Category Archives: Kerala

Are you planning a vacation and wondering where to visit? Let me suggest you to explore a state that has the highest literacy rate and highest sex ratio, a state that religiously upholds its cultural heritage and tradition and at the same time is opening its doors to modernity. Yes the suggested state is undoubtedly “Kerala” popularly known as “Gods own country”.  Kerala actually means coconut and the first thing that you would notice when you land in Kerala are the coconut trees that spread across the state. As the flight descends you would notice that this place has the maximum amount of greenery when compared to most of the states in India that are running towards the achievement of modernisation.

Kerala’s fame ever since the bygone era has been for its spices. It was a prominent spice exporter and had attracted Vasco da Gama and many others which unfortunately or fortunately also lead to the colonisation of the entire nation. Kerala is famous for its temples, back waters, churches, agricultural lands, coconut groves, resorts, hill stations, tea plantations and a lot more. It is like a breath of fresh air for a person who visits it from the hustle and bustle of the city life. It is a land where the greenery takes your breath away and you would be awakened by the chirping of birds. The water channels and ponds teeming with aquatic life would encourage you to take a dip in the cool water and feel rejuvenated. It also has a number of beaches being on the Malabar Coast and each beach would have a story to tell.

It is believed that the land was formed by the sage Parashurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The land was submerged in water and was recovered by him. However, the land was so full of salt that it was impossible for it to support vegetation and habitation. So Parashurama called the snake king Vasuki who with his poison had made the land fertile and thereby the land teemed with vegetation. Vasuki and other snakes after the incident were appointed the guardians of the land by Parashurama. True to the story the soil of Kerala to this day is fertile and it is evident from the lush green flora here. Kerala is a magical land with many mystical stories about it. Another famous story is that of the King Mahabali, who though descended from the Rakshasha clan (associated with demons) turned out to be an amazing king who loved and cared for his people. Mahabali had won the battle with the Devas (angels) and they were sent to exile. Lord Vishnu paying heed to the prayers of the Devas took the avtar of Vamana, a small boy who then pushed the king down to Pathala (hell). It is believed that the king visits his people once a year and the day is celebrated as Onam, which is a famous festival of Kerala. Interesting isn’t it?

So, that was a small glimpse of the land of spices and its mystical stories. A trip to Kerala would never make you regret your decision since it would only be more wonderful to see and experience in person than all the great stories you have heard about.

 

Accommodation in Cochin

Rejuvenate your senses with Ayurveda

Kerala, a small state in the south of India is gaining immense popularity all around the world due to the scenic beauty and pleasant climate it offers. The state, that is also known as God’s own country is famous for the stunning landscapes, backwaters, coconut groves and beguiling sea shores. Apart from all these natural wonders, the state is also famous for its cultural traditions and ancient healing therapies known as ‘Ayurveda’.

Ayurveda is an ancient system of healthcare that aims at an overall development of human body. The principle behind this practice operates on the perception that every material, be it human or animal or even mineral resources, has some medicinal value and that a holistic approach needs to be taken for any kind of ailment. Interestingly, this age-old holistic treatment has become one of the main revenue generators for the state in terms of health tourism. There are several resorts and spa in the state that offer rejuvenating Ayurveda treatments. The serene climate and the natural abundance of a large variety of medicinal plants and herbs make Kerala the ideal destination for Ayurveda.

There are different types of Ayurvedic treatments that are practiced in Kerala. Some of the most prominent ones are Dhara, Abhyangam, Njavarakizhi, Ksheeradhoomam, Snehapanam and Vasthi. Depending on the package you are choosing and the type of treatment you are looking for the duration of the treatment will vary. Ayurvedic packages are available for specific ailments and for complete body rejuvenation. For instance, there are packages for body purification therapy, rejuvenation therapy, stress management therapy, body immunization therapy etc. These packages include a change in the daily routine with yoga, meditations and balanced vegetarian diets.

The ideal time to visit the state for an Ayurvedic treatment would be during the monsoons, which is between the months of June and August. Monsoons offer the perfect climate as the atmosphere remains cool, humid and dust free; also the pores on the body are completely open during this season which ensures maximum intake of the medicines. Every Ayurvedic package has some distinct medicinal value and ensures the attainment of harmony of body, mind and soul.

