Have you ever longed to go for a small cruise in a classic village boat which will take you to extreme emerald green picturesque space? You can make your wish fulfilled by visiting the beautiful Munroe islands located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada River in Kollam district. Kerala has always astonished us with its never ending beauty of backwaters. The most preferred tourist activity in backwaters is a boathouse cruise taking through the outskirts of backwater villages and lush green coconut plantations. Kerala houseboat packages are splendid and will take you to Alleppey- Kumarakom- Kollam routes of which Alleppey- Kollam is the longest one. We could sight many villagers who rely on the fishing for their livelihood catch fishes in the country boat and Chinese fishing nets have already gathered the popularity. Thousands come to Kerala especially to take a houseboat cruise. There are some offbeat islands which will equally provide you with the enthusiasm of travel. Since these places are less crowded one can enjoy its serenity to extreme limits. One such place is Munroe Islands.
Munroe Islands or Mundrothruthu is a tourist destination where we can find coir resting process, coir weaving, fishing, migratory bird watch, prawn catches etc. The island also houses Mangrove trees and coconut plantations on the lake shore. The famous Kallada boat race is conducted here at Karuvathrakadavu- Muthiraparambu Nettayam in Munroethuruth. This island is actually a cluster of 8 tiny islands in Kollam district separated by small water channels and lakes. The life here is co calm and serene since it is less crowded the areas are clean. We can take part in small country craft cruise along the backwater villages. This small cruise is more astounding than picking up a Kerala boat house for honeymoon as this will take you deep into the lives of rural folks and their occupation.
There is a small history of this place. British has claimed their supremacy in South India in 1795 and Travancore, the princely state came under their custody and from then East India Company has appointed one resident as the administrative head of Travancore. One among was Colonel John Munro. He oversaw the land reclamation process in the delta formed by Kallada and Ashtamudi River. This reclaimed land was known after his name as Munroe Islands. He integrated several backwater regions by digging canals using Stone Age tools and megaliths. The colonel was good in discharging his duties in the state and during his reign a senior priest expressed his wish to build a seminary for training for training priest and a place to settle the newly converted Christians. Thus he fulfilled his wish and the place was given his name as a tribute to him by the locals.
The boat tour is the best way to explore the island and it is mostly done in the conventionally country boats which are a silent mode of transport without breaking the serenity of the place. On the course of the tour, we could hear the chirping of birds, cry of cows, and music from temples. There are some plants which have the medicinal values and chance to watch the countrymen climbing coconut trees. Coconut water is given on the tour and this drink has the capability to wash away your drowsiness to some extent. Beautiful breathtaking sunset can be watched from these islands and birds going back to their nests bidding a goodbye to the dusk. A walking tour of the villages and spot the coir retting process done by women. Some of them visit this place exclusively to taste the delicious recipes prevalent here. Various seafood is provided to taste.
One of the ancient churches in Kerala, Dutch church built in 1878 prevails here. On the scenic banks of Ashtamudi Lake, there stands the church with a blend of both Dutch- Kerala architecture built with red bricks. Presently the church is deserted and an annual festival is conducted with the support of residents in the area. The tourists from the various states can get a chance to visit here over the course of their luxury houseboat Kerala and spending some quality time in these islands. Try to visit during the event of Kallada boat race, the famous boat race in Kollam which happens after 28 days of Onam annually in which 12 snake boats used to participate. The winners will be awarded Kerala rolling trophy and a cash prize of one lakh rupees. Munroe islands are the vantage point to view the commencement arrangements for the event.