1 Ritual theatre

Elaborately costumed, arcane dance dramas, such as kathakali and theyyem, are an essential part of the Kerala experience.

2 Varkala

Chill out in a cliff-top café, sunbathe on the beach or soak up the atmosphere around the town’s busy temple tank.

3 The backwaters

Explore the beautiful waterways of Kerala’s densely populated coastal strip on a rice barge or punted canoe, following the narrow, overgrown canals right into the heart of the villages.

4 The High Range

The tea plantations, pepper groves and grassy mountains around Munnar and Periyar are the perfect antidote to the heat and humidity of the coast.

5 Fort Cochin

Dutch, Portuguese, British and traditional Keralan townhouses line the backstreets of Malabar’s old peninsular port. See the grandest of them from the inside by staying in a heritage hotel.

6 Temple festivals

Parades of extravagantly decorated elephants, backed by drummers and firework displays, form the focal point of Kerala’s Hindu festivals.

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