Kerala Village Fair or ‘Gramam’ as it’s known among the locals of Kovalam is a 10-day cultural festival-cum-fair that recreates the old vibes of village life with old school homes, handicrafts, ethnic clothes, ancient delicacies, folk music and dance. This annual fair is organized at the globally popular Kovalam Beach that augments the entire ambiance with its enthusiastic waves. Besides being a marvellous reminiscent of age-old traditions, the fair is also an opportunity for the younger generation to know all about the lifestyle and culture of their ancestors and take the legacy ahead.
Gramam is one of the most popular festivals in Kerala, that is celebrated in Kovalam, a culturally rich and most visited tourist destination in Thiruvananthapuram district. The festival transports you back in time when the lives were simple and the surroundings were natural in every sense and essence!
The 10-day-long fair is organized during mid-January every year. So if you wish to grab the kaleidoscopic view of this vibrant and unique culture of Kerala then you can plan a trip to Kovalam anytime during mid-January when the entire village gets drenched in festive vibe.
Kerala at large is a culturally rich state that has many fascinating festivals and fairs that depict its ancient antiquity and Kerala Village Fair is one of them. The ten-day long festival is marked by various century old rituals that are followed religiously generation after generation along with preparation of age-old delicacies like Puttu and Kadala which are very much a part of the festivity. Travelers can catch a sight of Nalukettu homes that display traditional decorations and are illuminated with lights at night. Also, many foreign tourists visit Kerala village festival to witness the quintessential folk dance performances of Kerala such as Pulikali, Villupattu, Theyyam, and Thullal.
Local men and women dress in their ethnic attire to participate in the fair and get in sync with the old village vibe. Men of the village wrap a piece of fabric called Mundu in white and off-white color around their waist and pair it with a shirt while women wear a two-piece dress comprising a lower and a blouse which together is called Mundu Neriyathu. It looks similar to a saree but is draped differently. Women complete their look with jewellery and fresh strings of flowers in their hair.
Kerala village festival is one of the top attractions of Kerala Tourism owing to its popularity among foreign tourists. Every year Kovalam is visited by a large number of tourists to enjoy the cultural vibrancy and some irresistible attractions of this place mentioned below. Check out!
Nalukettu refers to the quadrangular-shaped traditional homes adorned with luxurious amenities and an open courtyard at the center wherein the most influential and the richest people belonging to the ‘upper-class’ reside. During the fair, local artisans recreate Nalukettu homes by Kovalam Beach with wood and other natural materials. These homes are further embellished with old school furniture, paintings, ethnic jewelry, and musical instruments for the locals and tourists to grab the unique experience.
Chayakadda refers to old village tea shops. During the fair, a model of those teashops is created that prepares authentic delicacies of this region. You can relish the local tea, coconuts and coastal delicacies like Prawn curry, Kadala curry, Kappa Meen curry, Pazhampori etc that are prepared in true Keralite style.
It is a souvenir shop which is a popular attraction of this fair. Here, you can buy handmade artifacts that include jewellery, paintings, wooden toys, shell showpieces, bronzeware, sandalwood products, and coir products.
Dance and music are an intricate part of any culture and Kerala Village Fair offers a glimpse of the same. Many local and renowned artists of Kovalam depict folk stories, folk music, folk dance, and other art forms in a creative rendition through their performances. Art forms like Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, Panchavadyam, Oppana, Kalaripayattu, Kummattikali etc are the major highlights of the fair.
To attend this vibrant festival of Kerala, you will have to reach Kovalam where the festival is held for 10 days during the month of January. Reaching Kovalam is very easy as this beautiful tourist destination in Kerala is well-connected via road, air, and rail network.
Travelling by air is one of the fastest and most comfortable options. If you are planning a plane journey then you have to deboard at Trivandrum International Airport. The airport is situated 15 km away from Kovalam. There are regular flights from all major metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai to Trivandrum.
Trivandrum airport has two terminals, T1 and T2, wherein T1 is dedicated to domestic flights and T2 for international flights. So after deboarding, you will have to cover an onward journey by road. You can easily get a cab or a bus that will drop you off at Kovalam where the festival takes place in full glory.
Trivandrum Central Railway Station that is approximately 15 km away from Kovalam is the nearest to reach the city by train. The station receives trains from all parts of the country which makes it easy to reach. Chennai Express, Trivandrum Express, and Netravati Express are some popular trains that pass through or terminate at Trivandrum station. From the station, you can hire a taxi or get on a local bus to reach Kovalam Beach, the venue of the fair.
Driving enthusiasts may plan a road trip to Kovalam from nearby cities and states. State and private run tourist buses are another economical and comfortable option for those who wish to enjoy sights along the highways and the byways of the route. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs regular buses from nearby cities to Kovalam and offers detailed information about timing and fare at their official website.
Listed below is the estimate of distance from nearby cities to reach Kovalam along with the best route to take.
Q. What is so special about Kerala Village Festival?
Kerala Village Festival is yet another cultural extravaganza that happens every year at the most romantic escapade, Kovalam. The 10-day-long festival offers an array of cultural displays that transports the tourists to ancient times when these art forms emerged as the epitome of rich cultural heritage of India.
Q. What is Kerala famous for?
Kerala and its cities are a treasure trove of mesmerizing coral reefs, scintillating beaches, mystical hills, dense forests, ancient temples, lip-smacking delicacies, varied Indian martial and local dance art forms and the healing practices of Ayurveda. One such beautiful place that comprises all this and more is Kovalam, where if you visit once, then you crave to come back! Every sight in Kovalam is surreal, maybe that’s why it’s one of the most popular cities of God’s own country!
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