Southern Comfort - Kerala
Discover your true self amidst aromatic sandalwood forests and orchards, in a sanctuary that is far from the hot and humid touristy areas of Kerala. A brainchild of Carmelite monks, Cure Monastery sits in the rain shadow area of Marayoor and Kanthaloor region. Meant for those with a true inclination towards Ayurveda, it allows patients to stay and get treated by experienced Ayurveda doctor and therapists, in a peaceful environment and serves only organic food, which aids in the healing process.
Apart from the tourist hotspots, Kerala has a long list of untouched beaches you can visit. Head to Marari beach; enjoy the sunset and just unwind by the sea. At Varkala, take a dip in the water – it is believed that the holy waters here wash away sins. Don’t forget to get your feet dirty and take a walk by Poovar and Cherai beaches too. If you fi nd yourself at Bekal, stop by Vivanta by Taj. At the Jiva Grande Spa here you can enjoy a range of treatments that have been created with city weary souls in mind. Relax and rejuvenate...
Apart from providing avenues to pamper your body and maintain good health, Kerala offers opportunities to purify the mind through Vipassana. Literally, ‘to see things as they really are’, it is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation. Dhamma Ketana is one of the most popular Vipassana centres in the region. The tranquil five-acre property in Cheriyanad offers one-, three- and 10-day courses. Experience this traditional meditation technique to liberate your mind.
When in the ‘God’s Own Country’, a must on your list should be a night (or two) in a houseboat. Head to Vembanad lake, about 13 km from Kottayam, and take a houseboat cruise of the backwaters. The cruise between Kollam and Alappuzha is one of the most sought-after backwater cruises in Kerala. Take the eight-hour journey and get awed and mesmerised by the famed waterways. You can also visit Ashtamudi lake in Kollam, where you will find fewer people and, hence, more peaceful vibes.
Situated 700 m above sea level, Lakkidi is the gateway to Wayanad district. Stay at one of the luxury resorts surrounded by rainforests in the area and bask in the lap of nature. Soothe your eyes with the views of the breathtaking peaks and refreshing streams it has to offer, and get a 360-degree view of the deep and heavenly forested valley below. Also visit Pookode Lake, a freshwater lake just 3 km away from Lakkidi. Rich in biodiversity, it has nicely-maintained gardens and boats for hire too. A peaceful place to visit during the week.