You may have heard about Kerala in southwestern India: of how it’s quickly growing as one of the most desirable holiday destinations in the world, and how specialized magazines are calling it a “paradise on Earth”. Having read about that, you may wonder… just what is so special about this Indian state?
Kerala has everything: beach, river, mountain, exotic traditions and favors, all rolled into a warm earthly paradise. Read through this article for an overview of seven local attractions that all visitors should experience.
By far and wide, the bulk of visitors coming to Kerala are mostly interested in the local beaches. With its great location facing the Arabian Sea and over 400 miles of coastline, Kerala offers many amazing beaches and beach resorts suitable for every taste. Surrounded by pristine blue waters that meld into the sky, expansive flat shorelines stretching along intricate rocky formations… many visitors feel content to just spend their Kerala holidays at the beach.
Between the expansive shores and rugged wild mountains, there’s a vast network of rivers, lakes, lagoons and waterfalls known as “The Backwaters”. For anyone who enjoys riverboat tours – or even boating holidays, this is the place to be in Kerala. While cruising along the backwaters, you’ll catch sight of glorious sceneries, abundant wildlife, and watch many locals in their regular riverboat routines.
If you’re interested in sight-seeing and exploration, the mountains of Kerala offer a unique chance to observe exotic fauna and flora. There are a dozen wildlife sanctuaries in the state, as well as three National Parks, which attest to the abundance and diversity of the local landscapes. To see all of it, you could use months or even years of blissful meandering!
No visit to India would be complete without seizing the opportunity to ride and elephant, and Kerala is just as good place for doing so as any of the other Indian states. There are many reliable elephant handlers in the region, and riding on an elephant back can prove a thrilling vantage point to gaze at the beauty of the land. Although it’s reasonably safe, it can prove an inconceivably intense experience!
Arts & Crafts
Since the Kerala Tourism Department was formed around two decades ago, many initiatives have been organized to bridge the gap between local talents and curious visitors. In some places (like the area of Kozhikode) you will come across entire villages dedicated to the development of traditional arts and crafts. In these veritable living museums, you will get a chance not only to purchase unique mementos, but to actually watch and even learn how they’re made.
Traditionally, there have been a few unique cultural manifestations in Kerala – which have become even more significant with the exponential rise of tourism. Foremost examples are Theyyam and Kathakali performances, two intricate ritual dances involving great apparatus and ceremony. Another interesting example is the Kalaripayattu, a traditional martial art that feels more like choreography than quarrel.
If you want to experience a traditional Ayurveda massage made by real specialists with a professional background going back many generations, Kerala is one of the best places in the world. This type of sacred massage is said to invigorate body and soul, and in the past years has been quickly rising in popularity among visitors.
Doing holidays in Kerala offers many opportunities to experience exotic activities and charming sceneries. There are tour packages available for all budget ranges, and since tourism is one of the biggest local industries, you can rest assured you will be treated as a Sultan while visiting this region.