After the off-beaten trip in Quilon it was time to venture into Kerala’s polluted capital, Trivandrum. The city itself did not look like any attention puller and I would have easily skipped it if I didn’t have an appointment in Kottakkal Ayurveda hospital. It was a morning session. The hospital itself is not the typical 3 to 5 star Ayurveda resort but more like a modest looking facility. Very simple building with no fountains, no incense sticks, no rose petals, no music and shoes to be strictly removed before crossing the threshold.
The visit at the doctor was more like an average checkup at your GP. They asked about the symptoms, your age, checked your weight and blood pressure. The difference lies in the prescribed medication. The whole curing procedure is based on your diet and in certain cases (just as in my fortune) it meant a complete meat and egg cut-off for the next 6 months. Ouch! That’s a hard call for a non-veg European! The strictly timed appliance of herbal pills and oils were just the icing on the cake. Take this after your meals and apply that 30 minutes before your luke warm bath and repeat it all over 3 times and day. Ayurveda IS indeed a time consuming procedure but it was all obvious, wasn’t it?
A non-veg goes all veg – random restaurant in Trivandrum
So let the vegetarian lifestyle start! The doctor instantly recommended an all veg A/C(!) restaurant just around the corner for a midday meal. Apart from the fact that the dark and freezingly chilled room could easily participate in the crappiest looking restaurants in the world, the food was quite good. After a prompt decision to stay in the city for the afternoon it was time to see what the place has to offer when it comes to culture. So, there were a few things for sure. We walked through some dark rooms of valuable Buddha statue and bronze collection in the Napier Museum – pity that the premises are dusty and unkept. On the contrary Shri Chitra Art Gallery was feast for the eyes filled with some extraordinary artworks of Raja Ravi Varma.
Photos at the Louvre are allowed but NOT at Shri Chitra Art Gallery (and seemingly in no art museums in India)
As a last destination we decided to hop in the small cart for a tour around Trivandrum’s now famous zoo, which served as a major inspiration for the movie ‘Life of Pi’. Looking at the roaring tiger I could not stop thinking about Pi drifting in that boat for weeks along with his life savior enemy.
Still contemplating about the film at the back of the cart I looked up for a second to learn I’m actually the new attraction of the zoo, all visitors including fellow adults and kids looking at me, the outsider in the same way I looked at the tiger just minutes before…
Kerala off the beaten track:
- Discover Quilon – Kerala’s hidden gem
- Visit Varkala’s secret beach Where mysterious backwaters join the open sea
- Get your Spice kick and high tea in Thekkady
- See how Munnar reflects fifty shades of green
- Admire Athirapally waterfalls, the Niagara of India
- Relax in Kovalam – an almost forgotten place by the sea
- Spend the night on Kerala’s waterways
- Try the tastiest fish in banana leaf in always bustling Cochin
- See Cochin on the move
- Or if time is up, race against it in Kerala