There are many treasures to be discovered in Kerala, a green and lush region in Southwest India. The state has an incredibly diverse landscape that includes tea plantations, backwater canals, beaches, and national parks. One of the best ways to experience Kerala is by skipping the large, modern resorts and instead reserving home stays or smaller, boutique properties.
Kerala, a lush state in Southwest India, is often considered the birthplace of Ayurveda. Ayurveda, or Science/Knowledge of Life, is a form of holistic medicine. The earliest documentation of this healing system appeared in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda focuses on balancing the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual elements of life to create ultimate wellness.
Travelers, Sodha Travel is excited to launch a new group tour to South India in January 2016! Drift in the backwater canals of Kerala, savor the coffee plantations in Coorg, view the magnificent caves of Ajanta and Ellora, and explore the temples of Tamil Nadu. To maintain an intimate cultural experience, space is limited to 14 guests.
Over the years, many of you have requested that I personally accompany a group to India. Because of professional and family commitments, the timing just wasn’t right – until NOW. I am very excited to announce that I will be leading two tours in 2015 - South India in February and North India in September!
Last week, we spotlighted the tradition of mehndi in India. The ancient art form is generally applied during festivals and special occasions, particularly weddings. Did you know that Sodha Travel coordinates India Destination Weddings? Over the years, we have been delighted to plan the details for wedding celebrations throughout India. Often, the bride and groom wish to incorporate a tour for their friends and family before or after the wedding festivities. This is a great way for the guests to experience the highlights of India and also witness a traditional Indian marriage.
Sodha Travel is excited to announce our newest tour, The India Explorer! Experience the highlights of India in a 21-day itinerary that s provides a comprehensive introduction to the diverse landscape and cultural wonders of North and South India. View the magnificent temples in Tamil Nadu, visit a tea plantation in Kerala, experience the majestic forts and palaces of Rajasthan, marvel at the Taj Mahal at sunset, and taste the distinct spices and regional cuisine.
A warm welcome to Amit Thakur, a new addition to our Sodha Travel team in Delhi! Amit specializes in custom tour programs and has over 12 years of experience in the travel industry. He is an avid explorer who has extensively traveled throughout India, including many national parks and wildlife reserves. Amit also has a passion for photography and has contributed many snapshots of festivals, wildlife, and local treasures.
Did you know that Sodha Travel is a member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the largest and oldest ecotourism organization in the world? Through the years, Sodha Travel has maintained a commitment to sustainable business practices. This not only applies to the administrative elements of our company but also through Responsible Tourism: leaving the destination a better place than when you found it. Our team continues to seek new ways of incorporating sustainability and conservation in the travel industry.
Located in Southwestern India, Kerala is a scenic region of palm-fringed beaches, hill stations, tea plantations, backwater canals, and wildlife sanctuaries. It is the most literate state in India (93%) and the first state to become 100% internet connected. Also, Kerala is considered the birthplace of Ayurveda, a traditional and holistic form of medicine.
A homestay (or home stay) can be an enriching alternative to traditional accommodations. The idea is to offer a clean and affordable place for foreigners to stay, usually with the intention of learning more about the community, culture, and traditions. If you are interested in learning more about a home stay in India, please read my recent article on Travelhoppers, titled Homestays in India.
Imagine discovering a vault with contents valued at over $22 billion! I recently came across an article in the NY Times about a vast treasure found beneath the 16th century Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala. The items include gold coins, precious jewels, diamonds, and gold statues of Hindu gods and goddesses. Now the question looms: Who will manage the wealth?
In many markets, the word customized is usually an indicator of a product or service being more expensive. Customized furniture. Customized clothes. Customized vehicles. When someone is making the item unique or distinctive, time equals money. So, it does not surprise me that when I encourage clients to customize their itinerary, I am met with hesitation. "Customized? Isn't that more expensive? I don't think that is possible with my budget."
As India continues to be ranked one of the most favorable travel destinations worldwide, hotel chains are busy developing newer and more creative accommodations. Looking ahead, 2011 is going to be one of the most exciting years for unique properties, catering to both budget and luxury travelers. Here are a few of my most anticipated additions to the Indian market:
Kerala, a region in Southwest India, is known for its extensive backwaters, pristine beaches, and lush hill stations. Travelers can visit a tea plantation, stay overnight on a houseboat, enjoy an Ayurvedic massage, or experience an elephant safari. The most visited areas in Kerala include Cochin, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Periyar, Thekkady, Munnar, and Kovalam. However, there are many lesser known treasures in this beautiful region, including eco home stays, waterfalls, and historical plantations. Here are a few of my favorites: