Squeezed between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Kerala is one of India’s most beautiful states. Here, the air is fresh and the sky is blue. When travelling across the state, it’s amazing to observe how the charming beauty of the land has influenced the people’s lifestyle, which has remained slow and easy-going. The land seems to be blessed by the gods — and perhaps that’s why it is most lovingly addressed as “God’s own country”.
The hill stations of Kerala has fascinated millions of people from the various geographical locations around the world. From Munnar’s expansive tea gardens to Vagamon’s unspoilt meadows, there are plenty of places to visit in Kerala that are far removed from urban chaos. Home to dense forests which are marked by walking trails and scenic verdant valleys, these hill stations have spectacular landscapes and a salubrious climate throughout the year.
Long renowned for its idyllic beauty, the backwaters which comprises of an integrated network of rivers, lakes, canals, estuaries and lagoons that thread through the length and breadth of Kerala, attract a large number of tourists every year. The tranquil backwater cruises are a once in a lifetime experience. Alappuzha, known as the 'Venice of the East', is especially popular for its houseboat cruises where one can soak in nature at its finest form.
In ancient times, it was scent spices that lured merchant ships from as far away as Phoenicia, Egypt, Babylon, Assyria and China, all willing to brave the currents of the high seas just to land on Kerala’s shores. They were followed by the Arabs and the Europeans — including the Portuguese, Dutch and British — all of whom marched in after Vasco da Gama established the route from Europe by sailing around Africa’s Cape Of Good Hope. These traders established a cultural melting pot in Kerala that differentiates the region from the rest of India.
Infact, this influx of traders, travellers and missionaries created diverse faiths such as such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism and they coexist harmoniously here. The Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, the Santa Cruz Basilica in Kochi and the mosque in Munnar are considered equally sacred by all sections of the society.
Kerala is a land of arts and festivals. The southern Keralan art form of kathakali is a highly stylised and elaborate form of temple dance, mime and theatre and is understandably renowned. Apart from kathakali, the northern part of Kerala is famous for theyyam, a unique and ancient temple ritual that combines dance, religion, mysticism and ancestor-worship.
To sum up, Kerala is unquestionably a dream destination. The state charms its guests with its old-fashioned settlements, unspoilt coastline, rolling hills and valleys, lush green coconut groves and a spiced perfumed air everywhere you go.
Truly a visit to all the ‘God’s own country’ will certainly rejuvenate your mind and will provide beautiful memories that you will cherish forever.