South India

The Tropical South offers a laid-back gentle introduction to India. The fertile state of Kerala is surrounded by a profusion of natural landscapes; coconut palm-backed beaches, cool tea plantations, bright green paddy fields and lush waterways teeming with exotic bird life.  Here there is a gentler pace of life: spend your days drifting through the latticed canals on a private houseboat, relaxing on the Malabar Coast, or soaking up the architectural styles of Fort Cochin.  Well known for its Ayurvedic spas, yoga retreats and Malabar fish curry this is the place to unwind.

North of Kerala is the dry plateau of Mysore, in the state of Karnataka, where scents of sandalwood and jasmine swirl round the lavish Hindu Maharaja’s Palace. Karnataka is home to amazing ancient cultural sites, rain forested hills and untouched beaches.  Since the infrastructure of this fascinating state may be a little tricky, why not hop aboard the Golden Chariot luxury train which effortlessly weaves it way throughout the land stopping at all the major sites along the way, from garden city of Bangalore to the champagne sands of colonial Goa and of course the highlight, the primordial city of Hampi with its colossal ruins that are scattered throughout the boulder strewn landscape, the last remnants of the Vijayanagara Empire.

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