Kerala

The southern state of Kerala is a land truly blessed by nature. Kerala has enchanting mountains, pristine rainforests, golden sun-sand beaches and unique backwaters that hold their own even in the face of fast developing towns and cities. The coconut palms (that give the state its name) are everywhere, waving a welcome to the place proudly being hailed as God’s Own Country.
Thiruvananthapuram is the state capital and the home of heritage sites such as the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The port city of Kochi and its twin city Ernakulam pulsate with commercial activity, while Thrisshur wears the cultural crown with the temple festival Trisshur Pooram. The richly decorated elephant, as seen during this festival is globally recognised for its association with Kerala.
Kerala has a good network of roads (though crowded) and the Indian Railways connect major towns and cities. There are international airports in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. Malayalam is the local language and Hindi would be understood in major cities.
The state gets a generous share of the eagerly awaited Indian Monsoon and it rains heavily from June to September. Summers are hot and humid while winters are mild. Apart from the monsoon months, Kerala is a paradise for beach holidays. It also provides numerous opportunities for trekking, camping and wildlife sanctuary experiences. Along with these, rejuvenating Ayurvedic spa and Eco tourism vacations make Kerala one of the most popular places on the International Tourism map.

Kanyakumari to Kovalam sightseeing

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I was getting nostalgic and remembering my goa days. The hotel manager was very nice, I did speak to him to seek further guidance, he advised us to take car to the light house from other side and not to walk in the sun to take the stairs. He offered to stay for 1 night there. Indeed a good idea to spend one night in kovalam. However, we had our luggage in Kanyakumari so we cannot stay there. We had to move on.

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Train journey to Tiruvalla

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Yet another known place in Tiruvalla is the Vallabha swamy temple. This apparently is a well-known one among the hindu devotees. If you are looking for directions to this place, you need to ask for “Tiruvalla Ambalam” to any auto driver.

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Kerala’s Green Treasures-Idukki Trip Oct 2011

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As we moved on towards Idukki, the rain got heavier and the drive became difficult. Our driver Rajesh, informed us that though he was a resident of Kottayam, this was the first time he was driving from Kottayam to Thekkady via Idukki. Hearing this made me more anxious, and I began to worry whether I had chosen the right time to visit the wettest district in Kerala.

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Kerala – A Tourist State

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The emphasis is on the ‘paying’ tourist and not on the spot. Well some of us definitely enjoy this ‘tourism’ but some of us want to run away from it. Having access to mineral water on a hill top is good, but more important is access to written material about the place, the history, the geography.

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A Day of Religious and Cultural Tour in Fort Kochi

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The show began! At the beginning, various movements of the body, face, hands, legs etc were demonstrated to give the audience an idea of how the things are expressed in Kathakali. It was an interesting initial part of the actual play. The main play followed shortly after this.
It was a play from the epic Mahabharata, named Kichakavadam, the killing of Kichaka. The evil character, Kichaka, an-anti hero, was in the make-up of face, half green and half red. He was the commander-in-chief of the Army of the kingdom Matsya ruled by King Virata. Kichaka was the brother-in-law of King Virata. During their one year hide out, Pancha Pandava (five Pandava princes) and their wife Draupadi took shelter in the palace of King Virata. While Draupadi was disguised as Dasi (female servant of the Queen) calling herself Sairandhri……….

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Top Places to see in and around Fort Kochi

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Almost every tourist attractions in Fort Kochi have a history of their own so is the Chinese fishing net. Kochi, the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’, was once a major centre of trade with the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British where everyone had left their marks. While some claim that the Chinese traders from the court of Kublai Khan set up Chinese fishing nets to shores of Kochi that dates back to 14th century; some others say Chinese explorer Zhang He introduced the Chinese fishing nets here in early 15th century. Whatever may be the correct claim, the fact is that this system is in use for more than last 500 years.

Once a fishing accessory, the Chinese fishing nets, now have become a major tourist attraction in Fort Kochi.

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Fort Kochi – Explore Amidst the Colonial Charm

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No cannon or other displays that go along with a Fort do exist at Fort Kochi. Though there are narrow alleys but none led to any gallery or a palace of any king or queen that a fort guards. In fact there exists no fort though the name endures it. Fort Kochi is a place within the city of Kochi and lies in the peninsula. Perhaps the name takes its first part since a fort was built in this region by the Portuguese.

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Sweet and Sour Kerala Trip Part 2 – Beautiful Munnar

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Our driver suggested us to stop at a point where you can enjoy Elephant Ride. We were first not in a mood but considering our little daughter will have some fun, we decided to stop by. Then we had to think again about taking a ride as they charge quite much for a 15 min ride. 350 rs per person was not a fair deal but innocent and disappointed looks on daughter’s face persusded us to go for it. I was afraid of the ride at first but once the elephant started moving it was very enjoyable. The ride takes you back to childhood age and you want to scream loud in happiness and glory of sitting on an elephant. The only thing that disappointed us was the condition of elephants and the rude way in which they were being treated.  I had a pity on poor animals.

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Sweet and Sour Kerala Trip – Exploring Kochi

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Kerala is a paradise for sea food lovers and non vegetarians. Fish and rice is staple food of the state but if you are a vegetarian, it may be little difficult for you find variety of veg food. Same was the case with me. With only one vegetarian dish in dinner menu at hotel, we decided to look around for some other options and only ended at the Food Court of a nearby Mall. The initial idea was to roam around after dinner but since we had to leave early next morning for Munnar and it was already late we went back to hotel and retired to bed.

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Life in the backwaters of Kerala

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Indeed a lot of people like to call Alleppey (official name Alappuzha) as the Venice of India. I was in Alleppey last month and was fortunate enough to experience the unique life that people in the area lead.  As there is water ways everywhere of all sizes, people have adapted to the same just like fish to water. We took a few houseboats as well as small boat rides in the backwater and the experience was an eye-opener. Nowhere in India are people so much adapted to a life of using canals and boats in their day to day life as in backwaters of Kerala, which is also the home of famous snake boat race.

Just like you and I will have a bike or a car, almost every house hold in the area will have a small canoe or boat that is used for all day to day activities. Our day started on a small boat and we went to some villages situated on both side of the internal canals. It was a very interesting experience to watch the day to day life in the backwaters of Kerala. Most of the internal canals are not very wide and only small boats can go into them, leaving the bigger houseboats only on the main water ways. As it is difficult to reach these small villages quickly by road transport, people use boats to carry their produce to the main canals, from where trucks come and carry the rice to the wholesaler. This is not only cost effective but also quicker.

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