July 14, 2024
Best Things to Do in Kerala

Discovering the Best Things to Do in Kerala: A Guide to God’s Own Country

Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” is a stunning destination on the southwestern coast of India. Known for its lush landscapes, serene backwaters, vibrant culture, and rich traditions, Kerala offers a myriad of experiences for travelers. Whether you are a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, or someone looking to unwind, Kerala has something special for everyone. Here’s a guide to some of the best things to do in Kerala.

1. Explore the Backwaters

One of the most iconic experiences in Kerala is exploring its tranquil backwaters. The extensive network of lakes, canals, and rivers offers a unique perspective of the state’s natural beauty. Hiring a houseboat in Alleppey or Kumarakom allows you to cruise through these waterways, surrounded by lush greenery, paddy fields, and traditional villages. The slow-paced journey provides an opportunity to witness daily life along the banks and enjoy the serene environment.

2. Visit Munnar’s Tea Plantations

Munnar, located in the Western Ghats, is famous for its rolling hills and expansive tea plantations. A visit to Munnar is a must for nature lovers and tea enthusiasts. You can tour the tea estates, learn about the tea-making process, and taste some of the finest tea. The region also offers picturesque landscapes, waterfalls, and trekking opportunities, making it a perfect spot for both relaxation and adventure.

3. Experience Ayurvedic Treatments

Kerala is renowned for its traditional Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. Many resorts and wellness centers across the state offer authentic Ayurvedic massages, treatments, and wellness programs. These therapies, rooted in ancient practices, aim to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing massage or a comprehensive wellness retreat, Kerala’s Ayurvedic centers provide a holistic approach to health and well-being.

4. Enjoy the Beaches

Kerala boasts some stunning beaches along its coastline. Kovalam Beach, with its crescent-shaped shoreline and lighthouse, is a popular destination for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Varkala Beach is another favorite, known for its dramatic cliffs and therapeutic mineral springs. For a more tranquil experience, visit the secluded Marari Beach, where you can unwind amidst pristine surroundings.

5. Witness Traditional Art Forms

Kerala’s rich cultural heritage is showcased through its traditional art forms. Kathakali, a classical dance-drama known for its elaborate costumes and makeup, is a mesmerizing performance that depicts stories from Hindu epics. Mohiniyattam, another classical dance, embodies grace and elegance. You can also enjoy Theyyam, a ritualistic dance that involves elaborate body paint and costumes. Watching these performances provides insight into Kerala’s artistic and cultural traditions.

6. Explore Wildlife Sanctuaries

For wildlife enthusiasts, Kerala offers several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady is home to elephants, tigers, and a variety of other wildlife. You can take a boat ride on Periyar Lake to spot animals in their natural habitat. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park are other notable reserves where you can enjoy safari rides and explore diverse flora and fauna.

7. Visit Historical and Cultural Sites

Kerala has a rich historical and cultural heritage, evident in its various temples, palaces, and forts. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram is an architectural marvel and a significant religious site. The Dutch Palace and Jewish Synagogue in Kochi offer a glimpse into the state’s colonial past. Exploring these sites provides a deeper understanding of Kerala’s history and cultural influences.

8. Savor Kerala Cuisine

Kerala’s cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors and spices, with seafood playing a significant role. Enjoying a traditional Kerala meal served on a banana leaf is a must-do experience. Dishes like appam with stew, Kerala sadya (a feast with multiple dishes), and seafood delicacies such as karimeen pollichathu (pearl spot fish) are highlights. Don’t miss tasting the famous Kerala parotta and delicious payasam (a sweet dessert).

9. Take a Spice Plantation Tour

Kerala’s spice plantations are another attraction worth exploring. Located primarily in Thekkady and Wayanad, these plantations grow a variety of spices, including cardamom, pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. A guided tour of these plantations allows you to learn about the cultivation and processing of spices. You can also purchase fresh spices to take home, making it a fragrant and flavorful experience.

10. Participate in Festivals

Kerala is known for its vibrant festivals, which are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. Onam, the harvest festival, is marked by elaborate feasts, traditional dances, and boat races. The Thrissur Pooram is a grand temple festival featuring processions of caparisoned elephants and traditional percussion music. Participating in these festivals provides a unique insight into the cultural fabric of Kerala and offers a memorable experience.

Conclusion

Kerala, with its diverse attractions and experiences, truly lives up to its moniker of “God’s Own Country.” From the serene backwaters and lush tea plantations to the vibrant cultural performances and delectable cuisine, Kerala offers a rich tapestry of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Kerala has something to offer. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to discover the best things to do in Kerala.