Uniquely wedged between the Arabian Sea in the west, and the mighty Western Ghats (mountain ranges) in the east, Kerala is by far the most visited holiday location in India. The state though comparatively small in size, is blessed with a wet and maritime tropical climate influenced by the seasonal heavy rains that flirts with the incredibly fertile soil, creating stupefying natural. Thanks to the rain shadow of the Western Ghats, the Kerala geography is jewelled with 44 gorgeous rivers, and the coastline of the Arabian sea has blessed the state with one of the most serene and popular beaches in the country. Ever since its incorporation as an independent state, Kerala’s economy is based on welfare-based democratic socialist principles. In fact it is here where a communist government was democratically elected for the first time ever. The communist philosophy coupled with the best literacy standards, has created a tolerant and successful socialist state, famous for its liberal hospitality world over.
Thanks to the rain shadow of the mighty Western Ghats, Kerala is blessed in with large number of water bodies of all sorts, Backwaters are basically large inland lakes, canals and estuaries all connected in a network of astonishing and peaceful natural wonder. Cruising these backwaters in local boats, canoes or the luxury houseboats is a soul heartening experience and often compared to that of Venice.
Once rice boats used to ferry rice and other goods through the backwaters, Houseboats today are more of a luxurious floating hotels, with luxurious bedrooms, dedicated chefs, dedicated service crew, spacious balcony, conference rooms, private bars, private dining rooms and more. Spending a day cruising the beautiful backwaters in one of these houseboats is a must do activity if you are visiting Kerala.
Mountains, waterfalls and hills :
Kerala is also blessed with one of the most sought after hill stations in India. The crisp air and clement weather in the scenic hill towns located among the evergreen Western Ghats are perfectly engineered to give you the most restful experience possible. Steaming hot cup of tea from a one of the many tea plantations and the breathtaking view of the mighty Ghats to go along with it, a typical romantic Kerala experience.
The beaches of Kerala are spread along 550 km of Arabian Sea coastline. The vast coastline of this southern state of India is inextricably entangled with the local culture and life and traditions. Though the days of early seafarers have pretty much faded away, boats of various styles, many traditions and believes of those gold days have survived and have been deeply embedded into the local culture and cuisine.
Art and culture :
The cultural fabric of the state is heavily influenced by the centuries of contact with foreign cultures. The traditional art forms of Kerala including Kathakali and Koodiyatum are highly stylized classical Indian dance drama, famous for their attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements performed in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion.
Kalaripayattu (Martial art form) :
Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest fighting systems in existence; in fact it is now believed to be mother of most Asian martial art forms including Kungfu and Karate. Bodhidharma the south Indian prince, who is credited to have designed physical training of the Shaolin monks called ‘Kunfu’, was also believed to be an avid kalaripayattu practitioner. The philosophy and practice of kalaripayattu is still very much alive and striving in Kerala, a visit to one of the ‘Kalari’ (the school where the Martial art form is taught) is a must to appreciate the history and legacy of the state.
The cuisine of Kerala too is highly influenced by the centuries of culinary culture of many foreign countries that have visited the state during the pre-independence era, like Greece, Rome, the eastern Mediterranean, Arab countries, and Europe. The Kerala cuisine today has a multitude of both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. As Kerala is also a land of coconut palms, coconut is a staple ingredient in the traditional dishes; the land too serves some of the best seafood dishes in the country.