Kerala: A Colorful Lively and Beautiful Medley
About Kerala - A Cornucopia of Delights
The Southern tip of India nestles a little paradise on Earth. Kerala as it is known is flanked by Western Ghats overlooking the Arabian Ocean and verdant states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the Eastern Side. The plains enveloped by high rise mountains and hill resorts are like jewel in the crown. They are the seat of life, culture and cradle of civilisation that is enriched and of robust nature.
For long it was a spice trading centre, and then it became a tea planting hub, the major cities of Kerala have become industrial centres now. My journey deep into the South has revealed an exuberant and friendly nature of masses. The striking harmony amidst confluence of different cultures creates a magical countenance that hits back pleasantly over the holiday maker's expectations.
The aroma of its cuisine still lingers in my nostrils and tingles the taste buds. The food is as good as available in the local eateries which can be compared to star hotels.
The state is one of the smallest in India, but it offers magnificent wildlife, sightseeing panorama, vivacious cultural experience, mouth watering food - the best recipe for a memorable holiday that beckons.
Backwater House Boats
Offerings & Expectations
From tourism point of view the magnitude of offerings excel many destinations on Earth. The paradise is hot seat of tourism because it offers a plethora.
The exhilarating boat race, serene journey in luxury houseboats on waterways, cultural bounty in terms of dance, music and enchanting wildlife. The wonderful home stays, spa resorts in wide expanse of effervescent beaches are the best mode of relaxation - the stop overs that make your journey from hectic to a rewarding slow paced leisure trip.
The festivals abound and none is celebrated as vivaciously as Onam.
Flower Decoration - Onapookkalam
The Vaman avatar and return of Mahabali the generous king, these are all part of the belief sketched permanently in the cultural countenance of the state. It is also the harvest festival celebrated in August - September months.
There are ten days of festivities, celebrations, rites and rituals. Dancing and enticing dishes on banana platter marks the importance of the occasion. The grossly painted bodies depict the majestic tiger whilst they perform the Pulakali Dance at Thrissur, a part of the celebration.
The globally popular Kathakali Dance a significant hallmark of culture is often performed during this period. Many worship dances are also a characteristic flavor of Onam.
Trophy Boat Race
The boat races take place during the festival period of Onam. The Vallam Kali Boat Race is a traditional event in Kerala. Exquisitely decorated finely crafted paddle canoes sparkle the event with colours, vigour and skills of the boatmen. There are many forms of races that take place during Onam some of which are globally famous and much appreciated by the tourists visiting the state.
There are many types of boats that participate in the event but the one shaped like the snake is most popular. The Nehru Trophy event takes place at Alappuzha in Punnada Lake in the state.
The Arnamula Fiesta takes place at River Pampa at Arnamula Town and is watched by thousands. The snake boats with flags and umbrellas are spectacle of exquisite decor and crafting. Singing and dancing accompany the event with the oarsmen dressed in traditional garbs.
The boats stretch more than hundred feet with a long tapering front, the rear towers up to twenty feet, this accords it a shape of the snake. Such is the popularity of these magnificent events that the regattas are held on many other occasions.
Wildlife Of Kerala
Changing geography and altitude are few of the reasons for diverse life forms in terms of flora and fauna both. The Western Ghats, Nilgiris, the huge coastline and subsequent plains have resulted in creation of unique habitats where endemic species have evolved.
There are many protected areas in Kerala popular among those are the Periyar, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Wayanad and Silent Valley National Park to name a few.
Some of the endemic species which are critically endangered are the Tiger, Asian Elephant, Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri Langur, Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr and King Cobra. The birds endemic to the region are Sri Lankan Frog Mouth, Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, Southern Hill Myna, Bay Owl, Malabar Trogon and Great Indian Horn Bill.
The forests are home to many reptiles, species of wild trees, insects and medicinal plants many of these are endemic.
The state has two biosphere reserves which comprise of forests in neighboring states as well. The Nilgiri and Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve are protected conservation areas mostly comprising of tropical forests.
Picturesque Backwater Shore
Backwater - A House Boat Ride
There are many destinations in Kerala which offer boat ride on serene backwaters. The long stretch of intermingling lagoons, lakes, rivulets and rivers offers a scenic boating opportunity.
The houseboats are like floating resorts that offer all amenities on board. Malayali Cuisine, especially the sea food is another aspect of recreation on these trips.
The highlights of the trips are the picturesque settings on shore shaped by human dwellers, fishermen and palm trees. The houseboats come in many shapes and size, the rates are according to the luxury, comforts provided and duration of stay on board.
The backwater packages include all so you just have to buy the package from tour operators.
Some of the popular backwater destinations are:
Few places are mentioned here. The trips begin and end in from many places in Kerala State. Choose the places are as per your route and destinations your are visiting.
Video Kerala Tourism
About Tourism in State
The economy relies as much on tourism as it does on spice trade and farming. Kerala is also emerging as industrial and IT hub. Exotic places, sound infrastructure makes the state very attractive holiday destination in India.
The destination is has been reviewed by major travel concerns and recommended. The recent popularity has resulted in arrival of burgeoning number of tourists every year. The state government is actively pursuing the development of tourism infrastructure in terms of roads, airports and rail network. The tourist friendly people are another reason for the success.
Fishing at backwater
Beach Line - Beaches & Resorts
The long coastline contains large number of beaches some of which offer serenity and peace. Many resorts are situated along these beaches. They offer spa and Ayurveda treatments along with sumptuous cuisine.
Dense palm fringes, coves and beach side lagoons are all part of this magical paradise. The settings offer perfect hideaways in pristine surroundings far away from the madding crowd. The rocky out crops, promontories are interspersed with long stretches of fine sand beaches in large numbers.
You can indulge in large number of activities since the waves are milder. But you should follow safety instructions everywhere.
Some of the popular beaches in Kerala are:
- Kovalam beach
- Varkala beach
- Alappuzha beach
- Marari beach
- Cherai beach
- Kappad beach
- Dharmadam Island
- Kizhunna Ezhara beach
A very long list of coastline beaches exists for holiday in the state. You can visit the ones in your route. There are plenty of resorts, home stays and hotels for you to choose accommodation during the tour.
Palm Fringed Resort
Traveling to Kerala
Two of the airports are linked Internationally with Southeast Asian countries namely Trivandrum and Cochin. Calicut is linked nationwide. For those arriving from US or Europe the flights to Mumbai and New Delhi are best suited. From these airports extending flights to Kerala have to be booked.
Kerala is well connected with rail and roads. For the holiday makers arriving from far away the state trains are most suited. Most of the arrangements for travel can be made independently. For those traveling in groups package tours for Kerala are organized by tour operators in India. Find the best and most affordable to make your journey and everlasting success.
© 2014 Uday Patel