Kerala Map  

Kerala : is an increasingly popular tourist location with beautiful scenery, blue skies, sincere hospitality and excellent food, yet it remains relatively uncommercialised, so is able to give the visitor a glimpse into the culture and values that still make India a 'different' destination. The people are warm and friendly, many with lifestyles that have changed little over the years, living simply, seemingly unaware of todays mod cons. The atmosphere is calm and gentle; the palm tree providing a living for many and a constant backdrop to the colours and warmth, the sights and sounds that are truly, Kerala.

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: 16kms south of Trivandrum airport, Kovalam gives the first time visitor a very soft introduction to India, and a warm re-welcome to returning visitors. English is widely spoken, Western ways understood and catered for. Lighthouse beach is the main area for shops and restaurants with smaller beaches to either side. When you are ready to explore further afield buses, rickshaws and taxis are plentiful and inexpensive. Note though, the standards are not quite European; power cuts can be numerous, the paths steep and uneven, hot water not always available and beach shopping needs some skill in haggling. However, just keep an open mind and you can discover the magic of India everywhere.

Relax.......... let India shift your perspective and affect you

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Step back from Lighthouse beach and leave the golden sands, the warm Arabian ocean, the varied selection of restaurants (all specializing in freshly cooked fish and vegetarian dishes) the beach sellers offering fresh pineapples, mangoes, papayas, sarongs and local handicrafts; leave the sound of the fishermen pulling in the nights catch and enter the shaded, 'shanti' (peaceful) area of Green Valley. Pass along the path ('beach life' now only five minutes yet a world away) and into Silent Valley. Climb the steps up into the hillside and reach Shanti Bhavan (house of peace) with its magnificent almost endless view of coconut palm trees, the landscape for which Kerala is so famous. The yoga shala is on the roof, covered by dried palm leaves, a cool area surrounded by greenery. It's an ideal place for practising yoga in the land of its origin, with a traditional Indian teacher. Downstairs there is a tranquil massage room in which to leave your stresses far behind as you relax to the natural sounds of nature and have knotted muscles expertly eased. Within the house, are two ensuite twin guest rooms, available for those wishing to experience a 'homestay' style holiday. Karen and Sivan, as your hosts will welcome you into their home and delight in introducing you to local people and friends within the community. They have a wealth of local knowledge and experience and have successfully combined Eastern and Western lifestyles to make a colourful, informal, relaxed home, complete with most modern facilities. Your safety and comfort will be ensured, friendship, help and advice readily available.

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Shanti Bhavan