November this year began with a Bang , literally right on cue with the ‘FESTIVAL of Lights”. It began with the month promising to add a lot of fun , a dose of spice and much needed rest for us .
It is during Diwali that i usually plan a longish break when i decide to move out , away from the routine at some location where i am with my FAMILY , away from the routine enjoying some quiet solitude and much needed time together .
For the past few years i am being aided in the same by some really special people who are also my close Pals , but this year somehow we were on our own .
I love the planning and the checking out of places and destinations and then the ultimate decision . Of course the advent of the net has made life easier and planning a cake walk . Sitting within the confines of our home or hearth we can literally view the world .
We decided to travel to a lesser travelled destination in Kerala ( I can see the questions , KERALA – little known , lesser travelled – that just does not sound right ) . There are places in Kerala which i can refer to as only TOURISTY where in the abundance of natural beauty there is an added shade of the eternal and typical tourist who is out to really see the most , travel the most and really derive good VFM from the tour and the destination .
We chose Kappad beach as our first stop . This is the historic destination where Vasco Da gama the famour portugese explorer first set foot on indian soil … The entire place is resplendant with Blackish / yellowish sand and endless views over the Arabian Sea . The Swaying palms , a book in one hand and a fresh coconut in the other … AAH BLISS … it was a lazy few days where we caught up with the local history of the “ZAMURIN’ and his betrayal and the eventual passing over of the MALABAR region into the hands of the foreigners . We also were fortunate to visit a Turtle conservation farm set up by the government of kerala right alongside the pristine and serene waters at Kasargod and Kollavipallam … However the news is not good for the conservationist as the turtles seem to be dwindling and giving this particualr coastline a miss year after year …
The Malabari Cuisine , the simplicity of the people and the abundance of peace and quiet were the absolute highlights of the visit .
A special mention to our quintessential Ambassador which not only took us all over but also accompanied us on the second leg of our journey and a fond remembrance to Radhakrishna our local guide and chauffeur who i will always remember as the gentle giant .
Leaving the rolling sound and the mesmerising beauty of the Waves crashing on the beach we moved next to Vellamunda in the Wayanad District . the journey was sweet as we moved away from the urban spoils of Kozhikode and started our journey up the rolling hills . This is the land of Pazzahassi Raja ( famous gurilla chieftain who all his life fought a losing battle against the portugese ) and the 1000 armed Asura “BANASURA”.
The place is Green to say the least and it has rolling tea plantations , spice gardens and the largest Earth Dam in the world , the BANASURA Dam.
Our place of stay was actually a spice plantation with a small stream flowing right through the property .
The forest cover was so thick that it would be only about 4.00 PM when we would think the sun has set . The caves , number of water falls and treks complete the beauty of this extremely quaint and fortunately not so popular destination in North Kerala .
For me the early morning spent outside the room , sipping tea , reading a book from the resort collection and listening to the chirping of the myriad birds among the rustling of the greenery was an experience i will cherish beyond this lifetime .
And yes both these destinations gave us abundant scope to spend a lot of time together enjoying the tranquility before returning to civilisation ( ?).
A special mention of the wonderful , ever smiling people of these places , and the simple , authentic and extremely tasty food with the local flavour …