The Sacred Heart of Asia
South Asia, a region including countries such as India, Sri Lanka ‘India’s Teardrop’, Nepal and Bhutan is the sacred heart of Asia, where local life still flourishes and the natural beauty of the countries remains very much untouched. South-Asia welcomes its visitors to an enigmatic land of mystery filled with exotic spices, beguiling traditions and unimaginably delicious foods. The region also offers an incomparable variety of landscape ranging from sweeping deserts to snow-capped mountain ranges. A completely new adventure for its visitors, this beautiful destination is challenging but doubtlessly rewarding
What to Expect
Culture and Traditions
South Asian life remains deeply focused around its ancient cultures and traditions. Bhutan, known by its locals as ‘Druk-Yul’ meaning ‘The Thunder Dragon’ is geographically isolated from other cultural influences and is especially renowned for retaining its independent cultural heritage. Bhutanese monks here still read and write in an ancient variation of the Tibetan language known as ‘Chhokey’. In Sri-Lanka sacred natural medicines are vital to the culture, some claim to be capable of curing even terminal illnesses! Many Ayuruvedic spas and clinics are open for visitors to the country, they are extremely popular and the reason many make their journey here. Religion is intrinsic to the countries in South Asia which makes for many colourful and spectacular celebrations. Diwali sees India, Nepal and Sri Lanka illuminate for the Festival of Light where they celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. Another visually spectacular celebration is the Indian festival of Holi, the celebration of colour where the whole region’s inhabitants adorn each other with powdered colour and water in a spectacular celebration in the street.
Weather and Climate
Due to its equatorial location most of the regions of South Asia have a tropical and humid climate, therefore it varies from the hot to the extremely hot! There is rainfall all over the region, however in the period before the wet season from March to May it becomes exceptionally arid and hot. It is a relief for the locals when the rain finally appears around June as the land is desperate for water and temperatures become unbearable. Nepal and Bhutan are the only countries of the region to experience cold winters, the Himalayas receive snow fall in both countries in December and January.
South Asia refers to countries lying at the bottom of the Asian continent including India, Nepal Bhutan and Sri-Lanka. The terrain of the countries is incomparably varied, from sweeping desert sands in India, to Sri-Lanka’s jungles and the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas that cover Nepal and Bhutan. The world’s highest peak, Mount Everest can be found in this exhilarating region.
Tranquil Kerala is located on the Malabar coast of south-western India and is a stunning maze of rivers and waterways referred to as the backwaters. It is the perfect place to spend time relaxing and exploring the vibrant eco-system filled with unique species of birds and plants. Floating on these waters are the infamous Kettu Vallam houseboats, traditionally used to transport grain, these incredible constructions are the perfect way to explore this special area.
Climbing to an astounding 8,848 metres above sea level Everest steals the title of Earth’s highest peak. Nestled in the Mahalangur mountain range this phenomenon attracts visitors from far and wide to either attempt to scale it or simply absorb its wonder. Many try to reach the summit however few succeed, two sherpas Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi hold the join record of 21 Everest ascents! Little survives in the high altitude of Everest, no plants grow above 5,500 metres and all wildlife remains safely at the lower levels.
Elephants are the symbol of Sri-Lanka boasting the largest density of elephants in Asia. These magnificent creatures can still be spotted in the wild in the national parks of this country such as Minneriya. Sri-Lankan elephant, (elephas maximus) is one of three subspecies of Asian elephant and is native to Sri Lanka. They are the largest and darkest of the Asian elephants and can weigh up to twelve tonnes!