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Anjengo Fort

Stuti Gupta
Vedanta provides scooty and bikes on a rental basis. So two of us woke up on our third morning at 6 o’clock. We decided to take the scooty and wander aimlessly in Varkala. Through google maps and our minimal knowledge of Malayalam, we made it till Anjengo Fort which was 16 km from Northcliff.It was retarded the way those village people looked at us — we were two mad girls wearing short shorts clothes, riding a scooter on a Sunday morning on a street full of churches, talking in Malayalam. We reached three hours before the open time of the Fort, but almost everyone living around that place — women in maxis and men in their munda-came out to help us. They took it as a mission to let us in inside the Fort. They succeeded and the Fort was opened at 8am, rather than its actual timing — 10:30. Honestly, coming from a city famous for its Gwalior Kila and Jai Vilas Mehal, I found Anjengo Fort pointless. The only thing maintained inside the place was its garden.We found out a beach nearby and rode till there. The water there was cleaner than my water filter. The sand was clearly visible and completely unreliable. It was hard to even stand there and the tides were insanely high. We ducked twice in that ice water and sunbathed under the hot sun. This was the third day and my hair was officially salty and I was undoubtedly tanned as fuck. We had breakfast at some cafe and then once again ended up crashing at Coffee Temple. We spent the entire day shifting tables there, according to the view and the weather. Later that afternoon, I took a Sheero Dhara massage at an Ayurvedic centre. Kerala is famous for its Ayurvedic treatments and massages. Those 40 minutes made me so relaxed. It was totally hallucinogenic (No! I am not exaggerating!).An Iranian guy who was living there with us asked me for dinner and I took my friend along. There was something mystical about this guy. Even though his English was not fluent, he had an ability to convey his ideas with such good clarity. The dinner had a topping of two ingredients, philosophy and existentialism.If someone looks at you and says “I hate you!” why does it affect you? If he hates you, it is his problem, not yours. “Okay…but I like myself and I like…you as well” should be your ideal response. Still a long way to reach that level where you can love yourself regardless of others loving you.Vedanta had planned a drinking party and everyone who was living there was invited. When we returned after dinner, everyone was sitting around a long table with drinks all over the table. There were three Americans, four Germans, One Japanese and three Indians sitting in a circle. It’s ironic that religion and ethnicity divides people, while alcohol and pot unites us. Anyway, we started playing Kings and then, everything else is a history. *tongue out*Note: Kerala Alcohol brands suck big time, so you better carry some of your own stock.The night was insane, to keep it short. We slept around 3:30 in the morning, after shoving lime juice and glucose in our mouths. We woke up with an awful hangover.The fourth and the last day’s morning went listening to the crazy things we managed to do, by everyone, over and over. We left for the cliff and crashed at Coffee Temple for nth time. I spent most of the day time alone, just sitting and chilling, reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and contemplating about life and nature. It was Monday, and half of the crowd was gone. Almost all the shopkeepers became familiar, dogs recognized me and there was a sense of safety. Passers by greeted with smiles and hello’s like it was a small community who had been living together for years at this cliff.
Riyanka Roy
Anjengo Fort is a fort near Varkala. It is a place of historic importance as well as beautiful natural setting, Anjengo is an ideal destination for those who don't mind walking around and explore what is in store. The historic significance tagged to Anjengo comes through foreign powers like the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the English East India Company. There is also a cemetery inside the fort, which most probably would be having the remains of the occupants of the fort, and the oldest among the burial sites dates to 1704.
Ashish Jain
Anjengo Light house and Fort: (south of Varkala) Originally built by the Portuguese as a depot to store merchandise. It was converted into a fort by the British. Sandwiched between the sea and the backwaters. One is permitted to climb the light house and have a majestic view of the city. Trivandrum city can easily be spotted when sky is clear. Check for the opening timings for heading for it.