Trip to Kuzhippilly Beach & Narikulam Tharavadu

100 Happy Days – Day 90

I had made a bucketlist 2016 when this year began and one of the elements in it was to make at least 5 trips this year. I don’t think the number went very well. But as unexpected as life could be, I found myself in a few immensely beautiful places a couple of days back – Kuzhippilly Beach, Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty.

Writing professional exams could just wear you off big time. So, the five of us and a qualified CA decided to meet up, spend a night together and go on a trip the next day. Nothing fancy, somewhere in or around Kochi. After a night full of clicking pictures, non-stop chattering and barely few hours of sleep, we drowsily picked ourselves up and went for breakfast. Nothing else could shun your drowsiness better than food. So after the breakfast, we were on fire! We made our way to our first destination. The Kuzhippilly beach.

Lined with pine trees and rusted benches, this beach is more beautiful than the famous Cherai beach. Situated in the outskirts of Kochi, Kuzhippilly beach is around 4 kms (Source: Google Map) away from Cherai. For those who prefer less crowd and more shade, this place is the best option. With lots of tiny brown crabs (I think they are called Sand Crabs) running around and emerging from the sand, and the thatched roof Umbrellas, this is one of the most picturesque beaches near Kochi.

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Pine trees at the Beach

We spent about 2 hours in the waters, clicking pictures & walking amidst the shady pine trees. We found a beautiful shell and, after ensuring that the owner had deserted his home, my friend pocketed it.

When the thought of food started creeping into our heads, we made our way to destination number two, the highlight of the trip (Food always comes first) – Narikulam Tharavadu.

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A View enroute to Narikulam Tharavadu
Kerala - God's own country
Those white cranes were everywhere!

Tharavadu is generally an ancestral home in Kerala where people lived as a joint family. Nowadays, most of these families have split and live separately, but many of the ancestral homes remain. Situated near St. Augustine Church, Nedungad, Nayarambalam, is the Narikulam Tharavadu. Set amidst the lap of nature, with greenery all around and a canal behind it; they have preserved the house so well that, if you are a Keralite, a wave of nostalgia hits you the moment you enter the premises. Such houses are the true essence of Kerala.

Paul chettan gave us a very warm welcome and patiently explained everything about the place. He answered all our queries, showed us around and made us feel at home. As they went about preparing our food, we were left to explore the place.

One of the things that fascinated me was, the way they had managed waste and artifacts that were no longer in use. They had used dried seeds and parts of the palm tree to decorate the house. We even found two shoes outside with plants in them. They also had grown plants in an old, rusted Kindi (pitcher) and an Aattukallu (Wet Grinder). The base stone, Arakkallu from the grinding Apparatus was used as the base for the pitcher. They gave an aesthetic look, placed around the Nadumuttam (The central area with a meshed ceiling) and never for a second did they seem out of place.

The plant in the pitcher placed atop the base of the grinder. What you see behind is the Nadumuttam.
The plant in the pitcher placed atop the base of the grinder. What you see behind is the Nadumuttam.

My favorite part about these houses is the Nadumuttam. During the day, it is the source of natural light that gives a mellow glow to the surroundings and during the night, you can watch the stars. Don’t get me started on how it looks when it begins to rain. I can’t believe that these houses are dwindling with time!

A peek at the interiors of a typical tharavadu
A peek at the interiors of a typical tharavadu

We spent a lot of time outside, near the canal awed at the abundance of nature, clicking pictures and wondering why we never got to know about this place earlier. A photographer’s paradise, my friends simply couldn’t stop clicking pictures. Our grumbling tummies showed us the way to the dining table and now I’d call it a Foodie’s paradise too!

So we saw this irresistible spread on the table… Er… Isn’t the post getting a bit too lengthy? Besides, I am reminded of all the food we ate that day and I so need a break. I’ll be back with part 2 of this post; all the yummy food and a surprise thereafter. Heads up: The Food part is focused on the Non-vegetarians & it is going to be a bit heavy. So, ensure that you are filled up. If you wish to visit this Homestay, the details will be given in the next post – Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty (Part II)🙂

Image courtesy for the first 3 pics – My dear friend Hrusheekesh Anilkumar

Visit to A Paradise

I was out of town for a few days last month. Had gone to Ochira, Kollam for my sister’s admission. A very peaceful and beautiful place with the Sea on one side and the ocean on the other. I got back a couple of days back, after which I fell ill. So I missed a few days of 100 Happy Days due to lack of connectivity there. So, here is one of the posts I wrote then.

100 Happy Days – Day 52

Happiness is Experiencing Tranquility

I have been to Ochira many times as a child and I always looked forward to the boat ride to Parayakadavu. I used to watch with awe, the white squids (or were they jellyfishes?) swimming all around us in the backwaters. I always thought that they were jellyfishes because I never knew back then that there were things called squids. Those things awed me, but their creepiness scared me to the core. I did have the fear of falling off the boat. But, thankfully nothing so dramatic happened.

Around 15 years later, I went there again hoping for another boat ride. But things had changed. With bridges and roads, a boat ride isn’t necessary at all. I am not happy about it. But since we had a motive (admissions for my sister), I didn’t speak my mind. I will definitely go there for my boat ride. 😉

Well, so on our way to Amritapuri, I watched the waves lashing against the shore. At times, the water even splashed towards the road. It was a rare view.

This is the view from the place we stayed. The ornate building is the Amritapuri Ashram. Look beyond that and you can see the Sea. Ain’t it beautiful? There are many inmates who have been staying here for over 15 years. How would life be if we could sit on the balcony with a view so beautiful and read a book with a mug of coffee in hand.

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Don’t you want to see the view to the left side? Here you go!

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The Ashram is flanked with Sea on one side and backwaters on the other. It is similar to a live wallpaper. You can shift the view as per your mood. If you want to experience some peace, the view of the backwaters would give precisely that. If you want to see some action and some emotion, the waves lashing, the sun kissing the Sea goodnight, move your chair towards the right of the building and Tadaa!

I couldn’t sit and read there. Not literally. I did read some Indirect Tax case laws. By reading, I mean novels. I will definitely go there some day, just to sit and read or maybe to take a walk by the Sea. 🙂