Wake up to the world’s best breakfast
spread of morning dishes – vellayappam, Uppuma, iddli, puttu,
masala dosa,appams etc. have been rated the best breakfast in
the world by Travel & Leisure magazine. A must-try is the
crisp lacy appam served with meat/vegetable stew.
Walk-through paddy fields
different walking experience. Venture in to the very heart of the
paddy fields, on narrow dykes. Don’t lose yourself completely in
the dazzling green around you, as you’ll have to watch out for
the slushy water passages that run through your mud path.
Tip toe across a coconut trunk bridge
the interiors of Kerala, you’ll come across plenty of small
water bodies with these extremely narrow Bridges. Watch the native
folk cross them with case, but think twice before you do. It isn't
your cup of tea, don’t worry. Further down the water’s edge
you’ll find a more friendly bridge.
Sip tender coconut
yourself with a sip of cool tender coconut- nature’s
rejuvenating nectar – and a scoop of its soft white flesh,
Nutrition at its natural best.
a swig of toddy
your tour guide to arrange for fresh madbura kallu (sweet toddy
extracted from the coconut palm) and have it the Kerala way with
exotic karimeen pollicbathu (baked fresh water fish) or spicy
Stay on an exotic houseboat
on an enchanting journey across sun – dappled backwaters on a
kettuvallom-fully furnished traditional rice boats. While your
eyes explore the rustic life that floats by, treat your palate to
backwater delicacies prepared by your personal chef.
Ride a Canoe
along serene waterways in a country craft, Enjoy the breeze,
answer a cuckoo’s call. Wave back at the cheerful village folk
on the banks. Invite some of their chirpy children to hop in for a
ride. They’ll keep you well entertained
Workout on a treadmill
Kerala, traditional treadmills are still used to irrigate the
paddy fields. Try your luck with the local farmer and see if you
can get to pedal one.
See Chinese fishing nets
fishermen tug at these huge nets with their rich haul. These nets
that billow from massive bamboo poles were brought here by traders
from the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongolian King. Their
silhouettes against the evening sky make for terrific pictures
Choose your pick from the Fisherman’s net
the Malabar Coast and at Vasco da Gama Square in Fort Kochi, you
can select your favourite from an inviting display of juicy sear
fish, sardines, prawns, red snappers etc. Ask the friendly
fisherman to fry it for you the local way.
Feast on kappa and meen curry
Kerala’s hot red fish curry with steamed tapioca or boiled rice.
It’ll make your mouth water. And your eyes as well. But you’ll
still enjoy it.
Savour a Sadhya
yourself on the floor, roll your sleeves up and get started on
this multi-course feast of rice, 12-15 vegetarian dishes, spicy
pickles, crunchy banana chips, crispy pappadams, plantains and
payasam- the dessert. Served on a plantain leaf, the meal is eaten
with the fingers.
Wear a Kerala saree
your friends in Kerala saree - five metres of fine off-white
cotton edged with golden zari, that lends an extraordinary
elegance to the person wearing it. Each piece is specially woven
on a traditional handloom.
Wear jasmine in your hair
yourself a string of jasmine-the natural ornament for your hair.
You could even pluck them fresh from a garden and string them
Spice up your life
is the Spice Coast of India.
home a chest full of exotic spices and win compliments for your
aromatic cooking. These are also available in special gift
Ride on 8 tonner without wheels
the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, you and your friends
can majestically into the scenic jungle on an elephant. A mahout
will guide you on your enchanting journey.
egrets, herons, Siberian stork, darters, teals and hundreds of
other migratory birds in Kerala’s enchanting bird sanctuaries.
Hear them sing. Take their Family photograph. Applaud their
Follow the tiger’s trail
the Thekkady tiger trail- a real adventure trek into the dense
forest with expert guides. Cook in the jungle. Sleep in tents.
Wake up to the sounds of the wilderness. Try and spot a tiger.
Design a floral pattern
Onam, the harvest festival in August/September, you can see
colourful, beautiful floral decorations in the courtyards of
Kerala’s homes. Try making one with family and friends.
Cheer a snake boat race
the backwaters of Kerala come alive. Feel the excitement bubble in
you as teams of 100 oarsmen row their snake boats, their bodies
swaying in unison to the fast rhythm of full throated singing, in
one of the most exhilarating water sports.
