Reasons to Visit
India's central parks are home to a vast range of species - on any game drive you might see spotted and barking deer, sloth bears, Indian gazelle, numerous bird species and of course the majestic tiger. But India can boast a lot more than this - visitors to the Chambal Sanctuary might spot the rare Gangetic dolphin and the elusive Asiatic lion can be found at Sasan Gir.
Whether it's the bright saris and traditional jewellery worn by Indian women, the colourful mounds of spices adorning market stalls, or the soft, pastel pink of a sunset over Agra, every way you turn in India you are confronted by vivid and beautiful colours.
As Brits we are famously fond of a curry, but anyone who has been to India will tell you that traditional Indian food is in many ways very different. The subtle and expertly blended herbs and spices create an incredibly tasty meal and the variation of flavours and ingredients between each region is remarkable.
India has perhaps the greatest diversity of landscape of any country; from the mighty Himalaya range to arid lunar landscapes in Ladakh, forested foothills, tea and spice plantations, deserts, mangrove forests, vast plains, tropical backwaters and remote islands. You won't have to travel far to feel like you are in a completely different world.
From the Mughal forts of Jodhpur and Gwalior to the palaces of Jaipur and Udaipur, there are majestic buildings in every major city. There are also numerous smaller forts and palaces which have been carefully restored, providing an excellent place to stay and experience regal Indian life as it once was.
India is the meeting place of several different world religions. We can suggest the most important places to visit to enjoy the beauty of ancient Buddhist sculptures or marvel at Hindu temples adorned with the pantheon of colourful gods. Our guides will point out the intricacies of mosque design or explain the meaning of a ceremony in a Sikh gurdwara.
Any trip to India should include at least one journey by train. Rail travellers will experience a glimpse of a bygone era, and an overnight journey offers the excitement of waking in your private car to a new and vibrant landscape beyond the window.
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The best place to stay in Periyar with its beautifully designed cottages and surrounding spice gardens.
The Spice Village, set in a large garden of pepper vines, cardamom plants and other spices, is 2 miles from Periyar Sanctuary, in the small town of Kumily. The property is part of the CGH Earth group that pioneered eco-friendly and community aware hotels in Kerala and cottages and facilities are reached by gently winding paths through the gardens.
Each chalet-style bungalow has an elephant grass roof held in place by split bamboo in the traditional local style (though it is tiled inside). All rooms have en-suite facilities and are simply but comfortably furnished. (No televisions in most rooms). Facilities include a swimming pool, badminton and tennis court and an Ayurvedic centre. For those interested in finding out more about the local wildlife, there are slide show presentations, a comprehensive library and an interpretation centre. Cookery demonstrations are held at the restaurant's Tiffin Room and dishes make use of many of the local spices. Though only a buffet is available there is a great choice of freshly cooked dishes, including Keralan delicacies.
Thekkady is a popular resort and spice trading town next to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Cardamom Hills and provides convenient access to the park.
Our rating: Medium
Thekkady & Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Our rating: Simple
Include a stay at Spice Village on your tailor-made trip around India by contacting one of our specialists...
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