Kerala - God's Screensaver Country
When i went to Kerala this year for the first time, I didn't have much idea about it except what I had read about it or seen on the internet.
So as we approached Kerala I did expect to see some greenery.
But as our train to Ernakulam (Kochi) sped through the Kerala countryside, I was amazed by the glimpses of its beauty from the fleeting landscapes that vied with one another in sheer panoramic grandeur.
Multicolored landscapes with scintillating lakes, rivers, boats, palm trees against the backdrop of mountains presented a succession of views that were more beautiful than anything I had imagined about Kerala.
Here were real-life screensavers more beautiful than I had ever seen, making Kerala the God’s Screensaver Country as it is also called God’s own country.
Kerala is just magic - nothing less.
And Kerala is indeed God’s own country.
The nature has lavished this land with so much natural beauty in its beaches, lakes, lagoons and wildlife that the National Geographic's Traveler magazine names Kerala as one of the "ten paradises of the world".
Kerala is magic - nothing less could describe this land of out-of-the-world beauty.
Magic of Kerala
When you think of beaches in Kerala, Kovalam would perhaps be the first to come to your mind. Even I had heard about it long back from a friend and the name had stuck with me. It came back to me as our train approached Kerala.
While Kovalam is perhaps the most famous, other beaches of Kerala, Cherai, Varkala, Kappad, Muzhappilangad and Bekal are equally bewitching and draw tourists from all over the world with their golden sands and magical sunsets.
Take a dip or just laze on the sun-drenched silver sands on these beaches.
And if you have a camera, you wouldn't have to look for something scenic. Point your camera almost anywhere and you will have pictures to treasure for your life.
The Kerala Backwaters
The network of five lakes linked by canals and brackish lagoons form the Kerala Backwaters. Lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast, this intricate natural system of canals, lakes, lagoons fed by rivers flowing from the Western Ghats (the mountain range along the western side of India.) is a natural sanctuary of flora and fauna.
Kettuvallams (House Boats)
If you want to savor the unsullied environs of Kerala backwaters in pristine glory, you take a house boat cruise through its extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that center around Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kollam and Punnamada.
Kettuvallams, as these house boats are called, are a major tourist attraction. Hundreds of such boats are available, graded as Platinum, Gold and Silver according to their facilities. Here you will not only take a leisurely look at Kerala but also savor the Kerala cuisine cooked by the house boat crew.
And not to worry if you haven’t taken mosquito repellant with you. Coal is burned after sunset in these houseboats to drive mosquitoes away. The boat crew will also switch off the electricity and provide you with lanterns if you want to pass your night in true rural ambience.
Snake Boat Race
These waterways not only serve the tourists but also as water transport for goods. It is here that the famous Snake Boat Race takes place every year during Onam Festival (August–September) .
This boat race is a special affair. It takes place at Aranmula,temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna. Chundan vallams, or the snake boats, manned by around 100 oarsmen compete in the race which is watched by villagers on the banks of the Pampa River.
Kerala – A Must See Paradise
There is so much to see in Kerala that you couldn’t cover it all in a few days. Nor can you describe it in a short article like this except provide some glimpses of the land that also has magnificent passes, picturesque hill stations, wildlife as well as famous temples, mosques, churches. And above all are the people of Kerala whom I found to be always polite and most helpful.
No wonder then that Kerala is included by the National Geographic’s Traveller Magazine in "50 must see destinations of a lifetime".
A sage has said that a man should plant a tree, father a son and write a book in his lifetime.
To this I would like to add: Visit Kerala at least once in your lifetime.
You haven’t seen anything if you haven’t seen Kerala.
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