3/17/2008 to 3/20/2008 and 3/27/2008 to 4/3/2008 | India , Kerala , Tamil Nadu

The Ghats

Munnar, Kerala.

12► The Ghats are southern India’s mountain range which stretches from its southern tip northward.  Before branching into the eastern and western Ghats which create the boundaries of the central plateau of India the Ghats run along the boarder between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.  It was this region in which I spent the […]

2/29/2008 to 3/3/2008 | India , Kerala

Cochin: Dialogue with a dying drifter

Kathakali performance, Cochin.

Prologue: I once met someone who said they’d like to write a travel book only about the other travelers they met while on the road.  The places would be irrelevant to the story of the people.  As I write about my visit to Cochin thinking about what I will remember from the visit, […]

3/15/2008 to 3/16/2008 | India , Kerala

Sabarimala: Jungle Pilgrimage

Main shrine, temple of Sri Ayyappa, Sabarimala.

If you mention the words “Sabarimala,” and “Lord Ayyappa,” to the average Western tourist in Kerala and you will be most likely be greeted with a blank stare.  I would have been one of those blank stares if I hadn’t started thumbing through my Kerala road atlas looking for places to break the […]

3/9/2008 to 3/14/2008 | India , Kerala

Varkala: Back to the Beach

Kathakali, at temple in Varkala.

An entry more out of completeness rather than anything really substantive to say about this beach resort filled with European beach vacationers and a sprinkling of backpackers like myself.  There are two metrics for how much I’ve enjoyed a place, how long I stay, and how many pictures I take.  Up until the […]

3/3/2008 to 3/8/2008 | India , Kerala

Alleppey to Kollam: The Kerala Backwaters

Munroe Island backwaters, near Kollam.

12► The main purpose of most people who visit Alleppey and Kollam is to explore the series of lakes, canales, rivers, and bays that make up the famed Kerala backwaters, a labyrinth of waterways through rice patties and palm orchards.  There are a number of ways to see the backwaters, the most expensive […]

2/27/2008 to 2/28/2008 | India , Kerala

Kodungallor: Hang’en with the fisher-folk

Chinese fishing nets on the north end of Vypin Island.  Near Kodungallor.

12► A to remain nameless worry some aunt once asked me, “How do you know what bus to get on?  What happens if you get on the wrong bus?”  To which my reply was, “I guess I go somewhere else then.”  It had actually never happened to me until recently while attempting to […]

2/23/2008 to 2/26/2008 | India , Kerala

Festival hopping through Thrissur District

Ceremonial elephants, temple festival in Wadakkancheri, Thrissur District.

123► There has been more than a few times when I’ve arrived in a town and after a quick look around thought to myself what am I going to do here for the rest of the day, yet on each occasion that thought as crossed my mind something invariably arises to keep my […]

| India , Kerala

Theyyam

Theyyam, Kannur District.

1234► My initial experience with the art of Theyyam enthralled me to the point where I was anxious to seek out more of this captivating ritual art form.  I returned to the Kannur District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) office that had been so helpful in leading me to the first Theyyam I had […]

2/19/2007 to 2/20/2008 | India , Kerala

Tracking down Theyyam in Kannur

Theyyam at a Rama temple, in Kannur District.

12► Getting to Kannur, a city in northern Kerala along India’s southwest coast should have been the easy part.  But as I arrived at the Mangalore state run bus stand I was told the same thing I was told at the private bus stand, “no bus to Kerala, strike.”  My last hope of […]