The paddy fields of Malarikkal in Kanjiram are all set to roll out the resplendent pink carpets of water lilies. It’s that time of the year when the eye-catching water lilies would bloom on the flooded paddy fields of ‘J block 9000’ region near Kumarakom in Kottayam district. The sight of thousands of dazzling lilies perched on dark green leaves floating on water is simply surreal. The natives are looking forward to see the breathtaking water lilies in full bloom in the coming days.
The gleaming lilies of Kanjiram, which were hitherto unknown to the outside world, caught the imagination of the people in 2019 when some travellers posted arresting photos of the water lilies in all their glory on various social media platforms. After that all roads led to Kanjiram as thousands of tourists flocked to the Malarikkal paddy fields to enjoy the beautiful sights.
As the number of visitors spiralled, the local residents offered country boat services to the backpackers so that the tourists could glide through the lilies in full bloom and this was a source of income for the localites.
At that time, the populace reaped dividends from the water lilies that were being cleared as part of the preparations to make the paddy fields conducive for farming, and Malarikkal also became the hotspot for wedding photography and other photo shoots.
The water lilies are spread across 600 acres out of the 1,800 acres of paddy fields and the best time to soak in the beauty of these exotic flowers is during sun rise. Last year tourists couldn’t visit the paddy fields replete with lily flowers due to COVID-19 pandemic-triggered travel restrictions and the coronavirus may pour cold water over travel plans this year too.