KERALA, INDIA TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS, HOTELS
Kerala: The “Free India”
Located at the southernmost portion of India, as bordered by the regions of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the north and east respectively, Kerala, India is known for its beautiful beaches, backwaters, billowing palm trees, and an economy that booms.
But if there is anything that could best describe the place as a region, the word “free” may best summarize it. It is here where religions are diverse as are the people who live in it.
As such, despite being a predominantly Hindu nation, Kerala, India is home to also the Jews, the Christians, and the Moslems. This is most evident due to the presence of synagogues, churches, and mosques that sprung around the many places around the state.
But, still, a large majority of the population in Kerala, India are practitioners of Hinduism, followed only by Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Of all three monotheistic religions, the Jews are among the least in numbers. While the number was not necessarily overwhelming, to begin with, part of the reason why the state now only has a minority of Jews is due to the founding of Israel which magnets them from across the globe.
For the Hindus, the state is home to their religion’s saints and swamis that belong to many castes. The practice of the religion, however, is noticeably different in the place than their fellow Hindus from other states due to the interweaving of religious beliefs and the native’s way of life.
Kathakali is one major classical Indian Dance usually performs for guests in almost all part of Kerala, India
Although plenty of Islamic countries in the Middle East are known for their strict adherence to practices and laws derived from their religious beliefs, Islam in the area is described as being more liberal which resembles that of both Oman and Yemen through the Sha’afi system. The entry of Islamism in the state did not happen until 700 AD as a result of the country’s rich history in a trade with the Arabs.
For the Christians, the region is home to India’s first and long-standing Church, a legacy which is likely left by its colonizer. In fact, no other state in all of India is more concentrated with churches than Kerala.
When most of India hinders the patrilineal system where the male dominance is exercised, Kerala does the complete opposite by giving the society more female values which, as it appears, brings harmony to the assortment of culture that is in the region. Intermarriages between people of different religion are highly tolerated and are thus uncommon.
Given the overall picture that is painted on the state, the place unsurprisingly holds the largest concentration of immigrants who found refuge in its burgeoning economy.
For instance, there are plenty of Christians who emigrated from Europe to Kerala who had built for themselves businesses to make a living with. Often, if it is not an inn, it is a restaurant catering to the foods they knew.
Apart from its growing economy which provides a high standard of living for its people, the port state is also one of the safest places in the country. Equally important, the state also boasts of social life indices that are at the same level as a developed country.
Things to do in Kerala, India | Tourist Attractions
Kerala is also the land of Ayurveda. It is the only remaining state in entire India that practices this kind of treatment. This pertains to the science of both life and longevity. As the longest healthcare system in the world, it puts together the idea of thoughts in medicine as well as philosophy. As a branch of medicine, it is a way of treating one’s body in a naturalistic approach which has the primary goal or objective of achieving the correct or right balance. The perfect cool weather along with the fertile land makes it easier for them to practice such a way of life. More than being healthcare, it is a way of life that reflects all the aspects of the life of the people. What makes this famous is the ability to cure even the incurable and unknown diseases.
Food, of course, is also one of the points of pride of Kerala, India. Sadya Meal is also famous in this place. It is a feast consisting of complete vegetarian cuisine with a total number of 28 dishes. Being extravagant and bountiful when it comes to this feast, this serves as one of the favorites of those who visit the place. This is served in a plantain leaf and other leaves towards the position of the one who is easting. It has boiled rice, savories, side dishes, pickles, and desserts.
Are you up for a unique experience? Then you must try the Houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. Considered as one of the tourist activities of the state, this houseboat cruise is something that you should not miss. Previously being used as transportation vessels for goods, the locals of the place found new ways to reinvent these houseboats into tourists’ attractions. Thus, the birth of a houseboat cruise paved the way. They constructed rooms to serve as lodging rooms for tourists and travelers. As part of Kerala, Munnar also beams with pride with its unique and one of a kind tea plantation. With the high land position of this place, tea plantation became possible. To maximize this place feature, a museum called Tata Tea in Munnar was built. It serves as a house to various artifacts, machinery, and photographs of all the rich history of the tea plantation.
