Sunday, 11 May 2014

Kerala - The Land To Explore

Sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, Kerala is the land where tourists halt to breath in the gentle breeze, spice scented plantations, glance the misty mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, cruise along the serene backwaters  - a blessed piece of land where climate blatantly flirts with the nature.  Every district, place on Kerala map has its own tradition and story to talk about its culture. The state is endowed with all its beauty at its best; Alappuzha for the backwaters, Kovalam for the sun-bathed golden beaches, Palakkad for straggling paddy fields, Kochi the metro-city reflecting a mix of culture, Munnar for the misty hill stations, Wayanad for the wildlife and so on.

The capital city, Thiruvananthapuram, located on seven hills, boasts of its rich heritage, old palacesand temples. Thiruvananthapuram is a commercial hub, pulsates with political activities and one of the major tourist destination.

Kerala is a proud state of its unique record of harmonious tolerance of diverse religious beliefs, be it Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism or any other.

Palaces, archaeological monuments, museum’s exhibit brilliant paintings, sculptures, mural artworks, etc explaining the traditions and culture the state bestows. Kathakali, the classical Indian dance drama is peculiar art form of Kerala. Even people from distant lands visit Kerala just to learn and experience the ancient dance forms, and Kathakali is one of the renowned dance-form. Kalarippayat- ancient and physical martial art of Kerala. There are training schools, Kalarippayat academies, where professionals teach martial arts to aspiring students. The art form beckons many foreigners, who learn and take it to their homeland.

Kerala is famous for its festivals. Thrissur Pooram held in Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur district, is the popular temple festival depicting the best art and culture in God’s Own Country. Pooram starts with the processions, musicensembles by percussionists’ front of around 30 elephants, standing face-to-face. Pooram attracts thousands of crowd, including masses of tourists to the ground. Apart from Pooram, Onam (harvest festival) accompanied by Vallamkali (snake boat race) held during the season (August – September) along the Punnamada Kayal  or Alappuzha (backwater) witnesses heavy rush of tourists every year.

Call Of The Wild

Most of Kerala is known for its native habitat, rich flora and fauna, packed with dense evergreen rainforest. Silent Valley National Park, Periyar Wildlife National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary, etc forms exquisite attractions of the state and is protected by the Forest Department. There are 13 wildlife reserves and visited by tourists often to experience the scenic beauty and thrill of watching the wildlife in the natural ecosystem.

Wayanad, the district stands out for its picturesque excellence. The rugged plateaus, rolling hills, dense jungles, wildlife, pristine lakes, rivers, dam and greenery are chief attractions of Wayanad. The amazing plantation of the place is an abode for odd varieties of endangered species. The exquisite hill station has pleasant climate throughout the year, enriched with lush greenery.

Backwaters of Kerala are the unique destination backpackers look for when visiting Kerala. These are interconnected ecosystem of rivers, lakes, lagoons, connected to the Arabian Sea. Houseboat cruising along the peaceful backwaters, away from the maddening city life is a splendid experience to enjoy in Kerala. Houseboats are luxurious boats made of bamboo planks skilfully tied with coconut-husk ropes, the biggest revenue programme under Kerala Tourism, inviting droves of tourists to the phenomenal backwaters. Cradling by the backwaters, one can enjoy incredible taste bud-tingling exotic Kerala cuisine. Backwater tourism plays a pivotal role in promoting Kerala tourism.

Rich art forms, magical festivals, cultural diversities, exotic cuisines, heavenly attractions make Kerala a unique experience and best destination you could ever miss out.

This is a Guest Post because I am still very busy with school.
This article is authored by Ajith Thomas who is one of the authors of the blog Ayurveda, you can find him at Google+

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