With 1.2 billion people, India offers incredible diversity through cityscapes, rural life, historical sites, rich food, varied religions, and handicrafts. Often, the first associations to India are the Taj Mahal, the vast difference between rich and poor, and food often consisting of curry that leads to tummy aches. I am here to tell you that there is so much more to this beautiful country! When traveling through India, you will find persistence, the desire for change, hard work, and a friendly face grateful that you have traveled all this way to experience a piece of their paradise.
In addition to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Udaipur, I had the opportunity to explore the state of Kerala. Kerala can be considered a bit of an anomaly in India. It has a literacy rate of 95%, a wealth of job opportunities, and an infant mortality rate that rivals that of the US and other developed nations. It is technically a communist nation, and while that changes occasionally by democratic vote, most residents do prefer what they call the Social Democratic Party.
Relaxing on the beach in Kerala
The state of Kerala is inclusive of the historical city of Kochi, spice plantations in Thekkady, tea fields in Munnar, wildlife such as birds and tigers in sanctuaries, houseboats that cruise the backwaters from Alleppey, healing Ayurvedic massages, and the beaches of Mararikulam where you can see local fishermen.
The local dress is a white saree featuring gold metallic trim and paired with colorful, often red, blouses. The food features local fruits such as papaya, coconut, and mango. Some of my favorites delicacies are: dosa, Masala chai, idiyappam, Chana dal, and seafood. Consider them all a must-try while in India.
Munnar tea fields
Traditional Kerala dress
And last but not least, an Ayurvedic massage is highly recommended. It is said to have immense healing powers—some are even considered an equivalent of 28 traditional massages. Do be prepared, as some may find it a bit intrusive. However, I found it settled my week-long stomach battle and my travel buddies had relief from years of pains and aches.
If you would like to learn more, please do touch base by phone (312-951-8517) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Safe travels!
Jama Masjid, Delhi
The Red Fort, Delhi