Kerala is widely known for its backwaters at Kumarakom and Alleppey, house boats, untouched beaches, never-ending stretch of tea plantations in Munnar, elephants, lakes at Periyar and much more. Hence, it is the most sought after tourist destination and is known as ‘God’s Own Country’. But what makes Kerala different from other tourist destinations in India? Let’s try to find out.
For sure there are other beach and hill destinations in India, but Kerala is the only state in India which has splendid backwaters and views to die for. Kerala’s backwater consists of network of canals that are both natural as well as man-made Traditionally used as a mean of transport, it has now become one of the main boosting factors of tourism in Kerala. Depending upon the available, tourists can hire a boat with a navigator and cook to enjoy the rejuvenating ride. The stretch located between Ernakulam, Alapuzha and Kottayam have the most stunning backwaters known as Vembanad Backwaters. Experience life without gadgets and crowds around you and this can only be felt in Kerala.
Ayurveda and Kerala are practically inseparable. There are many ayurvedic kendras, resorts and centres where one can enjoy and experience the ancient techniques of massage using oils from herbs to relax. To experience this, tourists from all across the world fly to Kerala. Kerala is the only state to have original ayurveda and still traditional ways are used to deliver this effectively. People living there still strongly believe in the ancient system of healing that originated in Dravidian culture. In recent times the old age practice has attained a significance importance.
Rich culture and traditions in Kerala like its dances, cuisines, rituals and festivals also make it different. These depict treasure and true side of Kerala. Hinduism is the major religion of the state, but you may also find Christain, Muslims and Jewish people with a sense of respect for each others religion. Tourists can enjoy the rich food of Kerala in which coconut, seafood, meat and rice are considered mandatory. Traditional Kerala food known as Kerala Sadya is served on a banana leaf that is loaded with lots of rice and at least 14 different vegetarian dishes. Tourists should never miss the chance to eat Kerala Sadya as it is an experience in itself.
Art is a part and parcel of Kerala’s culture and every conscious effort has been made to preserve it. Tourist can enjoy beautiful dance forms of the state such as Mohiniattam, Kathakali, Theyyam and Thullal. Kerala is a heaven for you if you love dance and art form.
Tourists also visit Kerala to learn famous forms of martial arts. Kalaripayuttu is an ancient and the oldest martial art form across the world. It had originated close to the time when Kerala came into existence. Then you can learn other forms such as Parisa Kali, Velakanni, Valeru, Kunderu and Njaninmel Kali.
Kerala is also known for its famous boat race that again is unique to the state. Boat races which are popularly known as Snake Boat Races are held during Onam festival that is celebrated each year in the beginning of the month of Chingam that generally falls between Aug-Sep. These are considered as a part of celebration rather than just a competition. This is one of major attractions for tourists, so the government also promotes this to draw large number of tourists from India as well as abroad. The boats used for race are different from the normal boats. These have fixed measurements and about 100 feet long with the capacity of 150 men to sit on it.The ends of the boats are curled just resembling a cobra, giving it the name Snake Boat. The race displays a great team spirit and harmony with nature.
Bring home the items carved out of sandalwood and rosewood, beautiful silk sarees and many artefacts made from coconut to your home from Kerala.
One must visit Kerala at least once in life to experience all these.
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