Kerala – The Diamond of India

Kerala state consists of almost 600km of glorious Arabian Sea coast and beaches. It owns a network of glistening backwaters; and the spice and tea-covered hills of the Western Ghats. Kerala the most beautiful place of all places I have traveled within India.

After having traveld, New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Barathpur, Bangalore, and Mysore this last destination was my favorite one. After having seen too many people, too many, smells, too many tuktuks and just too much of everyting, I was so glad to arrive in a peaceful and calming place.

The state has the highest media exposure in India (newspapers publishing in nine languages, mainly English and Malayalam). Kerala is one of the popular tourist destinations of India, with backwaters, beaches, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery as its major attractions(1).

The city I fell in love with was Kochi, a major port city on the south-west coast of India. Kochi also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, was an important spice trading centre on the west coast from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in colonial India(1).

Another place I got mezmerized by is Allepey (Alappuzha). Alappuzha is a muncipality in Kerala with an urban population of only 174,164 and is third among the districts having highest literacy rate in Kerala. The major occupation in Alappuzha is farming. The Rice Bowl of Kerala, Kuttanadu is located in Alappuzha. The presence of a lot of backwaters and canals makes water transport a popular mean of transportation (1).

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BACKPACKERS

Accommodation:  Hostel Vedanta Wake Up!

Restaurant to eat: Dal Roti  Restaurant

Have a look at the fishing nets
Tops among Kerala’s iconic photo the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. Those were made in the 1400s  and line today the harbour at Kochi (Cochin).They form unreal silhouettes against the seascape and provide some dramatic pictures.

Visit the beaches!
– Varkala
Standing on a cliff and overlooking the waters of the Arabian Sea, this backpackers’ paradise boasts some dazzling sands  to relax on.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do
Take a taxi boat through the backwaters. 1-2 hours each way!! Amazing experience!

Rent a houseboat in Allepey
…with your own cook and driver:  No trip to Kerala is complete without a boat ride on its idyllic backwaters. Coconut plantations, turquoise lakes, and placid lagoons are the perfect place to shake off  urban stress. For a special experience, spend the night aboard a houseboat to enhance your tourism experience to a maximum extent and witness a sunrise break  at dawn.

Traditional Indian therapeutic wisdom and practices:
Do you want to take care of your body, mind and soul,then choose an ayurvedic spa/massage all around Kerala. Feel your senses come alive with a revitalising full body aromatherapy or herbal massage. Rebirth feeling guarateed.

Watch a Kathakali show, or don’t:
Kathakali, Kerala’s very own classical dance tradition dating back to the 17th century, is a highly-celebrated performing art known for its colourful make-up, crazy costumes and graceful movements. This is being adviced by many people and guides. I was not a big fan of this performacen myself, but who am I to judge, go and experience it yourself.

(1) Wikipedia

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