Tourist’s guide to Kerala, India – a place for meditation and relaxation

Kerala, India is one of the cleanest, safest and most beautiful states in the country. Tourists come here in order to relax at sea and improve their health with the help of Ayurveda.

View of Kerala

General information

Kerala is a state in India located in the southwestern part of the country. It covers an area of ​​39 square meters. km The number of residents is 34 million. At the same time, the smallest population growth in India was recorded here, and the literacy rate is the highest in the country.

The state capital is Thiruvananthapuram, and Malam is the official language. Despite the large number of people who live here, the state was founded only in 1956, and was inhabited by small people (very few native Indians live here). The name Kerala in Sanskrit translates as “country of coconuts” or “country of coconut mountains”.

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Kerala borders the states of Tamil Nadu (eastern part) and Karnataka (northeastern), from the west it is washed by the waters of the Arabian Sea. The coastline is 590 km. The state of Kerala can be divided into 3 parts. The first is mountainous, where tea and dense forests grow. The second is hilly, most of which are coffee plantations. And the third is the plain, 90% of which is occupied by agricultural land.

Kerala Plantations

Here are some more interesting facts about Kerala in India:

  • 90% of the population are Catholics;
  • Communism is very popular here, and on many buildings you can see images of the sickle and hammer;
  • one of the favorite historical personalities of the locals is Che Guevara (stickers with his image can often be seen on cars);
  • the “pink police” work here, which protects girls and women from attacks and violence.

Why come to Kerala

Ayurveda

The homeland of Ayurveda is Kerala, so if you want to improve your health, it is best to go here. There is a huge number of Ayurvedic clinics, spa centers and a yoga studio. The most famous:

  • Arya Vaidya Sala (Cottacal),
  • Padinharkkara Ayurveda Hospital and Research Center (Pallacad),
  • Hindustan Kalari Sangam Ayurveda Hospital (Kozhikode).
Ayurveda in Kerala

If you don’t want to search for a suitable center on your own, you should contact one of the travel agencies where they offer ready-made programs for 14 or more days. Each package includes:

  • Ayurvedic treatments;
  • massages;
  • specially designed diet;
  • yoga;
  • spiritual practices.
Beach vacation

Another popular reason why tourists visit the state is the desire to relax on the deserted beaches of Kerala. The most popular resorts:

  • Varkala;
  • Kovalam;
  • Collam;
  • Alleppey;
  • Palakkad.
Beach in Kerala

These are very calm and picturesque villages where it is good to meditate, admire nature (for example, butterflies, which are very numerous here) and attend spa treatments.

Cities and resorts of Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala and the most populous city in the state, with a population of 750 thousand people. There are no problems with the tourist infrastructure: there are a lot of shops, cafes and restaurants. There are both luxury hotels and inexpensive guest houses. There are a lot of tourists.

If we talk about beach vacations in this part of Kerala in India, then it is not very popular here – there is an airport nearby, and the water is not the cleanest. However, locals love these places for bright sunsets, and recommend visiting the beaches of Shanghumugham and Puthenthoppu in the evening.

Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala

The city of Trivandrum cannot be called the most suitable place for Ayurvedic practices in India – after all, it is too noisy and crowded here.

Kochchin (Kochi)

Kochchin is a port city in western Kerala. There are many tourists here, because in addition to the sea, there are concentrated a lot of architectural and historical attractions of Kerala. There are no problems with shops, cafes and hotels – housing can be found for every taste and budget.

It is impossible to relax on the sea in the city itself – it is rather dirty here. But in the vicinity there are lots of picturesque places: the beaches of Cherai, White Sand and Rajah Beach. The sand on them is golden, and the entrance to the sea is gentle. There are no stones and shell rock.

Kochchin in Kerala

As for the centers of Ayurveda, there are a lot of them. There are both inexpensive hospitals and a real Ayurveda palace, which looks like a 5 * hotel. Tourists from Europe often choose Kochchin for relaxation and treatment because it is inexpensive (in comparison with other cities of India) and beautiful nature.

Alleppey

Alleppey, also often called the “Venice of India”, is a small resort village 62 km from Kochi. There are not so many tourists here as in neighboring cities, but there are more than enough shops and cafes.

Most of the travelers come here to see the water channels – they are in different parts of the city, and many are so overgrown with plants that at first glance it is impossible to understand that this is water. Also, tourists like to visit the local beach. Although it is crowded, it’s not dirty here, but the entrance to the water is gentle. Strong undercurrents are absent.

