Guest Author: Sowmya Emmanual

Sustainability- grow your own food

Sustainability begins at home: Hobby Gardening

Environment Day had everyone abuzz with what we could do to play our part in conserving the environment. #PlantATree was the most trending hashtag as everyone got on the bandwagon to save Earth. I am all for it of course and nothing soothes me as much as green in nature, but the full impact of our role in protecting the environment hit me only when I visited BASIS.

Sustainability is Mr. Mathew's way of life

Sustainability is Mr. Mathew’s way of life

Mr. Mathew Moozhiyil, the passionate founder of BASIS, is always knee deep in something green. A visit to their resort will show you the mind-boggling ways he devises to help Nature recover. The lush green properties stand testimony to the wonders that one man’s determination can achieve. The myriads of plants, the many ways to conserve water, the creative ways to upcycle – every turn in BASIS is a lesson in sustainability.

He is extremely passionate about each one of us doing our part in reviving our environment. We thought we would pay tribute to his passion through this series of blogs entitled “Sustainability Begins at Home.”


“In ecology, sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes,” says Wiki.

To contribute to the “endurance” of Earth is a noble cause indeed and this series of blogs will help you implement it practically – in your own home.

Hobby Gardening

As an introduction to the series, I’d like to talk about Hobby Gardening. Gardening as a hobby- that’s what it is in a gist. To many of us, gardening sounds like a chore. “Leave it to the elderly” seems to be the general mindset when it comes to young corporates hurrying to get from A to B and back.  That’s the misconception though.

Gardening is actually something we need. Think about it: carving out a small portion of our day to reconnect with nature, spending a few minutes of silence with our hands in the dirt, watching a bud blossom because of the effort we put in, plucking out a few home-grown veggies to make a healthy meal. Worth it? I would say so!

Hard work?

Not really. You don’t have to get acres and acres of land or get down to landscaping the garden of your dreams. Start small, start with what you’ve got and before you know it, it will become the activity you look forward to and your go-to when you’re stressed.

This is what we will be discussing in this series. Terrace Gardening, Vertical Gardens, Aquaponics, Bottle Gardening, Indoor gardening and a lot more!

So this Environment Day, if you’ve planted a tree – way to go! But we are inviting you to do much more. We are helping you take up saving the environment as a way of daily life. Bring Sustainability to your home.

First Step

Get a pot home. No get a few! Go to your local directory and look up a nursery near you. And stay tuned. We will be talking a lot more on how you can get your very own garden started!

We are open to your ideas and questions too. Leave us a comment here if you want us to talk about something specifically or feature your idea or your garden on our blog.

BASIS REISEN - Indien sehen, erleben und geniessen

Winter Blues? Come Grab a Pocketful of Sunshine!

A warm slice of sunshine in the deepest, darkest, coldest, dead of winter. Wouldn’t we just KILL for that! Well, before we get into the nitty gritty of How to get away with Murder, let’s explore a saner option – step into some sunshine!! Hold on to your horses, I ain’t telling you to go around the city with a thermometer either!

OK let me get straight to the point before you go off on a quest for Little Miss Sunshine. Introducing your very own Place Under the Sun to get a the pocketful of sunshine –  sunny, sunny Kerala.

Why Kerala?


The warm sun on your face, green lusciousness as far as the eye can see, wind in your hair, just the right doze of sea breezes to do wonders for your health (the glow on your skin, I tell you!), and all-natural food fresh off nature’s basket of bounties.

Need I say more? Probably not, but let’s hear it from the experts. The National Geographic magazine listed Kerala among the top ten travel destinations under its “Paradise Found” list. Doesn’t get more authentic than Nat Geo on travel, does it?

Kerala has always been known for its beauty and as a retreat from this Mad World. Winter here is the most pleasant time of the year. It is the perfect weather to get in your dose of Vitamin D and take in all those happy enzymes that only sunshine and nature can bring.

Precious Vitamin D

We aren’t just shooting out a feel-good tale of sun and sand and rainbows and unicorns here. Good old common sense and no-nonsense science agrees – you do need some sunshine in your life!

