Being Women

An Unforgettable Escape To Sambranikkodi Island: A Tranquil Landscape

Stressed from work? Escape with friends to a serene boat ride, a hidden island paradise, and delicious local food.

A Welcome Escape

Embarking on spontaneous journeys with friends unfolds the most beautiful chapters of life. Last Sunday, Akhila, Manu, and I set out for an impromptu adventure to Sambranikkodi Island, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Kollam District. It proved to be the refreshing escape we needed after two months of office drama and work stress.

Train, Bus, and Boat: The Charm of Local Transportation

Our day commenced with a leisurely morning train ride to Kollam junction, followed by a scenic bus journey to the boat jetty. After a satisfying breakfast, we boarded a boat for a one-hour cruise along the mesmerizing Ashtamudi Kayal (lake/backwaters), a unique local transportation system that offers glimpses of life along the riverbanks, reminiscent of a bus or train journey but on water.

Sailing into Tranquility

Sailing under the warm sun, the serenity of the lake, the graceful birds, and the gentle waves created a tranquil ambience. Sambranikkodi, a petite mangrove island with a mere 500m radius, unfolded as a captivating experience. Surrounded by mangrove soil, mussels, and water algae, the island sits submerged in one foot of water. Stepping onto its shores provided instant relief from the sun, immersing our legs in the cool waters—a moment of pure bliss.

This was a novel experience for me! Known for my love of water, this adventure was one of the best hands down. The kiddos had a blast splashing around, climbing trees, collecting mussels, and chasing guppy fish. The natural light casts a beautiful glow, turning every photo into a captivating memory.

Lunch with the Locals

Our day took a delightful turn when a friendly fisherman Chettan (Malayalam for Brother), offered to take us to his lakeside home for lunch. Seizing the opportunity, we hopped onto his boat and enjoyed a tour of his home. There, we were treated to a hearty meal of kappa puzhukku (cooked tapioca) and kallummekkaya (mussels roasted with onion masala), accompanied by chutney and onions. Dining on his verandah, we engaged in pleasant conversation with the hospitable ladies of the house.

As we bid farewell to Sambranikkodi, a bus ride to the Kollam railway station and a short walk through the tracks led us to the platform. Thankfully, we caught the Sabari Express just in time, marking the beginning of our journey back to Trivandrum. Exhausted, I managed to steal a moment of rest during the trip.

Adventurous Farewell

However, the day had one last surprise in store. A brief signal-changing stop near Kazhakkuttam station prompted a spontaneous decision to disembark. With a daring spirit, a touch of comedy, and Manu’s encouragement, I did it! Yes, with my chunky sandals, I somehow managed to climb down (or rather slide down) the narrow steps of the train coach, trusting my friends to catch me from falling onto the stone-filled railway tracks.

Then, we had to cross two tracks and climb onto the platform, which was around 3 feet in height. The two other college students who joined our little “disembarking” adventure pulled me up onto the platform, and I “landed” safely! At that moment, I kept laughing and not thinking about which of my body parts would be hurting the next day!

Happy with how the day went, I took an auto to my apartment, took a shower, and sank into bed!

Getting to Sambranikkodi Island


By Air: The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (TVM), about 80.5 km along NH 66,  from the island. From there, you can take a taxi or cab to reach the Manalil Boat Jetty in Prakkulam, where boats depart for Sambranikkodi.


By Train: Kollam Railway Station is the nearest major railway station, about 12 km from the island. From there, you can take a taxi or cab to the Manalil Boat Jetty.


By Boat: The most scenic way to reach Sambranikkodi Island is by boat from the Manalil Boat Jetty. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) operates regular boat services to the island, with cruises lasting around 30 minutes. You can also hire private boats for a more personalized experience.

Interesting facts about Sambranikkodi Island:

The island’s name is believed to be derived from the Malayalam words “chambrani” (meaning Chinese ships) and “kodi” (meaning tip or edge), referring to the time when Chinese ships used to anchor near the island’s coast.

Sambranikkodi Island is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 150 species of birds found here, including migratory birds like herons, egrets, and kingfishers. The island is also home to a thriving fishing community. You can experience the local way of life by interacting with the fishermen and even trying your hand at fishing yourself. The DTPC has developed a nature park on the island, where you can stroll through lush mangroves and learn about the island’s unique ecosystem.

Reflecting on a Day Well-Spent

Strengthening our bond and creating cherished memories, this trip to Sambranikkodi Island was a balm for the soul. Although we missed our friends Anagha, Nanda, and Sabin, their absence only adds to the promise of future reunions.

Until next time, let the adventures continue!


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