Water channels in Alleppey

On the shore there are many hotels and hospitals in which Ayurveda lovers are waiting. Prices are not high, and the sea air and beautiful nature contribute to a good mood. Those who want to restore vitality with the help of Ayurvedic practices should come to this picturesque part of Kerala, but lovers of deserted beaches and famous sights should find another place.

Varkala

Varkala is one of the best places for a beach holiday in Kerala. This is a small village located 36 km from Trivandram. There are the following beaches: Papanasam (the most deserted), Black (the smallest) and Northern (the most populous). There is practically no garbage on the beaches; the entrance to the sea is gentle. The only negative is the large number of people in the evening.

Varkala in Kerala

As for Ayurvedic hotels and hospitals, there are also a lot of them. There are both expensive and very budget options.

Since Varkala is only a village, here you will not find a large number of shops and cafes. But there are plenty of hotels and guesthouses. There are many tourists in Varkala, and if you want to relax alone, choose accommodation on the outskirts of the resort.

More information about the resort is presented in this article .

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Kovalam

Kovalam is the largest and most popular resort in Kerala. There are 4 beaches: Ashok, where locals relax, Samudra, where there are very few people, Gava, which is considered a favorite destination for fishermen, and Lighthouse Beach, which is very popular with tourists. On the beaches, garbage and sharp stones are regularly cleaned, so it is comfortable to relax here.

Kovalam in Kerala

There are few hospitals and hotels targeted at Ayurveda lovers, so it is better to find a more peaceful place. There will be no problems with shops and cafes in the resort – there are a lot of them. The same goes for hotels.

Since there are always enough people in Kovalam resort, book your accommodation in advance.

A detailed description of the resort with photos, see here .

Kerala attractions and activities

Kathakali Dance Theater

The state of Kerala is the birthplace of the bright and passionate dance of Kathakali, which appeared here millennia ago. This art was born using a combination of ancient Indian beliefs, Hinduism, local folklore and some types of martial arts.

Kathakali Dance Theater

And today, and many centuries ago, only men perform it. Boys begin to prepare for performances at the age of 10-11 years, and for the first time they go on stage only after 5-6 years. In addition to the main characters, an orchestra (3-5 people) and two announcers take part in the performance, which explain to the audience the meaning of what is happening on the stage.

Traditionally, kathakali is performed on a moonlit night, and the sacrament ends at dawn. Of course, now everything has changed a bit, and daytime shows are organized for foreigners.

Many tourists who have already visited India advise you to come an hour before the performance to see how the actors are preparing for the show – they dress and apply makeup right on the stage.

Tea Plantations

Tea plantations are located in northern Kerala, India, high in the mountains. Munnar plantations are considered the most famous – they are the most picturesque and easily accessible. No wonder the people call this mountain resort the “City of Tea”.

Tea Plantations

Interestingly, local plantations are considered one of the highest in the world, because they are located at an altitude of 2200 meters above sea level.

Some tips from tourists:

  1. You can get to Munnar from Kochi either by bus (on the way – 5 hours), or by minibus. It is better to start the trip in the morning, when the rest of the tourists will still sleep.
  2. It is often cold in the mountains, so bring a warm sweater with you.
  3. You can visit tea plantations either on foot or in jeeps. Of course, the second option is more comfortable, and, most importantly, suitable for people with disabilities or the elderly. But if you have a desire and an opportunity – it’s better to go on foot, because from the mountains there are fantastic views of natural sights.
  4. If you also want to visit not only a natural attraction, but also a tea factory, which is located nearby, you should immediately buy a full-fledged tour at a travel agency. Its cost is 900-1100 rupees.
  5. The best time to visit this attraction is from August to March.
  6. Many travelers say that one of the most vivid impressions of India is the meeting of dawn on a tea plantation. To do this, you must go to the plantation no later than 4 in the morning. Also in the morning you can make the most beautiful photos of Kerala.
Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple is one of the main attractions of the city of Trivandram. It was erected in honor of the Hindu deity Vishnu, and built in the distant VI century.

Interestingly, in 2011 the temple was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the richest not only in India, but also in the world. According to rough estimates, gold, silver, precious stones worth more than $ 20 billion are stored in the sights.

As for the interior decoration of the attraction, it is, without a doubt, impressive. Twilight reigns in the premises, and electricity is not intentionally used here, so you can understand how beautiful this place is only in 10-15 minutes after arrival – by this time the eyes will finally get used to the twilight. The monks say that a person cannot see the whole picture, but even some parts of the temple premises are impressive.

