The Surya Samudra in Kovalam

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Travel Features >> The Surya Samudra in Kovalam

The Surya Samudra in Kovalam

March 07, 2013

Early morning flights are always painful. I hate it and it’s more depressing when it is taking off from Kolkata airport, but I did not crib for a single moment this time. I knew it was Indigo and it would be dot on time. All I was visualizing while packing my bags at 3 am in the morning was Kerala through my lens- the never ending backwaters, the greenery, the warmth of the people of the region, the spices and the mouth-watering appams, which were particularly appealing, being the strict vegetarian, I am. My palette is limited but it’s never ending.

This was my second visit to Kerala in last two years and both the times I came back unhappy. It feels my soul is still there wandering in the never-ending greens. There is so much to do, next time I am going to make sure that I don’t comeback unfulfilled.

The Indigo flight from Kolkata to Trivandrum via Bangalore took 4 hours. It took off before time and we landed at the neat and clean airport at Trivandrum on the dot. The moment we arrived at the Surya Samudra, Samira Burgess, (General Manager) welcomed us with a glass of champagne and fresh green coconut drink. I loved the red hibiscus flower peeping out from the corner of the coconut on the container that echoed the warm smile of Samira.

Until Samira told us, I had no idea that I was going to revisit a German dream, (I generally avoid doing background research/ Google the place I am visiting, I love surprises). Some twenty-five years ago, a German named Karl Schleusner, who used to teach German at IIT Madras, was appalled to find the beautiful traditional tharavadu houses of Kerala being knocked down and sold as timber. Schleusner bought up as many tharavadus as he could find, took them apart and then carted them off to an idyllic corner of Kovalam—a thickly wooded hillside sloping down to the sea. That was Surya Samudra in its first avatar.

Thank you Karl Schleusner for the lovely gift we have, now called Surya Samudra and of course the other visionary Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar who is turned the dream into a paradise.

Author's Bio: Rajesh Gupta is a professional photographer and has won several international and national awards. He captures moods and brings to life even the most mundane of subjects and his unique style can be best seen in his artistic candid and travel series. A travel enthusiast and a foodie, view Rajesh’s world through his lens.

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