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Kerala

Kerala along the famed Malabar coast is known for its palm-lined beaches, tranquil stretches of backwaters with its network of canals along with the inland mountains of Western Ghats whose slopes support sprawling plantations, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife.    

Backwaters

With a wide network of lakes, canals both natural and manmade are an important tourism product that is unique to Kerala. Traditionally used as main transportation ways, today it offers a rejuvenating experience to the visitors which can be divided into three backwater regions – Ashtamudi in Kollam district, Vembanad in the areas of Ernakulam, Alleppy, Kumarakom and Valiyaparambu around areas of Kannur and Kasargod. Apart from these there are smaller lagoons in most of the coastal districts. A visit to Kerala is not complete unless you cruise along the back waters.

House Boats

House boats and back waters are synonymous and what better way to discover these back waters. These house boats called Kettuvallams were traditional rice boats transporting grains to distant lands are now converted into floating hotels. Sailing on board these boats are a perfect way to explore while relaxing and enjoying the amenities and services while you get the glimpses of beautiful surroundings, experience tranquil water bodies, listen to the blended melody of birds chirping and splashes of water amidst lush greenery all these while you are treated to delectable Kerala cuisine with catch of the day.

Wildlife

Nestled in the forests of Western Ghats, Kerala has fourteen wildlife sanctuaries. Being home to some of the exotic and rare species of birds and animals these sanctuaries make the caption “Gods Own Country” apt. Some of the most visited are Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, Eravikulam National Park in Munnar and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Palakkad to the lesser known ones like Araalam Wildlife Sanctuary near Thalaserry, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary near Trivandrum and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idduki. In Kerala you are never far from nature and in fact you are in the midst of it and it is truly reflected with wildlife sanctuaries spread across the state.

Hill Stations

As the Western Ghats runs thru the state is blessed with abundance of lush green hill stations towering 500 to 2700 meters above the sea level is inter spread with waterfalls, beautiful valleys, undulating hills, sprawling plantations and paddy fields. From Vythri in north Wayanad district to Nelliampathi in Palakkad, Munnar in the east followed by Thekkady, Vagamon in Idduki and Ponmudi in south, Kerala the land of scenic beauty have been named among the ten paradise of the world by National Geographic. So pack your bags and come along to this paradise for an unforgetful experience of being close to nature.

Beaches

Being a coastal state beaches are spread across the 550 kms of coast line along the western sea board of Arabian Sea. Whether it is just for relaxing or indulging in the natural treatments, Kerala is the place to experience. Staring with Kovalam and Varkaka, the most popular beaches in south to Bekal and Kozhikode in the north there is one just a short distance away as you explore the country side. There are also lovely beaches like Kizhunna in Kannur, Kolan Palam in Payyoli and Kanwatheertha in Kasargod to name a few. It may be interesting to know Muzhappilangad beach near Kannur is the only drive in beach in Kerala and stretches across 4 kms of sand.

Ayurveda

Visit to Kerala can never be complete unless you indulge in an Ayurveda massage and there are centers both at the hotels of stay and outside to suit the budget. Unlike at other places the status of Ayurveda here is not as an alternative but mainstream system of medicine, starting from rejuvenation to complete treatment. Specialized hospitals are available for serious ailments. What makes it even more special is the equable climate, natural abundance of forests and cool monsoon that are best suited for its curative and restorative powers.

Home Stays

Home stay is a great opportunity to experience a place and the culture of its people, it’s like a home away from home. The uniqueness here are that the traditional homes are preserved to give the guest real feeling of way of life in the bygone era but with modern facilities, eco-friendly environment, warm hospitality and mouth watering cuisine of the local community. Live like a local instead of staying in a hotel as tourist, you will not regret the decision and take back memorable tales. Whether it is along the back waters or beaches or up in the mountains there are home stays to pamper your crave for an experiential stay.

Experiences

Visit to destination is not just about staying in a hotel taking the usual sights and going back with pictures. It is about getting under the skin of the place and experiencing it just like a local. Be it a village life experience, riding along the maze of narrow canals, fishing using the bow and arrow, visit a village school, interactive cooking using traditional methods, eating dosas at local restaurants, having coffee with Brahmin family, explore the muziris heritage, bullock cart ride thru the villages or take a local bus ride. There are activities waiting to be discovered and don’t miss the opportunity to experience them.

Temples

Kerala with its rich heritage and history abounds with temples, some going back to centuries. These temples uphold certain traditions which are unique, the architecture are in harmony with the natural resources and climatic conditions of the region. Some of the most famous are Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum, Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna temple, Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple, Sabarimala Sastha temple to name a few. A visit to these temples are not only spiritually enriching and but also takes you back in time when life revolved around the temples which was the center of all activities.

Cuisine

Kerala known as the “land of spices” offers a multitude of dishes. Sea food is popular in the south with “Karimeen Pollichatu” (marinated steamed pearl spot), “Fish Moilee” are on top of the list and northern part specializes in other non vegetarian cuisine. Try “Sadya” the traditional vegetarian thali meal served on banana leaf. The other dishes one must try out are Kappa (tapioca), Kallunmakya (mussels), Kerala Biryani, Kerala Fish Curry, Palada Paysam (sweet dish) and snacks like Pazham Pori, Unniyappam.