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-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…]

Trip to Gods Own Country

Kerala is situated in South India and is considered one of the best dream locations for vacations and honeymoons. I and my husband set out to explore this wonderful place in the month of June 2012 when it was absolute monsoons for Kerala. Munnar, Thekkady and Alleppey, these were the places we chose to cover in a trip of 5 days and 4 nights. [Read more…]

Varkala…off the beaten track

Var…what?, When we first came to these parts of Kerala, I was wondering what could be so special about a tiny little, nondescript place called ‘Varkala.’ But sometimes, unattractive looking old boxes kept in the attic need to be dusted off to find the real treasure within. [Read more…]

Onam – A Culinary Odyssey

Being a Keralite, I have always felt privileged that I was born into a culture that celebrates all its festivals with good food. I hardly know of a festival or event that involves fasting – or at least such ‘fasts’ too propagate special food for those events. Amongst the most celebrated festivals of Kerala, Onam surely heads the list and is a hands-down winner when it comes to festivities associated with it. It is the harvest festival of Kerala and spans 10 days of sheer magnanimity, fun and awesome activities. [Read more…]

Skilled artisans on the Indian streets

A simple wooden frame is all that he has. An old cycle rim is fixed in the center of it which is connected to a foot operated pedal. A thick cord acts as a belt that drives the stone wheel. His knife sharpening instrument is ready. [Read more…]