Recently, the Specialty Travel Agents Association (STAA) featured an article I wrote about adventure activities in India. You can read the article in its entirety here. The STAA is dedicated to providing the ongoing development and promotion of agents who sell travel for specific destinations or niche markets. As a specialist in the Indian subcontinent, Sodha Travel is excited to be part of a group that is dedicated to providing travelers with exceptional products and services that exemplify specialization.
Earlier this week, we boarded our overnight houseboat in Alleppey, a 1.5 hour drive from Cochin in the state of Kerala. The houseboats are called Kettuvallams, which literally means “boats held together by ropes.” The vallams are floating marvels of design, as not a single nail is used during construction. Instead, wood pieces are knotted together with ropes and coated with a waterproof resin. Our boat had a staff of three: captain, engine driver, and chef. Together, they guided and fed our way through the canals, allowing us to savor the elements of Keralan life.
Last night, we visited the Cochin Cultural Center and watched the magnificent Kathakali, the stately dance of Kerala. The dancers represent characters from India's ancient epics, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and tell a story accompanied by a percussionist. In the past, the dances would continue for over twelve hours, from sunset until sunrise. However, most modern performances last less than a few hours as a way to introduce the dance form to others.
Many of you have commented throughout the years about the level of unsurpassed hospitality in India. I couldn't agree more. Whether staying in a guest house, luxury hotel or haveli, there is an almost unwavering commitment to assuring the guest is comfortable. The philosophy is that the lodging is an essential element of the traveler remembering the destination positively.
Our office staff will be in India from May 13 - 31. During this time, we will be available by email only, Monday - Saturday. We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, June 1. We invite you to follow our blog for pictures and posts as we traverse the country.