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"The Clinic" Malakkara.

A Specialty Center for wellness, restoration of health & Integrated management of Neurological & Spinal diseases.

"The Clinic" was established in 1995, to help individuals with complicated, chronic and unusual health problems, to  get well, in a green and peaceful environment, in a atmosphere of love and care.

We offer an individualized and intensive approach to your problems, in an integrated and holistic manner in a clean and harmonious environment which is ideal for healing. The approach gives you adequate time with the doctor which ranges from 45 minutes to an hour on all working days which gives both the doctor and you the chance to explore, understand and solve the your problems. This kind of time from a doctor is rarely available in any hospital and is only possible because we see a small number of patients every day in the clinic. Patients are seen only by appointment (except for occasional emergencies) so high quality care is possible as the doctor is not under the pressure of time.


We treat a wide range of conditions, with special expertise in Neurological & Spinal problems, allergies, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis and autoimmune disorders. Most patients who seek admission at the clinic are suffering from long standing, complicated and often interrelated problems for which they have been unable to find answers elsewhere in the world. Chronic illness and pain, are a major cause of poor quality of life for hundreds of millions of people all over the world. Unfortunately conventional medicine does not have effective or permanent answers to these problems apart from symptomatic treatment like pain killers.

At this clinic, we focus on these ailments, as we have the facilities and expertise to treat these conditions effectively.

Photographs Of the Clinic & our Facilities

The View Of the Pamba 1 Covered Walkway At _ The Clinic_2 THe Clinic3 4 5 6 The Serene Gazebo  7 Our Gate8 Steam room9 Sunrise Over The Paddy fields10 SUNRISE11 Lakshmi12 Paddy field13 Love a Duck!14 Water in my Paddy Fields15 River View16 Snake boat On the River17 Yoga Area18 Amber Suite19 Amber Suite20 Domino Suite21 Special care Room22 Ruby Suite23 Ruby Suite24 Ruby suite25 Gazebo access ramp.26 Walkway to the Gazebo27 Bijoy  28 Bouganvilla29 Frangipani Flower in the garden30  Patient Waiting Area31 Riverside32 view of the river Pamba33 Sunset view over the river 34
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Treatment approach

Dr. Hiranandani's treatment approach is both scientific and logical. It is based on finding out why each individual has his unique problems and  then treating the cause of the problems. This relies on the fact that if we treat the cause of a problem, the symptoms will resolve as the body heals. The resolution of the symptoms is proof that the correct causes have been diagnosed and correctly tackled. You are made aware of the causes of your problems, and advised how you can best help yourself to get well.

Dr. Hiranandani advises that patients with complicated problems, plan an initial stay for 6 to 8 weeks for the recovery process to begin. This allows you the time and opportunity to resolve complicated and long standing problems under medical supervision in an environment of understanding, love and care.  He then advises a follow up readmission after 6 months for a period of 2-3 weeks and at periodic intervals thereafter till maximum recovery is achieved. People with simpler issues may not need such long stays to resolve their problems.

Treatment  begins with an  in depth diagnostic evaluation. A treatment program is then formulated and discussed with you to tackle the causes of each problem in the most effective fashion. This is followed by intensive treatment to tackle both the causes and effects of your problems. Daily discussions with Dr. Hiranandani can help you explore your illness fully, and help you understand the factors which have led to your illness. These discussions are useful for you to learn how to return to good health and maintain that in the years to come. Our approach here is geared up to help you as an individual to get well as soon as possible. This approach involves helping you at many levels. My multi disciplinary, integrated approach, analyses your problems and health in detail, and helps you work out effective answers.

At "The Clinic" we offer a unique treatment which is often the best you can find anywhere in the world, which is given with love, care and wisdom, at prices which are far lower than what it would cost in the western world. We have structured our in patient healing methods and ambiance to help you get well as soon as possible. The treatment at the clinic consists of treatment during formal consultations, unstructured treatment at other times and discussions with you both alone and in groups with other patients.  The treatment  also includes  a diet tailored to your needs on a daily basis so you receive the optimum nutrition for healing. I conduct therapeutic  yoga classes which I direct towards helping each individual to heal and strengthen  his weak areas.   The group discussions are a wonderful way to understand diet, your illness and find to peace and happiness in your life.

