Ordinary homes, extraordinary charm @ Kerala

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation Buses (KSRTC) - King of the Roads, every other vehicle makes way for it
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation Buses (KSRTC) – King of the Roads, every other vehicle makes way for it

We set off to visit our extended family in Kottayam. The houses are either on the banks of the river and streams or in the middle of rubber plantations. These are not the traditional houses in Kerala; they have evolved with the times, but still retain some of the old world charm.

The houses situated on the banks of the river have an entrance leading from the waterbody to the house; as the preferred means of transportation in the yesteryear’s was a canoe like boat (vallam), before the pucca roads reached the doorsteps. Now there is a second entrance facing the road.

The entrance from the waterbody to the house
The entrance from the waterbody to the house
The wooden roof inside the house
The wooden roof inside the house
The walkway leading from the nearby stream to the main entrance
The walkway leading from the nearby stream to the main entrance
The front verandah
The front verandah

It is an adventure reaching the homes set in the middle of the rubber plantations. The long drives to these homes are exhilarating and picturesque. The private road leading to the house below is lined with young mahogany trees, planted to prevent the soil erosion during the rains.

The private road leading to the houses are lined by mahogany or teak trees
The private road leading to the houses are lined by mahogany trees
Houses amidst rubber plantations
House amidst rubber plantations

The relatively new houses are closer to the main town. The house below has a vertical garden in the front, a new format now being used extensively especially in the balconies of apartments and work very well with space constraints.

Vertical garden in front of the house
Vertical garden in front of the house

Kerala is well-known for its non-resident population and most of these houses are occupied by ageing parents. The homes have a resident cat which eats the leftover bones, provide amusement and once in a while, may chase a mouse. These cats are not pets, rather they adopt a house to stay in.

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