Kerala is an exotic beach paradise located in the deep southern part of India, which has now become one of the most sought after tourist destination in Asia. National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine echoed Kerala’s prominence as a paradise by including Kerala in its “Ten Paradises of the World” list and its “50 Must See Destinations of a Lifetime.”
Photo by Kumarakom Lake Resort
When in Kerala, a traveler must do as the locals do, and here are five tips to get your started.
Enjoy the Backwaters
Your trip to Kerala will never be complete without enjoying its idyllic backwaters with intermingled turquoise lakes lined with lush-green coconut plantations. Kerala’s mild lagoons would be a perfect place for you to shake off your stress brought by the fast-paced urban life. For a romantic experience, there are various luxury resorts in Kerala that will allow you to spend a night onboard a houseboat and get a view of the magnificent sunrise over the beautiful waters at dawn.
Have a Taste of Malabar
Aside from the exotic tourist destinations, Kerala also have tasty treats featuring native delicacies like appams (rice hoppers), pothu (fried beef), avival (vegetables cooked with aromatic coconut gravy), molee (spicy fish curry) and payasam (semolina with caramel milk). These are just a few of the many delicious meals one can enjoy over at Kerala. In devouring any of Kerala’s meal, a visitor must also try a glass of “toddy”, a delicious locally tapped coconut palm wine. Being a vegan would never be a problem when you are in this exotic paradise for Kerala also offers you plenty of vegetarian dishes.
See the Indian Tigers
Kerala’s outdoor adventure can include a visit to its inland virgin forests in which the Periyar Tiger Reserve is situated and where you can still see the magnificent Royal Bengal tigers of India. Along with the tigers, you can also see leopards, elephants, monkeys, deer, Indian bison and also different species of snakes.
Photo by Kumarakom Lake Resort
It is a traditional therapeutic system, which has been practiced for centuries in India and can be experience through a number of Ayurveda spas in Kerala. Ayurveda will surely enlighten one’s mind and invigorates the senses. The therapeutic system of Ayurveda is broad, having eight branches including surgery, toxicology, aphrodisiac and among others. A must try in Ayurveda is the herbal massage and the aromatherapy.
Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial arts form originating from Kerala. A tourist may learn this martial art through a training school called Kalari. One can learn how to gloriously wield weapons such as swords, daggers, maces, bow and arrow, and spears. This martial art form also includes in its specialization the practice of indigenous medicine. Moreover, it has a special guideline that says that a person practicing the art shall always undergo oil massage and shall practice the feats regularly. Kalaripayattu has become one of the most popular martial arts in India, and there numerous schools have sprung up all over the country to promote this art form. You will also find many business hotels in Bangalore teaching this art form as a way to relieve stress to their guests.
Those are just some of the many things you can do in Kerala to learn more about the local culture. I hope you plan your trip to Kerala soon. Happy Holidays!
Natasha Dogre is a freelance journalist and regularly writes articles on resorts in Bangalore outskirts for First10, a professional SEO services company. To hire her you can reach her at Natasha.dogre(at)gmail(dot)com