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K erala, the land of green magic, is a narrow, fertile strip on the south - west coast of India, sandwiched between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats. The landscape is dominated by rice fields, mango and cashewnut trees and coconut palms. Christianity has been in Kerala for as long as it has been in Europe. The present-day state of Kerala was created in 1956 from Travancore, Kochi and Malabar. Malabar was formerly part of Madras state. Kerala is one of the most progressive, literate and highly educated states of India. For the visitors, Kerala offers an intriguing blend of cultures and some unusual ways of travelling around. It offers some of the best and most picturesque beaches in India.
In 1956, when the states were reorganized, Kerala was formed after tying the princely states of Travancore and Cochin with Malabar, a province under Madras state.
Kerala may be divided into three geographical regions: (1) High lands, (2) Midlands and (3) Lowlands. The Highlands slope down from the Western Ghats which rise to an average height of 900 m, with a number of peaks well over 1,800 m in height. This is the area of major plantations like tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and other spices.
The Midlands, lying between the mountains and the lowlands, is made up of undulating hills and valleys. This is an area of intensive cultivation. Cashew, coconut, areca nut, cassava (tapioca), banana, rice, ginger, pepper, sugarcane and vegetables of myriad varieties are grown in this area.
It is a purified world in Kerala, the land of trees. A big, spreading tree purifies as much air as a room air-conditioner. And the former is never switched off. The prolific, bustling, vegetation acts like a massive, biological, air-filtration plant working round the clock, round the year. Hence spending days in Kerala countryside is as if spending in an air- purified environ; some times better than it. So is the rejuvenating effect of the lush greenery of the state.
Kerala offers the most exquisite scenic splendors and that’s an experience to last a lifetime. The maze of canals, lagoons, lakes and rivers contribute to the magic of Kerala. Forty-one rivers meander through the hills and verdant plains. Countless waterfalls and rapids fill the environment with resonating sounds. Lush paddy fields sway in the cool breeze. These are just some of the treasure's of Kerala - God's Own Country
The beaches and backwater travel packages to Kerala has a lot to offer to the tourists from across the world. Kerela is most famous for its mesmerizing beaches and backwaters. Its long coastline renders Kerala with some splendid beaches. The panoramic beauty of the sun setting at the horizon is enticing
The culture of Kerela is one tha the land has evolved of its own, distinct from the rest of India. It famous classical dance called Kathakali that originated in Kerala, is exclusively performed by men. Elaborate make up, complicated headgear and colorful clothes are the integral to the performance. The dances through exaggerated gestures and expressions narrate incidences of epic battles of gods and demons.
The land of Kerala is characterized by cultural and religious harmony. With the cultural travel packages to Kerela besides the culture of Kerela also experience the traditional art of Kerala- the mural paintings, which originated way back in the 8th century and still embellish the temples by depicting sagas of Hindu gods and goddesses. These paintings are usually very colorful and intricate.
Backwaters of Kerala - 900 km of tranquility
It's an intricate network of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine waterworld is navigable. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad lake which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port.
The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms), which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest and is considered the gateway to the backwaters.
The Ketturvallom (House boats)
Showcasing a unique heritage, The kettuvalloms of Kerala are giant country crafts, measuring up to 80 feet in length. It took great skill and meticulousness to construct these giants by tying huge planks of jack wood together, without the use of a single nail.
Today, these goods carriers have been adapted to make the most exciting tourism product in India, the luxurious furnished houseboat. A kettuvallom usually has one or two bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide.
The district of Palakkad known as the granary of Kerala, is a land of valleys, hillocks, rivers, forests, mountain streams, dams and irrigation projects. Situated at the foot of the Western Ghats, this is the gateway to Kerala from the north. Palakkad derives its name from the Malayalam words Pala ( Alsteria scholaris) and Kadu (forest) which goes to prove that this place was once a beautiful stretch of forests covered with the sweet scented flowers of the Pala tree.
landlocked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. High ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers - Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar - and their tributaries. The river Pamba also has its origin here. As a tourist destination, Idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc.
Idukki has a large population of tribals, the main tribes being Muthuvan, Malayarayan, Mannan, Paliyan, Urali, Ulladan, Malavedan and Malampandaram. The tribes of Kerala have unique customs and beliefs and maintain an ethos which is distinctly different from that of the mainstream culture.
Wayanad is one of the districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land are some of the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by civilisation. Wayanad is known for its picturesque mist clad hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions. The leading tourist centres of South India like Ooty, Mysore, Coorg, Kozhikode and Kannur are around this region.
The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragod is world renowned for its coir and handloom industries. Fishing is a prime source of livelihood. Kasaragod is known as the land of gods, forts, rivers, hills and beautiful beaches. The fort at Bekal is the largest and best preserved in the State.Kasaragod displays a variety of styles in temple architecture - the unique style of the Madhur Mahaganapathy Temple, the typical Kerala style of the historic Malik Deenar Great Juma Masjid and so on speak volumes about the rich cultural heritage of the region. Spectacular pageants of Theyyam, Yakshagana, Kumbla (buffalo race), Poorakkali, Kolkali etc. enchant visitors.
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