Kerala

Capital Capital – Itanagar  ~>>  Area - 38,863 sq km  ~>>  Language – Malayalam and English

 Kerala States InformationsMostly visited for – Thiruvananthapuram (the capital of Kerala famous for the world’s richest temple, Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple), Alappuzha (alluring charm of Venice of the East known for backwater stretch), Bekal (the largest fort in Kerala), Cherai (the longest beach in Kochi where iconic Chinese Fishing Nets can be spotted), Chowara (a fishing village in Kovalam), Kappad (the beach where Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese explore arrived and placed his first step in India), Kappil (a beach known for scenic backwaters, beach and watersport facilities), Kanwatheertha (a beach resort in Kasaragod District), Kovalam (famous for picturesque beaches), Kozhikode (city of spices on the Malabar Coast), Muzhappilangad (largest Drive-In Beach in Asia), Kumarakom (famous for a manmade bird sanctuary and a bewitching backwater stretch), Sankhumugham (beach where locals spend their weekend),  Tirumullavaram (a quiet beach in Kollam), Anamudi (highest peak in western ghats), Chembra Peak (highest peak in Wayanad for trekking), Devikulam (a small hill station), Nelliyampathy (a hill station renowned for teak trees, tea and coffee plantations), Peermede (a famous plantation town renowned for tea, rubber, cardamom and coffee plantations with the wishful waterfalls), Ponmudi (characterized by thick tropical forests visited for dense trekking and hiking), Munnar (a popular hill station where India’s largest tea plantations are based), Vagamon (Scotland of Asia characterized by tea and coffee plantations).

Major Cities – Alleppey, Bekal, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kannur, Kollam, Kochi, Kottayam, Kovalam, Kozhikode, Mallapuram, Munnar, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Varkala, Wayanad, etc

Weather - Summer: March to May, Monsoon: June to September, Winter: October to February.  Climate of Kerala is subtropical in nature making summers hot and winters intensely cold.

Connectivity
By Air - There are three airports in the state located at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode all of which are International Airports.

By Rail - There are 200 Railway Stations in Kerala connecting places both within and outside Kerala. One can avail of Super-fast and Express Trains to reach ones chosen destination.

By Road - Kerala is directly connected by road to both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. National Highway No. 47, 17, 49 and an extensive system of metalled roads connect Kerala to the rest of the country.

History, Geography and Culture of Kerala
Kerala, the god’s own country has its share of history belonging to the ancient times. The rich illustrious heritage of Kerala came into existence during the Stone Age civilization. The pictorial carvings in Edakkal caves represent the prehistoric civilization or settlement dating to 5000 BC. Under the rule of Ashoka, the Mauryan Emperor, Kerala was known as Keralaputtra, one of the four independent kingdoms of the southern region. Later, this region rose to prominence as an established seat of Travancore rulers whose presence can be still felt in the exquisite forts, palaces and temples in the state. Another landmark event in the history of Kerala is the reception of Vasco Da Gama, the first European visitor in India. This journey later became famous as the Spice Route, beginning from Calicut and entering into other famous spice forests of the region.

 Kerala States InformationGeographically, the state is a thin strip alongside Arabian Sea extending southwards and eastwards towards the border of Tamil Nadu. The north and northeast Kerala is hemmed alongside the hilly borders of Karnataka. Towards the west, the state serves as a neighbour to the Lakshadweep Islands. The state is roughly divided into three distinct climatic zones, including eastern highlands featuring rugged and cool mountainous terrain or Malabar; the central midlands of rolling hills and the western lowlands or coastal plains. Located on the extreme south of Indian mainland, this state is blessed as a veritable paradise of the country. The state has every natural ingredient to make it a top class destination. The breathtaking array of spice forests, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, deep gorges, valleys, waterfalls, beaches, backwaters, etc contribute to the unique topography of the state. River Cauvery drains and provides the state with the fertile productivity. The famous paddy fields of Kerala resonate with this facet. Besides this, the state also plays host to rubber groves, cashew nut trees, black pepper, cinnamon, tapioca plantations comprising its green cover.

