Kerala is sandwiched between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats, is a narrow, fertile strip of land on the southwest coast of India. The landscape of Kerala is a gift of the sea and the mountains. Overwhelmed by Kerala's scenic splendor, a tourist once exclaimed, "The God that made Kerala had green thumbs!" It is in this tranquil land of Kerala, embellished with green that one can find an ideal getaway - an escape unwinding miles of find golden sands with the boundless blue of the Arabian Sea. No doubt then that Kerala with its beautiful landscape, intriguing customs, high-intensity cultural life and an educated public so often dressed in white has highlighted its name on the itinerary of many tourists in various parts of the world. Kerala is mentioned in many ancient Sanskrit works. The Aitareya Aranyaka is the earliest Sanskrit work, in which Kerala is mentioned. The Ramayana and Mahabharatha, show indication of Kerala. Katyayana (4th century BC) and Pathanjali (2nd Century BC) show their acquaintance to the Kerala. The puranas also show the geography of Kerala. Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa has given a beautiful description of Kerala. Kautilya's Arthasastra also mentions Kerala. In ancient time, the population of Kerala was combination of different groups of Dravidian. The ancient Dravidian kingdoms of South India (Chera, Chola and Pandya) as well as their people were held together by intimate bonds of blood, language and literature and that was the force, which promoted a sort of cultural homogeneity in South India. The Aryan immigrants who settled in Kerala had themselves to undergo radical changes in their ways of life, habits, customs and manners. This process of transformation paved the way for a desirable fusion of the two streams of culture; the Aryan and the Dravidian. Aryan systems of medicine, astrology, art and architecture also were introduced. The Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas became the scripture. their ways of life, habits, customs and manners. This process of transformation paved the way for a desirable fusion of the two streams of culture; this synthesis evolved Kerala culture as it is today. Kerala has a culture with certain distinct characteristics. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity have contributed their significant share in enriching the cultural wealth of Kerala. The States Reorganisation Act of November 1, 1956 elevated Kerala to statehood.
|Area||15,005 sq mi|
|Official Languages||Malayalam, English|
Kerala is located on the southernmost tip of India and embraces the coast of Arabian Sea on the west and is bounded by the Western Ghats in the east. This South Indian state stretches from north to south along the coast line of 580 kms with an approximate breadth of 35 to 120 kms. Lying within east longitudes 74 degree 52' and 72 degree 22' and north latitudes 8 degree 18' and 12 degree 48' this idyllic land of pleasing beauty embraces1.18 % area of the country of India. Kerala also encloses Mahe, Pondicherry's coastal exclave. With 14 districts and other cities the total area of Kerala is 38, 863 sq km.
One Of The Most Important Festivals Of Kerala, Vishu Is Celebrated In The Month Of April. According To The Old Traditional Malayalam Calendar, It Is The 1st Day Of The New Year. The Main Event Of The Vishu Celebration Is The 'kani- Kanal'. Coconuts, Fruits, Cereals, And Konna Flowers Are Kept In Big Pots To Prepare Kani. Behind This Pot, A Mirror And A Garlanded Statue Of Krishna Are Placed. Early Morning On The Vishu Day, The Master Of The House Views The Kani, Followed By The Rest Of The Family. Children Are Brought Blindfolded To See The Kani. The Elders In The Family Hand Over Money To The Youngsters And Bless Them. According To The Local Beliefs, If You See Kani, Good Luck Will Stay With You Till The Year End.
The Navratri Celebration, That Runs Over 9 Days, Is Known By Different Names In Different Parts Of India. It Is Durga Puja Of Bengal, Dussehra Of Bombay, And Saraswati Puja And Ayudha Puja Of The South. The Last Three Days Of Navratri, Known As Durga Ashtami, Mahanavami, And Vijaya Dasami Are The Most Important. On The Night Of Durga Ashtami Day, A Ceremony Known As 'puja Vayppu' Is Held, Which Involves Decorating A Room Superbly, Illuminating It With Many Lights And Arranging On A Platform, Raised In The Middle Of The Room - Essential For Performing Saraswati Puja. During The Last Three Days Of Puja, All Sorts Of Learning And Business Come To A Standstill.
Onam The Harvest Festival Of Kerala, Is The Most Important And Popular Festival Of Kerala. It Is Celebrated With Lots Of Fervor And Gaiety. All Malayalis, Irrespective Of Their Religion, Celebrate Onam. It Falls In The Malayalam Month Of Chingam (aug-sept). According To Legends, Onam Is Celebrated To Commemorate The Home Coming Of Mahabali, The King Who Ruled Over Kerala In The Age Of Plenty And Was Pushed Down To The Patala By Lord Vishnu In The Form Of Vamana. The Image Of Thrikkakara Appan (vishnu In The Form Of Vamana) Is Established In Every Hindu Home During The Onam Celebration. Children Go Around Collecting Flowers And Decorating Them In The Front Portion Of Their Houses In Different Designs And Patterns. Onam Festival Is An Example Of Religious Harmony And Provides For Family Get-togethers.
