| Kerala is a South Western Indian state that is a
complete holiday destination in itself and very different to many
of the other states in India. Tamil Nadu is a South Eatern state famous
for its temples (Madurai, Thanjavur & Mammallapuram being the
most popular), the rack & pinion railway from Mettupalayam - Ootacamund,
the oasis of Pondicherry with its French ancestory, unique Karnatic
music & Bharata Natayam dance and of course the very famous snack
foods such as Dosas, Idlis & Wadas in addition to the staple food
of rice and Sambhar. Karnataka is a state with such diversity contaning
excellent palaces such as the Mysore Maharajah's Palace & JagMohan
Palace, beautiful rock carvings of Belur & Halebid, incredible
terrain in Hampi (famous for the Vijaynagar empire), the sights of
Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal, the Golgumbhaz in Bijapur and forts
such as Gulbarga & Bidar. Goa is world famous for its beaches.
Maharashtra with Mumbai being its driving engine is iconic for various
landmarks such as Mumbai CSTM (formerly Mumbai Victoria terminus railway
station), Mumbai Churchgate, India Gate and of course, the cricket
maidan and the home of Bollywood. It also has many other sites of
importance with the main ones being Ajanta & Ellora caves (off
Aurangabad) and the hill stations of Matheran (with the narrow gauge
railway from Neral) and Mahabaleshwar (known for its Bollywood film
shootings). Formerly, Telengana was part of Andhra Pradesh but as
a separate state Hyderabad is home to the Charminar and the majestic
Golconda Fort, while Andhra Pradesh is the home of Tirupati (arguably,
the most sacred temple to South Indians). Many of the products combine
Kerala with the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa and Mumbai. |
PRODUCT CLICK LINKS BELOW:-
Rajasthan & North India Rail/ Hotel Itineraries in India Tailor-Made Travel Kerala & South India
Map of Kerala
| Kerala is a narrow fertile state in the south
western region of India. It is known for its greenery and natural beauty.
The western ghats are to the north and east of Kerala. The state of Tamil
Nadu is on the eastern border and the state of Karnataka is to the north.
The Arabian sea and the Lakshadweep and Maldive islands are to the west.
The coastal region of Kerala is referred to as the Malabar coast. Thus
Kerala is a land of excellent beaches and waterways commonly referred
to as the Backwaters, coconut trees, spice hills, unique cuisine, wonderful
arts( such as 'Kathakali' and 'Kalaripayattu') and very friendly people
throughout. Kerala is marketed by the KTDC (Kerala Tourism
Development Corporation) as 'Gods Own Country'. It is arguable
that this is far fetched, but it is one of the most beautiful natural
scenic spots in Asia (especially in the Kerala Backwaters and the Spice
Hills). There are 2 important points in making a trip: when to go; what
When should I go?Our advice is to go at anytime that you get the opportunity. Temperatures in Kerala vary from 25 degrees - 37 degrees. Generally, they do not reach 40 degrees. Ideal time is September - May (although May is starting to get hot for some people). The months of June, July and early August undergo the Indian monsoon which sweeps through India in a 45 degrees angle from South East to North West. Still a good time to go but not as good as other months. There is also a rainy season in the end of Nov going from South West to South East. These are not torrential rains like in June, July and early August. Off peak season is usually May - September. Hotels have reduced tariff. Peak season is October - March with December being the most popular time owing to school holidays.
How do I decide where to go and what should I do ?There is no perfect answer to this question. We have tried to identify a visit to Kerala into 9 main categories (which may aid you in a decision making process). They are listed below:-
|The Kuttanad region (the stretch in Kerala from Quilon (Kollam being the Keralan name) - Cochin (Kochi) is the Kerala backwaters region and is one of the most beautiful regions in the whole of India. Some of the major points which act as excellent bases for the Kerala Backwaters are: Allepey (Allapuzha); Kumarakom; Cochin (Kochi); Quilon (Kollam). There is no better way of seeing the beauty of this region other than travelling by boats. You can also stay in traditional Keralan houseboats made out of coir and wood. You can also stay in traditional Keralan upmarket hotels such as Coconut Lagoon and see the backwaters by motor boat.|
Periyar Wildlife Reserve: This is arguably the most important wildlife reserve in South India built around an artificial lake. The area is surrounded by the spice hills. Wildlife comprises of sambar, bison, wild boar, langur and most important of all the 'Indian Elephant'. Apart from the sitings of elephants on the banks of the lake especially from the Lake Palace, the major attraction is the setting of the park. You can wander in this area outside the park into the spice hills. In some areas, you can pluck cardomums from the trees. You can also visit a local spice plantation. You may also wish to stay at the Spice Village where they have a spice garden.
Munnar: This is a highly under-rated hill station in India at 1520 m above sea level. Surrounded by green rolling hills and with tea growing estates, it is an excellent retreat from the travels.
Kovalam Beach: Viewed from Samudra hotel
| Kerala with such a long coastline is home to some of the best beaches
in India. Some of the popular beaches are: Kovalam, Varkala and Mararikulam.
Kovalam: This is a long stretch of beach and is further sub-divided into other names. It is the most popular beach in Kerala with a wide variety of hotels for all budgets. The nearest major town is Trivandrum from which many rail and air connections exist. They are lighthouse beach and Hawah beach concluding at the Ashok Beach Resort. From there onwards, you reach Samudra beach which is in a cove (with the Ashok Beach Resort and the KTDC Samudra hotel). A little further you arrive at Pozhikkara beach.
