Places to go in India: Kerala
With a nickname like “God’s own country,” Kerala is a must-see in India.
Although it was the last place Aman and I visited on our 2017 tour of India, it’s the first place I am going to mention because we absolutely loved our time there. It was the perfect way to end a jam-packed trip, and we are both longing to go back (while at the same time wanting to go everywhere else).
The state of Kerala is known for its lush greenery and beautiful beaches, making it a popular tourist destination. We split our time there – one night on a houseboat and a few nights at a resort on Marari Beach. We booked our Kerala experience through CGH Earth (a great way to really experience the local culture) and would highly recommend it.
We arrived on a dreary day with scattered showers, but safe inside our houseboat, it made for a soothing, peaceful ride. We did get to spend some time in the front of the boat birdwatching and feeling the breeze in our hair before the rain started, so we got the best of both worlds.
The food was delicious! Fresh-caught, grilled fish! Yum! Honestly, I want it right now. Unfortunately, that’s where the story ends. Working nightshift while on vacation is a terrible idea, and we slept through the stops to local villages. We could have seen how they make their own fishing tools and tasted fresh toddy, but our houseboat captain did not want to wake us up haha I definitely appreciated catching up on sleep, and I don’t feel terribly regretful over missing those experiences. The ride itself was just the relaxation we needed at the time.
Aman thinks he is very fancy, and at the resort, he rented a villa with a private pool, which we put to good use. The villa was gorgeous with lots of space. Our bathroom was open to the outdoors – I thought that was so cool during the daytime, but when I went for 2am pee, every bug in the world was drawn to the bathroom light.
The resort itself had a path leading through palm trees and hammocks out to Marari Beach. There were two restaurants, two pools, and spa. They put on performances of traditional dances and how to tie a saari. The resort also set us up with a local guide for a temple tour.
The two of us were picked up at the hotel by a driver and our guide. He told us about the history of Kerala, local superstitions, discussed current politics (Aman’s favorite), and lead us through various temples. We visited a Jain temple, a snake temple, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and we ended at a market for some snacks and cold drink. Exploring the local villages was one of the highlights of our trip. It really helped us to fall in love with the beauty and lifestyle.
On our final night at the resort which would end our 3-week India tour, Aman consorted with our favorite waiter and new BFF to create a romantic dinner complete with rose petals, a fresh bouquet of flowers, and a beautiful chocolate cake that I took a terrible picture of. It was great way to end our trip together and begin our day-to-day life as a newly engaged couple.