Kerala, land of coconuts

Luxury Travel Tips

The Indian state of Kerala, translated from the official language of Malayalam, means “land of coconuts” … Coconut, like Kerala, is perfect in essence – ideal content is hidden under the ideal form. So is Kerala. It is absolutely self-sufficient and is considered to be the most beautiful and richest state of India. It is called the Indian Venice – for the numerous labyrinths of canals along which the famous wicker boat houses move … They and Chinese fishing nets, similar to giant water striders, have become a kind of hallmark of Kerala, found everywhere in the “rear waters” of the state. Kerala is also famous for Ayurveda – the most ancient healing system on the planet, the richest cuisine and spices, for which Europeans once sailed here …

Alleppey (Alappuzha) is one of the main ports on the entire coast. Its appearance dates back to ancient times. Once upon a time, trading ships of the Greeks, and later the Romans, came here, and in the 1st century, the Apostle Thomas preached here.

Alleppey has two canals across the city – North and South, one of which is overgrown with water lilies, and the second is active, and city transport runs along it – boats with a motor. Alleppey Beach is crowded and almost unsuitable for swimming. For a relaxing and eye-pleasing holiday, you should go to Marari. This is one of the best beaches on the west coast of India: white sand, palm trees, busy fishermen and almost no tourists. You can and should stay in a picturesque hotel marari beach.

This is another unforgettable experience from the Cghearth hotel chain, and, according to tradition, the emphasis is on eco-lifestyle, connection with the Indian land and its traditions.
You can take your soul here with a variety of activities: walking around the vast territory of the hotel, where a butterfly garden and a bird garden are adjacent, yoga and meditation in a yoga shalla, reading books in the library in the fresh air. You can visit an Ayurvedic salon with all the consequences – from consultations with a doctor to massages and healing procedures. Well, or just swing in a hammock among palm trees for days on end. Or relax with freshly squeezed juices by the pool. Play tennis or volleyball on the sports fields. Shop in a store of Indian goods, most of which are delivered here from Auroville – the “city of dawn” in the state of Tamil Nadu, known, among other things, for the environmental friendliness of food and cosmetics and clothing from French designers.

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There are two bars and a Kerala restaurant on site. Vegetables and fruits for the restaurant come from a local farm. But seafood is caught by local fishermen, who go out to sea every early morning in traditional narrow-nosed Kerala boats to supply the hotel’s kitchen with a fresh catch.

In general, Kerala cuisine is a song, long and beautiful, and the chefs of the hotel will be happy to sing it to you. They can cook traditional Kerala food, such as marinated duck or crab curry. And, of course, masala dosu – a thin pancake made from rice and lentil flour stuffed with potatoes and coconut chutney sauce.

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Bungalows are scattered across the vast territory of the hotel, some of them are equipped with a private pool. Therefore, the chance not to leave the room during the day is great. Moreover, everything in the space of your new home is conducive to the deepest peace. From the bathroom with a “meditation garden” and a gate that leads to a green lawn next to the bungalow, to a wide terrace with wicker chairs.

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Walks with a naturalist deserve special attention. There are several of them in the hotel, but the most wonderful Shibu Bhaskar – which for me personally has become the soul of this place. Over the many years of working in Marari, he literally merged with the nature of these places, and knows the habits of local birds and animals as if they were his own. For example, he was instructed by me to find a snake, and this wizard did it in half an hour, tracking it down by bubbles in a stream flowing through the hotel grounds. He also paints and gladly shares his photographs, which, among others, illustrate this article.

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shibu bhaskar (10)

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Sometimes in the evenings there are concerts of classical Indian music or dance performances or master classes of Indian cuisine from the chef, and you can learn how to cook the most delicious tomato soup or curry or coconut chutney in the world.

The hotel is happy to organize an excursion to old Cochin, a port city on the coast of the Arabian Sea, which keeps stories “from Romulus to the present day.” Whoever did not find refuge in this city, for the fragrant spices of which Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gamma led their ships here (the tomb of the latter is located here in the church of St. Francis, because it was in Cochin that the famous navigator found his peace in 1524).

Or you can book an unforgettable trip along the backwaters – “rear waters” or canals of Indian Venice, and this is a matter of paramount importance for a more or less self-respecting tourist. You can rent a traditional Kerala house boat (houseboat) and, if you wish, even spend the night on it – they are equipped with bedrooms, kitchens and latrines.

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In general, there is something to do in Marari Beach. But mostly they rest here. British and other Europeans. However, the territory of the hotel is so huge that you rarely meet with guests – except perhaps in a restaurant and at a traditional five-o-clock tea party – a tribute to the colonial heritage of England. This tea meeting deserves a special story. A large tea cart rolls out onto the green lawn, and a stocky old Hindu who doesn’t understand a word of English prepares fresh masala chai in front of you, served with freshly baked cookies. I was ready to look at him forever – I have never seen such a masterly preparation of tea anywhere.

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To say that I liked Marari Beach is to say nothing. And I can say that at the moment this is the most favorite of the hotels I visited (and at the moment there are 7 of them) hotels of the Сghearth chain.

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