Thursday, January 20, 2011

The stay at Philipkutty’s Farm

Had been for a week long trip to Kerala and I am jotting down just a part of the trip.
Or to put it in a better way, I should say that this was the best part of our whole trip.
A little beyond Kumarakom there is a Farm known as Philipkutty’s Farm. Had heard and read about this place a lot so I had to book well in advance.
It is situated on an island which was actually reclaimed from the backwaters of Vembanad lake by the family.
This place is run by two ladies, Anu and her mother Aniyamma (whom all calls as mummy) Of course the two kids Philip and Aniya also pitches in.
The best part about this place is the family touch. They wait for you when the vallam (a small boat) approaches. Oh I forgot to mention that there are no connecting roads to this place, so the only approach is by the vallam. They send this vallam across which ferries you to the place where the family waits to receive you.
That is the family below :

We were 18 of us so they had to send two boats.

That is Priyanka and Martin trying out the Titanic pose above . . . . . .
They have villas where you can stay, and as proclaimed by their brochures, no TV no A/C.
Or you can opt for the lunch package which includes a tour of the farm followed by lunch.
(we opted for the Lunch package as we were hard pressed for time)
It sounds simple but if you break it up and list it down, it turns out to be a long list, the things that you get to learn by the tour of the farm as well as the long list of delicacies spread out for lunch.
Here Anu explains about the island which is about two meters below the lake level so during monsoon they have to pump out water back into the lake.

I couldn’t resist a close up of the fig.

Here is Martin’s dad having a closer look at the hanging bitter gourd

Some were fascinated by the geese:

These pictures were clicked at the rear side of their house where you can hardly make out the difference between land and water due to the water hyacinth

There were nutmegs, okra, pumpkins, cinnamon . . . . . to name a few.
Those below are Tapioca trees. A well grown tapioca tree yields about 5 kilos of Tapioca when you uproot them.

While Anu was taking us around showing us all the finer aspects of cultivation, I noticed two stacks of braided palm leaf, which brought back my childhood memories.

I remember how my grandmother used to make these as I sat next to her keenly watching her skillfully weaving each leaf. The final product looked artistic and it used to fetch her 50 paise (half rupee) per piece. It was painstaking, thinking of the process it had to go through, first soak the whole palm in a pond for a day or two, then split it into the two halves and when it is semi dry, you start weaving it. Once done you dry it in the sun and the finished product looks like the one below:

This is used to thatch the roofs in the days when tiles were unheard of (or one could not afford it)
Here is a picture of one in process in our house at Alleppey (Alepuzha) and believe it or not the one on the extreme right is me.

After the tour, we had time to explore the place and most of us were fascinated by the old look of the villa and the surroundings:

Some posed photo session in process :

While we were exploring the place, I could hear some lovely music and I followed it. The source was from one of the rooms where Philip was playing the keyboard. I did some video shooting to record the music and I must say, he is really talented.

Anu announced that the lunch was ready and I had a tough time holding back the group so that I could click this:
Some of the things that I can recollect now are :
Chicken curry
Fish Vattichadu
Fish fry
Beef fry
Pineapple pachaddi
Bitter gourd fry
Cabbage thoran
Banana flower cutlet
Mango pickle
I saw some going in for the second and third helping.

(in case some are wondering about banana flower, here is a picture of it)
Banana flower
© Photographer: Joezachs | Agency:

This was followed by payasam and the small variety of banana (which is very very tasty and sweet)

Aha finally all 18 of us in one frame. It was fun to have all from different nationality, Indian, American, Dutch, Greek, German & Spanish. And this time I am in front of the camera (again extreme right)

After resting for some time we were ferried back to the other side where our bus awaited us.

Priyanka tried to pull out the flower from the water, to offer it to Martin and see what she got. (hook line and sinker)

Some of these feathered friends were giving us a quizzical look.

And this is the link to their site.


Connie said...

What a lovely spot to visit and a fun trip. I enjoyed seeing these pictures. The lunch looks delicious--such a wonderful variety of dishes to try!

Tomz said...

Nice pix and article. When I was a tourism journalist, I had written articles on Philipkutty's farm.

Christine H. said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip. The photos of the boats with the water hyacinths are particularly beautiful. said...

nice the greenery...
figs look so cute!

Inger said...