Ayurveda believes in the treatment of the individual as a whole and not just the affected part. That is why the treatment requires you to stay and follow healthy daily routines for the entire duration. Irrespective of the age and gender, Ayurvedic treatment can be availed by anyone. So, for your next trip, refresh your body and soul with an Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala. 

honeymoon paradise in munnar

Kerala, also known as the God’s own country, is one of the most popular romantic destinations in the country. With a serene climate and a picturesque location, the state is bustling with couples celebrating their honeymoon throughout the year. The lush green state of Kerala with the eternal presence of scenic backwaters, calming beaches, unending coconut groves and misty hills is an exotically romantic destination for newlyweds. One of the most visited romantic destinations in the state is Munnar, a beautiful hill station located at an altitude of 1800 kms above sea level. If you are planning for a memorable romantic holiday in Munnar, make sure you visit some of the most popular destinations there.

Read Also : SPEND SOME ROMANTIC DAYS IN KERALA

Anamudi Peak, lying to the interior of Eravikulam National Park, is a stunning location for sight- seeing. Situated at a height of 2695 m, the hill is decorated with different types of flora and fauna. If you are an adventure lover, you can also participate in trekking, rock climbing and rappelling activities here. Also, spend a day at Munnar Carmelagiri Elephant Park to get a close look at the nature here. This is a place that you can visit along with your family as well. An elephant safari with your family will provide a breathtaking view of the misty forests, rugged hill paths and the deep valleys of the Munnar forests. Depending on your time there you can decide on the duration of the tour.

Read Also : MONSOON IN MUNNAR – IN THE NATURE’S LAP

Also plan a trip to Mattupetti Dam, which is one the most popular tourist attractions in Munnar and is situated 10 km away from the town. Here you can enjoy activities like horse riding and boating with your loved ones. It is also one of the hottest shopping destinations in the area with homemade chocolates, tea, coffee and spices. Munnar is famous for the tea plantations and coffee orchards that are grown in the area. The tea plantations here also make for beautiful sceneries with multitudes of hills covered in tea. You can also visit Tata Tea Museum, to get a first- hand experience on the industry.

Read Also : HILL STATIONS OF GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

While in Munnar, make sure you enjoy the delicious Kerala cuisine. Kerala is famous for the food it offers, especially seafood and vegetarian dishes. If you are a fish lover, then do try the traditional fish curry that is famous in Munnar. Also for snacks, try the local spicy cashew nut or a chilly bhaji. Teamed with a hot tea, it makes for a great evening snack in the cold weather.

enjoy the beauty of Cochin
Kerala is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India among tourists from all around the world. Also known as ‘God’s own country’ this small state in India has no off-season for visitors. The state boasts of a pleasant climate throughout the year and offers memorable experiences for all kind of visitors. From picturesque sceneries to unique cuisines; from historical artifacts to the classical art forms; from its equable climate to its exotic wildlife, the state has a lot to offer.

Out of several different exotic locations in Kerala, Cochin deserves a special mention. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, Cochin is the biggest cosmopolitan city of Kerala besides being the commercial capital of Kerala. The city is known as the queen of the Arabian Sea and offers numerous tourist spots. A Kerala tour without Cochin in the itinerary is always incomplete. Apart from the beautiful wonders of Cochin, the city is also close to various other tourist locations in the state like Allepey, Munnar etc.

Read Also : THE REAL GEM OF ARABIAN SEA- KOCHI

Cochin is lavishly spread with serene calm backwaters, green mountain valleys and strings of coconut trees. The stunning sight of sunset along the shores of Cherai beach and Fort Kochi beach is surely a spectacle for the eye especially with the fishermen who are busy catching fish with large Chinese fishing nets. Large stretches of shores are covered with such unique fishing nets that offer a never before seen look to the beaches. The backwaters in Cochin also offer wonderful experiences in the famous Kerala houseboats that are designed to provide luxurious comfort and a royal look. The rippling sound of water all around you and the surrounding coconut trees will definitely provide you a beautiful experience.

Apart from these scenic beauties, Cochin is also home to several ancient buildings like the Jewish synagogue, Santa Cruz Basilica and St. Francis Church. Many of these buildings follow Portuguese style of architecture. These age old architectural structures in different parts of the city make Cochin a perfect place to spend a lovely vacation with your family and your friends.

Read Also : COCHIN- THE QUEEN

Apart from all these tourist spots in the city, Cochin is also famous for the various fairs and festivals like the Jewish festivals, Malayatoor Perunnal, Onam and Thalapoli. These fairs offer the perfect timings for visitors around the world to flock in to the city to enjoy the ambience of joy and fun all around and also get a look in to the rich traditions of the state.

