Spicy, Rich and Reflective: Kerala

Outlandishly green and laced with mirror-smooth backwaters, laid - back, tropical Kerala is rich in tranquil charms and streetscapes pungent with spice-era sensibilities. 

13 Dec 2010

Ambling along Alleppey’s narrow streets is akin to inhabiting a sepia postcard. Near the lighthouse that once guided tall ships hankering for rubber, tea and spices, rows of Raj remnants are criss-crossed by canals where electric blue kingfishers swoop into lotuses.

Trains shriek at level crossings, and under towering mango trees, men in starched lungis polish two-tone mid-century sedans. There’s a strong sense that haste is unseemly. 

India is an intoxicating marsala: electrifying colours, energising chaos, pulsating sounds and lifestyles picturesquely oblivious to the 21st Century. India quickens my pulse, stirs my senses, reboots my soul and unfailingly lures me back.

In ultra-chilled Kerala, a state defined by its vast network of backwaters, I found fresh endearments: evocative, un-reconstituted heritage, endless design inspirations and a thriving culture offset with a serenity and ease not usually equated with India…

 

Read the full story on page 195 of Habitus issue 10, available on the iPhone and iPad here, or contact us to subscribe or buy back issues.

 

 

Words and Photography by Melissa Rimac

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