Activities

Ayurveda, Yoga and Kalari

During the stay at Riverdale Villa, one can also get engaged in yoga session as well as an initiation into Kalari practices ( Martial art). Enjoy an ayurvedic massage both curative and rejuvenating. There are several ayurvedica centres and spas that offer value for money experiences.

Fishing Expeditions

Kuttanad, a marshy delta region in Southern Kerala is a replica of the earth’s topography. It is a deltaic formation of four river systems namely, Meenachil, Pamba, Manimala, and Achancoil together with the low lying areas in and around Vembanad Lake. With silt based agriculture, Kuttanad was once a “rice bowl” and a “fish bowl”. The Vembanad lake, the most important of the west coast canal system has a length of 84km and an average breadth of 3.1km. It covers an area of 204sq.km.

1. Gill nets (Chemmeen vala,Idi vala,Kannadi vala,Kanambu vala,Kara vala,Karimeen vala,Kidukku vala)
2. Seins (Thelivan vala,Valli vala,Thiruta vala,Kattu vala, Podo vaa)
3. Cast Nets (Chemmeen veeshu vala,Koona chemmeen veeshu vala,Padel,veeshu vala,Karimeen veeshu vala,Konchu veeshu vala, Kallum veeshu vala,Thekkan veeshu vala)
4. Traps ( Tabular traps, cover pots)
5. Harpponing (Besides the barbells one pointed lances and spears, harpoons were widely used in fishery. This gear replaced by the older spear in many instance and is today known that only in small-scale but also large fisheries this gear has been on spot fishery.)
6. Hooks and Lines ( Hand line, Set Line, Drift line) : Hooks line are entirely different types of fishing tool .In mainly used in catch individual fishes and the shape size structure of the hooks are varying in the based on the size or the fish and feeding habit .The hooks are used to catch deep water fishes line fishing are done with a light bamboo trapped to a then pointed serving as food The line is generally cotton but now a days it may be synthesized monofilament
7. Hand Picking :
The clams are picked with a collection basket known as unda vala or kilungam. A more effective method locally known as “varandi” or kolli using a toothed ion rake is employed for combing the bottom and hearing up there clams which are then recovered in the collection basket
8. Spears :
Instrument with sharp points are used, there by catching the fish in a damaged or injured condition. Spears are the simplest form of sharp projectiles and they range from single-prolonged stick to many pronged barbed one. Metal weight and barbed points called fish plummets pierce the flat fish over the bottom as they dropped down. Fish combs provided with prongs which pierce the fish when pressed in to the mud are mainly used in eel fishery .Bows and arrow too constitute a primitive gear

River Cruises – canoe rides

Toddy tapping and toddy tasting

Toddy or (Kallu in Malayalam) is a natural drink with low content of self fermented alcohol from the sap of young coconut fruit bunches. Tapping toddy is an art and a special skill that takes years of practice. There are several simple yet careful methods involved in toddy tapping. One will be simply amused at the easiness and craftsmanship of a skilled toddy tapper when you savour the natures spirit ( Madhura Kallu) in the early morning.

Heritage & Pilgrim centres

There are numerous heritage and pilgrim centre in and around such as the St. Alphonsa Church, Athirampuza church, Puthuppally church festival, Vaikkom temple,

Riverside walks

Get into your slippers or walking shoes, leave the heavy shoulders behind to explore and to soak into the village life and its simplicity.

Village Life Experiences

Life around here is always influenced by the seasons; monsoon, post monsoon and the summer. Rice cultivation, raring ducks, and fishing are some of everyday affairs of life.

Cooking and Local Cuisine

The local cuisine is mostly influenced by the Travancore style cooking; fiery red fish curries, roasted coconut masala based duck mappas, prawns and a lot of vegetarian delicacies. The toddy shop and its food whch is called the “shappu curry” also another variety of local cuisine

Boat Cruise in Back waters

Art and Craft:

Those who love art and craft, the village offers plenty of such engagements, Mozart Gallery at Aymanam offer a very close encounter with one of the renowned water colorist in Kerala; Mr. Somu M who works on different medium to portray his expressions. The local temples and churches offer plenty of art and architecture splendour. A day tour to the Vaikkom temple to appreciate the mural art and another session with the snake boat making unit, yet a different experience at the Kalari centre can give different dimensions of the culture.

Village walk or Bicycle ride

After check in and post lunch one can explore and experience the palpitation of the village life by a guided walking tour or bicycle tour. This small village tour covers paddy fields, different canals and rivers where the village folk’s life is knitted together for livelihood as well as daily needs such as washing clothes, fishing and duck farming. One can also visit a heritage Syrian Orthodox church built in the 16th Century – The Kallunkathara Palli (Church in Malayalam. This tour is not complete unless one witness the magnificent sunset from vast rice fields. Once returned from the small tour enjoy a hot cup of tea/coffee with some local tea time delicacies. {Duration  – one to two hours}

Evening canoe ride ( Fresh water fishing)

Once the sunsets and birds nestled in the favourite trees you can see the local fishermen make their gentle ride in the rivers and canals for fishing for their favourite pearl spot, and prawns using traditional techniques. Enjoy the suspense and thrill for about an hour either before dinner or after dinner.

Half Day Bicycle Tour – 4 to 5 hours

Enjoy a traditional breakfast early as possible and take off by 7: 30 am for biking tour along the paddy fields, riverside tails ending at the Kumarakom Bird sanctuary if one prefers. Otherwise you could reach Kumarakom Jetty for 2 hours boat cruise in the Vembanadu Lake. The tour gives a veriety of experience of the village. Farming, fishing, and the daily life of the local folks, children, schools etc. Once you reach Kumarakom, you can opt for boat cruise, use of swimming pool at an affiliated resort and have lunch, post lunch enjoy a rejuvenating Ayurveda Massage etc and return to Riverdale by car or Autorickshaw. The lunch will be organized at Kumarakom. Or another option is to return by bicycle in the same track Or Post lunhc continue the trip for the afternoon Heritage Tour of Kottoyam Thazhathangadi which is described below.

Post Lunch Heritage Tour – Kottayam – 3 hours

The Heritage tour could be continuation of the above half day tour or by its own. We could reach the Thazhathangadi Heritage trail by car from the home stay and start the tour either by bicycle or walking. The tour will cover cultural and heritage market along the river Meenachil, ancient ethnic architectural houses, famous Jumas Masjid, some of oldest churches in India especially in the Syrian Orthodox sect. The famous old seminary complex, one of the first colleges in India and first printing press in Kerala. Also   one of famous temples – the Pandava Temple which has very unique mural art for late 14th century. This particular river trail is also famous for the snake boat festival of Kottayam. And also if one is interested while returning to Riverdale a short visit to Mozart Gallery, a famous local artist – Mr. Somu Aymanam who is water colorist, painter and scultptur and designer of  special houses.   Aymanam is also happened to be ancestoral village of famous booker prize winning writer Arundathi Roy – who is the authored     “ God of Small Things”.

About

Along the paddy fields and swaying coconut palms, one of the streams of river Meenachil makes her silent journey to the back waters of Kumarakam. And there awaits one best kept secrets of the back water experience…. Riverdale Villa.

Contact

Riverdale Villa

Arpookara west P.O., Karipoothattu, Kottayam 686008
( call ) 9847150624, 9539211315
( email ) riverdale@sisalwellness.com

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