A Travellerspoint blog

Colour

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One thing I always try to capture when taking photographs is the vibrancy of colour that knocks you for six when you come to India.

Multi coloured hindu temples and often guady but exhileratingling bright houses dot the landscape; salwars and saris in every colour you can think of and more on every street; lorries, rickshaws and buses are painted bright, bright pinks, blues, yellows and greens in a variety of beautiful and vibrant patterns; and my favourite hisbiscus flowers glare a luxuriant red out of the hedgerows.

I don't think my pictures quite do it justice...yet...but here are some of my best attempts.

Posted by carlala 01:41 Comments (0)

Captured Moments

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I feel like being lazy today, so here are just a few of my favourites photos from my time in India so far.

Posted by carlala 21:01 Comments (0)

Masala Dosa

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I realised I haven't done any food posts lately and as my week seems to have been dominated by the wonderful marsala dosa it seemed the perfect time to return to a bit of food writing.

A masala dosa is a paper thin rice and lentil crepe filled with a potato, split peas, tumeric and green chillies. The shell can be up to a foot in diametre and served with sambar, tomato pickle and thengai chutney. Like all keralan food its best eaten with your fingers, mixing the chutney, pickle and sambar together with the dosa shell and picking up as much of the potato filling as you can - tasty! You can find a recipe here http://www.indianfoodforever.com/snacks/masala-dosa.html. Hmm - it's interesting they call it a snack...!

We went out for marsala dosa on Friday for the cooks the night off, then were so impressed we went on Sunday before going to the festival only to be disappointed - they had run out of dosa - so we went back tonight as a treat and bait for going to another function. Finally we're half way through watching the Malyalese film Salt'n'Pepper*, a wonderful love story about two people brought together by.....you guessed it....dosa. Aaah - it really is a wonderful food!

*If you get the chance look this up on youtube - it has some great images of Kerala and captures the real atmosphere of the food loving state.

Posted by carlala 09:17 Comments (1)

Kovalem and Trivandrum

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This is the final instalment from my Christmas holiday; for New Year we headed down to the south of Kerala to the most welll known beach resort, Kovalem. Here it is much more touristy and we certainly weren't the only white faces with German and Russian tourists lining the beach. In fact our most well trodden haunt while we were there was the German Bakery where we could get pizza (gasp), pasta (shock) and even cheese (!!!!!!). Even more unbelievable was the fact we could get cocktails (remember Kerala is a pretty much entirely dry state) and enjoy them on the terrace watching the sunset over the beach.

There are several beaches around Kovalem, sadly I only had chance to visit the most touristy (don't ask why!), but this had lovely sand and plenty of bars and restaurants, although the water was a little rough  to swim in for my West Midlander sensibilities.

Not far from Kovalem is Trivandrum, the state capital, which was definitly worth a visit. We'd had torrential rain the night before (left overs from a cyclone in Tamil Nadu) and bad drainage in the city meant lots of the streets were flooded. Still this is India and life must go on so men in suits and women in beautiful saris waded there way to work as though is was a normal day.

We did a bit of shopping, went to the zoo (india's oldest) and stopped off at the Indian coffee company for a drink. Grand waiters in crisp, white, regal uniforms showed us to our seats but one waiter in a plain white top and trousers ushered us over to a different table. On further questioning we found out that the company was a cooperative and ours and two others were this waiter's tables. I asked why he didn't have on the same uniforms as the others , "I've only worked here for five years, you have to work here for fifteen before you get promoted; then I can have the suit". I guess this puts the whole job for life idea into perspective!

Posted by carlala 01:50 Comments (0)

Nilambur festival - part 2

Muti

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Yes - this is me on the back of an elephant! I can come back to the UK a happy girl.

I've already said that it is festival time in Nilambur at the moment and the elephant was to take part in the Hindu festivities which started the festival. We went to look at the sadya or feast that is cooked for over ten thousand people as a celebration of tribes people coming to town. Hundreds of people - men, women, rich, poor, young and old queued up to be served from huge pans of sambar and rice.

The elephant was one of the temple elephants from Thrissur and had been brought in for the evening parade. Our guides asked us if we wanted to feed her and this turned into did we want to climb on her back. I have to admit I was pretty nervous but the mahoot told Muti (the elephant) to raise her back leg and as I stood on it she lifted it up until I could easily clamber on her back! Getting down wasn't as easy!

Again we felt very lucky to go back in the evening to watch the elephant dressed up for the Hindu ceremony, which was put on by the royal family who own the temple. It was full of ritual and felt very magical and again I realised how fortunate we all were to be seeing this before it becomes a well known tourist destination.

Posted by carlala 07:59 Comments (0)

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