Learn about ayurveda

Learn about ayurveda

This ancient Indian health system aims to restore the body's balance of doshas. Many people come to Kerala for an ayurvedic massage. Specialist operator Indus Tours (020-8901 7320, www.industours.co.uk) offers 12-day ayurvedic trips to Kerala and Madras from £1,350 per person.

Stay in a treehouse

Get away from the crowds by spending a night in a treehouse up in the spice-scented Keralan hills. These cost $150 (£105) per night, including all meals and guides, and are bookable through Tourindia (e-mail: tourindia@richsoft.com).

Hang out in Hampi

The Vijayanagar empire, with Hampi as its capital, was once the greatest Hindu kingdom in India and between the 14th and 16th centuries it had the majority of South India under its control. After a long decline, Hampi is thriving once more, but this time as a colourful, if basic, traveller's hotspot.

Stretch yourself

The Sivananda Ashram at Neyyar Dam, near Trivandrum, Kerala (0091 471 273 093, www.sivananda.org) offers yoga holidays starting on 1 and 15 of each month, from Rs300 (£4) per person per day (dormitory or tented accommodation) or Rs400 (£6) for a private, double room. The Sivananda organisation also runs yoga centres in Trivandrum and Madras (more information: 020-8780 0160).

Try a decent curry

South India is renowned for its vegetarian food and coconut is the most common ingredient, served up in almost everything. Curry and rice is usually the cheapest dish on the menu (and worth much more than the pound or so you'll pay) but, especially in Goa, there are lots of top-end restaurants. One of the most renowned is Aubergine in Arpora (0091 832 279 116), owned by Goan fashion designer Wendell Rodrick.