Fun things to do in State of Kerala

  • Where the beaches meet
    Where the beaches meet
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    Wood craft at Echo Point
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    Nilgiri Tahr
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Most Viewed Things to Do in State of Kerala

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    Temples of Kerala 2 - Chengannur Mahadevar Temple

    by ushar Updated Sep 12, 2012

    Chengannur, a beautiful town in 'God's own country', Kerala. Chenganoor, situates at the extreme east part of Alappuzha district. 117kms north of state capital Thiruvananthapuram on the Main Central Road (MC Road). Nammalwar of the 1st millennium CE, describes Chenkunrur or Chenganoor as a town where the smoke, emanating from the Vedic ritual yagna, fills the sky and as a place surrounded by rich lush vegetation (of bananas and coconuts).

    This town is one of the fastest developing town in kerala. It was a busy business town in the historical period. Many great historical events took place in this small beautiful place which is watered by sacred river "Pampa". It is a border to Pathanamthitta district. You can reach at this place by Road, Rail, and Water Transport systems.

    Chengannur Mahadevar Temple

    Chengannur Mahadevar Temple is one of the oldest and famous temple in Kerala. It has a circular Sanctum. Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi are the main investitures of this temple. Differing from other temples, there are two main Shrines in this temple. Lord Shiva facing East and Devi facing West. The main shrine is a conical copper plated one. Devi’s main Idol is made with an alloy of five metals (PANCHALOHAM). The Shivalingam, is covered with a gold plate bearing an image of Ardhanareeswara - or the Shiva-Shakti manifestation of Shiva.
    The temple was constructed centuries back in accordance with an architectural design evolved by the famous Perunthachan. The mukhamandapam in front of the temple and other mandapams in this temple are full of exquisite woodwork.
    Compared to other temples, this temple has a peculiarity of its own, quiet distinct from other temples. The interesting belief and festival of this Temple is TRIPUTHARATTU which is considered as a symbol of fertility. This festival is connected with a menstruation ceremony, which is observed periodically in the temple. That is why this temple is also considered as Shakthi Peedam.

    Chengannur Mahadevar Temple - Full view from front Chengannur Mahadevar Temple - The entrance Chengannur Mahadevar Temple- An angle view Chengannur Mahadevar Temple - Chengannur Mahadevar Temple - outside shop
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  • God's Own Country Kerala

    by Globecrawl Written Jun 11, 2012

    A trip towards the goodness of nature

    Located on the Malabar coast of South India, Kerala is the cleanest state of India and is surely a charming tourist destination. National Geographic’s Traveller magazine has named Kerala as one of the “ten paradises of the world”.

    Its beaches, backwaters, tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls, lakes and paddy fields keep calling you back. Pioneered in health, Ayurveda and medical tourism, Kerala is the place to heal your body and soul.

    Kerala is also known as Centre of heritage and attracts tourists from all over for its religious tourism. Aranmula Temple, Sabarimala Temple, St. Francis Church, Beemapally mosque are only to name a few pilgrimage sites.

    At Kerala, you will witness varied bio-diversity which is well protected in the Western Ghats. The tropical wet evergreen forest is the home to 453 species of birds and 102 mammals. Its vivid wildlife includes elephants, deers and various exotic birds.

    Kerala is also known as the Land of Spices and got a very unique cuisine by itself. You can enjoy these authentic delicacies while you relax in your backwater houseboat stay. The cool blue waters of Arabian Sea and the lush greens of coconut groves gives you the calm feeling which is only possible in Kerala.

    Alleppey - Set amidst this beautiful land is the picturesque town of Alleppey. A place where you can find canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoons and it is also described as “Venice of the East”. Houseboat cruise in the backwaters is a delightful treat.

    The unending stretches of paddy fields, the gushing streams and the serene backwaters here creates a magical environment. One of the major attractions of Alleppey is its festival called mullackal chirap. It consists of ten colourful days in the month of December. There is abundance of marine life and rich flora here, thanks to its climate.

    Kumarakom - Famous for its backwater tourism, Kumarakom is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake. The lake facilitates tourist for boating and fishing along with the panoramic view of the lake.

    Kumarakom has been declared a Special Tourism Zone by the Kerala state government. Home to wide variety of flora and fauna, this place gets noted for its Bird Sanctuary where species of migratory birds visit.

    Experience a blissful stay in the houseboats and witness exciting boat-race conducted in the big canal near the market of Kumarakom.

