The Magnetic Pull of God’s Own Country
Kerala is fondly called as ‘the God’s Own Country’ with style, grandiose and admiration. The National Geographic Traveller has named Kerala as one of the ten paradises in the world. Silently snuggled in the South western coast of India, featuring on the jagged terrain of Western Ghat, this Indian state is lauded for matchless temple architecture, ayurveda, wildlife national parks, kathakali, sun-kissed beaches and backwaters, boat rides and Ayurvedic treatments. Along with the magnificent beaches dotting the 550km Arabian coastline, Kerala is also known for cerulean lagoons, cascading waterfalls, bountiful rivers, paddy fields and tea plantations.
Adorned with its beauteous attractions, Kerala’s history dates back to immemorial times. The Hindu mythology reveals that Lord Vishnu’s reincarnation Parashuram had created Kerala. The usage of the very word ‘Kerala’ for the first time in the rock edit of Mauryan Emperor Asoka, dating to the third century BC. In the ancient period, Kerala had prosperous trade relations with Sindhu Valley Civilisation, especially in terms of teak wood, ivory and sandalwood. After the immigration of Dravidians to South India, the state also witnessed the growth of Buddhism, Sangham period and the Kulasekara Kings, Chola and Pandya Kingdoms and finally the British rule.
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Intricately sandwiched between Western Ghats and Lakshadweep Sea, the fertile strip of Kerala’s land falls on the south western coast of India. Karnataka falls on the north of Kerala while Tamil Nadu is situated in the Eastern side. The western side of Kerala is surrounded by the Arabian sea. The three main geographical divisions of Kerala are highlands, midlands and lowlands. Innumerable tea, coffee, rubber and spice plantations are located in the high lands. Undulating valleys and hills are present in the Midlands, with prominent growth of banana, vegetables, coconuts and cashews. Backwaters, rivers and lakes are present in the lowlands. Currently there are 44 lakes in Kerala, out of which 3 flow eastwards and 41 flow westwards.
The climate of Kerala is basically hot and humid during the months of April to June. Just after the summer season, one can experience the South West Monsoon’s pitter patter from June till September. Eventually, the North East Monsoons take over the relay after September and continue till February.
The main attractions of Kerala tour are as follows
The famous immaculate green and blue beaches of Kerala are mainly Kovalam, Varkala, Bekal, Cherai and Marari beaches. Sun bathing and snorkelling activities further enhance the appeal of these beaches. Few Fortifications and Ayurveda resorts along with sacred religious values further add to the charm of these beaches. Tourists can also practise the trance and mental peace through yoga and meditation near the vicinity of the beaches.
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The brackish lakes and lagoons, eloquently lying parallel to the Malabar coast make the most beautiful and sought after Kerala backwaters. Virtually extending almost half of the state of Kerala, the network of backwaters includes 38 lakes, linked by natural/man-made canals and houseboats.The backwater cruises are further adorned with the presence of towns and cities in the labyrinth of Kerala Backwaters. The backwater regions are basically Kollam, Alappuza, Kuttanad, Kottayam, Kasargod, Thiruvallam and Kozikode.
The houseboats of Kerala are internationally known for the luxury and comfort that they put forth onboard. There are some fantastic cruises along the phenomenal backwaters of Kerala to experience and enjoy…
Ayurveda in Kerala
Ayurveda is the oldest and the unbroken tradition in medical science. The history of this ancient science goes back as far as 3,500 years. Today Ayurved or the ‘Science of Life’ has taken the whole world by storm…
Having its roots in the Hindu Mythology, Kathakali (story play) is the popular classical dance drama of Kerala. The history of this dance form dates back to the 17th century…
Yoga and Meditation
The word Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning Union. It’s a combination of the physical self and various exercises for the mental peace of mind to stimulate the individual’s concentration…
Kerala Hill Stations
Highly deep cut valleys, gorges and high mountains are present in the eastern side of Kerala, often dotted with plantations and dense forests. The main hill stations present in Kerala are Elapeedika, Ponmudi, Peermade, Wayanad, Vagamon, Munnar and Nelliyampathi.
The main festivals of Kerala
The state festival of Kerala is Onam and is basically celebrated in between August-September, commemorating the Vamana, the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is also celebrated to remember the agrarian past of Kerala, acting as an important harvest festival. The Shivaratri is also celebrated in Kerala with a lot of pomp and show, especially in the Padanilam Parabrahma Temple and the Aluva Temple.
Cuisine of Kerala
Known for being the ‘land of spices’, Kerala cuisine has a rich taste of coconut and spices. The Keralities prefer eating fish and rice, flavoured with the use of tamarind. The cuisine also includes a variety of meat, seafood and combination of vegetables. Some of the delicacies of this state are Sadya, tangy rasam, avial, appam, puttu and Idiyappam and banana chips.
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Shopping in Kerala
Kerala offers a wide, rare, exotic and delightful collection of items for the shoppers. The main souvenirs that are often a favourite for shoppers are coir products, coconut shell handicrafts, elephant figurines, Nettipattom, Nilavilakku (Traditional Lamp) , Kasavu Sari ( Kerala Sari) , Aranmula Kannadi , Nettur Casket (Nettoor Petti) , Snakeboat Models (Chundan Vallam) , spices from Kerala, Mural Painting (Temple Painting) and Kathakali Masks.
How to Reach Kerala
Air: The three main airports in Kerala are Calicut Airport, Kerala Trivandrum International Airport and the Kochi International Airport.
Rail: Direct trains are available to the railway stations in Kerala, especially from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangaluru, Kolkata and Chennai.
Road: Roadway connect the two states- Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with the roads of Kerala. The National Highways connect Kerala with the major cities of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.