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[ 17 Oct 2016 | 2 Comments ]
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If you have to showcase responsible tourism practices the way it should be – a collective effort – then frame this one. All the seafood, vegetables, egg, coconut, oil and fruits used in the homestay are produced locally ensuring benefit for the entire village. In the three-acre coconut farm surrounding the property no chemical fertiliser or pesticide is used; the kitchen itself uses biogas for its cooking. Whitewashing of the house is done with locally produced lime. Toddy – the … More»

[ 1 Dec 2015 | No Comment ]
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Babu Azheekan is the patriarch of the homestay, a celebrity chef whose culinary skills are a featured series in a local television channel. Now if I tell you staying at Azheekan’s is a gastronomic adventure, it will be redundant, right? Not really considering that most of the meals at the homestay is made by Girly; well, she is the granny of the family, always smiling and insisting you help yourself to more of the duck roast or the simple but … More»

[ 6 Jan 2015 | 2 Comments ]
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If the stories are anything to go by then this is a hopelessly romantic place; we won’t go to the extent of telling you that ‘this is the best place to renew your vows’ etc but certainly you could renew your love here – there is love in the air, in the history at least. The Varikkat homestay even today glows warmly with the love that laid its foundation a hundred years before Independence. Ms Blanket, a charming and petite … More»

[ 17 Dec 2014 | No Comment ]
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Being right next to the backwaters has its advantages – like free canoeing lessons for one. At the Thekkenat Parayil house on Olavipe island, the cerulean Kaithappuzha backwaters provide the best training ground for all wannabe-Robinson Crusoes – it is still and average a depth of just three feet. Then, till about early 2000s boats were the only way to reach the island which was isolated from mainland geographically and existed in a time zone of its own. Though connected … More»

[ 3 Nov 2014 | One Comment ]
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The oar latched on to the show wall is not reminiscent of an era past but pretty much a pointer to all the fun and action awaiting you on the creek – right next door! Okay, fun and action in slo-mo; these are canals that lead to the famed Kumarakom Lake. Here under the masterful strokes of wizened helmsmen, boats meander about as if lost in thought under the overhanging canopy of mangroves and coconut trees; equally or more scenic … More»

[ 20 Oct 2014 | 2 Comments ]
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‘Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.’ These words by poet Sam Walter Foss not just inspired but define Christopher Walton, the owner of Walton’s Homestay in Fort Kochi. By extension, it goes for his homestay as well – Walton’s is right by the side of the busy and boisterous Princess Street but once inside, it is indeed an oasis of serenity and of course, literature. A garden with … More»

[ 7 Oct 2014 | No Comment ]
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The best way to take in hinterland views is a ride with Puli and Chathampuli who are in no hurry unlike a cabbie or an auto rickshaw driver. In fact, to get them started after a break is a task in itself – they would be chewing absentmindedly, lost in some faraway thoughts. Yes, Puli and Chathampuli are bullocks who cart you around the little agrarian village of Vazhoor and chart a plangent path through the narrow meandering bunds bordering … More»

[ 10 Sep 2014 | 2 Comments ]
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Real rejuvenation first manifests as an acute happy somnolence. At Amrutham, a host of Ayurvedic massages and therapies by qualified practitioners take care of the first one; the location – surrounded by plush, green forest atop a hill – and aesthetically designed premises as per Vaastu caters to the second.

When UK-based Sarah Cohen first met Ajith, she was a student of yoga and Ayurveda and he the teacher who was a renowned practitioner in the little farming village of Panangodu, … More»