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Southern India Surprises
Southern India is a mysterious and magical place to visit and this trip captivated my inner senses.
The tour started in Mahabalipuram a sacred town on the coast on the Bay of Bengal. Here we found an array of fascinating sites to visit, including the splendid Shore Temple.
This area is rich in temples and you will not fail to be impressed by the architectural splendour of the Shore Temple and bass reliefs.
Leaving the cost we headed into the religious heartland of Tamil Nadu.
The Brishawara Temple in Tanjore is a magnificent complex with intricate detail carved into the palaces of the temple complex is testament to the vision of the Chola Dynasty.
Our guide Chandra, has a superb depth of knowledge on this region, coming from Kerela and explained the religious significance of each site. He was truly captivating and we were all pleased to have him as our guide.
The trip continued through the superb temples of Trichy and Madurai, all of stunning appearance and we started to understand the complexity off Hindu religion.
We witnessed the daily ritual of putting Shiva to bed at the Sri Meeakshi temple in Madurai. This was a real highlight of this part of the tour and something that must be seen to be explained!
We said a found farewell to Tamil Nadu and a big hello to the proclaimed ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerela. This truly is the land of the plenty and we were spoilt with scenic splendour and endearing tranquillity.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is set in highlands of Kerala and has a rich variety of wildlife. Trekking by bamboo raft and by foot we were led by local rangers whose knowledge on wildlife was excellent.
The birdlife is particularly good and we were privileged to see the very illusive frog mouthed bird and all though we did not see a tiger, we did find a footprint!
After leaving Periyar we past through the hill country and tea plantations and viewed the tea pickers in the plantations and from here there scenery gets better and better at the turn of each corner.
During our visit to Cochin, we enjoyed an evening of Kathakali dance. This is a unique dance from Kerala,which amazed us all and is well worth seeing.
For many in our group the highlight of this trip is Kerala’s serene backwaters. We cruised through freshwater and seawater canals and observed the tranquil life of the people in this area. This was for me one of the most peaceful places that I have ever visited.
Before ending our tour at Kovalam we visited a government run school for under privileged children. We were greeted by a sea of smiling faces and were given a tour of the school and met with the children. If you plan to do this trip in the future please note that pens, paper and dictionaries are in need.
Our final part of the journey ended on the beaches of Kovalam and we all enjoyed the surf, food and hospitality. The ubiquitous final dinner on the final night coincided with a dazzling tropical storm and we enjoyed dinning by candlelit dinner before saying a found farewell.
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