Somatheeram Ayurveda Group is regarded as the trailblazer of Ayurveda tourism and the premier provider of authentic experiences of this ancient form of medicine in India . The group's first resort, the Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort in Chowara in the south of the Indian state of Kerala, was established back in 1985 and was the first successful realisation of a medical wellness concept in the sphere of Ayurveda. In addition to Somatheeram, the group's portfolio includes the sister resort Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village (also in Chowara) and the Soma Kerala Palace (an idyllic resort on a picturesque island on the Vembanad Lake near Kochi, consisting of a blend of architectural treasures from over 250 years of Keralan history rebuilt on the site since the year 2000). Other locations are the quietly situated Soma Kuttanad Resort and Soma Houseboats, both of which are in the beautiful Backwaters region of Alappuzha, and the Soma Palmshore Hotel, the only hotel with a private beach in the prominent tourist destination of Kovalam. Soma Birds Lagoon is situated at Thattekad Birds Sanctuary which is the biggest tropical bird Sanctuary in India with more than 300 bird species.