The Kadamakudy cluster of islands with their shrimp farms and pokkali rice fields are perhaps the most appealing visuals along Kochi’s coast-scape, the favourite haunt of tourists, a picture of serenity away from the city’s drab scenes. The calm and quiet of the place, its placid waters and the best of Nature are what draw folks to these islands. As the place is very much accessible from Kochi, it’s a joy drive down to Kadamakudy.
A cluster of islands
The cluster has big as well as small islands like Valiya Kadamakudy, the main one, Murikkal, Palyam, Pizhala, Cheriya Kadamakudy, Pulikkapuram, Moolampilly, Puthussery, Chariyam Thuruthu, Chennur, Kothad, Korambadam, Kandanad and Karikkad Thuruthu.
However, of late, the main tourist flow is toward Pizhala which houses a home stay appropriately titled Pizhala Pokkali Tourism Farm.
The home stay has been set up bang in the middle of vast stretches of pokkali paddy fields where neither artificial manure nor pesticides come into play. Instead, the crops are treated only to organic manure.
The pokkali is a unique variety of rice which is saline-tolerant. It’s cultivated with extensive aquaculture methods with only organic substances in stretches of water-logged fields and farms.
If there’s a home away from home, then it’s got to be in this home stay in the lap of Nature, where everything exudes an old world charm. There’s a whiff of nostalgia in just about everything… from the gentle breeze of the sea to the homely food and to the amiable nature of the villagers.
You can try your hand at farming here in Pizhala, fish in the fields and backwaters where there’s wealth of crab, prawn and shrimp. You can have your catch and cook your own food the way you’d love to have it.
A tourist paradise
One can take out small canoes or country boats, paddle around and partake of food cooked locally. It’s a veritable joyride along the calm waters of the island. The place turns into a bird paradise during the best of seasons. If you are a bird lover, Pizhala is the place for you where migratory birds fly in to rest before taking off on their cross-country flights.
Apart from paddy, Pizhala has a structured and organized system for farming crab and prawn. While pokkali is farmed between June and October, fish farming goes full throttle between November and May. Incidentally, Pokkali paddy won the Govt of India’s Geographical Indication Certificate in 2009 for its unique properties.
Tourists and visitors can enjoy the best of farm sights from 11 am to 5 pm. The Farm Day tour package includes lunch, tea and snacks, boat cruise, first-hand experience of farm activities and facilities for rest and refreshment.