Kerala – God’s Own Country
Travel to Kerala, the state which is blessed with God’s grace. Come and explore Kerala the state with inexpressible beauty. Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea on the west and forested Western Ghats, the state is blessed with supreme scenic beauty, sun-kissed sea beaches, and backwaters. The state has also earned the distinction of being the finest center for ayurvedic treatment in the country.
Kerala India is a choc-a-bloc with places that attract tourists and travelers from all over the world to India justifying its appellation Kerala – God’s Own Country. Entice yourself as you plan to explore the landscape bestowed with beauty.
Kerala is a green paradise with sizzling backwaters, ethnic houseboats, and a long sensuous coastline. With its lush plantations and its rich, verdant coastline, Kerala forms a perfect tourist destination in India. Situated on the southwestern tip of India with the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats towering on the east.
This mesmerizing entrancing state is enveloped by the sea on one side and surrounded by the hills on another. It holds a fascinating voyage of discovery for the traveler. Colorful festivals with mysterious rituals, open to participation, are held. Richly caparisoned elephants leading processions can be seen. Exotic handicrafts and seafood preparations fresh from the Arabian sea can also be enjoyed.
1. Area: 38,863 km2
2. Religion: Hindu 57.38%, Muslims 23.33% and Christians 19.32%
3. Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
4. Language: The official language is Malayalam and English
5. Best time to visit: Winter Season between September and March
6. Major cities: Kochi, Trivandrum, Kozhikode
7. State Emblem: Emblem of Kerala
8. State Animal: Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus)
9. State Fish: Green Chromide (Etroplus suratensis)
10. State Bird: Great hornbill (Buceros bicornis)
11. State Tree: Coconut tree (Cocos nucifera)
12. State Flower: Kanikonna (Cassia fistula)
13. State Fruit: Jackfruit
14. Kerala – Culture, and Tradition
Tourist Attractions of Kerala :
The Healing Touch Through Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Kerala is one of the major attractions of the state. The exact meaning of the word Ayurveda can be derived by breaking it into two – Ayur means life and Veda is the science or knowledge. Thus the Science of life teaches individuals to lead a healthy, happy, comfortable life both physically and mentally.
The World Health Organization recognizes this 3,000-year-old system of medicine as the safest system of alternative medicine. Kerala is a narrow, fertile strip of land on the southwest coast of India, immensely blessed both physically and culturally, and the only state in India which practices this system of medicine with absolute dedication
The monsoon season that falls between June-November is considered the best period for Ayurvedic treatment massage treatment and Rasayana Chikilsa. Massage promotes better circulation of blood and removes the causes of fatigue. Rasayana Chikilsa is the Ayurvedic treatment for preventing and curing senility by purifying and strengthening all the tissues of the body.
The Wild of Kerala
The wildlife of Kerala is another major attraction. The State boasts of various wildlife Sanctuaries depicting the flora and fauna of the state. Thirty Percent of Kerala land is covered, by forests. The jungles of Kerala are popular for Elephants and Tigers among other animals. Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary, Parimbikulam Wild Life Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park are the major wildlife centers. Kumarakom, Thattekkad, Myladumpara are the main Bird watching centers.
Periyar National Park
The Periyar wildlife sanctuary perfect tourist spot for wildlife enthusiasts. Periyar is a renowned wildlife sanctuary in India. Travel to Periyar and have a time of your life in a park that is a haven for a number of wild and feathered species. Also known as Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, it provides a perfect atmosphere for watching wild animals in their natural habitat. Spanning over an area of 777 sq. km, the sanctuary occupies a good space on the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats.
Travel on the splendid artificial lake within the sanctuary to experience the exciting wildlife of the Periyar wildlife sanctuary. The forest here slopes into the Periyar lake, which serves as the waterhole for the animals where they can be spotted taking a dip or drinking the water. Boat services are available to take the visitor around the lake.
Elephants, Guar, Sambhars, and Tigers are the major attraction of the sanctuary. A variety of other wild species including Bison, Spotted Deer, Leopards, Malabar Flyings Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses and countless others can also be spotted around the Periyar lake. There are over 260 species of birds here, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, Blue-Winged Parakeets, White Bellied Tree Pies, Laughing Thrushes, and Fly Catchers.
Idduki Wildlife Sanctuary
Explore the wildlife of Kerala in the famous Idukki wildlife Sanctuary totally encompassed by land, Idukki is one of the most nature-rich areas of Kerala. Located at an altitude of 450-748 mt above sea level, Idukki seizes the forest land between the Cheruthoni river and the Periyar river. This sanctuary spreads over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district, spanning over 77 sq. km and is about 450 – 748 m above sea level. The Idukki Reservoir formed by three dams – Cheruthoni, Idukki, and Kulamavu – extends to 33 sq km.
