Wednesday, December 20, 2006
It's an intricate network of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine waterworld is navigable. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad lake which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port. The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms), which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest and is considered the gateway to the backwaters. The Ketturvallom: Showcasing a unique heritage The kettuvalloms (houseboats) of Kerala are giant country crafts, measuring up to 80 feet in length. It took great skill and meticulousness to construct these giants by tying huge planks of jack wood together, without the use of a single nail. Today, these goods carriers have been adapted to make the most exciting tourism product in India, the luxurious furnished houseboat. A kettuvallom usually has one or two bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Goa, a tiny emerald land on the west coast of India, the 25th State in the Union of States of India, was liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961. It was part of Union territory of Goa, Daman & Diu till 30 May 1987 when it was carved out to form a separate State. Goa covers an area of 3702 square kilometers and comprises two Revenue district viz North Goa and South Goa. Boundaries of Goa State are defined in the North Terekhol river which separates it from Maharashtra, in the East and South by Karnataka State and West by Arabian Sea. Goa lies in Western Coast of India and is 594 Kms (by road) away from Mumbai city. Goa, for the purpose of revenue administration is divided into district viz. North and South Goa with headquarters at Panaji and Margao respectively. The entire State comprises 11 talukas. For the purpose of implementation of development programmes the State is divided into 12 community development blocks. As per 2001 census, the population of the State is 13,42,998. Administratively the State is organised into two districts North Goa comprising six talukas with a total area of 1736 sq. kms. and South Goa comprising five talukas with an area of 1966 sq. kilometers. In all there are 383 villages of which 233 are in North Goa district and 150 in South Goa district. As per the 2001 census, there are 44 towns of which 14 are Municipalities and remaining are census towns.