It is said that we travel in search of people whom we overlook in our neighbourhood. So when my wife Sabeena Ismail and our six-year-old daughter Charu Gulnar and I decided to go on a one-day trip on our bike, we chose the neighbouring islets of Kochi—the island cluster of Pizhala, Kadamakkudy, Chennur and Charianthuruthu. Though majority of the islands are no longer islands as bridges have connected them to the mainland, Pizhala is still surrounded by river Periyar on all sides.
Pizhala Island was formed naturally during the great floods of 1341 AD which choked the Muziris Port near present-day Kodungallur. We started at 6.55 am from our home near the Marine Drive past the picturesque container terminal road (the 15km National Highway developed recently to connect Vallarpadam International Container Terminal to the National Highway 966A at Kalamassery).
The ride through the container road itself is a feast to the eyes especially early mornings and evenings. The stretch starting from Vallarpadam is the best as backwaters, rivers, mangroves, migratory birds, Chinese fishing nets, will welcome you on both sides of the path. It’s a unique mixture of blue and green. A glimpse of the waterworld with generous greenery.