Kovalam Scenes


The fruit-sellers grabbed me on the Kovalam strip. I knew I was going to get fleeced the moment I sat down (NEVER sit down). Once they started telling me how special I was, I realised I was a total goner. …

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Bazaar Road: Spices, Nuts and Tea


If you’re interested in spices, head to Bazaar Road in Kochi. Running from Fort Cochin to Mattancherry, this 1.5km stretch of road is where Kerala’s commodities come to be sold. The northern (Fort Cochin) end of the road is dominated …

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Same God Outside


I am not a Hindu. So the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram is off limits to me. The Puttan Malika Palace next door, however, is only too pleased to take my money: Rs 25 for entrance, Rs20 for my camera …

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Sunday at the Beach: Kovalam, Kerala


#1: Morning Not yet 7.30am and this is a working beach. There are a few tourists around: families with energetic young children who wake early, that sort of thing. They pose for photographs with the lighthouse in the background or …

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Messing about on the River: Kerala’s Backwaters


Backwater cruises are everywhere in Kerala. From the government tourist office to your guesthouse, everybody will try to sell you a trip on a converted rice barge. But if you’d like to see the backwaters in a more low-key way, …

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Let’s Get Together: Bob Marley in Fort Kochi


It was early evening in Fort Cochin. The fish-sellers (“You buy, we cook”) were setting up stall along the seaside walkway. Drivers parked white Suzuki Marutis along the pavements, mopeds whizzed by and families streamed towards the ice-cream sellers. But …

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