As the weather gods turn kind, this is when you need to be in the sizzling South, in ‘God’s Own Country’— Kerala. Its tropical splendour on the legendary Malabar Coast offers a fantastic array of things to do and see in the balmier days of winter from October to March. Come let’s explore together this world of superb natural beauty and shining cultural diversity, shaped by foreign hands over time— Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, European, and more, as a major international trading post from ancient times.
A Traditional Luxury Houseboat and Alleppey Heritage Walk
Journeys to Kerala inevitably put the spotlight on cruises along the gorgeous backwaters. But, a night or two spent in a traditional houseboat, all gussied up to receive tourists from home and abroad, is an unbeatable experience. A 24 sojourn offers truly immersive insights into life lived out in the backwaters. As Aleppey is the popular jump-off point of backwater cruises, you should definitely take a guided heritage walk of this waterside town. Organised by the Preserve Alleppey Society, an all-women’s organization started by the Lion Ladies Club, the ‘‘Alleppey on Foot”, which along with the spotlight on the planning, the rise, and gradual fading of Alleppey over 3 centuries, also pulls back the curtains on the amazing backwater eco-system.
Discover the amazing story behind the fantastic makeover and the elaborate costume. Every dancer Kathakali carries on their shoulder the responsibility of upholding the history and heritage of over 300 years of one of the world’s most vibrant classical dance traditions.
Steeped in the spirit of a devotional classic each vibrant performance is a rich coming together of drama, dance, music, costumes, and makeup. The fine detailing of facial expressions, the movements of the eyes and hands, and feet raise the entire performance to the realms of the divine.
Getting ready for a performance is an exhausting business for the artist— be it the ritual exercises to stay fit, hours of makeup and costuming, carrying the weighty headgear; but, once on stage, everything else falls away. All that remains — is the divine performance, when the dance and the dancer are as one — and the spellbound audience, is transported to a celestial world of seamless artistic harmony.
A Massage to Detox
Quit the hectic life of your everyday world. Switch off your mobile, laptop, and medley of unruly thoughts and lose yourself in the serene forest of scents and sensations at a traditional Ayurveda spa. The ancients must have got it right about the healing power of Ayurveda, otherwise, why would it be still around in the 21st century? Its growing footprint the world over surely underscores its efficacy for numerous ailments for people living in different geographies, in different climes.
It’s the low season and tea planters are ready to party. Spend joyful moments in the heart of nature at a heritage tea plantation. Sip the golden brew while cogitating over the charms of this colonial world as your eyes gaze upon soothing swathes of emerald tea bushes. Mingle with the tea pickers and unravel the mysteries of the local culture of gorgeous Munnar’s tea community.
Trek the trails
Take home indelible memories of guided walks operated by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation in Kerala’s pristine forestlands Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Go eco-friendly on your explorations with bullock cart tours for bird watching —and wildlife spotting by the waterline while bamboo boat rafting on the Periyar Lake.
There’s all this and more. So, when Kerala calls in winter, hesitate not— just get up and put the trip together. There’s not a moment to be lost in your precious ‘Me Time” holiday