As day and night meet fleetingly at twilight like estranged lovers during sunset, there seems to be an enchanted moment of merging that eclipses the beauty of the past twenty-four hours. It arouses a sense of yearning and passion within the unfulfilled soul of the beholder. It’s that wonderful moment in time when due to the lack of a visible horizon, the world appears to shrink around you when it’s just you and the elemental nature- a mystical moment when anything could happen, and any fantasy becomes very believable.
No two sunsets are the same, whether in the same location or oceans apart and there are very few things in this world to parallel the glorious beauty of a sunset. Watching the sun disappear over the distant horizons while you cruise over the serene, silky backwaters of Kerala makes it even more special, almost a privilege of sorts. It has been said that there is something mystical about sunsets in Kerala, as the sun appears to become a huge glowing orange ball that lasts for almost half an hour as it slowly sinks over the horizon. It spews a rainbow of colors, all purples, pinks and fiery oranges. It could be due to interference or refraction over the water, but whatever it is, it makes for a great photo shoot opportunity!
Watching the sun set over the Ashtamudi Lake of Kerala makes for a memorable experience. This freshwater lake has been attracting tourists by the droves, both domestic and international. It’s the second biggest lake in Kerala and derives its name from the fact that it has eight channels, with ‘ashta’ meaning eight and ‘mudi’ meaning cone. Its topography has also been described to resemble a palm frond or an octopus. Numerous islands dot its surface and some are home to tiny water-bound villages. A cruise along its waters offers you glimpses of towns and villages and a mass of emerald greenery that is a balm to the weary soul. You can soak in the beauty of Astamudi lakes lush surroundings by going for a boat ride. There are numerous tour operators, both government-controlled as well as private. A tour aboard a traditional houseboat, also called a ‘ketuvallam’ is the best way to admire the picturesque surroundings of swaying coconut groves and palm trees, numerous types of birds, glistening waters, ghostly Chinese fishing nets and the friendly waving of the village children.
The traditional kettuvallam has been upgraded for tourists and boasts of modern day comforts like properly furnished bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen with a chef who will prepare fresh local cuisines for your enjoyment. Kollam, also known as Quilon during the colonial era, is an important historic port city located on the right bank of the lake and boat cruises can be organized from there. The lake along with the Neendakara Port at its confluence with the sea, provide a means of transportation for the state’s commerce in the cashew trading and processing industry as well as the marine products industry.
There are different types of boat rides and if you want to witness the sun setting over the lake, it’s better to opt for the overnight houseboat cruise as it will take you around the various islands as well as provide you the amazing opportunity to sleep in the middle of the gently lapping lake waters, with only the stars for company! Watching the glory of the sunset over the watery horizon is only comparable to watching the sun rise over the misty waters in the early morning hours. The colors of the dying sun over the lakes horizon at the end of the day are made even more special as you become witness to the goodnight calls of the numerous birds as they take flight to their nesting places and provide a sense of deep silence that almost becomes a prayer as the sun finally disappears. Sunsets will never be the same again once you have watched them setting over the Ashtamudi Lake.
The nearest airport to Kollam city is the Trivandrum International Airport, which is just about 70km on a good highway. You can also get to Kollam by railway as its well connected to the rest of India and you can drop off at the Kollam Junction station which is about 3km from Ashtamudi. Kollam is also connected to most cities by road and it’s a comfortable ride. The city also offers a variety of accommodations to suit the pockets of all types of for the travelers. The Raviz hotel is located just 3km from the railway stations and is close to many of the famous tourist attractions. A stay here can only serve to heighten the memories of your vacation in Kerala.