Miles and Smiles Away : A Calicut Travelogue
I was yearning for a short getaway from my hectic schedule, and incidentally, Laya informed me that she would be having a review meeting at Kozhikode. I instantly made up my mind that I wanted to tag along with her. Although Laya was tensed about her review, I was all upbeat. I knew it was going to be a perfect weekend get away with my little Zavi.
Only one thing was on my mind while planning this trip, to just relax.
While we scouted for places to spend the weekend, Raviz, Calicut was the first place that caught our attention. Located right at the heart of Kozhikode town, it was perfect for our requirements and we booked the room right away. As the weekend approached, we had some preparations to complete, mainly buying some swimming gear for Zavian as he had outgrown his swimming trunks. While at it, we also got him an inflatable ring and inflatable hand bands. Zavi was all excited about playing in the pool.
As Laya had to reach Kozhikode for her meeting at around 9:30 am, we started our journey from Kochi at around 4:30 am. The early start gave us a head start and the roads were pretty much clear and thankfully, we had a smooth ride till Kozhikode. Zavi slept throughout the uneventful trip. We were getting closer to Kozhikode town at around 8:30 am, and by then our stomachs started growling and Laya started googling for vegetarian restaurants around Kozhikode. Meanwhile, I tried locating the place where Laya’s meeting was being held. The thing about Kozhikode town is that, most of the roads are one-way and it’s quite confusing for visitors. We soon found a small vegetarian restaurant close to the place where Laya had to be dropped off. After a normal breakfast, we dropped off Laya and headed towards our destination, The Raviz, Calicut.
Only after reaching The Raviz, I realised I had made a mistake while booking the rooms. There are two hotels belonging to the Raviz group in Kozhikode, The Raviz, Calicut and The Raviz, Kadavu. While I had Kadavu in mind, I had mistakenly booked the other one. The Raviz, Calicut is a typical modern day sophisticated hotel, and is right at the heart of the city. We were received warmly at the entrance and I headed straight to the reception to see if I could check in immediately. But to my dismay, the rooms were full and I would have to wait till around 2pm, which is their standard check-in time. I was tired and didn’t feel like waiting and so I asked if there were rooms at Kadavu. BINGO!!! They were more than happy to transfer my booking to The Raviz, Kadavu. And to my absolute delight, at Kadavu, I could check in right away.
The Raviz, Kadavu is around 14~15 kms away from the town. It took us around 30 minutes to reach there. And boy, what a place it was. Located at the banks of Chaliyar river, The Raviz, Kadavu is like a breath of fresh air. At the entrance, we were greeted by some soothing music played live by a flautist. While checking in, I upgraded our room to a lake view cottage as I didn’t want to miss out on any of the amazing experiences at Kadavu. We were taken to our cottage by the river and enroute, I marvelled at how seamlessly the resort blends with nature.
I was super tired and my little Zavi was super energetic. He loved the cottage and the super-bouncy bed. He was amused to see a houseboat right next to our cottage. The cottage was quite spacious with a sit-out, a bedroom with a king-size bed, a sitting area, a kitchen space, a dressing area and bathroom. I wanted to sleep for a while, so without wasting any time ordered in lunch. Lunch was decent and afterwards made a move to the bed; but Zavi had different plans. He was hyperactive, literally jumping on me, boxing me, hitting me. Finally, Zavi’s nanny Aunty took him out to the sit-out to play and I finally got some rest.
I was awoken by the sound of my phone ringing. It was Laya. God! Was she done with her meeting? I had overslept and was surprised to see Zavi also sleeping next to me. I hastily picked up the phone. Thankfully, her meeting was only getting over with and she had called in advance. I quickly jumped out of bed, freshened up and got ready. Meanwhile, Aunty roused Zavi and we got ready to go. As we got into the car, I again received a call from Laya, who wanted to let me know that she was done with her meeting and is going to meet her friend, Aiswarya, at her office. She took an auto to meet her friend, while I started off in her bank’s direction.
