Culture, Eco-Luxury, India, Islands, Kerala, Offbeat, Responsible Travel, Unique Places to Stay, Weekend Getaways
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God’s Own “Island” by the Backwaters of Kerala!

kerala backwaters, North Kerala, India Untravelled

We slowly row away from the shore, leaving behind the dim lights on our palm-fringed island. The current in the backwaters sways our tiny kayak, and after a brief show of resistance, we surrender and let it guide us. Small fish occasionally jump out of the water, creating ripples. A thousand stars shimmer in the sky above. These are the virgin backwaters of North Kerala’s Kasaragod district, silent, untouched and without a houseboat in sight.

I first visited this private island two years ago, while charting out The Best Kept Secrets of Kerala trail for India Untravelled. When we impulsively decided to fly from Singapore to Kochi a few days back, I found myself craving the tranquillity of this little paradise. It is neither a resort nor a homestay, but just a place that perfectly encapsulates the languid way of life in these backwaters.

Oyster Opera, Kerala backwaters, North Kerala, Kasaragod, India Untravelled

My little paradise by the backwaters of North Kerala.

On sunny afternoons, we swing on hammocks under the shade of coconut trees, watching public ferries collect people from islands that have no road access. On open boats, we sail along a labyrinth of islands with sleepy coastal hamlets, watching fishermen catch fish on their hardy wooden kayaks. Parts of these backwaters are cordoned off for mussel farming, which was pioneered by our host, Mr Gul Mohammed, decades ago, inspired by a newspaper article! Mussel cultures are cultivated in these expansive backwaters, and the mussel extracted through wooden stick-like structures for export, creating livelihoods for 6000 coastal farmers.

Private island North Kerala, Oyster Opera, Kerala backwaters

My resting place.

North Kerala food, Kerala cuisine

Indulging in local delicacies.

We swim in the backwaters (they are that clean!), and in the roaring waves of the Arabian Sea on some virgin beaches that lie undiscovered on these islands. Walking amid colourful houses hidden by coconut trees, we converse with shy, well-dressed kids, impressed by the standard of living and cleanliness in this remote part of Kerala. When a kid asks me where I’ve come from, I think to myself, from another world.

Kerala backwaters, North Kerala, secret beaches Kerala

The estuary where the backwaters meet the Arabian Sea.

Kerala secret beaches, North Kerala

Golden hues of sunset on a virgin beach in North Kerala.


Have you experienced the backwaters of North Kerala? 


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  1. I have experienced the backwaters of Kerala (don’t know North or South) in Cochin. It was an awesome experience. I just felt lost and draped in beauty. Sounds like you had an exceptionally good and peaceful time there.

    • Cochin would be south. The backwaters in the north are very different, for the absence of houseboats and tourism. For your next trip!

  2. Lovely! In my Travel Bucket list actually… do you think the serenity of the backwaters will crumble if two screeching kids tagged along?

  3. You’ve described the place so beautifully. We had been to Kochi last March and the experience was just awesome. Longing for more! 🙂 I feel blessed to be belonging to such a beautiful place on Earth. 🙂

  4. Hello Shivya, So nice to see this post, as this is one place where I used to take my friends, relatives and colleagues whenever they come down to my home.

    Nice to see that you had a great time there.

  5. Pingback: God’s Own “Island” by the Backwaters of Kerala! | The Talking Sloth - Asia

  6. Pingback: In Photos: Road Tripping in Rural Maharashtra! | The Shooting Star

  7. leeshin12 says

    these backwaters view was quite amazing. i would like to visit boat house and have curry fish during my travel to Kerala.

  8. The hill stations in Kerala are my favourite. There’s so much of beauty that you wouldn’t want to return home.

  9. Thank for sharing such a great information to us,
    Kerala is really a best place in India to visit as here is the most amazing and beautiful Backwaters and Beaches located. You can also do some outdoor sports activity here. You will be mesmerized to see the natural beauty of the temples and backwaters. Golden Triangle Tour with Kerala is the best tour package to visit and explore.

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