In a novel concept to bring alive the beauty, the magic and above all the nostalgia of the monsoons of Kerala to those who miss it, the Kerala Tourism Board has brought alive the monsoon experience to the desktop of millions of global netizens all around the world through the state of the art gesture recognition technology.
The gesture controlled website, http://when-it-rains.com/ which is best viewed with Google chrome and a webcam has got over 100,000 hits already. The website has some brilliantly captured rain sights and monsoon moments in its portfolio, which the visitors can browse by simply waving their hand in front of the camera.
The gesture recognition technology will bring a new image onto the screen and it gives them a realistic experience of the rain spectacles of Kerala and its dramatic beauty. The site also functions without gesture control, where the users can flip through the images through the direction tabs at the bottom right of the web page.
The website, the first ever of its kind developed so far by a state tourism board in India, gives a peek to the rain soaked plains, mist clad mountains and the pristine backwaters among many others through this gesture based interface. Launched as a part of the monsoon campaign by Kerala Tourism, this website is one of the few tourism websites in the world that employs gesture controlled technology. Spectacular images of monsoon shared by Facebook fans of Kerala Tourism find place in this website.
The site, developed by Stark Communications, the official marketing and communications agency of the Kerala Tourism Department ensures a user friendly browsing experience. The website tracks and responds to the movements of the users in front of a webcam, ensuring an interactive and personal monsoon experience to those browsing the site even if they are not in Kerala. It can go a long way in linking the various Kerala destinations to people and take them upclose to the sights and scenes that await them on their visit.
Kerala Tourism Director Hari Kishore described the gesture controlled website as yet another step in extending to the world the many experiences that Kerala can offer to a visitor. The warm and quick response in the social media was obvious as this site got over 100,000 visits since its launch on 28th May 2013 apart from 13,000 likes in Facebook and 300 tweets. It is another feather in the cap of Kerala tourism, which has to its credit the award-winning website of /www.keralatourism.org, which is also one of the most-visited tourism websites in the world.
So for those scores of overseas Malayalees who love to soak up the monsoon magic at its best or bring back the nostalgic memories, anytime, anywhere, all they need to do is to log into http://when-it-rains.com/ . No matter where you are , now the Kerala monsoon experience is only a few clicks away! Enjoy
This year Kerala experienced a bountiful monsoon that is 50% more than the average rainfall, which has left most of its dams full to the brim and its hinterlands green and fresh. While for an ordinary Malayalee , it would ultimately mean a power cut free season ahead:)
Here are some images captured by Tijo Sebastaian of Karma Kerala Travel Team that sum up the monsoon beauty of Kerala at its best.
As Kerala soaks up a bountiful monsoon this year, which recorded 50% surplus rainfall this monsoon season so far, has been getting a steady stream of tourists from within and outside the country. Though bad roads and the winding traffic have always been reasons of worry during the rains, tourists seem to have put aside these minor snags considering the tremendous response to the trend of monsoon tourism. According to statistics of Kerala Tourism, the total revenue during the monsoon season contributes to 13.27 per cent of the total revenue. Last year, out of the total revenue of Rs 21,125 crore, Rs 2,803 crore was generated during the monsoon season.
It is interesting to note that Kerala has emerged to be all season tourist destination in India, with no particular lean period in recent times. This tourism trend reflects the upbeat mood in the tourism sector in Kerala, which has many more avenues left to be explored. The sight of Kerala hinterlands and villages clad in fresh greenery after the rains attract not just casual tourists but also movie makers and creative artists from all over who come in search of new themes and the unseen charm of God’s own country!
The monsoon dates that coincide with the school reopening in Kerala has always been a delightful experience for every Malayalee. As the much expected South West monsoons lashed the Kerala Coast bang on target on June 1st, it brought cheer to not just the fun loving kids but also to the general public and the administration as well. Monsoon is so intricately linked with the lifestyle and culture of Kerala that normal life will be badly hit if the rains fail to show up on time.
The monsoon has a crucial role in in the economy of the power starved state of Kerala as it replenishes the waterways and reservoirs of the State, which depends on Hydro electricity for power generation even today. From tourism to Ayurveda and monsoon wellness treatments, Kerala offers a host of activities that are tagged to monsoon.
The South West monsoon, which is expected to bring normal rains this year has brought down the soaring temperature of Kerala. Keralites who have been reeling under load shedding can be a relieved lot as the power curbs will be lifted in a few days when the monsoons gather strength.
As industrialization and deforestation has affected the weather patterns all around the world, we can only hope and pray that this God given gift of the monsoons, continue to bring prosperity and happiness to Kerala. As responsible citizens we should all take an oath to protect our water bodies, forests and wet lands to make sure that we hand over the magic and bounty of monsoons to the future generations.
