“We welcome you to our little paradise on the backwaters of North Kerala, where you can journey along the palm-fringed countryside on the backwaters & discover secluded white-sand beaches.”
~Mr Gul, owner at Oyster Opera.
The backwaters of Kerala that most people know conjure up images of houseboats floating along narrow canals, passing by busy villages and small canoes on the shores. Unlike the much traversed backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom, Kasaragod is home to magnificent expanses of the backwaters, often the size of entire rivers with a steady current, fringed with dense coconut plantations, and harboring tiny villages in the heart of these plantations. While traditional fishing boats are a common sight, other houseboats are rare, and your own boat ride could lead you to undiscovered sandy beaches caressed by the waves of the Arabian Sea.
Along one such stretch of the backwaters in the Kasaragod district lies the gorgeous island of Thekkekadu, upon which Oyster Opera stands. Cottages with bamboo, wooden & traditionally tiled roofs open up into the backwaters, some elevated on tree branches and some floating on the water. The island is a treat for nature lovers, who can spend hours lying in a hammock, soaking in the serenity of the backwaters, watching the palm trees sway in the breeze, spotting eagles & kingfishers soaring in the sky, and waving to the occasional boats passing by.
Water enthusiasts can go for a swim in the backwaters, or ride on a boat along the palm-fringed countryside, play in the waves of an isolated beach, and watch the sun paint the backwaters orange & red while setting for the day.
Mr Gul, who owns this land, has been involved in mussel farming to help generate an alternate source of income for the neighboring coastal communities, and will only be happy to let you try your hand at it.
Accommodation is provided in beautifully crafted cottages made with bamboo, wood, or in traditional Kerala style, using locally sourced materials. True to its name, all 8 cottages at Oyster Opera are named after marine life:
Clam: A laterite stone cottage with an open-rooftop shower, and coconut grudges & hay-thatched roof, facing both the backwaters & the backwater pond.
Crab: A tented cottage facing the backwaters.
Float House: An all-bamboo cottage floating on a pond made by the backwaters, connected to the shore by a wooden jetty. The balcony overlooks both the backwaters & the backwater pond.
Lobster & Snail: A two-storied cane cottage with wooden floors, facing both the backwaters & the backwater pond.
Mussel: A laterite stone cottage with coconut grudges & hay-thatched roof, facing the backwater pond.
Oyster: A laterite stone cottage with an open-rooftop shower, and coconut grudges & hay-thatched roof, facing the backwaters.
Pearl Oyster: An all-wooden tree house raised on stilts, with a hay-thatched roof and a balcony facing the backwaters.
Shrimp: A laterite stone cottage with an open-rooftop shower and traditional Kerala-styled tiled roof, overlooking the backwaters.
The Houseboat: A traditional houseboat overlooking & floating on the backwaters, connected to the shore by a wooden jetty.
Each of these cottages is well furnished with comfortable bedding, attached western-style bathroom & shower, and an attached veranda or balcony.
As the name suggests, Oyster Opera specializes in seafood, obtained from the fishing communities that surround the island of Thekkekadu. These include delicacies ranging from mussels and fish, to prawns, oyster, clam, vegetables & rice puddings.
The spread of vegetarian dishes is as expansive and as deliciously prepared by the in-house chef using seasonal vegetables & curries. All meals are mini buffets, served on a traditional banana leaf.
You can spend your time at Oyster Opera discovering life in the backwaters, both from the comfort of your hammock & beach chair, and by setting out on a journey through the backwaters.Activities at & around the island include:
Prices at Oyster Opera start at:
Cottage on twin sharing: INR 6500 (from Oct 1st 2016)
Solo traveller: INR 5400
Prices includes meals, complimentary activities and taxes.
You can also visit Oyster Opera as part of our Best Kept Secrets of Kerala itinerary.
Oyster Opera is located on the island of Thekkekadu in Padanna in the Kasaragod district. The closest bus stop & railway station are at Chervattur, from where the island is a 15-minute ride by auto.
The backwaters of Kasaragod are a delight at all times of the year. In the winter months from October to March, the tropical weather on this coast of India makes it an ideal place to escape the cold of the mountains. The weather becomes warmer between April & June, but the constant sea breeze keeps the shores cool. During the monsoons, the backwaters take on a misty aura, and it’s a pleasure watching the rain pitter-patter on the waters and the palm trees sway beyond, from the comfort of your balcony.
Many of us have reservations about going on the roads less travelled. Leave them behind, travel with an open mind, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find.
"We had the most memorable 4 days at Oyster Opera! We loved it! We stayed in the tree house cabin overlooking the backwater. It was comfortable, clean and had the best view from the balcony, where we watched the sunset every evening.
The staff were all very attentive, helpful and kind. Our meals were an important part of our day! Beautifully prepared, delicious and varied, we were told all about the dishes we ate and given Ayurvedic drinks to aid digestion and maintain good health.
We had a boat trip through the backwater to a totally empty beach and took canoes out on our own to the swimming spot.
The Manager, Ganesh, was such an informative man, he was happy to spend time with us, made us feel very welcome and special, he made our stay unforgettable.
It was great to meet Mr Gul who also took the time to tell us about his work and the local mussel farming and village life. A very lovely and interesting man.
To relax in such a stunning place, to eat healthy beautifully prepared food and to be made feel so welcome was a wonderful experience.
We would love to go back one day and visit again."
~ Sandra Williams, Travelled in March 2016.
"Just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for helping me to organize an amazing stay in Kerala. It was perfect, and so much more than I could have hoped for. Really - it was amazing!"
~ Lauren, travelled solo from Canada, in March 2014.
"What we loved most was to have been able to spend 3 full days in the lap of nature at a slow pace where we did not have an early morning bus to catch or any other care in the world. Just relax, go for a swim or canoeing and visit local beaches. The place was awesome. The cottages were well maintained and pretty clean. The staff were friendly without being intrusive and the food was delicious. Some trips to local temples or other places worth seeing would have been perfect. "
~ Sandana, travelled with her mother and daughter in October 2013.
Please get in touch at email@example.com with your requirements to plan a group trip to Private Island Kasaragod.
Mr Gul, the owner & host at Oyster Opera, became the first Indian to farm mussel on coir and part the technology to the fishing communities in Padanna as a means to generate an alternate source of income. 6000 farmers are now involved in mussel farming, a majority of them being women.
Upon identifying the tourism potential of the region, Mr Gul involved the village folk to meet the recurrent demand for mussel, oysters & clam served as part of the seafood platter to guests at Oyster Opera. For his efforts to uplift the socio-economic standards of the coastal communities, Mr Gul was honoured by a national award from the Government of India. The staff at Oyster Opera comprises of mussel farmers trained to receive guests.
Below are some tips to practice responsible travel while at Thekkekadu: