So you’re planning to visit Kerala this year? Good idea! It’s not by chance that Kerala is currently one of the most sought after holiday destinations on Earth: there are many things to see and do here throughout the year, and no matter what your interests are you’ll find something that appeals to you. This article will provide a quick reference of the main highlights available in “God’s Own Country”.
Enjoy the Beaches
There are over 400 miles of coastline in Kerala, with a prime location facing the Arabic sea. As such, you will find many glorious stretch of sand here – most notably Kovalam, Varkala, and Bekal Beach. It’s worth spending a good time on the sand, but remember there is so much to see and do during your Holiday in Kerala.
Take the Riverboats
Moving away from the beaches, you’ll come across a vast, intricate network of rivers that is locally known as the “Backwaters”. There are many boats cruising around there day and night – including many touristic cruise boats you can rent. There are also many jaw-dropping lagoons and waterfalls along the way, as well as plenty of opportunities to observe the local wildlife along the shores.
Ride an Elephant
Speaking of local animals, the elephant should not go unnoticed. After all, there are many elephant trainers available in the area, and riding an elephant is integral part to the experience of visiting Kerala (or India, for that matter). You should try it, at least once in your life!
Visit Arts&Crafts Centers
For anyone interested in native arts & crafts, the city of Kozhikode (also known as Calicut) is a mandatory visit. In its outskirts, you’ll come across villages such as Sargaalaya where the entire population is dedicated to producing all kinds of arts and crafts, making for a huge marketplace as well as kind of live museum.
This is one of the local traditional performances that you should not miss. Theyyam (or Theyyattam) is a sacred dance that involves intricate costumes, heavy make-up, ritual drums and dancing. It is a rather intense and exotic experience, especially for outsiders!
Kathakalhi Shows are some ways similar to Theyyam. However, these shows are clearly meant to be entertainment rather than worship – as such, the movements are more energetic and dramatic, and the surrounding emotions tend to be more upbeat and festive (contrasting Theyyam performances which lean towards the dramatic side)
Kalaripayattu is an ancient Indian martial art, which is said to be among the oldest in the world. There are many choreographed bouts available around Kerala, meant to showcase just what is possible in this style of fight. Contestants jump and twirl and in a fierce confrontation that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen elsewhere.
There is a strong tradition in Kerala going back countless generations, when it comes to Ayurveda; this is actually a form of traditional medicine that relies on massages and ointments, which has become increasingly popular as an alternative medicine. If you visit Kerala, you should take the opportunity to experience this special massage that soothes body and mind.
For anyone who enjoys mountaineering and trekking, there are vast grounds to be explored in Kerala. In fact, there are so many amazing natural sceneries that it would take months to see everything; but if you’re short on time, we recommend heading to the natural Sandalwood forests In Marayoor for a unique and fragrant experience.
There are many religious temples throughout Kerala, and in specific days of the year they will open doors and host all kinds of extravagant and colorfulcelebrations meant to honor the local deities. Temple Festival seasons goes from February to May each year, and for those interested in watching local traditions this is probably the best time to visit.