Tellicherry (Thalassery) town in Kerala was a spice trade hub of the British East India Company and was known amongst Europeans as the 'Paris of Kerala' due to its close proximity to the French military base. Tellicherry pepper and cinnamon are produced in the town, which adds to the cultural intrigue towards the tropical location.
The coastal town is surrounded by lush hills and is very much worth exploring. Visits to the charming fish market and local fort are recommended, as well as the local temple where you may be lucky enough to witness Theyyam; a ritual temple dance where the priest adorns a bright costume and mask and performs a dance.
But the main reason TransIndus guests frequently cite their stay here as one of the highlights of their holiday is the hospitality at Ayesha Manzil, a homestay with an outstanding pedigree and a superb position on a wooden hilltop overlooking the town. It’s housed in an hold Victorian mansion, dating from the 1890s and filled with original period features and furniture.
Hosts CP Moosa and his wife, Malabari cooking expert Faiza, are fonts of knowledge on the area, leading guided walks around the Tellicherry and trips to hidden coves up the coast. Faiza also leads wonderfully enjoyable courses, the results of which provide sumptuous meals of traditional Malabari cuisine on the Moosa’s breezy, sea-facing verandah.