I hadn't really heard of Chittoor till extensive research on 'offbeat things to do near Kochi', threw light on this sleepy hamlet, home to a temple its erstwhile king built for his family deity. This quiet part of Kochi is very different from the hipster Fort Kochi area, frequented by tourists from all over the world. According to the story, a local guide told us, once upon a time (in the eighteenth century) an enlightened monarch, Rama Varma Maharaja of the Cochin royal family discovered that power lies in surrendering to the divine. That’s when the Rajah of Cochin built a temple for his family deity in the quiet hamlet of Chittoor.
He soon realised that while he made frequent trips to the temple, he needed a place to rest there. He built himself a manor just fifty yards away from the temple. Unlike the grand palaces of North India, this abode of the king, built-in wood, was simple yet elegant. The palace housed an entourage that would cater to him when he visited the temple.
Imagine our delight when we found out that this house called Chittoor Kottaram (The house of Chittoor) is available for travellers to book (₹50,000 for two nights for 1-6 adults). When we were about to make our booking, we realised that the property was a single-key mansion. Only one family (with the same last name) could book this property (a mansion with three bedrooms, a kitchen, massive dining hall, a courtyard, a pond, a backyard and an Ayurvedic massage room) at a given point of time.