The weekend traffic was pretty much evident now and we took a lot of time to reach the town. Finally, after much route confusion and one ways, I managed to locate her bank and picked Laya. Laya’s friend had suggested M-Grill for dinner, where they will also join us later. M-Grill is inside Focus Mall. After parking our car, we headed straight to the restaurant. But DC Books caught our attention while we were getting off the lift.
All of us love book stores, including my little Zavi. We went straight to the kids section and Zavi started picking out books, story books, activity books and the like for himself. As we proceeded to the billing section, Aiswarya and her husband, Bijith also joined us. It had been more than a year since I met them, and after a brief catch up we proceeded to M- Grill.
We got the feel that M-Grill is quite popular as it was super crowded. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait much and soon found a table. Aiswarya and Bijith were regulars there and helped us by suggesting their specialty dishes. I was starving and the food was over in a jiffy. Over dinner, we caught up on the happenings in our lives and had a good evening with them. As we parted ways, Aiswarya and Bijith invited us over to their house the next day. The drive back to Kadavu was smoother as the evening traffic had died out. Zavi slept off during the drive back.
When we reached The Raviz, Kadavu, I could see the gleam in Laya’s eyes. She absolutely loved the place. But as it was already late, we decided to explore the next day and straight headed to our cottage. Laya loved the cosy cottage. We didn’t waste any time and promptly hit the bed.
“Dada Dada DDDAAADDAAA!!!” Zavi screamed into my ears and suddenly I was awake. Sunlight was streaming in through the slits in the curtain. The view from the cottage was breathtaking. The trees on the banks of the river, the smooth flowing river and the houseboat; it was a picture perfect view. After lazing around for a couple of hours in our cottage, we decided to get our breakfast. The sumptuous breakfast was a delight in itself. The chef came up to us and recommended their ‘Adicha Chaya’ (aka local tea), which was a Kozhikodan speciality. When the tea arrived, it did taste better than all the types of teas that I had tasted before. While having breakfast, I spotted a familiar face. It was a famous Malayalam movie actor, Chemban Vinod. I excitedly told Laya and Aunty to take a look. To my absolute delight, he took the seat right behind us, and when Zavi noticed him, he loudly called out his name. I could see that we were attracting more attention than the actor himself. It was embarrassing to say the least! Finally Laya told Zavi that we shall go and meet him. The actor was really sweet and playfully shouted who was calling his name. After exchanging some pleasantries with him, we came back to our table and finished our breakfast.
After breakfast, we got into our exploration mode. We went straight up to the reception area and started from there. Towards one side, there was a Curio shop, specifically meant for tourists. Towards the centre of the reception area, there was a model of a snake boat. On taking a closer look at the boat, I realised that the boat was filled with spices. Towards the other side of the reception, was a recreation room. We headed straight to the recreation room, which boasted of a bookshelf, carrom board and a mini table tennis. We took to the carrom board first. I had totally lost my touch with the game, but to my delight, Laya and Aunty were even terrible players.
After playing a round of carroms, we moved to the open space. There was a wooden pavement and as we got near, we realized it was leading to a small bridge over a creek with lots of fish swimming languidly. Zavi got excited by the sight of the fish and we cautiously proceeded to do some ‘fish-watching’. What caught Zavi’s attention next was a swing, trampoline and of course, the kids pool. He jumped to his heart’s content in the trampoline, rode the swing a bit, and then hastily proceeded to our cottage to change into our swimwear. While Laya and I just relaxed nearby, Zavi had the time of his life playing in the kid’s pool. Time just flew by and before we knew it, it was noon.
We had made some plans for the afternoon and evening and so after a quick shower, we ventured out to the town for lunch at Rahmath, a famous restaurant in the market area. As soon as we reached Rahmath, I was hesitant as I couldn’t spot any parking space. But the security came running and informed us that the parking space is available nearby. The parking space was almost a kilometer away and the restaurant had an auto service to take customers to the hotel and back. Rahmath was so crowded, I wondered if there are no other decent restaurants in Kozhikode. We waited for almost half and hour and meanwhile Zavi fell asleep. When in Kozhikode, who wouldn’t want to try their special ‘Kallummeka Biriyani’ aka Spiced rice with Mussels. But I was in for disappointment, we were late and the famous ‘Kallummeka Biriyani’ was over. Reluctantly, I opted for the chicken biriyani, which I found was much less spicier compared to the Biriyanis of south Kerala. As we started our lunch, Zavi woke up and demanded Porotta, which turned out to be truly mouth watering.
