Picturesque Backwaters Of Northern Kerala
Tourist destinations can be overrated and turn out to be disappointing. The picture of blue waters with a lush green background filled with coconut trees may not translate to reality every time. This is where the not-yet explored islands of northern Kerala beats the popular tourist destinations like Alleppey and Kumarakom. Kerala’s northernmost villages that are located in Kasargod are caught between the hills of Kodagu and the Arabian sea. And this is what gives them their unique charm.
These villages aren’t yet commercialised as tourist spots. Hence, you get to wander in a tranquil backwater destination that is free from the hassle and commercialisation of tourism, most of which are still unexplored.
Tejaswini – The Mystical River
River Tejaswini is one of the most gorgeous sights a nature lover maxlabs will ever see. The river starts its eventful journey in the Brahmagiri hills of Kodagu Forest and meets the Arabian Sea near Nileswaram after flowing through Kannur and Kasargod for 64 kms. This journey through the forests makes around 20 kms of the river perfect for rafting.
The Beauty of Wilderness
The river rafting experience in Tejaswini river is ideal for those who are looking for some adventure and excitement in their holidays. The journey starts from Kolladi, a quaint town of Kannur and venture into the parts of the river that is hidden within the forest. It is one of the qualities that makes the northern backwaters different from southern backwaters of Kerala. While the backwaters of Alleppey is all about the paddy fields and fishnets, River Tejaswini takes you to the heart of nature.
The rocky banks and river beds gives you just the adrenaline rush you were craving for. Those huge trees that are spreading its branches to the river and thick mangrove forests make it the perfect spot for instagram worthy clicks. You are in for quite a few surprises as well. Do not be alarmed if you encounter a flock of bats.
Tiny Quaint Islands
Located close to the popular tourist attraction of Kasargod – Bekal Fort, Valiyaparamba backwaters is a sight for sore eyes and it is one of the best boating experiences in India. Valiyaparamba backwater is the northern region of Kavvayi backwaters which is the third largest backwaters of Kerala. Even though the water is contributed by four other rivers, the beauty of the backwaters has less to do with water and more with a bunch of tiny islands that are situated in it.
You will end up meeting the warmest set of people in these picture perfect islands. Their livelihood comes from coir and handloom industries, fishing and mussel farming. You get to enjoy bits of their everyday life while floating in the river which makes the emerald-green water and lush green landscape of coconut trees leaning to the river seem like a bonus.
Valiyaparamba Beach – A Local Secret
Kavvayi backwaters has a bunch of islands which pleases anyone who step foot in their land with their rustic vibe and exotic village lifestyle. Their agriculture and fishing industries could be a new experience for townsfolk. But the treat doesn’t end there. Kavvayi’s best kept secret is Valiyaparamba beach. If your dream vacation includes a quiet day in a hammock with no disturbances, then ask any localite for Valiyaparamba beach and they will point you in the direction where the only sound you will hear is of the waves. Once you see the sunset, you may feel that you have overestimated the beauty of Goan sunset.
For The History Buffs
The northern Kerala has something to offer everyone. Once you have indulged enough in the beauty of backwaters, take a trip to Bekal fort which is around 40 kms away from Valiyaparamba. The Bekal Fort has a magnificent history that goes hand in hand with the political history of entire Malabar. The fort stood spectator to the ages of Perumals and Sultans and Colonisers. The fort is spread over 40 acres and it seems like it is emerging from the ocean. One of the best times to visit the fort is right after the arrival of southwest monsoon. The vicinity of the fort area is covered in abundant vegetation at this point.
For The Bird Enthusiasts
While the history buffs can head to the Bekal fort, those who fond of walking can hike in the Malabar mangrove trail which is only 20 kms away from Valiyaparamba. Apart from being filled with natural beauty, the trail is a good spot to watch migratory birds. The mangrove forest is where a large variety of migratory birds come to nesting. Apart from migratory birds, you may catch sight of squirrels and jackals also that are not seen in urban areas.
Go Crab Hunting
The fishing and swimming in the backwaters are fun. If you are willing to take it up a notch and if you are lucky, you will get to go on a crab hunt with the localites. It is one of the raw experiences you will have with the mother nature. The villagers use simple yet efficient fishing equipment that are user-friendly to catch crabs. Apart from crabs, the cuisine of these islands is heavily influenced by their proximity to water. River fish and seafood are prepared with the purest form of spices here.
Exploring these backwaters are quite easy. You can either hop on a boat owned and operated by a localite, or roam in one of the ferry services run by government. If you would like to experience a more sophisticated and luxurious version of the same, you can approach one of the Kettuvallams aka houseboats which comes with cozy rooms as well.
When to visit?
While the backwaters can be visited throughout the year, monsoon does make them more beautiful than ever. However, the months of June, July and August are most suitable for river rafting in River Tejaswini. You can read more about Nileshwar houseboat on your website.
How to reach?
Nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport which is 116 kms (3 hours and 17 minutes) away.
Nearest railway station is Payyannur Railways station which is less than 10 mts away.