The NHS lays it down: “We need vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. These minerals are important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. A lack of vitamin D – known as vitamin D deficiency – can cause bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities. In children, for example, a lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets. In adults, it can lead to osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness.”

The same article talks about the lack of this vital nutrient in cold climes like the UK: “In the UK, sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation in winter (October to early March) for our skin to be able to make vitamin D.”

The verdict: Chase the Sun!

Chasing the Sun at BASIS

At BASIS, we have noticed that winter is a popular time for our guests to come a calling. Many of our customers love the beautiful weather here and schedule a 2-3 week stay with us. There’s a host of things that are on offer (apart from the very alluring prospect of sitting Under the Kerala Sun). We have specialists in Ayurveda who you can consult and have an ayurvedic treatment started off with. 100% natural organic home cooked meals, tours that show you the best portions of Kerala, and the opportunity to get up, close and personal with Nature – this is what we have to offer. Here are some wonderful comments from our guests who have stayed the winter and have loved it!


“Vielen lieben Dank an alle, die diesen wundervollen Ort zu dem machen, was er ist. Diese spezielle Energie hat mir sehr sehr gut getan. Jeder Einzelne hat dazu beigetragen, dass ich tiefgreifend verstehen, fühlen und von innen heraus Heilung erfahren durfte. Dafür bin ich sehr dankbar. Vieles kam auf, hat sich präsentiert und verabschiedet, sodass ich mit weniger Last weiter fliegen und tanzen kann.” – ALEXANDRA

[Translation: Many thanks to all who make this wonderful place the place it is. This special energy did me a world of good. Every single person did his/her bit to ensure that I could deeply understand, feel and be healed from inside. I am very grateful for that. Many things came up, presented themselves and said goodbye, so that I can fly and dance on with less weight. – ALEXANDRA]

“Danke für euer herzliches, liebevolles, fürsörgliches sich Kümmern vor und während meiner Ayurvedakur. Ihr habt mich ruhen, schlafen, lesen lassen, wenn ich es brauchte. Danke auch für die spontane Rundreise und alle anderen Ausflüge.” –NADJA

[Translation: Thanks for your warm, loving and attentive care before and during my Ayurveda-treatment. You gave me the time to rest, sleep, read, when I needed it. Thanks also for the spontaneous round-trip and all the other tours. -NADJA]

Hope to see you soon too! Call us to book your next winter stay right now and get incredible deals.

Here are some pictures from some of our guests who enjoyed this winter with us.

Here's to a happy, healthy monsoon

Why you need some Ayurveda love in the monsoon

 “Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam
Aturasya vikara prashamanam dha”

This is the motto and the focus of Ayurveda – to cure the illness of someone ailing and to safeguard the well-being of the healthy. Ayurveda focuses just as much on prevention as it does on the cure, which is why it has been called the “science of life.”

As the clouds come a rolling this monsoon, we look forward to the romance in the air, the sweet smell of rain and the cool relief that it brings after the sweltering heat of summer. As great as all these things are, the monsoon brings an added benefit – it is one of the most perfect seasons for an Ayurveda treatment.

Monsoon - the perfect time to relax your senses and boost your health with Ayurveda

Monsoon – the perfect time to relax your senses and boost your health with Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda -in simple terms – the earth that accumulates all the heat in the summer, gives it up when the rains cool its surface; that is what causes all the humidity.


rain in tropical rainforest

Oh when the rains come marching in!

According to Ancient Ayurveda texts, this heightened moisture helps soften the seven tissues of the body, making the body supple and pliable and in the best state for an intensive Ayurveda treatment. Cool temperature and flexible muscles also means that there is no better time to get the body attuned to a Yoga regime than this. Mid-June to Mid-August is a time ripe for Ayurveda treatments.

