Travel & Food

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    Lighthouse Tourism: Mind the Steps


    It reminds you of a Grimm tale illustration – red and white striped delectable candy on the outside, lurking peril inside. When a ‘revamped’ Kovalam lighthouse – officially Vizhinjam lighthouse, was opened to the public on December 4 last year, I was among the few enthusiastic…

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    The Curry Coast: A Culinary Journey Through Malabar History


    Cartoonist E.P. Unny has this hilarious take on Malayalees. He says if you see a group of people at India Gate in New Delhi admiring the war memorial on a cold December morning wearing no warm clothes, make sure they are Malayalees. This is a tribe that can travel anywhere with little preparation.…

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    Grandmaster’s Kitchen: Not Quite a Checkmate


    It's not often that one walks into a much hyped about restaurant to be greeted by an apologetic manager.

    At around 8 p.m. on a Saturday earlier this month, my husband and I saunter into the Grandmaster’s Kitchen in Thiruvananthapuram for a quiet dinner.


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    The Record Keeper


    On the day of the museum’s inauguration in January last year, one of the invitees, a prominent local politician, told Sunny’s wife Josia “This is sheer craziness.” It was, one can imagine, only in the course of faithful disbursal of his duties as a democratically elected representative…

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    On Board Kerala Express: Three Days of Fun & Friendship


    Long before director Shyam Benegal showcased the story of Om Puri as an army jawan traveling from Thiruvananthapuram to Jammu, we Malayalees had romanticized this journey from south to north of India. Therefore, the TV series titled 'Yatra' that was telecast on Doordarshan in 1986 didn’t mean…

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    A Ride to Remember


    Since a visit to the picturesque Bekal Fort in Kasaragod in the summer of 2009, I, a Bangalorean to the core, had cherished the dream of settling in Kerala. I realized that dream early last year, when I got an offer to join a hospital in Kochi as a cardiac surgeon. And the very next hour after my…

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    Waking up Vembanad


    Must have been the tempestuous night I started in the morning to a gentle wake. It took a while to collect my bearings: the thatched roof tapered toward the top, quartered window frames girded by coir, bamboo-matted partitions, wood slab flooring. An air conditioner thrummed somewhere. Unfamiliar…

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    Kadamakudy Islands: An Opportunity to Live Two Lives


    If you're someone who would like to visit a part of Kerala that's off the beaten track yet close to a city, then the Kadamakudy islands, an hour away from Kochi, would be the perfect place. To start with, there's very little information available on the Web about Kadamakudy, barring a link to a blog…

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    A Travancore Down Under


    From Mangalore Street you go forward. You take the first turn to Madurai Street; or, go further, you can turn to Lucknow Street. If you drive on, you can get to Cashmere Street if you want to. Or drive down till you reach Mooltan Street, from where you take a left and then right, and you are now…

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    Instagram Food in Imperial Setting: But Does Villa Maya Live up to Its Top Ranking?    


    Last weekend, I decided to give Villa Maya, rated the best restaurant in Thiruvananthapuram by TripAdvisor, a second chance.

    I went there first a few months ago, straight from the airport after a friend in Bangalore waxed on about how spectacular it was. I suspect she was also trying to rub…

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    Ambushed in Silent Valley


    What does a jungle do to human nerves? It allays, soothes, and drapes a cowl of serenity over the racking brain with its long patches of silence interrupted by syrupy birdsongs which then taper off once again into silence, save for one embarrassment of a cuckoo who fails to notice the pattern. Throw…

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    The Wait of a Lone Goddess


    All she could perhaps see from the mountaintop was a distant glow in the horizon that diluted the night sky. The entire town of Madurai was gutting down steadily, in a fire, a raging fire she herself had set off by a curse. Madurai must burn, burn for all that it did to her, she took a deep breath,…

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    This Ustaad Hotel Is Very, Very 'Fishy'


    ``Don’t waste the fish head. You should just crunch it. It’s the tastiest part.’’ The person who shared my table just couldn’t stand my clumsy ways of eating the fried mackerel. I tried my best to be dexterous with the hot, spicy fish, as discarding any part of it was…

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    Sun, Sand & Salt Water: My First Drive On The Beach


    “Kerala’s only drive-in beach, the Muzhappilangad beach which stretches across four kilometers of sand where one can drive down the entire length.”

    Driving on a sandy beach for four kilometers! Which dyed-in-the-wool driver-traveler can resist such a purple passage posted…

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    Snake Preview


    The deep green curtains on either side of the never-ending forest path are so resilient that they don’t take a break, not even for a moment. Suffocating tunnel vision. After trudging for hours along such claustrophobic corridors of foliage, how desperately one might want to liberate the eyes…

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    Mullaperiyar: The Unseen Side of the Conflict Is a Disaster in the Making


    Just before Christmas, I was at Thekkady, and the day I reached one of the most beautiful spots in Kerala, the water level at the Mullaperiyar Lake had just come down from the highest level of 142 feet to 141.5 feet. Last year, it had reached 142feet, but the difference was that it was only for a…

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    Appam, Stew, and Tiramisu: Coast Café Blends Kerala Staples With Italian Delight



    New Delhi is not the easiest place for a moilee-loving Malayalee. But it’s getting there. Over the last couple of years, restaurants focusing on southern or coastal cuisine are peppering the capital. The latest addition is the Coast Café at Ogaan.

    It boasts the best…

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    Possadi Gumpe: A Wanderer’s Serendipitous Discovery


    Does the name ‘Gumpe’ ring any bells? Believe it or not, this quirky sounding place is right inside our state. Tucked to a corner of Kasargod district, Gumpe is an untapped source of pure joy for the wandering soul.

    I spot the cryptic word in a tourist map of Kasargod. ‘Possadi…