    Come, explore Kerala – God’s own country with www.polama.com or Visit Kerala Tour Itinerary Package

    Kumarakom Houseboat Magic from Polama Thekkady Wonders Misty Munnar from Polama
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    Kovalam Beach- A Beautiful Place for Beach Lovers

    by kmohandas Updated Dec 20, 2011

    KOVALAM means a grove of coconut trees in the native language Malayalam. This wonderful beach indeed offers an endless sight of coconut trees. This crescent-shaped beach has three parts viz. Samudra, Hawa and Light House. The southernmost beach, Light House Beach is the most popular amongst the three. It offers an amazing sight of Vizhinjam mosque. The northern most Samudra is a laidback one and time seems stands still here. The middle one, Hawa, is a busy acivity centre with fishermen setting early in the morning to sea for fishing and tourists thronging the beach. With a high rocks and calm blue waters, this beautiful beach creates an amazing night on a full Moon day. This is an ideal place for swimming and sea bathing. Also, there are beautiful patches of coral reefs. The underwater views, which are visible during snorkelling.
    Excellent accommodations are available around Kovalam . There are plenty of restaurants which provide continentalfood as well as Indian food. The grilled seafood items such as lobster, king prawns and kalamari are harvested from around the sea at Kovalam and fresh delicacies are available in restaurants around. There are Ayurvedic massage parlours, yoga centers and water sport facilities around Kovalam. These facilities make Kovalam a great tourist attraction for people around the globe.

    Kovalam Beach Another View of Kovalam

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    House Boats Kerala

    by Babumohanan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    HOUSE BOATS

    A house boat is about 67 feet in length and has a width of around 13 feet in the middle. The materials that go into the making are all local and Eco friendly bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjili". The house boats have fully furnished single and double rooms with sundeck, private balcony with comfortable chairs, kitchen and toilet with WC. In addition there is also separate rest room for the crew. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. The crew includes a chef and two oarsmen. The cuisine is traditional Kerala flavour with the local specialities; delicious fish and prawns. There are single bedroom houseboats for two people and two bedroom houseboats for four people.

    Our craftsmen have created a unique atmosphere on board, a luxurious, self contained world from which to observe rural Indian life flowing gently by. The experience will be quite different from any other holiday.

    One couple has the exclusive run of the entire boat ensuring privacy for honeymooners - and guests are attended to by a personal cook and two boatmen.

    While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the aracanut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. For lighting though, solar panels are used.

    Today, the houseboats have all the creative comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. Parts of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm open out to provide shade and allow uninterrupted views. While most boats are poled by local oarsmen, some are powered by a 40 HP engine. Boat-trains - formed by joining two or more houseboats together - are also used by large groups of sight-seers.

    House boat inside a house boat Bedroom Facilities Backwater
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    AYURVEDIC HOLIDAYS

    by Babumohanan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Rejuvenation Massage:

    In the Ayurvedic textbooks, rejuvenation has been termed as Rasayana. A definition of Rasayana in Ayurveda is described as: "That which destroys the old age and disease is called Rasayana."

    Rejuvenation Therapy ('Rasayana Chikitsa') tones, rejuvenates and strengthens all the tissues so as to achieve ideal health and longevity. Increases 'Ojas' (Primary Vitality), improves 'Sattva' (Mental Clarity) and thereby increases the resistance of the body.

    Ayurveda Rejuvenation Bedroom Kerala
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  • Justin_goa's Profile Photo

    Snake Boat Races in Kerala

    by Justin_goa Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you think English Football is the most electrifying event in the world, try Kerala snake Boat races.
    Boats manned by four helmsmen, 25 singers and 100 - 125 oarsmen who row in unison to the fast rhythm of the vanchipattu (song of the boatman). Thousands of people crowd the water's edge to cheer the huge black crafts as they slice through the waters to a spectacular finish.....
    It's a spectacular event not to miss while you are anywhere close to Kerala..

    Boat race
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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali- The Characters....... the rest!

    by suvanki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Katti (knife shape worn on forehead)

    Demons and villains. Usually nobles similar to pacca group.

    They wear similar make up/costumes,but their characteristics are the complete opposite.

    Teppu - This group may represent humans, animals or objects, many different performers.

    Minnukku
    This is the servant class.
    Make up is more subtle and costumes are less ornate

    Kathakali performer
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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali - The narrator

    by suvanki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Prior to the dance performance, the narrator gives a brief outline of the expected performance, and demonstrates the 9 facial emotions (mukhabhinaya) and various eye movements and their meanings.

    Kathakali also has a language of hand gestures which has 24 alphabets (in Sanskrit they are known as Mudras)these too are demonstrated.

    Typed handouts are usually provided, with a brief outline of the performance, plus the hand movements etc.

    The narrator at Art Kerala is also the director of the centre. Mr. T. Radhakrishnan, who was a disciple of the late Guru Gopinath who was a leading exponant of Kathakali.

    Although he is in his 70's he can't retire as there is no one to take over his work.

    Mr T. Radhakrishnan
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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali - The Musicians

    by suvanki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In Cochin, live music accompanies the performance, tho' the performance I saw in Kovalam was to tape recorded music. ( which was a problem with the frequent power cuts!)

    The musicians are usually illuminated by a single lantern or candle flame, which adds to the atmosphere.

    The main instrument is the drum, a long barrel shaped instrument (sudda mandalam) It is beaten at both ends, producing a resonant rythym.

