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 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, an 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 colorful stucco images.
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.
Kanhangad: This nearby market is a bustling center where you can see local life and visit shops, see markets and shop for spices.
Nithyananda Ashram: Here is a traditional hermit's reclusive ashram and temple with many underground caves for a 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 center, a peaceful place with 100 cows, extensive accommodation for 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 Ridley, 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 km south of The Hermitage.
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!
This three-hour trip is best started at about 3 pm 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 deity.
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.