There is a scenic lake around the sanctuary, covered by an enchanting canopy of tropical evergreen and deciduous trees, and offers boat rides. Elephants, bison, bear, wild boars, sambar wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar, etc are seen here apart from various species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits, and numerous non-poisonous ones. Birds include jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher, etc.
Eravikulam National Park
Situated15 km from Munnar, Eravikulam National Park houses the endangered mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr ( Hemitragus Hylocrious). The National Park stands out for the stark beauty of its rolling grasslands and sholas, spans over 97 sq km in the Rajamalai hills. This sanctuary was established especially for the preservation of Nilgiri Tahr, one of the most endangered animals on the planet.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The popular Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary of Kerala is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. The Sanctuary is famous for its varied avian population. You can locate local varieties such as waterfowls, cuckoos, and owls, as well as the migratory Siberian Cranes, which can be viewed here. The Kumarakom Tourist Complex, spanning over 101 acres of exotic wooded land and lake, was built around the 50-year-old ‘Baker’s Mansion’, which was earlier a small hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC).
Other Important Wildlife Sanctuaries to Visit Chinar Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Silent Valley National Park, Peppara National Park.
The Blue Water Adorning the City :
Backwaters of Kerala
The backwaters of Kerala are one of the fascinating tourist attractions of Kerala as well as India. It is believed a large part of Kerala lives along these backwaters. They snake over the state physique, bestowing paddy fields with good harvests, and providing the whole village with drinking water and other facilities. The backwaters refer to the large inland lakes of Kerala. Today these backwaters play an indispensable part in the lives of Keralites as these waterways act as the transport of people and produce.
Backwater is a body of stagnant water connected to a river. The backwaters of Kerala- meandering inland lakes networked by canals – stretch to over 1900km. Boat across these tranquil stretches is an experience unique to Kerala. Large Kettuvalloms (traditional country crafts over 60ft. in length) have been converted into luxury houseboats for these cruises. Local Malayali people call it Kayaks.
Trivandrum Backwaters is one of the famous stretch of backwaters in Kerala. The lagoons, lakes, canals, and rivers are lined up with dense tropical vegetation on either side. It is a breathtaking bout to experience a solitary and calm glide through this network of waterways. The backwaters form a specially attractive and economically valuable feature of Kerala.
The largest backwater is the Vembanad lake, some 200 sq kilometers in area, which opens out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin port. The Periyar, Pamba, Manimala, Achenkovil, Meenachil, and Moovattupuzha rivers drain into this lake. Veli, Kadhinamkulam, Anjengo (Anju Thengu), Edava, Nadayara, Paravoor, Ashtamudi (in Kollam Dist.) Kayamkulam, Kodungallur (in Thrissur Dist), and Chetuva are some of the other places where you may go for backwater cruising.
The backwaters of Kerala stretch over 1900 Kilometers, providing drinking water and irrigation facilities. Travel to Trivandrum backwaters as they offer an experience that you will remember all your life.
Situated 71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam backwaters form the historic coastline district known for its marine and cashew industries was one of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast and a major international trading point in days gone by.
The district also endorses several historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style. Around 30% of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent Backwaters of
Being a scenic town standing on the banks of Lake Ashtamudi is the gateway to the exceeding enchanting backwaters of Kerala. The long 8 hrs boat trip from Kollam to Alleppey is the best and most comprehensive introduction to the delights of Kerala’s backwaters as one passes through lakes, canals water-bound villages. The famous “Cheenavala” or Chinese fishing nets can also be seen along the backwaters.
Alappuzha backwaters, better known as the Venice of East, are popular for their boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products, and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad. The Granary of Kerala, Kuttanad is perhaps the only place in the world where farming is done below sea level.
The dazzling Beaches of Kerala
Travel to the Beaches of Kerala to explore the traditions and culture of the people living alongside the coastline. Although Kerala beaches take up a backseat because of the backwater cruises and the Ayurveda holidays, it is recommended that if you are in Kerala and you must pay a visit to the sensuous beaches of Kerala. Plan your tour to Kerala beaches now! and discover the “undiscovered beach hideaways” of Kerala
Varkala beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Kerala. It tends to attract tourists and make them wonder that there is still some undiscovered beauty on the land. Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of the Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist attractions like an enticing beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu temple, and the ashram – ‘Sivagiri Mutt‘ a little distance from the beach.
The tranquil Varkala beach is a quiet sea resort rich in mineral water springs. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins. Hence the name ‘Papanasam beach’.You can also locate a two-thousand-year-old shrine the Janardhanaswamy Temple, which stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach, a short distance away.
