Photos Credit: S. Satish Kumar
North Malabar: Beyond the backwaters
Whatever was Outlook Traveller doing, sending a Malayali into the Malabar hinterlands? Most ‘Mallus’ suffer from a surfeit of natural beauty and now view the backwaters, the ‘kettuvalam’ boats, and the rampant verdure with a sardonic brow. Factor in our intrinsic cynicism, the inclination to seek and find hornets in paradise, and what you get is not exactly the gushing travel writer.
Up just before dawn the next day, drawing open the curtains of the cottage, I took a deep breath and forgot to release it for a while. Because there it was in front of me, the river Chaliyar, upon whose bank the Kadavu Resort (‘kadavu’ is riverside in Malayalam) stands. In the pale pre-dawn light streaked with fingers of pink, the Western Ghats rose like distant monoliths in front of me. The broad swathe of water, wreathed in thin mist, gleamed like a huge sheet of bevelled glass catching something of the silver-grey skies; out in the middle, there were two catamarans poised like a still life.
And so it began, my brief but complete enthralment by the river. Ironically, the Chaliyar was not at its prettiest in this season because of the mud-melt from the Western Ghats; I was told it was a deep green gleam at all other times, complementing the palm groves on either bank. All the cottages in the resort (equipped with just about every mod-con you can think of), the suites and rooms overlook the water. And from the boat-shaped ‘Uru’ restaurant, you get a positively panoramic view.
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Labels: Chaliyar river, Kadavu Resort, Travel