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Feed the senses and do yourself some good with our choice of Spas and home cooking!
Every self-respecting luxury hotel in South Asia has its own spa, where you can recover from the travails of sub-continental travel with a reviving steam bath, full-body massage or face-pack of Himalayan mud laced with aromatic herbs. They vary wildly in style and levels of sophistication. But the one thing they all tend to have in common is Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is India’s traditional system of medicine, with roots as old as Hinduism itself. At its core is the belief that illness derives from an imbalance in the three key humours: vata (air); pitha (fire); and kapha (earth). Good health may, conversely, be brought about by re-balancing the elements using a combination of physical therapies, herbal oils, medicines and changes to diet.
Some of ayurveda’s stock-in-trade techniques, particularly massage, translate well into a modern spa context, which is why you’ll find them offered in nearly every hotel TransIndus uses, alongside rose-petal baths, hot-stone sessions, yoga and reflexology.
Bliss out to a view across serene Vembanad Lake in Kerala as a team of massage therapists soak you in healing oils; or soak in a hot tub filled with neem tea in the Himalayan foothills, as wind stirs the massive cedars outside your spa window.
Boasting some of the finest chefs in the region, the hotels featured on TransIndus tour to South Asia ensure that food will rank among the top highlights of your holiday, whatever your chosen destination. Moreover, for anyone used to the kind of oily, artificially flavoured fare dished up in most British curry houses, the fine cuisine offered on our tours in will come as a revelation – whether you’re tucking into a lavish Mughlai buffet in a Delhi five star, or a bowl of steaming fish-curry-rice at a Sri Lankan beach shack.
Each country and every region has its own distinct culinary traditions, and all of the hotels featured on TransIndus tours provide a sample of local specialities on their menus, alongside more generic pan-Asia dishes for less adventurous palates.
Cooking styles vary enormously between the north and south of India. Up north, where Muslim influence has historically been stronger, you’ll find richer gravies and lots of dishes based on lamb and chicken, marinated in spices before being grilled or baked in a clay tandoor oven and served with hot nan bread. Down south, rice is the main staple, whether accompanying vegetarian meals, where half a dozen or more small portions of spicy side dishes are served on a tin tray or banana leaf, or meat or fish-based curries. Either way, expect lashings of coconut milk, laced with a souring agent such as tamarind.
In Himalayan regions, rice and dal are the everyday food of the villages, supplemented with yak meat, chicken, mutton and, in some areas, pork. Where large Tibetan minorities have settled, you’ll also find filling thukpa stew and tasty meat and veg momo dumplings made with barley flour pasta.