Nesting in Nature: Exploring the Ancient Jungles of IndiaFebruary 11, 2021
What comes to mind when you think of India? The obvious response, almost always, is the Taj Mahal. While the Taj is the crowning jewel, there is much more to surprise you on a luxury tour of India with Micato. Built on ages of formative history and long-established traditions, India is more than just monuments. With lush green forests, unending stretches of wilderness, picturesque lakes, lofty mountains – there are many opportunities to nest in nature.
An expansive land of natural and cultural wonders, India’s rich and diverse terrain offers unparalleled beauty. A luxury tour of India will provide many opportunities for you to create a serene space of your own as you travel across this fabled land in search of hidden natural treasures leading you to a path of ultimate, blissful, restorative seclusion!
Through the Primordial Sahyadri Ranges
The Sahyadri Ranges, popularly known as the Western Ghats, are said to have formed from the ancient supercontinent Gondwanaland more than 150 million years ago. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, these ancient ranges (the famous Himalayas are relatively young in comparison) cover an astounding 140,000 square kilometres, sprawling across six different states in the South of India. With 1600 km of dense, untouched forestry and boasting of more than 1000 species of plants, animals, birds and insects, the Ghats have been declared one of the world’s ten biodiversity hotspots. In fact, scientists believe that there are still undiscovered species living in the Western Ghats. The Ghats also influence the weather in India, acting as a key barrier to intercept the rain-laden monsoon winds that sweep in from the south-west during late summer.
Although the Western Ghats are richly laden with unmatched experiences, you may like to include the ‘Scotland of India’, Coorg, on your luxury India tour. This tiny hill station is irresistible, thanks to its verdant coffee plantations, quaint villages and cascading waterfalls.
Towards the Deep Forests of Kabini
The beautiful blue Nilgiris sprawl through the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. And deep within this biosphere, you’ll find the promise of elephants, gaur, deer and over 300 species of birds, all in the protected forests of Kabini. A profusion of rivers and swampy grasslands keep Kabini green year-round. The serenity of these jungles is seldom justified by mere words. Imagine waking up to the sound of chirping birds, as the sun rises and the sky gradually changes hue from a dark navy to azure. With the wind in the trees and the not too distant sound of the water flowing in the streams, you know that there isn’t a place you’d rather be!
On your luxury India tour, let your expert naturalist take you on a trail to spot the birds unique to this wilderness. Or perhaps set out for an adventurous safari through the Nagarhole National Park in search of the elusive predators of the wild. A cup of tea with the locals in a tribal village, a leisurely boat safari, a venturesome night trail along the Kabini waterline – the list is endless…you experience this and more, ensconced in the grandeur of nature.
Amidst the Tea Gardens of Munnar
An altitude of 6000 feet… unending trails of scented pine forests and grasslands along the way… Munnar is a sight for sore eyes. Pristine valleys, wide expanses of tea plantations, in Munnar, even the air carries a bouquet of fragrant spices and tea. The sprawling tea estates were first established by the British in 1878. And today, the colour and smell of authentic chai makes it the tea paradise of Southern India.
Visit the highest tea plantation in the world for the flavour and freshness of the day. Walk through the garden at your leisure, trek through the plantation in the neighbouring area, watch the whistling birds or simply revel in the luxurious lap of nature while you spend days sipping warm cups of tea.
Along the Backwaters of Kerala
Meandering through the coastal stretches of Kerala is a 900 kilometres long intricate network of lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and deltas of several rivers that flow into the Arabian Sea, more commonly referred to as the Backwaters. Traditionally, the backwaters were used by locals for fishing and transporting goods using the conventional large barges known as kettuvallams.
The best way to experience these shimmering backwaters is on a houseboat. Micato recommends a tour of one of India’s most beautiful and serene landscapes, a rural riverine expanse of endless coconut groves and verdant rice paddies. Alleppey, also known as ‘The Venice of the East’, is nestled in the midst of a thick tangle of lush tropical waterways. Alleppey presents a wonderful opportunity to board a traditional houseboat and glide along these stunning waterways lined with dense tropical vegetation and observe rural Keralan lifestyles that could never see from the road. An idyllic moment in the fabric of time quite unsurpassed by any other!
Planning Your Journey
The remote nature of these secluded treasures makes for scenic drives through the deep forests and untouched mountains of Southern India.
Bangalore – Mysore – Coorg – Kabini – Mysore – Cochin – Munnar – Kumarakom
With your Micato India Travel Director, begin this luxury Indian tour in the garden city of Bangalore or the silk capital of Mysore. Well-connected by road, drive to Coorg (approximately 2.5 – 3-hour drive from Mysore). Surround yourself by the forested blue hills as you drive to Kabini (approximately 3.5-hour drive from Coorg). Drive back to Mysore (approximately 2-hour drive) and fly to the spice capital of the South, Cochin. Spend a few days of your luxury India tour witnessing the Chinese fishing nets, watching a Kathakali dance performance, visiting a local Kerala village, going on a sunset harbour cruise. Continue on to the quaint and charming town of Munnar (approximately 3 – 3.5-hour drive). Kumarakom is a short drive away for all your yoga and spa needs.
To include these highlights, and others, in a luxury tour of India, contact Micato’s India Journey Specialists.