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Encounter, culture and relaxation
03/01/2020 - 03/11/2020

In the footsteps of Hermann Gundert

The trip was created in preparation for a cultural encounter trip of the Hermann Gundert Society, which is to take place at a later date with the three main focuses of homestay, culture and relaxation.

I had chosen Kozhikode as a starting point for getting to know each other and for further planning. There were several reasons for this. First, Hermann Gundert lived with his family in Kozhikode from 1857, when he was appointed school inspector. And secondly, in preparation for the conference on the 100th anniversary of Hermann Gundert's death, the Hermann Gundert Society, above all its founder Albrecht Frenz, established close contacts with the Muslim community in Kozhikode as well as Hindu and Christian ones, which have since become friendships.

Due to the worldwide spread of Corona, I unfortunately had to cancel the 12-day trip after 9 days and I left my so relaxed Ayurveda stay rather hastily in the evening at 10:00 p.m. For this current occasion, we have postponed the members' trip that was originally planned for the end of 2020 until further notice.


March 1st, 2020 Frankfurt - Calicut

March 2nd - 4th Kozhikode, homestay

March 4th - 5th Kalpetta, culture

March 6th - 11th Rajah Island, Ayurveda

March 12th, 2020 Calicut - Frankfurt



Warm hospitality

When my host family picked me up from the airport by car, I immediately noticed the crazy left-hand traffic for us. Fortunately, I didn't have to drive! Thayi, my hostess, drove calmly and always very confidently through the total chaos on the streets.

When I arrived, I was immediately impressed by the different types of clothes that are worn in Kerala: the saree and, in contrast, loose trousers with a knee-length top with two long side slits and a scarf in a matching fabric that is loose over it the shoulders and, if necessary, can quickly cover the head, the so-called churidar.

Meals are real taste explosions in the mouth of at least 4-5 different dishes and initially overwhelmed my European taste buds. Conversely, after my stay I missed the variety of different spices in Germany a lot. Eating is not done with a knife and fork or a spoon, but with the right hand. Although it was very difficult for me as a left-hander, I am deeply impressed by what a great tool hands are.

Toilets are usually not equipped with toilet paper, but with a water hose for rinsing. But there is also something available on request.

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Different religions side by side


Thali Shiva Temple - Mishkal Mosque - Mother of God's Church

As one of the most important spiritual and cultural centers in Kozhikode, the Hindu Thali Shiva Temple is located in the heart of the city. It was built in the 12th century in beautiful Keralesian architecture.

The four-story Mishkal Mosque in the Kuttichira district, on the other hand, is named after its builder, the Arab trader and ship owner Nakhooda Mishkal. Back then - 650 years ago - Kozhikode was the economic center of the region and one of the largest trading centers in the world. Originally it had 5 floors and was reduced by one floor after a Portuguese attack in 1510. For the reconstruction, the then Hindu ruler of Kozhikode donated wood from the boats of Christian Portuguese to the Muslims.

Right next to the beach promenade in Kerala is the Mother of God's Church, which was built by Italian architects for Portuguese missionaries in 1513 AD. It pays homage to the Italian know-how and the skills of Indian craftsmen. Today there is a Catholic boys 'and girls' school around the church, which is explicitly available to all children regardless of religion.


Prehistoric cave engravings

A trip to the Edakkal Caves, about 10 km from Sulthan Bathery, is like a journey into our forgotten past. You reach the gap between two rocks after a short but steep hike up the Ambukuthi hills with a majestic view. On the cave walls of one of the largest tourist attractions in South India is a collection of Neolithic rock engravings (first millennium BC) and pictures.

Kalpetta is a very good starting point for other leisure activities. There are plenty of sights to discover in the near and far, such as the Kozhippara and Arippara waterfalls, the Vayalada mountain landscape, the Kadalundi bird sanctuary, the Janaki forest, the major wetlands, the East Hill with megalithic relics, the Pervuannamuszi Dam or the Kallai River.

Mananchira Square
Mananchira Square_2
Tali Shiva Temple
Mishkal Mosque
Mother of Gods Church
Mother of God's Church 2
Christian School Boys
Lakkidi View Point
Edakkal Caves 1
Edakkal Caves 2
Edakkal Caves 3


Ayurveda - between relaxation and recovery

The word Ayurveda is Sanskrit (आयुर्वेद āyurveda) and stands for "knowledge of life". The traditional Indian art of healing is a holistic system and belongs to the field of traditional alternative medicine. In the typology one speaks of three different life energies, the doshas: Vata (wind, air and ether), the movement principle, Pitta (fire and water), the fire or metabolic principle, Kapha (earth and water), the structural principle. The diagnosis is carried out on the patient as a whole. These include B. a general physical examination, pulse and urine tests and an examination of the tongue and eyes, regardless of the part of the body in which the symptoms are present.

At the Ayurvedic Resort Rajah Island, I was usually woken up at 6 a.m. by the service, who put my first medicine in front of my door and rang the doorbell. From 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. there was communal yoga practice and breakfast between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Afterwards I usually had the first Ayurvedic treatments and relaxing massages, which were spread over the whole day. Lunch was served again in the restaurant from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. And at 5:30 p.m. we all met together on the green lawn in front of the hotel to practice another hour of yoga. The days usually ended at 7:00 p.m. with a dinner in the restaurant, where the seating was free. So I had the opportunity to make nice acquaintances from Switzerland and France within the 5 days, with whom I am still in contact to this day.

Rajah Islands 1
Erholung 1
Rajah Island 2
Rajah Islands 3
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