Blogging is so much fun -- you can travel all over the world and learn so much. I, for one, didn't know tapioca grew on trees. We didn't have it in Sweden when I grew up there and then, of course, I haven't given it much thought. Lovely photo, so green -- it is humid? It looks it. Thanks for this fun trip.--Inger

Unknown said...

This post brings back so many lovely memories of Kerala for me. We were there for 2 weeks and enjoyed the wonderful places. Hop over as I'm doing Kerala too.Look forward to more of Kerala from you!

Atul said...

wow! that looks like a true 'backwater cosy vacation' place! ... and i superlike this! ... (FB hangover u c!)

Renu said...

what a lovely place to visit and you made it lovcelier with your details..Thanks for sharing this..I thorughly enjoyed the post.

S. Susan Deborah said...


Your joy at the trip is exuded through the post. After seeing the pictures laced with your description, I yearn to go to that place. I might, very soon in the near future.

Joy always,

Neha said...

It sounds like a very peaceful and calm place. And the meal looks amazing!

Lyn said...

What a lovely adventure. As I sit here at my desk peering out into the early morning darkness and -19 C temperatures, your captures of lush, humid greenery are a respite. Thank you for sharing!

Jon said...

That was very awesome piece.. I even googled for the place. May be u shud ask a commission 4 marketing

Jeannette said... sharing...and those! Thank you!

Sushant Jain said...

Thanks to share the pictures with us...
Undoubtably awsome....

Mental said...

Looking at your pictures was like reliving God Of Small Things through photos! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures. Looks like a really good place to visit. Nandini

kiran sawhney said...

Such amazing description of the place. I felt like i have been to the place, reading your description. It seems like a great trip.

Cezar and Léia said...

This farm looks a paradise and your pictures are wonderful, thanks for sharing!
Léia - Bonjour Luxembourg

kyooty said...

These photos are beautiful! so much color and green.

Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks like a wonderful place to visit.

walk2write said...

Thank you for such wonderful insight into a magical place. I would love to visit there someday. Family owned resorts are the best!

Judging from the photos of you (yesteryear and recent) the years have been kind to you. It must be the influence of a loving family and a clear conscience.

Shruti said...

Just lovvved the pictures..and the write-up!! :)
Made me miss 'naadu' even more..!

Ibifiri Kamson said...

Hi lovely pix and thanks for stopping by on my blog. I hope you liked it. Will become your follower for I love your blog and pictures. I am also a photographer, learnt from my

Namitha said...

Kumarakom is a lovely place for sure :-) Though it's so close to our place in Kerala, couldn't go there during our last India trip :(

Anjuli said...

This was a lovely post indeed! The pictures and the corresponding text really introduced this place to the reader. I especially liked the table laden with food- oh my- made me hungry (even though it is in the middle of the night).

P.N. Subramanian said...

Wonderful description. Philipkutty's farm must be a lovely place. I wonder how you could have made justice with the sumptuous lunch. Thanks.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi, This is a wonderful trip in God's Own Country. The photos are lovely and I can see that you and your friends really had a good time.

Best wishes,

Regina said...

Wonderful photos!

Thank you for visiting.

ceecee said...

A lovely look at your very colorful world.
I thank you for your visit to my world, too.

Dhemz said...

what a gorgeous place...thanks for taking us with you...:)

great to be here...thanks for dropping by...following your blog!

Madhu said...

Its been sometime since I had a chance to stop by here and boy, its a joy!

yyam said...

It must have been a lovely trip! Great photo documentation! :)

forgetmenot said...

Thanks for the nice comment on my "sky". I really enjoyed reading through your blog--learned a lot. It sounded like you had a very pleasant and interesting day. Thank you for taking me with you on your trip via your blog. Mickie Brown

4 Lettre Words said...

So fascinating...and beautiful! LOVE the 2nd capture.

Nisha said...

I had read this but couldn't come here to comment earlier. Wonderful description. What a lovely spot to visit and a fun trip. I enjoyed the pictures very much.
When I go there, I'll refer to this article.:)

dr.antony said...

Interesting. My hometown is so close to the place,and I havent heard about this.
Sure,I would try next time.The place looks like out of the world!

sangeeta said...

This is so beautiful... must have been fun.

Vivek Mavelikara said...

Nice Photos of my homeland!

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