Kerala boat on water

Kerala: A Place of Natural Beauty

 

A place blessed by natural beauty due to its abundance of palm-lined beaches, crystal clear backwaters, being a home to Ayurveda, lip-smacking locally sourced food. Some of the memorable sights & experiences you can experience in Kerala.

To it’s natives it is said that Kerala is God’s Own Country is based on a mythological belief. Similarly, a mythological belief is the source of God’s won country. Once a year during the holy Onam festival, Mahabali returns to Kerala. The land is believed to have God Vishnu as a protector as a sign of respect for Mahabali’s virtues.

A possible explanation for this name is the abundant natural wealth. In the form of placid backwaters meandering through the lush greenery surrounded by scenic hills and crystal-clear beaches.

Current Scenario:

Although the best season to visit Kerala is during the Winter Season from September-March as during this particular time the weather is pleasant with less humidity. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, Kerala tourism has been deeply affected. But as of now only domestic visitors who are staying for less than 7 days are exempted from mandatory quarantine. Additionally, there is a  mandatory requirement is to register yourself on the “COVID Jagratha portal”. And sadly the all beaches are closed as of now in God’s own country.

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Teas:

 Similarly, an attractive feature of this land favored by God is the vast slopes surrounding the inland: Western Ghats. These lush green hills support the growth of aromatic teas, delicious coffee, and spice plantations. Teas ranging from mild & light oolong to the black & green teas sourced from the Munnar hills, Kerala. These aromatic leaves give a slice into the local life in the Munnar Hills and offer a window to explore the tea gardens while sipping on this tasty concoction. An experience that will make you say that this land is truly blessed by God.Image Source:www.keralatoursoperatorindia.com

Coffee:

Another tasty treat grown in the rich cultivating environment of Kerala is the popular “Coffee”. The second most premium variety of coffee: Robusta is widely grown. It covers about 95% of the coffee plantation in Kerala.

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Spices:

The sprinkle of his powder that breathes life into your food: spices. Spices like black pepper also known as black gold ( history of starting colonial wars) & also the most cultivated and traded spice in the world. Similarly, Cloves, heavily produced in Kerala due to their vast medicinal uses. Another common use in meat dishes in form of oils. Whereas, Cardamon is known as the queen of spices because of its health benefits. Above all, Cinnamon is heavily produced in Kerala.

The digestive wonder, Ginger, and natural antiseptic: Turmeric, as well as nutmeg, tamarind, star anise, cumin seeds, rare sights of vanilla & the holy plant of basil, are also found abundantly in the land of rich soil & suitable climatic conditions. The Kerala flavor expert: curry leaves makes Kerala is hotspot of culinary richness. Kerala is a place that optimizes its natural resources by opting for a multi-cropping pattern. This method results in the growth of the trinity: tea, coffee & spices. Be sure to load up on these essentials for your kitchen while visiting God’s own country.

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Beaches:

Kerala is home to vast beaches where you can experience the tranquil silence of the thrashing waves. The interlinking of these beaches with the palm-lined backwaters forms an elaborate network of heavenly water bodies. Kovalam, (‘grove of coconut trees’ )is an idyllic village along the coastlines of the Arabian Sea. It is most famous for its three pristine beaches with shallow waters and low tidal waves. A haven for water adventure sports like surfing or motorboat riding. Therefore, it consists of three beaches: Lighthouse beach, Samudra beach, and Hawah beach which also form its majestic rocky crescent.

The calm hamlet of Varkala Beach provides solitude to weary travelers.

Alappuzha Beach is has a historical lighthouse, boat races & beautiful backwaters which make it a popular spot for tourists. 

Muzhappilangad beach is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. It is easily accessible by a simple drive-in of 8 km from Thalassery.

The Cherai Beach offers golden sands, palm trees, and a wide expanse of blue water on the north end of Vypeen Island.

