of the most sought after tourist destinations of Asia, Kerala
been showered with unique geographical features by nature. Kerala boasts of
the most spellbinding travel destinations, which are within an hour's drive
from each other. With the Arabian Sea on the west, the Western Ghats
towering to an altitude of 700 metres above sea level and a network of forty
four rivers, Kerala is a must on every tourist's itinerary. Palm-fringed
beaches, tranquil stretches of backwaters, lofty peaks, gurgling waterfalls
and exotic wildlife make Kerala truly the 'God's Own Country'.
Sandwiched between the Lakshwadeep Sea and the Western
Ghats, Kerala is a bustling little green-and-silver, coconuts-and-water
state on the west coast of India. It is bounded by Karnataka to the north,
Tamil Nadu to the east, and the Arabian Sea to the west. Thiruvananthapuram
is its capital. Every district in Kerala has it's own
unique culture and characteristics.
Thiruvananthapuram is known for
it's beach- Kovalam, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple and various museums and
palaces; Alappuzha for it's backwaters, Thrissur, the cultural capital,
Kottayam for it's ancient churches, Kozhikode for it's old world charm and
the entrancing Ponmudi or Golden valley.
Though a bit of a
tongue-twister, Thiruvananthapuram - the present official name, is closer to
it's mythological origins. The word ' Thiru ananthapuram' means the city of
Anantha or the abode of the sacred thousand-headed serpent Anantha, who
forms the couch on which reclines Lord Vishnu, the preserver in the Hindu
trinity. Built on seven hills, it was the capital of the
The city has grown as a tourist and commercial
centre, with the International airport becoming the main gateway into
Kerala. Being the state capital, it also throbs with political activity.
Athirapilly Waterfalls :
Major Attractions of Kerala
Athirappalli and Vazhachal, the
two scenic and popular waterfalls on the edge of the Sholayar forest ranges
are just 5 km apart. The falls are very popular with tourists. Athirappally
is located 78 kms from Kochi, located at the entrance to Sholayar ranges,
this waterfall is a popular picnic spot.
Affording to the
onlookers, one of the most bewitching sights, Athirappally Falls is about
80ft. high and located in the forest area. Combined with the greenery, it
infuses freshness into any tired soul. The Athirapally Falls join the
Chalakkudy River after plummeting a drop of 80 feet. Kovalam
On the Malabar coast along the Kerala shore line is a small
village, called Kovalam. This sleepy town suddenly came on the tourist map
when its fabulous beaches were discovered.
Today Kovalam has
become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a
grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives
it a ravishing look.
The palm-fringed bays in secluded coconut
groves, promise a relaxed stay. The boundless blue waters of the Arabian Sea
and miles of white sands washed away by the surf at the feet of the stalwart
palms and the rocky promontories, makes this beach paradise. This marvellous
beach is a tourist's dream come true. Kappad Beach
Kappad, the historic beach. It is the beach where Vasco da Gama landed
on the 27th of May, 1498 with 170 men in three vessels, thus discovering a
sea route to India. The rock studded beach is locally known as Kappakadavu.
An interesting feature of the landscape is the sprawling rock that protrudes
into the sea. The temple on the rock is believed to be 800 years old.
solitary pillar commemorates the event with the inscription, "Vasco da
Gama landed here, Kappakadavu, in the year 1498". The sea here is
placid and seemingly untouched by history or time. Edakkal
Situated on Ambukuthi Hills, Edakkal caves are 10 kilometers
from Sultanbathery, in Wayanad district. Formed by a large split in a huge
rock, the two natural rock formations represent the world's richest
pictographic gallery of its kind. The two caves located at a height of 1000m
on Ambukutty Mala near Ambalavayal can be accessed only by a 1 km trek trail
from Edakkal. Edakkal literally means 'a stone in between'.
a prehistoric rock shelter formed naturally out of a strange disposition of
three huge boulders making one to rest on the other two, with its bottom
jutting out in between and serving as the roof. Edakkal rock engravings
stand out distinct among the magnitude of prehistoric visual archives of
paintings and graphic signs all over the world.
Festivals of Kerala
10-day annual festival in January at Sreekandeswaram Temple,
Thiruvananthapuram. In February, is the week-long Nishagandhi Dance
festival; Pooram festival in Thrissur around April-May; Flavor Food
Festival, at the Kanakakunnu Palace grounds, Thiruvananthapuram in May.
Onam Week celebrations, the annual harvest festival of Kerala
begins in August and lasts for 10 days. Another important festival is the
annual Pongala Utsavam, to which only women are allowed at the Attukal
Bhagavathy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram. Therayattam festival is held to
propitiate the gods and demons recognized by the pantheon of the Malayalis.
Climate in Kerala
The climate is equable and varies little from season to
season. The temperature normally ranges between 27º and 32º C in
the plains but drops to about 21º C in the highlands.
One aspect of the state's rich cultural heritage is
manifest in its varieties of religious architecture: ancient Hindu temples
with copper-clad roofs, later Islamic mosques with "Malabar gables,"
and colonial Portuguese Baroque churches.
Culture of Kerala
especially murals, exhibit distinct local traditions and styles.
land is a flourishing center of the Kathakali dance form. The state has also
a rich theatre tradition: the only surviving Sanskrit drama, Koottiyattam,
is still performed by the Chakkiars of Kerala. Some principles of the
Natya-Shastra are evident in their presentations.