Three reasons why you should definitely travel to Kerala
Kerala means “land of coconut trees”, because there are plenty of them here. When we think of this region in southwestern India, we have pictures of glittering and shimmering saris and colorful house walls, of cheerfully laughing people, traditional dances, stunning wildlife and breathtaking nature in our minds – and the tempting smell of fresh coffee and tea, of curry, turmeric and garam masala in our noses. There is so much to experience on a trip to Kerala. Here are our three major highlights for you:
Eating: a ceremony full of aromatic scents
Traditionally, the people in Kerala eat with their hands – and the food is served on a plate-sized banana leaf. This is not only eco-friendly, but also looks great. Vegetarians and vegans are attracted by the Indian cuisine with Pappadam, Sambar, Pachadi, Naan and Dahl. Those who like it also should try the fresh oysters, mussels and shrimps in Kerala. And of course: fish, fish, fish. Under the title “farm kitchen”, the chef of the restaurant at Spice Village will introduce you to the secrets of traditional cooking: At first, you will harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs from the organic garden covering an area of 12.000 square meters (!), then you will prepare them together. If you love Indian cuisine, you can learn a lot about it here and this way have something lasting to take home with you. Something else you should definitely integrate into your daily life, instead of a hectic snack in between: enjoy your meals like a ceremony, as the Indians do.
Wildlife: a breathtaking experience
The Periyar Tiger Reserve close to the Coconut Lagoon should be at the very top of your list of planned excursions. The rainforest is home to more than 60 mammal species and 38 species of fish, 320 species of bird, 26 amphibian species and 45 reptile species. On a trekking tour through the national park you will have the opportunity to watch elephants, bison, monkeys and, with a lot of luck, a Bengal tiger in their natural habitat at close range. Somewhat smaller: the butterfly garden of Marari Beach. Here, you can marvel at countless butterflies, among them the rare Southern Birdwing, and more than 50 dragonfly species. It is an idyllic place and perfect for relaxing amidst these beautiful creatures. Kemala is also a paradise for ornithologists: On a bird-watching tour you can discover rare and shy species of bird, whereas the more cheeky specimens will accompany and delight you every day.
The backwaters: natural spectacle as well as daily routine
Perhaps the biggest highlight in Kerala? A boat tour through the backwaters. The ramified water landscape covers an area of about 1,900 square meters and its wide rivers and narrow canals connect a total of 29 lakes and lagoons as well as numerous islands. Whether you decide for a multi-day houseboat tour or for a simple canoo trip, the backwaters are a unique experience. First, because of the spectacular flora and fauna, but also because it is a nice opportunity to watch the daily routine on the shore: people who are fishing, chatting, doing the laundry or bathing against the backgroud of colorful little houses; fishing boats, post boats or school boats passing by. A romantic atmosphere is guaranteed due to the sunsets that may be the pinkest ones you have ever seen. An impressive panorama in many ways– and anyway, a boat tour is incredibly relaxing.
Some more reasons for a Kerala trip on your bucket list
Enjoy the local’s hospitality, visit a tea plantation and indulge in an Aryuvedic treatment. Immerse yourself in the culture, discover the local craftsmanship and make sure that you visit a traditional Kathakali dance performance (or even take a course yourself). On top of this: Go on a shopping spree in one of the many spice shops before you return home. The visit alone is a highlight, because there is nothing that smells as wonderfully intense as an Indian spice shop.