Maha Shivratri Is An Important Festival Of Hindus And Is Celebrated In Kumbam (feb-march). This Festival Commemorates The Day On Which Lord Shiva Consumed The Deadly Poison (kalakuda Visham) To Save The World From Destruction. On Maha Shivratri Day, People Throng All The Prominent Shiva Temples To Offer Their Prayers To Lord Shiva.
Thrikarthika Is A Festival Celebrated To Mark The Birth Of Lord Subramanya. Also Known As The Festival Of Lights, This Occasion Is Celebrated In The Month Of Vrischikam (nov-dec). It Usually Falls On The Full Moon Day Of The Month And Is Marked By The Unique Display Of Lights In The Evening Across Houses, Temples, And Streets.
Christmas Is An Important Festival Of Kerala. Christians And People Belonging To Other Religions, All Over Kerala, Celebrate Christmas On 25th December. During Christmas, The Holy Mass Is Held In All Churches Of Kerala. Singing Of Christmas Carols, Setting Up Of The Christmas Tree, Exchanging Of Cards And Gifts, Etc. Form An Integral Part Of Christmas Festivities In Kerala.
Easter Is Another Important Festival Of Christians, Which Commemorates The Resurrection Of Lord Jesus Christ. It Is Mostly Celebrated With Fervor And Dedication By The Christian Community Of Kerala. Easter Generally Falls In The Months Of March-april. During Easter Celebrations, Christians Visit Churches For Mid-night Mass As A Memory Of The Resurrection Of Lord Jesus.
Bakrid Commemorates The Sacrifice Of Ibrahim In Obedience To God's Command And Is Considered An Important Festival Of Kerala. Muslims Enjoy Hearty Feasts On Bakrid Day. Many People Sacrifice Goats And Distribute Them Amongst Friends, Relatives, And The Poor, To Mark The Occasion.
Eid Ul-fitr, Or Eid, Is Celebrated After The Conclusion Of The Ramzan Fast When Muslims Give Up All Kinds Of Food And Drinks During The Day, And Spend Major Part Of The Night In Prayers. Since Kerala Has A Substantial Population Of Muslims, Eid Ul-fitr Forms One Of The Most Important Festivals Of Kerala.
Miladi Sharif, Celebrated On A Large Scale In April, Commemorates The Birth Of Prophet Mohammad. This Celebration Has Acquired Its Present Dimensions Only In The Recent Times. Previously, This Day Was Observed By Muslims By Reading What Is Commonly Known As Maulud, A Short Treatise In Arabic Celebrating The Birth, Life, Work, And Sayings Of Prophet Mohammad.
Muharram Is Another Festival Celebrated By Muslims Of Kerala On The 10th Day Of Muharram, The Forbidden Month, Which Marks The Beginning Of The Hijra Year.
The People Of Kerala, Generally Called Keralites, Are Simple Down To Earth Folks Who Like To Live In Their Own World Of Simplicity And Originality. Their Mother Tongue Is Malayalam And The Natives Of Kerala Who Are Born And Brought Up In The State And Speak Malayalam Are Referred To As Malayalees. Malayalees Are Quite Protective About Their Religion, Culture And Traditional Customs, Rituals & Practices. They Are Proud Of Their Cultural Heritage And Will Go To Any Lengths To Preserve It. Malayalees Generally Lead An Uncomplicated And Healthy Lifestyle And They Seem Happy And Content With The Simple Pleasures Of Life. The People Of Kerala Give Much Emphasis On Health & Hygiene And Education. They Are Also Particular About Ensuring Cleanliness, Healthcare And Physical Quality Of Life. Most People Are Conversant In English And Make It A Point That Their Kids Receive Education At Least Till The Degree Level, Even In The Rural Areas. The Malayaly Way Of Life Is Balanced And Unassuming, Seeking Overall Satisfaction More Than Mere Materialistic Pleasures. They Are Generally Content With The Quality Of Life They Lead. Regarding Food, They Are Very Particular About Their Health And Are Conscious About Sticking To A Balanced Diet. They Utilize A Lot Of Herbal Concoctions And Homemade Remedies In The Form Of Oils, Powders And Soaps To Take Care Of Their Bodies And Health In General. The Natives Of Kerala Follow A Very Ordinary Dress Code. Even During Special Events And Ceremonial Occasions, They Do Not Believe In Showing Off. The Women Dress Up In The Traditional Unique 'set Mundu', A Graceful And Elegant Attire Which Requires The Skilful Draping Of Two Pieces Of Cream-coloured Cloth With Striped Or Zari Border, Somewhat Similar To A Sari (sans The Pleats), Worn Over A Matching Blouse. The Men Mostly Wear White 'mundu' With A Kurta Or Shirt, Or A Cotton 'lungi' With A Towel Hanging From Or Worn Around The Shoulders. The Men In Cities Wear Pants And Shirts While The Sari Is Worn By All Types Of Women. The Younger Generation Prefer To Follow Fashion And Wear Anything From Jeans To Salwar Kameez. The Culture Of The People Of Kerala Is Deeply Entwined With The State's History And Tradition. Kerala Has Been One Of The Most Cosmopolitan And Peace Loving States In India. It Has Served As A Melting Pot For The Cultures From The Orient And The Occident. This Tolerance Of Diverse Cultural Values Has Persisted Through The Ages. Kerala's Culture Represents The Quintessence Of The Collective Achievements Of Its People In The Fields Of Religion And Philosophy, Language And Literature, Art And Architecture, Education And Learning, And Economic And Social Organisation. In Fact, Throughout Its History, The Genius Of Kerala Has Blossomed Forth In All Its Vigour And Vitality And Has Helped Its People To Reach The Peak Of Excellence In All Their Endeavours.