 

 

Thekkady is a part of the Idukky district of Kerala. It is where the Periyar Tiger Reserve is located. It is on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border and is famous for the reserve and its spices such cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom and clove. The sanctuary is famous for the moist deciduous forest and savanna grass lands. It spreads across 777km and about 360 Km of it is forest. You would find elephants, Sambars, tigers, Nilgiri Langurs and lion-tailed Macaques in the sanctuary.

The best part about this sanctuary is the artificial lake created by Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar river.  It is not uncommon to see elephants, bisons and deers come down from the forest to drink water from the lake. There are also boat rides available for tourists who can enjoy the beauty of the tranquil lake and the surrounding hills that seem to engulf the place. I happened to visit this place during the monsoon season and while the boat went mid way tender showers of rain fell and the passing gale threw the drops into the boat. It was an amazing feeling to be amidst the lake with the cold breeze and rain drops on my face and when I opened my eyes the surrounding greenery made me over whelm with happiness. I was also fortunate to see otters playing with each other or may be trying to catch their meal in the lake during the boat ride.

The sanctuary also has the options of forest trekking for which permission needs to be taken from the forest department. But it is an exciting expedition because before you tread the forest you are equipped with leach socks that are ankle length which makes you feel adventurous and the real adventure begins when you cross the lake to reach the forest. There are rafts made of bamboo that lead you to the other end. The thought of crossing 50 to 100 meter deep lake standing on a bamboo raft did send cold shivers across my body but trekking the forest was an experience it was all worth for. Once you start walking in the forest with an armed forest guard you notice a variety of trees that are only found here and there are various kinds of mushrooms and lichens on most trees. I also got an opportunity to sight a flock of hornbills rush right above me. Their large wings flapping amidst the canopy of trees made it sound like that of a brewing storm.

The forest has over 1965 flowering plants including 171 grass species 143 species of orchids and 265 varieties of birds. The sanctuary is also a home for cobra, viper, krait and numerous non-venomous snakes. There are also a few watch towers in the Periyar forest reserve that are the best for viewing wild animals. So if you are a nature lover then this is an apt place for you to feel and be amidst Mother Nature. It is also one of the best places for clicking beautiful pictures and also sight wild animals.

The state of Kerala, located in the southern part of the Indian peninsula, is one of the most visited

tourist destinations in the world. The National Geographic magazine has recognized Kerala as one of

the ‘ten paradises of the world.’ It also features in the list of ’50 must-visit places’ of the world. What

attract tourists from all over the world are not only its scenic beauty and greenery, but also its rich

history, culture, traditions, and very friendly people.

The state of Kerala is situated along the length of a 600 km coastline of the Arabian Sea, towards the

West. The East side of Kerala is bordered by the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Now let us have a look

through the major places of visit in Kerala, from north to south. I am not giving you the usual tourist

places in this article. What I am giving you is a list of places which tourists often fail to visit while

enjoying the tourist-crowded places like Kovalam, Kumarakom, Alappey, Munnar, Cochin etc.

Bakel Fort: This beautiful, old fort is situated in the northernmost district of Kerala, Kasargod. Many

foreign rulers such as the Dutch, the English etc used this fort before Indian Independence.

Overlooking the magnificent Arabian Sea, this fort is now a heritage monument.

Wayanad: Wayanad district is located in a high altitude compared with most of the other districts in

Kerala. It has got vast tea and coffee plantations. This district has the highest tribal population in

Kerala. The major attractions are Pookkodu lake, Edackal caves, Pakshipaathalam, Kuruva island etc.

Kappad beach: This beach in Kozhikode district is famous as the place where Portuguese explorer

Vasco da Gama first landed in India, which later lead to the foreign invasion of the sub-continent.

There is a monument on the name of Gama nearby the beach.

Kerala Kalamandalam: Located in Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur district, Kalamandalam is a place where

the various traditional art forms of Kerala are taught. Along with students from Kerala, you also see

many enthusiasts from Europe, America etc learning these art forms, from the maestros.

Kodanad: This place in Ernakulam district is famous for its elephant training centre. Hundreds of

elephants are trained in this place to be helpful to humans in many ways.

Whichever place you go and visit you might be worried about the accommodation possibilities of the

place. Well, you need not have any in Kerala. There are hundreds of hotels and resorts all over

Kerala which are ready to welcome tourists from all over the world. As the Kerala tourism tagline

says, it is truly ‘Gods own country.’

 

Kerala, a tiny state in South India, is often referred to as 'God's own country'. What is there to this state

so that it got such a name, you might wonder. Well, you will certainly get your answer when you are

visiting the place. The locales, the culture, the traditions, everything will make you repeat the famous

tourism slogan, “Kerala- God’s own Country”.

The state of Kerala lies sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The breadth of

the state is just about 150 kms. Within this landscape there are highlands, midlands, and lowlands. The

tallest peak of the region is about 3 km above sea level (Anaimudi, Idukki district) while some places

in Kuttanad (Alappuzha district) are actually below sea level. The variety in the geography is the prime

reason for Kerala to be one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.

The major hill stations in Kerala are Munnar, Wayanad, Ponmudi, and Wagamon. There are tea

plantations through the mountains of these hill stations. Tea production in Kerala was begun by the

Britishers who ruled here. There are numerous waterfalls and some major dams in the hill stations.

Travelling through the Ghat roads to these places will be an amazing experience. If you are not in a car

but on a public transport bus, the adventure increases.

Kerala has a coastline of 600 kms and fishing is a major source of income for the locals. There are

many beaches in Kerala running through the length of the state. The most famous ones are Kovalam,

Shankhumugham, Veli, Fort Kochi, Beypore, Kappad, Thalassery and Cherai.

There are many historical monuments in Kerala. You can see shades of architectural styles from all

over the world in these buildings. For example, the Hill Palace in Ernakulam has traces of Dutch and

British architectures. Some of the temples are built using styles from all over India.

If you are in Kerala, the houseboat rides through backwaters is something that you definitely should not

miss. The gentle breeze, the lagoons, the coconut trees, all adds to the effect.

If you have visited the wonders of Kerala, we believe that you have got some experiences to cherish

though your life.

There are hundreds of hotels and resorts offering you accommodation and excellent hospitality, within

your budget. The major hotel groups are Taj, Leela, Mermaid, Abad etc. The cuisine of Kerala is very

famous, one should surely try. Just pack your bags and enjoy the trip!

Kerala is renowned for its greenery and sandy shores worldwide. While the million hues of green that you see in the evergreen forests of Kerala are bound to fill any tourist with wonder it is the completely indigenous flora and fauna of the forests that attract the seasoned traveller. Almost a third of the state is covered with forests. Among the protected forest land there are six national parks and fourteen wildlife sanctuaries.

One of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries is the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. On the shores of the river Periyar there is a Tiger reserve as well. Home to several endemic species such as the Lion tailed macaque the sanctuary is the best for the first time trekker. Facilities and accommodations are quite easy to find for the tourist and there are well trained guides to take you on guided tours. A few shops can also be found nearby which cater mostly to tourists and sell exotic jewellery and forest merchandise.

If you are someone who likes to explore the untouched wild then Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a must visit. This sanctuary is also a tiger reserve and admission is restricted to tourists. Wild Gaurs, the Nilgiri Tahr, Wild Boars, Great Indian Hornbill, Great Pied Hornbill, King Cobras, etc are some of the numerous exotic fauna of the region. Parambikulam has well equipped tents that are guarded with fences for the tourist who wants to play it safe. However if adventure is what drives there are tree-houses right in the middle of the forests constructed on some of the tallest trees of the reserve. The view from the top is spectacular and you can experience the sheer bliss of being surrounded by Mother Nature in her most pristine form.

The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is must visit for any bird lover. The sanctuary is best visited during winter when many rare species of birds migrate to the region. The sanctuary is well known for the Indian Pitta. Orange-headed Thrush, Large-billed leaf-Warbler, Jerdon’s Nightjar, Indian Cuckoo, Oriental Darter, Cormorants, Whiskered terns, Collared Scops Owl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Yellow-browed Bulbuls, etc are some of the other birds that can be found here. As the sanctuary has several varieties of cuckoos it is also called the Cuckoo paradise.

Unlike most other states in India the state of Kerala is almost green throughout. It is very difficult to travel a few kilometres without finding at least a small water body. The abundance of water added with the heavy rains of the region make the state a bright green. The shimmering leaves sparkling in the golden rays of sun just after a rain is a sight that could be exotic for most but is a typical scene in the evergreen forests of Kerala.