You’d have heard of the Raman effect. But from us at Karmakerala, here’s something new, the ‘Sholto Effect’!!
Scene 1-Yesterday evening
It’s a pleasant evening; we’re all having a group chat on Skype, all of us at Karmakerala and as I prepare to leave office, Sholto’s chat takes a new turn. Well, rather than explaining what it was, lemme share that chat here…
Unni: OK, bye all… leaving for the day
Sholto Ramsay: have a terrified evening
Unni: ha ha
Unni: So like Sholto
Sholto Ramsay: hope it rains an gets you all soaked
Unni: that’s not terrifying, for me
Unni: I love the rains
Unni: but it brings mosquitoes
Unni: and someone once found a trick, trapping mosquitoes with a black cloth
Sholto Ramsay: hope you all get bitten all night
Sholto Ramsay: and AC fails
Sholto Ramsay: and also electricity
Sholto Ramsay: and fans fall from the ceiling
Sholto Ramsay: and cover you in dust
Sholto Ramsay: and everything else
Unni: ha ha
Tanweer: AC working perfectly boss
Unni: bye anyways….
Scene 2-Today morning
As I wake up early morning, it’s raining heavily. I remember Sholto (Naughty Naughty Sholto; I can imagine him grinning a ‘Mephistophelean’ grin if he reads this and exclaiming “I am a prophet!”)….
As I get ready for office, I look out of the balcony and find it’s still raining. Though it’s not a heavy downpour, I know it would get me wet if I ride to office. Downstairs I wait for some time; then I lose my patience and as the drizzle thins down, I ride to office. Mid-way I halt for a few minutes under a railway over-bridge and then, when it seems a bit OK, I continue my ride, to office. I arrive at office, a bit drenched in the rain. From the shop below, I have some puttu and hot, steaming tea.
As I get into office, Sooraj arrives, in an auto-rickshaw. Once in the office, he passes me a photograph he had taken on the bus, caught in the Kochi traffic-jam, so characteristic of rainy days in this city with congested roads and indisciplined traffic.
I settle down, the fan overhead leaves me dry… I begin my work…
Thanks Sholto!! B’cos I do love the rains…
A monsoon carnival was organised in the Wayanad district in Kerala during the first two weeks of July to promote monsoon tourism and to soak up the mood of the rains. Aptly named “Splash”, this carnival which took place at the Chandragiri Auditorium in Kalpetta included an array of interesting indoor and outdoor events like cultural performances, singing, music, dance, magic, rafting, rock climbing, trekking, crab catching and archery. The gourmets too had a field day as there was a well stocked food court too at the venue. Stalls selling local handicrafts and spices had a steady stream of visitors.
While many tourism related activities took an off season rest, splash created a buzz in this hill district, which attracted over 200 tour operators including overseas operators who participated in this business-to-business meet. Various interesting sporting events and local games were also included in this year’s event to attract maximum participants.
One of the major attractions this year had been the fun activity of mud football. Some of the other rural games on offer included ‘kambukayattam’ (climbing the slippery tree), ‘vadamvali’ (tug of war), and also life skills like paddy transplantation. The water sports lovers too had a great time as there were many exciting activities like rafting, rain run, fishing, angling and rain trail, which brought out the charm of the monsoons at its best. I found this blog post by Sanjay-Sivadas really catchy as it has encompassed the beauty of Wayanad and the romance of the rains through some lively snap shots and descriptions.
Monsoon is the the most beautiful and romantic season in Kerala. Though global warming and the destructive trails left by man have seriously destroyed the natural rhythm of the monsoons , Kerala has been lucky to have experienced a timely and normal monsoon spell so far,this year.
Karma Kerala takes pleasure in sharing our monsoon experiences with our readers. What makes these snippets extra special is the fact that these monsoon experiences are penned by some of our staff members who incidentally are not creative writers but are web designers, logistics managers, PHP programmers etc. It goes without saying that the beauty and the flow of thoughts of monsoons comes naturally to everyone in Kerala:)
What i love during monsoon season is to be on my bed tightly wrapped under the blanket .Also going to catch fish, during the drizzling rain ,eating the hot homemade delicacies and relax at home. – Rinoj (Web Designer)
Fun, that is what monsoon for me and yes sure, pure nostalgia.
It is cold shower in rain. Open my mouth and drink those pure drops of water.
When it rains heavy, I run to fields and scream out loud thinking no one will hear.
I run after frogs and catching small fishes from streams with my friends. Making paper boats for ants to cruise.
Stand under shrubs shake it for a shower.
Jump and stamp into water in road. Swim against the flow in the river.
Come back home from school, wet. A season for Vicks.
In the cold early mornings, sleep lazy under my blanket. A cup of hot black coffee. –
Tijo Sebastian (Manager, Sales and Logistics )- an avid shutterbug, he has an impressive collection of monsoon snap shots including the ones posted here.
