Excursions out from The Hermitage
The Ananthapura Temple: A unique and recently restored 9th century temple. Dedicated to Vishnu, it has old frescoes and is picturesquely set in a sacred a tank in which a vegetarian crocodile allegedly resides.
Our Lady of Sorrows 19th Century Roman Catholic Church.
Malik ibn Dinar Mosque: One of the first in Malabar, dates back several hundred years to ibn Malik, a missionary from Arabia, who used marble slabs from Mecca in the original structure. Later wooden additions with fine carving.
Kasaragod: The district capital is full of interest, especially the area around the beach and lighthouse with its narrow lanes, old mosque and thatched and tiled dwellings.
Bekal Fort: The well maintained 17th century laterite bastions offer fine views over the Arabian sea. The adjacent temple has colourful stucco images.
Trekking Trip (INR 4500 for 2 pax including guide charge)
Ranipuram: This is a wonderful trek through the forest on the border of Karnataka and Kerala. Wild elephant, bison, monkeys and deer can often be seen. We will organize a guide to accompany you for the trek and provide you local food. You leave early morning and return mid-afternoon the same day.
b) HALF DAY TRIPS (Each in an air-conditioned car: 2,800)
Kanhangad: This nearby market is a bustling centre where you can see local life and visit shops, see markets and shop for spices.
Nithyananda Ashram: Here is a traditional hermits reclusive ashram and temple with many underground caves for spiritual retreat. Founded by Bhagavan Nithyananda, a famous yogi saint who died in 1961.
Ananda Ashram: Founded in 1931 by Papa Ramdas, a great saint, to spread the word of love and service. This is now a well- established international spiritual centre, a peaceful place with 100 cows, extensive accommodation fro visitors, bookshop etc. Supports various charities across India.
Goddess Bhadrakali temple: Sits in a lovely setting near the estuary amidst a small fishing village. A simple offering of lights (arati) takes place each evening.
Turtle Hatchery: Our beach at The Hermitage in a part of a 12 kilometer on which a rare and beautiful species of turtle is battling for survival. This is the Olive Ridely, named at the olive color of its heart-shaped shell. One of the smallest of the sea turtles, with adults reaching 2 to 2½ feet in length and weighing 80 to 110 pounds, the Olive Ridley is now an endangered species. The Hatchery is 3 kms south of The Hermitage.
(In an air-conditioned car with a tour escort: Rs. 3500)
A fascinating three hour trip that includes a walk through the tranquil surroundings of a typical Hindu village that is hardly touched by modern life. In an area famous for its political awareness, we can enjoy the time-honoured rhythms of agricultural life and witness: the collection of salt-water muscles from the backwaters; the farming of extensive vegetable fields owned by the village co-operative using traditional methods; the extraordinary gymnastic display of harvesting areca nuts (used in paan) from the tall palm trees. You can visit three ancient temples and there will also be a chance to take a ferry ride on the river and savour some fresh toddy!
(In an air-conditioned car with a tour escort): Rs. 3,800)
This three hour trip is best started at about 3pm from The Hermitage. First we will drive through some lovely unspoilt countryside where farming carries on at an unhurried pace. Then we shall have the chance to visit a small local production unit for Ayurvedic medicines, and see the entire process in its various stages. First comes the collecting, chopping and preparing of leaves, herbs and grasses; then the different distillation processes, finally the bottling of liquid medicines and the manufacture of powders and tablets. After this we shall take a walk through banana and areca nut plantations alongside a lovely stretch of river, and visit a traditional joint-family home where ancient texts about Ayurveda are still kept. We shall also have time to visit a farm and take tea in a typical wayside shop. On the way home, we can drop in at a temple for the evening ceremony of offering lights to the image of the diety.
We have a number of bicycles that the guests are welcome to borrow without charge. Cycling is a good way to get a feel of daily life and meet the local people. A route map is available at the Reception desk.
You can avail of guide services at Rs. 750 for half day and Rs. 1500 for a full day.