Authentic Taste of Kerala begins and ends at Ponkuzhy Store
Our weekend drive started without any particular destination but after half an hour drive we decided to go to Karnataka-Kerala border. After about 2 hours drive from Mysore, we reached a place called Ponkuzhy on the Gundelpet-Sultan Bathery highway. Ponkuzhy is a small village in Wayanad district in Kerala State. Only two places are there to be named, one is Ponkuzhy Sree Rama Temple and this Ponkuzhy Store. I prefer to call it as Ponkuzhy Supermarket rather than store because you get almost everything here. Ponkuzhy is just 5 Kms away from Muthanga Wild Sanctuary.
Ponkuzhy store has a small teashop, a small provision store, and a small pan shop. The complete business is managed by a small family. The shop doesn’t have any glamour to attract the people but it is maintaining its ugly appearance to distract the highway passengers. For me, its thatched roof and bamboo pillars were very much attractive than a concrete hi-fi building.
This is for the second time we tried the food from there. The previous one was accidental and this one was purposeful. We had Puttu (Pittu) and Kadala (Bengal gram) curry last time for breakfast but this time nothing was there except tea, Parippu vada, and Neyyappam. Nothing else was there to eat since it was about 6.30 in the evening and it was time to wind up their business for the day. So we had our tea and snacks and got a parcel also. All got its traditional Kerala taste. They don’t have any ad tagline to market their item but they maintaining the essence of Kerala cuisine in every item they are offering to their customers. Their daily menu is very limited and their total hotel business is restricted to breakfast, lunch, evening tea and snacks. Their regular customers are lorry drivers and highway passengers.
The one and the only neighbour to Ponkuzhy Store is the Sri Rama Temple. There is a natural pond near the temple called Seetha Theertham which is surrounded by bamboo forest. It is believed that the pond is the result of the falling tears of Seetha Devi.
Transportation is allowed only till 9 PM since the road is cutting through the forest region and herds of wild elephants are common sight on the highway. On the way back, we saw one elephant was standing just beside the road with its trunk waving here and there. We heard from the people at the teashop that last week one elephant smashed a TATA Nano to scrap.
Just drop in at least once to this teashop to experience the taste of Kerala Cuisine.