Kochi: Keralites are rediscovering the rains thanks to tourism. While people of the state in the distant past used monsoons as a period for treatments, rest and rejuvenation, the laggards among them later discovered that the time was apt to laze around, enjoying the distant plonk of rain drops while they curled up under a warm blanket. However, the latest trend in the state is to enjoy the rains; outdoors, on your face. Throw in some adventure and fun and the monsoon can become an experience in itself. The new Malayalee mantra is- getting wet in the rains might give you a cold; getting set in the couch will make you definitely unhealthy.
One can easily spot monsoon tourers going for long cycling trips during the rains. Trekking, sightseeing etc have become popular in the domestic tourism circuits and now the focus is on experiencing various kinds of rains. So it is not enough if you get wet in Kerala, you also need to visit Kudajadri or Kolukkumalai to taste the rains there. There are also others who spent a weekend drenching in the rains; after browning out in the office. Sports tourism operators have sweetened the mix of offerings with monsoon football, off road driving, fishing, biking, river rafting and even rock rappelling.
When Paravur Bikers' Club decided to make a trip during the monsoon, they planned it big- a 260 km trip to Munnar! Pedaling the steep slopes with ice cold waters pinging on your skin was their kind of fun and the 20 people who took the trip had an experience that they would not forget soon. They said that the experience of being one with nature was something that invigorated them. The group also used the trip to spread awareness about maintaining the Western Ghats intact. The trip that took them 5400 feet above sea level was a mix of hard riding in the rains, enjoying nature and sightseeing.
If hitting the roads while raining does not give you enough thrills, how about hitting the water when it is raining cats and dogs? Redraw Life, a start-up based in Kochi shows you how. The firm is also offering many other adventures, including rock rappelling. River rafting would be conducted at Kannur. The firm is also planning treks and other adventure trips for the rains. Visit www.redrawlife.com for more.
Holding a kayak straight in swirling waters is much easier than passing a football across to your mate on a field filled with water. Those who have played football in the rains know that the game soon evolves into an eclectic mix of football, water polo, slush rugby and plain puddle wading; and that is what adds to the fun of monsoon football. In Kochi, the 'Shoot The Rain' football fest, which was started 10 years ago aimed at foreigners, has sprouted and spread into a mega event with a lot of fun thrown in.
The festival starts in the morning and extends to the evening and the rain frequents the field as and when it likes to take a shot at the proceedings. The event has become a hit with locals as well as foreigners. This time, the tournament starts on July 2, 7 am and 24 teams would match skills on keeping the ball rolling on water. At 3 pm, two women college teams would also display their skills in the rain.