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Kochi was regarded as the spice capital of India. In the Jew Town area of Mattancherry, warehouses like the Ginger Palace still sell spices to visitors to the area. Pepper, ginger, turmeric and essential oils were traded for many centuries here.

Kochi is also the capital of Kerala. It serves as the gateway to the famous backwaters of Kerala, where multitudes of houseboats ply the waterways criss-crossing the patchwork of paddy fields found here.

The sun was about to set as our houseboat entered into the Vembanad Lake for the final leg of our backwaters excursion for the day. Scores of houseboats were jetting in every direction as if they were hurrying home, wherever that was. The vast Vembanad Lake, the longest in India, was immense; one couldn't see the land on the other end.

It had been a wonderful sojourn; the romance of Kerala houseboats certainly lived up to its acclaim. Gliding ever so peacefully on the Kerala backwaters, one couldn't help but soak up the serenity of the rustic scenery of riverside villages, schools, churches and boatyards. Some of the places are only accessible by the waterways. There are no roads.

Have you ever heard of under sea-level paddy fields? In Kerala, India, apparently a vast amount of land has been reclaimed by erecting dykes. The backwaters of Kerala is a network of rivers, canals and lakes sandwiched between the hinterland and a narrow stretch of land running parallel to the Arabian Sea. In between these watery networks, lay miles and miles of paddy fields protected by dykes ranging from 1-2 meters high.

In the background of this photograph, the below sea-level paddy fields can be seen along with the dykes. On the right is one of the multitudes of houseboats found in the Kerala backwaters that has become a tourist industry in its own right.

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Hello... I Am Josh

A Travel Writer & Photographer from South East Asia

A little about me

Josh For some, it's shopping therapy. Others, movie therapy. Yet more, reading therapy. For me, it's writing therapy.
 
Why writing? When I travel, I enjoy first-hand the experience like in shopping therapy. But when I write about my travels, I live vicariously the experience again, as if like a movie sequel (or more like GroundHog Day, except that this is fun!). Yes, writing evokes the memories, the fun and the not-so-fun but all-in-all it gives the satisfaction of reliving the sense of place once more.
 
With images, it enhances the experience down one's travel memory lane. With this in mind, I hope to share my travel stories in words and images with you. For your escape therapy! More...

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