“People seem to run away to India when they are world weary. She seems to hold the sacred balm to tend the world’s dried-upness, and turns it into wholeness.
She has never failed me either.
Michele Naidoo Mistry
Kerala has got to be one of the loveliest holiday destinations in India. A place where a South African, with the lightweight rand can still experience superb value. It is blessed with the beauty of diverse terrain and famed for the backwaters of Alleppey. These internal waterways carry lazy houseboats moving at a slow and sultry pace.
I’ll be sharing a little about my gentle passage into ‘God’s own country’ in the next few blogs.
The mist covered mountains and tea plantations of Munnar hold its own silent mystique. It could be the contrast of green hills to grey sky, or the consistent swaying curved terraces that draw you in.
South West there are still wild spaces, like the Periyar National Park, a home to the majestic tiger. I drove through Trissur, a modern city named after the 3-pronged trident carried by Lord Shiva. It’s peppered with monumental temples and churches.
One of the things I loved about Kerala was its religious tolerance and the fact that everybody speaks one language, Malayalam.
Further west in Forte Kochi Cochin, you have a sense that you’re weaving through the fabric of time and touching an ancient past.
I travelled during monsoon and I will definitely do it again. It didn’t rain all the time in the places I visited. There were sudden bursts of rain that were quite delightful. When they subsided they left a gleaming freshness in there wake.
Not all of Kerala was this lucky, some parts were ravaged by rain resulting in the loss of life because of severe flooding. Be aware, listen to news reports and take the advice of locals.
Ideally, you’d want to make a slow trek across the length of Kerala. I had 25 days and having been to the backwaters before, I was in search of something else. This time, Ayurveda.