101 Reasons to Love Kerala

Manu Remakant explores Reason #1.Villages…

Abandon yourself in a village, a nameless, nondescript one in Kerala. Any place will do. Play deaf to those cynics who say that the State is now a big township and villages had long packed their baggages and left.

 They will point at the electric lines, telephone poles and mobile signal bars and smile their cynical smiles.

 Come with me. I will take you to places where innocence is a religion.

Every night I sleep, I hope to wake up in a place I visited long back – Kanthalloor. The place lies beyond Marayur in Idukki district. The first time I negotiated the hairpin curves to reach the place at night, I saw a necklace of bright stones on the mountains welcoming me – forest fire. It was followed by buffets of cold breeze from the distant stars studded on the black canvas over the blue-black mounts.

The night did not reveal the beauty of the place but gave away to one of the best mornings in my life. Buds were waiting to wake up gently along with me. Apples, strawberries, carrots, cherries – Kanthalloor takes a break from Kerala, but lingers on its way to heaven.

 Mist hugged close to the street of the mountain village even at 8 O’clock in the morning. Cows were seen calmly lapping up the dew on the green tufts which stretch on until they reach the blue mountains far away. A couple of wild horses trotted along the path.

 One of the best jungle treks in Kerala begins from the village. The walk through the Anaimudi National Shola forest is etched deep in my mind. For the first time I saw fresh green lichens hanging down from the branches of tall trees, “which are the hallmark of environmental purity,” says my friend.

When you are in a village don’t be hesitant to be part of the life there, but never its politics. Overhear the villagers over a cup of ‘very slow tea’, from a local tea shack, read their faces, gestures and bearing, listen to the lilt and respond with smile as they crack jokes you don’t understand. They will get you to places, people and things no travel guides have access to.

 People are infinitely helpful in villages. The only thing is you have to open up. They may hate their neighbors, but love us who come from faraway lands to their home.

(Photographs by Manu Remakant)

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About Manu Remakant

Manu has written 296 stories in Rum, Road & Ravings. You can read all posts by here.

11 Responses to 101 Reasons to Love Kerala

  1. OMG!! Manu Sir, the descriptions are amazing……….How in heavens name do you do it???????

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  2. sir your simple words echoes ” the everything” of that place….. good work sir… the description reminds me of wagamon………….. its 42 degree here in hyderabad… but the article gave me a 5 minute relief…. short and sweet……………………..

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  3. Have been to Munnar, never known places beyond. Must visit some day. You have made it interesting !

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  4. Hi! Manu Sir, I too agree with Pooja chechy……… The place discription is just simply awsome. The pictures really have life in it and beyond any doubts ur pictures are simply outstanding.

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  5. Felt like this one was a bit rushed. Your magic with words is missing in this one. Though you began beautifully, seems like you lost heart somewhere in the middle.

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  6. Thank you all. Kavya, ‘101 reasons’ demands short sketches. It is not a travelogue proper. I am trying to find 101 experiences in Kerala. When I talk about an experience I want to peg it on a place I visited, a man I met, or an event I witnessed to give those “airy nothings a local habitation and a name’. So my readers can relate to that experience. Thanks again. Continue providing me with such valuable feedbacks.

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  7. I have been to Munnar and Marayoor twice, but no one told about Kanthallur. Missed out on something exquisite. May be next time…

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    • Anand you must be prepared for that jungle trip when you go to Kanthalloor. Even otherwise the village is a beauty to enjoy. There is a resort. You can also live inside the forest. For that you have to walk almost 4 kms to reach a forest cottage. You can spent the night there . Get permission from the forest authorities before you go.

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  8. Very evocative, Manu. Amazing it should be so sensory in such a short passage.

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  9. Thank you Sacha, the place is far more sensuous than my writing.

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  10. Vamanapuram is paradigm

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