The most well-known of India’s southern states, Kerala is the country’s most verdant and relaxed
The most well-known of India’s southern states, Kerala is the country’s most verdant and relaxed. It is undoubtedly one of India’s most beautiful and the slow pace of life in ‘god’s own country’ is ideal for unwinding and getting back to nature.
Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats that form the border with Tamil Nadu to the east, Kerala is fertile paradise of palm lined beaches, rice paddies, steamy jungles and plantations in every shade of green imaginable. The hills are lovely country for treks and walks with fabulous views, or you can hike into the jungle with a reformed poacher in search of wildlife. Between the coast and hills is an enchanting watery network of lakes, rivers and canals. The best way to get around is by boat, sipping fresh coconut water while drifting along on a converted rice barge, or paddling your own canoe observing Backwaters life along the way.
With its long coastline Kerala cuisine contains many mouth-watering seafood dishes. Delicately flavoured with local spices and enriched with coconut milk, meals are a foodie’s delight. We recommend joining a cookery demonstration or course to discover what is in the kitchen and the secrets old family recipes. Kerala is also the home of ayurveda, a 2000 year old healing tradition based on the science of complete well-being. An ayurvedic doctor will prescribe a special diet, herbal remedies and therapies, but if you don’t have the time or inclination for such a course, a massage in which your body is treated like a temple should leave you completely relaxed and rejuvenated.
Hinduism is deeply engrained in everyday life and although temples do not permit non-Hindus everyone is welcome to join the festivals held in their courtyards. In the south you may see an elephant procession accompanied by bare-chested drummers pounding out the beat while in the north, performers with elaborate masks and costumes dance to placate the gods during theyyam festivals.
At the end of the day you will find a warm welcome at a family homestay, or you can pull up a chair on the teak pillared veranda of traditional Keralan tharavad house overlooking the sea. Wherever you go you will be greeted by friendly people – Kerala is also India’s smiliest state.
915m (3000 ft) high up in the Western Ghats Tranquil is hidden
More than 120 years old, Olavipe has been in Antony’s
Coconut Lagoon sits on the shores of Vembanad Lake in the heart
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