South India | Newmarket Holidays

South India is a region of India with its own character. Anyone who imagines that the crowded streets of Delhi seen on television encapsulate India as a whole will be surprised by the relaxed far south of India. The region is also known for its unique architecture and culture, with dance and literature that differ, often quite dramatically, from that of other regions in the country. The independent literary traditions of the region stretch back as far as 2,500 years. Culinary traditions are also distinct from other parts of India, with many types of food being prepared, both traditional and more recent inventions. The Malabar coast’s higher proportion of non-Hindu groups means that non-vegetarian cuisine is more popular, for instance.

Newmarket HolidaysSouth India may not yet be as widely known as some other regions of India. However, the region’s tropical, idyllic and remarkable beaches are just two of the reasons why the natural beauty and fascinating culture of South India is drawing more travellers to explore this region of India. Kerala’s backwaters stretch through that South Indian state like labyrinths. Traditional houseboats that have been navigating those waters for a long time have become increasingly attractive to tourists as a way to explore the state’s gorgeous environment. Tea and spice plantations are everywhere, including South India’s famous hill stations.

South India does offer its urban pleasures as well. Kochi, the city formerly known by the colonial name of Cochin, lies between Kerala’s restful backwaters and the legendary waters of the Arabian sea. In old Kochi there are many historic colonial buildings with distinct European flavour. For a taste of more uniquely South Indian culture, one may take in a Kathakali dance. This performance is a traditional South Indian experience like no other. Further encounters with the remarkable tradition of Hinduism as practiced in South India can be found in Madurai, which features temples with distinctly South Indian architecture. As in any sacred city, there are opportunities to see Hindu ceremonies as well.

To explore the beauty of nature, few better choices exist than the Kettuvallam houseboats that float along the backwaters. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary features such exotic and magnificent animals as tigers, leopards, and elephants, and the idyllic quality of the Munnar hill station, where tea-growing is abundant, will not be easily forgotten.

Newmarket Holidays is offering escorted holidays to the region, covering many of the highlights mentioned above.

 

India’s Exotic South and Kerala | Newmarket Holidays

Newmarket Holidays offers a wide range of interesting tours to India, one of which is the ‘India’s Exotic South and Kerala’ trip. This allows you to explore one of the most beautiful parts of the country; a place filled with ancient temples and churches, tropical forests, traditional villages and stunning beaches. Day one of this tour begins with an overnight flight to Kochi (or Cochin, as it is sometimes called). Upon arrival at the local airport, your Tour Manager will meet up with you and transfer you by coach to your hotel.

The next day, there will be a guided tour of Cochin, including a trip to its famous port and the Mattancherry Palace, as well as a beautiful Jewish synagogue. A short ferry ride will then take you to Enrakulam; this area is filled with department stores, cinemas and high rises, which serve as a refreshing contrast to the traditional buildings of Cochin. After the day of touring has finished, you’ll be treated to a classic Kathakali performance – a bright, colourful spectacle that combines dance, music and painting.

Newmarket HolidaysThe fourth day will involve a short trip to Alleppey, considered to be the eastern version of Venice. Once you arrive, you’ll hop on board a houseboat, and take a gentle cruise along the Keralan canals, which are lined with temples, coconut groves and rice fields. As the sun begins to set, the houseboat chef will carry out a cooking demonstration and prepare a delicious, traditional meal for you to enjoy on board. Following this, there will be a guided walk through a nearby village.

Day five of the trip begins with a journey into the lush green countryside of Kerala. There will be a short stop in a traditional rubber plantation for lunch, after which you will continue travelling to Periyar, a district which is famed for its beautiful wildlife sanctuary. You and your travel companions will stay here for a couple of nights, during which time you’ll have the opportunity to explore the well-known Spice Plantation, as a tour guide teaches you all about the history of Indian spices and teas. On the sixth day, you can rest and relax in your hotel, or alternatively, take part in an optional excursion (arranged by Newmarket Holidays) to the above-mentioned wildlife sanctuary, where you’ll find elephants and exotic birds, as well as tigers and leopards.