Karnataka is among the states of India that have managed to preserve their yesteryear glory. Having not seen many attacks from the north in the centuries gone by the culture and architecture thrived for hundreds of years. The result is a sea of UNESCO World Heritage sites and some fascinating ruins of palaces and temples that are scattered throughout historic cities like Hampi, Aihole, Badami and Belur. The uniqueness of Karnataka is something that you must experience. The state takes a new “avatar” as you traverse throughout its many geographically unique regions. You’ll see that the language, appearance, terrain and the architecture attains a new shape as you travel through it. Every town promises to be a feast to your eyes!
Kerala, the most southwestern state of India, is a fertile coastal strip at the western escarpment of the Ghats. Kerala offers vast forest areas, including a widespread nature reserve with its rich wild animal population, palm-fringed canals in the coastal area called the Backwaters, and the beloved beaches around the capital Trivandrum. The wafting palm trees that Vasco da Gama found welcoming, and which still today sway in the gentle winds beckons to people. In Kerala, myths and history are intertwined. The “black gold” (pepper) and spices were Kerala’s most important trade goods that triggered even trade wars with other nations.
Against the stand of the local ruling powers, Kerala had to cope, at different intervals, with the trade wars with Portuguese, Dutchman, Frenchman and Britishers. These countries stamped their own traditions that have become intertwined with the culture of the local people, and creating today’s culture of Kerala!
You can experience the Backwaters by stay in on one of the luxurious houseboats. By slowing drifting down the Backwaters, you’ll experience the quiet and calmness…while seeing the wildlife and nature that inhabit its waters and banks, and the people who live in the villages along your journey.
The Endless Beaches
Once you climb into the surrounding mountains of Kerala, you will be intoxicated with the scent of spices, tea and coffee that grow up on the green foggy mountainside. You will also have a chance to see the wildlife that live in the forests, hidden from the heat of day. Elephants and tigers are there…you just need to be patient, and you’ll see them among the shadows.
Kerala is rich in history and culture too. During history, Vasco da Gama, the Romans, the Phoenicians and the Arabians stopped to barter and buy merchandise that was taken to faraway lands. Its ritual dances-the exotic Theyyam – is known worldwide. Take time to visit the Bekal fort and trek through the mountains of Waynad.
And while in Kerala, enjoy an Ayurveda treatment and messages with pure herbal soothing oils. While an herb bath refreshes your soul and your body, the oil bath rejuvenates you. You will also enjoy a vegetarian diet and learn yoga practices that will revive you. Meditation will bring new power into your soul!
15-days individual travel to / from Chennai, 14 nights in hotels of your choice
Travel Route: Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) – Pondicherry (Puducherry) – Tanjore (Thanjavur) – Trichy (Tiruchirapalli) – Chettinad Region – Madurai – Munnar – Thekkady (Periyar Tiger Reserve) – Alleppey (Houseboat Cruise through Backwaters) – Kumarakom (Vembanad Lake) – Mararikulam Beach – Kochi – Chennai
15-days individual travel to / from Kochi (Kerala), 14 nights in hotels of your choice
Travel Route: Kochi (Cochin) – Houseboat through Backwaters – Kumarakom – Kovalam Beach – Thekkady (Periyar Tiger Reserve and Spice Plantations) – Madurai (Meenkashi Temple) – Munnar (Tea Plantations) – Mararikulam Beach
19-days individual travel, 18 nights in hotels of your choice
Travel Route: Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Puducherry – Thanjavur – Chettinad – Madurai – Thekkady (Periyar Tiger Reserve) – Alleppey Backwaters – Kochi (Cochin) – Ooty – Bandipur National Park – Mysore (Mysuru) – Shravanabelagola – Belur and Halebidu – Ancient City of Hampi – Badami via Aihole and Pattadakal – Goa