Malabar Coast Tour India

mmllprmIndia can be a difficult place to visit due the sheer numbers of people wanting to use public transport and a diverse range of cultural practices that are often incomprehensible and even worrying for westerners. One solution to seeing India overland is to join a tour. Indus Travels specialises in tours of India and other countries within the region, and they conduct a ten day/nine night coach tour of the Malabar Coast which begins in Chennai in Tamil Nadu and ends in the colonial city of Cochin.

The Malabar Coast is region on the south-west coast of India which borders the Arabian Sea, beginning in the north at Goa and ending in Kerala in the south.

From Chennai you head to the 7th century port city of Mamallapuram where you visit historic shrines, caves and even a crocodile farm. As India is a very spiritual place, there are many visits to shrines and temples during the journey, but all have great significance and relevance, and most are quite colourful. Of course, anyone wishing to know the culture of India should be prepared to visit historic buildings of all kinds in order to understand the bedrock of Indian culture and beliefs.

Over the next few days, the tour moves down India’s south east coast to the city of Madurai. One of the highlights here is a visit to the Palace of King Thirumalai Nayak which was built in 1636. The most imposing remnant is a huge audience hall opening in to a courtyard with elaborately ornamented arches.

After Madurai you travel 170 kilometres to Thekkady to visit the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Sprawled over an area of 925 Square kilometres, Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba.

This area is part of the Western Ghats, the mountain range which runs down the western side of India. The landscape here is with very tropical and you will be surrounded by tea, coffee & other spices.

Next, you head down the mountains to the town of Alleppey, which is known for its amazing network of canals. Canoes with huge sails still transport people and you can find vegetable sellers, fisherman and other household materials being brought door to door by small wooden boats. This whole area is surrounded with coconut palms and, lush green rice fields.

The tour ends in the nearby city of Cochin where you have the option of staying for a while or being transferred to the airport to continue your travels elsewhere.

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