Surrounded by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, Kerala is really the most beautiful destination to be visited. The beauty of the palm fringed beaches of Kovalam, the majestic beauty of the hills in Munnar, the backwaters of Kumarakoram and the enchanting woods of Trekked, are really worth looking at .
Kerala is known for its backwaters with coconuts touching the waters of the lakes. In the list of ‘paradise on earth’, Kerala cannot be missed out. The National Geographic Traveler Magazine has declared this place in the list of fifty – must visit places of a lifetime. Be it the misty hill stations, the beautiful backwaters, the pilgrim centers or the mind refreshing ayurvedic centers – Kerala offers everything that a traveler needs.
Geography of Kerala:
Kerala is situated in the southwestern part of India with a total area of 38,863 sq kms and its largest city is Thriuvananthapuram. The total population of this state is 31.8 million.
Art and Culture of Kerala:
Kerala is known for its varied forms of art and culture, especially visible during festivals. The colourful attire, the artistic make-up and the most beautiful performances of the artists, on stage, are really attractive. Some of the art forms of Kerala are: Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Kalaripayattu, Chaakyar Koothu, Maargamkali, Oppana, Theyyama, Kummattikali and Krishnanattam.
Lifestyle of Kerala:
Kerala is known for its literacy rate -the people here are educated and well-informed. The traditional wear of the men is Kasavu Mundu and for women it is Mundum Neriyatham. Kerala is known for the best health and medicinal facilities that it offers. In fact, Kerala is known to have clinics in every village. The lifestyle of the people is really amazing, as the traditional industrial sector provides jobs to around 1 million people in the state. There are many IT sectors and Techno Parks coming up in Kerala.
As Kerala is known for its beautiful back waters, so is its cuisine. Kerala is known for its tasty spices such as cardamom, ginger, pepper, nut meg etc. Some of the delicious cuisines that Kerala offers are Naadan Sadya, Sambar, Paysam, Avial, Karimeen Pollichathu, Varutharacha Chicken Curry and Beef Ularthiyathu.
Festivals in Kerala:
The people of Kerala celebrate some of the major festivals, when everyone comes together to celebrate them. These festivals include:
This is the harvesting festival celebrated between August and September. It is believed that on this day King Mahabali visits his dearest people, in various forms. On this occasion, people prepare floral carpets called Pookkalam. The unique thing about this festival is the Snake Boat race, which takes place and is known as Vallamkali.
This festival is celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam month, in April. It is considered as the Malayalam New Year.
This festival is celebrated between August – September. On this day people gather in the district of Thrissur where men dance by painting their full body in the form of a tiger.
Aranmula Uttathrathi Boat Race:
This boat race is held during the Onam festival in Aranmula, on the river Pampa. People throng to watch this boat race.
This festival is celebrated in the month of December on Makarsanrati day. Sabarimala, a holy place where Lord Ayappa resides, is worshipped on this day.
Tourist attractions of Kerala:
There are many beautiful and breathtaking places in Kerala, that are tourist attractions, such as: Ernakulum, Wayanad, Kannur, Kasargod, Kottayam, Kozikode, Malapuram, Palakkad and Thrissur. Apart from these places there are other places also, where you get to see the waterfalls which are: Atthirapally, Soochipara and Thusharagiri,
Best time to visit Kerala:
The best time to visit Kerala is between March to October but most of the tourists visit this place all over the year.
How to reach:
By road: This state is connected with a number of National Highways. The states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are near Kerala.
By Rail: Rail transport is available from most cities like – Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
By Air: Thiruvananthapuram has the International airport which is connected to various Gulf countries and other states.
Image Source: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/arunsinha/1284899007/sizes/m/]