Thursday, January 11, 2007


I should have posted this image earlier as it is an interesting one. During our boat cruise alsong the Periyar river, my wife spotted a Kingfisher magnificiently sitting and watching us pass by. I somehow got my camera in action but after I snapped the image, I thought that I had missed it. But when I viewed it in my comp. there it was. If you want to have a better look at spotting this unique bird, do click on the image and see the enlarged version.


I should have posted this image earlier as it is an interesting one. During our boat cruise alsong the Periyar river, my wife spotted a Kingfisher magnificiently sitting and watching us pass by. I somehow got my camera in action but after I snapped the image, I thought that I had missed it. But when I viewed it in my comp. there it was. If you want to have a better look at spotting this unique bird, do click on the image and see the enlarged version.

Birdwatching in the Backwaters

Surely if one can get lucky there are a myriad bird species along the way. But this one (I'm quite an oaf as I don't know the name) posed for my snap and it was to my surprise that it stayed that way calmly as our boat passed by. Seems like it was quite habituated to people in big and small boats.

Choose your Seat

Howdy Folks! is a very interesting website for frequent and first time airline travellers. If you know beforehand the type of aircraft ie. 747-400, 737 etc. then thi site is indeed a boon. Sure all airlines are not included but the major ones are, eg. British Airways, Air France etc. So next time on a long haul/short haul flight you would not complain abot the ground staff giving you the middle seat or the one right next to the lavatory. Browse through the site, read reviews on the seat(s) including First & Business Class and choose the one that you find appropo. The best feature is the distinct reviews on the saet numbers which clearly is an excellent thought by the author.The site even provides a host of info regarding in-flight amenities, food, entertainment on board, etc. Do visit this site if it is of interest to grab the best seat before others do.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Homemade Remedies during Travel

It is a sad feeling to get sick during travel and at times there is nothing but natural elements which are closer to us than a pharmacy. Some of these tips may be helpful when travelling to remote places.
In between I would like to share some useful tips on Easy Remedies. Our ancestors were known to depend on myriad inhouse remedies using roots, leaves, flowers, fruits... Even today the methods are often used and may be helpful in the traditional way.
* Inhaling blue chamomile oil hels in de-stressing and is also useful for patients of high blood pressure.
* Mix olive oil/sunflower & lavender oil with blue chamomile and massage under the collarbone every night and this may give relief to people suffering from high blood pressure.
*Cloves of garlic help in lowering cholestrol and tryglyceride levels and also aids in blood circulation.
*A simple cough remedy: Mix 3 tbs. of lemon juice with 1 cup of honey, and a quarter cup of warm water. Take 1-2 tbs. whenever needed.
* Warm mustard oil and foment over the joint(couple of hours) for easing arthritic pain.

Stop-Give way for Ducks

This was another funny moment. Our Houseboat had to come to a virtual halt for about 5 mins to give way to about 200 or more ducks going home after a day in the backwaters. The man in the country boat would constantly say something in his native language and twist and turn his boat to guide the whole pack in formation and back to their territory on land.

Houseboat Chase

I had to publish this photo. This was another houseboat right behind us and was speeding to either catch up with us, but most probably overtake us. You can clearly make out from the image that the houseboat was speedin! However, the backwaters have their imbibe traffic laws. After a while we could see the boat reduce speed as we approached a busy intersection along the backwaters with small country boats and other houseboats trying to fight their way out.

Google AdSense

Hello Folks! Just a liitle request to all who may view my humble page- I have incorporated Google AdSense in my blog. if you are really interested in an advert, please click on them. I am not incepting this feature for making money; I just thought it would make sense to include it in my blog. Thanks

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Magical Sky- Kerala Backwaters

This is the other sequence of the preceding image. I am still in awe as I gaze at the photograph(s).

Magical Sky- Kerala Backwaters

This is the other sequence of the preceding image. I am still in awe as I gaze at the photograph(s).

Kerala Backwaters- Early Morning View

This is one of my favourite photographs. At first I was hesitant to publish it on the blog, but then I thought that this is a must for my blog. I wouldn't care if anybody used it and claimed that they had taken this snap, but in my heart I know the fact that more than this phtograh, the moment was much more to treasure. If any of you who would read this require this photo, go ahead and copy it. If anyone wants the original format do get in touch, and I'll mail it.

Kerala Backwaters-Sunset view from the Houseboat

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Kerala, Houseboat Interiors

The alley in the Houseboat which connects to the rooms on the right, and further down a compact neat
and clean kitchen where the chef cooked us some sumptious treats. Hats off to the crew of Boat No. 4;-)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Kerala, Backwater Escapes

Watching another boat pass by on our way to Allepey.

