Tourists’ Paradise: Kerala is an enchanting land of exciting charm. Even during the earlier times the magnetism of this land had attracted many foreigners like the Chinese, Arabs, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and the French; all of them left their indelible imprint on the architectural scene of Kerala. While Kerala was willing to accept the positive aspects of various ancient civilizations, it was equally adamant in retaining its rich cultural traditions.
Kerala is also a land of communal harmony. People belonging to different faiths live here in perfect peace and tranquility. In the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, there is a temple, a mosque and a church, all situated within a distance of one furlong. In one of the most popular pilgrim centres at Sabarimala, people belonging to different faiths undertake pilgrimage and worship the deity of Sri Ayyappa. Ayyappa’s Muslim friend, Vavar, is also worshipped there. As far as variety in the place of worship is concerned, you can see a snake temple at Mannarsala, a Jewish synagogue at Mattancherry and a temple without an idol at Ochira.
The beautiful beaches, the misty mountains and the far away forests, all add to the charm of the land. At Kovalam beach near Thiruvananthapuram, one can swim safely in the sea or take a sun bath at the beach or just sit and watch the waves sing lovely lullabies in hushed tones. There are beaches at Varkala, Sanghumugham too.To get a scenic view of majestic mountains, one can visit Munnar, Wynad, Ponmudi and Peermade. The misty mornings here give invigorating moments to people with a ‘poetic heart’.
Cultural Scene: Kerala is a land of festivals. Onam is the biggest festival. It is an occasion for all Keralites irrespective of caste, creed or religion to rejoice. It is a festival of flowers, songs, dances and feasts.
The articulate and educated Malayali has a number of art forms of his own. Koothu, Koodiyattam, Ottamthullal, Kathakali, Thira, Theyyam, are Kerala’s own art forms, which have won international recognition. Since most of the year Kerala enjoys sunshine and blue sky, the dress best suited is light tropical clothing. Monsoon comes to Kerala twice a year, in May June and in October-November. The Kerala monsoon is normally gentle and enjoyable.
The ABC of Kerala tourism is Ayurveda, Backwaters, and Culture. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian health system, developed through centuries of research by sages. It means "Knowledge of Life". It is not only a system to cure diseases but also to maintain perfect health. Ayurveda cares for physical, mental and spiritual life. There are many renowned Ayurveda centres in Kerala which give effective treatment in their own special ways like pizichil, dhara, navarakizhi, shirovasthi, snehapaanam and nasyam.
Kerala backwaters stretch about 2,000 kms. They flow over land giving good harvest to paddy fields, transportation facility to the traveller’s and bathing ghats and even drinking water amenities for the whole villages. The backwaters of Kerala include the entire network of canals, lakes and canal – like water ways. There are about 44 rivers in Kerala, including 41 west-flowing and east-flowing three rivers. The important backwaters are Vembanad Lake, Anjengo, Ashtamudi, Veli, Kodungallur, Chettuva, Snake Boat races held in some of these backwaters present an unusual visual extravaganza.
Kerala’s unique culture is the sum total of its religion, customs and manners, Dance, theatre and music traditions folklore, martial art and architecture. The very articulate and educated Keralites have made hospitality a way of life.
Cuisine of Kerala: The cuisine of Kerala, a state in the south west of India, is linked to its history, geography, demography and culture.
Kerala is known as the "Land of Spices" because it traded spices with Europe as well as with many ancient civilizations with the oldest historical records of the Sumerians from 3000 BCE.
Kerala’s cuisine boasts of a mouth watering menu. For breakfast, Keralites have a wide variety of items like idli, vada, dosa, puttu, upma, idiyappam and vellayappam. For lunch there is rice with a number of curries like sambar, puliseri, rasam, thoran, avial, pachadi, pappad and many pickles. The finishing touch is given by payasams – sweet porridges cooked in milk. For the non-vegetarians, there are different types of fish and meat preparations.
Places of Interest : In no other place in the world, can one see so many tourist spots within such a short distance. The total area of Kerala is only about 1.03 per cent of India’s total area and the total length from South to North is only 574 kms. There are three airports in Kerala , one each at Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin and Kozhikode, of which all are international airports. There is an effective road transport system managed by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation. Private buses also ply in plenty. Most of the important towns are connected by rail. The task of tourism development is being handled by Tourism Department and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation under the State Government. There is a chain of hotels owned by KTDC, which cater to the needs of Indian and foreign tourists at various places of tourist attraction.
Some important places of interest for the tourists are Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the zoo and museum at Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam beach, Neyyar dam, Ponmudi resorts, Varkala Beach and temple, backwaters in Alapuzha, Krishnapuram Palace, and Kumarakam Tourist complex. Other places worth seeing are Adirappalli water falls, Kalady, the birthplace of Sri Sankara, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and Dutch Palace in Cochin, Thekkady wildlife sanctuary, Vadakkumnathan temple at Thrissur and Sri Krishna temple at Guruvayur, Palaruvi Water falls, Malampuzha dam, Beypore, Wyand, and the National Park at Silent Valley. Kerala which is a tourists paradise, has been aptly described as "God’s Own country".