Kerala House Boats – Engine, Kitchen etc.

From Sun's makeup box | സൂര്യ ദേവന്റെ കണ്ണാടി.

House Boats, Aleppey, Kerala

 

Needless to say, the house boats of Kerala, to be precise in Alleppey is quite popular and attracts lots of tourists. I was curious about the the engine and other finer details, I could find in a trip and here it is:

 

The hidden engine room door in the kitchen

The hidden engine room door in the kitchen of the house boat

Engine

Engine

 

from the engine room

turning the engine - kerala house boat

turning the engine – kerala house boat

electrical wiring, plumbing and septic tank

electrical wiring, plumbing and septic tank

 

 

 

Also on:

To be washed away by Mullaperiyar.

Mullaperiyar, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Idukki

Yesterday, the Christmas day I had gone out to get few vegetables which we had missed out during the shopping. Everywhere the discussion was about Indian Prime minister meeting with the head of a province / state to discuss about a dam which is supposed to collapse any moment killing millions of people.

For the uninitiated: Mullapperiyar is masonry gravity dam which 100+ year old, built during the British rule and it helps millions of people in Tamilnadu to earn their lively hood. The farmers in around 4 – 5 districts depends on this water to grow vegetable which feeds among other people, lots of people in the 100% consumer oriented, white collar job preferring, well informed and literate masses the neighboring state Kerala. The dam under dispute is made of largely mud and is situated in a tectonically sensitive region prone to tremors. The dam may collapse in 10 – 15 years if there are no natural calamities and there is a probability of causing the biggest tragedy known to humans. In the long term it will make another set of people who is using the same water to grow agriculture products will be perished. This makes the scenario a tough one to solve. The information overload created by social media, the trend following masses of Kerala is under a mass hysteria.

The main stream media shows only what people needs and no-expert opinion or condition of other dam etc are not considered and from young to old, everyone in Kerala believes the dam will break any moment and the neighboring state and some of the forces is using the occasion to gather some attention. Its interesting to note that the Kerala side is ready to build a new dam, somehow they believe that earth quakes will not happen during the period and are open to share water with neighboring state. The other side claims that the dam made of mud will withstand more water and claims that there will not be earthquakes.

Now from a logical point of view, I have no opinions or I am not biased. As far as I am considered, all the dams should be destroyed, all the nuclear plants must be destroyed and no plastics should be used etc etc. A long term solution without impacting both the sides seems to be a solution – which is not about building a new dam or decommissioning the existing one but reducing the water level and then both the sides sitting together around a table and discussing the matters the natural way. Yes, what is happening now is manglish speaking, sorry manglish spitting VJs and radio jockies are celebrating this as a Facebook revolution and this very post has a heading to attract some organic keyword based search from search engines.

 

Now, back to the photo and Christmas New year celebrations. People tend to believe its their last time to celebrate and not leaving any opportunity to celebrate. Years back I remember it was lot more difficult to educate and bring people together to fight against causes. Now its lot more easier. The only trouble is no-one seems to be bothered about real causes. Say Aadhaar aka UID project of India which is about slaving people for their entire life time and probably even after death if their bodies are not burned. In a land of poets and generations of people who never bothered about death or pain but only about freedom and fought for it this is indeed a strange phenomenon.

We had poets who wrote, slavery is unacceptable but death is. Have we forgotten ? The irony is complete when another set of people are promoting anarchy in the name of freedom and even using the father or nation for media campaigns. Right now media teams will be getting ready for the 4th season of Lokpal and finding stories supporting and against Anna Hazzare. There are nuclear reactors being built in the neighboring regions which will again make all of us live a dangerous life, probably eating mutated fish, with bulged bellies or long ears and we may not die. We will not die in a immediate flood but suffer, we will have mutated children looking like aliens in hollywood movies. Yet we prefer to live like zombies ?

Or are we just zombies who lost the ability to use common sense and educational background to choose between right and wrong ?

Anyways, I have my post with enough keywords, I will get lot of clicks just like some main stream news papers who has landing pages filled with the proper keywords. Give me my hits, help me make money. I wish I had a FM station & a TV station or two also !!

On a different note, the Idukki dam is about to complete its 50 year life span and we have to start a facebook page and start campaigning to build a new one right away. (And thus, I got one more keyword – Idukki. Hurray!!!)

Wishing a Happy New Year and its us who paints our lives happy or miserable and no one can help you do that.

trekking to Agasthyakoodam – day one.

