Kerala, often referred to as ‘God’s Own Country,’ is renowned for its enchanting landscapes and picturesque destinations. While popular spots like Kochi, Alleppey, Trivandrum, and Munnar attract hordes of tourists, there exists a lesser-known jewel waiting to be explored – Malarikkal, a serene hamlet nestled in Kerala’s Kottayam district.
Malarikkal may not boast the fame of its more prominent counterparts, but what it lacks in recognition, it compensates for with a unique and captivating charm. The village, draped in tranquility, unveils its hidden treasure every September and October when 650 acres of paddy fields burst into a riot of colors with the blooming of pink and white water lilies and lotus flowers.
Unlike the bustling tourist hubs, Malarikkal offers a tranquil escape, inviting travelers to embark on an offbeat sojourn through Kottayam’s scenic byways. The flooded fields, adorned with countless flowers during their peak season, have been a local fascination for over a decade. However, the hamlet has managed to stay under the radar of mainstream tourism. It even hosts its own Malarikkal Water Lily Fest, a celebration of the breathtaking blooms.
For those seeking a closer encounter with nature’s vibrant canvas, small boats are available for a nominal fee of INR 100 per person. However, it’s essential to note that trespassing is strictly prohibited, given that the fields are private property.
Social media played a pivotal role in unveiling the beauty of Malarikkal to the world, drawing visitors from across the state. The mesmerizing landscapes provide an ideal backdrop for photography enthusiasts, with the option to indulge in a photoshoot amidst the floral splendor.
The optimal time to witness this natural spectacle is during sunrise, reminiscent of the vivid settings depicted in Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things.” The Booker-winning novel, set against the lush backdrop of Kottayam, captures the essence of the place, making Malarikkal more than just a destination – it’s an experience beyond imagination.
To fellow travelers who have explored Malarikkal, share your experiences in the comments below and beckon others to embark on this hidden gem in Kerala’s heartland.