Mesmerize yourself...........

Breathe New Life in Kerala :

I feel so pround being an Indian morover being a Keralite. Yes...! I feel myself fortunate enough to be a part of this great God's Own Country. And it would be my privilege to scribble something about this gorgeous land and pass it on to the other parts of the world. Kerala is a microcosm of the Indian sub continent. With all the major religions, languages, cuisine, varied cultures, ancient systems of medicine,undulating topography and a chequered history of spice trade and colonialism .

Kerala is truely a multicultural society that boasts of a social health index comparable to western nations; indigenous, colourful art and ritual dances from Kathakali to Kalaripayattu and Theyyam; the ancient system of medicine, Ayurveda; its unique, winding waterways known as `backwaters’; its damp paddy fields lower than sea level; its forests home to some of the rarest wildlife and plant species; its verdant, clean beaches - all these have earned Kerala the sobriquet, `God’s own country’.

Mythology :

" I have wandered into a lunatic asylum ", says Swami Vivekananda . As for Kerala, there are many myth prevailing regarding this land and the most popular mythological story about Kerala was that this  land rose from the sea where the axe- landed thrown in penance for waging the terrible war by Parasuram, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who massacre the evil kings 21 times over to repeal their force from earth.

Fact :

Kerala or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act. The state has an area of 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi) and is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the south and southeast and the Arabian Sea towards the west. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city

Kerala - Favouring Tourism :

Strategically located at the south western tip of India, Kerala enjoys unique geographic features which have made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia.As a destination, Kerala can attract the independent traveller with its unique qualities like the pristine environment, the rich and vibrant culture and the high quality of life among the local inhabitants brought about by the states investments since Independence in the fields of education, health care, institutions of democracy, social justice etc. The state is also endowed with unique natural, cultural and social resources.

India`s most idyllic state, Kerala, better known as Gods Own Country, is today one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India. Secluded beaches, palm-fringed backwaters, mist-clad hill stations,lush tropical forests, cascading waterfalls, exotic wildlife, majestic monuments, fine art forms and enchanting festivals give it a distinctive charm. Apart from being a tourist destination, Kerala is home to Indias most advanced society.Tourism is Kerala`s boon industry.

Naturally Blessed :

Kerala has unique geographic features made up of misty hill stations, emerald green valleys, lush eco-tourism locales, refreshing waterfalls, numerous rivers, network of lagoons, natural harbours, jungles with exotic flora and fauna, and more – all of which remain evergreen attractions to the travel enthusiast.

Backwaters :

The leisurely cruise along the famous  backwaters of Kerala gives one a first hand experience  of the village life style in the state and its rustic activities like coir-making and prawn farming. You cannot miss the breathtaking view of the water, land, birds and human habitation on the water side, coexisting peacefully.

The hub of backwater tourism in Kerala, Alleppey or Alappuzha means land between the sea where a network of rivers flows into it. If you are in Alleppey, perhaps your main reason to be there is to cruise through the backwaters in Kerala.Backwater by definition means “a part of a river not reached by the current, where the water is stagnant”, and Kerala showcases a great deal of its picturesque backwaters in Alleppey. The houseboat rides along these backwaters can prove exhilarating to the tourists as they take you through Kottayam, Alleppey,Quilon, Kumarakom and Kuttanad area.

Beaches :

Visitors to Kerala beaches get to relax on the golden sands of the beaches of Kerala, or stretch out in the shade of the rows of palm trees along the beaches, drinking the refreshing juice of tender coconuts and maybe undergoing an ayurvedic massage.Kovalam,Varkala,Marari,Alappuzha,Kappad and Bekkal are some of the popular beaches of Kerala.

Hill Stations :

Hill stations in Kerala offer tourists an opportunity to spend their vacations amidst clean and fresh air of the hills. Some of the more popular hill stations in Kerala are those of Mattupetty, Munnar, Nelliyampathy, Palakkad, Ponmudi, Wayanad, Idduki, Kannur, Kasargod and Kozhikode. Here you can see the milky waterfalls, mighty rocks, lakes, and hill-plantations. The scenic beauty of these Kerala hill stations cannot be defined in words, it is best experienced in person.

Waterfalls :

Kerala,the land of coconuts is famous the world over for its breathtaking scenery, beautiful lagoons, superb lush mountain regions,carpets of spice and tea plantations, excellent sandy beaches and the irresistible charm of its cascading, gorgeous waterfalls.No wonder the National Geographic Traveller recommends Kerala as one of the 50 greatest must see top tourist destinations in the world. It is also one of the top 10 tourist destinations listed in the Paradise Found category.

Favourable Climate :

Kerala maintains a pleasant, tropical climate throughout the year, with slight variations in summer and winter; the cool monsoon months in between form a unique feature; it’s windy in the coastal areas, with the sea-breeze blowing regularly during noontime. Thats why Foreigners pop into Kerala very frequently almost all the time and morover one cannot hold themselves without being to Kerala again if he/she has once visited and experienced this heavenly bliss.

Monsoon :

Monsoon, the season of rainbows and raindrops, is certainly not to be wasted indoors. This very special season of the year, the monsoon brings everything to you afresh. The washed streets and the fresh leaves seem to smile with you. Monsoon isnt just about getting all packed in rain coats, it calls for fun and excitement.Getting wet, splashing and swimming or wading through knee deep waters, sailing paper boats,etc are some little deeds one may enjoy indulging in.

Ayurveda at Kerala :

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian Health Science developed through centuries long.You may try out an Ayurveda vacation in the monsoons too,as this mode of treatment is said to work best during the rains. Ayurveda during monsoon is the best way to rejuvenate your mind and replenish your body.

Art and Culture :

Culture :

Kerala possesses a rich cultural milieu comprising religious, artistic, literary and socio-cultural elements belonging to diverse backgrounds; its culture has been influenced by its history and tradition; the state has served as a melting pot for oriental and occidental cultures.

Heritage :

 The state is known for its several heritage zones and historic places housing ancient structures of vintage value and famous monuments serving as relics of a glorious past.

Secular State :

Kerala has been in the forefront of communal and religious harmony, imbibing all categories of faiths, beliefs and customs in its fold from time immemorial.

Art Repertoire: Kerala is a treasure trove of ancient and enchanting art forms ranging from classic to folk, that are showcased during fairs and festivals connected with local places of worship.

Onam :

Onam  is the largest festival in the Indian state of Kerala. It falls during the first month of the Malayalam calendar which is Chingam (August–September) and marks the homecoming of the legendary King Maveli. The festival lasts for ten days and is linked to many elements of Kerala's culture and tradition. Intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunch, snake boat races, Puli Kali, and the Kaikottikkali dance all play a part in the festival.
Easter :

Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. Christians attend holy masses in the Church. They hold this festival as the demarcation of remembrance of the Holy sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Eid :

Eid is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead.

Thrissur Pooram :

Trichur Pooram is the most important festival conducted in Trichur.The Trichur Pooram is the Pooram of all the Poorams in Kerala and one of the most spectacular festivals in India. The major attraction of Trichur Pooram is that the temple processions are accompanied by an array of decorated caparisoned elephants. These elephants carry the deities from both the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples along with other minor temple deities. While minor temples have four or five elephants for the procession, the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples have an accompaniment of fourteen elephants each.

Cultural Capital of Kerala- Thrissur :

Thrissur at Kerala shows high patronage for art. The Kerala Kalamandalam is the major point of attention in Trichur especially for those who are curious to learn the traditional art forms. It is situated at Cheruthuruthy, 32 km north of Trichur near the Shornur Railway station. It is an academy of traditional art forms, which offers various courses to learn all of the dying ethnic arts of Kerala. Innumerable foreigners are also the pupils of this institution. Kathakali, the composite art form of dance, music, drama, acting, and literature are all taught here. Training in Ottam Tullal, Mohiniyattom, Koodiyattam, Chakyar kooth, Nangyar Kooth etc are also imparted here.

Crafts :

Kerala possess a treasure trove of handicrafts which is of high demand in and outside India . These craftsmen haven’t visited the house of Swarovski or Dior but they can teach a thing or two about fineness and artistry.Carvings of elephants,curios,figurines,coir mats,bags,handloom products,jewellery boxes and a host of other items including wooden furniture, used for decoration and utility are produced in Kerala with meticulous precision.These craft specimens of Kerala feature in the homes and buildings of many people and offices all over the world.The craftsmen of the state also come out with unique indigenous products such as the popular coconut shell products of Kerala. It is amazing what specimens of craft can be created from something as trivial as coconut shell or wood.

Art Forms :

Kerala is a haven for the lover of dance, drama and music and festivals.You have scores of art forms, which are quite unique in nature to Kerala, like Kathakali, Ottamthullal, Chakyar Koothu,Krishnanattam,Koodiyattam,Padayani,Kalaripayattu, Pavakathakali, Theyyam, Velakali, Thiruvathirakali, Kolkali, etc.These art forms help one to experience a gamut of varied emotions ranging from passion, love, kindness, compassion to mirth, joy, sorrow, grief,and from anger, wonder, horror to fear, valour, courage etc.

Kerala is home to a stunningly unique variety of art forms which have impacted the social and cultural life of the state,adding to its typical character.Kathakali is the most popular art form in which the entire body is used to portray a story. The Kathakali artistes wear elaborate costumes, ornaments and facial make-up.Mohiniyattam, the dance of the enchantress is one highlighting feminine grace while Kalaripayattu is an amazing martial art which is said to be the originator of karate,judo and kungfu.

Kerala is also distinctly famous for its other art forms like music and poetry as well as craft forms including murals, sculpture and architecture. The rich and vibrant culture of Kerala has been continuing to intrigue people worldwide. The traditional classic and folk songs and dances of the people, their ballads, their rituals and their intellectual pursuits form the real treasures of Kerala contributing to its rich cultural heritage.

Keralas art forms reflect the life and outlook of its people. Whether it is the renowned Kathakali, considered to be the complete art form as its synthesises all that is best in the fields of drama, music and dance, or the folk dances which are reflections of the rhythmic impulses of a sensitive group of people,the treasure house of Keralas art forms is a feast for travellers and art lovers worldwide.

Kathakali :

Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. It originated in the area of southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala. Kathakali is a group presentation, in which dancers take various roles in performances traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology, especially the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.One of the most interesting aspects of Kathakali is its elaborate make-up code. Characters are categorized according to their nature.

Thiruvathira :

Thiruvathira is a famous art form of  Kerala. At night the women keep vigil for Siva and perform Thiruvathira kali or Kaikottikali. They stand in a circle around a lighted brass lamp, and dance each step at the rhythm of the songs they sing, clapping their hands.

Classical and folk music/dance performances,religious festivals,cultural paegants,elephant processions,floral decorations,water carnivals,fireworks display,traditional rituals,fireworks display and many more form part of the rich repertoire of the cultural heritage of Kerala.The fairs and festivals of Kerala give the best opportunity to display the traditional performing arts and the delicious cuisine of the land.

Kalaripayattu :

Kalarippayattu is a Dravidian martial art practiced in Kerala and contiguous parts of neighboring Tamil Nadu of Southern India. It incorporates strikes, kicks, grappling, martial dance, and weaponry, as well as healing techniques.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race :

The Nehru Trophy Boat Race on the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha held on the second Saturday of August every year is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in Kerala. It attracts huge number of tourists to Alappuzha.

Kerala Spices :

As with almost all Indian food, spices play an important part in Kerala cuisine. The main spices used are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, green and red peppers, cloves, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, and so on. Few fresh herbs are used, unlike in European cuisine, and mainly consist of the commonly used curry leaf, and the occasional use of fresh coriander and mint. While Tamarind and lime are used to make sauces sour in North Malabar areas; the Travancore region uses only kodampuli , as sour sauces are very popular in Kerala. Sweet and sour dishes are however, rare, but exceptions like the ripe mango version of the pulissery and tamarind-jaggery-ginger chutney known as puliinji or injipuli are popular.

Kerala Sadya :

Kerala Feast /Sadya is a vegetarian Rice Lunch provided on a washed and cleaned banana leaf with curries and side dishes.This fest is prepared on all the auspicious days in Kerala. All the dishes are awesome and mouth-watering too .

Literature :

Malayalam literature is medieval in origin and includes such figures as the 14th century Niranam poets namely Madhava Panikkar, Sankara Panikkar and Rama Panikkar, and the 17th century poet Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan whose works mark the dawn of both modern Malayalam language and indigenous Keralite poetry. Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar and Kerala Varma Valiakoi Thampuran are noted for their contribution to Malayalam prose. The "triumvirate of poets" (Kavithrayam), Kumaran Asan, Vallathol Narayana Menon, and Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer, are recognised for moving Keralite poetry away from archaic sophistry and metaphysics, and towards a more lyrical mode.

In the second half of the 20th century, Jnanpith awardees like G. Sankara Kurup, S. K. Pottekkatt, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, M. T. Vasudevan Nair and O. N. V. Kurup have made valuable contributions to the Malayalam literature. Later, such Keralite writers as O. V. Vijayan, Kamaladas, M. Mukundan, and Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy, whose 1996 semi-autobiographical bestseller The God of Small Things is set in the Kottayam town of Ayemenem, have gained international recognition.

Education :

Kerala stands first among other Indian states in literacy. Kerala was declared a Fully Literate State in 1991 and is the only state in India where over 90% of the people can read and write, thanks to the free and compulsory education provided to all children up to the age of 14 years

No Other Place I would Rather Be :

Kerala is my hometown. It is the best place with all the favourable conditions that can make such a land on Earth a Heavenly place bestowing us the very same experience of eternal bliss. Reading out this, dont you think no other place in the world can be a perfect substitute for Kerala. Thats my Kochu-Kerala ( Small but colossial values ).

1 Feedbacks:

Harsh said...

Came across your blog while searching on Kerela, Onam in particular. Would you be able to suggest Clusters of local craft/ artisans.

I am a retail space designer and am working on Onam 2012 display concept for stores of my brand.
Will appreciate any helpful info u can provide.



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