India - Kerala
22 Apr 2014 11:29 AM -
Visit Kerala- God’s Own Country
If there’s any place on the planet that can get away with calling itself ‘God’s Own Country’ without sounding unbearably boastful and tourist-oriented, it is Kerala in India. The stunning lush natural beauty of this southwest part of India speaks for itself. Once you are in Kerala, it is hard to miss the warm hospitality of the people, distinctive culture and traditions, decorated elephants getting readied for grand temple festivities, the picturesque landscapes in various shades of green, abundance of coconut and banana trees, beautiful sun-kissed beaches… and the list goes on!
From the vast rice fields to the tranquil backwaters to the rich ascending hillside tea plantations in the Western Ghats, the unhampered natural beauty of Kerala is as diverse as the people living there.
The enchanting Kerala Backwaters
The renowned backwaters of Kerala that winds its way through the inland, are lined with lush greenery with its wildlife inhabitants, houses and villages- an environment like no other! Just hop onto a kettuvallam (houseboat), open a bottle of beer, get some fresh Indian cuisine, sit back and enjoy this magical world of inexplicable beauty. The backwaters are also the host of the popular adrenaline-pumping, highly competitive annual snake boat races of Kerala, which provide a one-of-a-kind source of entertainment to the tourists as well as the locals!
The Gateway of Kerala-Fort Kochi
The famous historical sites and architecture of Kochi exhibit an assortment of Arabic, British, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese influences. Few of the must-visit attractions in Kochi are the Jewish synagogue, Cherai Beach, Marine Drive, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Fort Kochi and its popular Chinese Fishing Nets, Mattancherry Palace, Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary and the Ezhattumugham Nature village.
Care for a cuppa?
If you are an avid tea drinker then Munnar needs to be your #1 stop. Known as the Kashmir of South India, Munnar is lavishly blessed with mesmerizing beauty, exotic flora and fauna and fog-covered hills that make it a popular romantic spot for honeymooners. Besides this, Munnar has plentiful stories to tell of the origin and fruition of tea plantations in Kerala, and what better way to do so than by means of a tea museum, where one can witness the great legacy of these tea plantations of Kerala, machineries, photographs and curios that take you on a time travel into the world of tea.
For the adrenaline- junkies, Munnar offers trekking to Anamudi, rock climbing, para gliding or visit to the Eravikulam National Park and the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Wildlife Reservoir- Thekkady
Thekkady is the ultimate destination for wildlife lovers and photographers visiting Kerala. Here, you’ll find everything from the great Indian tiger to lion - tailed macaques, deer, bison and boars to the great Indian elephant. You can either trek your way through the forest on foot or, accept the service of the humble, mighty elephants. Boating is also very popular here.
Soak up the Sun and Surf the waves!
A beach town, Kovalam is well endowed with 3 beaches namely, the Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach and Samudra Beach, that collectively create the famed crescent shaped Kovalam Beach. Chowara Beach and Poovar Beach are other beautiful destinations that are great for creating some memorable beach memories.
Two of the most bewitching tourist spots of Kerala are the Athirapilly waterfall and the Vazhachal Falls, located in the midst of refreshing green forest. It is a site where nature is so beautifully entwined with serenity that it not only rejuvenates your senses but also touches your soul.
Kerala offers a wide range of exotic dishes. The much sought after Malabar cuisine boasts of its delicious Malabar biryani. There are innumerable good quality restaurants and resorts that serve traditional food that is nothing less than an explosion of unforgettable flavours in the mouth.
There is much more to Kerala than just shimmery, golden beaches and vibrant green hills. The Vizhinjam Rock cut cave Temple, Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium, the Parasurama Temple, the Napier Museum, the Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum, Kuthiramalik, are so to speak, just the tip of the iceberg.