Kerala: A Blend of Natural Beauty and Rich Cultural Heritage

Kerala: Lush tea plantations in Munnar with misty hills in the background.

If ever there was a destination that managed to merge natural beauty with cultural heritage, and culminate into an enigmatic symbolism of heaven like nothing else on the Indian mainstream… it has got to be Kerala. This beautiful state in South India, has sparkling backwaters pristine beaches lush valleys of tea plantation and dense forest with wild animals. Kerala has a plethora of Malayali and colonial history blend which offers something fascinating in every corner: it could be the local food, ancient temples or landmarks.

From the calm backwaters of Alappuzha to a cruise through the palm-fringed canals, enjoy en live among locals as you stroll around town. Visit : Munnar, Kovalam / KumarakomExplore the picturesque hill station of Munnar – home to tea gardens as far as your eyes can see and charmed by the fragrance of freshly brewed tea. The golden clean sand beaches at Kovalam and Varkala are the ideal places to relax.

Explore the amazing taste of Kerala food comprising an incredible mix of spices and flaors under numerous palms. Indulge in the best seafood, sample a traditional Kerala Sadhya (a grand vegetarian feast) and wash it all down with some fresh tender coconut water. Right from nature lovers and history enthusiasts to foodies or the ones looking for solace, Kerala has it all. When people from Kerala call their land as ‘God’s Own Country’, it must be for a reason. Pack those bags and prepare yourself for an unforgettable tour of the best places in Kerala.

Kerala: Peaceful houseboat cruising through the backwaters of Alappuzha.

The Backwaters of Kerala

Kerala backwaters are a series of interlocking canals, rivers and lakes that cover most portions of the state. It’s a utopia for nature lovers and offers an insight into the traditional living of residing communities. Alappuzha, also known as the ‘Venice of East’ is such a sought after place in the backwaters.

Opt for a peaceful houseboat tour and set sail on silent waters, with tranquil paddy fields swaying around you; the mood boosts villages in India lines – tinkling of cowbells munching grass along village streets.setColumn

Apart from the rides in houseboats, you even get to explore the backwaters on Kayaks, Canoes or cycle around these narrow pathways. Visit the local villages, with welcoming inhabitants keen to tell you their stories and cultural traditions. Join now! If you are here during the festival season, be sure to see Vallam Kali ( boat races ) where locals row colorful traditional boats.

Top Hill Stations in Kerela

Kerala boasts of a number hill stations promising wonderful picturesque views, pleasant climate and is just another example in giving you the opportunity to experience authentic local life at its best. Munnar – Yet another tourist’s destination known for its unending Tea plantations serves as a home to some of the world class tea.More popularly among men,women and kids is Mattupetty Dam; top hill station in Munnar Kerala where water based activities such boarding river, swimming catamaran etc.

Visit the verdant tea plantations that allows you to reveal how your steaming cup of chai is produced & let you handpick warm green leaves. Volunteer for a day trail in the meadows… marvel at water falls and wildlife Listed today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, another highlight of Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park known for Nilgiri Tahr- an endangered mountain goat unique to this area.

Wayanad is yet another hill station worth a visit for its scenic forests, waterfalls which cascade from high up and rock formations that seem more than just an artifice of nature. Then visit the Edakkal Caves and indulge in spotting ancient ways of living well on petroglyphs, as they are not only rock carvings but also cave paintings that will tell you much about how life used to be then. Experience nature through some of your most untouched form, in these ways you’ll also engage yourself with the unpredictability associated with Wayanad.

If you are more into serene & spiritually connecting places, Thekkady With its iconic Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary should be just perfect for a vacation. Take a boat cruise or join one of the guided nature walks, through its dense forests and catch glimpse of elusive tigers while also exploring some wildlife native to this region – elephants being top among others. Experience Ayurvedic healing, enjoy cultural performance and explore the serenity of this mystical hill station.

Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala

For all those people who lover wildlife, Kerala is a paradise and blessed with national parks as well as Wildlife sanctuaries to host wide range of Flora & Fauna. One such popular one is the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary nestled deep in the Western Ghats.

Enjoy a boat ride at Periyar Lake During Boat cruise spot the herds of elephants coming to bath or quench their thirst in lake along with bison and other animals. Look out for the reclusive Bengal tiger and Nilgiri langur, a primate species not found anywhere else. Choose guided trekking or hiking that takes you deep inside the forests, offering an opportunity to spot different birds reptiles and other small mammals.

Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is another great wildlife sanctuary to visit and has a wide range of greeneries making it home for diverse group plants, animals etc. Discover the variety of areas to explore, from dense evergreen forests to open grassland and experience tiger-watching, leopard-sightings or even look for that rare Nilgiri tahr. Opt for wildlife safaris, go on nature walks or participate in interactive sessions with local forest guides to learn more/ better about the region and its wilderness.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, birds at kerala may not present identical avifauna the tiny differ quite bit within abundance however if you would like to check some birds of Kerala this can be placed on bank hamlet Lake Vembanad. It is just that the wetland ecosystem is a resting place of more than 200 specious migratory birds such as rufous-bellied Eagle, eastern Imperial eagle among others; colourful Siberian crane, Darter and slick Cormorants. The tour also involves a casual boat ride, or leisurely walk to observe these precious wetland birds.

Kerala: Beautiful sunset view at Kovalam Beach with golden sands and clear waters.

Exploring Beaches in Kerala

Kerala is a land of beautiful beaches, each with its own allure and character. One of the most sought after places is Kovalam which has a crescent shaped beach and it offers ideal conditions for soaking up in some sun, golden sands, waving palm trees and clear waters.

The days can be filled with sunbathing, and swimming in the warm waters of Arabian Sea or taking full advantage to water sports including surfing, kayaking or snorkeling. Take a leisure facility of the lovely lighthouse, and get to Vizhinjam Harbour for some action from the local fishing community

Varkala is an ideal spot for a quiet and more isolated beach experience. This charming town made up of a pristine beach, colorful fishing boats and quaint cafes winds past the now famous view from above – bright red cliffs. Leisurely Walk at Varkala Cliff including the Ocean view and Janardhanaswamy Temple which is over 2000 years old

For nature lovers, Marari Beach is the most calm and beautiful sea beach in Kerala with good number of marine lives. The swaying hammocks in the aesthetically designed treehouses offer breathtaking views of the backwaters, experience life beyond luxury at Marari Beach Resort attracting its visitors to an exclusive spot for spotting migratory birds or explore nearby fishing villages experiencing traditional Ayurvedic treatments and rejuvenating your body and mind. Opt for the more animated Cherai Beach, with its active fishing community and delicious seafood too which is perfect to enjoy some water sports.

Kerala Historical & Cultural Sites Wonders

This historical sites will tell you stories about the wonderful past & Architectural marvels of Kerala, resulting in some rich heritage and cultural destinations. Mattancherry Palace: Known for its unique history, Mattancherry Palace or Dutch palace located at the heart of Kochi is one out the most impressionable. Architecture in Kerala blended styles from Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial rule are very well depicted here with details including murals of 300 years old; carved wood ceilings to royal collections.

Definitely one of the hindu religious temples in Kerala which you should visit is Padmanabhaswamy Temple, situated at Thiruvananthapuram. A temple, known for its massive gopuram or gateway and richly sculpted carvings, the shrine is believed to be one of the wealthiest temples in India with a treasure trove not open to public gaze but seen exclusively by trustees.

Explore the ancient city of Kochi, which had been main trading centre for spices & other commodities. Stroll through the bohemian lanes of Fort Kochi to see its Chinese fishing nets, Dutch-built Mattancherry Palace and colourful Jewish Quarter – host to the oldest Commonwealth synagogue. Catch a traditional performance of the Kathakali dance style, famous for its elaborate costume and make-up, as well as exquisite storytelling.

In the Wayanad area, stop for a look at Kerala’s native tribal culture with shares of Kurichya, Paniya and Adivasi people living here. Visit their ancestral villages, get to know their traditional customs and dresses or admire the exotic Theyyam ritual performance – a distinctive form of spirit worship with dancing.

Surrendering to Ayurvedic Treatments of Kerala

Kerala is popular for its verdant Ayurvedic ancestry, a centuries-old style of medicine practiced in the region. Kerala is famous for its many Ayurvedic wellness centres and resorts providing a wide variety of rejuvenation treatments.

Relax with traditional Ayurvedic massages that will delight your senses and feel the effects of essential classic treatments such as Abhyanga using warm, medicinal oils to calm you down. Opt for the Shirodhara treatment involving trickling warm oil over your forehead to relax your senses and ease stress. For a more “holistic” experience, there are also all-inclusive Ayurvedic wellness packages that combine many treatments into one overarching regime such as Panchakarma (a cleansing and rejuvenating program meant to restore overall balance throughout the body).

And besides the physical well-being, Ayurvedic practices in Kerala also tend to your spiritual and mental balance. Engage in mediative silences, yoga courses and cooking workshop for an understanding of the throughout approach to overall health along with wellness. Further, if you take Ayurvedic treatment from such a resort then they will also offer nature walks, cultural experiences or connecting with the local people which is actually an immersive and rejuvenating experience.

