Kerala, a state located in the southwestern part of the country nearing the Arabian Sea, is rightly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’. After all, this progressive utopia has so much to offer: its remarkable culture and cuisine, its picturesque beauty, amazing beaches, hill stations and that’s just the beginning. A state that attracts nearly 1.5 crores of tourists every year is a must-visit state. Limiting Kerala’s attractions to its top ten is a seemingly impossible task but still, here’s my valiant effort to lis the some amazing thing Kerala is famous for.
1. Every Photographer’s Dream
The Scenic Beauty of Kerala is unreal as if someone strikingly drew it into existence. The serene beaches, hill stations, backwaters, plantations, and lakes are all to die for. The tranquil experience you will receive in Kerala cannot be beaten. The view from the backwaters is just breathtaking and not to visit the quaint cities of Kochi, Munnar and Wayanad is nothing short of a crime. Just being in Kerala and basking in the glory of this place is enough to give anyone a rush of adrenaline.
2. Charming Kerala Cuisine
Kerala is famous around the world for its delectable cuisine. After all, who wouldn’t want to eat mouth-watering delicacies of Kerala cuisine such as Appam and stew, Puttu and kadala curry, Malabar Parotta with Kerala beef curry, pumpkin and lentil curry, palada payasam, the Kerala prawn curry, banana fritters, idiyappam with curry and Ela sadya, the king of Kerala’s food items? Popular ingredients used to prepare these dishes are rice, coconut, and fish, whose flavor is enhanced with rich spices found here.
3. Hypnotic Houseboats
Kerala’s houseboats form a major tourist attraction of the state and why won’t they? They’re truly extraordinary and are nothing less than a Michelin Star-Hotel on water. The view and comforts of a houseboat are something everyone should be able to enjoy. The houseboat ‘Alappuzha’ is also rightly referred to as ‘The Venice of the East’. It is especially perfect for someone looking to relax and take some time to themselves. There are around 500 houseboats in the state and they will take you on an unforgettable cruise through Kerala.
4. Spellbinding Beaches
Talking about Kerala’s specialties and not talking about its mesmerizing beaches? In a word: Impossible. Beaches in Kerala are the perfect blend between relaxation and adventure, there’s something for everyone. Some renowned beaches of the state are Kovalam beach, Varkala beach, Marari beach, Kannur and so many more. Trust me on this, these are some of the most pristine and well-maintained beaches you will ever see. You would definitely want to wait around to take in the glorious view from the beaches at sunset.
5. Picturesque Plantations
Kerala is home to a variety of plantations: spices, tea, and coffee. Ripe with such plantations are the regions of Munnar, Kochi, and Periyar. Fun fact: The plantations you saw in the popular Sharukh Khan movie; Chennai Express was actually shot here in Munnar. A walk among these will refresh you and you mustn’t forget to carry a camera to capture the beauty and charm of these plantations where the fragrance overtakes you and erases every single worry in the world.
6. Delightful Dances
Kerala art forms possesses a unique art and culture that is exquisitely symbolized by their dances. The dance of Kathakali involves the dancers wearing bright-colored makeup and dressed in elaborate costumes which is what makes this dance stand out. Expressions play a major role in the dance that attracts tourists from all over the world. This must-see dance customarily depicts a truly enthralling tale. Theyyam is another popular dance form of the state that is executed as a ritual.
7. Thrissur Pooram
This festival of Kerala can only be described as grand in truly every sense of the word. It is due to its very same nature; this temple festival is referred to as the ‘festival of festivals’. The fanfare surrounding this rich festival involves majestically caparisoned elephants, trumpets, an orchestra, vibrant and bedazzled parasols as well as blaring fireworks. The joy that takes over the state of Kerala during Thrissur Pooram is worth witnessing.
8. A Nature Lover’s Paradise
The great state of Kerala is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna. There are various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks here such as the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Silent Valley National Park, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, and the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Furthermore, Kerala is perfect for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts looking to explore the unknown as the eco-tourism destinations here provide them an opportunity of the same. The state’s one-of-a-kind geographical location makes it all the more opportunistic.
9. Rejuvenating Ayurveda
Kerala has always been a state to embrace its culture and is in fact, the only state in the country where Ayurveda is practiced as mainstream medicine. They believe it to be the harmony of body, mind, and soul and you might be inclined to agree with them after receiving an Ayurvedic treatment here, for instance, the Panchakarma, which involves the usage of milk, oil, and various natural herbs. Many hotels in Kerala also offer you relaxing Ayurvedic therapies and massages.
10. All Aboard Shopping-Lovers
The markets of Kerala are every shopping enthusiast’s dream. A few must-buy items of state are coffee, tea, aroma oils, cashew nuts, spices from the famous Spice Market at Mattancherry, and Kasavu Mundu, the local traditional dress. Don’t forget to grab some coir-handicrafts, which are the coconut-tree-filled state’s specialty. Many people also purchase the vibrant Kathakali Masks as a memoir to remember this great state. How can we talk about shopping in Kerala without their gorgeous jewelry?
So, pack your bags and witness in person the beauty of Kerala for it isn’t just any state, it is the state with the highest literacy rate in the country, the state that is home to a variety of organic herbs and still practices Ayurveda in everyday life, a state that is so joyous that it celebrates the highest number of festivals, a state that is paradise on Earth. That is truly God’s Own Country.