Wow!!! Monsoon season is back again.. The season which students own. Yes I said right. Even if you are not a student its time for you the recapitulate your schooling memories.. those memories when you were splashing rain water against your friends .. And who would ever forget those scolding from mothers when we reach back home from school with dress drenched in muddy water. Yes it is the only thing which comes to my mind when I see rain…. All those child hood days just seems like running somewhere near to me… I feel like being in the middle of rain with an umbrella shared by friends pushing each other to get in ha ha ha those were fantastic moments… and now it’s the turn to speak about some food.
Well any food but which is served hot in monsoon season is always special. Makes me think one of my office tours with colleagues. We were in munar and guess what.. it was raining hard there, but we were enjoying each and every moments of it.. I and my friends were just walking through the road underneath umbrella and it was a kind of place there with only less shops .At last we saw a small shop which an old man was running.. we just went and asked what you have there, he replied I can give you omlet.. we didn’t wasted time… very cold, misty over everywhere and of course raining and in this situation having an omlet is just wow!!!!.. cant get this feeling even if we are in a five star hotel.
Everything is changed as we grow.. being underneath umbrellas with friends changed to being in car, hot samoosa’s and other fried stuffs from hotels changed to cigarettes and kind of alcoholic drinks to get rid of the cold. When we are in MNC company’s who would think about those small funs when we had in childhood days. But still it depends upon our mentality… if we have a heart who can still feel young always then its nothing changed…. Enjoy each and every monsoon season.. be young!!!! — Sharaz Khan ( PHP Progarmmer)
Welcome to the windswept corridor of nature at Ramakalmedu, the best place on earth to experience the mood changes of nature. Pamper yourselves with the soothing touch of the faint breeze at one moment and get ready to get swept off by the strong winds the next. Ramkalmedu is unpredictable and diverse, which makes it an intriguing holiday spot. One of the recently discovered hill stations of Kerala, Ramakkalmedu is conveniently close to many famous tourist attractions such as Periyar Tiger Reserve of Thekkady, Munnar hill station, Kuttikanam and Parunthumpara and many more wild life attractions and spice gardens.
The gusty winds, which are the fastest recorded in Asia makes Ramakkalmedu a unique destination. The winds that sweep at a speed of about 25 km/hour, would pamper you with its refreshing touch. However, many a time you need to scurry for cover from the winds when you feel you are about to fly with the winds! The strong windy conditions make it a popular spot for paragliding. Located at a height of 3500 feet above sea level, Ramakalmedu will make you feel right on top of the world literally.
Ramakalmedu is a spectacular hill station, dotted with rolling valleys and grass lands interspersed with bamboo forests and mighty mountains. The rocky cliffs with smooth and intriguing designs left by the strong winds give it a dramatic beauty. Located 15 km from Nedumkandom on the Munnar-Thekkady route, it offers a panoramic view of the villages and towns of the nearby state of Tamil Nadu. Ramaklmedu is the proposed site of the largest wind energy farm in Kerala for power generation.
The Ramakkalmedu View point offers spectacular views of the Deccan Plateau. Tourists can make a steep ascent to the 300 meter high rocky cliff to enjoy the stunning spectacles around. However during misty days, it could prove risky as it will be difficult to make out the cliff edge and the risk of straying to the deep trench is quite high. The spectacular landscape, mountains and ravines make it ethereal. Some of the must see spots include the Kuravan and Kurathi mountains, natural cave formations,and biofarms among others. The scenic beauty of Ramakkalmedu has left its magical spell on scores of nature enthusiasts including the Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio, who called it as a paradise on earth! So, in case you fancy to be on the top of the world, just plan a trip to Ramakalmedu and heed to the call of the wind and the wild !
These are not just photographs that capture the Kerala landscape on a rainy morning. These are pictures that should make you sit up and think…
Thoughts that flash across my mind:
*Such vast farmlands and we are forced to buy rice brought in from neighbouring states, packaged and sometimes even adulterated and coloured, sold to us at exorbitant prices…
*Paddy fields disappearing from the Kerala landscape and flats taking their place in urban and semi-urban areas. So, are they going to come up with skyscrapers here too in Thakazhy? Can’t say…
*How far would the future generation be able to identify with Thakazhy Sivasankara Pillai’s acclaimed novel ‘Randidangazhi’? Well, maybe we got to preserve such photographs for posterity…
*What would poets and lyricists write about in future when we will be having paddy fields just for namesake and rivers and lakes all drying up?
I just wish we all- each one of us- see this as something personal and sit up and think of doing something, rather than blaming others…Better late than never…
We can do it! We can preserve and conserve it all, for our sake, for the sake of posterity…