In Ayurveda terms, the monsoon weather is called Amla-Pitta and is a time that could bring its own set of pitta related health problems.  Pitta is an important element of Ayurveda and is defined as “the principle of transformation energy and governs heat metabolism in the body, is concerned with the digestive, enzymatic, and endocrine systems, and is eliminated from the body through sweat” Some related problems are:

  • red, inflamed rash, acne, cold sores
  • acute inflammation in body or joints
  • acid reflux, gastric or peptic ulcers, heartburn
  • nausea or discomfort
  • Diarrhoea
  • frustration, anger, irritability
  • moody disposition
  • Eye problems that include inflammation and sensitivity to light

As you can see, the banes of this season include physical, mental and emotional discomfort; they do not say “rainy day blues” for nothing. A good Ayurveda treatment combats these problems and works at giving you a natural solution to a healthy body in mind during the monsoon season and long after.

At BASIS, we have created the perfect environment for an Ayurveda treatment. We specialize in bringing our guests the best of this age old and holistic treatment method. Right from the organic, home-cooked meals to the aesthetically designed rooms and a calm, nature enriched atmosphere, everything is designed to perfectly complement your Ayurveda treatment.

Home-cooked organic meals

Home-cooked organic meals

Our Ayurveda physician will work with you on a combination of curative and preventive treatments. After a consult, your Ayurveda treatment will be supplemented by special diets, yoga, meditation sessions and relaxing massages customized to soothe your particular treatment.

BASIS has been awarded the “Palme d’Or” of Geo Saison for “Ayurveda in India” for a reason and we would love to show you why. Read more about our Ayurveda packages and call us if you have any questions. 

Health and wellness with Ayurveda this monsoon

Health and wellness with Ayurveda this monsoon



An Ordinary Woman; An Extraordinary Life – Leelamony

Standing tall as a woman in a conservative society, leaving her home to travel to distant shores and make a name for herself at the tender age of 17, defying society’s norms and marrying the man she loved, empowering women to break out of rigid customs that held them to the ground and teaching them to soar above prejudices and find their wings – I give you Leelamony Moozhiyil.

Leelamony Moozhiyil

Leelamony Moozhiyil

When I met Leelamony for the first time, she was all hustle bustle, getting us settled in our rooms at BASIS and ensuring that we had all we need. That was after she welcomed me with a big hug and asked me if I had a comfortable journey and expressed concern that I was looking tired (This is what I surmised by her heartfelt gestures); and then she paused mid breath with “Ach-so she doesn’t understand German!” She then proceeded to give me another big hug and start over in English. I fell in love with the woman right there!

Anna of Global Gallivanting

I fell in love!

Through my stay at BASIS, I was quite enamored by Leelamony to be honest. As an Indian woman and having had many friends from Kerala, I can say that Leelamony is unique in many, many ways. Women in urban India have come a long way from what they were a few years ago. Strong, independent and sure of themselves, they have broken the traditional bonds that kept them down all those years. But this was different; it was deep in the heart of Kerala and this was a woman donned in the traditional mundum neriyathum (a two-piece sari) – you don’t expect her to be the bustling, enterprising partner of a resort chain and an advocate of local women in the area.

But there she was and I was intrigued. I wanted to know her story and I am sure you will enjoy it too.

Leaving the nest

Leelamony sailed to Germany to train as a nurse when she was 17. Now in this time and age, it isn’t a big deal really. But this was in the 60s and she was a young, village girl from Kerala.

Alleppey – Then

Image Source

She was born in Alleppey, a quaint little village in the heart of the backwaters of Kerala. Born into a Brahmin Catholic family, it was as traditional as traditional can get (I was intrigued about this one. Brahmins are a caste system rooted in the Hindu tradition, which begged a probe into what it meant that Catholics were Brahmin … here is an interesting take on Wiki:

It was unusual (if not taboo) for a young woman to venture out and seek work. It isn’t that women were treated badly. In fact, Kerala was a matrilineal society until the mid-twentieth century. Under this system, known as Marumakkathayam, descent and the inheritance of property was traced through females. Even today, in many families, children carry their mother’s last name and not that of their father. Leelamony’s husband Mathew Moozhiyil, told me that the doors of traditional Kerala houses were often very low, which was to ensure that a man entering the house would have to bow low in respect to the women within.

Low doorposts in traditional Kerala Homes

Image Source

Women held an important position in the family yes, but that position was strictly confined to the home. Leelamony disagreed. She wanted to make something of herself. “There was no scope for growth here for a woman,” she says; so when an opportunity presented itself, she grabbed it with both hands. “The priest in our church told my aunt about an opportunity for work in Germany. My parents weren’t too happy, but I thought it must be better to leave this place if I have to make something of myself!”

