The tiny island of Kakkathuruthu in India's southern most state of Kerala's backwaters has made it to a select list of stunning destinations across the world compiled by the National Geographic magazine.
Nestled along the Kerala Coast, the emerald-fringed "Island of Crows" has been listed in National Geographic's 'Around the World in 24 Hours', a photographic tour of travel-worthy spots across the world.
"Kerala is known for its rustic beauty and an incredibly picturesque landscape, verdant hills and quiet backwaters, which attract tourists from across the world.
It is a matter of pride for us to be listed by Nat Geo, which is among the leading magazines in the world," said Kerala Tourism Minister A C Moideen.
The charm of the small island with sea green waters, lush coconut groves and absence of tarred roads, located in Alappuzha, has been captured by the magazine photographers during the time of dusk when "the shadows lengthen and the sky shifts from pale blue to sapphire.
"In a graphic description, the magazine says the sunset in Kerala is greeted by a series of rituals, Sari-clad women head home in skiffs, fishermen light lamps and cast nets into the lagoon and bats swoop across the horizon snapping up moths.
"If dawn is awakening and daytime illumination, then twilight is transcendence, a final burst of vitality before darkness falls," said NatGeo Expeditions.
Beginning with hunting the aurora borealis in the northern lights zone in Norway at 12 am, the list includes photos of Hawaii at 5 am, Paris at 6 am, San Francisco at 7 am, Abu Dhabi at 8 am, Melbourne at 9 am, New York at 8 pm, Budapest (Hungary) at 10 pm and Kerala at 6 pm, among others, offering a peek into how different places in the world look like.
"The recognition is rewarding and will add to our efforts to introduce and showcase different destinations in the nature-endowed state," Principal Secretary (Tourism), V Venu said.
Situated not far from the ancient port city of Kochi, the island of Kakkathuruthu is connected to mainland only by traditional boats.
The quiet island, surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, offers a haven for birdwatchers.
Kerala Tourism Director U V Jose said, "It is absolutely exhilarating to see the island included in the travel recommendations.
It is not only a reaffirmation of Kerala's natural endowments but also a huge recommendation to international tourists for a tryst with the coastal state."