Kerala is a sliver of land between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats mountain range that offers a mesmerising blend of traditions, sights and scenery. Situated in the heart of the spice route, it has been a much-loved destination for hundreds of years.
In the serene Fort Cochin every building tells a different tale peppered with Portuguese traders, Jewish settlers, Chinese fishermen and Muslim merchants. The backwaters that meander throughout Kerala are one of its greatest attractions: the intricate web of mangroves, rice paddies, coconut palm groves, delicate rivers, winding canals and emerald lagoons that are presided over by luxurious houseboats bobbing past sleepy rural village life.
Perfect, sandy beaches beckon along the coast and, further inland, the mist-covered mountains are chequered with high tea and spice plantations. Exotic wildlife, including elephants and elusive tigers reside in mountain sanctuaries.
The history of hospitality is evident throughout this successful state, in the local people’s welcoming words and ready smiles. Local traditions are on vibrant display in Kathakali dances, Kalarippayat martial arts; and Theyyam trances.
Added to all this, Kerala has a perfect climate: warm along the coast and crisp and cool in the highlands; as well as some of the most delectable South Indian cuisine made memorable by delicate nut curries and fresh fish. Between the beautiful backwaters and the sun-kissed beaches, Kerala has has lived up to its nickname ‘God’s own country’.
Relaxing on a houseboat in the beautiful backwaters | Rejuvenating with an Ayurvedic treatment | A walking tour of the mish mashed streets of Cochin | Trekking in Periyar wildlife reserve with a local guide.
Ayurveda, an ancient holistic wellness treatment, is widely practiced in Kerala due to the wealth of medicinal plants