- Cruise the Backwaters on a Houseboat
At trip to Kerala wouldn’t be complete without a trip along the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat. The lush green palm-fringed landscape, diverse wildlife, and houses and villages that line the backwaters make a journey along these waterways seem like a journey through another world. It’s one of the most tranquil things you can do. The Kerala backwaters are a memorable backdrop for a romantic Kerala getaway as well.
- Experience Traditional Village Life
Kerala’s famous backwaters are dotted with small villages where it feels like time has stood still. Visiting them is a very different way of experiencing the backwaters and the life that exists along them. You can even have a meal with a local family there and hear their stories.
- Get an Ayurvedic Treatment
Ayurveda is the medical side of yoga. It’s India’s traditional natural healing system, which has been practiced for over 5,000 years. Most places that offer Ayurvedic treatment are located in Kerala, due to the climate and abundant supply of medicinal plants and herbs there. Whether it’s a simple massage that you’re after, or a treatment for a medical problem, Kerala is the place to get it.The rainy, monsoon season is the best time to receive Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala. The cool, moist, and dust free atmosphere helps the body’s pores to open up, making it most receptive to herbal oils and therapy.
4.Festivals in Kerala
One of the highlights of visiting Kerala is experiencing the state’s unique festivals. The most popular ones occur during the following months:
- July to September: Snake boat races. The biggest race, called the Nehru Cup, is always held on the second Saturday of August every year. The Splash monsoon carnival and Aanayottu elephant feeding ritual also take place during July.
- August/September: Onam festival. The biggest festival of the year in Kerala, celebrations last for around two weeks. Join in the celebrations at these 5 Kerala Onam festival attractions (with dates).
- October to May: Theyyam. The small town of Kannur, in northern Kerala, is known for its mysterious masked spirit-possession theyyam rituals. Kerala Tourism has a comprehensive calendar of theyyam events.
- February to April/May: Elephant festivals. The festivals feature large processions of bejeweled elephants, drummers and other musicians, colorful floats carrying gods and goddesses, and fireworks. The most well known elephant festival, the Thrissur Pooram, takes place in late April or early May each year.
- Get a Cooking Lesson or Take a Food Tour
Kerala is renowned for its cuisine, featuring delicious seafood and coconut flavors. If you’re not content to simply feast on it and would also like to learn how to cook Kerala style, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a wide range of options available. They range from proper residential culinary holidays to casual cooking lessons.
- Catch a Kathakali Performance
Kathakali is a very unusual and ancient form of dance-drama that’s traditional to Kerala. You won’t get to see performers dressed up like this every day, that’s for sure! The look, with its red bloodshot eyes, borders on grotesque. The movements of the dance are subtle, yet they tell a meaningful mythological story. Performers are required to undergo intense training, including hours of eye exercises, when learning the art of Kathakali.
- Catch a Theyyam Performance
The small town of Kannur, in northern Kerala, is known for its secluded beaches, mysterious masked spirit-possession theyyam rituals, and hand loom weaving. The theyyam season runs from October until May and Kerala Tourism has a comprehensive calendar of theyyam events.
- Watch Kerala’s Ancient Martial Arts
Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial arts from practiced in Kerala. It features strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods. One place to see it is being performed at the Kadathanadan Kalari Center in Thekkaday. Travspire also offers a group tour from Kochi.
- Watch a Snake Boat Race
For a few months every year during the monsoon season, Kerala comes alive with colorful snake boat races. Typical snake boats are 100 to 120 feet long, and hold around 100 rowers. Each of the villages in the region has its own snake boat, which they take great pride in. Every year the villagers get together and race the boats along the lakes and rivers. (Nehru Trophy)
- Taste Tea
Tea production is big business in Kerala. The state has two of the top 5 places to visit tea plantations in India — Munnar and Wayanad. You can stay in atmospheric accommodations on a tea plantation, see how tea is processed, and of course sample it. If you’re feeling energetic, the hills surrounding both these places have great trekking opportunities as well.
- Try Some Toddy
Toddy,Kerala’s indigenous alcoholic drink, is made from the sap of palm trees. The sap is collected by a tapper, who climbs the tree and drains it into a container. It’s sweet when extracted but on fermentation will turn sour and give a kick. Toddy (also called kallu) is served in small thatched shops, usually with wooden benches, all over Kerala. Tasty Kerala cuisine is dished up with the toddy. However, these toddy shops are traditionally the domain of men.
Kerala does not have very harsh weather conditions. That is all the more reason for visitors to come here during any time of the year. Summers and winters are pleasant with very slight variations in temperature. Thus, Kerala can be visited anytime of the year.
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