Famously known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is one of India’s most picturesque states with a 600 km shore along the Arabian Sea, riveting backwaters, lush mountains of the Western Ghats and tea plantations – each spectacular as though designed by the Gods. Lamp-lit temples, Kathakali shows and boat races; the cultural and religious prowess of the state rolls through Kerala as effortlessly as the tongues of the locals. The life of the people is very laidback but spiritually charged. But nothing quite surpasses the soul-quenching culinary experiences of the state with the coconut oil fried seafood and banana leaf wrapped sweet treats.
Tranquil backwaters that stretch for miles and miles surrounded by endless green plantations freshly washed after a shower – this is the view one gets in Kumarakom, the land of houseboats and backwaters. A quaint town on the shores of the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala, Kumarakom offers one the unmatched experience of getting close to nature in a houseboat.
As you traverse through the gentle waves of the placid canals in a houseboat, you can enjoy a variety of flora and fauna as you sip a cup of hot coffee or dig into a wholesome platter of fresh seafood. Now you know why Kerala is called ‘God’s own country’!
Only India can boast of a forest reserve that is stretched across three states – Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Kerala part of this reserve is Wayanad, which not only is home to thousands of exotic wildlife species but is also adorned with rollicking rice fields, ginger fields and spice plantations.
Derived from the terms ‘vayal’ (paddy fields) and ‘naadu’ (land), Wayanad is truly the ‘Land of Paddy Fields’. Much sought-after by dreamy-eyed honeymooners, and holiday makers and getaway seekers, Wayanad is most popular for its wildlife sanctuary that is spread across an area of 345 sq. km.
With many comfortable resorts and homestays located bang in the centre of the wild, travellers can relax in the midst of misty mountains and vivacious green rainforests.
Vast expanses of green mountains covered in mists of clouds welcome you as you enter Munnar, one of the prettiest hill stations in India. Tucked away in the serene Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala, Munnar means three rivers and as the name suggests, it is home to Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.
Endless tea plantations greet you as you go up and down the hills in chilly yet pleasant weather thereby making Munnar a hill station like none other. And it’s not just the tea plantations that await you! The place also boasts of some of the most breathtaking lakes, dams, forest ranges and wildlife. Home to some of the world’s highest growing tea estates, the hilly town produces a whopping 50,000,000 kilograms of tea every year!
Located on the Malabar Coast, the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, the city of Cochin is as unassuming as it can get. While you see hawkers selling everything under the sun on the rocky shores near the Fort Kochi beach, just a stone’s throw away is the charming European colony with its cobblestoned streets, cosy homestays and an array of plush restaurants serving cuisines of all kinds.
The many centuries old, giant Chinese fishing nets, which are a sight to behold at sunset, also speak volumes of Kochi’s long association with China. A walk down the streets of the sunny neighbourhoods of Kochi is a must-do that is if you wish to hear tales from Kerala’s pages of history.