This is my third photo from a journey by public transport through the so called backwaters of Kerala in 1988. The popular houseboats, nowadays hired by most tourists, were only introduced in Kerala a few years later, so I had to travel by boat running on a regular schedule through the lagoons, lakes and canals inside the coastal reefs and sandbanks.
This is from one of the many "stations" where we stopped to drop off or pick up passengers. It was late afternoon and a long day on the boat was getting near the end. Maybe this was the last stop before we reached our goal, Alappuzha (Aleppey).
If the cross puzzles you, Kerala is among the Indian states with the relatively highest number of Christians, totalling about 20 percent of the population. Christianity is supposed to have arrived in Kerala with Saint Thomas the Apostle already in the year 52, according to popular belief. Christian congregations have existed here ever since. Much later European missionaries arrived here.
Three small states in northeastern India - Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya – are overwhelmingly Christian. Goa, which was a Portuguese colony until 1961, has about 27 percent Christians according to the census of 2001.
I have scanned this from a Kodachrome slide. Here is a larger version.
Critiques | Translate
tyro (18330) 2014-03-30 8:47
Again you have written a very interesting note about your boat trips on these backwaters and also about Kerala itself. I've worked with quite a few Indian doctors who have come from Kerala and each and every one has been delightful. I believe that not only (as you say) does Kerala have a high proportion of Christians, but it also has probably the highest literacy rate of all states in India. It is certainly a place I should love to visit.
This is another high quality scan from your beloved Kodachrome and the details are excellent, even when viewed at larger size. I presume that this was taken from a moving boat, so the quality is even more impressive.
Your composition is good and I really like how it appears that everybody from this little community has lined up at the water's edge, presumably to view your boat, its cargo and their new visitor! Lovely light and very true colours too.
P.S. I note that Malgo (emka) recently posted a group of pictures of boats in Kerala - ordinary open ones and houseboats - but she did make the point that the houseboats had actually been around for a long time though in the past they were not used as pleasure craft for tourists.
worldcitizen (6415) 2014-03-30 10:30
Another nice oldie from the backwaters. I like the tropical feeling, and the line of colorful people waiting for the boat to arrive. My friend from Kerala was also Christian. It's interesting that they have the cross placed right beside the water.
imageme (1500) 2014-03-30 10:44
Hi Gert, Another nice view of the Backwaters. The group of the people are patiently waiting for boat to take them cross the river any time. I am sure these people are glad that those huge palm trees have given them a shelter from the strong sun and also act as big fans to give them wind. Beautiful colours even though it is from one of your odd pictures. Best regards
boa (5536) 2014-03-30 11:10
det här ser ju riktigt trevligt ut! Tuffa på med en båt i Indien och se många intressanta platser. Man kan nästan ana den avslappande stämningen som råder här och intresset från de som står i land. Ljuset är synnerligen varmt och behagligt och bidrar mycket till det trevliga intrycket. Mycket hög klass på din Kodachrome också.
pajaran (47864) 2014-03-30 11:22
Interesantan i dobar tekst o mestu, sa opisom ...
Dobar rad skeniranjem slajda, lepo pokazano mesto i trenutak.
Dobar rad, lepa fotografija i secanje na 1988.
Prijatno vece i lepa noc, sve najbolje.
An interesting and good article on the place, with a description ...
Good work by scanning the slide shown good place and time.
Good work, beautiful photos and memories on in 1988.
Have a nice evening and night, all the best.
PaulVDV (20233) 2014-03-30 12:21
A very nice warm glow on the quay, the waiting passengers and the palmtrees which has resulted in a beautiful colourful view.
These trips on Kerala's backwaters seem to be gorgeous and very interesting.
I didn't know that there are states in India (in the northeast) where there's a majority of christians.
Best regards, Paul
photographer_sg (2542) 2014-03-30 12:36
That's a fine gathering of people at the ferry station. May be some of them wanted to catch the boat to Aleppey. The coconut and the banana trees make a fine background and the vivid colours of the scan suit the ambience very well (they remind me of the paintings of Gauguin).
Thanks for sharing and have a great new week.
saxo042 (36722) 2014-03-30 12:59
De fina palmerna här ger nästan ett konstgjort intryck, som vore de kulisser i bilden. Men en fin bild av folklivet längs kajen och ett mycket varmt och behagligt ljus.
Fis2 (81536) 2014-03-30 13:09
Curious scene from daily life.
Excellent colors and frame.
Great quality scan.