Alappuzha has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Popularly known as the Venice of East, today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products, and coir industry. Alappuzha beach is a famous tourist and picnic spot. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old.
Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which is greatly fascinating to visitors. Alappuzha beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which is greatly fascinating to visitors.
Kovalam Beach is the most famous beach resort in Kerala. Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favorite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created an enchanting bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse – sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs, Catamaran cruising, etc. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night.
Other Beaches of Kerala Vizhinjam Beach, Bekal Beach, Beypore Beach, Thangasserey Beach, Kappad Beach, Ezhimala Beach.
Also Read: Culture and Tradition of Kerala
Exotic Cities of Kerala :
The Capital City of Kerala is located on a hilltop at the southern tip of the state. Trivandrum is popular for most visitors, the capital is simply a transit point on their way to Kovalam, the popular beach resort a few miles to the south. However, it is worth lingering for a day in this easy-going city to explore the narrow backstreets, old gabled houses, and parks that break up the modern center.
Kozhikode, Kerala still an important trading center for timber and tiles and endorse a number of tourist attractions for its visitors. The Pazhassi Raja Museum, a tourist spot in Kerala, showcases ancient murals, antique bronzes and old coins, and models of temples and monuments. Next door is the Art Gallery and its painted treasures, while the Krishna Menon Museum safeguards the belongings and souvenirs of the Indian leader V.K. Krishna Menon.
The city center has been transformed into a large park called Mananchira Square, the site of a musical fountain and an open-air theater. Nearby, the beaches beckon with soft trade breezes, and dolphins are frequently at play in the harbor.
The small state of Kerala has its own language — Malayalam — and the earliest written record of the language dates to 830 C.E. The language and its many dialects are very much alive today. As happens in most port cities, the language has evolved with the city’s visitors and over the years has incorporated parts of speech and idioms from tongues as diverse as Sanskrit, English, Latin, and Portuguese
Popularly known as the cultural capital of Kerala, the district of Thrissur lies at the center of Kerala. True to the nature of its people of Kerala, each geographical lot emphasizes to wrestle out some importance to their respective domain.
Thrissur is covered a 3,050 sq km area from the western ghat in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, Ernakulam district in the south, and Palakkad in the north with a population of approximately 3 lakh. The cultural heritage, historical importance, archeological acumen, etc make this district a class apart. Thrissur is also noted for her political decisiveness. Many rulers like The Zamorin of Kozhikode, Tippu Sultan of Mysore, and Europeans contributed their share in shaping Thrissur.
Kottayam is a significant city for Kerala in terms of rubber producers, Syrian Christians. Malayalam Manorama, the second most widely read paper in India. There are some enticing Syrian Christian churches in Kottayam. The St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Cheriapally, has some old murals that date back to the 1600s. Another Syrian Christian church is Valiapally. Constructed in 1550 and has a visitor’s book with some interesting entries. One of its ‘Nestorian’ crosses is thought to be the oldest Christian artifact in India. The Thirunnakara Temple sometimes holds performances of traditional Sanskrit drama called Kootiattam.
Kerala Festivals :
The festivals of Kerala are vivacious and packed with centuries of unbroken tradition and culture. They are spectacular, endearing, colorful, mystical, miraculous displays of fireworks, processions of gold bedecked elephants, etc. You’ll have to keep coming back for a lifetime to really witness this myriad range of experiences.
Onam falls in the month of August. The unique national festival of Kerala, ‘Onam‘ celebrated with ever-growing zest by the entire people of this state irrespective of religion, caste, or creed. Perhaps the elegant artistic display is a legacy of the cultural past of Kerala. The major event of the ‘ONAM‘ festival is the vegetarian feast or the Onam Sadya, lavishly served to depict the glorious period of the rule of King Mahabali, a period free from crime, corruption. poverty, illness, and exploitation, and when all people were equal.
Vishu falls on the first of Medam (March-April), which is the Malayali New Year’s Day. Since it is considered propitious to view good things on this day for year-round good fortune, Vishu morning is an important time in Kerala.
Theyyam is a famous festival in Kerala. This festival requires worship of the deity; on the other hand, the dancer is also the deity. Theyyam celebrates primarily the Mother Goddess. Animals, serpents, and trees also figure in worship. Other important festivals of Kerala are Eid, Muharram, and other festivals that are traditionally celebrated all over the country, Kerala Boat festivals.
Getting There :
By Air: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is about 7 km from the campus. It has three airports viz Kozhikode International Airport at Karipur in Kozhikode (at northern Kerala), Cochin International Airport at Nedumbaserry, Kochi (at central Kerala).
By Road & Rail: About 3 km from Thampanoor where located the Central Bus Station (KSRTC bus stand) and Railway Central Station.
Suggested Read: Formation Dates of Indian States