Kasaragod (also Kasargod), one of the most beautiful districts of Kerala is yet one of those least explored by international tourists.
Located at the northernmost corridor of Kerala, it shares boundary with neighbouring state of Karnataka. South lies Kannur. Arabian Sea and mountains of Western Ghats guard east and west.
Kasargod town, the head quarter of the district, is a typical small Keralan town.
Visitors taking a ride through inland are pleasantly surprised to find a land of great scenic variety.
Flat coastal beds and occasional mangroves quickly become things of the past as the vehicle takes a few turns and reaches a different terrain. Paddy fields extend their green grip even to the middle of coconut groves.
Plantations appear and disappear as the journey progresses to levels of greater altitude. Mountains of the east always appear formidable in areas where thick forest takes over every inch of soil.
Landscape may be flat or undulating. That does not stop the ever persistent rivers traversing all over the place.
Do you know that one quarter of all Kerala rivers flows through here? This small district is endowed with twelve rivers! Backwater belts are extra!
Kavvayi - Valiyaparamba backwater although called the third largest backwater belt in Kerala is certainly not the third when it comes to beauty. Many regard the breathtaking backwaters of the region at par with or even superior to other Kerala backwaters.
Surf elegantly meets sands along 293 kilometers. While lining the coastal waters with golden sands, nature also crafted some stunning beaches along the way.
The placid waters of Bekal and Pallikkare extends gentle comforting touch along the coast line. At Bekal, a massive promontory with a crowning fort gloriously oversees the splash of waves. Surf keeps on offering its countless bubbles at the feet of ambiance.
Visitors reach Kappil beach to get immersed in salt water. While that desire comes true, they also get immersed in an unexpected air of freedom in the surroundings of solitude. Many also climb a large water front cliff, one of the many that dot here and there along the coast.
Nature always nurtured the fishing populace. So we find fishing hamlets near beaches where black wooden boats rest.
Kasaragod (also Kasarkode and Kasargod) is a melting pot of languages, communities and cultures. This small place has seven languages!
Malayalam, the main language is heavily influenced by the rest that we find here a bit of a twist in dialect. In case you are curious, the other languages are Tulu, Beary bashe, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi and Konkani.
Shrines of various religions co-exist as a testament to the harmony existing among religions and communities.
A rich tradition of folk dances, art forms and festivals has always inspired life with colour and meaning. At the most dramatic end of the spectrum we find Theyyam where the performer becomes a God.
Kolkali, Daff mutt, Mappila pattu, Poorakkali, Yakshagana- Bommayttam, Kallampattu, Porattu, Oppana, Cock-fight...........the range extends from pure artistic performances to rough skit shows bumping the borderlines. Cock-fight, of course, falls into the extreme where cruelty taints interest.
While farming is the major activity of the region, fishing always had played an important role in sustaining the coastal populace.
Endless rows of coconut trees nurture local coir industry.
As times change, the financial balance is tilting. Nowadays even remote villages have started to display the magic of mansions, thanks to expatriate remittances. Petrodollars!