Feel the rain on your body
invigorating monsoon will cleanse you. Refresh you, rejuvenates
you. Let it run down your body, and wash away stress. So don’t
just listen to the pitter-patter on the roof. Step out.
Munch an uppumanga
simply relish a meal that is accompanied by uppumanga, tender
mangoes preserved in brine for months (the longer, the better).
Get an Ayurvedic massage
yourself new life. Surrender to the magical fingers of specially
trained masseurs. To medicated baths that will refresh you. Herbal
diets that will replenish you. Yoga that will revitalize you. And
meditation that will recharge you.
Say hello to the Nilgiri Tahr
the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr live in the
Eravikulam National Park at Munnar. Friendly as they are, you can
pat them or pose for pictures with them. So meet them and have
plenty to brag about when you get back home.
a walk through the green carpeted tea hills of Kerala and strong
aromas will lead you in to the factories over a hundred years old.
Here you can taste and pick up the finest tea in the country.
Marvel at elephant pageants
spectacle of 30-60 caparisoned elephants will enthral you as they
move in a majestic procession, while trumpets and drum beats work
up to a frenzy. The best of these spectacles is seen at the
Listen to temple music
is an orchestra of 5 native instruments - suddha-maddalam, kombu,
edakka, elathalam and timila. This traditional temple music
accompanying elephant pageants builds up the festive spirit. And
never fails to leave its listeners entranced. Audio cassettes of
panchavadyam are available.
Visit the local markets
stalls with fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken… High
pitched salesmen luring you with impossible bargains. Visit these
bustling markets or chandas for fresh buys.
Kerala, red, green and yellow are synonymous with various types of
plantains’. These digestives come in different shapes too —
tall, short, stout, sleek... And while you taste banana chips, raw
banana dishes, banana milk shake, banana ice cream, dried bananas,
fried bananas… you’ll wonder if there’s any other fruit more
Try your hand at percussion
rich repertoire of percussion music and instruments is world
famous. So bring alive your taste for good music and learn
whatever your holiday allows.
Cheer racing oxen
yourself at a Kumbala, the local ritualistic bullock race of
Kasaragod or a Kaalapoottu – the agrarian sport of Palakkad.
Shop for souvenirs
handicraft centers have an extraordinary collection of wood, coir
shell and sandlwood souvenirs, trinkets and jewellery. Woodcarved
Kathakali masks, snake boats, elephants, jewellery boxes etc. are
perfect showpieces for your drawing rooms and ideal gifts for
Stay in a tree house
romantic nights in the tree houses of Palakkad washed in the sweet
scent of the forest flowers, and let the sounds of the forest fill
up your dreams.
Have a mud bath
in for mud thereapy and discover its healing properties at the
Kavil Bhavan Yoga and Cultural Centre at Nileswaram, Kasaragod.
Bask in sunshine
secluded and spellbinding. Kerala has some of the best beaches in
the world. Ride the surf. Get a tan. Build sand castles. Or simply
sift sand through your toes. Anything you do here will unwind and
Watch a Malayalam movie
movies have excellent story lines and some of them are
internationally acclaimed. If you visit the State during a film
festival, you’ll get to see good movies with English subtitles.
Bathe in healing waters
miss your chance to take a dip in the waters of the Nelliyampathy
forests in Palakkad or the mineral springs at Varkala. These
waters are known for their medicinal properties. Take a splash,
Buy gold for all occasions
gold jewellery, intricately disgined and delicate, will steal any
woman’s heart. Make sure you have enough money on you before you
step into a gold shop. Because whatever be your taste, you’ll
find patterns you’d wish to own.
Aramula mirror is made of a finely polished alloy of four metals
– copper, silver, bronze and lead. Once a closely guarded
preserve of royalty, these ornamental mirrors are exceedingly
rare-only two master crafts men and their families still make
Feel the presence of God at Maramon
the largest Christian convention of Asia at Maramon, near
Kozhencherry, Interestingly, the waters of the Pamba River dry up
every year to reveal sands that serve as the venue for the event.
Ride in an autorickshaw
the streets of Kerala in an autoriscksha, a three wheeled taxi
painted yellow and black. Don’t be surprised if you meet a
driver who has a degree in English literature or is fairly fluent
with the language.
