Expanding for around 550 km along the southwestern coast of India, Kerala state stands segregated into waterways, verdant coastal plains and thick Western Ghats. The place has been alluring visitors since ancient days when it was known as the Malabar Coast and was popular amidst Greeks and Sumerians for its excellent-quality spices. This south India state features rivers, lagoons, canals, paddy fields, mountains and more. Its tropical and humid landscape receives the highest rainfall in peninsula region. The colorful festivals and traditions of Kerala have been a part of its culture from around thousands of years.
A complete contrast from the bustling metropolitan cities of India, the cities of Kerala are calmer and peaceful. The very popular port city of Kochi or Cochin has always been in the limelight throughout the history because of its foreign visitors. The old areas of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry are clear reminders of those times. Moving southwards inside Kerala, one enters the lovely capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). Famed as the doorway to the pristine beaches of Varkala and Kovalam, Trivandrum offers an insight into the rich artistic life and culture of the state.
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to explore the wonderful Kuttanad region is by boat. Go aboard, a houseboat, traditionally known as Kettuvallam, and explore lovely backwaters of Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Kollam (Quilon). Wooden houseboat and small cruises float on the placid backwaters offering a sneak- peak into the village life of Kerala. This south Indian state also boasts of owning lush hill station, which are its major attractions. The roads from here are sprinkled with lush plantations of spice, coffee, rea and rubber and churches. The forested roads lead to the very popular Periyar National Park. During your visit to Periyar, spot herds of elephants quenching their thirst from the Periyar Lake.
Apart from offering serene backwaters, sun kissed beaches and extensive wildlife sanctuaries, Kerala is world's famous for its authentic Ayurveda treatments and therapies that help you gain the harmony of mind, body and soul. Monsoon is considered the best season for Ayurveda tour to God's Own Country.
Though Kerala has less of historical monuments but the temples here are innumerable. The houses and temples mainly feature a typical Kerala architecture that consist of pillared verandas, gabled roofs (for minimizing excessive sun and rain) and slanted long tiles. Puttan Malika Palace of Thiruvananthampuram and Padmnabhapuram Palace (Tamil Nadu) are two of the best examples of Keralite architecture.
During all-night festivals in Kerala, money is spent lavishly on the decoration of the temples in Kerala and splendid fireworks. Beautifully-decorated elephants and loud drums are important part of the temple procession and are major crowd-pullers.
Organized between the months of April and May in Thrissur, Puram is probably the most spectacular festival of Kerala but the other ones are equally amazing. Performing arts like dance and theatre have always flourished here. Mohiniyattam, a female classical dance form and Kalaripayattu, a dance form with infused martial art featuring stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata are two of the most famed dance forms of the region. Kudiyattam, the Sanskrit drama, is a 2 thousand year old dance form that is still performed in the villages of Kerala by a little number of artists. Featuring artists with colorful hats and masks in a procession for the temple deities, Theyyem is another popular performing ritual in the northern Kerala villages. Places bustle with activity during night hours, mainly between the months of December and March, when there are weeks of centuries-old celebrations in the northern region of Kerala.
If you plan a tour to Kerala, there is no dearth of accommodation options, ranging from hotels for budget travelers to luxury hotels and resorts. The state offers something or the other to all kinds of travelers.
[Find an extensive list of Kerala Tour Packages to plan your holiday]