And so she set sail on a journey that would carry her and 3 other girls from Kerala to Germany. I can imagine the trepidation of a 17 year old whose life had hitherto been confined to a small village in Kerala; off she went to Cochin-Pune-Bombay-Paris-Athens- and finally Germany.

She signed up for a 3 year nursing course and lived on the premises with the other girls. “One year I spent learning German!” she says. It was difficult no doubt, but this was one determined young girl reaching for her dreams and nothing could stop her!

Falling in love

 “4 years after I came to Germany, I met Mathew,” she says with a smile in her voice.

Knowing that a love marriage is still frowned upon in the conservative culture of Kerala, I asked her how her family took the news.

“They were not very happy,” she says with a faraway look. “Nowadays, society is more open to a love marriage, but back then marriages were arranged. We married in Germany, and returned. But it was very difficult when we came here. Matthew’s family were not very happy with me initially, but it became better gradually.”

Finding love on distant shores

Finding love on distant shores

Back Home

21 years in Germany and three kids later, Leelamony and Mathew decided to come back to Kerala. “We wanted to do something for our people,” she says; and “do something” they did!

Among the many things that Leelamony and Mathew did for the people of Sreekandamangalam, which they made their base, they concentrated on bettering the lives of women and the lower castes.

“We started a number of workshops, training units and work opportunities. 18-30 year olds were given the opportunity to take part in cultural programs, cooking, and art. A lot of them were women. At one time, we had about a hundred girls and women working here,” she says with obvious pride in her voice, “Some of them found it difficult to come; their parents didn’t give them permission but I told them– we have power as a woman in the community we are equal to men, we women are not backward, that’s why we have to come forward.” I could hear steel in her voice.

Helping women find their wings

Helping women find their wings

They were over 18, so why were they not permitted to work there, I wondered aloud.

“The man of the family; the father, brother, or husband did not want the women of the house to go out and see the world. The women had a designated role in the family – cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the home. Not many parents wanted their girl child to be exposed to the world,” she says with a note of anger creeping in her voice.

She then explained how the women benefitted from the programs at BASIS. Through the course of their work at BASIS, local women were given the opportunity to associate with Germans, and experience a part of another world and culture from them.

I asked her more about the opportunities given to women; I wanted to know which of the units in BASIS were most women inclined towards.

“Tailoring, art and household,” she is quick to answer. “We helped them buy sewing machines and get their own tailoring units set up. We also helped nursing students with funding for their education”

Teaching them life skills

Teaching them life skills


Many of the women who sprouted their wings at BASIS have started tailoring shops in their houses – small scale entrepreneurs now! Some of them work in big tailoring firms. Other women have benefited from the other little things that Leelamony and Mathew painstakingly helped them with – they were taught hygiene, setting up kitchens, and building toilets.

Was it all smooth sailing? Did she face challenges in adapting to the society here after so many years in Germany?

“Yes,” she nods, “the community here is run by man. As a woman, you are placed at the lowest strata of society. People would come to BASIS for favours, but they would completely sidestep me and ask ‘Where is Sir?’ They weren’t too happy that we were getting their girls to get out and work.”

What helped her overcome the situation here?

“We were lucky since we came from a Brahmin Christian society, which is a little higher than the other castes. They were tolerant because we were of a higher caste. They wouldn’t have allowed their children to come work with us otherwise. I kept at it; I did not back down,” she pauses for a beat and adds fondly, “My husband really helped me too. He would push me in the forefront and direct people to me. They soon stopped asking ‘Where is Sir?’ The twinkle in her eye is unmistakable.


When a woman is loved correctly, she becomes 10 times the woman she was.

“I want to dance!”

I want to dance - so why not?

I want to dance – so why not?

She had to face a lot of challenges changing long held societal norms.

Brahmin Christians weren’t allowed to take part in folk dances or Indian Classical dances. But “I wanted to dance!” she says expressing her indignation.  Well that was enough for the determined little lady, as she gathered a few tailoring students and choreographed a dance that they decided to present in a cultural show at the Panchayat.

