Kerala - God’s own country stands by a famous mythological legend that says the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu, the warrior sage Parasuram stood on a sky-high cliff and ordered the violent sea to recede. He threw his warrior axe in the sea and the land of wealth and abundance emerged. Situated at Malabar Coast, this state in India is endowed with magnificent mountains, tranquil backwaters, and palm-lined beaches. Famous for tea, coffee, and spice plantations, this piece of heaven is truly mesmerizing. The capital city is Thiruvanthapuram which is known for its grandeur of rich heritage.

History of Kerala

Also, known as Ketalaputo as found on the rock inscription from the Mauryan era, Kerala was mentioned as one of four independent kingdoms during Ashoka's reign. Mutated into an International Trade Hub, Cheras altered the face of Kerala by establishing foreign trade relations through the sea route. Losing it to Cholas and Rashtrakutas in repeated attacks, the Cheras reclaimed the control over the affluent state in the 9th century. Ravi Varma Kulasekhara of Venad established a short-lived supremacy over the southern state at the beginning of the 14th century.

Then began the colonial era in 1498 when Vasco Da Gama made his way to Kerala and raised Portuguese settlements. By the 17th century, the rich territory of Kerala opened the avenues for European traders to export exotic spices to their country. Kerala became the paradise for spice and ivory. The coastal area remained the most flourishing foreign trade center for almost 3000 years. By the end of the 18th century, the British took the entire control of the land and ruled until India was declared independent in 1947. After Independence, the Kingdom of Travancore, Kingdom of Zamorin, and the princely state of Cochin were merged into the state that was named as Kerala.

Culture of Kerala

The ethnic diversity of Kerala is an assemblage of cultures and civilizations that have been a part of its ancient history. The native and foreign multiculturalism has a great impact on the rich tapestry. Kerala has been a state that introduced Christianity and Islamic religions to India. Kodungallur in central Kerala is where the first church and mosque were made.

Hinduism and Islam are the two major religions of Kerala. According to statistics, more than 50% of people in Kerala follow Hinduism, and more than 25% follow Islam, around 20% are Christians, and the remaining community follows Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, and other religions. Kerala is a state that has the highest literacy rate and education level in India. The paradigm of religious harmony, Kerala is a definitive example of diversity at its best. Boasting some unique festivals, folks in Kerala display their cultural ethnicity through Pattadakal Dance Festival, Village Fair, and many more.

Art and Handicraft of Kerala

Art and Handicraft are a representation of artistic inclination of a state that has been followed by one generation after the other. Kerala is a hallmark of eco-friendly tourism and most of the handicrafts that are crafted by the dexterous artisans are made from naturally available materials. Ivory, bamboo, palm leaves, seashells, wood, coconut shells, clay, cloth, metals, stone, coir are transformed into exquisite vibrant pieces that are famous all over the world.

The intricately carved figurines, metal statues, figurines carved with rosewood and sandalwood, lampshades, vases, baskets, etc are absolutely unique and display the excellent craftsmanship of artisans in Kerala. Besides these handicrafts, the folks of Kerala have an innate inclination towards music, dance, and literature. The two most famous art forms - Mohiniyattam and Kathakali are absolutely stunning and requires lots of strength and practice as they are performed wearing elaborate costumes and heavy makeup. Other prominent dance forms are Theyyam, Koodiyattam, Ottamthullal, Chakyar Koothu that represent the unique dance culture of the state.

Food of Kerala

From chicken, mutton, beef, pork to a wide range of seafood, Kerala is known to be a gastronomic hub for non-vegetarians. Mussels, crab, tiger prawns, king prawns, oysters, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and luscious red lobsters - there is no dearth of seafood. Also known as the land of spices, every kitchen in Kerala smells of scrumptious delights. Chillis, curry leaves, mustard seeds, and tamarind dominate the dishes while no dish is complete without coconut or coconut milk.

Appam with stew, Idiyappam with egg curry, Kerala prawn curry, Puttu and Kadala curry, Erissery and lentil stew, fish moly, beef fry, Naadan kozhi curry, Erachi Varutharacha curry, Ada Pradhaman, Chatti pathiri, Coconut toddy are a few of the famous dishes from the very long list of lip-smacking delights. Also, there is plentiful use of Banana that is cooked as fritters and also halwa. Traditionally, the food in Kerala is served on banana leaves. 

Places To Visit In Kerala

The land paying homage to a plethora of water bodies captivates tourists not merely across the state or nearby regions but the corners of the whole country. Being a home too many off-beat destinations, Kerala is truly picturesque and pristine. Here is the compilation of significant tourist attractions that contribute to Kerala tourism at peak. 

  • Sail a houseboat to enjoy the backwaters in Allepey. Why go Venice?
  • Get treated with Ayurveda in this surreal destination of India.
  • Entrap yourself into the beauty of Kathakali dance performance which is a visual treat.
  • Seize the Theyyam rituals and immerse yourself in its beauty.
  • Relish the taste of tea at verdant gardens where aroma makes you feel fresh.

  • Be a part of the temple festivals and boat festivals of Kerala that are the pride of the state.
  • Enjoy the serenity at the best beaches in Kerala and bask under the sun.
  • Explore the “Gateway of Kerala: Fort of Kochi”

Your trip to Kerala, God's own country will definitely leave a lasting impression. The exploration of these sites can surely assist in compiling the best memories of a lifetime. One of the best tourist destinations in India, visitors to this beautiful land can enjoy the tranquil climate while spreading their wings in the lap of nature.

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