Vyttilla Junction could be the last spot a traveller would look for, or expect to find something close to tranquillity or serenity. With the construction of the Metro, the unceasing traffic, the dust and heat, it's the worst nightmare for any commuter.
But, just take a few steps behind the hectic Vyttilla Mobility Hub. And hey Presto! You'd get the ticket to the most unexpected pockets of tranquillity that you could find within the city.
And quiet flows River Kaniyampuzha
Walk into the Vyttilla Bus Terminal. And turn to the Boat Jetty from the point marked No. 10. You will reach a small forest at first. Don't be afraid. It's not exactly a forest, but a spot covered with greenery, full of wildly grown shrubs and small trees that skirt the pathway leading to the boat jetty. Enjoy the greenery as you stroll towards the jetty. Suppose you're taken blindfolded. Opening your eyes, a watery treat would be waiting-the beautiful River Kaniyampuzha.
Drink in the scenery around. The river, splitting into river lets amidst small isles. The apartment complexes rising upon the other banks. The Chinese fishing nets dipping for the prey. Up in the sky, the kites seeking their prey. The cormorants diving into the river for fish. Huge water birds with their big wings airing in the wind... What a sight to behold!
One could hardly believe that you're standing right in the heart of the city of Kochi! However, the waiting spot in the jetty needs to get a little more attention from the authorities. The platform is so dilapidated that the handrails can fall off into water if you're not careful!
Here comes the Water Bus
The Water Bus to Kakkanad leaves at 1:30pm. As we stood taking in all the scenery, the boat, named Lakshya 4, cruised towards us from amidst the Chinese nets. The broad interior resembled a plush low floor bus with cushioned seats and pedestal fans. The 'bus' was not crowded and picking up a good seat was not difficult. The conductor arrived soon and the ticket to Kakkanad costs only Rs 8. The 'bus' glides silently through the Kaniyampuzha River for the 30 minute journey, which was almost a meditative experience! No smoke, no dust, only the rippling of water all around!
National Water Way
Though Kaniyampuzha is a river, its official name happens to be 'Champakkara Canal,' which was inscribed boldly on all the bridges along the way.
The journey was peaceful, with myriad shades of blue and green appearing all around. It's as if a genie from Aladdin's bottle keeps playing with the landscape.
'Lakshya' has no compromise on safety, it is apparent from the life jackets stacked under the seats. The entrances have doors as well. There are seven jetties between Vyttilla and Kakkanad. People got onto the boat from Vyttilla, Chalikkavattam, Eroor, Thuthiyoor, Irumbanam and Arattu Kadavu. The boat will stop only if there are passengers waiting. Otherwise, it will head straight towards Kakkanad. One of the staff pointed out that it's around 8 kilometres to Kakkanad from Vyttilla, which means one hour boat ride, of 16 kilometres if you take the two-way ride, with just Rs 8 one way. That too, in a clean, modern vessel.
Those who have a few hours to kill in the city can now think of taking this trip from Vyttilla. It can also be a cost effective way for a group of friends to enjoy a ride along the river. You can also take the return trip in the same water bus.
Next time, just get into the water bus, to enjoy a beautiful ride along the water right in the middle of the city!
Points to Remember
Take drinking water with you. You can get food either from the shops at the Vyttilla Mobility Hub or from the small shops along Eroor Road.
Keep a safe distance from the hand rails at the water bus waiting station. The rails are unsteady.
Your vehicle could be parked at the Pay & Park facility at Vytilla Junction.