Kerala, India is also famous because it is teaming with life. With the presence of wildlife sanctuaries in the place, this state has been a haven for various wildlife animals and species. Here is the list along with the species which can be seen in the area:
- Aralam Wildlife: Flora and fauna
- Begur Wildlife, Wayanad: Bison, bear, jungle cats, panthers, monkeys, deer, and wild dogs.
- Chimmini Wildlife: Flora and fauna
- Chinnar Wildlife in Idukki: Great Grizzled Squirrel
- Eravikulam National Park: Neelakurinji flowers that bloom once every 12 years.
- Choolannur Pea Fowl, Palakkad: Peacocks
- Idukki Wildlife: Bison, deer, elephants, tigers, snakes, wild dogs, and jungle cats.
- Kadalundi Bird, Kozhikode: Sandpipers, seagulls, sand plovers, turnstones, and greenshanks.
- Kumarakom Bird: Cranes, parrots, cuckoo, teal, larks, waterfowl, flycatchers, and wood beetles.
- Muthanga Wildlife: Elephants
- Neyyar Wildlife in Thiruvananthapuram: Elephants, tiger, leopard, reptiles, amphibians, snakes, and tortoise.
- Parambikulam Tiger Reserve: Tigers
- Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife in Thrissur: Leopard, Tiger, Sambar, Deer, Spotted Deer, Indian Bison, and Asian Elephant.
- Peppara Wildlife: Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Treepie, and the Small Sunbird
- Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady: Mammals, birds, and amphibians
- Shendurney Wildlife in Kollam: Deer, monkey, and bison.
- Thattekkad Bird: Sri Lankan Frogmouth, Racket Tailed Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, White-bellied Treepie, Shama, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Rufous Babbler, Malabar Parakeet, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, and the Malabar Grey Hornbill.
- Wayanad Wildlife: Flora and fauna
- Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad: Flora and fauna
- Tholpetty Wildlife, Wayanad: Elephants, guars, deer, monkeys, tigers, leopards, bears and many species of reptiles, fishes, butterflies and birds including vultures.
As for the available beaches in the area, mermaid wonders would surely find one or two favorite spots in Kerala, India. With the numerous beaches that they have, it is filled with scenic beaches may it be with white, brown, and even pink sand shores! Though these beaches may not be as lavish nor extravagant as other usual beaches that we hear, the simplicity and serene ambiance of Kerala beaches makes it stand-out among the rest. Here is the list of the beaches which you may want to consider once you visit the place.
- Bekal Fort in Kasaragod
- Beypore in Kozhikode
- Chavakkad Beach
- Cherai Beach, Kochi
- Kanwatheertha Beach, Kasaragod
- Chowara & Azhimalathara Beach
- Kappad beach
- Kappil beach and backwaters
- Kappil Beach, Kasaragod
- Kizhunna Beach, Kannur
- Kolavi Palam Beach in Payyoli
- Kollam Beach
- Kozhikode Beach
- Kuzhupilly Beach
- Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
- Munambam Beach in Ernakulam
- Meenkunnu Beach, Kannur
- Muzhappilangad Beach
- Nattika Beach, Thrissur
- Neendakara Beach in Kollam
- Padinjarekkara Beach
- Papanasham Beach, Varkala
- Payyambalam Beach
- Poovar Beach in Thiruvananthapuram
- Samudra Beach, Kovalam
- Shankhumugham Beach, Thiruvananthapuram
- Thaikadappuram Beach, Kasaragod
- Thikkoti Lighthouse, Kozhikode
- Thiruvambady Beach in Thiruvananthapuram
- Thalikulam Snehatheeram Beach
- Thirumullavaram beach, Kollam
- Valiathura Beach, Thiruvananthapuram
- Vakkad Beach and Tirur Puzha
- Vadakara Sand Banks Beach
- Vallikunnu Beach, Malappuram
- Varkala Beach
Indeed, with all the things the state has to offer, it is no wonder that it is one of the most traveled places in India. With the fantastic natural resources and with the help of the locals, it is sure that the place will continue to grow and develop for the coming years. All these efforts are geared towards maintaining their natural resources including marine and wildlife, cultivating their culture, and attracting more tourists.