One Of Kerala's Popular Attractions Is Its Delicious Kerala Cuisine. The Unusual Cuisine Of Kerala Brings To The Fore The Culinary Expertise Of The People Of Kerala. Producing Some Of The Tastiest Foods On Earth...
The Cuisine Of Kerala Is Characterized By The Use Of Coconut, Either Chopped Or Grated And Used As Garnishing, Coconut Milk Or Paste Is Used To Thicken Gravies And Coconut Oil Is Used For Cooking. Though One Can't Imagine Kerala Food Without Chilies, Curry Leaf, Mustard Seed, Tamarind And Asafetida.
Seafood Is Very Popular In Kerala And Consumed With Every Meal. Various Fish Including Sardines, Mackerel, Tuna, Rays And Shark Are Eaten, As Are Crabs, Mussels And Oysters. "karimeen" Or Fried Fish Is A Popular Dish As Is Fish Curry Called "fish Moilee."
Various Locally Available Vegetables Such As Tapioca, Cassava And Yam Form Part Of The Cuisine Of Kerala. Seasonal Fruit Such As Papaya, Jackfruit, Mangoes And Lime Are Eaten At Different Times Of Year. Bananas And Coconut Are Available Year Round And Are A Staple Of The Kerala Diet. The Refreshing Juice Of The Tender Coconut Is A Delightful Drink, Which You Can Enjoy On Kerala Tours With Kerala Backwater.
Enjoy Tasting The Delicious Cuisine Of Kerala While Cruising Through Kerala Backwaters.
Famed As God's Own Country And Selected By National Geographic As One Of The Ten "must See Destinations Of The World", Kerala, Is A State Which Has Contributed Open-handedly To Man's Imagination, When It Comes To Beauty In Terms Of Its Arts And Crafts. The Sprawling Greenery, The Shimmering Backwaters, The Mouth-watering Cuisine And The Dravidian Culture - All Have Intrigued People Worldwide For Ages And Hauled His Imagination To A High. Diverse Interests In Art Forms And Distinct Tastes In Selection Of Living Has Added Several Peerless Features To The Cultural Domain Of Kerala, Unique To This Southern State Of India. Love For Elephants And Devotion For Poetry Abound Here. The Vigour Of The Grand Boat Races, The Joy Of Gluey Festivals Such As Onam, The Gorgeous Appreciation As In Thrissurpuram.... Kerala Continues To Enchant Its Every Guest By Its Redifining Beauty For Centuries. Take Up Tours Of Kerala To See The Famous Handicrafts Of Kerala. Kerala Is Widely Referred To As The 'land Of Coconuts' And Is Known For Its Articulate Craftsmanship, Which Is An Intimate Part Of Her Tradition. Visit The Part Of India, Where Every Identity Is A Placard Of Delicate Artistry, Where Every Corner Speaks Of The Dexterous Fingers That Play With The Abstract Keys Of Art, Producing Patterns, Designs And Structures, That Are Unique In Themselves. Coem To See The Famous Arts And Crafts Items In Kerala. Natural Sustainable Materials, Herbal Dyes And An Exquisite Naivety Add An Ultimate Touch Of Pure Beauty To The Masterpieces. Marquetry In Wood, Ivory And Buffalo Horn Carvings, Bamboo Reed Weaving, Palmyra Leaf Weaving, Kora Grass Mat Making, Rattan Or Cane Work, Embroidery And Lace Making, Lapidary Work, Granite Carving, Coconut Shell Carving, Lacquer Work, Cotton Map Making Are Some Of The Specialities Of Kerala That Enchants Its Every Visitor, Whether National Or International.
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