I had seen these Chinese fishing nets in Kochi and thought they were only to be found there, so it was a big surprise to see them along the river in the Backwaters. We went past a whole load of them, in a line either side of us, as we passed by some kind of power station (great place to put one, by the way!) and then there were more as we neared...more
I did my Backwaters Tour from Alappuzha (Alleppey) to Kollam and it was a fabulous day out. We left Alappuzha at about 10am and made our way south past lush vegetation of coconut trees and palm trees and people crossing the river on small ferries and coracles. Daily life all revolves around water as there's so much of it so you get to see people...more
Rameshwara TempleThis temple which shows Pandyan influence in its design has inscriptions in Tamil, dating from the 12th to the 16th centuries. The Vyala monster sculptures in this temple give one the impression that the creatures are animate and actually climbing up the stairs with their outstretched paws.Thirumullavaram beach(6 km north of Kollam...more
You'll see these places all over India and they're very popular and traditional with waiters in cummerbunds and bright blue decor. The food is OK but very cheap. I came here in the evening and had beef curry, rice, chapatti and drink for just Rs34. There's a place around the corner that does ice cream sundaes, if you want dessert! I came back here...more
Coracles are flat basketlike craft used to ferry people & sheep (yes sheep!) and are about 6 feet in diameter. They are made of bamboo, cane, plastic sheets and a fine coating of bitumen to make it leak proof. They're used, here, for fishing as well as to get from one side of the river to the other. I had seen them being used in Hampi so it was...more
All parts of the coconut palm are useful, and the trees have a comparatively high yield; it therefore has significant economic value. The name for the coconut palm in Sanskrit is kalpa vriksha, which translates as "the tree which provides all the necessities of life".
Uses of the various parts of the palm include:
-The white, fleshy part of the seed is edible and used fresh or dried (desiccated) in cooking.
-The cavity is filled with "coconut water" containing sugars, fibre, proteins, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, which provide excellent isotonic electrolyte balance, and an exceptional nutritional food source. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young immature coconuts. Coconut water is sterile until the coconut is opened.
-Coconut milk (which is approximately 17% fat) is made by processing grated coconut with hot water or hot milk which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds from the fibre.
-coconut cream is what rises to the top when coconut milk is refrigerated and left to set.
-The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is fermented to produce palm wine, also known as "toddy".
-The interior of the growing tip may be harvested as heart-of-palm and is considered a rare delicacy. Harvesting this also kills the tree. Hearts of palm are often eaten in salads; such a salad is sometimes called "millionaire's salad".
-The coir (the fibre from the husk of the coconut) is used in ropes, mats, brushes, caulking boats and as stuffing fibre; it is also used extensively in horticulture for making potting compost.
-Copra is the dried meat of the seed which is the source of coconut oil.
-The leaves provide materials for baskets and roofing thatch.
-The husk and shells can be used for fuel and are a good source of charcoal.
-The wood can be used for specialized construction.
-The roots are used as a dye, a mouthwash, or a medicine for dysentery. A frayed-out piece
of root makes a poor man's toothbrush.