In the first part of our South India journey, we will visit the state of Kerala , Kanyakumari and the temple town of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Kerala is a region of pristine natural beauty and is rich in beautiful beaches, Ayurvedic spas, Hindu temples, cosmopolitan colonial coastal towns, and has unique geographical and cultural features. It has a rather laid-back atmosphere. It is also known for its wonderful artisanship as well as theatre and classical dance forms. Kerala has an overpowering tropical landscape with 44 rivers and countless waterways. We will visit luxurious ayurvedic spas, spice plantations, bathe an elephant, visit the Periyar nature reserve at Thekaddy and have the opportunity to enjoy the traditional martial art and Kathakali dance. The greatest joy of exploring Kerala is the actual traveling by boat which we will do overnight, along the enchanting backwaters; visit the hugging mother guru, Ammaji's ashram at Kollam.
We plan to 'worship' the sun on the beaches of Kovalam and experience the spectacular sunset at the southern most tip of India, Kanyakumari, where three oceans meet. We will end this part of the journey in Madurai, the oldest inhabited city in the Indian peninsula. One of South India's great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple with its deity, the beautiful fish eyed Goddess, Meenakshi, the consort of Shiva. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. This journey gives us the opportunity to ponder about the larger questions of life, and the universe, and open ourselves to the archetypes of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Day 1, November 22nd: Trivandrum - Kovalam.
Day 2, November 23rd: Kovalam - Kanyakumari- Kovalam.
Day 3, November 24th: Kovalam - Kollam.
Day 4, November 25th: Kollam - Allepey - Kumarakom (Overnight on House Boat).
Day 5, November 26th: Kumarakom - Thekkady.
Day 6, November 27th: Thekkady - Madurai.
Day 7, November 28th: Madurai - Chennai by air.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
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Shantum Seth is a Buddhist practitioner and an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Zen (Dhyana) tradition of the Vietnamese Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. Shantum teaches in India and abroad and has been leading pilgrimages since 1988. He was brought up in India and speaks the languages of the areas to be visited. He has...
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