After lunch, our next destination was Kappad Beach, the beach where Vasco Da Gama had landed. The beach was extremely clean and well maintained and since it was early evening, there were hardly any crowd around. Zavi loved the beach and after goofing around the beach for a while, we decided to visit Laya’s family friends, Jhansi Aunty and Vasu Uncle. The last time we met Uncle and Aunty was at a mutual friend’s wedding, around 3 years back. As we arrived at their place, we could see that Uncle and Aunty were eagerly waiting for us. Zavi instantly bonded with Uncle and went with him to take a look around the place. As we entered the house, we were greeted by the delicious aroma of banana fritters. As we settled into their dining space, Aunty served us hot tea, freshly made banana fritters and another local delicacy called ‘kumbilappam’, which is a kind of steamed cake made with a batter of jackfruit and jaggery. While we relished the snacks, and caught up on happenings with Aunty, Uncle entertained Zavi with some traditional folk songs. After spending some quality time with them, we made a move.
It was almost time for dinner and we headed straight to Aiswarya and Bijith’s flat. From there, we proceeded to a nearby burger joint. The evening was well spent with a lot of fun and frolic, and we finally headed back to our cozy cottage at Kadavu, not before inviting them to come over to Kadavu, the next morning.
As the sunlight streamed through our curtains, Zavi was the first to wake up and started jumping about. He wanted to jump on the trampoline, swim, play, and whatnot! His energy was infectious and all of us were up and ready in a jiffy. We paid a quick visit the Thali Maha Vishnu temple, which is quite close to Kadavu. We were starving by the time we reached back and headed straight to the restaurant for breakfast. As we entered the restaurant, Chemban Vinod looked straight at Zavi and his face lit up instantly. As he was about to leave, we got a picture with him and then settled for our sumptuous breakfast. While we were finishing our breakfast, Zavi told he has had already made up his mind on what he was going to do next. Jump on the trampoline! Zavi managed to squeeze in a swimming pool session as well before checking out. Meanwhile, Aiswarya and Bijith also arrived, we took a walk around the resort and we had a photo session.
Finally, It was getting time to bid adieu to the beautiful Raviz, Kadavu and to our friends at Kozhikode. With mixed feelings and looking forward to our next trip that I still haven’t planned, we slowly made our way back home after a fun filled weekend getaway.
How to reach Calicut:
By Road: Calicut ( Kozhikode ) is well connected by road, from Trivandrum, Cochin ( Kochi ), Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore.
By Train: The railway station of Kozhikode (code: CLT) is well connected to other cities of India. You could make use of https://www.irctc.co.in/ to check the connections from your city.
By Air: Calicut International Airport is the nearest airport, and from there you could rent a car or use public transport towards Calicut City. It is located in Karipur, about 28 km (17 mi) from Kozhikode City.
By Bus: Calicut ( Kozhikode ) also has its own long-distance bus station, connecting the city to local towns and villages as well as major cities throughout the country. The state-owned KSRTC buses run regularly to and from Kozhikode, and private coaches can also be arranged. While buses are inexpensive and convenient, they are likely to get very crowded and can be uncomfortable if you’re travelling with a lot of luggage.
Few places to visit:
- Kozhikode Beach - beautiful beach with broken pier.
- Kappad Beach - Visit the shore where Vasco Da Gama landed in 1498 from Europe.
- Mittai Theruvu - Well known for special calicut sweets and halwas.
- Mananchira Square - Mananchira is the heart of the city, and you could spend the evenings at the park with family. Its suitable for all age groups.
- Dolphin’s Point - If you visit at early hours of the morning, you will be lucky to watch dolphins playing in the sea.
*All the pictures were taken using Sony A7M3, ZEISS Batis 25mm f/2 lens.
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