101 things to do in kerala


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101 things to do in kerala

  1. 1. 101 Things to Do in Kerala (Source www.kerala.gov.in)1. Wake up to the world’s best breakfastKerala’s spread of morning dishes – vellayappam, Uppuma, iddli, puttu, masala dosa,appams etc. have been ratedthe best breakfast in the world by Travel & Leisure magazine. A must-try is the crisp lacy appam served withmeat/vegetable stew.2. Walk-through paddy fieldsHere’s different walking experience. Venture in to the very heart of the paddy fields, on narrow dykes. Don’t loseyourself completely in the dazzling green around you, as you’ll have to watch out for the slushy water passages thatrun through your mud path.3. Tip toe across a coconut trunk bridgeIn the interiors of Kerala, you’ll come across plenty of small water bodies with these extremely narrow Bridges. Watchthe native folk cross them with case, but think twice before you do. It isnt your cup of tea, don’t worry. Further downthe water’s edge you’ll find a more friendly bridge.4. Sip tender coconutRefresh yourself with a sip of cool tender coconut- nature’s rejuvenating nectar – and a scoop of its soft white flesh,Nutrition at its natural best.5.Take a swig of toddyAsk your tour guide to arrange for fresh madhura kallu (sweet toddy extracted from the coconut palm) and have it theKerala way with exotic karimeen pollichathu (baked fresh water fish) or spicy pickles.6. Stay on an exotic houseboatEmbark on an enchanting journey across sun – dappled backwaters on a kettuvallom-fully furnished traditional riceboats. While your eyes explore the rustic life that floats by, treat your palate to backwater delicacies prepared by yourpersonal chef.7. Ride a CanoeDrift along serene waterways in a country craft, Enjoy the breeze, answer a cuckoo’s call. Wave back at the cheerfulvillage folk on the banks. Invite some of their chirpy children to hop in for a ride. They’ll keep you well entertained8 Workout on a treadmillIn Kerala, traditional treadmills are still used to irrigate the paddy fields. Try your luck with the local farmer and see ifyou can get to pedal one.9. See Chinese fishing netsWatch fishermen tug at these huge nets with their rich haul. These nets that billow from massive bamboo poles werebrought here by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongolian King. Their silhouettes against the evening skymake for terrific pictures too.10. Choose your pick from the Fisherman’s netAlong the Malabar Coast and at Vasco da Gama Square in Fort Kochi, you can select your favourite from an invitingdisplay of juicy sear fish, sardines, prawns, red snappers etc. Ask the friendly fisherman to fry it for you the local way.11. Feast on kappa and meen curry
  2. 2. Try Kerala’s hot red fish curry with steamed tapioca or boiled rice. It’ll make your mouth water. And your eyes as well.But you’ll still enjoy it.12 Savour a SadhyaSeat yourself on the floor, roll your sleeves up and get started on this multi-course feast of rice, 12-15 vegetariandishes, spicy pickles, crunchy banana chips, crispy pappadams, plantains and payasam- the dessert. Served on aplantain leaf, the meal is eaten with the fingers.13 Wear a Kerala sareeStun your friends in Kerala saree - five metres of fine off-white cotton edged with golden sari, that lends anextraordinary elegance to the person wearing it. Each piece is specially woven on a traditional handloom.14. Wear jasmine in your hairGet yourself a string of jasmine-the natural ornament for your hair. You could even pluck them fresh from a gardenand string them yourself.15 Spice up your lifeKerala is the Spice Coast of India. Take home a chest full of exotic spices and win compliments for your aromaticcooking. These are also available in special gift pouches.16. Ride on 8 tonner without wheelsAt the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, you and your friends can majestically into the scenic jungle on anelephant. A mahout will guide you on your enchanting journey.17 Watch birdsSpot egrets, herons, Siberian stork, darters, teals and hundreds of other migratory birds in Kerala’s enchanting birdsanctuaries. Hear them sing. Take their Family photograph. Applaud their aerobatic skills.18 Follow the tiger’s trailJoin the Thekkady tiger trail- a real adventure trek into the dense forest with expert guides. Cook in the jungle. Sleepin tents. Wake up to the sounds of the wilderness. Try and spot a tiger.19 Design a floral patternDuring Onam, the harvest festival in August/September, you can see colourful, beautiful floral decorations in thecourtyards of Kerala’s homes. Try making one with family and friends.20. Cheer a snake boat raceWatch the backwaters of Kerala come alive. Feel the excitement bubble in you as teams of 100 oarsmen row theirsnake boats, their bodies swaying in unison to the fast rhythm of full throated singing, in one of the most exhilaratingwater sports.21. Feel the rain on your bodyKerala’s invigorating monsoon will cleanse you. Refresh you, rejuvenate you. Let it run down your body, and washaway stress. So don’t just listen to the pitter-patter on the roof. Step out.22 Munch an uppumangaYou’ll simply relish a meal that is accompanied by uppumanga, tender mangoes preserved in brine for months (thelonger, the better).23 Get an Ayurvedic massageGift yourself new life. Surrender to the magical fingers of specially trained masseurs. To medicated baths that will
  3. 3. refresh you. Herbal diets that will replenish you. Yoga that will revitalize you. And meditation that will recharge you.24 Say hello to the Nilgiri TahrHalf the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr live in the Eravikulam National Park at Munnar. Friendly asthey are, you can pat them or pose for pictures with them. So meet them and have plenty to brag about when you getback home.25 Sip fine teaTake a walk through the green carpeted tea hills of Kerala and strong aromas will lead you in to the factories over ahundred years old. Here you can taste and pick up the finest tea in the country.26. Marvel at elephant pageantsThe spectacle of 30-60 caparisoned elephants will enthrall you as they move in a majestic procession, while trumpetsand drum beats work up to a frenzy. The best of these spectacles is seen at the Thrissur Pooram27 Listen to temple musicPanchavadyam is an orchestra of 5 native instruments - suddha-maddalam, kombu, edakka, elathalam and timila.This traditional temple music accompanying elephant pageants builds up the festive spirit. And never fails to leave itslisteners entranced. Audio cassettes of panchavadyam are available.28 Visit the local marketsSmall stalls with fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken… High pitched salesmen luring you with impossible bargains.Visit these bustling markets or chandas for fresh buys.29 Go bananasIn Kerala, red, green and yellow are synonymous with various types of plantains’. These digestives come in differentshapes too — tall, short, stout, sleek... And while you taste banana chips, raw banana dishes, banana milk shake,banana ice cream, dried bananas, fried bananas… you’ll wonder if there’s any other fruit more versatile.30 Try your hand at percussionKerala’s rich repertoire of percussion music and instruments is world famous. So bring alive your taste for good musicand learn whatever your holiday allows.31 Cheer racing oxenEntertain yourself at a Kumbala, the local ritualistic bullock race of Kasargod or a Kaalapoottu – the agrarian sport ofPalakkad.32 Shop for souvenirsKerala’s handicraft centers have an extraordinary collection of wood, coir shell and sandalwood souvenirs, trinketsand jewellery. Wood carved Kathakali masks, snake boats, elephants, jewellery boxes etc. are perfect showpieces foryour drawing rooms and ideal gifts for friends.33 Stay in a tree houseSpend romantic nights in the tree houses of Palakkad washed in the sweet scent of the forest flowers, and let thesounds of the forest fill up your dreams.34 Have a mud bathGo in for mud therapy and discover its healing properties at the Kavil Bhavan Yoga and Cultural Centre atNileswaram, Kasaragod.35 Bask in sunshine
  4. 4. Serene, secluded and spellbinding. Kerala has some of the best beaches in the world. Ride the surf. Get a tan. Buildsand castles. Or simply sift sand through your toes. Anything you do here will unwind and relax you.36 Watch a Malayalam movieMalayalam movies have excellent story lines and some of them are internationally acclaimed. If you visit the Stateduring a film festival, you’ll get to see good movies with English subtitles.37 Bathe in healing watersDon’t miss your chance to take a dip in the waters of the Nelliyampathy forests in Palakkad or the mineral springs atVarkala. These waters are known for their medicinal properties. Take a splash, heal yourself.38 Buy gold for all occasionsKerala’s gold jewellery, intricately designed and delicate, will steal any woman’s heart. Make sure you have enoughmoney on you before you step into a gold shop. Because whatever be your taste, you’ll find patterns you’d wish toown.39.“Mirror,mirror…”An Aranmula mirror is made of a finely polished alloy of four metals – copper, silver, bronze and lead. Once a closelyguarded preserve of royalty, these ornamental mirrors are exceedingly rare-only two master crafts men and theirfamilies still make them.40 Feel the presence of God at MaramonWitness the largest Christian convention of Asia at Maramon, near Kozhencherry, Interestingly, the waters of thePamba River dry up every year to reveal sands that serve as the venue for the event.41 Ride in an autorickshawExplore the streets of Kerala in an autorickshaw, a three wheeled taxi painted yellow and black. Don’t be surprised ifyou meet a driver who has a degree in English literature or is fairly fluent with the language.42 Peep into your futureThe fortune teller on the street has your future written on his cards – your career, your life, you life partner and more.Just show him your palm and wait while his parrot picks your card from the pack.43 Spin coirSee nimble fingers at work as they spin water treated coconut fibre into long ropes with a traditional hand spindle inthe suburbs of Kollam. You can shop at a number of roadside stalls for brightly coloured coir door mats, wall hangingsand carpets.44 Learn exotic art formsWatch kathakali, mohiniyattam, theyyam or thiruvathira and pursue one that interests you most. Learn how a storyunveils through the eyes, fingers, feet and myriad expressions of the artist.45 Rock about in a bullock cartOn a pleasant evening, traverse the scenic mud roads of Kerala at the unhurried pace of a bullock cart. The tinklingbells and roll-over-from-side-to-side motion of the cart will full you into a lazy reverie.46 Walk the lanes of Fort KochiPut on your hat and sunglasses, wear comfortable sandals and embark on a walking tour of Fort Kochi wherebastions, churches and mansions built by the British, Dutch and the Portuguese, 500 years ago will greet you.Interestingly, Vasco da Gama, one of the world’s greatest explorers, was buried here.
  5. 5. 47 Order a metre of teaStop by a thattukada, a roadside kiosk, for a steaming cup of strong tea. Watch the expert stretch it to a metre whilepouring it from glass to glass, blending it well and building up a tempting froth in the process.48 Climb rugged heightsNot all places to visit in Kerala are on well travelled roads. Or on roads at all. Hike up rugged terrains at Munnar,Wayanad and Kakkayam (Kozhikode) for an exhilarating experience. If you haven’t tried rock climbing before, ourexperts will teach you the tricks.49 Engage in water sportsAn adventure sports lover will rarely find time to stay idle in Kerala. Her beaches provide you with unlimitedwatersporting options of wind surfing, rafting, sailing, power boating and even that of a simple catamaran ride.50 Take a train through paradiseA train journey is an interesting way to experience Kerala. Get a window seat and watch the landscape unfold likepages of a colourful picture book, or acquaint yourself with your fellow travellers who make interesting profiles.51 Treat your sweet toothThe famous Mithai Street of Kozkikkod has everything to make your mouth water – from heavenly haluvas, juicyjillebies to creamy milk sweets, Relish them as they melt in your mouth.52 Study rare floraTreat your eyes to exotic orchids, anthuria, sandalwood trees etc. in the forests. One of these, the rare Neelakurinji,bathes the mountains of Munnar in blue once every 12 years. It is expected to bloom next in 2006.53 Romance the spice hillsHoliday amidst the sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns and winding lanes of Kerala’s mist clad hill stations –a world where tranquillity abounds. The dense tropical jungles in these hill stations house some of the exotic bird andwildlife sanctuaries in the country.54. Watch the making of an Arabian dhowWitness this 1500 year old tradition at Beypore. It takes an expert team of 15-30 strongmen at least two years toshape a vessel in wood. Locally called uru, this Arabian trading vessel is fast fading from the shipping scene.55 Bathe in waterfallsNowhere else will you find water so playful, So pure. So pacifying. Crystal clear waters cascade down the mountainsof Kerala, gurgling, whispering, laughing and cleansing everything in their way. Watch them wake serene rivers with amagnificent splash.56 Go artyYou can browse in the art galleries for hours without track of time. Among them are collections of the world famousworks of Raja Ravi Varma, Raja Raja Varma, Svetlova, Nicholas Roerich, rare murals and masterpieces from China,Japan, Tibet, Bali and other parts of India.57 Visit scenic KuttanadExplore the lush paddy fields of Kuttanad, the rice bow of Kerala – the only place in the world where farming is done1.5 or 2 m below sea level. Kuttanad is in the interiors of the beautiful backwater district of Alappuzha.58 Taste PayasamThe payasam, a rich milk delicacy prepared with vermicili, gram or rice, is a delight for the plate. The most commondessert of Kerala, the payasam is made in scores of flavours and garnished with raisins and nuts fried in ghee. It is
  6. 6. usually eaten with salty snacks.59 Feast your eyes on the largest muralThe palaces and museums of Kerala have an exotic collection of ancient murals. The Krishnapuram Palace atkayamkulam displays the largest of these masterpieces – gajendramoksham – which belongs to the 18th century anddepicts an event from mythology.60 Watch TheyyamTheyyam is the oldest ritual art form of Kerala, Look on in awe as Theyyam performers invoke the temple deityBhagavathy with their frenzied dancing and throbbing temple music in the courtyards of village temples.61 Try coconut hair oilThe secret of a Malayali woman’s long, black, lustrous hair could be yours too. Coconut oil is considered the bestnutrient for hair and a coolant for the head. In Kerala, both men and women massage oil on their heads before a bath.62 Explore a tharavadRelive the old times in the perfect settings of antique furniture and exquisite woodwork in Kerala’s heritage holidayhomes and nalukettu (quandrangular mansions with a central countryard), each more than 50 years old.63 Learn MalayalamMalayalam, Kerala’s sweet toned language, has 56 letters in its alphabet. Try learning the basics and roll the words offyour tongue.64 Star gazeSteeped in astronomy, Kerala’s planetariums will show you much more than Mercury, Venus and Mars. But a ticket tothe evening star gazing sessions and experience the wonders of the universe.65 Holiday on an islandSpend a weekend on Kerala’s islands or lagoons, and experience special moments . Spectacular sunset, balmybackwaters succulent seafood at Bolghatty, Pathiramanal, Poovar….These paradises can be reached only by a ferryor boat.66 Picnic beside virgin lakesPack a picnic basket and spend a romantic evening beside the crystal clear lakes near Munnar. Try your luck atfishing and feast on your fresh catch. Go for a long walk hand-in-hand, undisturbed. Lie down on the most comfortableof grass beds.67 Go paraglidingSweep across the lush green hills of Munnar on a paraglider and enjoy the vantage of an eagle. See the soothingblues and greens of nature. Enjoy the wind beneath your wings. Feel on top of the world.68 Walk in to a palaceBesides exquisite wooden architecture, the palaces of Kerala flaunt the finest floors in the world. Floors that,surprisingly, need least maintenance – being made of crushed coconut charcoal, egg whites and the sap of loanplants. You’ll also see collections of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.69 Muse in a MuseumThe museums of Kerala, especially the Pazhasiraja Museum at Kozhikode, pay full tribute to outstanding crafts-historical and contemporary ornaments, temple carts and Ivory carvings of life sized figures of Kathakali in full regalia.70. Watch Thullal
  7. 7. Thullal, an exotic art form, and the rhythmic sounds of music accompanying it will keep you in a constant stage ofmerriment. Humour, satire and social criticism are its hallmarks. This art form was formulated overnight by therenowned poet, Kunjan Nambiar.71. Visit the zooThe zoological parks in Kerala have plenty to excite the animal lover in you. The Trivandrum zoo is one among thebest designed in Asia and is set amidst a woodland, lakes and lawns.72. Wash your sins awayAccording to a myth, sage Narada was approached by mendicants who confessed to having sinned. The place hecreated for them to pray for redemption is known as the Papanasham beach (papanasham meaning redemption fromsins). Take a dip and come out feeling clean in your heart too.73. Go nutsYou can get raw, fried, grilled, salted and spiced cashews at surprisingly affordable rates from Kollam where cashewplantations and industries abound.74. Chew into a juicy musselIt is indeed fun watching mussel collectors anchor their boats, dive down and bring up basket loads of these freshwater delicacies. The shells are later burnt in kilns to make lime.75. See wildlife from a boatWatch wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat at the sanctuaries of Kumarakom, and Periyar. Herds of wildelephants bathing in the lake, the Indian bison digging his horns into an unaffected tree, the cormorant darting into thewaters… a treat for an amateur photographer.76. Learn yogaRelax your mind with yoga at the special ashrams in Trivandrum and Nileswaram – the cultural centre of Kasaragod.Sessions are conducted by spiritual gurus and experts in the field.77. Walk the historic Kappad beachThis is where Vasco DA Gama landed in 1498 with his men in three vessels. Here, you’ll find an interesting landscapeof rocks that sprawl right into the sea. An 800 year old temple stands nearby.78 Munch on crispy snacksKerala has a wide range of crunchy snacks- ethakka (banana) chips, chakka vattal (jackfruit chips), pappadam,kuzhalappam, achappam, cheeda and churuttu. All worth every penny spend on them.79 Meet martial art expertsKalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala, is the oldest and most scientific in the world. Watch agile bodies gleamingin oil and armed with weapons practise their feats-chattam (jumping), ottam (running), marichil (somersault)-tostunning perfection. Explore the Bekal Fort80 Explore the largest and the best-preserved fort of Kerala at Bekal, Kasaragod.The imposing laterite structure rising 130 ft. above sea level, stands on a 35 acre headland that runs right into theArabian Sea.81 Behold the Queen of the Arabian SeaKochi, also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is breathtakingly beautiful. Apart from being the commercialcapital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala, Kochi also flaunts one of the finest natural harbours of the world.
  8. 8. 82 Discover prehistoric settlementsThe Edakkal caves at Wayanad and the caves at the mouth of the Shenduruny River have interesting pictorial writingsand cave drawings from the Stone Age. You’ll have to trek at least a kilometer uphill to reach the Edakkal caves. Saya prayer at the old Synagogue83 The 500 years old Synagogue in Kochi is adorned with mid 18th century hand painted Cantonese tiles. Hebrewinscriptions on stone slabs, ancient scripts on copper plates and great scrolls of the Old Testament are preservedhere. An age-old clock tower stands nearby.84 Let a mohini enchant youMohiniyattam or the dance of the enchantress reflects the graceful nature of the land. The sensuous, gracefulmovements of the dancer, clad in gold and off white costumes, will remind you of palms swaying in the gentle breezeand sweeping waves.85 Spend the night at a Kathakali concertKathakali, the four centuries old classical art form, is usually staged at night. Elaborate costumes, ornaments andmulti-coloured facial make-up give the artistes a super human appearance, which leaves you spellbound.86 Cook in earthenwareIn most of the traditional homesteads of Kerala, women cook their food in earthenware. For some time-tested reasonrenders a special taste to the dish prepared.87 Collect antiquesStroll up the Jew Street in Fort Kochi for interesting finds like period furniture, ancient coins, elaborately carved pens,ornamental brass latches, antique jewellery, grandfather clocks and timepieces etc.88 Cruise the backwaters of AlappuzhaAlappuzha, embroidered with a labyrinth of waterways, was extolled by travellers as the Venice of the East. Visit thisland where the skiff is the family vehicle, the ducks outnumber chicken and children learn to swim perhaps evenbefore the walk.89 Meet smart fishermenIt is indeed a spectacular sight to watch Kerala’ Smart fishermen outdo the crashing waves by pushing their boats intothe sea from a pier beyond the wave point, and simultaneously jumping into it in perfect coordination.90 See mind-blowing fireworksMake a wish under a thousand shooting starts -brilliant firework displays that mark the end of a festival in Kerala. Andyou’ll never miss them as every dawn in Kerala brings yet another festival.91 Watch a puppet showYakshagana Bombeyattu (puppetry) is the art form of Kasaragod. Colourful puppets in huge headgears, elaboratefacial make-up and loud attires dancing to throbbing music will keep you entertained.92 Go for a flower showSpend a colourful evening with pretty asters, glowing anthuria, exotic orchids, beautiful roses, elegant lilies and abloom of soft cotton candy at a flower show.93 Smash the elusive potUriyadi (smashing the pot) is a spirited sport connected with some of festivals of Kerala. The festive pot colourfullydecorated will be hung from a tall pole. All you have to do is try and break it with a stick as the crowd pulls it up anddown.
  9. 9. 94 Spot a dolphinIf you ‘re lucky, you’ll get to see the dolphins do their grand act at the Cherai beach. Applaud them as they spring outof the waters magnificent splash only to take a marvelous dive back into it.95 Buy a Palmyra fanIn Kerala, you’ll find small, handy fans made of medicinal herbal roots, palm fronds, bamboo splits and grass. Getyourself a portable, compact, cute and colourful little fan that comes in handy anytime of the day. When not in use,you could even put it up on the wall as a showpiece.96 Stay in exotic resortsKerala’s innovative hoteliers have amazing experiences in store for you. Some even have Theme evenings whencenturies old art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattom are performed as well.97 Savour nectarBeat the bees and butterflies to it in a banana plantation. Hold the tip of a banana inflorescence (koombu) to yourmouth and suck the sweet nectar.98 Visit a Snake ParkThe Snake Park at Parassinikadavu, Kannur, is the only one of its kind in the whole of India. There are three snakepits and fifteen glass cases full of various species of snakes, and two large glass houses for King Cobras. The snakedemonstration conducted every hour is a major crowd puller.99. Watch thiruvathiraThiruvathira, a traditional dance performed by women, has simple steps and a single rule-performers should be clad ina Kerala saree. Join them as they sing and move elegantly around a ceremonial lamp (vilakku) or a floral decoration(pookalam)100. Bring swing to your life Onam is the season for fun and gamesVisit Kerala during August /September and you’ll find in every house. The friendly people here will be only too glad tolet you join them.101. Try out new ways to fishDangle a rod and line into the flowing waters. Sweep a towel through it. Feel for fish with your feet in the mud below.Or simply try trapping small fish with your hands. Anyway, you’ll never return disappointed.Let us know your area of Interest and we will tie-up and itinerary around the area of interest.:Contact Address : APNA BHARAT TOURS & TRAVELSGF ‐ 4, Aditya Arcade, Choice Restaurant Lane, C.G.RD., Near Swastik Cross Road,Area ‐ Navrangpura, City – Ahmedabad ‐ 380 009 GUJARAT (INDIA):Contact Email : apnabharat@hotmail.comLike us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter