“What is this place?” she asked. “It’s a place they call God’s Own Country,” he said. Surprised, she then looked around only to agree why. Clearly, there couldn’t have been any other way or word to describe Kerala’s picturesque beauty.
Kerala with its glistening backwaters, serene mountains and valleys, clean beaches and sprawling estates, is undoubtedly a dream destination for backpackers and travellers. And come monsoon, there is no place better than the misty hills of Wayanad, a district in the northeastern region of Kerala, to experience the best of the season.
Straddling the Western Ghats, the unique terrain of Wayanad provide for exceptional adventure experiences. With vast areas still unexplored, Wayanad is truly an adventurescape waiting to be discovered. And this is the reason Wayanad Tourism Organisation along with Kerala Tourism hosts a Monsoon Carnival every year - to showcase the district as a major monsoon tourism destination.
“Wayanad is considered to be the Cherrapunji of the South, so it goes without saying that we want to promote it as the go-to travel destination during the monsoon. And since, Wayanad falls in the catchment area of Cauvery river basin, it only contributes to the beauty of lush, forested region with areas of high altitude,” says Vancheeswaran, President - Wayanad Tourism Organisation (WTO).
The event titled as Splash is the second largest gathering in the Tourism Industry of Kerala, after Kerala Travel Mart. “That’s for the entire state of Kerala but with Splash, our focus is strictly on Wayanad, the tourist attractions, places, hotels, resorts and homestays in and around Wayanad,” he adds.
When Splash was launched in 2009 it was an annual fest, but after a couple of editions, it was decided that it would be hosted biannually. “The whole idea of the fest is to celebrate monsoon, and for the locals and travellers to enjoy it at its best. It’s like transporting them back to their childhood when monsoon and rain meant all fun and play. So, for the first few years it was all about fun, entertainment and performances and once that was established, we decided to take it to the next level with B2B meets. This obviously, required us to be more organised and planned,” shares Vacheeswaran.
It goes without saying that Spalsh has become one of the most eagerly-awaited monsoon festivals in the South of India. “We have always enjoyed a good footfall and it has come to become very successful, more visible. The aim was to celebrate the monsoon while coping with the off season losses. With the success of Splash, there’s no more lull during the off season,” he expresses.
Splash features activities like mud football, volleyball, tug-of-war, off-roading jeep rallies, monsoon marathon, along with leisure activities like boating and adventure activities like short treks and zip line among others. For those of you who love performing arts, there are some amazing cultural and musical events as well.
This year, the organisers have put together the 9th edition of this interesting event – Splash 2019 which is on till July 15.
“This year's edition of Splash is crucial as we are looking it as an opportunity to recuperate from the various back-to-back damages the sector has suffered. Especially, in the last one year the Wayanad tourism has taken a beating due to Nipah scare and the havoc wrecked by the floods. Interestingly, the damage was created more by the social media than the virus itself. This season it’s like we are re-establishing all over again,” he smiles.
And so, this edition will witness an extra day of fun and frolic. “We have extended the fest by that one extra day so that travellers can enjoy the experience at leisure and spend more time with the locals,” says Vancheeswaran.
Apart from all that adventure and entertainment, B2B meets are equally crucial to this fest. These meets are attended by around 500 tourism industry stakeholders, including international tour operators, agents, tourism industry professionals and representatives of hotels and homestays. “Apart from hotels, homestays and resorts in Wayanad, this year, resorts and homestays from neighbouring areas like Coorg, Nilgiris, Mysore, Kannur, Kasargod & Bekal will also participate in the event,” shares Vacheeswaran.
Moving forward, Splash is only getting bigger and better, at least that’s what the plans shared by Vancheeswaran suggests. “We want to, at a certain level, incorporate more conservation methods. Make it a little more academic and hold more seminars. We will try to educate the locals, travellers and buyers more about the ethics of travelling and tourism,” concludes Vancheeswaran.
The 9th edition of Monsoon Carnival - Splash 2019 will be held between July 11 – 15 in Wayanad, Kerala. To know more about the event and schedule – CLICK HERE
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