Kozhikode

Pulikkayam entrepreneurs offer kayakers a home away from home

Paddlers Amit Thappa and Naina Adhikari from Uttarakhand sharing a lighter moment with their host Annamma Kuriakose and her son Sujith Kuriakose at Pulikkayam in Kozhikode.

Paddlers Amit Thappa and Naina Adhikari from Uttarakhand sharing a lighter moment with their host Annamma Kuriakose and her son Sujith Kuriakose at Pulikkayam in Kozhikode. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Paddlers from outside Kerala have found a home away from home at Annamma’s small house at Pulikkayam during the Malabar River Festival.

Amit Thappa and his relative Naina Adhikari, two young paddlers from Uttarakhand, who knocked at the doors of Ms. Annamma’s home for their short stay during the kayaking championship, have been experiencing the warmth of the 69-year-old’s hospitality and affection.

“It is not just the stay but the care that matters the most. This ambiance and welcoming attitude help us perform better in the rapids after coming from a distant place,” says Mr. Thappa, who has around 30 medals to his credit, including the first prize he grabbed on Friday under the slalom category. He says staying close to the venue under the care of a motherly host is a unique experience for any contestant.

For Ms. Annamma, her guests are like family members. “Every year, kayakers come here for accommodation. We never reject them as they should never feel lost in an unfamiliar land,” says the elderly host.  

For over eight years, many national and international paddlers have felt at home at several homestays in Kodenchery panchayat. Apart from providing an affordable facility to stay, many entrepreneurs offer their guests local cuisine, sightseeing trips, and interaction with local families.

Ms. Adhikari, who was the second runner-up in the slalom pro category for women on Friday, says language barriers do not affect the warm relationship with their host. Ms. Annamma’s broken words and gestures give a tremendous sense of camaraderie, she says. 

Kodenchery panchayat president Alex Thomas says the panchayat has been keen on setting up around 40 village homestays for welcoming national and international kayakers. He says the fest could set a trend in popularising native homestays, reflecting the true spirit of Responsible Tourism. The guests themselves emerge as promoters of such model facilities among their associates, he says. 


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Printable version | Aug 25, 2022 7:56:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/pulikkayam-entrepreneurs-offer-kayakers-a-home-away-from-home/article65765000.ece