India- The Spice Lands

by Travelbag on 01 June 2015, 16:06PM

India, the seventh biggest country in the world has something for everyone. The spice lands of Kerala are a great introduction to the region.

After you land in Cochin, the most cosmopolitan city in the region, you will visit the Matancherry Dutch Palace, confusingly built by the Portuguese, a Jewish synagogue and St Francis Church, before relaxing in the evening by watching a traditional Kathakali dance show and retiring to one of three hotels of your choosing; the Avenue Regent, Trident or Vivanta by Taj.

Indian Temple

Thekkady is next on the agenda, located in the ‘Heart of God’s Own Country’ and close to the coffee and spice plantations nearby, as well as Periyar forest, home to some of India’s main wildlife reserves. The evening’s entertainment will come in the form of a Kalaripayatu demonstration, one of the most ancient forms of martial art.

The fourth day of this trip will see you move on to Kumarakom, via a spice plantation en-route to see how cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg are grown and harvested. The luscious green forests around these parts, along with the waterways that run between the small islands are breathtaking, and with a free afternoon, you can soak up as much of it as you want, or take a boat trip on Vembanad Lake, among the largest bodies of water in India.

Next up, you’ll travel to the coastal retreat of Alleppey on a house boat, taking in calming surroundings, a couple of meals consisting of various delicacies, before sleeping overnight on the boat.

By the time you get off the boat, you’ll be ready for the next destination, Kovalam, featuring three beaches, free time to swim in the sea, and all the coconut beer you can drink. Settle in here, and either relax a couple of days away and unwind after a packed week before heading back to Kovalam to depart, or go on an excursion to Padmanabhapuram Palace, an ancient wooden complex found within a granite fortress now regarded as one of the best remaining examples of Keralan architecture.

Indian Beach

If you want more time in India, you can take a tour of the Taj, temples and sacred Ganges, which includes a tours of Old and New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, complete with a visit to the Taj Mahal. Plus trips to temples in Jhansi, Ocha and Khajuraho, where you’ll see images of the kama sutra before taking a short flight to Varanasi to go out to the Buddhist pilgrimage site at Samath and the location of Buddha’s first sermon.

Conclude your journey with a boat trip along the Ganges and witnessing Hindu ceremonies and more free time before a final night in Varanasi, and a scenic drive back to Delhi for your flight home.

So much to see, so little time. Don’t wait a moment longer.

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