Idyllic, serene and sumptuous nature’s bounty, a million shades of green nourished by providence and the network of emerald canals that wind through the land. Drink elixir from the palm groves, the air comes alive with birdsong and fabulous birds take flight at the break of dawn. Discreetly set amidst palms, tropical plants and cropped grass: traditional cottages built in the vernacular style once popular in Kerala. Surrounded on three sides by a matrix of waterways, step lightly, sit back, luxuriate in the beauty that surrounds you, soak in the silence, you are a heartbeat away from paradise.
Turn off the highway to Alleppey, onto a narrower road that winds its way through sleepy hamlets, going past prawn and shrimp farms and submerged fields of paddy. You gradually begin to feel the overwhelming presence of water. At times in the course of the journey it seems that for an instant one has dropped below the waterline.
The gateway to Kondai Lip welcomes you across a narrow canal fringed by palms. Greeted by the resort’s boatman, guests are then transported across in a country boat. The boatman uses a long pole, pushing down into the riverbed to propel the boat forward. Step ashore, stone lined pathways branch out and lead into the resort. A canal to the left has been dyked to form a large pond that stretches across on end of the property. Brick colored cottages built of laterite and wood with wooden gables, tiled roofs and verandahs are set amidst tall palm and coconut trees, tropical plants and cropped grass. The cottages are all over a hundred years old and were once traditional homes that have been translocated. Designed in Kerala’s vernacular style of architecture, with interiors in wood, elegantly furnished and equipped with all modern amenities, the cottages look out at canals on two sides and are set around a dining area that is open to the surrounding landscape.
A profound silence reigns, this is solitude in its purest form and within its embrace a million sounds that you wouldn’t normally hear. Step lightly, sit back, luxuriate in the beauty that surrounds you, soak in the silence, you are a heartbeat away from paradise.
The backwaters of Kerala are a chain of brackish inland lagoons and lakes situated parallel to the Arabian Sea and comprising of five large lakes linked by canals fed by 38 rivers and extending virtually half the length of Kerala. The backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats mountain range.
Sometimes compared to the American Bayou, it is a labyrinth of shimmering waterways composed of lakes, canals, rivers and rivulets. This is a unique ecosystem composed of freshwater from the rivers upstream that mingles with seawater flowing inland at high tide. Fringed by palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes along the canals, a fascinating range of aquatic life including crabs, frogs, mudskippers and water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters, cormorants besides otters and turtles live here.
Set amidst palms and lush tropical vegetation, traditional air conditioned cottages with canal facing sit outs, built with laterite and wood, elegantly furnished and equipped with all modern amenities.
Ayurveda is an ancient system of holistic health care that is native to the Indian sub continent and used by millions. The word Ayurveda roughly translates as science of life with the word ‘Ayu’ meaning life and ‘Veda’ meaning knowledge or science. According to its philosophy our existence is an interaction of five elements Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are combinations and permutations of these five elements that manifest as patterns present in all creation and that it is the imbalance of any of any one of these elements that is the cause of all human ailments.
Ayurveda is essentially a way of life concerned with promoting healthy living along with therapeutic measures that relate to physical, mental and spiritual harmony and the promotion of the body’s own capacity for maintenance and balance. Ayurveda treats not just the ailment but the whole person emphasizing prevention of disease to avoid the need for cure and ensures physical and mental health without side effects. Treatments are non-invasive and non-toxic and can be used safely as an alternative therapy or alongside conventional therapies.
Qualified physicians at the Ayurvedic treatment centre in the resort provide a range of cures and treatments including sweat treatments, oil massages, yoga and meditation.
oottusala Multi Cusine Restaurant – Kondai Lip :: Backwater Heritage Resort
Oottusala – multi cuisine restaurant, designed with features of Kerala’s vernacular architectural style and open to the surrounding landscape on three sides. Serene setting for a meal and serves a menu of traditional Kerala cuisine with seafood being the chef’s speciality. A limited range dishes from other parts of India are served. Candle light dinners set beside the canal can be arranged for honeymooning couples and other guests on request.
Kondai Lip Herbal Centre
Ezhupunna South P.O.
0478 3253339, 94477 11047