Kerala and South India.
This is an extensive topic.
For further details on the Kuttanad region, products associated with the Kerala Backwaters and the concept of staying in a houseboat and products related to this region, please click here.
Cardomum Spice Hills.Many people do not venture this far into the mainland of Kerala. Those who do are rarely disappointed. It encompasses two major points (i.e. Periyar wildlife reserve and the beautiful hill station of Munnar).
Products which feature the Spice Hills Region.
We have tried to combine Keralan beaches or Kerala Backwaters with the Spice Hills region.
The Keralan Beaches of Kovalam, Varkala & Mararikulam are excellent places to relax at the end of a trip and also a place where you can add Ayurvedic Herbal Oil treatment within your stay and also cover the spice hills of Periyar.
Two such trips are listed below:-
AyurvedaAyurveda: the science of healing is becoming more popular day by day throughout the world. Panchakarma, a unique branch of Ayurveda has attracted the attention of the whole world. In the modern era, though humans are enjoying the fruits of modernisation without its knowledge. Hence, they are suffering from incurable diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, early ageing, loss of immunity which in turn produces more number of diseases like chronic fatigue, fatigue syndrome etc. Causative factors for all these are : foods containing preservatives, colouring substances, hybrid foods, refrigerated foods; irregular habits; stress, strain, tension; polution etc. These in turn are culminating into waste products in the body. In such conditions Panchakarma is providing required benefits because it is removing the waste materials and toxins from the body without hurting the body organs and thus helping in the cure of the disease. The therapy also helps to rejuvenate the body cells and organs and for maintenance of health. Kerala is one of the best exponents of this kind of therapy through a variety of herbal oil treatments.
Ayurvedic Herbal Oil Treatment is a feature, virtually everywhere in Kerala. This can be added to any product.
Note: Please do check up with your local GP before proceeding with any of the treatments. To take in the benefits of Ayurveda, it is essential to have an equivalent amount of relexation (i.e. If you have 3 days of Ayurvedic treatment you should take 3 days of rest.). Hence, it is better to stay at a beach resort for 7 nights and then within it have 3 days of Ayurveda. Specific clinics in Kochi are ideal as are resorts in Kovalam, Varkala & Mararikulam. Other good points for Ayurveda are: Periyar or specific clinics and hospitals that specialise in Ayurvedic treatments.
Keralan Performing ArtsThere is a multitude of Keralan arts that stun the naked eye of the visitiors. However, we wish to point you in the direction of 2 forms. There are many others.
Keralan CitiesCochin (Kochi): An inter-connection of islands (Bolghatty Island, Willingdon Island, Vypeen Island just to name a few).It comprises of low rise, picturesque buildings. It is rich in history and its sights are that of diverse tradition. Examples of the same are: the Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry palace (built originally by the Portugese, then rebuilt by the Dutch occupants. It is built in traditional Keralan pattern called 'nalukettus'. To the south of the palace is a complex temple dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.); St Francis Church (the place where Vascodagama died); Santa Cruz cathedral, Chinese fishing nets which line the harbour entrances.
Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram): It is a very pleasant capital city of Kerala. Sights include: Sri Padmanabaswamy temple, typical dravidian architechture (Note: Normally open to hindus only); Arts and crafts museum (wooden keralan style architechture housing collections from Chola, Vijaynagar and Nayaka periods. In addition, Kathakali costumes are also on display here); natural history museum (also houses a replica of Nalukettu): Keralan Nayar house and many other museums. An excellent excursion would be to the beautiful wood carved Padmanabhapuram Palace, which was once the seat of the Travancore rulers. This is constructed from teak and granite, with rosewood ceilings carved in floral patterns, floors finished with a special compound of crushed shells, coconuts, egg whites and juices of local plants.
