Kerala got an airport upstate in Kozhikode three decades ago, yet it took 2006 for nearby Kondotty to make it big on the traveller's map of the state. For, that was the year the aerodrome at Karipur got an 'international' status. Since then, especially, the KTDC hotel at the municipal town of Kondotty has increasingly become a suitable transit camp for people reaching the airport from faraway places to fly abroad.
It's not just passengers to the Gulf and other foreign countries who find the guest house named Tamarind Easy a cool place to stay. The budget hotel does come in handy also for the occasional visitor keen to take in the sights and sound of Malabar.
Travel two km from Kondotty town along the Kozhikode-Palakkad highway, and your reach the KTDC Hotel.
Just 200 metres away from the Airport Junction, up a scenic hill, is where the cute little hotel has come up, courtesy the KTDC - the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation the government founded in 1966 to regulate as well as invigorate tourism traffic in the state that later came to be called God's Own Country. The building complex, as if in a reminder to its link with the airport, is a vantage point for the visitor to enjoy the beautiful sight of the flights descending from the open skies as well as taking off from the tarmac.
The sight of 'planes from hills' alone brings its set of people to Tamarind Easy, according to the hotel authorities. For that, quite a few scale the hills and reach the hotel premises in the evenings. That also gives the visitors to nibble on the unique 4 O'clock snacks they get nowhere else.
So, what are they?
One is the fried ada, the rice cake stuffed with a sweet mix. That is if you are interested in that kind of stuff. You prefer something hot? Fine, no problem. You can try onion pakoda. The items are customised; so the grub would invariably be fresh.
So what is fried ada? The chef can tell you how it actually differs from the usual variety of sweet ada. The recipe for the common ada and the fried stuff differ only towards the final phase of preparation. In the initial part, it's all the same: mix boiled jaggery or sticky sugar with grated coconut and cardamom powder. Spread wheat-flour atta nicely into circular shape. Stuff the sweet bits into it. Fold it neatly. Then, instead of boiling, do fry it in oil. “It goes particularly well with tea,” adds the chef.
The hotel has ten rooms: nine deluxe and one premium. The first category can be booked at Rs 1,600 for a day. It has all the basic facilities: AC, television, dressing table, and a clean washroom. The premium room is more spacious and has a cupboard as well as a sofa. Charge: Rs 2,500. It's 24 hours that decide the check-in and check-out time.
Both variety rooms have Wi-Fi access for internet connection.
The hotel has a conference room that can accommodate 50 people.
A chunk of those who stay at Tamarind Easy are from the northern districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Wayanad. Needless to say, it is also where VVIPs like the governor and ministers stay.
Even amid the distant drone of the flights, total peace hangs in the air around KTDC Tamarind Easy.