Kumarakom: Pink water lilies are all set to bloom at the paddy fields in Malarikkal in Kanjiram, Kottayam district of Kerala. The lilies had bloomed during this time last year also but visitors were not allowed considering the COVID-19 situation. This year too, tourists are unlikely to be permitted entry to the paddy fields.
It was in 2019 that the water lilies, spread over hundreds of acres, attracted worldwide attention. Thousands of tourists arrived at Malarikkal that year to enjoy the sight of the colourful flowers. Moreover, local people took the visitors among the flowers in small canoes, which earned them some income. Malarikkal soon gained fame as wedding photo location also.
Earlier, the farmers used to destroy the lilies with weedicides before sowing paddy in the fields. The paddy fields at Malarikkal extend to around 1,800 acres, of which 600 acres on the eastern side are covered with water lilies.