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Kerala – Gods Own country

Posted in : Travel on by : Simmi Iyer

Kerala, a state situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Named as one of the ten paradises of the world by National Geographic Traveler, Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives and beautiful backwaters.

Kerala has an endless list of tourist destinations that will interest any traveler. Renowned for its scenic locations and natural beauty, Kerala is sure to enchant any nature lover with its hills, backwaters, beaches, waterfalls and wildlife. The state also has a rich heritage and thriving culture one can explore by visiting the various forts, palaces, museums, monuments and pilgrim centers. Both natural and manmade brilliance await you at every turn.

The festival season, the pride and joy of Kerala, is epitomised by the ferocious beats of the chenda (drums) emanating across the landscape. Elephants march across towns and the rivers surge with massive 100 feet long snake boats in a display that can only be experienced in an area renowned as God’s Own Country. The entire State celebrates together as the land is covered in a plethora of lights and merriment.

Our festivals celebrate the traditions passed down by our ancestors. Be it Onam, Eid or Christmas, all of Kerala rejoices with one spirit to bring the entire coastal State to life. From seeing mystical figures come to life during Theyyam performances to strolling across various churches and mosques where the lights and displays are at their best during perunnals and memorials, every nook and cranny of our State has something to offer to each traveller.

Onam is the State festival which is celebrated by every household across the land. According to mythology, Mahabali was an Asura (demon) king who brought about peace and prosperity in the land. He makes his yearly rounds to check on his loyal subjects during the harvest festival of Onam. Malayalis invite him into their houses with aplomb to celebrate his homecoming and show him that the prosperity and contentment of his reign continues even to this day. Onasadya or vegetarian feasts with up to 60 separate dishes that are served are a highlight of this festival.

From religious occasions to festivals for specific deities, Kerala is home to a great heritage of festivals. The festivals of Kerala personify the very spirit and essence of the land and these experiences will be forever etched in your heart.

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