Kerala's rice bowl

The only place in the world where farming is done 1.5 to 2 meter below sea level.

Kuttanad is in the interior of backwater district, Alappuzha. Kuttanad is the rice bowl of Kerala. Characterised by vast expanses of lush green paddy fields and water-locked lagoons. Travel to Kuttanad to soak up the beauty of this village, which also forms the hub of Kerala backwater tourism.

Laced with waterways, Kuttanad has sprawling fields of cassava, banana and yam apart from paddy fields. The unique feature of Kuttanad paddy fields is that it is surrounded by earthen bunds and farming is done on the low-lying ground just like the Dykes of the polder regions of the Netherlands where crops are grown below sea level.

After harvesting the paddy, the fields are used for breeding ducks where they will thrive on locusts and fishes till the next sowing season. You would see coir workers busy spinning coir and fishermen getting along their routine business in small boats. Otters and water birds can be spotted along the banks of the waterways. As many as four rivers including Pampa, Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimala feed this fertile patch of land where life go by at an enviably slow pace.

Farming is the lifeline of Kuttanad. At the crack of dawn, you can spot  the women folk heading towards the paddy fields with their lunch box and sickle to join the men who would be busy sowing the seeds and diverting water channels.

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