Lunch in the Backwaters

We had started out at about 11 am towards Allepey. It was a refreshing feeling seeing the active backwaters with other myriad houseboats cruising alsong the way. The houseboat is traditionally called Kettuvellam. It was a primitive boat structure in the past, but with the present demand of tourism, one can se myriad designs of these sailing hotels. Some are even air-conditioned, having minibar, television and some aspects of modern amenities. But our hoseboat, even though simplistic in design truly was an experience of a simple yet comfortable & romatic interiors/exteriors. The room was elegant and the houseboat had no A/C or TV or the minibar(in fact no alcohol is served). But the interesting aspect was the library which comprised of collections left behind by fellow travellers and it is a must do to browse through a selective treasure of intellect. At about 1.30 pm we were approaching a jetty and the boat took a complete turn for parking; it was lunch time. Not to mention the neat and well kept kitchen facilities, I could not imagine that the cook would conjure a variety of exotic delicacies made on the boat. I would say hats off for being innovative. Of course, other than the fresh water prawns and the famous Karemeen(a local fish delicacy), there were about 4-5 vegetarian dishes as well. For a moment I thought that the cook had thought that a high diet couple had come on board! Then I realised that this was normally what they would offer all travellers. Howver it is advisable for all to make any special requests atleast 2 days prior to departure. We had an exellent lunch in a calm serene ambience and I could swear that this was one of my best lunch experience. I would not forget to mention the fresh pineapple served as the way the chef had cut the fruit truly showed that his skills were perfect as far as presentation was concerned. After lunch little did I know that I would go in for a 2hr nap, which again was the result of the exemplary spread. By the time I woke up the boat was already sailing towards our nigh halt point at Allepey.

Houseboating the Backwaters

This is the best experience in the Backwaters. We had booked the houseboat from CGH Earth(Spice Coast Cruises) for one night. I truly feel it was worth it, but the duration should have been longer. One just sways away into the calmess of the backwaters. Our houseboat was named Boat No. 4 It comprised of a cook, a navigator and a captain. Even though there were delegations of position, it was interesting to observe that all three men were multiplexing their role. We were served a refreshing welcome drink and then the boat took course towards Allepey.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Going Home

Finally, I thought I had the shot of the moment. the baby elephant hastily grouped in with his family and it looked as if they were willing to pose for me. But no sooner than I got my camera focus & zoom corrected and clicked the shot, I realised that I had got a bum-show goodbye. The camera shutter did click them in a group, but the timing had gone wrong and all I could get was three huge bums bidding me goodbye. Well I think that this is their world and they choose what to do and when.

Elephants at Periyar

Finally a rare sight. A family of elephants had come down by the lake side for water. Generally during December it is rare as the forests are full with water sources and animals rarely come by the lake side. I tried to zoom in as close to get something. Strangely the baby was wondering away from the parents. We had to keep mumb as any little noise would attract their senses. Periyar has about 1000 elephants spread out on an are of 777 sq. kms. I would say we were lucky to get a glimpse of this magnificient beast. But as the local guide told us, "always maintain a safe distance especially when they are with their family". I guess it made sense as we humans are stange creatures for them as in the wild they would be more comfortable with their own kind. The poaching has now reduced significantly, yet the forest department conducts night patrols to keep a check on intruders. Even we as tourists can take part in the night patrols which are operated by the forest department and are available in 2-3 slots starting from 7pm I believe that this is a unique experience as if not anything else, one can enjoy and know more about the forest at night with all the nocturnal animals and their strange sounds and sights.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jungle Trek in Periyar

These birds were more than happy to pose for the camera.
Our presence did not make any difference to them. I am not
an expert in the field of birdwathching, but for avid enthusiasts
the forest is a great place to spot myriad species .

CGH Earth

In between I should not forget to mention that the CGH Earth Hotels have done an exemplary job in all their properties around Kerala. They are truly an inspirational group which imbibes a committment to maintain and preserve the sorroundings of their properties. We had stayed at Marari Beach, Coconut Lagoon(Kumarakom), Spice Village(Thekkkady) and took one of their Spice Coast Cruise. They were all unique in their own ways and I should recommend to all that if one can afford , staying at their properties is definitely a mystical experience. All the properties express a strong committment to an eco-friendly environment and one can tour the hotel (s) to see how they are managing various aspects of environmental engineering.

For more info:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


This is the closest we could get to the King of Periyar Forest- Tiger. Rajkumar our local trek guide from the forest dept. mentioned that this was not a recent pugmark as he pointed out signs of ebbing. But even as you see the pugmark, from that moment on there is an eerie feeling about the King. Maybe he/she was watching our every move and yet not give us a remote chance of a sighting.

Jungle Trek at Periyar Tiger Reserve

Another magnificient view during the jungle trek.

Jungle Trek in Periyar

A common sight during the forest trek- wild boars eating and lounging away to glory. The local guide did mention that these boars are not really bothered about a tigers presence and apparently they would not hesitate to charge at one. Quite brave souls!!

Periyar Tiger Reserve

A view of the Periyar Lake with the Tiger Reserve on either sides. One must go for a forest treak, preferebaly the night trek. It is a wonderful experience to enjoy nature at its best. The sightings will purely depend on good luck. For more info on Periyar search for Thekkady/Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Yet another Sunset

A photograph taken from a country canoe in Kumarakom. The best time for a sunset retreat at the lake shore would be around 4.30-4.45 pm. (DEC)