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Kakkathuruthu: An island yet to be exploited by tourists

Kakkathuruthu, an island with tranquility in Alappuzha district, stipulating a sundry experience to the travellers. Alappuzha or Alleppey welcomes thousands of tourists every year to its freshwater lakes, canals and backwaters and has been an impeccable vacation spot. It makes an alluring place to unwind bustles and enjoy food, drinks and lazy ambience.

The city’s network of canals and backwaters earned it the title of ‘Venice of the East’ centuries ago by the Viceroy of the British Indian Empire, Lord Curzon. When in Alappuzha a tourist customarily chooses the luxurious houseboats, as lavish as their budget permits for cruising these backwaters. The place is already whipped and explored by the tourists. If you ask any tour guide, about the hefty event that you can experience in Alappuzha the answer will be the same with everyone – houseboat ride

It is prosaic to tell that the customary houseboat ride dulls a regular traveller to Alappuzha. There are options to refashion your day out in Alappuzha. Kakkathuruthu (Island of Crows) will be an adept bet.

Where and how?

The oddity of Alappuzha as compared to other travel destinations in Kerala is that one has to set on foot and then along waters for exploring places, as most of the places do not have road connectivity.

Kakkathruthu (Island of Crows) is one such serene places here in Alappuzha. The island is located in the backwaters of Vembanad Lake in Kerala, near Eramallor region of Alappuzha district. Situated not far from the ancient port city-Kochi, the island of Kakkathuruthu is connected to the mainland only by traditional boats. To reach the island one has to get into the local boats used by the natives of Kakkathuruthu from Eramallor, which is connected to the main road. It is an exciting experience travelling in a motor-less boat in the backwaters. The total journey by boat from the mainland to the island may take more than 15 minutes. The boatmen will not charge you much, as they are so generous to tell, “Give whatever you like”.

There are no bridges from this Island to the mainland and thus it is isolated. Though the island is stretched into more than 2.5km in length, there are no tarred roads inside it. All roads on the island are narrow and are not constructed properly.

What is special in Kakkathuruthu?

It is precisely that – its remoteness is the singular about this forsaken island. It is quite surprising that this alluring land mass is only 75 km from Nedumbassery airport and is not still in the list of major tourist destinations in Kerala. But it has been listed by the National Geographic among the must-visit places. To be at Kakkathuruthu at sunset is considered as one of the best destination in the world according to the National Geographic’s travel magazine’s Around the World in 24 Hours, a photographic article of travelworthy spots across the world.

Unfortunately, the team of Kerala Explorer could not make it during the sunset. But one of the natives of Kakkathuruthu, S Saroja said, “You can experience a beautiful view of the sunset here if the sky is clear. People had been flowing to this little island for experiencing it.”

“Because of the laxity shown by the authorities, the inflow of tourist is really low now”. She added.

The quiet island, surrounded by Vembanad Lake offers a haven for birdwatchers. The nature is still extant with lush green foliage. The swaying coconut trees, the green paddy fields, flocks of ducks floating on the surface, the fish-eating birds that land so smoothly into the water to catch its prey – views of these descriptions will never dull you. The natives are so concerned that there is no plastic litter inside the island. Picturesque backwaters, coconut groves, green landscapes and boats create an incredible vision of this beautiful island.

An interesting trivia about the island is, unlike other islands in the region Kakkathruthu will not sink during the heavy rainy season. The natives were vocal about this feature of the island. They also mentioned that the island has many special features that make it a favorite haven for the migratory birds

As mentioned, the total area is stretched about 2.5km and the tourist visiting Kakkathuruthu has to cover it in foot. On the way you can find green pastures, muddy roads, small ponds and a temple.

There are many inland water logged areas inside the island and small wooden bridges connects the land on either sides. Likewise there are many spots inside the island which makes it a favorite spot for photographers. Visitors to the island can also engage in rustic activities like fishing, toddy tapping and a simple boat ride

After your stroll around the island on foot you will feel tired and hungry. Unfortunately there are no shops or hotel inside the island. But if you take the return boat and reach at your starting point, there is a toddy shop which serves tasty fish curry and local dishes. When the natives were asked about their life at Kakkathuruthu they said that they are leading a happy life.

“We got fresh water, and living comes from fishing and prawns feeding. What more we can ask for?” asked 74-year-old Ammini, who was born in the Island.

Away form the hustle and bustle, Kakkathuruthu takes us to the world unknown. In the modish world, it is hard to imagine living in such an isolated environment. The fact that people live in such far-away island without any modern amenities yet lead a peaceful life is very satisfying to know. Far away from polluted city spaces and urban jungle travelling to nature’s haven is very idiosyncratic to experience.

How To Reach?

You need to travel around 75 kilometers from Kochi airport to reach this island. Many private boats operate from Kodupuram to Kakkathuruthu. You can also go directly to the Kakkathuruthu Jetty to reach the tiny island

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