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Thalassery, drumbeats of another age

by on August 31, 2007

thalassery.jpgThe coastline from Kannur to Thalassery a weekend getaway from Bangalore to Mahe forms an exotic necklace of rivers and beaches, each with its own ambience in Kerala. A comfortable walk from the stadium brought me to the temple of the fisher folk near the maiden where cricket was first played in India many years ago. It stood on a beautiful stretch of beach, a symbol of gratitude to the Arabian sea for its bounty and its grace.

The Catholic Rosary church stood next to the English church and fort, south west of the cricket maiden. While the former pulses with the even tempo of daily prayer, the latter is closed. The Juma Masjid stands in friendly proximity and the three buildings stand together, wafting their prayers on the same elements.

Then comes the Wellesley’s bungalow which savour’s the peace and amble, the house is owned by Mr. Babar, a company man, played host to Lord Wellesley as Wellesley was the one who introduced cricket to Indians.

To get the birds eye view of this whole complex I climb to the ramparts of the Tellicherry Fort thalassery-fort.jpgwhich is at the south west of the cricket maiden. Was built in 1700, I still saw the pepper cellars from which trade was conducted. Situated on a headland guarding the port, it provides a panoramic view of sea and land, picturesquely its invulnerability over the ages.

And then for relaxing I went to the lovely beach called a folly where I watched the glorious sunsets of Malabar.

Situated on the south bank of the Moolakadavu River and bisected by the Mahe River, Mahe south of Thalassery, is the area that the French East India Company negotiated as a trading post. It still remains a segment of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. A fascinating aspect of Mahe was the line of old families of the area has retained their joint family homes. The architectural style which has been used here is French giving the streets a distinction of its own. And there is a church which is famed for the efficacy of prayers said here St Theresa’s Church on the main road, draws people of all faith. At Cherukallu 1 km from Mahe, St George’s fort provides a spectacular view of Mahe and its environs. Not too distant are the ruins of the fort built by Thatcholli Othenan, a legendary hero of Malabar and a superb kalaripayattu exponent. Also on the River Mahe 1km from the centre is Mahe Boat House, which is delightful little boating pier.

A visit to the biggest cinnamon plantation in Asia, established by East India Company agent Murdich Brown in 1790’s should definitely on the agenda as it also has the distinction of being the first plantation registered in Kerala.

Thalassery is not generously equipped with fine hotels, barring one beautiful home stay at Ayisha Manzil where I stayed and it sits on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea.

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One Comment
  1. Saithip Butterfly Gardens, biggest butterfly garden in Asia, is a major excursion from Pattaya. Enclosing a bee museum and an orchid farm, Saithip Butterfly Garden Pattaya has a large butterfly enclosure.

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