The north of Kerala is largely untouched in terms of tourism as compared to the south. No doubt facilities leave a lot to be desired but all that is slowly changing. Big hotel chains have or are in the process of setting up exclusive resorts on the white sandy beaches which stretch for miles and miles. Old fishing villages are suddenly waking up, tourists though not much in numbers are passing by and the north Malabar coast seems to be shining bright nowadays.
We started our drive from Mangalore in Karnataka. A few kilometers south and we entered the northern most district of Kasargod. Along the way we passed the small towns of Ullal, Manjeshwar and Kumbla. Kasargod town is almost an amalgamation of Malayali and Kannada culture it being at the cross roads of both states.
The cuisine here is unique and stands out in flavour from the rest of Kerala. Malabar spices, coconuts and ghee are key ingredients of this cuisine which traces its roots back to traders from Arabia as well as the Portuguese and Dutch rulers. Mutton, fish and fruits are a essential part of the Moplah cuisine as it’s commonly know in these parts. Moplah cuisine has been made famous nowadays by Ms. Abida Rasheeda, who is popularly known as the queen of spices !
Kasargod district boasts of virgin beaches like Bekal. Stretches of long sandy beaches are a hallmark of this area. Long forgotten the beach is now home to hotels both midscale as well as luxury. The popular Taj Group had its Vivanta by Taj Bekal property located here. Bekal Beach Residency is also a popular budget property. Close by is the Pallikere beach. Bekal is also known for its centuries old Bekal Fort.
Driving further we pass by the towns of Kanhangad, Nileshwar and Payyanur before we exit Kasargod district. A notable property located at Nileshwar is the Neeleshwar Hermitage. The hinterland also boasts of vast spice and rubber plantations. A drive to these interiors are an experience by itself. Life is simple, the locals are dependent in agriculture and local produce is in abundance. Flora and fauna can be seen in their natural environments here. The greenery in the interiors is just amazing. We drove to the small villages and towns of Beemanady, Vellarikundu and Chittarikal.
End of Part 1.
PM Modi compared Kerala to Somalia during his visit to the state yesterday. This has raised a hue and cry across the state and outside and Malayalees feel let down by this statement made by our very own PM.
Two ways to look at it.
PM Modi has been travelling around the world every month and has lost track of how states in his country look like. Any state north of Gujarat looks like his favourite destination USA while any state south of Gujarat looks like Somalia ! Wish he would spend more time in India learning a bit about Indian geography and culture rather than jetset around the world.
Malayalis have themselves to blame for the current state of affairs. Both the times PM Modi visited the state in the last couple of months there were two big issues relating to Kerala grabbing headlines in the country – The temple fire in Kollam which killed more than a hundred people and more recently the guesome rape and murder of a law student. When a person comes with these two things burning at the back of his mind, he’s sure to lash out – no wonder the Somalia statement.
Turn on any Malayalam news channel nowadays and its the same crap doing the rounds day in and day out – Politics (Left, Right & Centre), Rapes and Alcohol ban. Feel like thrashing the guy/s who coined the slogan “God’s Own Country”. Its a shame how the state is projected at every damn travel fair but the true ground reality is so different. Probably just like Modi thought Kerala was similar to Somalia, the guy who coined the slogan must have thought Kerala = Heaven.
No point blaming the PM. Unless the mindset changes, Kerala will always be “God’s own Somalia” !
The brutal rape and murder of Jisha, a law student in Kerala a couple of days ago has seen protests erupting all across Kerala. The killer/s are still at large and the authorities are still clueless on the gruesome murder. The media coverage has been quite substantial in Kerala as it is an issue which affects all of us in some way or the other.
At the same time the national media has been rather muted on the incident and have been focussing all their energy on reporting a love/hate relationship in Bollywood going on between actors Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan !
Is this called news ? The news reporting standards in India have gone to the dumps. I’m sure if this rape/murder had happened in Delhi, this wouldn’t have been the case. The Nirbhaya case a couple of years ago proves this point. Who cares a hoot for Kangana’s relationships or periods when they’re are people suffering in agony ?
I wish Barkha Dutt at NDTV and others at reputed news organizations devote more time to real women’s issues rather than to some actors love story gone wrong. People nowadays respect authentic reporting rather than cheap publicity stunts !