Ayurveda is believed to be the first medical science known to man, pre-dating Chinese, Tibetan, and Western medicines. For many centuries the Vaidyas (traditional practitioners) of Ayurveda was the only choice for people needing medical attention in India. According to history Brahman (the highest deity in Hinduism) gave eight families the knowledge of this medical science.
I have been fortunate to travel to many areas in India. As far north as Dharmsala, where the Dali Lama lives, to Varanasi (where many Hindus have their ashes scattered into the Ganges). To Rishikesh (a spiritual center high in the mountains) and to Kerala, the home of Ayurveda.
Kerala is located in the most southwestern coastal state of India. It is a small state and stretches about 350 miles along the Malabar coast, and the western side faces the Arabian sea. Kerala is very tropical and is linked internally by thousands of lagoons and waterways that were the primary transportation system before the modern era. I love the Fall time there, where there are a few Monsoon showers from the north, but very comfortable.
I first visited Kerala to see the "Home of Ayurveda" and have Panchakarma (traditional Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation modality), and find an Ayurvedic and Yoga center to take groups for panchakarma retreat.
On the advice of my Ayurvedic mentor, I was directed to go to the Manaltheeram Ayurveda center near Kovalam beach, and after having panchakarma there on my own I started taking groups there yearly until Covid struck in 2020.
I have had some amazing experiences during my travels around Kerala, and in 2017 I visited the Kottur Elephant sanctuary and met this four-year-old named Raja, and look forward each year to visiting with her.
One of the most incredible temples I have ever seen is Sthanumalayan (on left), which is one of the 108 Shiva temples in Hindu culture. This place blew my mind with its beauty.
At the most southern tip of India is Kanyakumari, meaning where the three oceans meet: the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian ocean all come together. this is where the original fort of Kerala is located protecting India from the South.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is one of the oldest palaces in India and is the former capital city in Kerala. This was constructed around 1601 AD by the Travancore ruler, Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal.
Mullapriyar dam is shared by the areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. What a beautiful place for a picnick and day in nature. It is built on the confluence of the Periyar river and its tributary, the Mullayar river.