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Kerala leaves the 'hippy days' to move upmarket

Innovative startups surprise holidaymakers in south India's most-visited state

A Theyyam Muthappan performance at Parassinikadavu, a riverside temple between Payyanur and Kannur in North Kerala (Photo by Kit Yeng Chan)

KOCHI, India -- Touted since the 1970s as an idyllic destination for backpackers, the wild beaches and jungles of the southern Indian state of Kerala have gone steadily upmarket over the years. Boasting a large selection of accommodations, from full-fledged resorts to eco-homestays, Kerala now attracts high-spending international tourists with yoga retreats, ayurvedic treatments, and luxurious properties.

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