Mar 10, 2013

Incredible India (Southern India)




I  N  C  R  E  D  I  B  L  E       I  N  D  I  A





                          
If you're looking to experience an old third world country known for delicious cuisine, holy temples, enormous elephants, high mountain peaks, swaying palms on coastal waters, roaming cows, tea plantations, yoga ashrams, and world class film making INDIA is the place to go.

INDIA'S landscape is quite diverse and large that's why is best to divide time between South India and North India. Whether traveling by car, plane, or train INDIA is an exotic country filled with history and natural wonders. 

Southern India has a lot to offer and there's no better place to begin a journey through India then in Kerala and its backwaters. With the Arabian Sea to the west and Western Ghats to the east plus a network of 44 rivers, Kerala is surrounded by water practically everywhere. Kerala is blessed with a nice climate, a long shoreline, beautiful beaches, exotic wildlife, and tropical forests.

Kerala is a state located in the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast.

Kerala's regions consist of Malabar, Central Kerala, Central Travancore, Northern Travancore, and Southern Travancore. There's also a series of cities all known for something special;

A) Kochi is the Queen of the Arabian Sea
B) Thrissur is the Cultural Capital
C) Alapuzha is the Venice of the East
D) Thiruvanthapuram is the Capital City

Kerala's backwaters are a maze of lagoons criss-crossed with rivers, shallow pools, and canals separated by the sea by a narrow strip. There's no better way to explore Kerala's backwater's than taking a cruise. Individual houseboats can be rented by the day & night for about $80.00 to $150.00 depending on the amount of passengers. There's also a number of reputable cruise lines such as Coco Houseboats, Lakes & Lagoons, and Spice Coast Cruises. Alleppey Tourism Development Corporation offers a very reasonable ferry ride on some of Kerala's backwaters.

The beaches of Kerala are a crown jewel and one of the main attractions of Kerala. Some of the most popular beaches are Alappuzha, Kappud, Varkala and Kovalam. If you want a beach break the Blue Mountains of Western Ghats are another grand place to de-stress.

Kerala is home to Ayurveda; an ancient medical science developed in India thousands of years ago.

The ayurvedic system is a holistic approach to health which consists of massage, meditation, yoga, a healthy pure diet and various herbs that improve everything from skin to heart. Many visitors come to Kerala for ayurvedic healing.

Kerala is known for one of the best breakfasts in the world and foods such as dosas, pidiyam, idli, and paal-appam are part of a daily breakfast diet. Tea is the favored beverage of Southern India and cups of tea appear in most households.

Lodging options in Kerala range from cozy home stays to classy beach resorts. 
Resposibletravel.com is a good site to check out for lodging in Kerala.
G Adventures is an excellent tour company offering trips throughout India. If you want to focus on the Kerala area consider G Adventures Beach & Backwaters and Best of Southern India tour.
Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Neyyar Dam Kerala is an outstanding yoga ashram that offers yoga vacations and yoga teachers training courses.
Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort in Thiruvananthar is the oldest Ayurvedic resort in India and the place to go for a healthy and relaxing vacation.

Feel, taste, smell and immerse in the wonders of  Kerala in Southern India for a week before heading further north to explore more of incredible INDIA.

Om Om  Om


South Indian Dosas

1/2 cup raw rice
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/4 cup steamed rice
Salt and Oil to taste

Grind the raw rice, coconut, and cooked rice into a smooth batter along with 1/2 cup water. Add salt and more water for a thin watery batter.

Heat a small non stick pan and sprinkle some water on it. (It should steam immediately)

Grease the pan lightly with vegetable oil. Pour a ladleful of batter from a little height so you can get plenty of holes. Cook 2-3 minutes using a little oil. Fold it into half and then into a quarter to form a triangular shape. Be sure that dose is not over crisp. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve doses hot with a favorite chutney.


Coconut Chutney

1/2 cup coconut, grated
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp yellow lentil
2 dry red chillies
5-6 curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Grind the coconut into fine paste in a food processor. In a small pan heat the oil, when the oil is hot add the mustard seeds, yellow lentil, dry red chillies, and curry leaves. Add the coconut paste and a bit of salt for taste.

Serve the coconut chutney with doses and a pot of tea.







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