Varkala: This is approx. 40 kms north of Kovalam beach. It is an excellent option to Kovalam especially for viewing the Arabian sea from the cliff-top.
Mararikulam: This is an exclusive beach resort which is surrounded by greenery and coconut trees. Reaching it involves driving through winding roads in a forest. The nearest major towns are Allepey and Cochin. There is an excellent hotel here called Marari Beach Resort run by the casino group of hotels. This is built as individual Keralan style cottages (referred to as Garden Villas) in a forested environment. This leads on to the beach which resembles a picture postcard beach with the sea, sand and coconut trees in the background.
We have a summer special which involves Ayurveda and a chance to learn Keralite cooking in Kochi at Eden Garden. For details of products associated with this region please click here.
|Did you know that one of the most popular Indian restaurants in London (given acclaim by various Restaurant bodies) is the Rasa Samudra ? This restaurant cocentrates on hardcore Keralan cuisine and is patronised by British whites, Indians and tourists (thus the diversity of interest: Not a taste package for one tongue). Keralan cuisine is very unique in relation to general Indian cuisine. Many of the dishes are coconut based. For vegetarians: thoran (vegetables cooked in a coconut base); aviyal (similar to Thoran where vegetables are cooked in a sauce); boiled Keralan rice; rasam (a thin water brown coloured soup with various spices and herbs); sambar (fluid dish with veregtables made from tamarin, lentils and spices); curd. Non vegetarian dishes are plentiful but the speciality of Keralan cuisine is seafood (variety of fish dishes cooked in traditional manner using Keralan spices). This is hardly surprising considering the wonderful Keralan coastline being in such proximity. The general conclusion to this is a sweet dish called Paal Payasam (rice pudding). For food lovers this is a unique opportunity to sample very different dishes to those North Indian dishes which have been marketed so well in western countries. For examples: there are banana pakoras which are starter dishes (very rarely found in most restaurants or even most homes abroad).|
|Product: Skeleton Itinerary Details|
Kerala Backwaters + Madurai + Periyar (6 nights): Trivandrum - Kanniyakumari (1 night) - Madurai (1 night) - Periyar (2 nights) - Allepey or Kottayam (for Kerala Backwaters boat trip) - Cochin (2 nights) - Trivandrum.
Backwaters + Madurai + Periyar + week in Kovalam (13 nights).
Trivandrum - Kanniyakumari (1 night) - Madurai (1
night) - Periyar (2 nights) - Allepey or Kottayam (for Kerala Backwaters
boat trip) - Cochin (2 nights) - Kovalam (7 nights).
Houseboat Holidays. Stay on a Keralan Houseboat in Allepey to
view the Kerala Backwaters region.
| Cochin, Periyar, Spice Hills + Munnar.
Keralan Cuisine: Starts and concludes in Cochin (7 nights).
Kerala Ayurveda by specialist doctors in Kochi and Keralite Cuisine
in Kochi: Starts and concludes in Cochin (7 nights).
|Kerala Sampler: Cochin,
Periyar, Kumarakom and Mararikulam. Starts and concludes in Cochin
(10 nights): Cochin (2 nights) -
Periyar (2 nights) - Kumarakom (2 nights) - Mararikulam (4 nights).
Coast Sampler + Keralan Houseboat (9 nights).
|South India Sampler.
Starts and concludes in Mumbai (14 nights):
Mumbai - Goa (3 nights) - Cochin (3 nights)
- Tiruchi (0 nights) - Madurai (1 night) - Ootacamund (1 nts) -
Mysore (2 nts) - Bangalore (0 nts) - Mumbai.
|Modified South India Sampler
(16 nights): Starts & concludes in Mumbai.
Mumbai - Hospet for Hampi (2 nights) - Mysore (2 nights) - Madurai (1 nt) - Tiruchi - Cochin (3 nights) - Goa (3 nights) - Mumbai.
South + Central India Sampler (17 nights): Starts in Mumbai and concludes
Mumbai - Aurangabad (2 nights) - Hyderabad - Mysore (2 nights) - Cochin (3 nights) - Kovalam (3 nights) - Madurai (1 nt) - Chennai (1 nt).
Coast Supreme (21 nights): Starts and concludes in Mumbai and covers
the beaches of Palolem and Gokrana and hill station of South India
including Munnar, Ooty and Coorg region plus sights in Kerala including
Backwaters, Cochin and Periyar and Mysore in Karnataka.
Mumbai - Canacona (for Palolem) (3 nights) - Cochin (2 nights). Start Modified Cochin, Spice Hills and Munnar programme (Cochin (2 nights) - Allepey for backwaters boat trip - Periyar wildlife park (2 nights) - Munnar (2 nights)) - Ooty (1 night) - Mysore (2 nights) - Coorg Region (2 nights) - Mangalore. Mangalore - Gokarna (4 nights) - Mumbai.
Registered address: 103 Wembley Park Drive
Wembley Middx. HA9 8HG
Landline PhoneNo: (0208) 9033411, (0207) 0961791, Mobile: 07425 90251
When dialling from abroad +44 (208) 9033411 or
+44 (207) 0961791
Note: From 01 Jan 2025 our land lines will be discontinued and only mobile phone number will be active then due to the modern way of functioning in the trade.