I like it.
carlo62 (26910) 2014-03-30 14:22
hai avuto la fortuna di viaggiare in queste terre quando ancora non erano state raggiunte dal grande turismo e questo si vede anche dalla foto.
Mi piace vedere tutte queste persone che sembrano guradare il tuo obiettivo, pronte a farsi fotografare.
subhendu_bagchi (25117) 2014-03-31 1:37
I like your this kerala album a lot. I like your journey through the backwater which has an old fragrance of 26years. You managed the soft light here masterfully to show the life in banks of the stream. Great colour tone (the colour tone is better than your previous two). Excellent composition once again. Tfs.
Kamilutka (8085) 2014-03-31 1:42
yes indeed the white cross looks quite extraordinary in this scenery. If I hadn't read your note I would have thought it is some small mission on the bank of the river. Interesting place and people gathered on the shore are definitely interested in newcomers. I love the exotic scenery in here with palm trees adding nice touch. Very good colors and well proportioned composition.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day
Subhogen (4063) 2014-03-31 3:21
This is a fine DL shot from the banks of the backwaters. Even 2-3 years back I saw scenes like this on my tour to Kerala. The people there are still heavily dependent on boat as a means of transport. Nice shot of the group waiting for the ferry with their belongings. I like the golden light of the afternoon sun illuminating the scene. It is difficult to shoot a photo in Kerala without a coconut tree in the frame :-)here they have provided a nice backdrop for the waiting group. Good shot from your archive, with a well researched note. Thanks for sharing.
Kielia (22913) 2014-03-31 3:44
another lovely daily life shot from your journey to India. Attractive in the simplicity of line and colors. Nicely managed light too. It was a pleasure reading the notes and the comment by John. My compliments!
Royaldevon (25916) 2014-03-31 3:53
Interesting notes, especially about the concentration of Christians, in this area, for such a long period.
A fine scan, which has retained excellent colours. I'm not sure whether the people are just having a wonderfully relaxed day or whether they are totally fascinated by you and your camera. Let's hope it was the later!
Have a great week,
Nicou (115370) 2014-03-31 6:56
fantastique vue e tiamge sueprb e uqle mur de pierre et tous ces personnage avec le plan d'eau et ces beaux arbres grandisoe compo et vue.
Bravo et amitié
rychem (18899) 2014-03-31 8:51
Another beautiful scanned photo, beautiful place with palms illuminated by th warm sunset light, great photo
ourania (25574) 2014-03-31 9:14
I like this scene very much, as much as I always enjoy looking at a port and the people on it from a boat. An elegant composition of layers, the vegetation dominating the greater part of the frame is spectacular. Although the people are far, I feel a strong contact with them. It must be the intensity of the looks we're exchanging. I like their closeness as a group and their different postures. There's a delightful early evening warmth and the colours are lovely. It's great how the foreground is filled with reflections. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
COSTANTINO (50739) 2014-03-31 13:46
Hello my dear friend
tropical atmosphere with people down there
nice quality shot with interesting details
simple but nice
have a nice new day
fabbs99 (15677) 2014-03-31 20:00
Another great old shot and nice note on the history of Christians in India.Excellent light and colors. Very nice range of colors.Keep sharing.
dkmurphys (45873) 2014-04-01 0:07
Another simple scene that stands as an interesting document from your past travels. Well taken exotic image.
Romano46 (16578) 2014-04-01 4:17
il giusto seguito alla foto precedenteanche questa con un aspetto che ritengo attuale, colori intensi ed una bella luce.
Sempre assai gradevole il soggetto.
Ciao e buona giornata
Silvio1953 (115175) 2014-04-01 10:18
Ciao Gert, great view of beautiful place, lovely composition with a lot of people, wonderful colors, excellent clarity and splendid light, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio
mohammad_H (8681) 2014-04-01 14:26
Beautiful colors, and I think India is the country of colors, a variety of attractive colors and everyday life of the people, and coconut trees
abmdsudi (38878) 2014-04-01 14:30
Beautiful catch in brilliant light teeming with life and what a glorious moment as we are presented by such a picturesque village by the famous waterways where everything particularly the ripply water sparkles on the late afternoon sun backed by lots of rich colours and tones. I think the spread-out is lovely which really adds to the composition, an extremely refreshing take of visually scenic sight with blue sky and lush greenery give nice touches. Congrats
P/S; Credit to your pp scan, it doesn't show any aging sign as compared to the previous upload as though it was shot yesterday!
lousat (71461) 2014-04-01 15:11
Hi Gert,they looks in pose for you like actors,and some of them is smiling,a beautiful memory caught in this magic warm light,i like it!Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
mirosu (12290) 2014-04-02 5:34
Another excellent, "historical" photo from beautiful Kerala's Backwaters. The people along the river, in front of small church are in superb warm light.
