CITIES OF KERALA
Thiruvananthapuram Museum - Kerala
The verdant land of Kerala has many unique
characteristics that truly make it God's Own Country. It is a coastal
state nestling on the ebullient shores of the Arabian Sea. Resting on the
mist clad pads of beauty are many hill stations, beautifully setting its
eastern limits. Its serene landscape is dominated by extensive rice
fields, banana and coconut plantations, criss-crossed by tranquil channels
of backwaters that promise a memorable holiday to every visitor. The
influence of Jews, Arabs, Syrians, Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch and the
English has enriched the indigenous culture, leaving their eternal
signatures on the exhausted walls of survival. People are wealthier,
healthier, better educated, which gives this palm fringed land an extra
edge over other places of tourist interest in India. No doubt, this leaf
shaped state of southern India has something peerless, something
idiosyncratic that once attracted Vaso da Gama from as far as Portugal and
continues to do so till you are reading this article.
The best part with Kerala's towns and cities is that each of them will offer you a different experience. Each of these capitals have a different story to tell, a different maze to explore. Visit Thiruvananthapuram, the political capital of Kerala. A long shoreline fringed with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, religious architectures and a rich culture makes this district a much sought after tourist destination. See the world famous Chinese fishing nets tucked in the pristine sands of Kochi, often praised as the commercial capital of Kerala. Climb the heights of Munnar and meet the evanescent clouds that cross the lush mountains as you take care to enjoy the hair-pin curves of the Western Ghats. Sail through the shimmering backwaters of Alappuzha, be a part of the colourful Elephant Festival at Thrissur, buy an embroidered Kottayam saree or simply, taste the refreshing South Indian tea on the hills of Wayanad. One thing is for sure, Kerala offers a complete fun holiday, and that too a memorable one through its towns and cities.
Centuries down the line, Thiruvananthapuram, the most important gateway to the palm-fringed land of Kerala, continues to wear its princely statehood on its sleeves. Once the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore, the city now boasts of colossal buidings and palaces, wide, open avenues, lush green gardens and undulating countryside. Visit the Padmanabha Swamy Temple, located in the heart of this old city portraying an impeccable blend of Kerala and the Dravidian styles in numerous beautiful carvings and murals. Said to be one among the 108 ancient Vishnu temples in India, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha, the sacred serpent. Refresh yourself with medicated baths, rejuvenate yourself with herbal diets, and revitalise yourself with meditation at the numerous ayurvedic resorts in Thiruvananthapuram. Run on the pristine sands of the numerous beaches that share their aura with this handsome city. Surely, the political capital of God's own Country is indeed a place to start your holiday vacation in Kerala.
Chinese fishing nets, Kochi - Kerala
Thanks to a drawn out coastline that runs parallel to the
green paddy fields of Kerala, 9 out of its 14 districts have a beach to
boast about. Sprawling over a vast contour of 597 km, these palm-fringed
beaches offer an unique opportunity to watch the ebullient waves of the
Arabian Sea from a close proximity. And of course, there are many ways to
reach the airy heaven, but start your beach itinerary from the Queen of
Arabian Sea. Indeed it's Cochin, one of the finest natural harbours
nestling on the Malabar Coast. Watch fishermen tug at the huge Chinese
fishing nets - believed to be brought here by traders from the court of
Kublai Khan, the Mongolian king - with their huge haul and the solitary
Jewish Synagogue that still reverberates with the archaic glory and
abstruse carvings preserved here!
Drive north to reach the ancient beach of Kappad in the Kozhikode district. Touch the rocks once touched by the great explorer Vasco da Gama when he set his foot in 1498 with 170 men in three vessels, thus discovering a sea route to India. Remember to taste the famous 'Kozhikodan Halwa', seasoned with nuts and raisins and prepared in pure coconut oil, a speciality that will leave you craving for more. Drive 50 km SE of Kozhikode to reach the wave-kissed land of Malappuram. Spend some time of your holiday trip on the pristine sands of Padinjarekkara Beach in Ponnani and explore the fun in messing with them before you experience the two placards of this city - Jasmine and Sea food delicacy. And then prepare yourself to see the giant keyhole, Bekal Fort, an architectural marvel of red sandstone nestling amidst the greens of Kasargod. You can see nimble fingers at work as they spin water-thread coconut fibres into long ropes with a traditional hand-spindle in the suburbs of Kasargod. Don't forget to shop at a number of roadside stalls for brightly coloured coir mats, wall hangings and carpets as a sign of this magnificent city.
