We descended the train from Trivandrum at Allepey. A sign in the Allepey train station proclaims that it is the "Venice of the East". Earned or not, the name refers to the network of canals that criss-crosses the small city. The city is quite rich with history (see the wiki page) and was an important trading center. The canals were built centuries ago to connect the Arabian sea with the large lake to the east. Unfortunately, most of the canals are either choked with invasive plants like water hyacinth, or fetid and filled with garbage. That said, from a slight distance, they still look very nice. Although the picture below, which is where we stayed, is perhaps somewhat misleading---the color of the water is definitely not turquoise. . The house itself, however, was incredible.
According to the proprietor of the homestay, the house is approximately 600 years old. That might be a century or two off, but regardless, it's an incredibly beautiful house graced with phenomenal architecture.
Our kids made instant friends with the 3-year old daughter of the family who runs the homestay. They so much fun running around the house with her, watching TV, and playing with her toys.
The monsoon is "supposed" to arrive in Kerala on June 1st. Turns out, it got there a few days early.
I have never seen rain like this. With the exception of the last time I was in India during the monsoon! It poured from morning until night with just a few short breaks.
The house is centered around an interior courtyard. Directly above it the roof is open, and in years past the monsoon rains would have poured in and filled up the intersecting tiled tanks before running out through a drain into the canal. Now the roof has a makeshift covering over it, blocking most of the rain.
We never actually bought anything from here--although we were very tempted-- but there was an incredible fish market along the side of the road.