Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, has nearly 600km of Arabian Sea shoreline. A sliver of a coastal state in India’s deep south, Kerala is shaped by its layered landscape: It’s known for its palm-lined beaches and its backwaters, a network of canals popular for cruises. almost 600km of glorious Arabian Sea coast and beaches; a languid network of glistening backwaters; and the spice and tea-covered hills of the Western Ghats. Just setting foot on this swathe of soul-quenching, palm-shaded green will slow your subcontinental stride to a blissed-out amble. Its many upscale seaside resorts include specialists in Ayurvedic treatments. Kerala is a world away from the frenzy of elsewhere, as if India had passed through the Looking Glass and become an altogether more laid-back place. Inland are the Western Ghats, a mountain range whose slopes support tea, coffee and spice plantations as well as abundant native wildlife. Besides its famous backwaters, elegant houseboats, ayurvedic treatments and delicately spiced, taste-bud-tingling cuisine, Kerala is home to wild elephants, exotic birds and the odd tiger, while vibrant traditions such as Kathakali plays, temple festivals and snake-boat races frequently bring even the smallest villages to life. It’s hard to deny Kerala’s liberal use of the slogan ‘God’s Own Country’.
Alleppey : Kerala’s backwaters snake in all directions from Alleppey and, while touring on a houseboat is a great experience, taking time to slow down and stay in a village can be just as rewarding. Just 12km from Alleppey on a backwater island, Green Palms Homes is a series of homestays that seem a universe away, set in a picturesque village, where you sleep in simple rooms in villagers’ homes among rice paddies (though ‘premium’ rooms with attached bathroom and air-con are available). It’s splendidly quiet, there are no roads in sight and you can take a guided walk, hire bicycles (₹50 per hour) and canoes (₹100 per hour) or take cooking classes with your hosts (₹150).