Kerala, the land of wonders included in the National Geographic Traveller’s list of the World’s Ten Paradises Found.
Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” is a state located in the southwestern region of India. It is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a high literacy rate. Let’s explore why Kerala is often considered the land of wonders:
- Backwaters: Kerala is famous for its enchanting backwaters, a network of serene lakes, canals, and lagoons that run parallel to the Arabian Sea. The backwaters offer a unique and tranquil experience, where you can cruise on traditional houseboats called “kettuvallams” and witness the picturesque beauty of the surrounding palm-fringed landscapes.
- Hill Stations: The state is home to several scenic hill stations such as Munnar, Wayanad, and Thekkady. These places boast lush tea and coffee plantations, mist-covered mountains, and cascading waterfalls. They provide a refreshing escape from the tropical heat and offer opportunities for trekking, wildlife spotting, and exploring the region’s biodiversity.
- Wildlife Sanctuaries: Kerala is blessed with abundant wildlife and hosts several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Periyar Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park, and Silent Valley National Park are among the prominent ones. These sanctuaries are home to various endangered species like tigers, elephants, leopards, and many rare bird species.
- Ayurveda: Kerala is renowned for its ancient holistic healing system known as Ayurveda. The state offers numerous Ayurvedic wellness centers and resorts where visitors can rejuvenate their body and mind through therapies, massages, and natural treatments. It is a unique opportunity to experience the traditional healing methods and achieve overall well-being.
- Cultural Heritage: Kerala has a rich cultural heritage that is deeply rooted in its traditions, arts, and festivals. The state is known for its classical dance forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, and Theyyam, which are performed with elaborate costumes and expressive movements. The annual boat race known as the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alleppey is a major attraction, showcasing the traditional sport of snake boat racing.
- Beaches: Kerala boasts some of the most pristine and captivating beaches in India. Kovalam, Varkala, and Marari are popular beach destinations, offering golden sands, palm-fringed shorelines, and stunning sunsets. These beaches are not only great for relaxation but also provide opportunities for water sports like surfing, parasailing, and kayaking.
- Cuisine: Kerala’s cuisine is a culinary delight, known for its unique flavors and the generous use of coconut, spices, and seafood. The traditional Kerala Sadhya (feast) served on a banana leaf is a must-try, featuring a variety of vegetarian dishes and desserts. The state is also famous for its spicy fish curries, appam (rice pancakes), and delicious seafood delicacies.
These are just a few highlights that make Kerala the land of wonders. The state’s natural beauty, cultural vibrancy, and warm hospitality continue to captivate travelers from around the world, offering a truly memorable experience.