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The Arackal Trail by Tyndis - Kannur Sightseeing Tour
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Reviewed 4 April 2020

I had a great day with our storyteller Sohal and Abu. I was searching for something unique to do on my next day in Wayanad and that’s when I came across the Wayanad village tour with a storyteller offered by Tyndis. I checked the description and was fascinated by what was offered. The price was cheap as well. I booked the tour for next morning – they arranged things quite well within the short notice!
I was packed for the day. Sohal joined me at the entrance of the Edakkal caves. We experienced the famous caves and headed to the tribal village nearby. It was an overwhelming experience for me! Tyndis has curated this tour to a next level with amazing stories and lots of local essence. I interacted with the tribal people, took snaps with them and they sang tribal songs for me! What a feeling!
Sohal next took me for a walk through the rural roads of Ambalavayal – a beautiful village. I shared stories about Wayanad’s agriculture, the varieties of rice grown, the livelihood of farmers, etc. In some random farm midway, I even exchanged ideas with a labourer who didn’t understand English and I didn’t understand a word of the language in which he responded! All thanks to Sohal for translating things for us!! Sohal was extremely informative and spoke great English.
Our next stop was at the heritage museum in Ambalavayal – it is better known as Wayanad heritage museum. It is not so well organized. A basic gallery of Wayanad’s archaeological artefacts. But again, Sohal came to help with his knowledge and connected it with the mythology and tribal folklores of Wayanad – that amazing skill of a storyteller! Another highlight of this tour was the visit to this superhero called ‘Govindan’! He is the master archer of Wayanad! Such a kind soul! Govindan was so passionate about his job that he spent years together in preserving the craft of tribal archery. Govindan invited me to try my archery skills – I’m happy that I could impress him!!
What a day…What a great tour of Wayanad!! This tour was just the kind I was looking for – right amount of stories, right amount of descriptions, well organized, amazing local experiences and hands-on activities! Couldn’t ask for more! Brilliant effort team Tyndis!! Impossible to recommend these guys too highly. My day in Wayanad was one I will never forget.

Date of experience: February 2020
2  Thank alicemartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
tyndisheritage, Manager at Tyndis Heritage Travel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2021

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Tyndis Tours and Travel!

Thank you for reviewing us on Tripadvisor. We are happy to hear from you about your wonderful Wayand trip. We have conveyed your appreciation to our community members and glad that we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to hosting you again.

Assuring you the best experience at all times.

Warm Regards,
Team Tyndis

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2020

Well, Wayanad is a very beautiful place with lots of attractions. Tyndis Tours’ arrangements and guidance was excellent. We booked the Tyndis Wayanad tour on 17th Jan 2020. Everything was great and special thanks to Mr. Sohal for making it a memorable experience.
The day tour included the tribal village visit, which was exciting. We loved the interactions with the tribal folks of Wayanad! Really welcoming people they were. The tribal colony is a place where one can experience the indigenous culture and tribal tradition of Wayanad. Our storyteller was enthusiastic and explained about the tribal colonies and their livelihood. We interacted with the tribal chieftain - called the Mooppan. He talked in the local dialect, which Sohal translated for us!
The Ambalavayal village ensured the local essence, the Wayanad Heritage Museum added the heritage flavour to the tour. Wayanad has various varieties of rice. In our village walk, we saw agricultural activities going on in the farmlands of Ambalavayal village. Sohal explained about the arrival of Rubber and single crop plantations in Wayanad. He seemed to have an interest towards agriculture! The walk also covered local interactions, primary schools and many such places! The Edakkal Caves was yet another awaited experience and yes, finally we were able to climb up the famous historic place of Wayanad! I could read a lot about Edakkal on the internet during my travel research last month.
This Edakkal climb – it was not a very difficult hike, and the pace was not very crowded, but it was a great way to get to explore the wilderness of the place...and the views were absolutely amazing! Our storyteller Sohal did a fantastic job keeping us all together and provided so much information and great tips for all the stops. The experience at the archery making unit of Wayanad was mind-blowing. We thoroughly enjoyed the place…
Wayanad is famous for its tribal arrows and bows. We could meet a person who makes these. The archery making culture of Wayanad is on a declining phase as explained by the old archerer. He shared his concerns about this with us. I personally was overwhelmed with his passion towards the craft. He even taught us how to shoot the bow. Tremendous experience it was!! This Wayanad tour by Tyndis was a great example of how community engagement tours should be! I specially thank Tyndis team for curating such an experience.
It was a great way to get to experience the entire area for me, including time with/without the group to allow for exploration of each point along the tour. I would definitely do this trip again.

