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India - Kollam

An unexpected Carnival.

sunny 38 °C
View India and South East Asia on philosipha's travel map.


Kollam is a quiet and sleepy town which seems to be Hindu and Christian in equal measure. Our hotel looked out across a stunning lake offering a beautiful views out across the water when we woke up in the morning.
On the day after we arrived we joined the other guests for a visit to Munroe Island. Munroe Island or Mundrothuruthu is an inland island located where the Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River join.


We took an early Rickshaw across town and over a ferry bridge to the island. Our driver was very proud as being the best rickshaw in town according to the various newspaper clippings he had kept. (In fairness he knew a lot about the locality and was very happy and friendly.) He even asked us to write a comment in his guest book!


The trip consisted of a beautiful and highly interesting backwater canal trail around the villages and shrimp farms. A fascinating insight in to the lives of the local people. We saw lots of wildlife along the way including black and blue kingfishers, water snakes and buffalo.


About an hour in we stopped off for some coconut beer, a local speciality, it was disgusting but we didn’t have the heart to tell the brewer! Further along our ride we stopped off where some women were making rope from coconut fur. A surprisingly strong material for such uses.
After about four hours it was time to get back to the hotel.


Our wonderful rickshaw driver who had brought us here was waiting patiently for our return. While on the road he told us about a street celebration that was going on nearby. We decided we would take him up on his offer to take us and bring us back to the hotel. We are so glad we did. It was wonderful!
As soon as we arrived we could see a elephants up ahead. We jumped out of the rickshaw and briskly walked up our lane to the noise up ahead.


Finally there we could see the procession, elephants painted and dressed in gold and bright colours. In a state of awe and wearing huge smiles we walked alongside the elephants. Further along the procession we realised that this was a carnival, with spectacularly decorated floats and drum troupes banging out rhythms. Every now and again there was a truck carrying a massive sound-system followed by groups of ecstatic kids throwing shapes. It seemed everyone was getting in on the carnival spirit.
A fabulous end to a wonderful day.
Tomorrow we set off for Allepey.

Link to our Kollam gallery here

Posted by philosipha 03:37 Archived in India Tagged carnival backwater

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