Imagine this: Under a pristine sunset that exudes fragrant brilliance you settle down for an aromatic and colorful meal served elegantly on a fresh plantain leaf. There are spiced lentils and vegetables stewed with coconut. There are rice dumplings and gently cooked eggplant and jolada bread for sopping up curry. Ginger pachadi completes your side dishes.
You’re in a valley with an eternally blue sky. It is a place where the people acknowledge you with happy faces and welcoming gestures. The vicinity seems awash in crimsons, purples, yellows, and teals, whether flowers or fabrics. The lush greenness of endless flora and fauna undulates in every direction, yielding to the caress of a sweetly scented breeze.
Perhaps there is background music? Someone plucks a stringed instrument, keeping time with the gentlest percussion. When your supper is done, you take a stroll among the palm-fringed canals. The sinking sun tosses flecks of vermilion through the clusters of trees; the nearby water laps rhythmically upon the places where it greets dry land. A houseboat glides in slow motion over the water. A man waves from the boat, smiling. You wave back, watching as the man and his boat slip through a curtain of low hanging palm fronds, soon vanishing beyond an indigo horizon.
On your way back to your lodging, a homestay on the Vembanad Lake, the gods come down and walk with you momentarily, giving you some new detail about the history of the region before bidding you farewell for good.
What place is this? None other than South India, of course. In this place, the thousands-year-old Legend of Ponnivala persists, passed down through the generations via song and story, and remotely evident in every citizen’s smile. The Legend speaks of nine farmer brothers and their wives, all created by the goddess Parvati. After famine strikes, one of the brothers requests work of the Chola king, who grants the brother and his wife land in Ponnivala. The intrigues and melodrama promptly commence; there are gods and humans, love and acrimony, interesting weather, picturesque landscapes, and transcendence. South India in a nutshell.
While the Legend is regional, it sums up much of the rich cultural history South India is renowned for. This is the sort of place you must take your time to discover. From the food, to the music, art, temples, cuisine, and folklore, South India provides a feast for the eyes and soul–and the belly. With so many possible adventures to consider, narrowing down an itinerary can seem challenging, if not mind-boggling. Here are a few unique and compelling sights to inspire you.
No excursion to South India is complete without a detour in Kerala. Located on the coast, Kerala offers a spectrum of habitats to explore. Perhaps none are more famous than Kerala’s backwaters, a series of canals hemmed by stately palm trees. In these waters the day’s supper is often caught.
Houseboats upon the canals offer overnight stays and fresh seafood to our clients. Each houseboat is equipped with an oarsman, cook, and adviser, and their business entails putting you at ease and sharing the marvels of the environs with you.
Homestays are another magnificent feature on the Kerala backwaters. Fully endowed houses on the canals, homestays offer you the chance to literally live like a local for several days and nights. Yoga is often offered, but so are canal outings and short fishing trips. You have your own room in most cases and you become a part of the family for a little while. It is the quintessential immersion vacation.
Call us today for all the Cultural options in Kerala!
South India’s many temples are simply unequaled in the world. Each one is more grand and jaw-dropping than the previous; all of them tell stories about India’s cultural, political, and religious past. The Dravidian masterpieces mostly seen in postcards are primarily located in Tamil Nadu, home to temples like the Meenakshi, in Madurai. The temple has several connected tall towers. Housed within are thousands of sculptures, many depicting Hindu gods or scenes derived from sacred Hindu texts. The temple itself is said to have been built by Indra to honor Shiva, whom he worshiped. This and other temples are not to be missed.
The above are but a fraction of what South India consists of. Give us a call on 1800-120-9091, tell us the elements you’d like us to use and we’ll design a plan for you!