Kerala is truly a gorgeous state and it gets more beautiful with the monsoon rains. Aptly known as ‘God’s Own Country ‘, my association with Kerala goes back to decades. Nearly all childhood vacations spent with my Tamil grandparents had invariably included traveling to various places in Kerala and one of the airlines that I had worked with, had offered weekly night halts at Cochin. Those had been beautiful days of temple toting with protective grandparents and professional life had brought in large scale indulgence of famous Kerala Ayurvedic spa sessions, local cuisine and shopping. With so much of over exposure, Kerala should have lost it’s magical aura in my eyes, yet somehow the gorgeous southern India state had managed to get more enticing with each visit. Luckily my post flying career too had taken me to many nice lesser known places in the state and thus, over the years, I had unraveled the beauty of Kerala beyond its backwater fame.
Kerala has often made me feel like a child in a candy shop and till today I find it difficult to pinpoint my favourite places or things to do in the state. While the backwaters had obviously been an amazing experience, I had loved the waterfall dotted hills of Neeliyampathy and winding lanes of Jew Town with equal fervour. The ancient dolmen sites near Palghat had been stunning too and the rest of Kerala had been one big kaleidoscope of food, natural attractions, spices and relaxation. There are many things about Kerala which appeal to me and their spice laden food is one of them. I had sampled varied authentic dishes of Keralite cuisine, while traveling through the state with a local friend and from the toddy shop platters to tiffin houses meals, those had been orgasmic smorgasbord of red rice, seafood, fishes, vegetables and velvety curries. It had been that gracious friend and local host of mine, who had also shown me the cultural glimpses of Kerala and thus I had managed to enjoy the Pulikali Tiger Dance, Boat Festival during my visit.
With so much of experiences bubbling inside me, it had been difficult to sort them out without creating a huge jumble and in this photo series, I will try to include my Kerala travel highlights in a series pattern. The posts will include photo essays of vibrant festivals, stunning art performances, fiery toddy based cuisine, misty tea gardens, lush rubber plantations, atmospheric towns and winding channels of green backwaters, with generous doses of my personal travel moments with friends thrown in. So, be with me, as I take you for a nostalgic trip to God’s Own Country and I hope you enjoy the blessed beauty of Kerala through my eyes.
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE
About the author
The National Geographic magazine has named Kerala as one of the ten Paradises Found in the world!
The Kerala State Tourism Department has rightly named our state The God's Own Country. Kerala means the land of coconuts. And boy! we do have coconuts, arecanuts and also nuts like me in abundance!
The state is gifted with greenery and water. There are lot of tourist spots. Kovalam is a well known beach; Thekkady is equally known for its wild life. For people who love silence, we've Silent Valley, which is the only forest where the insects don't make any sound. Want to be still closer to nature? Well, we've Wynad and Munnar in the Western Ghats.Or you prefer sea to mountains? Travel along the west coast of Kerala. Or just take a train ride from Kasargode to Trivandrum. If you can keep the count of bridges you cross, you don't have to worry about your memory power.
The language we use is Malayalam. If you speak English, you won't have any problem in Kerala. Many people speak Hindi and Tamil also. As the subject of quite a lot of jokes, you may find the pronounciation a bit hilarious. But that is quite common in any part of India! Our traditional dress is Mundu for men and a slightly longer version of the same for women. Now a days, it is very difficult to see such costumes. The changing times have resulted in people switching over to more easy to use stuff! Do visit our state. We are only too happy to welcome you.
According to your nationality, I guess you might be interested in the following facts about Kerala.
- First state in the world which elected a communist government.
- Medication is sponsored by the government.
- Lush green paddy(rice) fields and ultra-populated road-sides!
- The number of people wasting time on news papers. Reading news paper is a good habit, but unfortunately, our news papers are quite awful.
- Sea, sun and mountains so close to each other
- Ready availability of tea, and tea plantations.
- Extremely informal people.
- Curries of a different class all together.
- French, German
- People immediately like you.
- A former French protectorate called Mahi(Mayyazhi)
- Hermann Gundert, from DeutscheLand gave Malayalam its first dictionary.
- Napoleon is revered here.
And for all, abundant natural beauty of the tropics.
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