There was resounding opposition. “Many girls had to face a lot of opposition in their homes because of this. Men did not like it; they asked the women not to come back to BASIS as they thought we were causing them to rebel,” she shakes her head, “Many left, but a few women risked the displeasure of their men and came back.”

There is much more to Do!

I was overwhelmed with the extraordinary work that they had done for the people in Sreekandamangalam and expressed as much. “Ach-so, but there is so much more to do!” she exclaims. “Yes, it is better in Sreekandamangalam but now we have to help others, we are starting workshops in our resort in Kumily,” the evergreen, ever enterprising Leelamony Moozhiyil adds.

I ask her if she has any parting words for women here.

She sits up a little straighter as the words spill out from the depths of her heart: “Man and woman are both God’s own creation so we have the same level in society. I think man and woman belong to one another, nothing can happen with one alone; they are equally important. Only if they work together in respect will they accomplish anything.”

True that and she has lived her life helping women believe in themselves. She has nurtured that spirit of freedom and self-respect in her daughters too. One of her two daughters, Theresa Moozhiyil, has become a very dear friend and is one of the strongest women I have had the pleasure to know. Anuradha, the older daughter is raising a lovely family in Germany. Leelamony’s dedication to righting the wrong against women doesn’t stop with raising strong daughters; she has raised an excellent son – Christopher – who is kind, caring, and has a deeply ingrained respect for women. She wasn’t alone in this accomplishment though; I can’t wait to write about the lovely, ebullient and positive Mathew Moozhiyil … stay tuned!





Would you travel alone to India?

Safety as a woman traveller

Is it safe for a woman to travel alone in India?

Would you travel alone to India?

Would you travel alone to India?

Well, that is the million dollar question on everybody’s mind. And it is a sad day that beautiful, gorgeous India has to answer for it.

Keith Bellows, of the National Geographic Society, said of India “I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds… I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant Technicolor.

As an Indian woman, it breaks my heart to know that my sisters from around the world may be missing the wonderful and completely irreplaceable experience that is India because of the fear that it isn’t a safe place for women. Yes, there have been horrific incidents that warrant the fear; but there are also beautiful safe havens that can make travelling that much more safe and wonderful. I found such a haven in the BASIS resort.

A Haven - the BASIS resort

A Haven – the BASIS resort

One reason why the BASIS resort is safe is because the program is a far cry from the gimmicks of mass tourism. The honest endeavour of the program is to portray the real India in all her glory, so the places you visit are not those that are bombarded with tourists or overrun by locals trying to sell you something or the other. All the destinations incorporated in the program are authentically Indian sans the mad rush and harassment that has become synonymous with travel here.

Safety in numbers - Group Tours

Safety in numbers – Group Tours

Another reason is that most tours are planned as a group, so you won’t have to risk travelling alone. The locals are very well acquainted with the Moozhiyils and extend their guests the same respect and courtesy. You will have them looking out for you and giving you a hand with anything you need. As a lone traveller to Kerala, I was a bit wary. I am Indian, but an Indian woman travelling alone is strange a sight for locals; and I am usually never spared the stares in my other travels. This wasn’t the case here. People were very respectful and kind.

The Moozhiyil family and its troupe of helpers

The Moozhiyil family and its troupe of helpers

Above all else, is the sense of security you feel with the Moozhiyil family. The gracious hosts Matthew and Leelamony Moozhiyil are the most loving and caring hosts you will ever find. BASIS truly becomes your home as they extend the hospitality that India is known for. The kind of adopted me I think! They never intrude and let us enjoy ourselves and the beauty of the place; but when you sit down with them for a meal or cook or travel with them, you instantly feel at home.


