2nd Oxford and Cambridge Cultural Alumni Weekend in Kerala, India

What : Cultural Alumni Weekend
Where : Kumarakom & Mavelikkara, Kerala, India
When : 10th (Friday) to 12th (Sunday) February, 2017

The suggested full programme:

The Cultural Weekend from 10-12 February, 2017 can be termed as ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to see a part of Kerala from an insider’s point of view and to develop an authentic understanding through unique events and visits as well as to connect with old and new fellow alumni. The invitation to the Weekend was officially launched by Cambridge University’s Vice-Chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. It is being organised with the support of an alumnus of both Oxford and Cambridge Ribu Polachirackal Tharakan and a member of the House of Polachirackal Tharakan of Mavelikkara with his wife Teresa John of the House of Kottukapally at their ancestral seats in their home state of Kerala.

The Programme Schedule:

Day one – Friday 10th February, 2017: Visit to Kochi-Muziris Art Biennale (KMB) & Stay in Kochi

Theme for the day: Fort Kochi and KMB. Reference: https://www.kochimuzirisbiennale.org/
1. Book for an early morning flight to Kochi. Cost effective flights are found on sites like makemytrip.com
Visit Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Fort Kochi. Minimum entry fees are (200 INR), self-paid. The day will be spent exploring the Biennale. Independent self-paid lunch can be had at the Biennale venue food counter itself. People are free to explore Fort Kochi as well.
2. Formal Dinner will be held at either – Cochin Yacht Club/Cultural Centre (Cost INR 1,750)

Day two – Saturday 11th February: Visit Kottukapally Tharavad of Palai and Stay in Kumarakom

Reference to Teresa’s home Kottukapally:


  1. After independent breakfast in Kochi, we head to Pala by hiring a Volvo A/c bus from Kochi in the morning.
  2. Mrs. Teresa John’s ancestral seat which has been featured as one of Kerala/South India’s grandest homes having been covered in various global publications. Teresa’s mother Thressi Kottukapally has taught Chef Gordon Ramsay on his visit to Kerala as seen in the Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escapes. Nazrani Sadhya – Lunch rice with three main non-veg/veg dishes with 20 accompaniments with 2 desserts at Kottukapally Tharavad (Cost – INR 2,750, no alcohol is served).
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumarakom From Palai, then head to Kumarakom. There is the independent option of taking a trip on small boats through backwaters. Stay in Kumarakom for the night.

Day three – Sunday 12th February: Visit House of Mavelikkara Tharakan and Fly Out of Kochi

Ref to the Ribu’s Tharakan family: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polachirackal_Tharakan_family
Breakfast in Kumarakom. Then to Mavelikkara. Visit the Tharakan & Panicker Family Church, the ancestral Houses, Visit the Cathedral and the Bishop of Mavelikkkara Rev. Joshua, a grandson of the Tharakan family to hear the tales of Travancore. Also, visit the famed Krishnapuram Palace constructed by the Tharakan family on route to Kochi. Have lunch on the way. Reach Kochi about 3.30/4.00PM.

Guests can chose to spend the evening/night in Kochi or fly out later than evening/night.
Details: Each alumnus is allowed to bring three additional non-alumni guests with a total capacity for 40 in total. As of now we have received 23 confirmations. Last date for registration as 15th January 2017 but we may close before that given that we may reach capacity.

Logistics, Travel and Costs: Cost of the trip, to and fro, will be borne by each person. Hotels range from INR 3,000/ 35GBP upto INR 10,000/115GBP and further-up. Accommodation is to be sought for two nights – Kochi & Kumarakom. February is an off-season period and we can help secure discounted rates.

To confirm, an advance payment of INR 7000/83 GBP per person will need to be transferred by online/cheque by15th January. We encourage everyone has to travel together. Payments for the A/c bus will compulsory even if some wish to travel by independent vehicles. Costs breakdown: 1. Group dinner at
Cochin Yacht Club/Cultural Centre – INR 1750, 2. Group Lunch – Nazrani Sadhya at Kottukapally Tharavad
– INR 2750 (No alcohol is served), 3. Single individual payment for the bus from Kochi-Pala-Kumarakom-Mavelikkara-Kochi is INR 2500. Also provide your dietary requirements of Veg/Non-veg. For group lunches, dinners and bus trips there is no refund as losses cannot be borne by the hosts.

The advance payment required has to be transferred online to the account Cambridge Society of Bombay and please email the confirmation of the payment to: tharakan.ribu@gmail.com c.c. vbk@kilachand.com
Name: THE CAMBRIDGE SOCIETY, BOMBAY, Bank: Bank of Baroda, Branch: Backbay Reclamation,
A/C.No: 03820100014313, A/C. Type : SAVINGS, MICR Code : 400012056,
IFSC Code: BARB0BACKBA [ Fifth Character is Zero ]

If you have any further queries, you may write to Ribu Tharakan at: tharakan.ribu@gmail.com

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