Top 10 Things to do in Kerala
You've heard about all the wonderful sights, sounds, places and foods of this delicious coastal land. But before you embark on your journey there, here's a quick overview of the 10 most delightful things to experience in God's Own Country.
#10. Watch a Kathakali Performance
Kathakali is a highly stylised classical Keralan play- in-dance form, well known for the attractive make-up of its characters, elaborate costumes, intricate gesturing and hypnotic percussions. It originated during the 17th century and has developed over the years with improvisations in the looks of characters, refining of gestures and added themes.
#9. Opt for a Homestay for Part of Your Visit
Live with any of the ultra-hospitable local families, eat their food, interact with them and observe their culture and lifestyle at close quarters for a day. The most authentic way to experience the state of Kerala!
#8. Visit the Iringal Crafts Village
The Kerala Tourism Department has set up an exclusive crafts village in Kozhikode where traditional artisans showcase their skills and products and visiting tourists can pick up one or two lessons in the subtleties of crafts-making. Products and art pieces are crafted with different raw materials such as banana fibre, coir, bamboo, sand, coconut shells, husk, palm leaves, coconut leaves and screw-pine. Great place for souvenir shopping!
#7. Watch a Kalaripayattu Bout
This ancient martial art form of Kerala is regarded as one of the oldest and most scientific of its kind in the world. It aims at perfecting the co-ordination between the mind and body. Techniques like chaattom (jumping), ottam (running) and marichil (somersaulting) are taught, followed by training in the use of combat weapons such as daggers, swords, spears, maces, and bow and arrow. An absolute treat to watch!
#6. Explore the Sandalwood Forests at Marayoor
Located at a distance of 40 kms from Munnar, Marayoor enjoys cool weather and high rainfall. It's enchanting to wander through the forests of rare and expensive sandalwood there. You can also make pit-stops at the factory of the Forest Department and Thoovanam Waterfalls en route. Stone-age rock paintings and dolmens (ancient burial chambers made of stone) are also found here.
#5. Take an Elephant Ride
So that you don't ever regret that you came to India and didn't experience the thrill of an elephant ride first hand! The mahouts (elephant handlers) in Kerala are first class and the experience is fun, safe and totally thrilling. It's even possible to arrange a short wildlife safari on an elephant back!
#4. Watch a Theyyam Performance
Theyyam is a form of worship where the dancer dons the elaborate costume and makeup of a fierce God-like warrior and attempts to commune with the Gods through ritualistic/possessed dancing. The performance of Theyyam is supposed to make life prosperous and remove all obstacles.
#3. Take a Boat-ride down the Periyar River
With its frosted silver water and wondrous views of the jungles on either side, an early morning ride down the Periyar River, particularly in winter, is an experience no one ought to miss out on. A boat-ride down Periyar is ranked as one of the Top 10 wildlife safaris in India. Sunrises over the river are simply breathtaking!
#2. Pamper yourself with an Ayurveda Massage
Ayurveda Massage is a combination of ancient science and art. It is recommended for the relaxation of body and mind as well as for stimulation of nerves and muscles. Warm plant and mineral based oils are massaged into the muscles and allowed to seep in overtime using hot towel wraps. It is said that an Ayurveda Massage can greatly reduce the amount of toxins present in the skin, as well as mobilize toxins within the muscles, joints and organs. Ayurveda massages are sinfully relaxing and will be worth your while after all the running around you will likely be doing in Kerala!
#1. Sail down the Alleppey Backwaters at Sunset
Alleppey is renowned for its pristine beaches and picture perfect coconut palm fringes. But the real stunners are the backwaters that snake around this coastal town. Hire a houseboat and kick back with some cool coconut toddy and watch the sun take a blazing red and gold curtain call for the day. An absolute must on your visit to Kerala!