A Slice OF PARADISE
Discover India|January - February 2021
Marari Beach—one of the cleanest coasts in Kerala—beckons you to loll on its sands, play beach volleyball, gorge on fresh catch from the sea, and lead a sustainable life at a luxe resort.
GUSTASP AND JEROO IRANI

ON THE WAY TO Marari Beach in the district of Alappuzha in Kerala, an hour’s drive from Kochi, we spied a huge billboard advertising ‘God’s Own Optician!’ The optician obviously had a sense of humour. Not only had he employed a clever play on words based on Kerala’s moniker, God’s Own Country, but the advertisement also portrayed a huge pair of spectacles staring into space in an all-seeing way. Beyond the advertisement rose a grove of palm trees, lush and green.

Our chagrin at 21st-century marketing making inroads into this idyllic rural kingdom soon dissipated as the landscape swept past our car windows. Narrow country roads lined with red-tiled roof homes snuggling in the shade of fecund foliage, and village shops strung with plump yellow and red bananas wound onward to our destination, Xandari Pearl.

Our arrival at the resort, which spread over 18 acres, was reassuring. Not much had changed in the quiescent region, barring the cropping up of some homestays near St Augustine’s Church in the neighbouring Mararikulam village and a few luxury resorts.

Sensory bombardment and beachfront bliss awaited us at Marari. We were welcomed by a lissom Kerala girl in beige and gold-bordered Nasrani (Syrian Christian) attire who escorted us to our pearl-shaped villa. The 20-villa resort revealed its assets unabashedly in the course of our stroll—a glistening green fish pond rippling with marine life, a butterfly garden shimmering with the evanescent colours of tiny wings, a pool encircled by stands of coconut, mango, and cashew trees, a spice garden rife with aromas of cinnamon and pepper, and a farm with goats and the diminutive, endangered Vechoor cow, whose milk is valued in Ayurvedic medicine. Finally, we stepped into our spacious villa done up in shades of shimmering pearl-grey, light green, and a mother-of-pearl screen. Our abode, which came with a private plunge pool, garden, sandy sit-out, private dining area, and a hammock, called for a siesta.

However, we were urged to get to the beach where life carries on in its unsullied ways. The grass underfoot was gilded by a wan sun, typical of the monsoon, as we headed for the stretch of cinnamon-coloured sand fringed by casuarina trees and coconut groves.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM DISCOVER INDIAView All

“Culturally, I'm fairly Indian.”

Rebekah Blank does not remember life before India, for a good reason—she was barely a toddler when her family left the US. The co-founder of Fabcafe (the dining arm of FabIndia) and Atmosphere Kombucha talks about growing up in Mussoorie, living in Delhi, and her love for the outdoors and healthy eating.

3 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

Summer Love

The hazy, lazy days of summer are here. That means watching misty clouds descend from a Himalayan cottage, diving into the cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean, camping in the northeastern rainforests, and more. Be it a solo trip, an intimate getaway with your partner, a family vacation, or a fun break with your best buds, these 20 destinations will give you plenty of choices for every mood.

10+ mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

Cabin in the Woods

Home to several rare and endangered species, the virgin forests of Madhya Pradesh’s Satpura National Park offer lessons in sustainability and change your perception of wildlife safaris for the better.

6 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

Joy in a Tea Cup

Nestled in prime tea country at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, Balipara in Assam invites you to experience the laid-black plantation life and unique conservation efforts.

6 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

River of Dreams

Leave the hustle of the city behind and embrace the slow life on a riverbank. On the outskirts of Rishikesh, The Glasshouse on the Ganges serves up a unique recipe of well-being.

3 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

Offbeat Adventures

After many failed plans of touring India, it was work that finally brought Italian couple Giorgio and Martina (@inviaggiocoltubo) to the country. The duo’s adventures in the lanes of Old Delhi, the city of Agra, and the wilderness of Jim Corbett National Park won the hearts of their ever-growing Instagram followers. And now, they can’t wait to return and explore some more.

3 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

a Home for Heritage

It is not often that eclectic ancient artefacts of a region fi nd their home in a structure that is equally impressive in its historic and creative value. This is what makes the Kerala Folklore Museum in Kochi fascinating.

5 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

A Passage to India

The High Commissioner of Malta in India, H.E. Reuben Gauci, speaks about his understated arrival in the country during the pandemic and takes us on a journey through its lesser-known marvels, in a tête-à-tête with SUSH CLAYS.

3 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

24 Hours in MUMBAI

It takes a while to imbibe the charm and chaos of Mumbai. The city’s cutting-edge art, unique gastronomical offerings, scenic sunrises, and signature sundowners warrant multiple visits. But here’s how you can make the most of a day-long stopover.

3 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021

Not Just An Average Holiday

jüSTa Mukteshwar Retreat & Spa sweeps you off your feet with its charming decor, uninterrupted views of the Himalayas, and personalised wellness services.

4 mins read
Discover India
March - April 2021