Kerala, the tropical paradise in India, is loved and praised by many as "God's Own Country". From cascades of greenery on the Western Ghats, this slender costal state reaches to the Arabian Sea, boasting diverse natural beauty and vibrant traditions.
The activity on the top of our bucket list is to sail along the scenic backwaters in Alleppey, and watch the local village life drifting by. Also known as the Venice of East, Alleppey is blessed with a maze formed by various waterbodies: Lagoons, rivers, pools and canals criss-cross with one another, connecting Vembanad lake to Astamudi lake and stretching all the way to the ports in Kochi.
Not far from the red-cliffs and pristine beaches in Varkala lies a busy temple town of Hindu. In fact, multiple religions exist in Kerala in great harmony. One can find Hindu temples, mosques, churches, and even synagogues there, as the Keralans are open and embracing.
Through the endless rice and ginger fields, up the misty hills filled with tea and coffee plantations, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary displays biodiversity in its full glory. This remotely located forest reserve is home to wild elephants, exotic birds, deer, tigers and panthers, many of which are rare and endangered.
Kochi, also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, has been an important trade hub since the 14th century, and has remained a commercial and cultural center till today. Make sure to visit the Kumbalangi Model Village for Sustainable Tourism, where visitors get to live in small homestays and experience the authentic lifestyle of local fishermen.
And from Kerala we've brought you Kara Weaves, a social enterprise working with fair trade weavers to create contemporary home textiles on the traditional Keralan wooden handlooms. Take a look at the collection.
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Wayuu women have become today's world-renowned master weavers. Their mochila, a type of shoulder bag decorated with vibrant one-of-a-kind patterns, hangs comfortably thanks to its sturdy belt straps and displays character with its chunky pom-poms, is catching the eyes of fashionistas across the world. A mochila bag can take up to one month to complete by its maker, using the weaving and crocheting techniques that have been passed down from mothers to daughters for hundreds of years.
Rajasthan means "Land of Kings". This northwestern state of India is the largest in the country, with rich culture and authentic influences from India's ancient castes.
Magnificent palaces, forts, and temples attest to the prosperous history that is still attracting global tourists to this land.
Guatemala attracts global adventurers with the natural beauty of its diverse landscape. And for travelers who love art and history, there are unique architecture, exquisite handicrafts, and well-preserved cultural heritage characterized by their indigenous roots with a strong influence from Spain.