Kerala, ” God’s own country” is an epitome of secularism and a masterpiece of unity in diversity. The entire landscape is dotted with temples, Churches , Mosques and Synagogues. This land of valuable cash crops also has the distinction of having highest literacy, life expectancy and lowest infant mortality among Indian states.
The Backwaters of Kerala – meandering inland lakes networked by canals- stretch to over 900 km. Boat trips across these tranquil stretches are an unique experience to Kerala.
Hill stations: Lying on the windward side of the western ghats, Kerala also has a long chain of Lush, mist – clad hill stations that are home to exotic wildlife. The hill resorts in Kerala offer the most magical experience of nature in all its virgin beauty.
Wildlife: Nestled in the luxuriant forests of the western Ghats in Kerala are fourteen wildlife sanctuaries. And skirting these exotic destinations are some of the most delightful trekking trails in the country. All awash in the spice-scented air of endless acres of plantations ranging from cardamom, vanilla and pepper to tea and coffee.
Monuments: Kerala has an impressive array of historic and cultural monuments. In regions like fort Kochi which was a trade center for centuries, the architecture is a curious mix of typical Kerala, European, Chinese and Arabic styles
Waterfalls: The forests of the western Ghats are punctuated with large and small waterfalls that roar, gurgle and splash down the mountain side. Almost all these scintillating cascades are the venues for excursions round the year.
Ayurveda: Kerala is the only place in the world where Ayurveda, the ancient form of science and the holistic system of medicine based on nature is practiced to perfection. The state’s equable climate, natural abundance of forests and the cool monsoon season are best suited for Ayurveda’s curative and restorative programmes.
Cuisine: Kerala has a cuisine as distinctive as its cultural life, influenced by its long coastline and flavoured by the all – pervasive coconut, it is enriched by exotic fruits, vegetables, and seafood and garnished with the distinctive aroma of spices.
Festivals: The Festivals of Kerala transcend the level of mere entertainment. They are inherited from an age-old tradition that exudes the essence of the state. A closer look at the Kerala calendar will reveal that it is a land where the festivals never end. Apart from traditional festivals like onam and vishu there are a score of temple festivals like the world-renowned Thrissur Pooram.
Arts: Blessed as it is by nature and a vibrant people, Kerala also has a rich repertoire of music, dance and arts. Most of these are unique to the land and reflect the love for life of its people. From the renowned Kathakali, considered to be the complete art form as it synthesises all that is best in the fields of drama, music and dance to the folk dancers which are reflections of the rhythmic impulses of a sensitive people.
Today, Kerala has emerged as a major tourist destination and is ranked among the ten paradises of the world by the National Geographic Traveler.