nilambur a breathtaking vacation spot. The teak museum at karimpuzha, near Nilambur is an excellent research centre for those interested.

An oracle or materialized divine – that is what Theyyam is. This traditional folk art practice, through which the Gods and spirits are personified, is performed in Malabar region of Kerala. Better known for its bright hues and dramatic chants, theyyam is closely knitted with hindu worship. People from selected communities only can perform Theyyam. There are more than hundreds of varieties of Theyyam.

Trichur Pooram, the mother of all temple festivals in the state, is essentially one of spectacles. The two devaswams- Thiruvampadi and Paramekkavu- explore and exploit every source at their command to make this annual festival a memorable one. It is celebrated with a colourful procession of caparisoned elephants, parasol exchanges, drum concerts, display of pyrotechniques and refreshing scenes of masses.

6

5

7

Snake boat race

Kalaripayattu

Aranmula Metal Mirror

The largest team sport in the world, the snake boat races are preceded by colorful water parades. Vamakalli or the boat race has now been an integral part of Kerala’s identity and its popularity has been soaring with each passing year. Vallamkali boats are not ordinary boats. It is about 100 feet long and has a seating capacity of 150 men. The boat is designed in a way that its ends are shaped like cobra hoods.

Kalarippayat is believed by many historians as one of the oldest traditions of martial training in the world. It is a scientific and comprehensive system of training for the body and the mind with an elaborate repertoire of weapon training, which in the ancient times lead to the making of a proficient warrior. To succeed in this martial art, one needs plenty of fire in the belly, energy, drive and fierce commitment.

An Aranmula kannadi or Aranmula metal mirror is a special type of mirror produced at Aranmula, a village in the state of Kerala in India. Composed of a special metal alloy, instead of glass, the Aranmula kannadi is a front surface reflection mirror, which eliminates secondary reflections and aberrations typical of back surface mirrors. The Rig veda also mentions the presence of this metal mirror.

Go Kerala Spring 2010

Coverstory


Go Kerala Spring 2010

Coverstory


A good pair of Maramadi bull will cost Rupees one lakh. The race bull’s diet include rice porridge, horse-gram, milk, egg, Dasamoolarishtam, Chicken soup, Mutton soup- besides normal cattle feed.

T

he Maramadi is an annual festival (known as Maramadi Mahotsavam), held during the post harvest season in the villages of Kerala. It is a bull racing competition and the freshly ploughed fields (in which paddy is not yet sown) are put to best use by creating a racing track for the oxen and bulls. The fields, known as kandams are filled with water and the muddy water splash about as the bulls are raced by their guides. The villagers gather around these fields keeping safe distance. The air is rent with excitement fervor as there is stiff competition over these races. Every pair of oxen or bulls is managed by about three farmers who act as the guides. They enter the competition as one unit. Almost 30 such units compete in these races. The audience cheers the favorite entries and emotions run high throughout (noon to sundown) as long as the competition lasts. These guides, like Matadors are adept in managing the bulls and steer them in the right direction during the course of the competition. The bulls and oxen to are specially bred and trained.

Go Kerala Spring 2010

Coverstory


Go Kerala Spring 2010

Coverstory


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010


Go Kerala Spring 2010

Keralife  

Travel and tourism magazine from Gods own country, Kerala