Are you tired of driving down the dusty roads, tiring treacherous mountain treks, swooshing down the snow laden hills, cold night camping in the woods, watching historical monuments or flirting with disastrous waves? The best alternative is heading to the laid back, coastal village of Alleppey, Kerala in India for a stay on the luxurious houseboats, cruising silently across the backwaters.
Calm and serene waters spiral through the palm fringed coastal villages. Sun rises every morning and with the help of whispering winds he wakes up the sleeping coconut trees. Look up at the sky and you can see early morning traffic of birds rushing for their daily vocation. Look down at the green waters from your boat and you can see groups of fishes hurrying about to reach their destinations avoiding getting caught in the fishing nets. Have a hot cup of tea along with pancakes made from rice batter called Dosa’s and steamed rice cakes called Idli. Watch the groups of stray dogs who will always bark ‘Good morning’ to you when they see your boat passing through their village. Some vagabonds in their community will chase your boat with curiosity following the small muddy trail on the banks of the river. The holy cows with an “I have no interest in you, whatsoever” look will simply ignore you while fanning their tails to blow the ever irritating flies from landing on their huge backs. An over loaded hardworking donkey can be seen speeding up to his work to avoid being hit by a stick from his master.
People from the local farming and fishing community will smile pleasantly at you while you are tempted to click their photos. The local children will grin and wave at you that will naturally bring an effortless smile on your face. The houseboat will take you to the coastal market, located on the banks for an unusual shopping experience where you pick up fresh fish, fruits or anything of your choice. Give it to your on-board cook for preparing a scrumptious meal while you lay back and read a book, meditate, drink, chat with your co travelers or simply breathe in the fresh air of the composed surroundings. While your boat is parked at the banks or anchored in the middle of the backwaters, you can see the locals travelling in small boats connecting coastal villages; carrying out their daily routines, heading to their paddy fields or meeting families whilst giving you an inquisitive look and a shy smile.
Take an afternoon nap after enjoying a beautiful hot lunch of fresh seafood with local delicacies and wake up in the evening when the sun is about to go to bed. The sky shall transform itself into different canvases from whitish blue to reddish orange eventually turning to grayish black. The moon will resume its duty, unlocking his trunk of innumerable stars while he illuminates the sleepy surroundings. The last of the remaining late working birds disappear to their abode to join their families for a good night’s supper and sleep. You can have a nice cocktail on the upper deck watching the silhouettes of swaying trees perform their evening dance. You can hear the loud music of nocturnal insects gearing up for their all night party. In the surrounding area a call center of frogs can be heard croaking through their graveyard shift. You can simply sing songs or share stories or laugh the night out with your companions as you gear up to tantalize your taste buds with yet another platter of fascinating dining experience.
When all the voices on your houseboat retire for the day you can let nature talk you to sleep. You can sit back and feel the cold wind caressing your body. As the dimly lit houses along the banks shut off their lights for a long night ahead; you can hear the silence speak. The dogs on night duties howl once in a while as they communicate with the unseen. You too can retreat into the cozy bed of your room or simply lay a mat on the upper deck; tucking yourself in the warmth of a nice woolen blanket. Kiss good night to the countless stars watching you as you drown into a soothing sleep with this dreamlike experience.
If one does not know what it means by ‘When time stands still’ then one must truly visit this awe-inspiring, laid back travel destination which takes you into a different era where you can truly understand the meaning of words like peace, bliss and tranquility. This is a place you will want to come back to as it truly inspires you to spend your time wisely with no regrets and with the sole purpose of rejuvenating your soul.
About the Author: Aniket Keluskar is a freelance writer from Mumbai, India. He has authored a book called The Healing which is a self healing journey of a broken hearted person who travels to the Andaman Islands. Born in the City of Dreams, Aniket loves to read, interact with people and travel places while he continues to progress his passion for writing.
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