Kerala is not like many places in India, it's tranquil backwaters and almost isolated character makes it the perfect getaway from the car horns of Delhi. I could sit and watch the fisherman on the backwaters all day. The unique fishing methods are fascinating to watch whilst tucking into the flavoursome dishes that India has to offer. I love the palm-lined beaches and it's network of canals.
Kerala is rumoured to be India's most serene and beautiful state. It's located in Southern India and offers everything that a traveller could wish for. Kerala has 600KM of Arabian sea beaches, magical backwaters and even has spice and tea-covered hills of Western Ghats. Kerala is not just home to the kindest of individuals but a home to wild elephants, an assortment of wild birds and national parks. (Top things to see and do coming soon)
The History of
Kerala or 'God's own Country' as it's known is one of the smallest states in the Indian union. The history of this part of India is mainly shaped by geography. According to mythical legend the God Vishnu in one of his ten forms threw an axe into the sea. The sea parted and land rose from the depths and formed costal lands. These were known as Cher-alam which means added land or Kerala.
The region for at least 3,000 years attracted fisherman, settlers from abroad and merchants to the small region. Kerala is blessed with beautiful landscapes and diverse ecology. It was also the place where European Colonisation first started in India.
It was the Portugese who discovered a route between Lisbon and Kozhikode, Kerala. This marked the begining of European colonisation. The wealth of spices and silk attracted the Dutch, French, Italians and British to the region, they came with the intention of forming colonies.
The Dutch arrived after the Portugese, in the year 1592 the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company. In 1604 the Dutch army arrived at the Malabar coast. This arrival marked the beginning of another European dominance chapter, with the army profiting from the rivalry between Kochi and Kozhikode. The Dutch rule only lasted a short period, until the British came. The British supremacy began in the mid seventeenth century and would continue for the next 200 years. When the British gained full influence in the country the Malabar region turned into the British Madras Presidency. Cochin and Travancore remained independent.
After India's independence both Cochin and Travancore decided to merge into a single state called Travncore-Cochin. The Malayalam-speaking regions in both Malabar and Travancore-Cochin were integrated into the State of Kerala, due to the linguistic reorganisation of States. November the 1st 1956 was when the two kingdoms were included into the state of Kerala and so November the 1st is celebrated as the Birth of Kerala day.
Kerala is known as God's own Country
Kerala has so much culture, varied landscapes and unmissable flavours. The jumble of fern green, a murky ocean blue and cedar coloured ground compliments the landscape. The infectious smiles from the children, the richness of spices and silk and the beeping of the tuk tuk computes to Kerala's magic.
For solo and young travellers Kerala is very safe. It's one of the safest regions in India and the crime rate with tourists is almost non-existent. The healthcare and education system in Kerala is a very good standard, as well as a high standard of living compared to other regions in India.
Kerala is the perfect getaway. Stay in the most beautiful eco lodge's in the area, indulge in oil massages or spend the morning on the beach. The tourist trail in Kerala is not largely based on sightseeing opportunities, but a chance to become immersed into the culture. Kerala has beaches, the back waters and high altitude mountains.
Kerala is also a hot spot for treatments such as Ayurveda. Ayurveda treatment is India's oldest holistic treatment. It explores the idea that wellness is dependent on a balance between mind, body and spirit.
It rains a lot in Kerala, it is one of the wettest areas on earth. It's tropical climate is due to it's close position to the equator.
- Summer: Mid feb - mid May. Temperatures can reach 35°C.
- Monsoon season: Mid May - early sept.
- Mild weather: Mid Oct - early feb. The hill areas do become cool and misty, but on lower ground the weather is tropical.
There is still heavy rain that occurs between the end of Sept until early Nov.
Transport to Kerala is very easy with airports located in Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram and Karipur. Travelling via train is also pretty easy, if you're travelling from other regions in India. If you are visiting India, a ride on the train is a necessity. Once you have arrived in Kerala visiting areas by Tuk Tuk is very easy and cheap, taxi's are available as well as trains.
Have you visited Kerala?
Stay tuned: More posts on Kerala soon!