Spending the last day of a 8 day long Kerala trip in Trivandrum, to meet a friend and relax it out before heading back home, is what I had in mind while planning the trip. My very close friend Rakesh works at the Times of India there, and he helped put me up at the oldest hotel in Trivandrum – The Trivandrum Hotel. The history of the hotel dates back to even before India achieved its independence. It got recently renovated and reopened to the public, in 2011, if I remember correctly. A fantastic hotel, with good restaurants would be a very modest description for the hotel.
Meeting up with Rakesh for lunch, he decided it would be best not to send me back home without having at least one complete traditional meal, and also, not to put me through terrible traffic outside again. So, we settled at the traditional restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel itself. And I couldn’t say how happy I was to see the banana leaf placed in front of me. I wait for Onam every year to have the Sadhya, and this year I could have the Sadhya twice, it’s a joy I can’t quite describe.
I am indeed very poor with the names, I am taught everything every year since I was a kid, and yet I have barely managed to remember a few names. Sambhar, Papaddam and Rasam are easy to remember. I have picked up Pachhadi which is the chutney made with yoghurt and another ingredient of choice like pineapple, beetroot, etc. Then there is a payasam made from jaggery. There is lots of rice. There are so many things in front of me, each as delicious as the other, and I have no idea what most are called. There are jackfruit chips, there is something made from ginger, something from some vegetables, and so much more. I don’t ask the names, I just gorge on. It doesn’t really matter at times as to what the dish is really called, so far as I am able to enjoy it and even ask for second helpings by the sign language between mouthfuls.
It was a great meal. Since I was already at the end of my vacation, I really didn’t want to go around Trivandrum, and I preferred staying in the comforts of my room and do nothing. It was quite fun that ways. Trivandrum does offer a few tourist attractions, though not many. Kovalam is nearby, though Trivandrum also has its own beach.
Trivandrum Hotel is a superb hotel to stay at, offering a slice of rich Indian heritage. It’s very comfortable, and located centrally bang opposite the Secratariat.