Quilon (Kollam): Southern starting point of the Kuttanad region. Easy going town that is surrounded by coconut trees and cashew plantations on the edge of the Ashtamudi lake. Most famous as the starting point of the day long Kerala Backwaters ferry trip from Quilon to Allepey. There are many other trips that emanate from Quilon for those who wish to do shorter trips.
Allepey (Allapuzha): Noted for 3 major points of interest: one of the main bases for the Kerala Backwaters trips; headquarters of the coir making industry; important for cashew nut processing.
Many of the cities listed above are very popular with our past customers. Hence, are featured in many of the Keralan products.For details, please click to get some ideas.
The towns listed below generally tend not to be on most travellers itinerary, but are well worth a visit. If you like to go away from the beaten track and yet see some beautiful sights, they are good destinations. For a visit to these sights and some of the more popular cities, the best thing is to tailor-make an itinerary for yourself. Just send us an email of your requirements in the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Trichur (Thrissur): Lies at the base of a hillock crowned by the famous Vadukkumnathan temple (dedicated to Lord Shiva). An excellent place to visit for the Pooram elephant festival held annually usually in April or May. An excellent excursion at approx. 32 kms from Trichur, especially for pilgrims is Guruvayur to visit a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, known as Guruvayurappa.
Calicut (Kozhikode): An ancient port. North of the city is Kappad beach, where a small stone monumnet commemorates the landing of Vascodagama at this, his first stop in 1498.
Cannanore (Kannur): Formerly a major port area, this is now an industrial city known for its handloom weavers who produce silk and cotton saris. Sights include: the picturesque Moplah town and Payyambalam beach kust 2 kms away.
Why not try and learn to cook some of these dishes in addition to seeing the natural beauty which is in Kerala? One of the best ways to do so is to learn cooking whilst staying for 2 nights or more in a Keralan Houseboat. For details please click here.
The oweners of Eden Garden Homestay have offered to give away their secrets and offer a cookery/Kerala sightseeing program during some of theoff-peak summer months at a very attractive price. For details please click here.
Keralan Heritage Hotels.Keralan Heritage hotels tend to have a style similar to a 'Nalukettu' (traditional Keralan wood carved cottage home with a central courtyard). Two very good examples of this kind of unique architechtural style are: Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom and the Bolghatty Palace in Cochin (especially in the corridors leading to the rooms). Details are given below:-
If possible try to stay in one of these type of properties which are styled as 'Nalukettus'. But there are plenty of other heritage properties. For example staying in a houseboat (made in traditional manner using coir and wood) or staying at the Brunton Boatyard in Cochin or Carmelia Haven or Spice Village in Periyar or the Marari Beach Resort in Mararikulam.
Keralan and South Indian Holidays.Many products in our site which are associated with South India feature Kerala. Some of them like the Kerala Backwaters + Periyar + Madurai + Kanniyakumari mainly concentrate on Kerala and have add ons in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu. Some also feature Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa. Whilst others feature Kerala as one of many destinations in addition to other destinations in India like the South India Sampler or Visit to Goa, Kerala and conclude on a Keralan houseboat. A list of products featuring Kerala in some form or other are listed below:-
Note: The rates have not been updated since 2016 season, as there has been a violent change in the exchange rates ever since the Brexit Vote. We have left the rates as per 2015 - 16 season to give you something of an idea. For current rates, pl email your requests with dates & number of passengers. We can then get back to you on the same.
Note: All products in the website are being reviewed in view of the current pandemic on account of the coronavirus. At this point (i.e. when the website was being updated in late Dec 2020 / early Jan 2021), we regret that we are unable to recommend travel from the UK to the majority of the countries in Asia that we deal with. We are hoping that the situation will improve (not only for the anxiously waiting travellers and the tour operators in the UK but also for the thousands of people connected with the travel trade who are more than just associates for us.). When and how quickly travel is likely to resume is unknown to us with the earliest time likely to be in the autumn of 2021. Many of the products may need to be changed at the early stages for the safety of the travellers and the locals at these countries.
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