Kerala, the most sought after tourist destinations of India. The first thought which comes to mind after hearing the name is serene sunny beaches with long shore lines, absolutely unmatched natural surroundings, calm & clean country side, beautiful stretches of picturesque backwaters from Kochi to Kollam, with lively house boats, amazing waterfalls, vast green paddy fields, lush green hill stations, Ayurveda centres, exotic wildlife and above all 100% literacy in the state.
Kerala is geographically very well located with Arabian Sea on the West side and Western Ghats on the east side. Being a tropical place, it has either the monsoon season (June-September & October-November) and summer season (February-May). Winters are hardly noticed with temperature dropping only few degrees normally.
Kerala thrives on tourism as its main industry, it is well connected by airways, roadways & trains from other cities in India and enjoys an international airport too for foreign travellers. The high season for tourism here is between the months of September-May. There best of luxury & budget hotels, resorts and guesthouses are available, which are suitable to all kind of pockets.
Kerala is also well known for providing one of the best social life & health care to its people. I find people of this state very hard working & trying to make the guests or tourists feel at home. I really applaud the people of Kerala for keeping the state very clean & green.
Now I come to the most interesting part of Kerala cuisine, which is all about coconut flavours and mostly cooked in coconut oil, their cuisine includes both vegetarian & non-vegetarian dishes. They use a lot fish & seafood apart from meat & poultry dishes. Some of the better known dishes are aapam, curry meen, chili garlic prawns, thoran, chicken kurma, erissary, pulisseri, aviyal & Malabar parota etc. and we just cannot miss the incredible delicious banana chips.
As a tourist you should plan a trip when you can be a part of some of the well known festivals which are a true reflection of simple life of Kerala portrayed in grandeur. The main festivals are Boat race, Patayani, Theyyam, Pooram & some other traditional festivals.
I have been lucky to go to Kerala and always felt the main charm of Kerala are Beaches, Backwaters & cruises, Wildlife & Ayurveda. Let me take you all through and give you a glimpse of the beautiful place.
Beaches – Kerala offers some of the most beautiful beaches, a must visit ones are Alappuzha, Bekal, Beypore, Chavakkad, Kochi, Kovalam, Kozhikode, Kanwatheertha, Kasaragod, Kizuhnna, Kolavi Palam, Kollam, Lighthouse beach, papanasham, Muzzahpilangad, payyambalam, Poovar, Samudra, Shankhumugham, Thikkoti lighthouse and Kappil Beach, Cherai beach to name some.
Backwaters & Houseboats – Alappuzha, Alumkadavu, Ashtamudi, Chandragiri fort, Chithari, Kavvayi & others. Without the back water cruises your journey or your trip to God’s own country is not complete. You can book a house boat instead of checking into a regular hotel or resort and enjoy all services that you get in a regular hotel.
Ayurveda – Kerala is most well-known for Ayurveda, the ancient science of life and one of the oldest healthcare known which they practice with absolute dedication. Ayurvedic treatments offer complete physical, mental & spiritual healing of body. There are many resorts & Ayurveda centers offering different varieties of healing & relaxing massages. One of the best thing to plan on your trip to Kerala.
Wildlife – Kerala offers great wildlife sanctuaries which are ideal for family trips especially educational for kids. Some of the sanctuaries are Aralam, Begur, Chimmini, Chinnar, Eravikulam, Idukki, Kumarakom & Kadalundi bird sanctuaries, Mayiladumpara, Muthanga, Neyyar and Pakshipathalam.
Apart from these Kerala offers some of the lushest green hills, waterfalls & forts and monuments. There is so much to look around and enjoy, not just for adults but it has a lot to offer the kids too during their vacation there.
One more thing that we cannot ignore while talking about Kerala is, their various classical dance forms especially world renowned Kathakali. In this dance form and in some others too the dancers paint their faces, wear a huge headgear & long dresses and perform with the movement of their eyes & body, narrating some ancient tales.
If you are looking for a completely relaxing holiday on one side & fun holiday on other side, then I feel that Indians and all the tourists visiting India should plan and enjoy Kerala at least once and there after the charm of the place will keep pulling you all back, at least it happened with me and my family.
Kerala is a happening place and has a lot to offer, so check out and plan a trip and enjoy!
Picture courtesy: keralatourism.org, thetajwondertours.com, houseboats_in_kottyam.com(nicepics)