A gemful memory of sandy Kathkali

Trip Start Jan 02, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of India  ,
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Just going to flick through Kannur beacuse at heart its just a beach and beach activity and consequent description of such, usually results in something about seafood, sea and sand and not much else, which is great to do but not so interesting to read about, but...

This beach...

This beach was amazing, its actually mentioned in the lonely planet but more is said about the lone B and B that services the beach (Costa Malabari) than the beach itself, which is picture postcard perfect, infact its almost sickly how ridiculously perfect it is. Its a short trip away from Kannur station (100 rupee by rickshaw or frequent busses, ask locals), which is where we stayed, because we were only there for the beach and a Kathkali performance, and couldn't afford to stay beach side at Costa Malabari anyway.

We turned up, the rickshaw man hadn't a clue where to go but with help from the locals, the guy from the B and B picked us up, he was ok about us not staying there and we had lunch instead with his other guests who where older english couples, all really nice, on short trips from retirement, soaking up the rays. The food, was top notch, homemade Keralan veg casserole and it seems at 1000 rupees per person all food included, not a bad deal, 25 quid for two, all in, steps away from the most picturesque beach we've seen so far!

After a day there we were beached out and witnessed a Kathkali performance early the next morning, it was a drive out and cold before sunset but definitely worth it, if not a bit mad, especially that early, i did pinch myself a few times as grown men in skirts and tribal demonic masks jingled and chanted at me before I'd even touched a cornflake.

Kathkali is basically a traditional Keralan religious tribal dance and as ordinary to the Cannurians as having a latte over the news before commuting to work, but arguably a less gradual wake up! Designated tribal dancers perform the ritual in richly tapered cloth and huge ornamated masks, chanting prayer and jangling bells to hypnotic drums, in the end the massive crowed that have slummed over each other to pray charge in to recieve a blessing.

Its not what you might expect, modern India and commuter lifestyle hasn't juiced up any of this tribal ritual, guys in office clad and smart leather suitcases are in form, recieving they're daily blessing before work. Its nice to see progress adjusting to tradition for once!  

That evening was a lapse affair, safe food, no beer and an overnight to Goa, the journey was fine, but the wait was not nice, two scummy looking europeans sprawled out on the muggy train station floor being massacred by mosquito's waiting for a depature, 3 hours late!

A smashin two days and after Wayanard, Kerala was becoming infectious, that destined trip to Goa, that we so hungered for, through the testing scrub of Rajasthan and blaring Bangalore, had come too soon and as the charmful, eclectic India we imagined had just begun, we had voluntarily slumbered into an Indian Ibiza.
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