Date of experience: January 2020
2  Thank texned
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
tyndisheritage, Manager at Tyndis Heritage Travel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2021

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Tyndis Tours and Travel!

Thank you for reviewing us on Tripadvisor. We are happy to hear from you about your Wayanad trip. We have conveyed your appreciation to our community members and glad that we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to hosting you again.

Assuring you the best experience at all times.

Warm Regards,
Team Tyndis

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2020

I am a regular visitor of Kerala because I just love this place. Though I have been to Kerala many times, I have travelled less to the Northern Part of Kerala. I did a good research about the place online to find out that North Kerala was this stretch in Kerala that basically included Kasaragod which included Bekal, Nileshwar with the beautiful backwaters of Valiyaparamba, Kannur, Calicut, Wayanad, etc. I was over-excited and planned for my tour. I searched for the best tour operators in North Kerala and that’s how I came across Tyndis Heritage Travel India operating in Kerala with their base in Kannur. They are just the people you would need to travel with if you are planning to experience the soul of North Kerala! I researched about Tyndis and learned about the services they provided through their website. With many mails to and fro, I confirmed my North Kerala package called the ‘Flavours of North Kerala – Malabar Experiential Tour Package’ curated by Tyndis. Soon after my confirmation, I received my email confirmation with a full itinerary that included my airport pick-up details, accommodation in each place of North Kerala, transportation details, activities and experiences that I will be experiencing and even a list of things I should be carrying!
On my arrival at the Kannur international airport, I was greeted in the traditional way by Sujith, my tour coordinator. Sujith took me to my stay in Nileshwar. I stayed at a beautiful beach resort in Nileshwar called Neeleshwar hermitage. My coming nine days were packed with amazing experiences and stories.
In Nileshwar, I was taken to explore the Bekal Fort, Thaikadappuram village with fishermen islands and lots of village activities like toddy tapping, handloom, coir making, basket making, etc. I visited the Nileshwar palace and temple nearby. Theyyam experience was another highlight of the tour. I was taken to the nearby temple to witness the Theyyam dance. Tyndis had arranged for a special Kannur heritage walk called the Arackal trail covering the Kannur St. Angelo Fort, Chirakkal Weavers, Parassinikadavu Temple, Arakkal museum etc. The stories told by the storyteller Mr. Mohan were rich with the history and heritage of Kannur! Thalassery Biryani making session was a pure delight! I interacted with the local Muslim household in Thalassery. They explained the preparation of the local delicacy of the place – called the Thalassery Biryani! The stories connected with Thalassery and Mahe’s heritage were beautifully explained by Mr. Farhan – he is such a great storyteller! Next was Wayanad - one of the top destinations in Kerala. The tea garden experiences, trekking and storytelling village tour were amazing! Sujith and storyteller Sohal took me to the famous Edakkal Caves, Wayanad heritage museum, archery experience, etc. I could also interact with people in a Wayanad Tribal colony nearby. It was a rich experience in Wayanad for a first time visitor like me!
I reached Calicut on the 8th day of the tour. The Calicut heritage walk was a well-curated walking tour through the richness of Calicut’s heritage. Binusha, the storyteller, was well-versed with the stories of Calicut. She took me to the Calicut beach, Valiyangadi, etc. I enjoyed the delicious Calicut chips, Calicut Halwa and Calicut biryani!
It was on the final day of the tour that I visited Beypore. The Beypore Uru yard and Commonwealth tile factory visit were extraordinary. Tyndis curated each day of the tour with great care and making each experience memorable. The storytellers were not just guides - they were more than guides - people who had a passion towards their place and projected the culture and traditions of Kerala! The final stop in the tour was indeed one of the best things I have had in the whole of Kerala! The mangrove tour in Kadalundi. I was taken on a country boat through the Kadalundi River towards the mangrove forests of the place. It was a serene place with lots of migratory birds. I was introduced to a local person, who had immense knowledge about mangroves and birds. Sujith translated the details to me.
The canoe cruise took around 2 hours and it was already 6 pm by then. I reached back to my resort by 6.45 and yes that was it!! End of the tour. I relaxed for the night. Sujith joined me at the lobby next morning and we travelled to the Calicut International Airport. I couldn’t thank Sujith and Team Tyndis well enough for their efforts and arrangements for this tour! This review is a great appreciation for the whole team, coordinators and storytellers of Tyndis for putting sincere efforts in promoting community based tourism in a less touristic place like North Kerala! I like the way Tyndis approaches tourism - making each tour a greater experience rather than mere stay and sightseeing! The aspect of community interactions and local flavors are your own specialty! Above all, I was fortunate to have had college students and housewives as storytellers - what a great way of empowerment! You guys are definitely a model for the world to learn from! I will definitely be returning to meet each one of you!! This is a highly recommended tour for the one’s travelling to North Kerala!!

