Resort in the Lap of Nature: The Quiet by the River
I had been to Periyar and stayed in a resort “The Quiet” situated in a river island in the Malayattoor forest range. This place is about 29 kms from the Kochi airport. On the upstream of this place is the Bhoothathankettu dam. The Periyar river has split into several rivulets and has formed some islands, big and small. The resort is situated in one of those bigger river islands. The Salim Ali bird sanctuary is near by. Though elephants are sighted at this place, I was not fortunate enough to sight them as I was there on a brief two day assignment. I shot the following video using my Canon Cinema C300 camera.
The owners of this place, a majority of them living abroad, realised the need for a peaceful place where one can take a break from their busy lives and unwind. So this resort doesnt offer a laundry list of activities that people engage in when they visit a resort. As the name The Quiet suggests, it doesnt have TV. You can hear the sounds of birds chirping, sound of the river gently flowing all around you. It is therapeutic. There are shallow river pools to laze around and if you want there is a swimming pool as well.
As some of you would know that I had earlier done a study of the ecotourism strategy and practices of Botswana and I believe all resorts in India should also be eco-friendly. So I liked that this resort The Quiet is very conscious about their environmental impact and only procure locally grown vegetables from the nearby villages or get it from their own backyard. Local folks are engaged in the resort.
I had no idea about the place before I landed there. An SUV was waiting for me to pick me up from the Kochi airport. Soon we moved away from the city outskirts and moved into the jungle. After driving for several kilometers inside the jungle, I got down near the river and got into the boat. Then the realisation of the true meaning of “river island” dawned on to me. If found this resort to be nicely built. Each cottage is built with old wood salvaged from more than 100 year old bungalows, so the cottages give a very quaint feel. However, every room has air conditioner – even though you may not need those for most of the times – and has all modern creature comforts that you can aspire for in any luxury resort. What I liked is that you can stare at the river even while lying in your bed, as every cottage and room has a view of the river.
If you are a painter, writer, or just looking for a place to laze around and unwind, this resort is for you. From a photographers perspective, this place is a landscape photographers delight. One can shoot many birds as well as macro photos of bugs and butterflies, snails etc. Next time I need to pack a macro lens as well. ?
You can trek in the forest to the nearest waterfall or explore other river islands. This place http://www.thequiet.in/ is really a nice unspoilt nature haven for nature lovers like us.
Equipment Used for the Video:
I used my Canon Cinema C300 camera for the video. For the handheld scenes, I used the Atlas Camera Support rig. The image stabilisation of the Canon EF 24-105 f4 L IS USM lens helped a lot during the handheld shots. In future projects I will be using the Letus Helix 3 axis gimbal. The focusing was done by using the Shoot 35 follow focus mounted on 15mm rods. The sounds were recorded to the Sound Devices 702T recorder as well as to the C300 camera directly. The still images were shot using Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and the Canon EF 24-70 f2.8 L USM lens.