Kerala is a state located in South-West India on the Malabar Coast. It is bordered by Tamil Nadu to the south and south-east and Karnataka to the north and north-east covering a total area of 38,863 km2 (15,005 sqm).
Kerala constitutes a number of Malayalam speaking regions and was formed on the 1st of November 1956 by the States Reorganization Act. It is famously known as the Spice Coast of India, due to its history of spice trade and has played host to many traders across the world. Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) is Kerala’s capital city.
Why visit Kerala?
Popularly known as ‘God’s own country’, Kerala is a major tourist attraction for tourists around the globe. It is famous for its backwaters, Ayurvedic treatments, yoga and tropical greenery. As it is wedged between the Western Ghats and the Lakshadweep Sea, it experiences humid equatorial tropic climate. Kozhikode and Kochi are some of the major cities in Kerala. Kochi, located on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea is one of the most important ports in India. It is also known as Cochin and lies in the district Ernakulum. According to Economic Times, Kozhikode is the second best city in India to live in based on parameters like education, health, safety and entertainment. It is also popularly known as Calicut.
Exploring the Culture of Kerala
Kerala’s culture is a blend of the cultures from Tamil Nadu and coastal Karnataka. Kathakali, a famous classical dance form in India, is part of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. Other dance forms include Mohiniaattam ("dance of the enchantress"), Koodiyattom and Margam Kali. Kerala has deep influences from Carnatic music in its traditional music. Elephants hold a very integral place in Kerala’s daily life and are revered, loved and respected. It is also the state animal of Kerala and is present in their emblem too.
A Keralite meal is usually eaten on a banana leaf and consists of rice and curry. Dishes such as, pulisherry,sambar, idly Puttu Payar Pappadam, rasam, puzhukku are typical. Men and women in Kerala generally wear long flowing unstitched garments. Mundus are worn by men and saris by women in various styles. Malyalam literature boasts of many jnanpith awardees and rich 14th century poets. Malayalam cinema is respected and acclaimed in the Indian film industry with directors like Adoor Gopalakrishnan and John Abraham.
Kerala is a renowned tourist spot in the world and is listed among National Geographic Traveller’s “ten paradises of the world”. Beaches, backwaters and hill stations form most of the tourist destinations in the state. Some famous beaches are Kovalam, Cherai, Kapad and Bekal; famous hill stations are Munnar, Waynad and Ponmudi. Kerala is famous for its backwaters such as Alleppey, Kollam and Punnamada. The Periyar wildlife sanctuary also is located in Kerala. There are lots of heritage sites in Kerala too, reflecting its religious and cultural past.
More facts for Tourists
The best time to visit Kerala is between August to March for tourism as nature is at its best during the phase. April and August are the best months to visit for Ayurvedic treatments. Women are advised to avoid low necklines and swimwear even on beaches. Nudity is a legal offence. Use of drugs and narcotics is heavily punishable in Kerala. Cotton clothes would be the most suitable for the climate and photography is restricted in many temples and wild life sanctuaries.