North Kerala, also known as Malabar, is a region in the state of Kerala, India. It is located in the northern part of the state and is known for its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and historical significance. Here are some footnotes about North Kerala:
- Geographical Location: North Kerala encompasses the districts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and parts of Malappuram. It is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Western Ghats to the east, and the state of Karnataka to the north.
- Cultural Diversity: North Kerala is culturally diverse and has a significant Muslim and Hindu population. The region is known for its harmonious coexistence of different religious and cultural communities.
- Historical Significance: North Kerala has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It was an important trading center for spices and other commodities, attracting various civilizations and colonial powers. The region has seen the influence of the Chera dynasty, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British.
- Theyyam: Theyyam is a popular ritualistic art form unique to North Kerala. It combines dance, music, and elaborate costumes. Theyyam performances are held in temples and are considered sacred by the local communities.
- Beaches and Backwaters: North Kerala is known for its pristine beaches and serene backwaters. The beaches of Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasaragod are popular tourist destinations. The backwaters of Valiyaparamba and Kavvayi are famous for their scenic beauty.
- Cuisine: North Kerala offers a distinct culinary experience. Malabar cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and the generous use of spices. Biriyani, Malabar Parotta, and seafood delicacies are some of the highlights of the local cuisine.
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in the Western Ghats, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a major attraction in North Kerala. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and various species of birds.
- Folklore and Handicrafts: North Kerala has a rich tradition of folklore and handicrafts. The region is known for its vibrant folk dances like Oppana and Kaikottikali. It is also famous for its handloom industry, producing exquisite textiles like Kasavu sarees and Malmal fabric.
- Festivals: North Kerala celebrates numerous festivals with great enthusiasm. The Theyyam festival, Malabar Mahotsavam, and Onam are some of the prominent festivals celebrated in the region. These festivals showcase the cultural heritage and religious traditions of the local communities.
- Eco-tourism: With its lush green forests, wildlife sanctuaries, and scenic landscapes, North Kerala offers excellent opportunities for eco-tourism. Places like Silent Valley National Park, Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach, and Thusharagiri Waterfalls attract nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
These footnotes provide a glimpse into the diverse and culturally rich region of North Kerala. Exploring this part of Kerala allows visitors to immerse themselves in its vibrant traditions, natural beauty, and historical significance.
Vital statistics State Capital: Thiruvananthapuram (commonly known as Trivandrum)
Population: 35 million.
Language(s) : Malayalam (official), though English and Hindi are widely spoken.
Time: GMT+5.5 International dialing code: +91
Visas: Apply for an e-visa in advance (indianvisaonline.gov.in).
Money: The Indian rupee (INR)
Credit cards are widely accepted and there are ATMs in cities.
When To Go
Kerala is a warm year-round with relatively little seasonal variation in temperature (27°C – 29°C).
December to March is the dry, peak season. From June to August the south-west monsoon drenches the state. Lighter, less frequent rain can also be expected in April, May, and September to November. Traditional weather patterns are becoming decreasingly reliable.
Most Theyyan performances happen from November to April.
Health & Safety
For the latest on entry requirements, including COVID-19, visit the site (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/). Kerala’s one of the safer parts of India. Take precautions such as only eating peeled fruit and cooked vegetables, and do not drink tap water. All hotels and restaurants provide filtered water. The best way to avoid both stomach upsets and single-use plastic is to have a water-filtering bottle. The sea is often rough with a treacherous undertow, so swim with care.
Etihad Airways (etihad.com) expect to resume flights to Calicut (Kozhikode Airport) via Abu Dhabi. Alternatively, BA or Virgin connect at either Delhi or Mumbai and then on to Cochin (Kochi) International Airport from there.
Include a Taxi car as part of a pre-arranged package. Except for those on backpacker-basic budgets, this is the norm. There is a railway all the way up the Malabar coast, and bus services to Wayanad. In towns, auto-rickshaws are the easy option.
Food & Drink
With such a long coastline, fish and seafood predominate and are offered in a variety of spicy sauces. More surprisingly, Keralans also eat quite a lot of meat, even beef. As everywhere in India, there are always plentiful vegetarian dishes. The fruit’s delicious, especially the creamy, finger-sized bananas. Kerala has fairly strict laws on alcohol, with beer and wine available only in top hotels.