Fishing Nets in Cochin, Kerala, India
Electronic Visa is available for people who would want to visit this part of India. This application doesn’t require any assistance from any travel agencies or intermediary agencies. Click here for more: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in
e-Visa Facility is given to the nationals of the following countries/territories:
Albania,Azerbaijan,Angola, Andorra,Argentina, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium,Barbados, Belize,Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil,Bulgaria, Brunei, Burundi, Cambodia,Cape Verde,Canada, Cameron Union Republic, Cayman Island, China,Chile, Cook Islands, China- SAR Hongkong, Colombia, China- SAR Macau,Cuba,Comoros, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominica,Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, East Timor, Ecuador,Eritrea, Estonia, France, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Georgia, Gambia, Grenada, Germany, Ghana, Guinea,Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti,Hungary, Honduras, Iceland,Israel, Indonesia, Italy,Ireland, Jamaica,Jordan, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati,Kenya, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lesotho, Liberia, Luxembourg,Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia,Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mali, Malta,Micronesia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Moldova, Mongolia,Montserrat, Montenegro, Myanmar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger Republic,Norway, Niue Island, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea,Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal ,Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Rwanda,Russia, Saint Lucia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, San Marino, Sierra Leone,Serbia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Singapore, Slovakia,Sweden,Slovenia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Switzerland, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tonga, Thailand,Tajikistan, Tuvalu,Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, UAE, Uganda,United Kingdom,USA, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Uruguay,Vietnam,Venezuela, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Zambia, Zimbabwe
- E-Visa is given to people visiting Kerala, India for a short period of time such as tours, business meetings, conferences, medical, etc.
- Applicants must have an existing passport with validity for at least 6 months and with at least 2 blank pages.
- Must have a return ticket with sufficient money (however, during my application this wasn’t asked from me)
- Applicants from Pakistan must apply for a regular Visa
- The above conditions do not apply to Diplomatic Passport Holders
For any updates, please visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.htm
With my fellow bloggers at Trivandrum: Nedhi Thakur (India), Farah Nadiah (Malaysia), Raul Valero (Mexico)
Kerala, India Travel Itinerary
Listed below is the itinerary we followed when I visited Kerala for 2 weeks being part of Kerala Blog Express. A project of Kerala Tourism.
- Press meet – KTDC Mascot Hotel, Trivandrum
- Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
- KTDC Samudra Kovalam – Sunset
- Houseboat – Alleppey Backwaters, Kerala, India
- Must read: Houseboat Cruise at the Enchanting Kerala Backwaters
- This is where you took rest before Kayaking started, witnessed cooking demo and taken to a nearby temple
- Kayaking at Akkarakalam – Kalypso Adventures
- Responsible Tourism Tour – Kumarakom – Village life experience
- A trip from Idukki to Thekkady – Pattumala tea plantation & church
- Boating/cruise – Periyar Tiger Reserve
- Nature Walk – Periyar Tiger Reserve
- Spice Plantation Tour – Ravi’s Farm, Amaravathi, Kerala, India
- Sightseeing at Poopara – Tea plantation, Anayirangal Dam
- Suryanelli camp – Kalypso Adventures – Pappathi Shola Trek(Butterfly Forest Trek) –
- Must read – Suryanelli Camp in Munar
- Muziris Tour – Kottappuram-fort, Paliam Palace Museum, Paliam Nalukettu Museum
- Calicut International Airport, Kerala, India
- Bamboo rafting organized by MuddyBoots
- Tea factory visit – Harrisons Malayalam Limited, Achor, Wayanad District
with fellow bloggers from different parts of the world inside the Edakkal Cave, Kerala, India
- Wayanad Adventure Camp – Karlad Lake –- Zorbing, Ziplining
- Priyadarshini Tea Environs – The Priyadarshini Tea Environs at Pancharakolly, Wayanad district has been set up at the Priyadarshini tea estate, a cooperative society for the rehabilitation of the bonded tribal people of the district.
- Uravu, Wayanad district, Kerala, India – Bamboo handicrafts
- Edakkal Caves, Wayanad
- Meeting Kuruma tribal chief Govindan – Archery
- Must read: Edakkal Caves in Wayanad
- At The Raviz Kadavu, Calicut, Kerala, India
- Kerala Kalamandalam – Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur district
- Fort Kochi – St. Francis Church, Chinese fishing nets
- Mattancherry – Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue
- Must read: Mattancherry and Fort Kochi
pardon the pouting of my lips as I indulged in Sadya feast in Kerala, India
Must read: Sadya Feast
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