Peep into your future
fortune teller on the street has your future written on his cards
– your career, your life, you life partner and more. Just show
him your palm and wait while his parrot picks your card from the
nimble fingers at work as they spin water treated coconut fibre
into long ropes with a traditional hand spindle in the suburbs of
Kollam. You can shop at a number of roadside stalls for brightly
coloured coir door mats, wall hangings and carpets.
Learn exotic art forms
kathakali, mohiniyattam, theyyam or thiruvathira and
pursue one that interests you most. Learn how a story unveils
through the eyes, fingers, feet and myriad expressions of the
Rock about in a bullock cart
a pleasant evening, treaverse the scenic mud roads of Kerala at
the unhurried pace of a bullock cart. The tinkling bells and
roll-over-from-side-to-side motion of the cart will full you into
a lazy reverie.
Walk the lanes of Fort Kochi
on your hat and sunglasses, wear comfortable sandals and embark on
a walking tour of Fort Kochi where bastions, churches and mansions
built by the British, Dutch and the Portuguese, 500 years ago will
greet you. Interestingly, Vasco da Gama, one of the world’s
greatest explorers, was buried here.
Order a metre of tea
by a thattukada, a roadside kiosk, for a steaming cup of
strong tea. Watch the expert stretch it to a metre while pouring
it from glass to glass, blending it well and building up a
tempting froth in the process.
Climb rugged heights
all places to visit in Kerala are on well travelled roads. Or on
roads at all. Hike up rugged terrains at Munnar, Wayanad and
Kakkayam (Kozkikkod) for an exhilarating experience. If you
haven’t tried rock climbing before, our experts will teach you
Engage in water sports
adventure sports lover will rarely find time to stay idle in
Kerala. Her beaches provide you with unlimited watersporting
options of wind surfing, rafting, sailing, power boating and even
that of a simple catamaran ride.
Take a train through paradise
train journey is an interesting way to experience Kerala. Get a
window seat and watch the landscape unfold like pages of a
colourful picture book, or acquaint yourself with your fellow
travellers who make interesting profiles.
Treat your sweet tooth
famous Mithai Street of Kozkikkod has everything to make your
mouth water – from heavenly haluvas, juicy jillebies to creamy
milk sweets, Relish them as they melt in your mouth.
Study rare flora
your eyes to exotic orchids, anthuria, sandalwood trees etc. in
the forests. One of these, the rare Neelakurinji, bathes the
mountains of Munnar in blue once every 12 years. It is expected to
bloom next in 2006.
Romance the spice hills
amidst the sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns and
winding lanes of Kerala’s mist clad hill stations – a world
where tranquillity abounds. The dense tropical jungles in these
hill stations house some of the exotic bird and wildlife
sanctuaries in the country.
Watch the making of an Arabian dhow
this 1500 year old tradition at Beypore. It takes an expert team
of 15-30 strongmen at least two years to shape a vessel in wood.
Locally called uru, this Arabian trading vessel is fast fading
from the shipping scene.
Bathe in waterfalls
else will you find water so playful, So pure. So pacifying.
Crystal clear waters cascade down the mountains of Kerala,
gurgling, whispering, laughing and cleansing everything in their
way. Watch them wake serene rivers with a magnificent splash.
can browse in the art galleries for hours without track of time.
Among them are collections of the world famous works of Raja Ravi
Varma, Raja Raja Varma, Svetlova, Nicholas Roerich, rare murals
and masterpieces from China, Japan, Tibet, Bali and other parts of
Visit scenic Kuttanad
the lush paddy fields of Kuttanad, the rice bow of Kerala – the
only place in the world where farming is done 1.5 or 2 m below sea
level. Kuttanad is in the interiors of the beautiful backwater
district of Alappuzha.
payasam, a rich milk delicacy prepared with vermicili, gram or
rice, is a delight for the plate. The most common dessert of
Kerala, the payasam is made in scores of flavours and garnished
with raisins and nuts fried in ghee. It is usually eaten with
Feast your eyes on the largest mural
palaces and museums of Kerala have an exotic collection of ancient
murals. The Krishnapuram Palace at kayamkulam displays the largest
of these masterpieces – gajendramoksham – which belongs to the
18th century and depicts an event from mythology.
is the oldest ritual art form of Kerala, Look on in awe as Theyyam
performers invoke the temple diety Bhagavathy with their frenzied
dancing and throbbing temple music in the countryards of village
Try coconut hair oil
secret of a Malayali woman’s long, black, lustrous hair could be
yours too. Coconut oil is considered the best nutrient for hair
and a coolant for the head. In Kerala, both men and women massage
oil on their heads before a bath.
