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Culture and Heritage Voyages

Things to Do in Kannur

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PYTHAL MALA

Sixty four K.Ms away from Kannur and 44 K.Ms north east of Thaliparamba lies Pythal Mala the beautiful, calm hillock near the Kerala - Karnataka boarder. 4,500 Ft. above sea level; this hill is abundant in flora and fauna. Trekking 6 Kms would take one to the top of the hill.

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MADAYI PARA

Madayipara is a significant spot owing to its bio-diversity as well as history. In the past, Madayipara was the administrative center of the Ezhimala kings. In and around Madayipara, one can find remnants from the past. At the southern side of the hill, stand the remains of a fort called Pazhi Kotta (kotta means fort in Malayalam). Here one can also find watchtowers at the four corners of the fort. Between AD 14 and AD 18, Madayipara used to be the site for the coronation ceremony of the rulers of the princely state of the erstwhile Kolathunadu.

HOUSEBOAT

Have you ever gone cruising in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala? If you haven't, make sure you do. This one is really a wonderful and unforgettable experience!

Present day houseboats are huge, slow moving exotic barges used for leisure trips, and are in fact reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times. The original kettuvallams were used to carry tons of rice and spices.

The kettuvallam is held together with coir knots. Not even a single nail is used during the construction of the boat.. The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. With careful maintenance, a kettuvallam can last for generations.

A portion of the kettuvallam was covered with bamboo and coir to serve as a restroom and kitchen for the crew. Meals would be cooked onboard and supplemented with freshly cooked fish from the backwaters.

While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the areca nut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring

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and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. For lighting though, solar panels are used.

Today, the houseboats have all the creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. Parts of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm open out to provide shade and allow uninterrupted views. While most boats are poled by local oarsmen, some are powered by a 40 HP engine. Boat-trains - formed by joining two or more houseboats together are also used by large groups of sightseers.

What is truly magical about a houseboat ride is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers, while you float!

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