Kerala – “God’s Own Country”

Kerala Backwaters

By Susan Geringer
Geringer Global Travel

I will be visiting Kerala in September and will be blogging while away. But I want to introduce what I will be doing. Kerala is called “God’s Own Country” because it is lush and green, especially so in September. Kerala can be visited alone or as part of a custom India itinerary that can include Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu and of course the Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh. Kerala is beautiful any time of year even during the monsoon.

I am very excited about watching the Bullock race in Palghat, the Tiger dance festival in Trichur and the Snake Boat race in Pathanamthitta. These are all exciting and fun festivals to watch.

I have been to Kerala many times but will be going to check out properties and to see what is new and exciting. I do love Kerala and think it is a great destination that includes the backwaters with an overnight cruise, the beaches along the Arabian Sea, hill stations, spice plantations, tea and coffee plantations, wildlife and you can not forget ayurvedic treatments and yoga.

Boutique properties and homestays are special in Kerala. I will be staying in Neeleswar on the water in North Kerala, Boynton Boatyard in Kochin, Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom, Kandath Tharavad, a homestay in Palakkad, Manaas Veedu in Pathamittha, Marari Beach Resort in Mararikulam and Anavalasim in Thekkady.

These are just a few suggestions for visiting Kerala. You may want to see some of Geringer Global Travel’s South India Itineraries including The Road to Kerala. For more information and to plan your Custom India Tour, contact Geringer Global Travel, susan@geringerglobaltravel.com or call 877 255 7438.

 

 

 

 

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Visiting Delhi

By Susan Geringer
Geringer Global Travel

Humayun's Tomb in Delhi, India

Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

Most people as part of an India Custom Tour spend only two nights in Delhi.

They arrive in the evening and spend the next day with a guide and driver visiting Old and New Delhi. They usually visit the following.

  • Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Ghandhi
  • Drive pass the Red Fort a massive sandstone fort built by Shah Jahan and finished in 1648.
  • Visit Jama Masjid Mosque is India’s largest mosque and can hold up to 25,000 worshippers.
  • Take a Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi’s shopping area.
  • Drive past the Presidential Palace, Indi Gate, Parliament House and the Secretarial buildings.
  • Qutab Minar is a soaring Victory tour and dates to the onset of Islamic rule in India.
  • Humayun’s Tomb was built in the mid 16th century and is an example of early Mughal architecture.

But if you can spend an extra day in Delhi, there is so much to see and do and wonderful restaurants.

  • Nizzamuddin basti (Colony), a medieval settlement where the tomb of the famous 13th century Muslim Sufi Saint Nizzamuddin Auliya is located.
  • The Salaam Baalak Trust, a two hour walk aims to make the story of the children of the street heard and to gives one a view of their world through their eyes. This walk takes you on a journey through the backstreets of Delhi with a child who has been fully trained and now is an adult.
  • Akshardham Temple is a Hindu temple inaugurated in 2005. It contains about 20,000 carved deities and reflects Gujerati, Orissan, Mughal and Rajasthani architecture.
  • National Gallery of Modern Art’s gallery occupies the Maharaja of Jaipur’s former place, and includes all the great modern Indian masters.
  • Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum is the former residence of Indira Gandi with interesting phots, newspaper articles etc.
  • Hauz Khas Village is an artsy area in South Delhi with interesting shops and restaurants.
  • Kingdom of Dreams is an entertainment venue with live theater Indian handicrafts and Indian restaurants.
  • Dilli Haat is an open – air food and craft bazaar run by Delhi Tourism.
  • Crafts Museum has an extensive collection of old handicrafts and textiles.

These are just a few suggestions. For more information and to plan your Custom India Tour, contact Geringer Global Travel, susan@geringerglobaltravel.com or call 877 255 7438.

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Great Jewish and Heritage Tours in Cochin

By Susan Geringer
Geringer Global Travel

Lijo Jose - Synagogue - Cochin, India

Synagogue with Lijo Jose in Kerala, India

Lijo Jose, the owner of Muziris Heritage Tours is an amazing person. He has a real passion for Cochin and its surrounding areas with its 2,000 years of history. I took a Jewish Tour with him that I highly recommend. I saw the Paravour Synagogue, the Chendhamangalam Synagogue, the Mala Synagogue and the Jewish Synagogue. This was a fascinating day filled not only with wonderful information on the Kerala Jews but also about the Jews of India.

Lijo is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the Jews of Kerala and brings the history alive with his stories. I do not think anyone knows as much as he does about this history. He is not Jewish which I found particularly fascinating. I asked him how he became so interested in the Jewish history and he pointed to his heart. I was vey touched.

Synagogue in Kerala

Synagogue in Kerala

We also visited a Shiva Temple on the way to lunch. Lijo pointed out some of the architectural similarities between the Hindu and Jewish Temples. By the way, the fish biriyani at lunch was delicious. Lijo is an amazing smart young man who is a pleasure to spend time with. Your day with him will be a fascinating experience.

Geringer Global Travel will include Lijo’s tours as part of an India Custom Itinerary. This will be a great opportunity to be immersed into the culture.

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Born to Shop In Delhi

By Susan Geringer
Geringer Global Travel

An India Tour is not complete without shopping unless shopping is not your thing. India is a shopper’s paradise but for now, I am only going to talk about shopping in Delhi. I have been to Delhi several times and my knowledge of where to go is growing. One of my favorite places is Khan Market. Your driver can take you there and wait for you. I love Anokhi for Indian clothes made for western tastes. They are made in Jaipur where Anokhi originated.

Last time I was there, an Italian designer from Milan was buying piles of clothes to bring home and was going to charge three times as much. Anokhi has great scarves to give as presents. They also sell beautiful place mats, napkins and bedding. Then there is Fab India that has cotton Indian clothing at great prices. The clothes are made from handloom weaving techniques and natural dyes. Fab India’s clothes are made by artisans across India. Full Circle book store has a good assortment of Indian and Western authors. The staff is helpful. Paperback books are a third of the price of those in the US.
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