No one will ever imagine that nature will open up a magic world beyond the sleepy road. You will feel you are in another dimension-in another world where the sky, sea and space merge together. The smell of the clear river, the vision of a distant fishing boat and the vapour arising up from the water surface- all have a mesmerising effect on you. The dirty road with potholes end up thus before a panoramic view of the kotty jetty-here we have to start a days journey to Kavvayi Lake ,Edayilakkad and then to Ezhimala Naval Academy.The start is perfect. The sky was a little cloudy and the jetty was deserted when our 55 strong team from Kannur University arrived there. After the initial ice-breaking every one became so excited about this journey. The distant noise of the boat was a welcoming sign. The kids joy found no bounds when everyone got into the boat-the elders were a little scary with tension writ large on there faces remembering the incidents of boat tragedies in the past. Some were furiously locating life buoys in case of emergency.
The situation was some how got relieved when a couple colleague eased the tension thus
Husband to wife
“Don’t think that I will rescue you with my life if the boat sinks as in titanic- I will find my way back alone”
The wife quipped “I am sure you will not - My ATM card is in my inner wallet”
Kavvayi is the old district head quarters of Kannur. At a time when road traffic was a distant reality every one used the water ways. From Vadakara to Neeleswaram there was hectic traffic on those days .The Ali Raja of Kannur owes the credit – It is he who constructed a canal-Sulthan thode- connecting payangadi and ezhimala waterways. After road traffic became a reality every one forgot this path until the Nayanar ministry reinstated the traffic with KSRTC boats. That too does not last long since the canal required constant dredging.
If you have never travelled through these serene waters you have missed something very great in your life. Tranquillity prevails every where. The boat traverses in between Kavvayi and the numerous islands, Valiyaparamba, Edayilakkad, Ayitty etc. Valiyaparambu is the longest panchath in Kerala with 27 Kms length. At some places its breadth is only fifty meters. The people living here are the most blessed ones. They could rise from there sleep seeing the river on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, brush there teeth on the riverbank and have a chat with their beloved on the sea shore in the evening
The excitement reached its peak when isolated small islands came into sight. The factual information about a small island dotted with coconut palms in which a single lady- Lakshmy -the female Crusoe of kavvayi -lived long all alone, was very fascinating -Now she has shifted to the main land. She even attended the literacy classes in the main land in her small boat, daily.
Edayilakkad Island is a heaven. Here time stands still. You are in touch with nature. The gentle breeze, the waves of the lake tell you only one thing- You are overloading yourselves. Your solace is in mother natures lap. The beaches are dotted with coconut palms and the atmosphere is serene.
Here you could travel across any compound without being raising any eyebrows, because this is the old Kerala culture. Walls came into our lives and compounds only lately. In Edayilakkad there is a sacred forest the 'Nagam' which is inhabited by a number of monkeys. Monkeys wait for you to be fed. You will get eatables for the monkeys from nearby shops.
Edayilakkad is now connected to the mainland by a bund separating the river into two worlds. This could have made a very devastating effect on the sea life.
Our bus was waiting in Edayilakkad. After lunch at Payyannur, we went to the Navel Academy. An Officer entrusted to take us around the academy accompanied us. It is entirely an other world - spanning across 2500 acres, the land has been converted into a new habitat with numerous buildings. Ships and helicopters that took place in warfare welcome the guests. There is also a stable with numerous horses.
The Ezhimala beach is neat and clean. Our photography buffs have a tough time managing a plethora of images simultaneously. The old light house in Ettikkulam speaks vehemently of the ship mishap once occurred in the seas. The breathtaking scene from the light house will be a solace at times of turmoil.