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank moretzc
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
tyndisheritage, Manager at Tyndis Heritage Travel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2021

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Tyndis Tours and Travel!

Thank you for reviewing us on Tripadvisor. We are happy to hear from you about your wonderful Malabar trip. We have conveyed your appreciation to our community members and glad that we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to hosting you again.

Assuring you the best experience at all times.

Warm Regards,
Team Tyndis

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Reviewed 28 March 2020

We had a great experience of Theyyam and especially of the night fire Theyyam.The experience was really fascinating. Big thanks to Naveen and Tyndis Tours who organised our wonderful Theyyam Tour in Kannur! Tyndis arranged for Midhun, who was a specialist theyyam storyteller.He knows everything about Theyyam and he is from the same place.
We especially appreciated that, while giving us all information about the numerous theyyam performances (our trip was in January) sending videos to help us to decide which Theyyam we wanted to attend, Naveen let us take the final decision! This helped a lot to cater for my photography interests! I could click a lot of great snaps. Through WhatsApp messages Naveen shared a lot of photographs of the Theyyam dance.
I requested for the best Theyyam for a photoshoot, Tyndis suggested Kandanar Kelan Theyyam , A rare night theyyam with Fire.
As per the itinerary, we headed to the temple at morning 2 with Tyndis coordinator Midhun , He arranged everything locally. He discussed with the local Theyyam committee and helped us to settle a very near place to get the best shot. We spent there till 11 in the morning where we shot a few face painting sessions and some morning theyyam as well.
Wow Service - Tyndis arranged Coffee/ Tea in the flask!!
Midhun always kept accompanying us at the performance, and it was really helpful. I felt without a storyteller like him, it will be difficult to make out the rituals happening before our eyes and understand the stories.
This Theyyam tour experience was one of the best experiences I have never had anywhere else in India...and I have been travelling in India every year for the last 10 years!!!!! I really recommend this wonderful experience from Tyndis!

Date of experience: January 2020
2  Thank jennwilliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
tyndisheritage, Manager at Tyndis Heritage Travel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2021

Dear William,

Greetings from Tyndis Tours and Travel!

Thank you for reviewing us on Tripadvisor. We are happy to hear from you about your Theyyam experience and have conveyed your appreciation to our community members and glad that we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to hosting you again.

Assuring you the best experience at all times.

