Curved blades meet polished shields with clangs that echo through the air. Oiled, muscular men prance around each other in a well-choreographed dance that tests the resilience and agility of its participants. On the other side of campus, flame throwers ascribe shapes to stories in the dark of the night. These spell binding rituals and more, will initiate you into the ancient form of martial arts, healing and meditation that bloomed in these parts.
The blood-pumping, oar-thumping excitement mounts as boats approach the finish line. In signature snake boats that add a splash of colour to the surrounding green canvas, over a hundred oarsmen stroke rigorously in perfect unison – winning is their honour to uphold. With front row seats to this ornate spectacle, you’ll soon find yourself rooting for your favourite carrier!
Broadway shows with their tap dancing and umbrella tossing, could probably take a note or two from the swaying gait of the gentle giants and the nimble toss of umbrellas taller than the creatures by the men atop! Traditional drummers lead the fore setting the soul alive with their fearless rhythms and enchanting choreography, in one of the longest celebrations in India. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Pooram parade!
While the noobs walk a cobbled path to the static fishing nets by town, you can embark on a clandestine boat ride to a nearby village where the ways of the Chinese Fisherman thrive. Quick to keep their secret, the villagers rarely if ever divulge the name, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to watch in silence. The lungi clad fishermen will gladly pose for a picture or two as you watch in awe the efficiency with which the makeshift morning market operates.
Crushed tomatoes, carrots and blended beets all neatly laid out on a counter…no it’s not a culinary escapade. In typical fashion, Kathakali dancers suit up for their performance, a unique characterization of dance forms across India with only male participants. The iconic green faces, loud headdresses and large skirts are complementary to the expressive eyes and quaint movements that lead you into a world of demon kings and young boys.
The greenery that thwarts the advancing hand of urbanization is a welcome change in Munnar. Biking here is the best way to take it down a notch. Tea pickers pick tender leaves as bees buzz in the cool afternoon mist, diminishing the sense of space and time. Leave your mark on the soft clouds that hang close to the ground, as you whizz your way through the crests and valleys covered in apple orchards, sandalwood farms and the bygone era of firewood and lanterns.
The Flash may be the quickest in the Superhero Universe, but you’d be just as hard pressed to catch the nimble tree climbers as they bound up a coconut tree in 6 graceful leaps. In the land of the coconuts you can learn to soar up the beams with just a couple of ropes. Just remember, all you need for tree climbing is daring, and confidence – the view at the top is worth it.
The archetypal backwaters of Kerala offer a serene experience; sunbathing under palm fronds on the deck of an eco-friendly, luxury houseboat. You can sip on coconut water, sourced fresh as you meander through the narrow channels and vast lakes in what is best known as the ‘Venice of the East’.
Click for a quick taste of the region!
Considered one of the largest lake eco-systems in India, the lake runs across many districts, each known for their snake boat races, houseboats and birders’ paradise.
If you consider yourself an off-the-beaten-track adventurer, Bekal is the place for you to go with its walking trails, Fort and long stretches of beach that turn into a circus ground during the weekends.
Miles of sandy beaches and impeccably lined coconut trees under clear, blue skies…that’s a holiday worth remembering
The backwaters at Kumarakom lain out in intricate channels, and together with the village homes that skirt the banks, create a picturesque setting of a Fijian getaway.
This fantastically unspoilt and satisfyingly remote part of Kerala offers an epic combination of mountain scenery, rice paddies of ludicrous green, skinny betel nut trees, bamboo, red earth, spiky ginger fields, and rubber, cardamom and coffee plantations.
When you hear the name, think elephants near watering holes, and plantations that yield incredibly aromatic, exotic spices. The Periyar Lake in all its expanse is a beautiful vista to see and capture.
Once a resort for the British Raj elite, the countless tea plantations that dot the hill station are only second in beauty to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (mountain goat). With waterfalls and trails aplenty, you won’t want to leave any time soon.
Most famed for the Chinese fishing nets, the harbour was once an integral stop along Asian trading routes. The Dutch lorded over the region for a while, their influences still evident in Jew Street and Fort Kochi.
The heavy hand of the British still lingers in the glorious, Victorian style buildings that house museums and art galleries in this compact city, while the typical Kerala style temples and unique Kuthira Malika are must-sees on any itinerary.
Awaken every morning as the delightful scent of jasmine and hot idlis waft through the air, while the sound of Suprabatha...Read More
If neighbouring Tamil Nadu is known for its cultural finesse and Goa for its aromas, Kerala is best described as a glorio...Read More
White sandy beaches stretch endlessly on the fringes of this archipelago; a place to rest your head and drink in the cris...Read More
Hyderabad, a stronghold of Nizams for centuries, is now a bustling city with a hi-tech side that’s fast outgrowing the ...Read More
If ever there was a state in India dedicated to the arts, it was Karnataka. In its heyday, the ruling class celebrated wi...Read More