Communism and a drive-in beach: Kerala, India


It is a little known fact that the southern state of Kerala in India, where I come from, is actually still a communist dominated state. The ruling government may not be communist, but the communist party-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) is still a major political party. And nowhere in Kerala is this more evident than the northern district of Kannur.

Click here to check out the historic forts of Kannur region.

Having grown up close to this district, I grew up seeing sights of the hammer and sickle displayed very openly, a sight that would have stirred a hornet’s nest in some of the other countries that I have been to. Red posters of the communist party are an open sight throughout the district, and so are the many statues depicting communism.

A very interesting bit of this culture, can be seen in the Muzhappilangad beach. Located on the national highway between Thalassery and Kannur, this is the largest drive-in beach in Asia. The total length of the beach is 5 KM, and you are legally allowed to drive/ride for 4 KM of that stretch. The wide berth of the beach, and the firm sand allows for easy driving on it, unlike a bumpy sand-dune experience. Yes, you could even ride a motorbike. I actually rode mine.

Just 100 meters from the beach, is a small, private island called the Dharmadam island. During low-tides, beachgoers can walk over to this island. Nothing much to see there, but the experience of doing a Noah, is pretty exhilarating. Another bit of friendly advice: stay till the evening, when you can see the local teenagers come to the beach to try their stunts. You could see all the drifters and wheelers meeting here, since the sand offers a lot of cushion if one were to take a fall.

kannur muzhappliangad beach

The hammer and sickle still stands in Kerala

sunset games

Kids playing in the Muzhappilangadi beach at sunset

Delving into the sunset

Delving into the sunset

The oars

The oars

 

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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