On 27th I got a call from a friend asking are you ready for the trip ? Oh, I had completely forgotten about the whole thing and had a most productive day ahead with numerous calls and emails and finally packed up and reached the Cochin KSRTC bus stand by midnight. Had a packet of biscuit and cashew nuts as dinner and me and Rejish started our  5 hour bus journey to Trivandrum from where have to start by 6 AM. Surprisingly the bus managed to reach the destination in less than 5 hours and we could sleep for  another 1 hour at friend’s place. Finally we managed to start at 7 AM and reached Banacaud by 9:30 AM. Completed the formalities with the forest officials, packed our lunch and yes we are ready for 3 day wanderlust.

The area is kept clean and well preserved by the forest department and the EDC – In  a land where government departments functioning the way it is supposed to be is quite unheard of, this is something we must appreciate. The officials were friendly and I could drag them to a small talk about my sleeping bag which is quite small compared to the ones they use.

As per our plan the journey ends at Athirumala which is 17 kms from the base camp at Bonacud. And most of it is through dense forest and atleast 5 kms of the path is difficult terrain. And with a bag weighing too much with equipments it was not fun. From the camp at Athirumala its 6 kms to the Agastyakoodam peak. And we plan to climb the peak on the second day. I must say that splitting the journey to 3 days was an excellent idea as we got ample time to enjoy the wilderness.

enroute Agastyakoodam

en-route Agastyakoodam

swami thirivadikal enroute Agastyakoodam

swami ‘thirivadikal’ enroute Agastyakoodam

This part of western ghats is called the “abode of biodiversity”. The green virgin forest filled with herbal plants gives one the impression that we are in a huge herbal  garden. The Agastyakoodam is related with Buddhism and to the wise man Agastya who formulated grammar  to Tamil and he is believed to be an Ayurvedic expert too.

cauliflorous tree enroute Agastyakoodam

cauliflorous tree enroute Agastyakoodam

cauliflorous tree - closeup

cauliflorous tree – closeup

strong winds are a peculiarity of the area. Here we can see the grass dancing in the wind. But this is nothing compared to the wind at the peak.

strong winds are a peculiarity of the area. Here we can see the grass dancing in the wind. But this is nothing compared to the wind at the peak.

Oh yea, we were a team of seven backpackers. see them below:

backpackers

backpackers

in harmony with nature ?

in harmony with nature ?

we had our lunch here. Under a sky that looked like this !

we had our lunch here. Under a sky that looked like this.

the camp at attayaar. The difficult terrain starts here. The board that says Athirumala was kept here and in one of the next photos we can see it being carried to the final camp.

the camp at attayaar. The difficult terrain starts here. The board that says Athirumala was kept here and in one of the next photos we can see it being carried to the final camp.

The terrain that followed Attayar was bit difficult but compensated by breath taking landscape.

the path ahead - less traveled, difficult and beautiful

the path ahead – less traveled, difficult and beautiful

the Athirumala board which traveled with us :-)

the Athirumala board which traveled with us 🙂

landscape between attayar and athirumala - one can even see the historic dust on my lens. Well, I am goving to clean every piece of equipment this time. All has years of dust on them and water. Yea, my D80 still works fine with all the water and dust. My next cameras will be Nikon too. I dont need reviews anymore on brand wars.

landscape between attayar and athirumala – one can even see the historic dust on my lens. Well, I am going to clean every piece of equipment this time. All has years of dust on them and water inside. Yea, my D80 still works fine with all the water and dust. My next cameras will be Nikon too. I don’t need reviews anymore on brand wars.

a variety of Thulasi found in the area. This is just a sample from the mysterious collection of herbs starting from Arogyapacha, Vathamparathi etc

a variety of Thulasi found in the area. This is just a sample from the mysterious collection of herbs starting from Arogyapacha, Vathamparathi etc

The above photo is taken from an area of where the forest is thick and dark. We can find small holes in the rocks along the path which was used to grind herbs. The area also has peculiar stones which looks like remains of some ancient life forms.

fossil ?

fossils ?

a stone resembling bone. Passerby has left turmeric powder on it and it turned yellow now.

Passerby has left turmeric powder on it and it turned yellow now.

The final camp at the bottom of the peak follows this dense forest area and we got the majestic view of the peak from here.

the first glance of Agastyakoodam

the first glance of Agastyakoodam

We reached the final camp around 4 PM. We were tired but not really exhausted because we were walking at an average speed. Soon after tea and a leisurely bath at the nearby stream we came back and settled at the camp. And we were all set for the climb early morning next day. And the destination was a 1886 meter, heritage mountain with its lush  green herbal garden and myths.

Agastyakoodam aka Agastyarkoodam - the majestic peak with its lores, herbs and wonders of mother nature which makes us understand how silly we humans are.

Agastyakoodam aka Agastyarkoodam – the majestic peak with its lores, herbs and wonders of mother nature which makes us understand how silly we humans are.