The tour includes a traditional culinary experience – the Kerala sadya, the Malayalam word for banquet. Sadya consists of a variety of vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a banana leaf in Kerala and can have about 24-28 dishes. Along with boiled rice, other dishes, collectively called Kootan, include multiple curries such as Parippu, Sambar, Rasam, Pulisseri and others like Kaalan, Avial, Thoran, Olan, Pachadi, mango pickle, Naranga curry, as well as Papadum, banana, plain yogurt or buttermilk, and plantain chips. If you think you have over indulged – and that’s common – the meal may be followed by vettila murukkan, chewing of betel leaf with lime and arecanut, which help in digestion.
Of course, there are a number of interesting excursions near the city. A popular trip is to the famed Kerala backwaters. The nearest spots are on the Poovar estuary, once an epicentre of trade in sandalwood, spice and ivory.
Another nearby attraction is the adjacent port town Vizhinjam. The kings of Ay dynasty shifted their capital to Vizhinjam and they built a fort around the 8th century. The most popular thing to do here is to climb the lighthouse. 45 years old, it is still a working lighthouse and offers an almost aerial view of the beach.