    Singers accompany the drummer, the sounds they produce and the drum beat alters to portray the emotions the dancers are acting.
    The musicians are highly skilled professionals.

    The dancers don't speak or sing, but rely on the accompanying musicians, together with their facial expressions/hand gestures etc to portray moods and emotions to tell the story

    Kathakali musicians Cochin
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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali - Make Up

    by suvanki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The preparation of make up and dressing can take 2 hours or more, and follows a disciplined procedure, as the performer, takes on the whole persona of the character they are to present.
    Special aryavaida massages are essential to maintain the dancers stamina and flexibility.
    All the make up is prepared specially for each dancer, from minerals, vegetable and woods. Each being symbolic, and applied in a strict routine , with an assistant who mixes the make up and hands it to the dancer who applies it with thin wooden sticks.
    Paper beards, and nose rossettes worn by certain characters, are made for each individual performance.

    The final part of the make up/ dressing procedure, is the insertion of a seed from the cunlappuvu plant inside the lower lid of each eye, which turns the eye white a flaming red, used to symbolise demons, a softer pink is for kindly characters or beautiful women.

    Viewing of make up/dressing is open to the audience and is included in the admission price.

    Please visit my Kovalam and Cochin pages for more Kathakali info

    Audience observing Kathakali make up preparation
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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali

    by suvanki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Kathakali means story play. It is a classical dance- drama , derived from a form of yoga, that is believed to have its beginnings in the 2nd century BC, with the contempory form dating from the first half of the 17th Century AD.
    Many elements of art form are combined into a Kathakali performance.

    There are about 30 plays in existance,(originally there were about 100) based on stories from the Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha, where common themes of good v evil, weakness & courage, wealth & poverty, War & Peace are dramatised.

    Attakatha (the script) is a sanskrit form of Malayalam, vocalised by singers or musicians.
    The dancers narrate the story through intricate facial expressions and gestures, with sudden leaps, spins and freeze balances. Each wearing fantastic costumes and elaborate make up.

    Dancers usually begin a disciplined training at around age 10 or 12, lasting for about 8 years, where intense physical exercises and instruction in footwork, body movements, eye movements, hand gestures and facial portrayal of emotions are undertaken.

    Each dancer learns the different characters parts /make up etc. as he may play a different character at each performance.

    See my Kovalam and Cochin pages too for more tips about this fascinating tradition!

    Kathakali dancer Cochin
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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali - A revived artform

    by suvanki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Kathakali traditionally took place in temple grounds, with performances lasting 4 hours or longer. During Temple festivals the performance starts at 9pm and continues through the night until early morning.

    This artform was in danger of becoming extinct, but had a revival about 40 years ago.
    Tourism keeps the performance alive today, but concessions have been made. Performances are shorter, and many now take place in indoor halls, restaurants and hotels.
    The music (Geetham) and musical instruments (Vadhyam) form an integral part of the art performance, with highly trained artistes. Some performances are now accompanied by taped recordings. (The performance I saw in Kovalam was done this way, but suffered as a result of a few power cuts that night!)
    I'd read that lower castes and women are now allowed to perform, but when I asked our guide about this he denied it.

    Although Kathakali has rigid codes and a preciseness of training and practice, it is still allowed to progress with the individual interpretation of the performer.

    Kathakali dancer Cochin
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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali - The Characters - The Bad Guys!

    by suvanki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Thadi or Tati (Beard) characters.

    Demon characters such as The Hunter

    Wears a red beard and false nose, with an outsized crown. He also is seen as a comic character.
    Face paint is black, representing evil.

    Other tati characters may have black or white beards as does Hanuman the monkey god

    Kathakali Hunter character
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    Samudra Beach

    by kat-m Written Mar 13, 2011

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    Samudra beach is a pleasant walk from Kovalam, about 2 kilometers a slow pace does the trick in the heat. This beach is very quiet and the best one for watching the fishermen. At the beggining of the beach are a few restaurants and shops. Once away from the hotels beaches you come to the quieter part nice for swimming, behind the beach is a lake where locals also fish. If you walk right along as far as you can go you come to a temple which is partly derilect and a small village, which is very traditional.

    samudra beach Lake temple village
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    HAWA BEACH

    by kat-m Written Mar 13, 2011

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    Hawa beach in kovalam is situated right next to lighthouse beach , the 2 are seperated by a rocky outcrop. Hawa beach in my opinion is the better of the two. As with lighthouse beach a few sunbeds are for hire and fishermen frequent the beach, It is a lovely sight to watch the men pulling in the nets and singing as they do so. The far end of hawa is the nicest and less crowded. Locals frequent the beach and there are 2 shack type restaurants and an icecream vendor. at sunset it can get quite busy with locals and tourists waiting to see the spectacular sight.

    lone fisherman sunset at hawa out for a walk you can keep your hat on
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State of Kerala Hotels

  • Kumarakom Lake Resort

    Kumarakom North Post, Kumarakom, Kerala, 686 566, India

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 5 out of 5 stars

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