Kerala, the southernmost state of India, as I found it, has some sort of warmth in its air. Its people, despite walking fast – with their lungis, all tucked up –never seem to be in hurry.
They say, people in Kerala are the most educated, I say they are well learnt. And what makes them so qualified is the culture they follow and the kindness they preach. I always wondered what’s in this place (and perhaps in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu) that gave India so many great teachers of philosophy – from Shankaracharya to Chinmayananda – and I found the answer only when I personally visited it.
Almost everyone in Kerala – from the elderly and more religious to the younger and more practical – live in their own world of self-effacing originality. Their lifestyle is uncomplicated, simply unfussy and they seem to be content with it, looking no further than the simple pleasures of life.
Kerala, for me, was not just ‘one of the most beautiful and enchanting places in India’ as is often referred to by various web blogs, with all their ruling authority, but much more than that.
Kerala: Where the trees are green and the waterways blue, but its people – just a little more colourful.
Kerala For Its People
I think more than anything else, I loved Kerala for its people. Not only are they friendly and inquisitive but also hospitable. And their beautiful smiles are no less addictive than a sweet piano melody. On several occasions, you will be invited into their home to have dinner with them or just participate in a family celebration.
Keralites are very affable and respectful people too. Perhaps because they enjoy a higher standard of living and level of education than the rest of India. The literacy rate in the state is nearly 100% in Kerala.
Also Read: Kerala Travel Guide
Kerala For Its Culture
You go to Kerala and don’t appreciate its culture? Not possible!
The rich Mallu culture is unique and notably remarkable, not only in its appearance but also in how people have carefully preserved it, for centuries. And that’s what makes Kerala more beautiful.
I remember watching Theyyam, a ritual dance performance, showcasing ancient tribal cultures. But what made it more appealing, at least to me, was how even those who came as guests wanted to volunteer, as if almost making sure, at their individual level, that the festival gets concluded with nothing but an absolute success.
While music and dance provide food for the soul, the actual “food” of Kerala is also no less than a sumptuous treat to its visitors. Despite rice and coconut being the two omnipresent materials, different food items they prepare using a combination of two (pooled with a few other items and perhaps a load of spices) is well appreciating, and sometimes, a little confusing too.
Kerala: Truly the God’s own country!
Kerala For Its Beauty
When it comes to appreciating nature, Kerala is no short of humble mentions. In fact, it is a little infamous to spoil people and make them nature junkies. Because here, no matter where you go, you’ll savour your senses with nothing but an appealing background.
From far-off towns to the centralised urban cities – in Kerala, the power of the jungle is everywhere, and this gives you a sense of freedom, peace and serenity.
But if you really want to enjoy uncontaminated nature, totally wild, head straight to the backwaters of Alleppey – a network of 1500km of canals near the Arabic sea, and home to a dazzling assortment of flora and fauna, and local villages.
Kerala For Everything Else
I remember a fellow traveller (ex-army personnel from the UK) I met in Kerala told me how after traveling to the entire world, Kerala turned out to be his personal favourite. He now visits Kerala every year and has been repeating the same old (and perhaps an interesting) ritual for the past 6 years. Sometimes he will cruise along with a serene web of palm-fringed canals, while at the other, he would explore the verdant tea plantations. But this time, it was the time for him to lay back and relax on the sandy white beaches of Varkala.
I love how Kerala offers something for every type of traveller. There are the famous backwaters for those searching for a calm and serene boat trip, the then, there are cold highlands in Munnar, where several tea plantations can be found. If that doesn’t quench your wander-thirst, you can always go and relax on its many white beaches. The rich culture and the delicious food will, however, always follow!
Have you been to Kerala? What did you like the most about God’s Own Country?