God’s own country, corralled into twenty acres—that’s the Sargaalaya craft village at Iringal, where twenty-seven cottages gather Kerala’s diversity of arts and crafts in sixty stalls for display and demonstration. The tile-topped cottages, polished floors and masonry benches that unite the cluster are themselves a tribute to traditional architectural skills. They sit on the banks of the Moorad, where there is boating, but it is otherwise a fairly serene setting, which adds to the attraction of this daytrip from Kozhikode. Coir and screwpine, banana fibre and bamboo, coconut shell and sand souvenirs can come home with you, as well as modern metal objects—or you can take a crash course in making your own at Sargaalaya. There are handloom textiles and jewellery, exquisite sculptures and modern bags and accessories on sale. Performances of kalari martial arts or classical dance, music and theatre forms can also be organised on request. However, this government-run ‘responsible tourism’ initiative seeks to promote the interests of not only local artisans but also foreign entrepreneurs creating innovative products in the state. There’s a restaurant too.

Location Off the Kozhikode-Kannur highway, near Vadakara

Entry tickets Rs 30 for adults, Rs 15 for children 5–12 years old. Open 10am–6pm, Mondays closed

Contact 0496-2606015, sargaalaya.com

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