Happy Holi

HOLI-facebook.jpgIt’s the Festival of Holi this weekend in India. It’s particularly popular in North India and Nepal. Some children in Kerala will also celebrate it but in a more muted fashion. The real pleasure comes from throwing powdered dyes at everyone you meet. No one is spared, not even your boss!

Holi, from the Sanskrit,  marks the end of the winter, the arrival of spring and at an even deeper level the triumph of good over evil. So it’s day of great celebration, of re-newing old friendships and of huge meals! Even the separation imposed by the caste system is overlooked at Holi.

It lasts for two days starting on the Full Moon day.  Holi Eve sees the lighting of bonfires but the real fun is for the children who take great delight in being ‘naughty’ with their playful coloured dyes.

The legend behind the festival is centered around Holika, a female demon, and the sister of Hiranyakashyap, the demon king. Hiranyakashyap considered himself ruler of the Universe, and higher than all the gods.

Prahalad was the king’s son. His father hated him because Prahalad was a faithful devotee of the god Vishnu and so he decided to murder his son. But the king’s attempts at murder didn’t quite work. Prahalad was thrown over a cliff, trampled by elephants, bitten by snakes, and attacked by soldiers. But still he survived.

So the king asked his sister, Holika, who had special powers that made her immune to fires,  to kill the boy. And so she sat in the middle of a fire with the boy on her lap. Things did not go according to plan. Because she was using her special powers to do something that was inherently evil her power disappeared and she burned to death. But the lad survived and late went on to become king himself.

We, at Raheem Residency, wish you all a happy Holi.

 

 

U Want to see Elephants?

thrissur-pooram

Sadly, the Indian elephant is now an endangered species because the population has declined by half over the past three generations. The usual culprit is at play – habitat loss. But Kerala comes out well. There is still a considerable population in the wild and we, at Raheem Residency, can arrange for you to see them. There are also elephant ‘orphanages’ and we can arrange a trip to bring you on a visit. These elephants  have been injured in the wild and are are homed in venues around the state.

If you take a tour of an elephant orphanage it’s possible that you can bathe them in the early morning, feed them and even ride them. But you need to check with Raheem Residency’s Front Office as naturally the elephant population changes in the ‘orphanage’ as rehabilitation is ongoing.

These glorious animals play a significant role at Hindu temple festivals too. One of Kerala’s best known temples at Guruvayur has an average sixty elephants and at the famous Thrissur Pooram (festival) the large collection of caparisoned (decorated) elephants is an unforgettable sight. The role of the elephants at temple festivals is to carry the deity in a procession where their mahout who guides them will be decked out with multi-coloured silk parasols, silky white tufts and ofttimes swaying peacock feather fans.

India knows how to create a spectacle. There’s no denying that.

 

 

 

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.’

 

Laid-back Kerala!

 

Pizhichil-Large2

Re-posted by RR staff

Laid-back Kerala indeed! Well, that’s how holidays should be.

But we often notice in Raheem Residency that hard-working guests often bring their age-old patterns of living with them. Rushing there, arriving early, clock-watching. You know it. You’ve done it.

What a pity!

You don’t actually see a Keralan (Malayalee) rush. You don’t see one run. And these aficionados of an easy-going life-style never panic.

Is there something worth copying here? There certainly is when it comes to holidaying.

It has been difficult to explain to local staff that if a guest books, say, an Ayurvedic massage for 2pm, then the therapist should be at her station by 1.45. Why? Well, it’s not just to prepare. It’s because invariably the western guest will NOT arrive on time. He/she will arrive early. A concept that nobody in laid-back Kerala can fathom!

Relaxing Ayurveda

Here’s a story from a fellow Hotel owner in Kerala that illustrates a related point:

A group of British tourists came to stay. At dinner it was decided that they would all go to the beach the next morning at ten o’clock. The owner got wind of it. Now the beach was literally across the road from the hotel. No transportation required. And so like clockwork on the dot of ten the next morning the entire group traipsed out of the hotel. Nobody was ‘late’.

Which prompted the very jolly Keralan owner to shout after them, ‘Have you come on holiday to practise punctuality?!’

They took it as the great sports that they were.

But it’s worth another thought. You pay all that money to relax – mind, body and soul. Then you superimpose clock-watching on top of the goal.

