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Destination Kerala: God’s Own Country

Kerala fondly referred to as “God’s own Country” is definitely worth the distinction with which it has been conferred. Tours to Kerala let you experience some of the most fond moments as well as memories of a lifetime. 

A diversity which is unique in India in terms of holiday options and a laissez-faire hospitality thanks to the colonial legacy and highest literacy rate in India, Kerala tours and vacations definitely rate as one of the best in India with fair share of beaches, hill stations, wildlife excursions and the mystique of backwater tours. Add to this a dash of Kathakali and mouth tingling cuisines, Kerala indeed is a paradisiacal country.

Kathakali dance in Kerala culture
Kathakali dance form is iconic of Kerala culture
So what are the various options to choose from while you are planning your vacation in Kerala? Here are a few of the available options to chose from or to give a thought to, which I’d like to underscore if you are one of those enchanted with the allure of Kerala and looking forward to plan your vacations in India. Just as an afterthought: Kerala was placed among the `50 destinations of a lifetime' by National Geographic Traveler in a special collectors' issue released just before the turn of the millennium.
Meandering backwaters are vast networks of brackish lagoons, lakes and water canals draped along the scenic Malabar Coast. The network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both manmade and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually half the length of Kerala state. 

Most endearing experience is the cruise on Ketuvallams which have become USP of backwater tourism (traditional thatched grain barrages now houseboats). Partaking in the mystique of the charming surroundings characterized by rice paddy fields and coconut groves adding to the green hue of this unique ecosystem is simply paradisiacal experience.

Houseboat cruises in backwaters Kerala
Houseboat cruises in backwaters of Alapuzza is one of the most popular attractions and allure of Kerala tourism

Alleppey or Alappuzha as it is now known, is fondly referred to as “Venice of East” by virtue of its large network of canals and is the most popular Kerala Backwaters destination. Vembanad, the largest fresh water lake in India is another major destination and is known for green tourism initiatives. The things to do include houseboat cruises which can last as long as 2 nights, fishing with permission and boat races which are part of the vibrant culture of Kerala.

Kerala tours
Ketuvallams traditionally used to be rice barge are the USP of backwater tourism with 2000 Ketuvallams of different categories plying the backwaters of Kerala
Literally meaning coconut groves by the sea, Kovalam burst into international scene with arrival of hippies in the early seventies. This once haven of budget travelers is now an exclusive destination in Kerala thanks to rapid infrastructural development to keep pace with modernity and expectations of tourists assembling to this beach paradise. 

There so much to be savored in Kovalam when it comes to ideal vacations in Kerala. Salubrious weather, palm fringed beaches and allure of romance pervading the ambience add up to a gratifying holiday experience in Kovalam. Three major beaches are the Lighthouse, Samudra and Hawah beaches.

destinations in Kerala
Breathtaking panorama of the Arabian coastline at Kovalam, Kerala 
Responsible tourism is gaining wide acceptance as one of the best ways to minimize the negative effects and maximize the negative one on the local ecosystem. Kerala has pioneered in adopting and implementing this holistic form of tourism to protect its fragile ecosystem and reap maximum benefits both for the local stakeholders and tourist traveling to select destinations in Kerala.

Kerala tour packages

Kerala also has its own indigenous form of martial art — Kalarippayattu, derived from the words kalari ("place", "threshing floor", or "battlefield") and payattu ("exercise" or "practice")

Responsible tourism initiatives at destinations such as Kumarakom, Kovalam, Wayanad, Thekkady has proved that tourism could be an important socio-economic tool which could benefit key stakeholders such as local communities and cultural ethos and hospitality industry while significantly reducing carbon footprint of tourists and making them more aware of local tradition, culture and heritage.

kerala tour packages
A fisherman in Kerala
The responsible tourism activities include packages and experience beyond what is offered in conventional tour packages in Kerala. Responsible Tourism in Kerala- the first ever initiative in India produced significant outputs at destinations in terms of enhanced cultivation and community participation. These contributions are especially notable in the present scenario, were leading tourism destinations are finding it difficult to balance their growth in tourism activities and retain their tradition livelihoods, culture and heritage; most of which are undoubtedly the hallmarks of individual destinations.

Backwater tours Kerala
Tea plantation add to the green hue of the hill station in Kerala near Munnar
For more information about Kerala or destinations in Kerala, please feel free to contact me


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