Explore a tharavad
the old times in the perfect settings of antique furniture and
exquisite woodwork in Kerala’s heritage holiday homes and
nalukettu (quandrangular mansions with a central countryard), each
more than 50 years old.
Kerala’s sweet toned language, has 56 letters in its alphabet.
Try learning the basics and roll the words off your tongue.
in astronomy, Kerala’s planetariums will show you much more than
Mercury, Venus and Mars. But a ticket to the evening star gazing
sessions and experience the wonders of the universe.
Holiday on an island
a weekend on Kerala’s islands or lagoons, and experience special
moments . Spectacular sunset, balmy backwaters succulent seafood
at Bolghatty, Pathiramanal, Poovar….These paradises can be
reached only by a ferry or boat.
Picnic beside virgin lakes
a picnic basket and spend a romantic evening beside the crystal
clear lakes near Munnar. Try your luck at fishing and feast on
your fresh catch. Go for a long walk hand-in-hand, undisturbed.
Lie down on the most comfortable of grass beds.
across the lush green hills of Munnar on a paraglider and enjoy
the vantage of an eagle. See the soothing blues and greens of
nature. Enjoy the wind beneath your wings. Feel on top of the
Walk in to a palace
exquisite wooden architecture, the palaces of Kerala flaunt the
finest floors in the world. Floors that, surprisingly, need least
maintenance – being made of crushed coconut charocoal, egg
whites and the sap of loan plants. You’ll also see collections
of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
Muse in a Museum
museums of Kerala, especially the Pazhasiraja Museum at Kozkikkod,
pay full tribute to outstanding crafts-historical and contemporary
ornaments, temple carts and Ivory carvings of life sized figures
of Kathakali in full regalia.
an exotic art form, and the rhythmic sounds of music accompanying
it will keep you in a constant stage of merriment. Humour, satire
and social criticism are its hallmarks. This art form was
fourmulated overnight by the renowned poet, Kunjan Nambiar.
Visit the zoo
zoological parks in Kerala have plenty to excite the animal lover
in you. The Trivandrum zoo is one among the best designed in Asia
and is set amidst a woodland, lakes and lawns.
Wash your sins away
to a myth, sage Narada was approached by mendicants who confessed
to having sinned. The place he created for them to pray for
redemption is known as the Papanasham beach (papanasham meaning
redemption from sins). Take a dip and come out feeling clean in
your heart too.
can get raw, fried, grilled, salted and spiced cashews at
surprisingly affordable rates from Kollam where cashew plantations
and industries abound.
Chew into a juicy mussel
is indeed fun watching mussel collectors anchor their boats, dive
down and bring up basket loads of these fresh water delicacies.
The shells are later burnt in kilns to make lime.
See wildlife from aboat
wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat at the
sanctuaries of Kumarakom, and Periyar. Herds of wild elephants
bathing in the lake, the Indian bison digging his horns into an
unaffected tree, the cormorant darting into the waters… a treat
for an amateur photographer.
your mind with yoga at the special ashrams in Trivandrum and
Nileswaram – the cultural centre of Kasaragod. Sessions are
conducted by spiritual gurus and experts in the field.
Walk the historic Kappad beach
is where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498 with his men in three
vessels. Here, you’ll find an interesting landscape of rocks
that sprawl right into the sea. An 800 year old temple stands
Munch on crispy snacks
has a wide range of crunchy snacks- ethakka (banana) chips,
chakka vattal (jackfruit chips), pappadam, kuzhalappam,
achappam, cheeda and churuttu. All worth every penny
spend on them.
Meet martial art experts
the martial art form of Kerala, is the oldest and most scientific
in the world. Watch agile bodies gleaming in oil and armed with
weapons practise their feats-chattam (jumping), ottam (running),
marichil (somersault)-to stunning perfection. Explore the Bekal
Explore the largest and the best-preserved fort of Kerala at Bekal,
imposing laterite structure rising 130 ft. above sea level, stands
on a 35 acre headland that runs right into the Arabian Sea.
