It is that time of the year when Kerala gears up for another edition (7th) of the Malabar River Festival! It is once again, the time when the villages of Tusharagiri in Kerala will have kayaks along with their owners, being driven on open trucks to the Iruvanjipuzha and Chalipuzha rivers (tributaries of the Chaliyar River). Each day will see amateurs and professionals take to these rivers, complete with their kayaks, safety gear, paddles, adventurous spirit and sportsmanship!
Founded and organized by the first whitewater kayaking school in South India (Goodwave Adventures), the goal of this event has been to promote whitewater rafting in the state of Kerala amongst the local people. And that, it has done – given it’s successful conversion of many an audience into a paddler! The kayaking school has also been actively involved in imparting and hosting training for the locals who have displayed promising talent during past festivals, leaving professional kayakers from across the world impressed! Last year’s edition was an excellent showcase of paddling skills, determination and strength by our national teams, both men and women. There is definitely a creation of future stars happening!
And it is not just for this, but to simply experience Kerala in a different perspective, that you should be at Tusharagiri during the Malabar River Festival.
A field trip to watch this event is something every little school girl and boy would probably be looking forward ever since they were given the dates and asked to get permission from their parents! And these school girls and boys from nearby villages and towns, dressed in raincoats, ever ready to smile at the participants, completely engrossed in viewing the sport, spellbound at what they see in the river, form a big part of the audience. Maybe not in size, but definitely in enthusiasm!
Old men, lungi folded to their knees, squatting on a rock, under a large leaf umbrella, eagerly waiting for the paddler in the river to pass by; Kerala ladies, their jet black hair gleaming in the gentle drizzle, enjoying this different kind of outing; college goers, eagerly creating new cheering routines to the beats of the traditional Kerala drums, fighting over who the winners will be, urging on their favourites, the entire gamut adds to the soul of the event.
The rain, never a deterrent for a Keralite only enhances the beauty of the river, the fun in watching the festival and the challenge of the sport! It isn’t often that international events happen so near their villages and they are obviously not to be missed.
Kerala, especially during the monsoons, is a paddlers delight. Added to that, its mountains, jungles, winding river routes, offer the paddlers much to explore, which they do before and after the festival. And for the traveller, there is even more! Take off after the festival to explore some nearby hidden treasures. Lively shades of green, shoulder season discounts, the monsoons – you couldn’t be asking for more!
Reaching the Festival
The closest airports are Calicut/Kozhikode at 50 kms, Kochi at 150 kms, Bangalore at 310 kms
Closest Train Station: Calicut/Kozhikode (CLT)
Closest Drop off point (Bus): Adivaram – 6 kms
Regular overnight buses ply from Bangalore to Calicut
Route – Bangalore -> Mysore -> Sultan Bathery -> Adivaram -> Kodenchery
Places to see in Kozhikode
Explore Kozhikode after enjoying the River Festival
THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO SEE
- Take part in a Heritage Walk
- Explore the mangroves
- Kakkayam Dam
- Kappad Beach
- Kozhippara Falls
- Video – http://www.malabarfest.com/#gallery
- Image credits – https://www.facebook.com/MalabarFestival/
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