In addition to the main temple, nearby you can find several small sanctuaries erected in honor of other deities. For example, the Temple of Tiruvampadi Sri Krishna or the Temple of Garuda.

Kerala backwaters
Kerala backwaters

Plant Kerala – a long chain of lakes and small lagoons, stretching along the coast of the Arabian Sea. Their total length is 900 km. The uniqueness of this place lies in its ecosystem – the fresh water of the rivers meets the salty waters of the sea. The largest local lake is Vembanad-Kayal, which covers an area of ​​200 square meters. km

In order to see the most interesting sights, travelers are advised to rent a small boat for 2-3 hours – this time is more than enough to see:

  • the largest lakes;
  • rice fields;
  • local villages;
  • backwaters where shrimp are bred.

It is the cheapest way to rent a boat on the waterfront – there are many points for renting equipment.

If you want to get to know the local population and its customs better, you should buy an eco-tour “House on the Water” – this is a two-day boat trip. Many people call such boat trips a real meditation – in addition to picturesque views, you will enjoy singing mantras at dawn, try Indian dishes that are cooked right on board, and also see the reserve from afar.

Puvar Island
Puvar Island

Puvar resort is one of the most popular and most visited places in the vicinity of Trivandrum. In addition to a good location, there is everything you need to relax: cozy cafes, shops with Indian goods, comfortable sun loungers on the beach. The main local attraction is a colorful fishing village located a kilometer from the resort.

90% of tourists come to Puvar in order to improve their health and “recharge” with energy using Ayurveda. The resort really has one of the best centers in India. They treat not only a bad mood, but also serious chronic diseases.

You can only get to Puvar Island by boat (travel time is 15 minutes), which also helps to create a romantic mood.

By cons include the fact that the only beach that is on the opposite shore, no one cleans, and it is very dirty.

Athirappilly Waterfalls
Antirappilli Waterfalls

Antirappilli Waterfalls in Thrissur is the most spectacular attraction in Kerala. There are 4 of them, and each height is at least 100 meters. Locals say that this is the same place that has not changed due to the negative influence of man, and here it is still very clean and beautiful.

The waterfall is especially picturesque after the rainy season. Many people compare this natural attraction in India with the Niagara Falls in North America.

It’s better to come here on weekdays – there are a lot of people on weekends. Getting to the sights is most conveniently by taxi.

Some tips from people visiting this attraction:

  1. Do not wear sandals or slippers – your legs should be completely closed, as there are many small stones on the road.
  2. Do not go to places where there is a hazard warning sign (and travelers do this very often, which leads to a large number of deaths).
  3. Take an umbrella with you, otherwise you can’t get out dry.
  4. Fencing Near Antirappilli Waterfalls
  5. Rise to the sights only along the paths intended for this – they are relatively safe, but on others you can easily slip and fall.
  6. After climbing to the top, be sure to take some photos of Kerala in India.
  7. There are many good hotels nearby, and many recommend staying there for 1-2 days.

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Useful Tips

  1. Experienced tourists say that a true Ayurveda course in India cannot last less than 21 days. If you are offered a program for 7 or 10 days, know that you are being deceived.
  2. Kerala is one of the most peaceful states in India, but you still need to carefully monitor your things.
  3. If you live in a hotel and want to go on a tour of India, notify the staff in advance. Most likely, you will be given a dry breakfast for free (sandwiches, juice and fruit).
  4. Many foreigners say that Kerala is one of the few states where there are practically no annoying merchants.
  5. Kerala has a “dry law”. Alcohol is relatively expensive here and is sold only in restaurants in tourist areas. Therefore, do not go to this state of India if you are looking for a place for noisy parties.
  6. Alcohol in Kerala
  7. If you plan to visit any temple in India, always wear socks. You cannot go into the sanctuary in shoes, and if you go barefoot, you can catch some kind of skin disease.
  8. If you want to swim and sunbathe, you should not go to Kerala in the summer – very strong waves rise at this time of the year, and rescuers who are on duty on the shore simply will not let you into the water.
  9. Most of the youth in Kerala (especially in the southern part of the state) speak English well.
  10. Take a sheet with you on a trip — hotels usually only give out blankets.

Kerala, India is the most peaceful state in the country, where you want to not only go on excursions, but also meditate and swim in the sea.

One day in Kerala:



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