From targeting a particular health complaint to just relaxing and de-stressing, the Ayurvedic remedies in Kerala will replenish you from within – both physically as well mentally.

Where: For authentic Kerala Cuisine

Kerala’s rich traditions of the culinary art lie on a fertile blend of exotic spices, coconut and an abundance of seafood along its 900 km (563 miles) coastline washed by the Arabian Sea. One of the most quintessential examples is Kerala Sadhya, a grand vegetarian spread conventionally served on banana leaves.

The meal is structured in an leftist fashion with a whole lot of little bits and pieces, curries more side-dishy like chutneys and pickles all nicely complimenting the proteins to create complex flavors for your palette. Try the creamy Avial, which is a mix of vegetables in coconut gravy, tangy Olan (a dish made with pumpkin and lentils) or spicy Thoran (vegetable side dish stir-fried together with mustard seeds and curry leaves). Do not miss the Payasam, a sweet Indian dessert that has its creamy and good taste is an appropriate conclusion for this festival of deliciousness.

Another thing that Kerala is famous for are its Sadhya, an elaborate vegetarian meal with over 20 items and some delicious seafood. Devour the catch of the day from Meen Moilee (fish in coconut curry) to Chemmeen Curry (shrimp curry), or Karimean Pollichathu where pearl spot fish is steamed/roasted wrapped up in banana leaf. This is perfect with the Kerala Parotta, which are flaky layered flatbread that will truly round off your meal on a very authentic note and hearty way.

Get a sampling of the varied culinary influences on this region from flavors that harken back to the Middle East paired with Keralian spices in Thalassery Biryani. Some of the best on offer for pious mouths this Onam include Kanji, a rice gruel to be had with chutney and pickles; peanut-palm-jaggery-packaged Neyyappam (sweet fried cake) washed down by Neera at temple counters. You just cannot be in Kerala and not try their street food, which includes mouth watering delicacies like the Puttu (steamed rice cake) or Pazham Pori(banana fritters).

Kerala: Beautiful sunset view at Kovalam Beach with golden sands and clear waters.

Handicraft Shopping Options In Kerala

Kerala, which is the treasure house of traditional handicraft and souvenir gives a reflection about its vast cultural legacy by way to mean fantastic good hand working skills providers amongst families. Kerala Mural PaintingOne of the most iconic products of these Indian states is Kerala Mural painting, an intricate art that has been practiced in this region for centuries.

These colorful paintings are full of rich colors and detailed patterns, which reflect the traditional stories from Hindu epics & mythologies. These beautiful paintings are found on canvases, wooden panels and even walls of old Kerala homes. One of the other souvenirs that you should definitely carry back with yourself is a Kathakali mask; it resembles Kerala’s popular dance form and has opulent features, which makes them stand out.

A traditional white-and-gold-bordered saree used preferably for auspicious occasions, Kasavu is a handwoven knockout that tourists will love taking home as souvenirs from Kerala. The bustling markets and the artisan workshops make sure that you find crisply draped Kasavu sarees along with other varieties of textile products like Chendamangalam Dhoties, Kuthumpully Sarees and Kannur Handloom Fabrics.

Discover the art of Kerala’s metalwork where you can find embroidered Brass or Lilmetal Items, such as a brass lamp and bell-metal items are beautifully crafted using traditional lost-wax casting method to create intricate designs on every handi. The attention to detail is everything, and the design quality found in these pieces turns them into a luxury item that will lighten up any home.

Perfect for a one of kind sustainable souvenir: the Coir products, an artisanal product made out from coconut’s husk fiber. Public markets and workshops all over the town sell a variety of coir items such as door mats, baskets, even furniture. Do not miss out aromatic spices, sweet smelling oils and original Ayurvedic products to take back the tastes & fragrances of Kerala with you.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Kerala, beautiful paradise “God own country” that is one place where there is something for everyone. The peaceful backwaters and green hill stations to the white sand beaches and colorful wildlife sanctuaries, this southern state of India has an incredibly special charm that will forever remain in your heart & soul.

Kerala anecdotes, tasty culinary feasts and rejuvenating Ayurvedic sessions are all to be enjoyed from the context of one’s accommodation. Discover ancient historical locations, enjoy the beautiful nature and interact with the welcoming local people. From a nature enthusiast to history buff and foodie, or just escapee seeking tranquility; the place will not merely live up-to-your expectations but leave you with experiences for lifetime. If you like reading this article then please consider reading our article about Reykjavik.