The south of this vast country concentrates a beauty cultural diversity and an extraordinary landscaping. The journey from Bangalore to Kerala channels is a sensory journey through the colors and scents of the ancient spice route.

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India is a country of contrasts, it is powerful in the south, the earth beats an ancient energy where the gods live with people, integrating the divine in everyday life. So here are travelers in search of spirituality, ayurvedic cures and a territory full of cultural and landscaping wealth.

Bangalore, in the state of Karnataka, is a good start route to contemplate the contrasts of India. A few kilometers west, the town of Hassan offers the first time jump in the temples of ancient Hoysala kingdom (XII-XIV centuries). They are authentic sculptural marvels. Every inch of its walls is covered with natural motifs, animals and gods, tracing recharged filigramas on the stone.

The ancient Hoysala  kingdom  survives in the temples of Chennakeshava, Hoysaleshvara y Somnathpur

The ancient Hoysala kingdom survives in the temples of Chennakeshava, Hoysaleshvara y Somnathpur

One train, one bazaar

The railroad is the best means to move to Hassan and also to continue to the south. The three hour trip to Mysore allowed to live one of the greatest experiences of India: second class carriages become authentic bazaars, with vendors offering you tea, the more diverse foods and goods.

Mysore is a city of 700,000 inhabitants, with little pollution. You need to walk through the old city and visit the Devajana market, to get lost among aromatic incense stands (agarbatti), multicolored fruit and spices, while you taste one wallah, is a banana leaf rolled and stuffed with rice and spices.

Mysore, capital of the Wodeyar dinasty between centuries XIV and XX. In the picture, Amba Villas Palace

Mysore, capital of the Wodeyar dinasty between centuries XIV and XX. In the picture, Amba Vilas Palace

Amba Vilas hall,

Amba Vilas hall,

National Park of Bandipur

It is reached by a road between trees and cows grazing in the margins. Until Bandipur territory is arid, but from this point begins what was the preserve of former Maharaja of Mysore, a place overflowing vegetation where inhabit elephants and tigers.

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Kerala, a state rich thanks to its rubber, tea and coconut. Dominated by small and charming towns such as Sultan’s Bathery. It has a beautiful Jain temple of XIII century. The sobriety of the temple is typical of that faith, a religion that lacks gods whose shrines do not contain pictures or just ornamentation.

Route of species and tea

Thalasseri, a fishing village where the East India Company was established in the early eighteenth century. Kochi, this city has long been the queen of Arabian Sea for being a strategic enclave on the spice route. Vasco da Gama arrived here in 1502 and died there as viceroy years later. Today its streets reflect the past as a Portuguese, Dutch and British  colony.   The heat and coastal humidity disappear in Munnar mountain, located at 126 kilometers, a paradise where the British went to cool in the warmer months. Since its 1600 meters gives spectacular views over fields of tea. The range of walking routes in Munnar is very wide, from simple trails leading to waterfalls to hike that goes up to Anamudi base camp (2695m) the highest peak in South India.

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A water world

Kerala, offers beaches and mountains, but certainly his most singular geography is that parallel coast tracing the thousand and one channels that make the Backwaters, a kingdom of water at the crossroads lakes, rivers, sea and villages.

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