Behold the Queen of the Arabian Sea.
also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is breathtakingly
beautiful. Apart from being the commercial capital and the most
cosmopolitan city of Kerala, Kochi also flaunts one of the finest
natural harbours of the world.
Discover prehistoric settlements
Edakkal caves at Wayanad and the caves at the mouth of the
Shenduruny River have interesting pictorial writings and cave
drawings from the Stone Age. You’ll have to trek at least a
kilometer uphill to reach the Edakkal caves. Say a prayer at the
Explore the 18th century Synagogue
500 years old Synagogue in Kochi is adorned with mid 18th century
hand painted Cantonese tiles. Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs,
ancient scripts on copper plates and great scrolls of the Old
Testament are preserved here. An age-old clock tower stands
Let a mohini enchant you
or the dance of the enchantress reflects the graceful nature of
the land. The sensuous, graceful movements of the dancer, clad in
gold and off white costumes, will remind you of palms swaying in
the gentle breeze and sweeping waves.
Spend the night at a Kathakali concert
the four centuries old classical art form, is usually staged at
night. Elaborate costumes, ornaments and multi-coloured facial
make-up give the artistes a super human appearance, which leaves
Cook in earthenware
most of the traditional homesteads of Kerala, women cook their
food in earthenware. For some time-tested reason renders a special
taste to the dish prepared.
up the Jew Street in Fort Kochi for interesting finds like period
furniture, ancient coins, elaborately carved pens, ornamental
brass latches, antique jewellery, grandfather clocks and
Cruise the backwaters of Alappuzha
embroidered with a labyrinth of waterways, was extolled by
travellers as the Venice of the East. Visit this land where the
skiff is the family vehicle, the ducks outnumber chicken and
children learn to swim perhaps even before the walk.
Meet smart fishermen
is indeed a spectacular sight to watch Kerala’ Smart fishermen
outdo the crashing waves by pushing their boats into the sea from
a pier beyond the wave point, and simultaneously jumping into it
in perfect coordination.
See mind-blowing fireworks
a wish under a thousand shooting starts -brilliant firework
displays that mark the end of a festival in Kerala. And you’ll
never miss them as every dawn in Kerala brings yet another
Watch a puppet show
Bombeyattu (puppetry) is the art form of Kasaragod. Colourful
puppets in huge headgears, elaborate facial make-up and loud
attires dancing to throbbing music will keep you entertained.
Go for a flower show
a colourful evening with pretty asters, glowing anthuria, exotic
orchids, beautiful roses, elegant lilies and a bloom of soft
cotton candy at a flower show.
Smash the elusive pot
(smashing the pot) is a spirited sport connected with some of
festivals of Kerala. The festive pot colourfully decorated will be
hung from a tall pole. All you have to do is try and break it with
a stick as the crowd pulls it up and down.
Spot a dolphin
you ‘re lucky, you’ll get to see the dolphins do their grand
act at the Cherai beach. Applaud them as they spring out of the
waters magnificent splash only to take a marvelous dive back into
Buy a Palmyra fan
Kerala, you’ll find small, handy fans made of medicinal herbal
roots, palm fronds, bamboo splits and grass. Get yourself a
portable, compact, cute and colourful little fan that comes in
handy anytime of the day. When not in use, you could even put it
up on the wall as a showpiece.
Stay in exotic resorts
innovative hoteliers have amazing experiences in store for you.
Some even have Theme evenings when centuries old art forms like
Kathakali and Mohiniyattom are performed as well.
the bees and butterflies to it in a banana plantation. Hold the
tip of a banana inflorescence (koombu) to your mouth and suck the
Visit a Snake Park
Snake Park at Parassinikadavu, Kannur, is the only one of its kind
in the whole of India. There are three snake pits and fifteen
glass cases full of various species of snakes, and two large glass
houses for King Cobras. The snake demonstration conducted every
hour is a major crowd puller.
a traditional dance performed by women, has simple steps and a
single rule-performers should be clad in a Kerala saree. Join them
as they sing and move elegantly around a ceremonial lamp (vilakku)
or a floral decoration (pookalam)
Bring swing to your life Onam is the season for fun and games.
Kerala during August /September and you’ll find in every house.
The friendly people here will be only too glad to let you join
Try out new ways to fish
a rod and line into the flowing waters. Sweep a towel through it.
Feel for fish with your feet in the mud below. Or simply try
trapping small fish with your hands. Anyway, you’ll never return