Other beaches like Marari, Kappad, Beypore, Payyambalam, Kozhikode, Kappil, Thottada, and the list goes on.

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Backwaters:

Parallel to the coast of the Arabian Sea surrounding the vast stretches of lakes, canals & lagoons lined with palm-filled greenery: Kerala Backwaters. The most popular tourist destination of the world can be taken in by houseboat cruises. Consequently, by sailing through nature’s abode, you can soak in the sights in its finest form while munching on local delicacies available on the private houseboat tours. Certainly, Alappuzha is known as the ‘Venice of the East, is one such place especially popular for its houseboat cruises.

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Ayurveda:

Kerala is the only state in India that uses Ayurveda as a mainstream medicine. Ayurveda is the oldest healthcare system in the world. Mainly, “Panchakarma” or the five Ayurvedic treatments uses a combination of medicated oil, herbs, milk, and a special diet to cure all types of ailments.

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Origin of Ayurveda:

A classic text on medicine, the Ashtangahridaya, is the foundation of Ayurveda. The author, Vagbhata ( disciple of a Buddhist physician) received little recognition from the rest of India.Consequently, a few Nampoothiri (Brahman) families are the original Ayurvedic physicians. And their decedents carried the honorific title of ashtavaidyan. Consequently, the Ashtavaidyans were allowed to practice Ayurveda to treat ailments.

As a result, to honor the rich practice of Ayurveda, Kerala has the largest number of Ayurveda colleges and practitioners than any other place in the world.

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Top Ayurvedic Destinations & Treatments:

Kovalam, Kollam, Thrissur, and Alappuzha are the top Ayurvedic destinations to visit in Kerala. These popular destinations offer a variety of treatment packages. Some packages contain oral Ayurvedic medications which are naturally hand-made without any chemicals or metals. All Ayurvedic therapies include the use of Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation to make the therapy more effective. An integral part of the Ayurvedic therapies is the focus on diet and lifestyle. Most of the Ayurvedic treatments are provided in dense nature settings to increase results.

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Wildlife(Parks & Sanctuaries):

Kerala is home to exotic and rare species of wildlife which justifies the tag of God’s Own Country. Several wildlife sanctuaries & national parks preserve  & protect the species and offer an opportunity for everyone to bask in the glory of its beauty.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary:

 This haven nestled in the cradle of the Western Ghats and occupying the space around the Periyar Lake. Additionally, this vast expanse of lush green space of over 675 square kilometers. situated in the Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala. The park houses nearly 35 species of mammals. Most importantly, it is a haven for over 265 species of birds as well as abundant vegetation and flora species.

 Moreover, the “Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary” visitors can spot exotic class of animals such as flying squirrels, lion-tailed macaques, jungle cat, wild pig, sambar, strip-necked langur. Likewise, tourists can look forward to species of birds such as Nilgiri wood pigeon, black baza, great hornbill, black-necked stork, blue-winged parakeet. Besides many other kinds of reptiles, fishes, and insects.

Above all activities trekking and boating are most common whereas elephants ride into the jungle provide an exciting opportunity to explore the forest and its wildlife.

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Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary:

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a spot of an exotic variety of flora and fauna located approximately 110 kilometers from Palakkad district.

Additionally, a kind of heaven for travel photographers and wildlife enthusiasts, the area is home to such treasure of species as Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, Lion-tailed macaque, spotted deer, Asian elephant, Indian wild dog, and several different kinds of snakes and birds and spiders.

Moreover, the park houses many distinct kinds of trees, namely, neem, rosewood, and sandalwood which provide an incredible backdrop and natural aroma.

Boat cruises are available from Parambikulam Reservoir. Whereas, trekking is one of the best ways to explore the wildlife sanctuaries but can only possible after permission from forest officials. Besides, a treehouse is also present in the Reserve Forest Area in Thoonakadavu. While other lodgings offered by State Forest Department at Thoonakadavu, Thellikal and Elathode have comfortable accommodation for those wanting to experience wildlife from close quarters.

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Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary:

 Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is an exclusive thorny forest with xerophyte species. The sanctuary falls into the rain-shadow area of Western Ghats. Moreover, it is home to the exotic species of Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India whose population stands at less than 200 in the entire forest region.

A nearby Sandalwood forest enhances the appeal of the sanctuary. A sight to witness is the huge herds of elephants and gaur passing through. Besides, the forest provides shelter to different species as spotted dear, elephants, hanuman langur, sambar, and peacocks while an amazing mix of dense vegetation of deciduous forest furnishes an ideal trail for trekking.

Whereas the sanctuary is situated about 230 kilometers from Ernakulam railway station but nearly 204 kilometers from Cochin International Airport. It is a great place to spend some quiet moments in the lap of nature.

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Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary:

The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most naturally blessed regions of Kerala.  Situated at stunning heights of 450-748 meters above sea level, spread in a total area of 105.364 kilometers. Moreover, it nurtures diverse species of beasts such as sambar deer, jungle cats, tigers, elephants, bison. Consequently, snakes such as cobra, viper, kraits, and non-poisonous species can be located within the confines of the sanctuary.

On the other hand, the area is also home to exotic species of birds such as the grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, bulbuls, flycatchers, and many other varieties of woodpeckers.  A glistening lake lies within the vicinity of the sanctuary, where you can take boat rides to experience the surrounding tropical and ever-green deciduous trees.

Most importantly, it is situated adjacent to the world-famous Idukki Arch Dam, the park is approximately 140 kilometers away from Madurai as well as 114 and 190 kilometers from Kottayam Railway station and Cochin International Airport.

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Silent Valley National Park:

The Silent Valley National Park occupies the core area of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is situated in the Northeastern part of the Palakkad district featuring some of the most fragile rare species of flora and fauna.

A rich reserve of biodiversity, the park comprises about 1,000 species of different flowering plants which encompasses about 110 species of orchids, 34 species of mammals, 400 species of moths, 200 species of butterflies, 150 species of birds including 16 endemic bird species, and about 128 beetle species.

Most importantly, species like the Leopard, Sloth Bear, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Niligiri Langur, Spotted Dear, Mouse Deer, and Gaur. These species enhance the beauty of the Silent Valley National Park. Besides other rare and unique birds such as Grey-headed bulbul, Great Indian Hornbill, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Pale Harrier. These exotic creatures can be heard amplifying the silent and peaceful ambiance of this exquisite place.

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Eravikulam National Park:

Eravikulam National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Munnar. It spreads in an expansive 100 square kilometers area. Moreover, the furnishing wonderful views of tea plantations and misty rolling hills, the park is home to one of the largest species of Nilgiri Tahr. A precious species of mountain goat, well as several other species of rare and endangered birds, animals, and butterflies.

The park offers a wonderful view of Anamudi, the highest peak of the southern Himalayas. And is a great place to witness the astonishing biodiversity of high elevation shola grasslands.

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Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary:

An ideal place for bird watching, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to exotic kinds of birds and the stunning lush greenery. Kumarakom can be seen dotting with numerous natural attractions to intrigue tourists.

Moreover, its spread in an area of 14 acres. In the same vein, these acres encompass an array of vastly diverse types of birds such as Indian Darter, Little Cormorant, Egrets, Herons, White Ibis, Kingfishers. Additionally, waterfowls such as garganey teal, spot-billed duck, pin-tailed duck. Whereas other birds of prey such as marsh harrier, steppe eagle, osprey, can be also be located here. Moreover, the months of November and May also draw several migratory birds to the threshold of Kumarakom.

Consequently, a variety of indigenous and migratory birds can be seen. After a short boat sojourn to Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathiramanal, Narakathara, Thollayiram Kayal, Poothapandi Kayal.

The ambiance around the area is incredible as the atmosphere is full of exotic and strange bird sounds.

 

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