We relieve our inpatients from the daily chores of existence, freeing you up to heal yourself and experience the healing process. This is an experience of a lifetime meant for those who care enough about themselves to do what it takes to get well.

Many patients who find their way to the clinic have been ill for many years and have not responded well to any form of treatment. The treatment of such patients is both time consuming and complicated. To allow each patient the opportunity to have quality time and personal care from the doctor, our in-patient accommodation is restricted to three suites and two single rooms one with air conditioning and one without air conditioning. Treatment is also available on an out-patient basis by prior appointment. If you are planning to take treatment as an out patient please book your appointments in advance.

For a person to fall ill and not be able to recover means that the body has been damaged to an extent that the normal recuperative mechanisms of the body have failed. Here we aim to help your body heal to a level from where your body's own healing mechanisms take over and allow you to recover. Patients with complicated problems rarely get the full benefit of the treatment as out-patients. In patient treatment  will allow you to heal faster and should be your first choice if you can afford it.

Over the years, I have seen that  healing needs to take place at many levels, not only the physical level but also the level of the mind and soul.

During the treatment and in many informal interactions, I assist you in understanding your issues and resolving them. I encourage you to explore and understand your problems and work towards healing yourself and growing in the direction you wish to go. This clinic works with people with chronic problems and helps them to restore their health. "The Clinic" is equipped and designed to help you to get well as soon as possible.

"The Clinic" is a place for anybody who wishes to improve their health,  and to grow in the direction they wish to go.

We help people who are well, to explore and assess their lives and health. I help people to anticipate what problems may occur in the future and help them to take action to prevent these problems.  Many people do have minor health problems and have been unable to find answers for them. A few days stay at the clinic, can often help them find answers. Many of our guests at "The Clinic" return every  year,  to fine tune their health, to rest and recuperate,  and to  grow into the people they wish to be.

Admission and diagnosis

Admission to the clinic begins with filling in an admission and arrival form, which is mailed to you once you confirm your admission. This helps us to plan your stay  here, so we can optimize your treatment plan, and arrange your food and other requirements. Please fill and mail us this questionnaire detailing your personal information and problems.

After you arrive, have settled down and rested, you  meet  Dr. Hiranandani for a diagnostic evaluation  to find out the causes of your problems. After this evaluation a detailed treatment plan is then drawn up to enable you to recover your health as soon as possible. This plan requires work from you, Dr. Hiranandani and the clinic staff. This plan, in addition to the treatment being carried out by Dr. Hiranandani & his staff, may include dietary changes, life style changes, re-evaluation of goals, thought processes and reassessment of your aims in your life as well as breathing, and exercise regimens to allow you to recover and lead a better, healthier life. This plan is discussed with you, and after your consent we commence treatment.

There is a threshold in each individual at which illness manifests. Many factors can drive you below this threshold. These factors include lack of sleep, stress, incorrect or unbalanced diet, injury, lack of exercise, excesses in work, diet, lifestyle, alcohol. Other factors include air pollution, polluted water, food contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives and artificial colorings. Here we aim to bring you above the threshold by the modification of whichever of these factors are applicable to you. With your cooperation the healing and recovery process is faster and more complete, while without your cooperation, the process is usually doomed to failure.

Medical records

Patients are requested to bring all documentation, X-rays, scans & other medical papers which relate to the problems for which they are coming to " The Clinic" for treatment.

Treatment

The first phase of treatment is to address the causes of your problems. In this phase most of the work is done by the doctor and his staff. The next phase is to promote recovery of those parts of your body which may have been damaged by the illness. In this phase more responsibility shifts to the patient. The third phase is consolidation of the recovery process. Here the patient puts in most of the effort under the supervision of the doctor and his staff. The final phase consists of follow up assessments and treatments over the next few years till you are satisfied with your state of health. As these phases of treatment overlap we advise you to allocate yourself enough time at "The Clinic", and put in the effort to achieve the results you desire. Mobilization and exercise in the clinic premises   is supervised by doctor & his staff to allow you correct your posture, walking and usage of your body.

Hard work and divine grace

"The Clinic" offers an individualized and intensive approach to problems in a holistic fashion in a clean, green, harmonious environment which is ideal for healing. Our aim is to make you functional during your stay at the clinic. With chronic health problems, the body suffers a lot of damage and this can take time to recover. If you are responding to treatment it is often worthwhile for you to extend your stay here till you are functional. Here we have the infrastructure to aid you in the recovery process which is often not available in your home environment. Much hard work will be required in the subsequent years to consolidate the improvement and return you to good health. Continued improvement requires that you adhere to the treatment plan laid out by Dr. Hiranandani at "The Clinic" and return for follow up treatment if advised by Dr. Hiranandani. Many patients come to "The Clinic" expecting miracles. Miracles are 99% hard work and 1% Divine grace. If both doctor & patient put in all the necessary effort to become well, the divine grace and the miracle often follow. If the patient is not inclined to co-operate with the treatment regimen then we are unlikely to obtain the desired results and he or she is advised to seek treatment elsewhere.

Daily Routine at the Clinic.

Exceptions in admission

“The Clinic " does not admit acutely ill patients in unstable condition, as such patients are best treated in centers specializing in such care, or patients with infectious or contagious diseases as we do not have facilities to isolate them from other patients.

Comments in Our Visitors Book From Some of our Patients.

Charges

Prepaid treatment packages

We offer prepaid treatment packages, which may allow you to save up to 25% on your bill, depending on your needs, as compared to our standard charges. Prepaid treatment packages are ideal for those of you who are paying for your own treatment.
The standard package includes

1) Up to 60 minutes of structured treatment a day (during normal working hours & excluding Holidays) for the patient.
2) Accommodation, food, internet access & laundry for the patient and one companion.
3) Therapeutic Yoga instruction & group discussions for the patient.

The economy packages include:

1) Up to 45 minutes of structured treatment a day (during normal working hours & excluding Holidays) for the patient.
2) Accommodation, food, internet access & laundry for the patient in a single room.

It does not include medicines, investigations & physiotherapy. It saves us billing and administrative time and allows us to devote our time and effort to getting you well, and we pass on this savings to you. On discharge we provide you with your bill, receipts for payments made and a discharge summary containing a summary of your treatment and your future course of action to maintain your health. Please click on the link above for full details of the package. If your insurance company reimburses packages you may also opt for this scheme.

Medical insurance claims

Patients claiming reimbursement from insurance companies, will be charged our standard charges as insurance companies require a separate breakdown of all charges, along with extensive investigations and paperwork for a successful insurance claim. We can also bill you separately for any ailments, treatments & items not covered under your insurance policy.

If you intend claiming your medical & hospitalization bills from your insurance company, please provide us with the full details of what your policy covers and a letter from your your insurance company  giving their requirements for your claim.  These details must be furnished at the time of admission. We will provide you with all documentation regarding your treatment here at the time of your discharge, but are unable to provide any documentation to you or your insurance company after your discharge. Many policies exclude illnesses which you had at time of taking out the policy and exclude certain types of treatment.

Payment of bills

Weekly Bills will be presented on Saturdays. Please arrange cash or Demand drafts payable at Chengannur with you to the estimated value of your expenses each week to enable you to settle your bills on presentation. Electronic payment may also be made over the internet.  The facility of payment by credit card is also available. We accept Visa & Master card but not American express.

Failure to settle the bills on presentation will constrain us to discharge you and allocate the room to the next person on our waiting list.

Registered hospital

"The Clinic" is registered as a 10 bed hospital with local authorities.

Photo album of The Clinic

Address, telephone and fax numbers

The postal address: "The Clinic", Malakkara. via Edayaranmulla, Kerala 689532, India.
Tel. numbers: 91-468-2317103; 91-468-2317118. 91-468-2317328.

How to get to the clinic:

"The Clinic" is situated in the picturesque village of Malakkara in Kerala, in south India on the banks of the River Pamba. Approximate GPS coordinates are 9 degrees 19'37.15"N, 76 degrees 38'15.68"S. "HINJES" lat.=9.32473258912, Longitude=76.6576669378Altitude 45 feet above mean sea level. Malakkara. (Population 3000) is situated  40 kms inland from the Coast.


The closest airports are Thiruvanathapuram International Airport (126 kms away and about 2.5 hours by road)  and Nedumbassery International Airport at Kochi (130 kms away and about 3.5-4 hours by road). These airports receive direct international flights from Singapore, Sri Lanka & the Middle East. Daily flights to both these airports are available from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore, the major cities in India with international airports.

Google maps

Visas

Those of you coming from overseas will need to get a passport and visa to enter India which is available from the nearest Indian Embassy. Indian embassies usually issue 6 month multiple entry visas for tourists. Processing time of the visas is usually 10-15 days so apply for your visa to come to India 2-3 weeks before your departure. If you need to make frequent trips to India, a 3 year multiple entry medical visa is also available. Please contact us & we will give you a certificate to this effect to help you get the visa.

Currency

The local Currency is the Indian Rupee. The current exchange rate is approximately Rs 67 = 1 Euro & Rs 54 =1$. Exchange rates do fluctuate. Foreign currency can be exchanged at airports, hotels, certain authorized banks & money changers. Major credit cards are widely accepted and you can draw cash from ATM's in Chengannur at good rates of exchange usually up to a limit of Rs20,000 per transaction, and up to Rs 50,000 per day if your debit card/credit card allows it in separate transactions every day.

Taxis to the Clinic

Malakkara is well connected by road and if you inform us in advance we can send a taxi to receive you at the airport. Pre-paid taxi's are also available at the airport. The rates are about Rs2100 for a non air conditioned taxi, Rs2900 for an air conditioned taxi (Qualis), and Rs 3100 for a Luxury air conditioned taxi (Innova) for the trip to "the Clinic". The map shown above will be useful if you are making your own way from the airport.

Backwaters

The road from Kochi airport to the clinic brings you over the world famous backwaters of Kerala. The back waters run along the road from Alleppy to Changanacherry and you will see the back waters on one side and paddy fields on the other side. You can also see the houseboats as you cross the bridges over the back waters.

Nearest town

Chengannur is the nearest small town (5kms away), where basic necessities are available.

Chengannur also has the nearest railway station, where most trains stop for 3 to 5 minutes. Chengannur is the rail head for pilgrims proceeding to Sabarimala and hotels may be crowded or full during November to February each year.


Chengannur has hotels like Hotel Relax Inn near the railway station (tariff Rs 850 to Rs 2500 per day), Hotel Raj International, Shanthi Palace, Hotel Pournami etc where patients or their attendants may stay. Most hotels do not have handicapped access. These hotels are located in town and you can get to the clinic by bus, taxi or auto Rickshaw in about 10-15 minutes at a cost ranging from Rs 10 by bus, about Rs 150-200 by taxi & Rs 60-150 by auto rickshaw subject to your negotiating skills.

South Indian food is easily available, Chinese food is also available. North Indian's may have a problem finding food suited to their taste.
The Empire Residency hotel (www.empireresidency.com) Tel 0479-2457220 is 4 kms from the clinic on the outskirts of Chengannur, has A.C deluxe rooms at Rs 2500+taxes and A.C suites at Rs 3000+taxes. Food is available at the restaurant.

Facilities at "The Clinic".

The Clinic is located in Verdant green Surroundings which are ideal for healing. Medical Research shows that healing is much faster in green environments than in conventional hospitals. Conventional hospitals tend to be located in large buildings with impersonal care causing stress to the patients and their families. Hospital rooms tend to be cramped with fluorescent lighting, while our suites offer ample space, good ventilation and natural light which allow you to live comfortably during extended stays.

Our facility has been designed to make you feel at home with greenery and gardens all around. Personalized care, and ample time with the doctor, speed up the healing process, allowing you to understand and resolve many of the factors which are causing your problems.

The Clinic offers accommodation in single rooms & suites. All rooms have an en suite bathroom with running hot water. The clinic has been designed with the needs of handicapped people in mind and all rooms have wheelchair access. Facilities for steam inhalation, for making tea and coffee, a refrigerator, cable television and piped classical music are available in all suites and rooms. Each suite also has a small combination safe for you to store your valuables.

The single rooms are available either with or without air-conditioning.

We have double bedded or triple bed air conditioned suites suitable if you are bringing a companion or family.
Each suite is spacious, self contained and well furnished in an ergonomic style. It is also possible to attach a single room to a suite to accommodate your attendant, family or friend.

Our special care room is equipped with a motorized intensive care bed, oxygen, suction machine, cardiac monitor, pulse oximeter, & cardiac defibrillator.

Please specify the type of room you require at the time of making your bookings. Room changes are permitted subject to the desired room being available.


Direct inward dialing facility is available at the clinic for your friends and family to contact you. They should dial 91-468-2317328, they will get a recorded message. They should then dial your room number. If they are calling from a pulse phone they need to dial * followed by your room number. Outgoing local calls are free. To call interstate, mobile phones and overseas numbers call now cards are available from the clinic manager in various denominations. Interstate calls cost up to Rs 2/ minute, to the USA & Canada Rs4.75/minute, to Europe & the U.K up to Rs 4/minute.

If you bring your laptop with you with a wireless facility you may use our wireless airport network. If you wish a printout of your E mails please send them to manager@drmanik.com and we will provide you a printout of black printed matter at  Rs 10  per page, and Rs 50 per page for colored matter & photographs. Electrical current in India is 220-240 volts 50Hz.

Eating and drinking

Vegetarian food is provided at the clinic, which is freshly cooked prior to each meal according to the specific prescribed dietary needs of each patient. The meals are specially prescribed for the needs of each person and are personally checked by Dr Hiranandani before they are served to you in your room. North Indian, South Indian and Continental food are provided at the clinic. The food menus are individually designed to be tasty, nutritious and balanced to help improve your health. No preservatives or additives are used in the food prepared at the clinic. Patients are requested not to take any food other than that provided by the clinic unless they have consulted Dr. Hiranandani and have obtained his approval.

Photo album of Salads served at the Clinic

Drinking Water is obtained from our own well, purified through a biological sand filter and then sterilized with Ultraviolet treatment. Our drinking water is of Neutral pH, with a pleasant taste as it is free of all chemicals.

Recreation & Contemplation

Photo album of Birds and flowers in and around The Clinic

The clinic is located on the river Pamba which flows down from the western Ghats, originating at Sabarimala, the shrine of Lord Ayyappa and one of India's holiest shrines. Over the centuries many sages have settled on the banks of this holy river and a culture of prayer is ingrained in this area. This contributes to the spiritual ambiance and peace of the area.

The river is a holy river for the local people, both Hindu and Christians, so it is clean and free of Industrial pollution. We have provided facilities for relaxing by the river. There are private steps leading down to the river and we have a paddling platform which is safe even for those who do not know how to swim. As you paddle in the river you may see many colorful fish playing around your feet. Dr Hiranandani often swims in the river and good swimmers are welcome to join him during his evening swim at their own risk.

Photo album of the River Pamba

Facilities for playing badminton and darts are available. Hammocks are also available. Please request for the equipment.
Patients may also practice rowing the clinic's canoe under supervision, with a life jacket on, when water conditions are suitable.

Over the centuries many sages have settled on the banks of this holy river and a culture of prayer is ingrained in this area. This contributes to the spiritual ambiance of the area.

Walks through the paddy fields

There are beautiful walks through the paddy fields surrounding the clinic which all visitors are encouraged to take. These walks are a good way to get exercise, destress and even loose weight if you need to!
Photo album of the Paddy fields around the clinic

Emergency attention

Dr. Hiranandani lives on the premises so his attention is available instantly in case of any emergency. There are three large hospitals in close proximity, the Century hospital at Chengannur 5 Kms, the Muthoot hospital at Kozhencherry (9kms) & the Pushpagiri hospital at Tiruvilla (12kms) with access to a range of modern investigations (including CT & MRI scans) and facilities.

Timings at The Clinic

Dr. Hiranandani's Consulting hours are:
Monday to Saturday : 9 a.m to 1 p.m
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday 4 p.m.- 5.30 p.m.
Planned treatment is usually restricted to these hours. Higher rates apply for treatment or consultations outside these hours.

Hours for receiving your visitors : 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. daily. If you need to receive visitors at other times please discuss it with the clinic manager so he can adjust your treatment schedule accordingly. Please ensure that your visitor's do not use their horns while approaching the clinic or in the clinic premises.

Check in Time : After 2.30 p.m.. Check out time 10.30 a.m.
We need this time to make the room ready for the next person. If we are not expecting any other patients you may request a late checkout.

Weather

The climate in Kerala is mild throughout the year with temperatures ranging between 17 and 35 degrees Centigrade. Kerala experiences two monsoons each year which keep it cool and green.

The Southwest monsoon usually begins in end May and lasts till the end of August (temperatures range between 20 to 30 degrees) Rain gear and water proof footwear are useful to have with you if you are here at this time.

The north east monsoon arrives in Mid October and lasts till the middle of January. This monsoon is usually marked by evening showers which keep the temperature very pleasant. Temperatures at this time range from 17 to 30 degrees Centigrade. A light sweater is useful in the early mornings.

February to May is Kerala's summertime. This time is usually hot and humid. Temperatures range from 23 to 35 degrees Centigrade.

A cool breeze blows over the river from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.. Hammocks and swings are available for you to nap out doors or by the river.

Weather Forecast | Weather Maps | Weather Radar | Hurricane Center

Clothing recommendations

You are advised to bring 6 sets of modest light cotton clothing, including some full sleeved outfits, 3-4 T shirts, shorts, a pair of jeans, light loose clothes for yoga, 1 pair of good walking shoes, 6 pairs of socks, 1 pair of waterproof slippers, 4 sets of night clothes, 6 sets of underwear, modest swim swear and rain gear with you. Please bring the toiletries & medication you require for your use for the duration of your stay as they may not be available locally.

Excursions

Kerala is well known as a tourist destination for its beauty, greenery, the clean and unpolluted air, and its peaceful and harmonious environment. There are many easy day excursions to enjoy the beauty of Kerala. These are described below and we can help you arrange the transport. You and your family may avail of these excursions between treatments.

Chengannur is the nearest small town 5 kms (10 minutes) away), where basic necessities are available. It has an ancient famous Shiva Temple. It also has a Narasimha Swami temple with exquisite woodcarvings about 1200 years old. Traditional Kerala Ayurvedic massage is available here by prior appointment. It has a railway station where most trains stop, banks and ATM’s.

Aranmula, 4 kms away has the Parthasarthy Temple which is reputed to be 8000 years old. A magnificent boat race is held here at the time of Onam (In August/September). It is famous for metal mirrors which are unique to this village. We can arrange for you to visit an artisan to see how these are made. Aranmula also has the Vastu Vidya Gurukulam where you can see traditional mural painters at work and buy their art.

Thiruvilla 14 kms ( 30 minutes) away, is a larger town that has 5 malls and a big Saree shop. The Sree Vallabha temple here has Kathakali performances every night. Close to Thiruvilla is Niranam where St. Thomas, an Apostle of Christ built his first church in AD 52. The ancient church has now been reconstructed. Worship at this site has been conducted continuously for almost 2000 years.

Mannar lies between Chengannur and Niranam and has many shops which sell brass items like lamps, statues and curios.

