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Silk Route Abodes

SOUTH INDIA - Kerala, Cochin

Tradition, myths and untouched natural beauty meet here at Kayal, a resort hidden in a quiet island on Vembanad lake, India's largest lagoon. On a soul searching trip to this island, Maneesha Panicker, the founder of experiential travel outfit, realized she had to share the authenticity of this unexplored land with her guests. At Kakkathuruthu, the Island of Crows, she built Kayal, an intimate space where fisherfolk and farmers share their life with guests. Though not far from the ancient port city of Kochi, the island, connected only by traditional rowboats, is off the maddening rush of modernity.While experiencing the luxury at Kayal, you will be taken back to time when life was simpler.

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SPIRIT to discover
STORY to share
STYLE to experience


Maneesha Panicker, was born and raised in India and moved to the United States fourteen years ago to pursue a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at Penn State University. After graduation, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in fashion and management. While in America, her love for India, and her passion for travel led her to create an experiential travel company specializing in immersive travel through lush Kerala and India.

But home was Kerala. Its rich traditions and beautiful landscapes always evoked a sense of nostalgia in her, and a deep desire to share the stories of her home, with the world. She moved back to Kochi, a sea-side town in Kerala. And launched her own experiential travel company. Today, she travels to discover authentic India and delivers personalized, offbeat, life-changing travel experiences to global travelers. 

Kayal, her latest project, is a boutique island retreat in the backwaters of Kerala. Staying true to the spirit of the island, she adds her own charm. She brings in her love for movies, theatre, art and design to the place.

If you are her guest here, rest assured that there will be more travel, more breaking bread with the locals, more unexpected adventures, more local experiences and more village adoptions. But above all, you'd have made a pen pal for life. Her passions include movies, theatre, art, design and photography.


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