The backwaters are another unique phenomenon extensively prominent in Kerala. In other states, it’s the road that regulates the daily life and in Kerala it’s the backwaters that do the same job. Often defined as a network of brackish lakes, streams, rivulets, estuaries and canals, these backwaters lie inland from the coast and facilitate the inland travel in the region around Thiruvananthapuram and Vadkara in the north. The highest water body in Kerala, Lake Vembanad between Kochi and Alleppey dominates the backwater stretch of the state.

Culturally, the state is defined by the synthesis of Indo Dravidian influences, mixed with the presence of other foreign cultures. The result is the flexible Malayali culture renowned for its cultural mishmash. One can find a fusion of native Malayali Keralites living in harmony with Jews, Muslims, Christians and Anglo Indians here in a civilized lifestyle of Kerala.

keralaDifferent dance forms and performing arts also symbolize the richness and vivacity of Kerala culture. In fact, these aboriginal dance forms have journeyed with the timeline of the state and rose up to the stature of becoming an important element of Kerala civilization. Many times tourists come to this culturally rich state to be a part of such ancient art forms like Kathakali, Thullal, Mohiniattam (dance of the enchantress), Theyyam, Padayani, Kalaripayattu martial art and 5,000 year old discipline Ayurveda.

Elephants in Kerala are also an intrinsic element of Kerala culture and its daily life. The state animal of Kerala, these elephants are even referred to as the ‘sons of the sahya.’ These majestic beasts are caparisoned by Nettipattams, a stately gear made up of gold during Thrissur Pooram and serve as a center of attraction when paraded the city amidst the gusto. In Kerala, one must relish the famous sea food, particularly fishes. Sadya is another traditional full course meal prevalent in the state.

Wildlife / Bird Sanctuaries
Kerala characterizes the abundant wealth of flora and fauna. The varied animals ranging from Elephants, Tigers, Gaurs, Chitals, Sambar, Nilgiri Tahr, Common Palm Civet, etc can be spotted in abundance in Kerala wildlife or Bird sanctuaries.
Periyar / Thekkady, Aralam, Chimmini, Chinnar, Neyyar, Parambikulam, Peechi Vazhani, Peppara, Shenduruney, Wayanad Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Religion – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity

Festivals
Ernakuathappan Utsavam (Jan/Feb)
Attukal Ponagala (Feb/Mar)
Bharani Utsavam (Feb/Mar)
Vishu (Apr)
Thissur Pooram (Apr/May)
Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race (Aug)
Aranmula Boat Race (Aug/Sep)
Athachamayam (Aug/Sept)
Onam (Aug/Sep)
Pulikali (Aug/Sept)
Kalpathy Ratholsavam (Nov/Dec)
Ashtamudi Craft & Art Festival (Dec)
Cochin Carnival (Dec)
Sabarimala Festival (Nov/Jan).

Eat – In Kerala, the spices and other base ingredients combine together to form a rich and intricate cuisine. The state is known for both vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisines. Being a coastal territory, the state uses fish and other sea food items like prawns extensively in the cuisine. During Kerala Tour, one must try Puttu (rice cake layered with coconut), Kadala, Idli, Dosa, Sambhar, Idliuappam, Palappam, Fish Moli, Chicken Stew, Boiled Rice, Kanji, Upperi, Pappadam, Puli-inji, Thoran, Olan, Kaalan, Aviyal, Pachadi, Elisseri, Pulisherry, Kottu-kari, Theeyal, Rasam, Stew, Fish Curry, Karimeen Pollichatu, Pazham-pori (Sweet fried banana snacks), Kozhukkatta, Kozhikodan, Halwa and crunchy Banana Chips.

Buy – The crafted state of Kerala is known in the Indian handicraft circuit for immaculate detailing, finesse and employed artistry. The crafts in Kerala evolved with the time and became an institution in itself. Nettipattams, the colourful elephant gear, Aranmula Metal Mirror, Netturpetti Jewel Box, Uru Boat model, Kettuvallam Boat model, Kathakali mask and papier mache model, Bamboo Craft, Coconut Craft, Banana Chips, Cashewnuts and Black Peppers comprise the must purchase list during Kerala Tour.

Hotels – Hospitality in Kerala is followed in adherence to the tradition of the state. Here, tourists can enjoy the hospitality from the numerous options available. From relaxing in a beachside resort to the tree-house, from luxury hotels to the deluxe Kettuvallam snaking its way on the backwater network, the hotels and staying options in Kerala are many.


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