CGH earth, chain of Eco-friendly resorts, has many beautiful and eco friendly properties located close by. They include Coconut lagoon at Kumarakom, Spice village at Thekkady, the Mararikulam beach resort near Alleppy, Brunton boatyard and Eighth Bastion at Fort Cochin. Their website is www.cghearth.com Tel 0484-3011711

A trip on the backwaters can be one of the highlights of a trip to Kerala. These are channels both natural & artificial which open to the sea and extend inland allowing direct access by boat to most parts of coastal Kerala. They act as the roads and highways for many hundreds of thousands of people. As many Kerala homes are situated on the backwaters it gives you an inside look into the lives of the people of Kerala. You can take excursions on the backwaters, from Allapuzha or Kottayam (40 kms, about 1 hour away). Excursions on House boats cost between Rs 4000-8000 for 24 hour stay on the houseboat including meals and Rs 300-350/ hour for a motor boat. Photo album of the Backwaters

Alleppy, 42 kms ( 1 hour) away is an ancient port  which was known as the Venice of India for its many canals. It has a public beach which is easily accessible. It is a good place to buy coir mats, uniquely designed umbrellas & hammocks.
 

Kottayam, 45 kms (75 minutes) away is famous for its rubber trade and it’s numerous lakes. The town makes a pleasant outing for a day. It has many shops and resorts. Gold jewelry with exquisite workmanship is available at the numerous gold shops in Kottayam. The Chariyapally & Valiayapalli churches on the way to Kumarakom, dating back to the 16th Century are worth a visit.

Kumarakom, 60 Kms (2 hours away) situated between the backwaters and Vembanad lake on the outskirts of Kottayam, has a bird sanctuary and many luxurious resorts like Coconut Lagoon, Taj Garden Retreat and Lakeshore resorts. It is a good place to take a trip on the backwaters.

Thekkady game sanctuary is about 100 kms (3 hours) away and is usually a good place to see wild elephants, wild boar, sambhar deer, bison, monkeys & birds in their natural habitat in the dry season. If you are really lucky you may even see a tiger here. To take this trip you need to be mobile and physically fit. The nearby town of Kumily is a good place to buy natural unprocessed honey and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper & vanilla beans.

Kochi is the nearest city with lots of shopping and sightseeing.
It is 100 kms ( 3 hours) away and can be visited either as a day trip or over the weekend. It has a museum of Kerala history and the hill palace at Tripunithara. Ernakulam has several new Malls on Marine drive & the Cochin Bypass Road. Shopping is found on M.G. Road and spices at wholesale rates on Broadway. The harbour has boat trips to Fort Cochin & Vypeen Island.

Fort Cochin is the older part of Cochin which lies across the backwaters has the Dutch Palace, Vasco da Gama’s Church, the Jewish synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, seafood, & shopping for souvenirs, antiques and spices in Jew town. The Biennale art festival is on in Fort Cochin till March 2013. This has an old world charm and is a nicer place to stay overnight.

Trivandrum is the state Capital, 120 Kms (3 hours) away and also has much to visit by way of handicrafts, museums, temples, zoos, beaches, etc. The SMS institute is a good place to buy local handicrafts. The famous Kovalam beach is located just out side Trivandrum (15kms).

Varkala 80 Kms away has a nice beach with hot springs located on the beach.

Athirapally waterfalls 40 kms north of the Cochin Airport, is a worthwhile sight, specially in the monsoon time when the water rushes over the falls.

Kanya Kumari located at the Southern tip of India is 200 Kms away and takes 4-6 hours to access. It is the place where 3 oceans meet and is an important Pilgrimage spot. The Vivekananda Rock temple is also located here. You can visit this by train from Chengannur over the weekend. If you are going by taxi you can also visit the Padmanabhampuram palace with exquisite mual paintaings dating from the 15th to 19th centuries and the Suchindrum temple with its Musical columns. The columns here resonate with the music of different instruments when you strile them and your guide will often put on an impromptu concert for you.