ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church

River Life in India

A photographic journey through central Kerala’s lush rivers

Tourist literature for the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, known as “God’s Own Country,” often gives prominent display to its beaches, where many a foreigner can be found sipping cocktails and watching the sunset. But as gorgeous as Kerala’s coastline is, its interior is even more breathtaking.

“Backwater” denizens, many of them Thomas Christians, rely on the web of slow- moving rivers for their livelihood – as they have for centuries. There are 41 rivers in Kerala, ranging in size from the 233-mile Bharathapuzha to the 5-mile Kalnadu.

The rivers irrigate rice paddies and coconut groves and host duck farms. They provide a means of transport, typically by canoe or pole-driven raft.

Here on the rivers, far from the din and rush of urban India, life slows down. This is a photo essay of a recent CNEWA visit.

Paul Wachter is Assistant Editor of ONE magazine. A native of Utah, Cody Christopulos is CNEWA’s publications coordinator.

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