Since my childhood, I have been travelling to Kerala, ”God’s Own Country”.. how could I not? Once you visit, you feel like going back again and again. Thekkady, Wayanad, Munnar, Kumarakom, Alleppey.. I was so mesmerized by all of these places.
The Diwali vacations were coming up and my dad asked us to plan for another holiday.. And that’s when my mother found Poovar Island in Kerala. It looked amazing, totally surrounded by water. We gave our vote of approval and five of us, that is- me, my parents, my grandmother and little sister-headed to Kerala.
Ours was a floating resort (No, I am not kidding. It actually floats) and we had to reach it through the backwaters by boat. The morning air was crisp and fresh and the water calm. In 15 minutes, we reached our resort called Estuary Island Resort and I was spellbound.
I could not believe my eyes. Why? Let me tell you.
The resort was surrounded by water on three sides, backwaters to the left and right and the Poovar River in the front. And just beyond the river? It was the sea!
Yes, Poovar Island is just so magnificent that it has backwaters, a river and a beach all together. And the best part? To get to the beach, you need to take a boat across the Poovar river! Wow!
The beach again was a long shoreline with a narrow sand strip. It was so isolated that it felt like a private beach. The guides told us that in the night, the waves become so fierce that it runs havoc over the sand strip and becomes one with the river.
The place had such a one-of-a-kind beauty that was so overpowering, especially for water babies like myself. We were so isolated from the rest of the world that it felt like being wrapped in a bubble. The only sounds were of the waves crashing against the shore, the chirping of birds, the wind whispering to the trees and the voice of Mother Nature.
My favorite area in the resort was a place I liked to call ”The Coconut Courtyard”. Right at the entrance of the resort, you had lounge chairs on which you could lie down and look at the water. Next to that, they had my courtyard- a big place with no flooring. It was filled with sand and coconut trees. Attached to these coconut trees were hammocks and swings!
My second favorite past time (will reveal my first favorite in the next para) was to lie on a hammock and soak in the peace or just swing in the wind. I am sure that no matter where I go, I will never forget that place. The feeling of just lying there, with nothing to do, with not a worry in the world was most exquisite and incomparable.
My first past time? Playing in the beach! Yes, I become a child when I see the beach. I literally go running, screaming ”Yay! Beach, beach”! and that is exactly what I did here too. The waves were ferocious and we could not go too deep in but that proved unnecessary. My dad and I planted ourselves, then and there, in the sand. We just sat down, without a damn care in the world. and allowed the waves to wash over us. It was so much fun!
I felt so carefree, like a wild child and I was loving every bit of it. Of course, we had to build a sand castle and that we did. It was a fine, mighty castle, if I may say so and while building it, I could see my parents becoming kids again. Our castle stood tall and proud for around 15 minutes and was then washed away by the mighty waves.
We then went on a backwater cruise in one of the local boats and that was another spell binding experience. We had no idea that their backwater system was so intricate. We came across half-ruined buildings, resorts, fishermen’s boats, boat clubs, ducks swimming and floating coconuts. But as we went deeper, the lanes got smaller and the vegetation got thicker. The light was fading and the weather was getting chilly. We felt like we were in some part of the Amazon Wilderness. It just did not feel like we were in Kerala and just two kilometers away, there were resorts and people and a beach. The serenity, the quiet and the lush greenness enthralled us.
Another cool fact? There is a rock at Poovar that’s actually shaped like an elephant and is called ”Elephant Rock”. Don’t believe me? Check the picture below for yourself.
In the quiet of the night, you could hear the howling of the wind, the roar of the waves and nothing else. From the balcony, all you could see was the twinkling of the stars and the light of the moon. That was the beauty of it.
Much as I would have liked to spend an eternity at Poovar, it was time to get back home.. to get back to reality.
Here’s why I think everybody who loves nature, quiet and water should visit Poovar:
1) A place where backwaters, river and the sea meet? Wow!
2) Walking to the beach? Too mainstream. Cross the river in a boat and then play at the beach!
3) A floating resort. Need I say more?
4) The backwaters. They are magical.
5) Peace, quiet, nature, beauty
Where I stayed: Estuary Island Resort (3.75/5 stars)
How to get there: Go to Trivandrum by flight/train/bus. Take a taxi or bus to Poovar, and a boat to the island.
Cost: Approx. 4,000 INR per night for a couple
Ideal for: Families and Couples. Visit if you want to take time off, relax and unwind. Not suitable for people looking for a lot of sightseeing or activities.
Suggested duration of stay: 3-4 days
Dominant Cuisines: Kerala, Sea food
Recommendations: Try to stay at Poovar Island Resort (they have floating cottages) and go on a backwater cruise.
In this world, where we lead such stressful lives and are overcome by worry most of the time, it feels wonderful to go to places like these where you can forget the world around you and live in peace, even if it is just for a few days time.