‘Health is wealth’ there is no doubt about it.  Most materialistic things in life can always be retrieved with a little effort. However, if health is lost completely there is nothing much that can be done. Everything achieved, worldly possessions and wealth seem insignificant when we don’t possess the health to appreciate and enjoy the things achieved. Most of us when young forget about the importance of health and indulge ourselves in a lot of habits that may be, during the youth don’t seem to affect us but sure are life threatening with the growing age. The rest of the crowd that does not involve in bad habits does not serve the purpose of good health either, because laziness is their companion because of which they ignore the importance of good diet, exercise and life style.

Wellness both physical and mental is the key to emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It is the key to success because an active body and mind brings out the best results. So how was health maintained by our ancestors? We from our rich traditional heritage can infer that our ancestors were people who gave a lot of importance to physical and mental well being. They involved in a lot of practises that strengthened their body, soul and mind and had made these practises an important part of their life style. One such practise which is a blessing for us is the Yoga. Yoga as we all know comprises of various asanas or postures which focuses on the wellbeing of every part of the body. Meditation helps us gain focus and clarity in mind.

Another practise that was followed by our ancestors and is the next blessing for us is the Ayurveda. Ayurveda means the science of life. It is considered to have passed on to various generations of sages verbally and is considered to have been documented about 5000 years ago. The oldest known texts are Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. These texts talk about how the 5 elements of nature – earth, water, air, fire and space influence our body and how their levels can be maintained to ensure that we lead a healthy and peaceful life. Ayurveda has been followed by people in India for ages and has had good effect on their health and life style. Unlike Allopathy , that takes care of the incurred disease and helps to heal it, Ayurveda involves the understanding of the disease and identifying its root cause to ensure that it is prevented all together. It involves a series of treatments that include oral medicines, oil massages and various others. Ayurveda is clubbed with Yoga to ensure better results.

Kerala is famous for its ayurvedic treatments and the land of Kerala along with its climate helps in the effectiveness of the treatments rendered. Most people from abroad and from various states of India visit Kerala for these specialised treatments. “Mermaid Hotels” in Cochin is a great place that provides not just good hospitality but also various other features for health and wellness. Their spa treatment covers Ayurvedic massages and other therapies which would make your stay there a memorable one. So visit Kerala to enjoy its beauty and get your wellness in place.

Thekkady is a part of the Idukky district of Kerala. It is where the Periyar Tiger Reserve is located. It is on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border and is famous for the reserve and its spices such cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom and clove. The sanctuary is famous for the moist deciduous forest and savanna grass lands. It spreads across 777km and about 360 Km of it is forest. You would find elephants, Sambars, tigers, Nilgiri Langurs and lion-tailed Macaques in the sanctuary.

The best part about this sanctuary is the artificial lake created by Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar river.  It is not uncommon to see elephants, bisons and deers come down from the forest to drink water from the lake. There are also boat rides available for tourists who can enjoy the beauty of the tranquil lake and the surrounding hills that seem to engulf the place. I happened to visit this place during the monsoon season and while the boat went mid way tender showers of rain fell and the passing gale threw the drops into the boat. It was an amazing feeling to be amidst the lake with the cold breeze and rain drops on my face and when I opened my eyes the surrounding greenery made me over whelm with happiness. I was also fortunate to see otters playing with each other or may be trying to catch their meal in the lake during the boat ride.

The sanctuary also has the options of forest trekking for which permission needs to be taken from the forest department. But it is an exciting expedition because before you tread the forest you are equipped with leach socks that are ankle length which makes you feel adventurous and the real adventure begins when you cross the lake to reach the forest. There are rafts made of bamboo that lead you to the other end. The thought of crossing 50 to 100 meter deep lake standing on a bamboo raft did send cold shivers across my body but trekking the forest was an experience it was all worth for. Once you start walking in the forest with an armed forest guard you notice a variety of trees that are only found here and there are various kinds of mushrooms and lichens on most trees. I also got an opportunity to sight a flock of hornbills rush right above me. Their large wings flapping amidst the canopy of trees made it sound like that of a brewing storm.

The forest has over 1965 flowering plants including 171 grass species 143 species of orchids and 265 varieties of birds. The sanctuary is also a home for cobra, viper, krait and numerous non-venomous snakes. There are also a few watch towers in the Periyar forest reserve that are the best for viewing wild animals. So if you are a nature lover then this is an apt place for you to feel and be amidst Mother Nature. It is also one of the best places for clicking beautiful pictures and also sight wild animals.