Very well done.
eldancer1 (24769) 2014-04-02 9:34
This reminds me so much of my old country the Philippines except for the clothes they wear. The coconuts and other vegetation are so familiar. Nicely captured with good details. I like the lighting a lot. Well done, tfs.
UlfE (14635) 2014-04-02 11:44
Du tar oss med på en mycket trevlig resa i Keralas bakvatten. Det är bara tre bilder så här långt, men väldigt varierade. Det är kul att du och dem på båten verkar lika nyfikna på dem som finns på land och vid båtstationerna som tvärtom. Det är alltid bra att ta se serie bilder som berättar en historia och det gör du bra här. Särskilt som dina utmärka noter berättar var vi är och vad vi ser. Min förhoppning är att denna resa ska fortsätta med ytterligare några bilder. Ha en bra kväll!
Apurba20 (984) 2014-04-03 3:29
The postures of the men and women say a lot about their emotions. Patience definitely used to be a virtue of the past.
Beautiful, more better than what would be expected of a scan.
kasianowak (4626) 2014-04-03 6:27
Lovely group scene with strong sense of place. Thanks for the explanation regarding the presence of a cross - I didn't know any of that. Beautiful golden hour light and colours make it look a bit like a film set.
macjake (51436) 2014-04-03 9:38
looks like you have some attention there!
16 people there and everyone is quiet, nobody seems to be talking.
love the tall palms, the excellent scan quality, and yes even the people :)
well documented note again, lots of interesting places you've visited around the globe!
jcpix (11054) 2014-04-03 16:13
A very informative note you've provided, and one which I wouldn't have made a connection otherwise, in regards to the cross.
It would appear as if the locals came out in force to either wish you a fond farewell, or a big welcome. :) This must have been quite an experience, and your pictures lend themselves to a marked sense of nostalgia. A seemingly unassuming scene, however, there's an understated and rich quality about this imagery...one with a strong cultural aspect.
As a personal preference, I love those big palms...a very tropical look and feel to the entire visual. I envy your many travels, and it's fun to see them through your lens. Enjoy the new day. All the best.
serp2000 (37511) 2014-04-09 23:55
I see there is mostly the Christian population as in Goa. Your photo reminded me one TV report from Laos of 1980th. When the Soviet military tracks ZIL-131 were used as the regular buses inside the country.
I'd like to say: good choice of the point of view, but I inderstand you did not change in these conditions.
Another interesting archive shot.
Greetings from Oaklend, CA.
nikkitta (12818) 2014-04-12 8:09
I miss this one and quite true, first thing that atracted my atention was the white cross ( understand it after reading the note) placed at the side of the river between the colorful dressed locals, ready to go on the boat
What an interesting experience, so well written in your notes
Like the composition in layers, river, people and palm trees ( so tropical place)
Well taken and scanned
Tigerlily (2859) 2014-04-17 8:49
Thanks for the information, Gert. Beautiful light and color, full of life..
mcmtanyel (10103) 2014-06-25 19:56
What a timeless photo! Unless one knows the current look of this particular spot now, there is nothing in this photo to indicate it is from the 80's. There are no cars or other vehicles, no western style fashion statement garments - absolutely nothing to give away the decade this was taken. What a simple way of life portrayed most beautifully!
emka (72306) 2014-07-25 23:08
Hi Gert, I made such a mess, confused poor John and finally missed this one. It is the view I remember from my Kerala cruise. Here the people wait for a transportation, when I went by houseboat, I saw them with daily routine, they washed laundry, brushed teeth, took bath. And we saw that cook used this water for washing our dishes too.
I tried to find when these rice boats, kettuvalam, were used. Usually it is written "in old days". How old? In one site I found 3000 BC, in other I read: "The boats played a major role in the economic development of ancient Kerala, moving cargo and men from the very nook and corner of otherwise unreachable area, cutting across the length and breadth of the land. Fifty years ago, there were more than 5000 kettuvallam in the backwaters of Kerala, mainly used for transporting goods."
As to Christians there, indeed, there are many churches, mainly in Portuguese style. I even attended the service (just to see) somewhere.
WArm regrads Malgo