Are you an ardent lover of nature? Then you must not miss exploring the Kumbalangi village tour. Kumbalangi is a quaint hamlet in Kochi that has been transformed into a fisheries and tourism village. Encompassed by the backwaters, its rich aquatic life and dense mangrove plantations is ideal place to experience surreal calmness. You can also experience the simple life of the villagers and mingle with them to learn about their cultures and traditions.
Furthermore, the paddy cultivation and the Chinese fishing nets are also to be witnessed in this eco-tourism village. Another key attraction coming up in this hamlet is Kalagraamam, an artists’ village, showcasing the traditional handicrafts and fishing equipment.
There are plenty of things to do on the Kumbalangi village tour. Let us explore them one by one for you to plan for your next visit. You can feel the essence of nature in your tour. So without further ado, let’s check out the activities.
Fish farming is one of the best things to do in the Kumbalangi village tour. In the village, fish are raised in fish ponds or tanks. Some are used for manual consumption while some are raised to promote aquaculture and maritime culture.
You can learn about the process of raising fish, and their feeding habits. A considerable amount of time can be spent among the fishermen, being acquainted with the way they tend the fish every day. The fish species cultivated are salmon, carp, catfish and tilapia.
Chinese Net Fishing
Chinese net fishing is one of the key attractions in the Kumbalangi village tour. In colloquial language, they are known as Cheena Vala. The fishing nets are fixed at a place and then used for the catch. There is a technique by which the nets need to be operated.
You can visit the Chinese net fishing zone and experience the way the fishermen use the nets. It’s an interesting concept and skill to watch. You can try your hand with them and check your skill in using the net to catch a fish.
Relishing coconut water
You can find plenty of coconut trees in the village. The best is to consume some delicious coconut water and refresh yourself. Coconut water is said to contain minerals and vitamins that are both good for your health. Your body stays hydrated and imparts renewed energy. If you are opting for a Kumbalangi village tour during the summers, then you must never miss the opportunity to relish the coconut water.
Inside the village, you can find people selling coconuts beneath the trees in the open air. So feel the cool breeze and sip into the coconut water for that soothing effect. You not only will be relieved of any tiredness but can gain momentum to engage in many other fun activities inside the village.
Weaving coconut leaves
One of the interesting things to experience in the Kumbalangi village tour is watching the village women weaving coconut leaves. It’s wonderful to find unity among them. They remain jovial, enthusiastic and cool while carrying out their work. The coconut leaves are used mainly for house fencing and roof thatching.
The artistry and skill are worthy of appreciation along with the hard work involved in creating such amazing and simple things faster and seamlessly. You can sit with the womenfolk of the village and try your hand at weaving. A wonderful experience of witnessing the handmade artistry of the villagers.
Another interesting activity to participate in and enjoy as part of the Kumbalangi village tour. Being known for marine life, there are a lot of crabs found along the waters flowing past the village. Within the village, a crab farm is maintained under the expert supervision of the villagers. The breeding of the crabs and then catching them for various purposes are regular activities on the farm.
The crabs are found in various sizes and weights, some being 500 gms and some as high as 3 kgs. These crabs are exported outside across the international borders as well. You can engage with the villagers on the crab farm, learning about the different types of crabs, their survival and breeding habits. You can also try your hand in catching the crabs with the help and guidance of the villagers. It’s somewhat a thrilling activity. The villagers are very lively and cooperative with the tourists visiting the crab farms.
Coir making is a traditional activity in many rural areas of India. You can experience the same thing on the Kumbalangi village tour. The ripe coconut husks are at first soaked in water. Then the husks are defibered. The coir is then made with the help of looms. The coir making is mainly performed by the village women. You can visit the coir making area inside the village.
It is wonderful to watch the entire process, the way systematically the activities are done by the villagers. You can participate with them in any of the activities and get a feel of the end to end process of coir making. This is a way to support the traditional method of rural India and promote eco-tourism.
Pottery is common in many villages across India. Kumbalangi village is not an exception. You can visit the pottery section of the village and watch the artistic process by which the pots are made. There are types of pottery to be observed there, earthenware, porcelain and stoneware.
At first, the clay part of the pots is kneaded then either de-aired or wedged. The pots are given different shapes utilizing various techniques. Once the shape is finalized or curated, the pots are dried and then fired for the final product. The artistic hands of the village folk are to be really appreciated. You can sit with them, speak and understand the entire process.
The best is to try making some of the pots with the villagers and then maybe carry some mementoes with you as a memory. Also, you can promote the age-old tradition of India among your friends, family and acquaintances.
One of the best parts of the Kumbalangi village tour is to watch the traditional method of basket making. It’s wonderful to watch the techniques of basket making, the skill behind the art of weaving them into beautiful shapes and sizes.
The baskets are used for several purposes. The villagers use them for their daily use. The fishermen for their regular catch and selling them. You can enjoy a good time with the villagers and learn basket making or weaving. Besides, you can purchase some artistic baskets from them as memoirs and carry them back home.
You must not miss boating on the backwaters while availing of the Kumbalangi village tour. Soaking into the freshness of the breeze and gazing at the scenic views around are bliss while floating on the backwaters. There is another interesting piece to the boating story.
The art of watching how the boats are made. You can check them out in the village. Mostly the boats are made from the wood of trees from jack and teak. Both small and big boats are made out of them. The small boats are majorly used for fishing.
The big ones are used by the visitors to enjoy boating in the backwaters. While boating you can also watch the different methods used by the villagers for catching fish.
The villagers tie the midribs of the coconut leaves for brooms. The brooms are used mainly for sweeping floors. Since the houses in the village mostly have mud floors, hence the brooms are appropriate to use. They can even be used to clean up portions outside the houses.
The process is quite simple and easy to learn. So you can check out the villagers making the brooms and learn the process from them. You can also sit with them and prepare some on your own.
Copra processing is one of the skilful activities to watch in the Kumbalangi village tour. The entire process is a pleasure to watch. The villagers first cut the coconut into two pieces. Then they dry them under the sun to extract the coconut oil.
Usually, it takes approximately 3 days to extract the complete oil from the coconut pieces. The process of separating the copra from the coconut shell is something you must not miss out on during the tour. The copra is dried coconut. The villagers perform the activity in a group full of zeal and enthusiasm. You can join them, learn the process and try to perform the copra separation activities with them.
Clam Meat Processing
Clams are a kind of marine animal, a shellfish that is found in brackish waters. In Kumbalangi village, many of the villagers depend on clam meat processing for their survival and livelihood. It’s been done for generations and the family members accept this as part of their regular activities.
The responsibility of the men is to collect the clam fish from the backwaters. The ladies then steam the clamshell so that they can separate the meat from the shell easily. You can spend time with the villagers and participate in both activities. Catch some clams with the menfolk and then join the womenfolk to perform the separation activity. You are definitely going to enjoy it.
If you love to enjoy some local drinks, then you can find out the process of toddy tapping in the Kumbalangi village tour. Toddy is made out of the juice from palm fruits. The men are usually experts who climb up the palm trees to pluck the fruits. The fruit juice is then extracted and fermented to prepare Toddy.
The alcohol content is 8.1 % and is natural. The local people of Kerala consider Toddy as a health drink. You can watch the entire processing of Toddy and then sip into it to feel the flavour and essence of the drink. Indeed it is a great experience.
We plan for tours into many prominent destinations in India. But then being in a natural environment and enjoying the blissful nature along with the local people is such a surreal feeling. So next time when you visit Kerala, especially Kochi, then do not forget to visit Kumbalangi village. You may even stay at the village overnight to enjoy an eventful visit.