Fondly known as ‘God’s own Country’, Kerala is a dream destination of every honeymooner. The state has been selfishly blessed by the Mother Nature with more than its fair share of scenic vistas, including pristine beaches, serene backwaters and rejuvenating landscapes, making this state a wonderful haven.
The southernmost state of India, Kerala holds a rich cultural heritage depicting in the state’s cuisines, dance and art forms. Kathakali, a 300-year-old dance, plays an integral role in the festivities of the state. The dance brings out a melange of colour, music, drama, and facial expressions. Other famous dance forms of the state include Krishnanattom, Mohiniyattom, Thullal, Koodiyattom, Kolkkali, Thiruvathirakali, Kakkarishi Natakom, Oppanna and Chavittunatako.
The locals of Kerala, often called as Malayalis, are deeply rooted to their cultural heritage, boasting a mix of both Indian and Dravidian culture. The locals lead a simple life away from materialistic pleasures. Where the women folk can be seen wearing simple saris, men wear dhoti with shirt.
Known for flourishing coconut groves, sunny weather, pristine waters and an ambience to revive your soul, the beaches of Kerala are indeed beautiful. With 580 kilometres of coastline, the state is a perfect heaven to spend some time in the lap of nature. Marari Beach, located on the way to Alleppey from Kochi, is a highly popular beach among both locals and travellers. Alleppey Beach is known for its backwaters, houseboats, fishing and coir industry. Those who wish to ditch the crowds can head for the Vizhinjam Beach known for the sights of fishermen busy venturing into the sea at dawn. Kovalam Beach is another famous attraction of Kerala that brings numerous adventure sport activities for the adventure lovers.
Kerala is known as “God’s Own Country” for a reason, and that is the abundance of Mother Nature sprinkled here. The state embraces a charming natural beauty that one needs to see to believe. The Athirappilly Falls is a haven for tired souls. Located on the Chalakudy River, it offers beautiful vistas of nature at its best. Do not miss a chance to explore the Edakkal Caves situated 1,200 meters on top of sea level on Ambukutty Mala. In addition to this, backwaters in Kerala are sure to lure attractions for every human soul. With 38 rivers and 5 big lakes, the state’s backwaters are an ecstasy to experience.
The bio-diverse land of Kerala is home to numerous wildlife sanctuaries. Visit the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary housing 225 species of birds. The highlight of the sanctuary is the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrels residing here in good numbers. Eravikulam National Park in the Idukki district is also frequented by tourists due to its beautiful vistas, more than 25 species of mammals and 132 kinds of birds. Bird watchers can head to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary featuring some beautiful birds, like egret, cormorant, Brahminy kite, waterfowl and heron. Those who wish to eye wild residing peacefully in the emerald landscape; Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect pick. The park also offers great opportunity to sail around in a boat while exploring captivating wonders of the nature.
Kerala is known for its beautiful temples narrating the stories of the past world. Aranmula, devoted to Lord Krishna, is a highly popular temple of the state that dates back to the time of Mahabharata. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is another striking holy site in Kerala known for housing a 100-feet high Dravidian style gopuram. The locals also love visiting the Chottanikkara Temple, dedicated to Bhagawati - the divine goddess who cures mental illness. For eying some customs and traditions of the locals, a visit to the Guruvayoor Srikrishna Temple is a must. This hoary ancient temple remains the centre of marriage ceremonies and other auspicious events, and gleams with beautiful lights lit by the devotees.
Souvenirs serve as best tokens to cherish the memories of your holidays to this beautiful destination. The popular banana chips can be found in each and every shop here. A shopping spree can be planned in cities like Kochi, Trivandrum, etc. housing some of the best flea markets and shopping malls. The state is known for its gold, and majority of the markets remain flooded with jewellery shops selling delicately made ornaments. Apart from this, the state’s saris, ivory carvings, pottery, brocade fabrics, Kathakali Mask and earthenware products also remain a hit among travellers. Also, no holiday to Kerala can ever end without buying the exotic local spices.
Fairs & festivals in Kerala are perhaps the best way to mingle with the locals, understand their cultures and savour the rich South Indian delicacies. Kerala is known for organising a number of boat races, including Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race, Nehru Trophy Boat Race and Aranmula Vallamkali. These boat races showcase the fervour of the locals towards their festivals and underline their customs and rituals.
Onam, the largest festival of the state, is celebrated for ten days. The rituals during the festival usually include flower decorations, rangoli making, elephant processions, classical and folk music concerts & dance performances, fireworks, etc. In addition to this, travellers can also partake in Vishu (the astrological New Year of Kerala), Thrissur Pooram and Makaravilakku to see a whole new facade of this culturally blessed state.
Travellers visiting Kerala get hooked to the variety of dishes served here. Rice and cassava (Tapioca) is the staple food of Kerala. The locals love Karimeen pollichathu (Pearl spot fish marinated in local spices). Malabar Parotta with Kerala beef curry (layered flat bread with beef curry) is also a sure to lure treat. Being a coastal destination, the state is extremely popular for its sea food and thus, Kerala prawn curry is a must try dish. Those with sweet tooth can grab Palada payasam (sweet rice kheer) and Banana fritters to treat their taste buds.
Summer Season (from March to May) of the state remains extremely hot and humid. Monsoon hits Kerala between June and August, and it is perhaps the best time to unveil the real beauty residing here while indulging in some relaxing Ayurvedic treatments. Peak season to visit Kerala starts just after the monsoon (September to March) when the weather turns pleasant to relish beaches, hill stations and backwaters of Kerala.
Thiruvananthapuram airport connects the state with all major Indian metropolises, including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. The airport also enjoys great connectivity with many of the gulf countries.
Indian Railways is another option to visit this beautiful destination. Kerala boasts over 200 stations, making it easy for the travellers to access all the locations.
Roads in Kerala are extremely beautiful, and road journeys can be enjoyed by taking state buses, cars and tourist taxis. Neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are well linked with Kerala via road.
Kerala is a well planned state, and thus, there is no dearth of local transport here. Taxis and cabs are available all over the state. Auto rickshaws are best picks to travel short distances. The buses in Kerala are pretty frequent and connect all the major tourist sites.
In addition to this, being blessed with a long coastline, Kerala also offers boat and ship ride, which have kept the traditions alive till date.
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