Southern India is more relaxed and advanced than the North of the country and I would recommend the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Seeing the Backwaters is a must in Kerala and the the best way to to see this network of waterways is to spend a couple of days on a houseboat, which can be rented and come with a crew of 4 or 5 – a captain, an engineer, a cook and a host/guide. All meals are usually included and the crew will look after you well.
On the Backwaters, you can sit back and relax on your private houseboat and watch the World go by. Meals are served on the boat and quite simple but very good. Beer and soft drinks are available on most houseboats but if you want anything else pick it up at a store and take it onto the boat.
In the evening the boats moor up and you are really away from it all. I would advise lots of mosquito repellant, even though there are mosquito nets put up around the decks of the boats.
One night should be enough on a houseboat.
The Hills of Periyar
Just a few hours drive from the Backwaters are the tea plantations of Peryar. I would recommend staying in the town of Kumily. A kind of one horse town with a great feel to it.
From Kumily you can go trekking and rafting on rafts made from bamboo.
Take an elephant ride and bathe the elephants.
Visit the tea plantations.
Tour the spice plantations.
Take a boat trip to see some wildlife.
A visit to the state of Kerala would be incomplete without a visit to Kerala’s capital, Cochin. The harbour and fish market are a highlight. You can buy great quality fish and seafood at the fish market and numerous restaurants offer the service of cooking it for you for a small price.
Other points of interest are the Old Town and the Fort.
If you want to relax on the beach and get pampered then splash out on the Marari Beach Resort. This 5 star Eco Friendly resort is wonderful. You will enjoy your own bungalow with air conditioning in the bedroom, but with an open air bathroom – shower under the stars.