Anna of Global Gallivanting

Anna, a British blogger and travel enthusiast, has traveled extensively in India speaks about her travels: “While I agree that India can be a difficult country to travel in, and that you need to be cautious when traveling in India, please don’t let fear stop you from experiencing the most amazing, mind blowing, magical and life changing travel destination there is – it really is Incredible India and the rewards certainly outweigh the challenges!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself! So please do visit India; it’s a truly beautiful place. You can get more information about the BASIS resort here:

Some helpful links that share some good safety tips:


BASIS Beachside at Kerala India

Holiday with a Cause

I was more than ready for a holiday; but I didn’t exactly have a definite place in mind. I had been hearing a lot about Responsible Tourism and Eco holidays lately and was definitely intrigued. So after a bit of web searching and asking around, I found something that fit the bill to a tee – the BASIS resort, and boy was it all that I had asked for.

The chain of resorts is part of the BASIS program; BASIS is an acronym for Bio Agriculture & Social Improvement Schemes. I had read up their website, and was fascinated by the amazing things being done there. Sustainability, hobby agriculture, waste water management, tailoring and art schools for local women and children; I wanted to be a part of it, if only for a short while.

And to be honest, I wanted to check out for myself if the “real Indian experience” slogan on the website was really true. What with all the gimmicks of mass tourism, this might have been just another tailor made Indian experience. With the intent to find out, and of course hoping to enjoy myself, I booked my stay in the resort as part of a group tour, packed my bags and got going.

Aboard again!

Air Asia should give me frequent flier miles really! But yes they do offer the cheapest flights in India. So I took a flight from Bangalore to Kochi and a short flight later, there I was in God’s Own Country. The resort director, Theresa had told me that they would arrange a pick up if I would like. You could opt for that or ask them to book a bike for you, which we did – a 500 cc Royal Enfield Classic! It was a pleasant 2 hour journey, and I couldn’t get enough of the lush greenery and the well maintained roads.

Bikeride Kumily India Kerala BASIS

Cruising along

Home Base – Sreekandamangalam


BASIS Resort in Kerala


BASIS is a group of three resorts, one in Sreekandamangalam, the second in Kumily, and the beach resort in Thaikkal. First stop was Sreekandamangalam, and it was much better than I had imagined it to be. I was greeted by the hostess Leelamony, and instantly became part of her family.

BASIS Leelamony with Sowmya

Leelamony is convinced I am family. I’m in wholehearted agreement!

Every nook and cranny of the resort was a lesson in sustainability; the aesthetically designed and naturally ventilated rooms that were a cool haven from the hot weather outside, the waste water treatment, the homegrown veggies in every meal, the genuine non commercialized efforts to help improve the local society, down to the bottled plants that were a lesson in upcycling. I am going to be writing a LOT more about those things you can be sure.

traditional indian food kerala meals

21 dishes in this traditional Kerala meal!!! Fresh, homegrown and cooked with love

The ayurveda massages were absolutely unique. The massage studio was a well ventilated room right next to a stream. It was raining outside when I had my first session; listening to the pitter patter of rain on the terracotta roof, caressed by the cool breeze redolent with exotic flowers, and under the expert ministrations of Mallika, the masseuse – blissful would be an understatement!


Ayuveda Massage at BASIS India

Mallika and a very relaxed guest


I was a bit surprised that there was no intercom, but the hospitality was so impeccable that I never felt the lack of it.

BASIS Mountain


BASIS Mountain Stay in Kumily

Kumily resort with the Ayurveda nursery

The “BASIS Mountain” resort in Kumily was another treat. As promised in the itinerary, we were driven there quite comfortably, through winding roads and breathtaking scenery. There was where I met the host Matthew Moozhiyil. Such a larger than life personality I have never seen! He just envelops you in his energy; every time you speak with him, you are left zinging with the vibrancy and dynamism of someone completely dedicated to living life to the full. Giving back to nature what rightfully belongs to her is his role and mission in life and BASIS is his stage. You will be hearing much more about him too.

Dr. Mathew & Leelamony Moozhiyil

Mathew and Leelamony Moozhiyil

If Sreekandamangalam was a lesson in preservation of Nature, Kumily is a celebration of her triumphal progress. The beautiful landscaping, the wide open architectural design, the creative use of Nature’s best resources, the ayurveda nursery, and the constant development, all come together to create the pulse of the resort. You cannot help but be drawn into its energy.

