"....a perfect place for any one wishing to avoid "mass tourism", there are many interesting things to see and do and our seven days visit was too short. We hope to return one day..."
- Douglas Elliot, Bangkok
If you do not like city hotels, want to stay at a quite retreat and still be able to explore fascinating Cochin (Kochi), we have discovered the homestay you are looking for.
Set in rustic, sylvan surroundings, this is the beautiful home of a lovely couple - Jos Byju and Lyma. The house is located on the banks of the backwaters, in Kumbalangi village about 10 Kms on the outskirts of Kochi (Cochin). Ideally located near Kochi - not too far from the city but away from the noise and pollution, the house is well connected to the heritage zone of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. It is 45 kms - one hour away from Cochin International airport and only 14 Kms from Ernakulam Railway station.
The house is tiled and constructed in the Keralan style. The small garden slopes gently away into the backwaters. The farmland around the house has coconuts, areca nuts, mangoes in profusion - 12 varieties in all - pepper, pineapple and mangroves, besides various medicinal plants. But the most prized possession is a 200-year- old mango tree called "Chandanakaran" locally, which incidentally is the biggest tree in the village.
Byju and Lyma offer just two en-suite rooms which are tastefully furnished and with private entry. The bathrooms have modern plumbing and Western style toilets. The food is cooked in true Keralan style by Lyma and there is a wide choice of menus. Laundry services are available.
"...the FOOD...it is just wonderful. Lyma cooks 'heavens'. Both of them make sure that you do not eat the same things again..."
- Preeti Prasad, Pune
Some of the things you can do during your stay are:-
Take a day trip to visit the Kochi hertage zone and do some shopping
Watch a Kathakali dance-drama and the famous Keralan martial arts demonstration.
Boating on the backwaters in a country boat
Cycling through the surrounding countryside
Visit the Chinese fishing nets (maybe try your hand also at fishing along with the local fisher men)
Watch the toddy-tappers at work (maybe try out the tody)
Visit the nearby coir making facility at the village
Learn about crab farming and prawns farming
Visit the 350 year old Nalukettu house( ancient Keralan architectural style) where a traditional Kerala Hindu family resides and visit the kavu (sacred grove) with its snake god
Learn Keralan Cuisine from Lymas (and try your hand in the family kitchen!)
Your host will arrange to pick you up upon arrival and arrange all your transportation, they provide assistence during your shopping spree, arrange for Ayurvedic massage and treatment from qualified doctors, and arrange acess to the Internet.
"...Byju and his family made me feel at home. He has a very strong intuition on what I could have needed and thanks to him I never felt like a foreigner in India..."
- Anne Daligault, Cucuron, France