Happy Onam Festival to you.

Onam in Indore

A natural flower display for Onam.                                                    Text by RR staff

It’s a very exciting weekend here in Kerala. Onam, a harvest festival, is celebrated all over Kerala regardless of caste & creed during the month of Chingam (01st month of the year in the Malayalam calendar).

In our homes, we Indians (Keralites) have a great feast like westerners have on Christmas day.  But the feast is different, as we have all vegetarian dishes rather than turkey.  The feast is called ‘Sadhya’, with a variety of about 16 dishes and then to top it all, we have the signature dish – the dessert called ‘payasam’ (3 types) also.

Most of the people (Hindus) go to the temple in the morning.  The kids go to pluck flowers from the surrounding areas near their homes and they make a flower carpet (Atthapookalam).  Children are very happy because they are the ones that benefit a lot by getting new clothes & gifts.

In Raheem Residency, we also celebrate Onam. The staff make the flower carpet & also a great feast is prepared with a variety of vegetarian dishes & payasam also. All the staff sit together, and enjoys the feast.  We include guests too in Chagara Restaurant but there is one golden rule : guests must eat like we do – that is, with no cutlery! We believe that the food tastes better when we quietly use our fingers. Our guests always enjoy the challenge.

So we take this opportunity to wish all our readers a Happy & Prosperous Onam wherever you are in Kerala.

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Kerala Monsoon Myths

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Do you like to holiday when few tourists are around? When good quality accommodation is really cheap? Then come to Kerala during the monsoon.

No, it doesn’t rain all day every day. That’s the first myth about monsoon.

No, it isn’t cold. For those of us not born in a tropical climate, we WISH it would cool off. Sometimes the locals will say ‘It’s cool today.’ And yes indeed there was a temperature drop. Of one miserable degree celsius! The average daily temperature during monsoon is around 29C. Nice and warm.

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But what about the rain? Well, imagine a warm shower. Heavy at times, yes. But it tends to come in strong bursts rather than a continuous flow all day long. And no, we can’t predict it exactly at this stage. But at the end of May we can be sure that India will start to nuzzle up to two big arms of rain, one from the east and one from the west.

The monsoon hits the southern tip of Kerala first. It used to begin with great precision on June 1st. But with climate change allegedly it now starts before the end of May in Kerala and the two big arms meet together in central India sometime in July.

Local people don’t like rain. But then they haven’t experienced the pin prick sensation of cold, sharp rain clawing at your face. So everyone stays indoors. And as a tourist, you’ll have the place to yourself. Lovely.

Ayurvedic tradition has it that as the rain rejuvenates the earth so also are our bodies and minds more susceptible to rejuvenation at this time. So if you are serious about doing a week-long or more course in Ayurveda, you really should come to Kerala during the rainy season. That’s June and July.

Heavenly!

Check out our off-season rates through our Front Office contact@raheemresidency.com

Raheem Residency, the Old & the New

Pics RR New Main Hall

pics RR Old Main Hall

We were delighted to refurbish the old Raheem Bungalow into the ‘new’ Raheem Residency some fifteen years ago.

The above photos show the Main Hall,  now and then. At first glance it looks like a dramatic transformation. But in fact we stayed true, very largely, to the original structure. The old doors, windows and shutters remain. Even the gold decoration above the door. It simply had not been highlighted previously. Unfortunately we could not save the original floor because that stone could not be polished. However we carefully removed it and today you will find part of it outdoors. Look at the forecourt of the Nook room. It’s there.

We hope you will come and view it all personally. Contact our Front office for reservations: contact@raheemresidency.com  There’s lots to see in this heritage hotel.

As we say in our slogan, ‘Raheem Residency, a gift from the past for the future.’