Varappuzha: The beautiful hamlet of Kadamakudy, where the Pokkali rice fields sway in the breeze, will enthral with excitement for the next three days as they celebrate the Kettukalakkal festival. The festival began yesterday and Kadamakudy will revel in excitement as they taste the delicious lake fish delicacies, and enjoy kite flying and angling competitions. The Kettukalakkal festival is held at the Pokkali fields by the Kothadu Korambadam service cooperative bank to expose the unique rural beauty of the interior areas of Kadamakudy and explore the tourism scope of it.
The fish ponds and the Pokkali fields are the major attractions of Kadamakudy. Pearl spots, red snapper, prawns, tilapia and mullet are abundantly available here. The fishes, caught from the organic Pokkali fields where ammonia isn't added, taste incredibly delicious.
Kettukalakkal is a festival that is traditionally held at the Pokkali fields in the Kadamakudy and Dewaswampadam areas. Pokkali rice is grown for 6 months in a year, and these fields would be transformed into huge fish ponds during the next six months. Kettukalakkal means catching the fishes, in entirety, from these fields during the month of April, just before Vishu.
Though the traditional fish farming has changed a lot owing to changes in the climate and other geographical features, Kettukalakkal is still a grand celebration for the people of Kadamakudy. After catching all the mature fishes from the fields, the people in the locality would be allowed to catch the rest of it. This practice is called the 'kettupottikkal' and the village would gather around these fields to celebrate it.
It for the third consecutive year that the Kettukalakkal festival, is been led by the Korambadam service cooperative bank. Bank president Harold Nicolson said that hundreds of visitors from the district and the neighboring districts pour in to witness the historic Kettukalakkal. The beautiful inland waterways, rivulets and the mesmerizing natural beauty of the hamlets in Kadamkudy attract the tourists. Kadamakudy which is just 6 kilometres away from the Varappuzha town is lined with pokkali fields and this place is truly a haven of peace and tranquillity.
Though the village of Kadamakudy was inundated in the deadly floods in August last year, the pokkali fields and the fish ponds haven’t lost their charm. More number of fishes was grown in these fields this year. The harvest too was amazing as the paddy didn’t get affected with virus infections. However, the owners of the fields say that the scorching heat has affected the growth of the fishes in the last one month.
The Kettukalakkal festival led by the cooperative bank would be inaugurated in Kadamakudy 4pm today. The festivities would be held, every evening, until 14th April, from 4 pm to 6 pm. Harold Nicolson said that various programs like food festival, traditional boating, kite flying and angling competitions would be held as part of the Kettukalakkal festival.