Warm Regards,
Team Tyndis

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2020

I experienced the Theyyam tour arranged by Tyndis and it was overwhelming for me!
This is going to be a long one…yes, I have a lot to tell about Theyyam!!! I heard this word for the first time when I was travelling in South India from Hampi to Mangalore last year. Mr Akhil, one of my friends, who was also a photographer mentioned about it. I’ll be ever grateful to him for that!
Theyyam is a ritualistic dancing art form, performed sacredly in the groves and temple shrines in northern parts of the state of Kerala in India! Some rituals involve blood sacrifices!!!!! Well, it’s a sight one must experience – words are just insufficient!
I was introduced to Theyyam sometime in June by Akhil. I soon started researching about it and planned for my visit to Theyyam in Kannur. The Theyyam season falls between the periods of late October to early June. During the Theyyam season, small temples and shrines across the northern regions of Kerala host hundreds of Theyyam dance performances.
I searched for the best options to explore the Theyyam tour in Kerala. I came across Tyndis Theyyam tours through their website. I contacted them and came to know about the exclusive Theyyam tour they provide. I needed to explore as much Theyyam as possible - this was my main request to them. Tyndis team customized their existing package according to my needs and came up with a 2N/3D which had 9 different theyyam including all the day and night ones with fire dance and rare theyyam festivals called the ‘Perumkaliyattam’ which happen only once in every 12 years. Well, I could just say that I was lucky enough to find Tyndis website online!
If you are a traveler who is looking to experience a theyyam , they also have a short Theyyam storytelling tour of just 2 -3 hours experience. However, my requirement was different.
I had free time during November – Tyndis team scheduled my tour according to my dates and arranged the best possible Theyyam experience. Theyyam is seasonal as well as strictly scheduled. So, you must plan your visit according to the best available Theyyam festivals. Thanks to Tyndis and storyteller Sidharth for this effort! Tyndis team was extremely careful in organizing the entire tour – They picked me up from the Kannur International Airport on my arrival. My accommodation was arranged near a beach in a beautiful beach resort in Kannur. They served absolutely delicious malabar food!! Also, the taxi and the proper arrangements for shooting and experiencing each Theyyam was really professional. Tyndis had curated this Theyyam tour in a way that I could experience the rituals connected with the Theyyam , preparation of the artist, face painting called Mukhathezhuthu, interaction with Theyyam artists - altogether this experience had stories as well as local community engagement .Tyndis storyteller Sidharth is a person I cannot miss to mention. He assisted me throughout this Theyyam tour. He explained about each Theyyam and Theyyam festivals to me. I really cannot miss to mention the moment when Sidharth introduced me to Mr. Mohanan - the head of the Theyyam artists. It was wonderful to talk to Mohanan who have been dancing as the divine god for the past 45 years!! Though he talked in Malayalam, Sidharth translated each part to me in English. He even had tender coconuts arranged for me during the day time. Much recommended service by Tyndis!!
Though Theyyam performances happen at all times of day, be sure to catch one or two in the late night or early morning. That’s when the fire comes out! Theyyam attains heavenly feel with lamps, attires and the music. Traditional instruments such as the Chenda and Elathalam are used to produce ambient music during Theyyam performance.
As mentioned, Tyndis had arranged for my stay in a beautiful place called Thottada in Kannur district, near to a beach. I was picked up from my beach resort at 21:00 by Sidharth in a sedan car, and dropped off at 12:00 the next day. It was a bit hectic schedule, but I could really enjoy the essence of the Theyyam festival. During the break times in the night, I slept in the car, though I was offered a space in a household near the temple. The people were so welcoming!! There were curious kids smiling at me, wondering where I came from!
In this part of Kerala, the young and old alike cluster around for Theyyam festivals. For the night’s ritual, frenzied drummers begin beating a tattoo in perfect synchronicity. Young priests light palm frond torches, swishing embers off into the air. Older priests in crisp white lungi, south Indian sarongs, stand in front of a small temple, staring sternly. Suddenly, the collective breath released, and a sense of awe filled the void. The god arrived. The Theyyam began!!! That night, at that ungodly hour, I was standing amidst the crowd, watching the divine dance of the Kutty Theyyam, somewhere in a village shrine in Kannur! Sidharth explained the story of Kutty Theyyam to me as Theyyam stood atop a wooden stool before the shrine. Two young priests held his hands, steadying him as he circled in a tight, stomping dance to the drums. Bells and bangles clatter as he rattled his feet between rotations. It was a magical experience for me! It can be a magical experience for just about anyone! Thanks to Tyndis and Siddarth
Practical tips for seeing Theyyam in Kerala
You can take photos, but be respectful and avoid flash
Respect the norms and regulations at the temple
There are usually other attractions alongside the rituals, such as dramas or music. It varies by the festival
Try to make a donation to the temple -Not necessarily.
Theyyam is a must experience if you are travelling to northern parts of Kerala. I recommend that it is always good to arrange tours with operators like Tyndis who provide storyteller/ local guide assistance.

Date of experience: November 2019
1  Thank samjack1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
tyndisheritage, Manager at Tyndis Heritage Travel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2021

Dear Sam,

Greetings from Tyndis Tours and Travel!

Thank you for reviewing us on Tripadvisor. We are happy to hear from you about your Theyyam experience and have conveyed your appreciation to our community members and glad that we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to hosting you again.

Assuring you the best experience at all times.

Warm Regards,
Team Tyndis

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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