The Emerald Land of India: KERALA
Area: 38,863 sq km
Languages: Malayalam and English
Airports: Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin and Calicut
Best Time to Visit: September to February
Located on the South western tip of the Indian Subcontinent Kerala has some unique geographical features due to which it has been bestowed upon by mother nature. Sharing its borders with kerala in the North and Tamil Nadu in the East, Kerala has a vast coast of the Arabian Sea in the West.
Being nearer to the Sea, Kerala experiences a typical tropical climate with high levels of humidity and temperatures remaining quite steady throughout the year. The summers although can be sweaty, the winters are just about pleasant and woolens are hardly recommended.
The Emerald green land of Kerala is the most coveted tourist destination in the Indian closet. Offering a grand fiesta of tourist destinations to satisfy all the tastes, Kerala truly is Gods Own country. The Malayalis, as the people of Kerala are known as, are of typical Dravidian nature but there are striking similarities in the languages, customs and other cultural aspects to the Mediterranean civilization of Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley to some extent, and that of Sri Lanka also. Like the whole of the south, the Cholas and the Pandyas were the main distinctive rulers of this state. In the older days, Kerala was known as the Cheranadu and its inhabitants belonged to the Negrito race. The Negritos were replaced by the wandering Proto-Australoids who settled on the plains. The powerful Mediterranean race, the predecessors of Tamils, replaced them during BC 700. With advent of the Aryans a caste system started prevailing in Kerala as well. The Matriarchal social system that the Keralites follow though does not have any historical or anthropological evidence.n 1000BC, King Solomon's ships arrived here for ivory, sandalwood and spices. Kerala also finds a mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Kerala was a part of Tamil country and the Maurya dynasty ruled this place in the second century B.C. The influence of Adi Sankara who was born at Kalady in Kerala during the seventh or eight century was also very strong. With the arrival of Vasco de - Gama a new era began.
Kerala has been an ancient land better known for its spices and its maritime trade. Ancient rulers of the State took special interest in promoting the art and culture of the state along with developing trade links with countries to the Far East and the Middle East. Raja Ravi Varmas paintings, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam dance forms, various martial arts, sculptures, temple architecture and handicraft items stand proof to the promotion.
Kerala has huge farms growing spices, coffee and dry fruits, especially cashew nuts. A state which still lives in the symphony of nature, a state which blends its modernization without harming the nature. Even today dances are learnt with religious sincerity, and they are taught in the same manner. The food is cooked with the same recipes and care that was centuries ago. Kerala is truly a natural bliss.
One can climb the ancient forts reminding the Dutch and Portugal rule over the state, or can blend with the religious fervour of the people worshipping the Lord in various temples, churches and synagogues. One can just laze around watching the natural splendour while passing through the backwaters or have a splash in the blue waters of the vast sea shore that laces the state. Taste the coconut based tangy fish delicacies with other delicious cuisine and experience peace of body and soul with Yoga and Ayurvedic massages. Watch the animals roaming freely in their natural surroundings or watch the typical matriarchal family at work. The dances and festivals of Kerala are a feast to watch. The Kathakali and the Mohiniyattam performances are world famous today, so is the boat race and the Elephant march which are typical of Kerala. Kerala is a shoppers paradise. From fried tasty Banana chips and roasted cashew nuts on the roadside to heavy gold jewellery. Various paintings and sandalwood carved objects to wonderful dress material.
So if one needs, solitude and yet needs to be in touch with the world then Kerala is the place to be.