Whatever floats your boat

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A solitary fisherman drifts over the calm waters of the lake that is now filled to the brim and the mid monsoon skies above are heavily overcast, threatening another downpour soon. He nonchalantly casts his net, hoping to trap some fish, to feed his family maybe and a big catch will help him to earn some money in this “dry” season of his livelihood. He waits patiently and so do we as we watch him from the balcony of our floating cottage at Club Mahindras Ashtamudi…

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The verdant state of Kerala is blessed with over 30 backwaters and Ashtamudi ( so named because it has “eight cones “) which is about 3 hours drive from Trivandrum airport, is now gaining a lot of popularity as the perfect family holiday destination.

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We had been to Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarokam and Cochin in the past at the time of the Onam festival in 2013. Another short holiday to Wayanad from Calicut in the North a few years later was a heavenly experience. The magic of the monsoons of Kerala and the piquant taste of the local food beckoned us once again to explore God’s own country this July. As I returned to Mumbai and wrote this blog, the state was devastated by the worst flood ever and our prayers and help in different forms was sent to the people.

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The location of this resort tucked away amidst swaying palms and its unique floating cottages truly make very memorable experience. There cant be a better place to sip a cup of hot tea, especially when its made using a traditional steamer. Soak in in the waterfront vistas every evening, nibbling on some crunchy bhajiyas!

The décor of the cottages is so tastefully done using the local coir and wooden panels that retain the natural flavour of the region. A whole new take on relaxation, as you listen to the pitter patter of the rain from your cosy balcony, literally putting your feet up.

The floating restaurant serves the most appeasing fare, especially all the local cuisine. Thursday is the day for the Onam Sadhya, a whole feast served on a banana leaf and certainly not to be missed.

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Fret not, you will be able to finish it and the natural sequelae that follows once you have devoured it….the perfect afternoon siesta !

Kids can be kept busy while you snooze as there are so many activities for them here, from swimming to cycling. Board games, indoor and outdoor games. Or just laze in the hammock enjoying the breeze and the sound of the rippling water.

The houseboat cruise awaits next morning to take you deeper into the heart of the backwaters. Drift along the waters, feel free as the birds that fly around you and the breeze that tangles your hair. Get up close and personal with the locals as you visit Munroe island, the coir factory and sip on fresh coconut water.

Back to the resort for some delectable local dishes for lunch iddiappams, malabar parathas and ghee roast, appams and karimeen pollichattu ….its really going to be hard to leave this place and go back home !

“Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain”……When it rains you can sit indoors with your cup of coffee, your favourite book ……or go for a completely rejuvenating ayurvedic massage at the spa

The old adage that families that eat together stay together has now been transformed to families that holiday together stay together……Club Mahindras Ashtamudi is really the perfect family holiday destination all through the year!