Things to do in Kerala – Buy gold jewelry

Kerala: God’s own country is also a state which is obsessed with Gold…any occasion in the family sends its members on a shopping spree to patronize at least one among the hundreds of gold and jewelry stores that embellish the state- from the birth of a child, to a birthday, an engagement and the biggest occasion of course for adorning this glittering metal is a wedding reception. [Read more…]

Things to do in Kerala – Take a train ride & enjoy scenic view of green landscape

I remember loving train journeys as a child. In those days, my dad was serving in the Indian Army and I remember quite a few of my journeys being in a first class coupe where we had all the privacy we wanted and I would prop myself near the window seat and watch the trees and fields whizzing past us. Trips to Kerala were made often, as it was my dad’s hometown and I loved watching the different shades of green…I used to imagine God as a giant artist with an enormous painting palette. And I thought some of the shades of green had splashed off his palette and landed on Kerala. [Read more…]

Things to do in Kerala – Eat street food at a Thattukada

Eating food from a Kerala Thattukada is allowing yourself to freely mingle and blend with the Kerala food culture although you may not want to try it if you suffer a sensitive stomach. For us foodies, years of experimenting with food has immunized us enough to be able to try street food almost anywhere in India. And in Kerala, true local flavors at the cheapest prices are mostly available at these roadside carts that are locally referred to as thattukadas. [Read more…]

Things to do in Kerala – Explore local markets

Shopping at the local markets in Kerala depends on what you are looking for. In a typical bustling market area, the commercial shops are situated close to each other and among the chain of merchants and retailers you would find tiny bakeries, shops selling spices and condiments, cloth and textile merchants, shops selling stainless steel utensils and kitchen implements, plastics, toys etc. If you are looking for fresh fruits and vegetables, they occupy a different section of the market place. [Read more…]

Kerala and its ubiquitous Bakeries

As you travel through the towns, cities and neighborhoods of Kerala, it is quite common to see tiny little bakeries dotting these places. The ubiquitous bakeries serve an array of savory and sweet baked items apart from commercial snacks, chips and juices. And it is seldom that you find one that lies empty and devoid of customers except maybe during the ‘siesta’ hours. There are said to be almost 50000 bakeries in the state of Kerala with 600-700 bakeries concentrated in Kozhikode and Kannur districts. [Read more…]

Things to do in Kerala-Sip on Tender Coconut Water

When you walk through the tourist towns or drive through the roads in Kerala, you are bound to come across vendors on the road selling tender coconuts. After all, Kerala is mostly associated with green carpets of coconut trees and known to use every part of the tree and its fruit for some purpose or the other. [Read more…]

Kerala-Set out on a Backwater Cruise

Kerala tourism is catching on everywhere, first is Ayurveda and the second is its natural beauty and rustic experiences. The rest of it simply follows while you are there taking in these experiences. [Read more…]

Things to do in Kerala – Pookalam and Kaikottikali

The main Hindu festivities in Kerala surround the biggest and grandest harvest festival of Onam followed by the temple festivals and feasts. Known and celebrated mostly by the Hindu community in Kerala, the festival of Onam has gained such popularity that many people of other communities and religions take active part in the celebrations. Right from the preparation of the famous Onam sadhya, decoration of houses and street corners and snake boat races to colorful dances and plays depicting the origin of the festival, all require the participation of the town folk to make the celebration a success. [Read more…]

Things to do in Kerala – Operate the Chinese Fishing Nets

The 500 year old Chinese fishing nets dotting the town of Fort Kochi in Kerala were said to have been brought by the Portuguese settlers from Macau when they first came to India between the 1500-1600’s. Some people believe that the Chinese explorer Zheng He brought them from the Emperor Kublai Khan’s court and introduced them in the 1400’s when he came to Kerala. Though their origin is a bit obscure, they have become a prominent feature in parts of Kerala especially Fort Kochi. They resemble large hammocks gently swaying in the warm sea breeze that blows in and out of this tropical land nestled within the lazy backwaters and the Arabian Sea. [Read more…]

Kerala Food – The Traditional Sadhya

Being absolutely drawn to all kinds of seafood and meats, I usually stay away from vegetarian foods. I have never found a taste for it and feel the only way it does really appeal to me is when it is surrounded by a lot of ghee (clarified butter) or cashew paste. Considering that, and if calories were ever a bother, I would naturally gravitate towards the delicious smorgasbord of poultry, bovine and crustacean delights!  But if there is one thing I would recommend anyone visiting Kerala to never give a miss, it is the complete vegetarian traditional meal (which almost passes of as a banquet) called the ‘sadhya.’ [Read more…]