Kerala

Overview

Setting a strong precedent for representation of the country in a wholesome manner for travellers across the world, Kerala is surely a state that India is proud of. With a rich culture and strong ethnicity in the pores of the community, Kerala is fun to absorb and observe. A pioneer in involving the local communities in tourism, the state’s tourism practices have been a resounding success. You are bound to feel safe and assured in Kerala right from taking buses, to staying in hotels and eating local food, as the people are travellers' savvy and extremely helpful. Apart from the expected scene of house boats floating serenely in the palm lines backwaters, Kerala has a lot of action to offer in the form of arts. A plethora of dances and martial arts makes the cultural disposition of the state extremely interesting and colourful to watch. Kathakali, Mohiniattam, Theyyam and Kalaripayatu should not be missed. This is a great place for some gastronomical indulgence! Sea food and local delicacies like fish curry and tapioca should be part of the menu. Also, give the local coconut produce, toddy, a try!

Location

The tiny state of Kerala is located in South India. Some its important cities are Kottayam, which is situated between the backwaters to the west, and the mountains and plantations of the Western Ghats to the east; Varkala, which is 51 kilometres from Trivandrum and 37 kms from Kollam; Alleppey, which is midway between Kollam and Kochi. It is 63 kms from Ernakulam and 155 kms from Thekkady; Kumarakom is located in the Kottayam district of Kerala. It is 40 kms from Cochin city.

History

Kerala's first recorded samples of history appear Emperor Ashoka's inscriptions, way back in 269-232 BC. Kerala-centric Sangam Age was considered the golden age of literature. At this time great works in Tamil were written. In 1498, the arrival of Vasco da Gama was a turning point in Indian history. The great explorer brought with him Portuguese influence, which is seen till date. He also opened the doors to trade and cultural exchange. In 1763, Haider Ali, the ruler of Mysore invaded Kerala. By 1635, British traders got a foothold in trade with the region and in 1792, Malabar came under their administration

Events and Festivals

Alleppey's Nehru Trophy Snakeboat Race is held in August every year. In December, the annual beach festival is held here and it involves a grand procession of 50 elephants. Also in August the harvest festival of Onam is celebrated. During the festival of Deepam (Diwali), innumerable people flock to the town of Changanasserry. The festival is celebrated here every year between the months of November and December.

Cuisine

The state's cuisine is extremely juicy and delicious. Fresh produce is often used to make regional delicacies. Sea food is the highlight of this coastal region and a glass of toddy is used to complement any meal.

Language

The native language is Malyalam. But as this is the Indian state with the highest rate of literacy, English is widely spoken, more so than even Hindi. Read more
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