A holiday trip to Kerala is incomplete without a night
stay on the shimmering backwaters of God's own country. It is not complete
unless you see the silhouettes of the Chinese fishing nets that billow
from massive bamboo poles against the backdrop of a setting sun. It is not
complete unless you cheer for the exciting snake boat races that glide
their way through the emerald waters of the Vembanad lake. Step out of
your adorable home to reach the green land of Alappuzha, south Indian
gateway to labyrinthine backwaters. Plan a holiday trip to the land that
equally attracts hundreds of migratory birds and tourists to its
backwaters, a land where the canopy is the family vehicle, a land that
pulsates with gigantic snake boat races, but also doesn't forget to offer
toddy during moods of merriment.
Affording an impeccable blend of scenic surrounding, tradition and hospitality, Kollam is often referred to as the dreamland of Kerala. Your vacation trip to this cashewland is surely going to be memorable. Get a tan, build sandcastles, or simply sift sand through your toes at the Thirumullavaram beach in Kollam district.
Kollam City at Night - Kerala
Turn the fate of your holiday in Kerala with a visit to the elephant marched wilds of Kerala. The jungles of this palm fringed land are an unique experience. spend your mornings and afternoons looking for varied species of flora and fauna. Ride an elephant, make a black-tailed drongo fly or simply capture the merriment of the amusing animals in your cams. Drive to Thekkady and you can have the pleasure of seeing elephants playing amidst lush hills and the mesmerizing aroma of cardamom. Trace the pugmarks of the Great Indian Tigers and see playful otters diving deep into the emarald waters of the lake at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady. For an open-air wild performance, turn the wheels of your car towards the hills of Wayanad. Stroll through the lush geen tea gardens, take a bath in mind-blowing waterfalls, and look for some bizarre species of birds and animals nestling in the bushes.
Hidden away in the heights of the western ghats or the
troughs of the paddy plains, Kerala has a number of enchanting vacation
spots. Embroidered with wreathed roads, rivulets, gushing springs and
waterfalls, these green towns of Kerala offer a different world where
tranquility abounds. Enjoy a heavenly ride through the sprawling tea
plantations to reach Munnar, the most famous hill station of Kerala. You
can even see the world famous Neelakurinji, the exotic flower that bathes
these hills once in twelve years.
Drive on the lap of the western ghats to reach the plains of Kottayam, famous for its rubber plantations and exquisite 'sarees'. Visit the ayurvedic capital of Kerala, Kannur. Rejuvenate yourself with various asanas, made to soothe both the body and the soul. Practice a couple of Pranayams and sleep, breathe, bath, take food, relax and lead life in an ideal way during your stay in the greens of Kannur. Visit the enticing land of Palakkad. Walk along the lush paddy fields, visit the ancient temples, let your hair down during the festivals and take the best from the bag of your holiday. Remember to taste the mouth-watering Palakkad delicacies and listen to the euphonic beats of Panchvadyam before you move ahead to other detinations in the state.
Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) and a number of private tour operators provide sight seeing opportunities through the Kerala countryside, which is a memorable way to experience the Malayali village life and handloom industries. The best way is obviously a backwater cruise, but you can also avail the land or the air way, as par your interests and budgets. Kerala has three airports at its 3 major gateways - Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. Besides the cities are appreciably linked with intricate railway and road networks, that make journeys in God's own country a favoured choice. Tourists can enjoy ample sport opportunities in its cities and even trivial towns; boat race, safari, trek, angeling etc. In short, it is well said that you don't have to compromise in the modest towns and cities of God's own country.
Highlights of Cities of Kerala
Variant Hues of Kerala Cities
The Political Capital of Malayali Culture
Explore The Queen of Arabian Sea
Serenity In Beach Destinations
Backwaters Won't Hold You Back
South & Beaches