Thursday, March 13, 2014

India: From Poovar to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in Kerala

It was a beautiful morning in Poovar, an isolated but spectacular beach town in the southern end of Kerala. We were up early since we had to check out then travel to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital of Kerala, some 18 kilometers away.

To get to our bus, we took a boat from the Island Estuary Resort to a jetty were vehicles and buses of guests to various lakeside resorts in Poovar are parked.

It was a thirty minute ride through the backwaters of Poovar and the Neyyar River. Backwaters (a term for a wetland where rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches and the sea converge) define the landscape of much of Kerala. And we'll be seeing more of them in the coming days.

Poovar actually has a very rich trading history dating back to 1000BC. It is believed to be one of the possible locations of the port of Ophir mentioned in the Bible where the ships of King Solomon landed. He received a cargo of gold, silver, sandalwood, ivory, peacocks and precious stones from Ophir.

Our group was on our way to Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum. On the way, we passed by a temple which was having a festival since it was the peak festival season which runs from October to March, especially the last two months. The night before, we also passed by a very colorful evening religious procession. But unfortunately, the bus couldn't stop for us to take a closer look.

It took us about an hour to get to Trivandrum from Poovar. Our first stop was the Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum.

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