To kick-start the new truly-relaxed you, do a course in Ayurveda at your hotel. And book Shirodhara in particular (3 consecutive treatments give the best result). That specific treatment is for the mind that continually races, shooting backwards to ‘If only I had done…’, shooting forwards to ‘I must remember to do that’. And in the process the mellifluous birdsong and the scent of roses of the moment are but a puff of smoke that nobody notices.

Is that you? If so, come to laid-back Kerala for the best laid-back holiday in India.

 

A Passage to India 4 U

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) – American Author & Humorist

As the leaves magically change colour in the west and pattern our driveways in russet carpets, you know that winter is knot far away. If that makes you think of warmer climes and a happy escape then maybe let the ever gentle classical writer, Mark Twain, decide for you :  

           “So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.

Mark Twain would get a top job today with a global travel advertising agency. But what he says of our beloved India is not over-the-top. Exotic. Exciting. Exhilarating.

Come visit this winter!

Book a room at Alleppey Beach: contact@raheemresidency.com 

Alleppey beach opposite Raheem Residency

Alleppey beach opposite Raheem Residency

 

Laid-back Kerala.

Kerala bliss

Kerala bliss

Laid-back Kerala indeed! Well, that’s how holidays should be.

But we often notice in Raheem Residency that hard-working guests often bring their age-old patterns of living with them.  Rushing there, arriving early, clock-watching. You know it. You’ve done it.

What a pity!

You don’t actually see a Keralan (Malayalee) rush.  You don’t see one run. And these aficionados of an easy-going life-style never panic.

Is there something worth copying here? There certainly is when it comes to holidaying.

It has been difficult to explain to local staff that if a guest books, say, an Ayurvedic massage for 2pm, then the therapist should be at her station by 1.45. Why? Well, it’s not just to prepare. It’s because invariably the western guest will NOT arrive on time. He/she will arrive early. A concept that nobody in laid-back Kerala can fathom!

Relaxing Ayurveda

Relaxing Ayurveda

Here’s a story from a fellow Hotel owner in Kerala that illustrates a related point:

A group of British tourists came to stay. At dinner it was decided that they would all go to the beach the next morning at ten o’clock. The owner got wind of it. Now the beach was literally across the road from the hotel. No transportation required. And so like clockwork on the dot of ten the next morning the entire group traipsed out of the hotel. Nobody was ‘late’.

Which prompted the very jolly Keralan owner to shout after them, ‘Have you come on holiday to practise punctuality?!’

They took it as the great sports that they were.

But it’s worth another thought. You pay all that money to relax – mind, body and soul. Then you superimpose clock-watching on top of the goal.

To kick-start the new truly-relaxed you, do a course in Ayurveda at your hotel. And book Shirodhara in particular (3 consecutive treatments give the best result). That specific treatment is for the mind that continually races, shooting backwards to ‘If only I had done…’, shooting forwards to ‘I must remember to do that’. And in the process the mellifluous birdsong and the scent of roses of the moment are but a puff of smoke that nobody notices.

Is that you? If so, come to laid-back Kerala for the best laid-back holiday in India.

A Tekkie Tip 4 u

R U like him?

R U like him?

Like all hotels, Raheem Residency too has to deal with an awkward email now and again. And no doubt it happens to you also even if you’re not in the tourism business.
So here’s a tip. According to emaillabs.com there’s a premium time in the day when your tough email will get the best possible response.
That’s after lunch around 1.30pm.
Why?
Because the recipient will be done with the morning rush so you won’t be getting in the way. Secondly, his/her little belly will be comfortably full and the humour may be better!
It all sounds so obvious. But then sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious. Do we not?
That same company maintains that women get more stressed out from sending that difficult email than men. But we all know some men who would say that women get more stressed over everything than men. Bah!
But not in India. It’s one of the many striking differences between east and west. South Indian folk and people from Kerala in particular are more laid-back, easy-going and absolutely allergic to panic and rush. No wonder Ayurveda and Yoga originated here.
Come see it at first hand! Book that holiday now!

Relaxing Ayurveda Massage 4 u?

Relaxing Ayurveda Massage 4 u?

Re-posting from October 27, 2014.