Alleppy to Thekkady
It is not easy to get from Alleppy to Thekkady. The distance is about 170 kms. The first 70 odd kms are in plains. After that the bus ascends through thin, hilly roads. There are very few direct buses between these two points. We were fortunate (or unfortunate) to get one. There is one bus that leaves Alleppy at 7:55 AM. This bus takes about six hours. The sad part is that we weren’t able to have our breakfast else we would have missed the bus. We survived on biscuits and bread.
An alternate way would have been to take a bus to Kottayam and catch another bus to Thekkady (Kumally bus stop). We might have got some layover time for our breakfast.
Two shows at Thekkady
We ended up watching the Kathakali and Kalaripayuthhu demonstrations that are held everyday for the tourists. Unlike a regular show, the organisers took time time to explain a lot of things about these art forms. For the Kathakali demonstration, the actual play was only 20 minutes. Before that, the various aspects of expression in the dance form was explained to the audience. Kalaripayuthhu demonstration was very much orchestrated and well choreographed.
I liked the fact that the organisers did not charge for cameras and allowed us to record things freely. I also liked the fact that both the shows attempted at involving the audience.
A special mention for the singer of the Kathakali program – he was very good! He left the stage as soon as the program was over. The two main dancers stayed back for a photo session.
There were a few more attractions like elephant rides and magic shows. We decided to avoid them.
Our host, Faazil, likes gardening
We stayed in a home-stay called Stay Melody. It is a nice private area owned by Faazil. He is an avid gardener and showed us a lot of unique trees and shrubs he had planted. Two plants had interesting aroma. There is one which is known as “all-spices”. This leaf, when crushed, emit a smell of all spices from it. The other one’s name was not known to our host. This one can be termed as faux-lemongrass. It looks like Casuarina but when rubbed emitted a smell like that of lemongrass.
Note: I will embed a playlist of performance videos once I am back in Bangalore. Wasting my hosts bandwidth on uploading 720p videos wouldn’t be fair use on my part 🙂