Kerala is bestowed with a long sea coast that virtually extends all along the State and a meandering network of backwaters, canals and rivers, which makes it a perfect destination for water tourism and leisure activities.
Kerala has asked The National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS) in Goa to chart out a detailed project report. Once the policy clearances are obtained , water sports and other leisure activities will be taken up in a phased manner. Kerala holds an enviable position for a range of water sporting options like windsurfing, kayaking and canoeing. The ethnic water activities of Kerala including house boat cruise and snake boat racing could also be included in the activity list to ensure a diverse fare. The main objective of this plan would be to promote new water sporting destinations apart from the popular spots like in Kerala like Punnamada, Ashtamudi, Kumarakom and Bakel.
Apart from enhancing the tourism potential of the State, weather sporting events would also ensure the protection of water bodies in the State, which are facing a high risk from the spiraling commercial and developmental activities in the State, which has taken a heavy toll over its natural resources.
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.