Along India’s tropical Malabar Coast, the southern state of Kerala attracts travellers with a siren call. Here you won’t find the country’s iconic overcrowded cities or sprawling deserts, but instead a surprisingly serene and sultry setting amongst languid backwaters framed by palm trees. A visit to Kerala is sure to soothe the soul, especially when enjoyed from one of the best boutique hotels in Kerala or a luxury houseboat in Kerala.
Discover Luxury Boutique Hotels KeralaA fascinating mix of southern India’s celebrated backwaters, carefully crafted houseboats, distinct cuisine, one-of-a-kind festivals and stunning scenery, the state of Kerala bursts forth with life while also inviting visitors to simply relax and unwind. If the rest of your India journey has been a fascinating assault on the senses, here is more akin to a tropical island holiday where time slows down and one can be nourished by the sound of waves.
Along with Kerala beach hotels, backwater resorts in Kerala are also a popular draw as are multiday journeys aboard a luxury houseboat Kerala and the backwaters are famous for. Slowly gliding through the tropical backwaters allows for plenty of time to unwind as your boat captain takes control and your private onboard chef whips up fresh local meals paired with the setting.
Bounded by the vast Arabian Sea on India’s southwestern shores in northern Kerala, tranquillity permeates the air in Malabar. Part of the Malabar Coast, which encompasses the slender coastal plain of Karnataka and Kerala between the Western Ghats range and the Arabian Sea, the area was historically a major spice trade centre and also welcomed Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, the first European to reach India by sea, on his maiden voyage.
Filled with coconut groves, rice paddy fields, secluded beaches, verdant hillside spice gardens and isolated inland waterways, slow and rhythmic Malabar is the essence of authentic India – a secret gem. While the region’s natural delights are many, the local communities also add considerable warmth and wonder to the destination. Celebrating life with myriad rituals and vibrant annual festivals, the hospitable people who dwell here are significantly influenced by their innate belief in their deities. The region’s most significant cities of Kochi, Kollam and Munnar hold some intriguing historical sites while still exuding a relatively laidback vibe compared to the country’s larger northern metropolises.
While travelling the region, one can climb aboard a Kerala backwaters houseboat and enjoy a leisurely cruise through the famed backwaters. Trek through nature and go bird watching at the hill station Ranipuram, or the hill spice station Wayanad. Covered with picturesque bamboo, orchid and tea plantations, the latter is also home to elephants, bison, spotted deer, tigers, leopards, bears, wild boar and other wildlife.
For history, cultural and India’s ever-permeating spirituality, visit the Mutupam Temple and witness a tantalising Thayyam dance performance. Alternatively, opt for exploring the Goddess Snake Temple, the ancient Bekal Fort or a slew of small, traditional fishing villages. Learn how to prepare native Malabar dishes using spices from Kerala’s Western Ghats. One can also journey inside, soothing the body and soul with a holistic Ayurvedic massage, meditation course or yoga class, finding harmony with the divine and relishing in the treasures of magical Malabar.
Ayurvedic Resorts in KeralaOne of the world’s oldest holistic healing practices, dating back 5,000 years, Ayurveda means “the study of life” and focuses on promoting and maintaining balance between the body and mind. Though practised across the country and throughout millennia, Kerala boasts an uninterrupted history of dedicated Ayurveda practise with Ayurvedic medicine being the primary healing system for the state’s residents. Thanks to this long history and tradition, the south Indian state is well-known for offering a wealth of Ayurvedic treatments, retreats and even accommodation to curious travellers and devoted seekers.
Many believe that the area’s relatively temperate climate, sprawling forests and cool monsoon season create the perfect environment for Ayurveda’s restorative powers and therefore there are a number of Ayurvedic health resorts in Kerala. Top Ayurvedic resorts in Kerala offer authentic Ayurvedic treatments, including yoga, massage, acupuncture and herbal medicine, using all-natural local products while their restaurants are dedicated to serving fresh, healthy, nutrition-packed meals prepared following Ayurvedic principles to restore balance in the body.