Beaches | Hills & Valleys
Ideal duration: 4 - 15 days
Best time: October to March (Read More)
Major Airports: Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode
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Languid backwaters, leafy coastlines, sprawling tea gardens, and coconut vendors at every corner to vanquish your thirst, Kerala, famously known as 'God’s Own Country', is a tiny sliver of paradise that is one of best tropical tourist destinations one can possibly look for. Whether you want to bask in the sun and sand of the palm tree-lined Kovalam beaches, or you want to take a hike to Munnar hill station, or even if you just want to walk down the bustling streets of Kochi, Kerala has everything on offer to take your pick from.
The land of simple and literate citizens, Kerala amuses you with its spectacular dance forms, music and handicraft. Named as one of the ten paradises of the world, Kerala is known for long palm tree beaches, beautiful rivers, pious inland waterbodies and a calm, green atmosphere. Apart from lush green and lovely hills of Wayanad and Idukki, beaches like Kovalam and Varkala and backwater destinations including Alleppey and Kumarakom are among few of the highlights of Kerala. Surrounded by coconut trees, the long coastline provides ample opportunity for fishing. The backwaters, wildlife sanctuaries, mountain ranges and beaches give you ecstatic pleasure, and the serenity refreshes your mind and body.
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Hill station and long beaches within kilometers of each other. Rolling backwaters and amazing amalgamation of cuisine.
Language could become a barrier if you are not a Malayali, though there are a lot of people who can converse in English or Hindi. The summers can be a pain in some parts of Kerala. While the hills would remain cool, the rest would be sweating through and through.
One would think that Kerala is only for families with their children. Young adults can have a fantastic time in God's own country. If one is all about relaxing and enjoying some fresh sea breeze while getting a holistic Ayurveda spa treatment, this could be the destination. If there is an appetite for adventure, there is plenty room there too.
Traditional Kerala costume boast of simplicity and elegance. Their colours range from white, off-white to Gold. Different communities and religions wear shades of blue and black. Traditional wear worn by Hindu men is called "Mundu" which is tightly wound at the waist and let loose till the ankles. Women wear "Mundu neriyathu" which consists of a blouse and the "Mundu". For the comfort and daily wear, people have chosen western wear over their traditional garb. Women have aligned themselves towards salwar kameez, Kurtis and sarees. Muslim women on the other hand sometimes prefer the black or blue pudah, while traditional Christian women wear a two piece blouse and a pleated "Mundu".
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Kerala not only promises to rejuvenate your body with Ayurveda but also your soul with the surrounded natural beauty. The magic of this old Indian science appeals travellers from all over the world. There are resorts and specialised centres scattered all over the state. You can choose to go to resorts that consider your holistic benefit or Ayurveda centres that only look into your bodily rejuvenation. What is more appealing is the fact that several resorts give this treatment as a bonus for staying at their location, which in our eyes is a bargain.
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While humans and wild have resided together for a long time in Kerala, as a member of the concrete jungle, you can also go and see the wild up close in the rainforests of Kerala. With monkeys and elephants in abundance, the rainforests have been evergreen. There are numerously protected and conserved sites in Kerala, thus, the wildlife will not going anywhere anytime soon. You can ride or walk elephants in the middle of the jungle, bathe them and feed them or just walk around and spot wildlife like the long-tailed Macau or the Indian sloth bear.
With over 3 crore population, Kerala has an amalgamation of spoken languages. Widely popular is Malayalam, the official language of Kerala. Another popular language is English which is taught in all the schools of the state. You would find that many Keralians are bilingual at least. However, apart from the main languages, the state itself is divided into several communities. All of whom have been influenced by the several years of spice trade etc. which makes for a number of dialects and languages.
Kerala is one of the safest regions where people believe in simplicity and honesty. They are very down to earth and live simple yet satisfactory life. While the language of Kerala is Malayalam, most people are conversant in English. Kerala is the land of art and culture, the spectacular dance forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Koodiyattom and the colourful festivals are the soul of the state.
The White colour is one of the most preferred and there is a sense of respect for the culture, religion and tradition of the state. Political discussions are very common as people have an inclination towards politics and socialist leanings. Popular as the land of art and culture, Kerala celebrates numerous colorful festivals across the year which add to the richness of it's culture.
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Though landlocked from all but one side, Kerala is known for its winding canals and rivers, Highlands and golden beaches. The state seems small but continues to be one of the unique places in India. The nation's southwest beauty has seven wild life sanctuaries which make up for 11,125.59 sq.kms of forest. While coastal lands of 4000 sq. km. stretch on the west, they are contrasted by rolling hills of spices and tea.
Kerala was in a sense truly formed in 1956 after Madras presidency was reorganised. However, it got its name from the first ruler to preside over the region - Keralian Thamboran, though some say the name came from kera which means coconut tree - a widely used plant in the state. Famous for its spices even in the yester years, Kerala had become a hub for spice trade beyond Babylonian times. The fame hasn't left since. Hence, Kerala has had a different influence from - Dutch, French to the British in their culture as well as food.
Kerala cuisine is a combination of Vegetables, meats and seafood flavoured with a variety of spices. It is marked by the dominance of rice, coconut, seafood and variety of non-vegetarian dishes and lavish use of spices like Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger and chillies add to the taste and flavour of food.
Food in Kerala has its own share of vegetarian dishes as well which comprise various tubular and root based vegetables as well as lavish use of beet-root, ginger, garlic and onions along with animal milk. The cuisine here, hence, is an almost balanced blend of non vegetarian and vegetrian preparations. Traditionally, food is served on a banana leaf in Kerala and almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and spices to flavour the local cuisine.