Waterfalls in Kumily Kerala India

Nature Unleashed

Teaplantation at Kumily Kerala India

Tea estates dot the landscape on the way to Kumily



The beach resort, oh the beach resort! Nature unleashed in all her glory; unbroken stretches of golden sand with no food stalls to mar her beauty, no steamer boats to break the rise and fall of her waves, no other sounds to disrupt her symphony, and no room for worries that can disrupt her harmony. I cannot begin to describe the absolute tranquility that is in offer at this place. Untouched by mass tourism, this beach resort is the real deal.

BASIS Beachside at Kerala India


The Indian experience

I was intent on writing about how today’s tourism paints a very tailor made picture of what India really is; The stereotypical India is a view of the slums, or a bunch of exotic snake charmers and gypsies doling out folk songs, so I was prepared for the drama. No such thing here, fortunately. What guests saw was the real India, the India of progress, the India that proudly showed off the unparalleled beauty of its unique flora and fauna. Guests aren’t shown poor helpless country folk who beg for alms; what they see are the timid but strong men and women of the country who are working hard towards bettering their situation and who are proud of their achievements.

Johnnys English Academy Kerala India

Mathew’s protégé – From Sreekandamangalam to Germany and back


Preserving the true essence of what is in man and nature, while giving both the freedom to grow and evolve is what BASIS stands for; and being part of it, even for a while was a privilege! I really enjoyed my stay and would highly recommend it.

Serene Nature BASIS Kerala India

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.


BASIS – Ecotourism Destination

The BASIS program is much more than a resort holiday in India. One of the first tenets of ecotourism is ‘take only photographs; leave only footprints.’  The BASIS program goes one step further; the founders Mathew and Leelamony Moozhiyil firmly believe, and have been live examples, that every visitor adds value. The story of BASIS is an intriguing study in the mutual interspersing of cultures and the benefit that it brings to both.

As a guest, you will see firsthand the many, many ways that BASIS lives up to the principle behind Responsible Tourism. They are completely focussed on Sustainability and every move in BASIS follows that underlying theme.

The food for instance; every meal is made from the best of local produce. The food is prepared in the traditional way, making the best of natural flavours. For those who are wary of the heat of Indian curries, you will get to experience a whole new dimension of Indian cooking that will completely change your mind.

traditional indian food kerala meals

Home-grown, organic, delicious meals

Sustainability is the mantra in BASIS. You can check out all their Sustainability efforts on their web page: There’s the waste water treatment, the tailoring unit to train local men and women and equip them with life skills, the food crop cultivation, the ayurveda plants Nursery in Kumily… the list goes on. But it is the little things around the place that show that sustainability is not just an effort here but a way of life.

Taking a walk around the Sreekandamangalam estate is a discovery tour in itself. There are around 1500 different plants in the property and the methods of cultivation are so uniquely natural. The vegetables that go into making meals are completely organic. You will see no clouds of pesticide hovering over the plants. Matthew explains that nature doesn’t need a boost from man; neem leaves act as pesticides, the filtered waste from the water treatment plant acts as fertilizer. It’s completely natural.

waterfront kerala india eco tourism

Waterfront outside the massage studio

As a guest, there are myriad things that you will learn. Bottle agriculture for instance. On one wall is a line of used bottles that are placed in a zigzag and irrigated by a system of drip agriculture from the waste water plant. This is upcycling in action; used bottles aren’t just recycled but used for a more versatile purpose just as they are.

Seaside Kerala India Ecotourism BASIS

Unbroken, unmarred Nature

The beach front in Kumily is splendid in its all natural glory. There is nothing to break its beauty. You won’t have visitors littering things around, or hawkers trying to pull you to beach shacks. The beach is pristine and beautiful; nature exists in perfect harmony here.

Kerala Banana at BASIS, tailoring at BASIS

Lives touched by BASIS

Another thing that you can’t fail to notice is the way people’s lives have been transformed by the work that the Moozhiyils have done. You really must talk to people in Sreekadamangalam and Kumily; they all have stories to tell and all of them have a thread woven into BASIS.

If it is an ecotourism destination that you are looking for, BASIS is the place to go. For more details, check out the website: