Plush landscapes sliced into paddy fields, mango orchards knitted with cashew and coconut groves, tea, coffee & cardamon plantations and war-cry of boat-racers beckon travelers to Kerala!
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Kerala


God owned retreat
Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the hill ranges of the Western Ghats, Kerala is made of the coastline and the beaches, the forests and the wildlife, the backwaters and the houseboats, the therapeutic Ayurvedic and Yoga Spas, pure green of tea-leaves and fresh aroma of spices, a culture and a way of life jealously guarded against the onslaught of time and civilizations. Kerala has shot South India to fame in the globe-trotters bluelist. Records quote 3.46 lakhs foreign tourists in Kerala in 2005 and an increase of 15% is expected the following year.

It is both easiest and most difficult to write about something that inspires an endless flow of lexicon. And beautiful Kerala is emblematic of such perplexities. No wonder God called it His Own Country!

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The Best of Kerala
Take a look at what makes Kerala appear in National Geographic Traveler's 50 Must-see destinations.

Kerala BeachBeaches
Backwaters or beaches, Kerala is the perfect retreat for a languid vacation - a refreshening break from the mundane hurried-one, studded with must-see destinations


Kerala BackwaterBackwaters
Kerala backwaters are an endless sensual feast. Overnighting in a houseboat that floats its way quietly through the palm fringed waterways that sample some of the most beautiful locale on earth, is best defined - 'sheer exotica'.


AyurvedaAyurveda
A visit to Kerala is sine qua non with a languid Ayurvedic massage therapy. Be it to cure that old-knee pain that has been troubling you ever since or for simple pleasure, something so invigorating is best tagged "out-of-the-world".


Culture of KeralaCulture
Here, we have construed a cultural kaleidoscope of this beautiful land knitted together as many elements as we can.


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Festival of Kerala
Vishu Festival of Kerala: Vishu is Malayalam New Year's Day and the entire State bursts into festivities to welcome Spring. The most significant ritual of the event is the ‘Vishukkani’ (the lucky sight of Vishu). Infact exchanging gifts is a very significant part of the Vishu festivities.

Regions in Kerala
We have sliced the landscape into regions and spliced the attractions together to enable you a topographic understanding of an 'enigma', otherwise best left to be explored on your own.

The Cardamon Hills (190km E of Kochi): The sight of the terraced tea-plantations and the aroma of spices arrest your senses as you drive up to the Cardamom Hills. It is however the tuskers and the Big Cats of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (at Thekaddy) that steals the show. Go trekking or cruise in the Periyar Lake during the dry season for a visual feast of the thirsting and bathing wildlife. A 3-hour drive north of Thekkady, will take you to Kerala's Scottish highlands - Munnar. Famed for its tea and cardamom plantations, cycle-tours, nature-walks and if you are lucky, a close encounter with the endangered Nilgiri tahr (a type of mountain goat), Munnar is just the synonym for 'sleeping beauty'.
Tea Plantation
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Malabar (Northern Kerala): When time slows down, lifestyles become laidback and the world seems to be painted in one hue - Green, you know you have reached Malabar. An 8 hour-drive from Kerala's better-favored beaches and backwaters, this one is a perfect escape from the blaring hornsa and tourist hob-nob. Better known as a spice-joint, while at Malabar, check out the Wyanad Wildlife Sanctuary, high-flying martial art performances at Calicut, Kerala's Theyyams or tribal dance where performers wear masks and 6 ft high headgear representative of the godhead or of a valorous ancestor. Theyyams are usually held between December and April. To ensure your chances of seeing a performance, visit Sri Muthappan Temple at Parassini Kadavu, 18km (11 miles) from Kannur, which has early-morning and evening performances throughout the year.

Lakshadweep (in Arabian Sea, 200km West of Kerala): Some call the 36 atolls and coral reefs - "India's best-kept secret". An extension of the better known Maldives, this island archipelago requires entry-permits. The Resorts there offer multifarious maritime active-pursuits like Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Angling, diving the coral reefs (Lacadives Diving Center is the only dive organization in India) et al.


The Best Cities
Cochin or Kochi, Trivandrum (capital) or Thiruvananthapuram, Alleppey or Allapuzha, Munnar, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Kollam


Reaching Kerala
Being a bustling tourist destination, Kerala is superbly networked to all the major cities in India. There are three airports in the state - Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. The one at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital, is also an international airport, connecting the state to many places in the Middle East. National highways 47, 17, and 49 connect Kerala with other parts of the country by road, while with about 200 railway stations, traveling by train is another easy option.


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