Nipha virus targeting the travel and tourism sector of Kerala

 

The months of May, June, and July are all vaccinations for kids and this was one main reason for me to plan a family trip to the south so that we could get a break from the tiring workaholic life and spend some time with each other. Family time is always important for kids as it is one thing that contributes greatly to their emotional and mental development. It was on the 13th of many that we planned the trip to explore some of the best travel destinations to the north of Kerala. My first preference to travel to was to the Kozhikode district of Kerala which is said to be one fascinating destination for families with a number of attractions and special flavors. On the 14th of the same month, I booked my family tour package that was organized by Gogeo Holidays a travel operator in Kerala who offered us with one of the cheapest packages including all the best attraction in the land. One main reason for us to choose to travel to the north of Kerala was that the place had a number of unexplored destinations, hill stations and forest destinations that are yet to be explored to its best. After complete planning and packing, we reached the Mumbai airport to start our holiday trip on the 21st of May. After a flight of about 3 hrs, we reached the Kochi international airport which was one of the closest airports to our destination. It was after reaching the airport that we came to know of the deadly virus that was spreading in the northern districts of Kerala with the name, Nipha virus. According to the news and the stories of the virus, it is spread by some fruit bats. The virus is said to have no cure and is highly infective that it keeps spreading from the infected to the others through the air or even touch. According to the information spread about the virus, it is first reported in Kozhikode and is spreading towards the north of Kerala.  We were at a stage where we were not even able to get back as the flight tickets were not available and traveling through other means could be dangerous.

The safety of my family was one thing that I was more concerned about that the trip and the travel plans. All we could do was to change the destination of the travel and to cut short the days to a minimum. After referring with the travel operators we change the travel destination from Kozhikode and decided to stay at Kochi for the day and then return back home safe on the next flight. To keep the kids calm, we choose not to tell them about the infection in detail as it could make them more restless. It was after researching and collecting more of the disease that we understood that most of the stories spread were wrong it has been only reported in very few numbers. We also came to know the virus till now have not spread to Kochi and other destinations like Munnar which means we are safe from the virus as if for now. Still, to be more careful of the condition we decided to maintain more cleanliness by avoiding fruits and more vegetables from the diet. We also got some mask for extra safety. Our ticket back to Mumbai was scheduled for the next day by evening and as we were not ready to spoil the vacation we choose to stick on with the new plan.

Even though the complete trip was reshuffled the travel operators with no time organized us a room within Kochi were we could stay for the day. Traveling from the airport for about 30 min we finally reached the hotel which was located in Ernakulam district which was not too far from the airport. We checked in at the hotel after completing the formalities by 12 pm and decided to have the lunch from the hotel by avoiding fruits and much of vegetable thus we decided to have just cereal, bread, jam, and butter. After reaching the room the first thing that I did was to search of the virus and to get more information of the happenings at Kozhikode so as to get a clear idea o the viruses and its danger. To make the say in the hotel a bit entertaining for the kids they were allowed to spend their noon in the closed pool that was available in the hotel and the play area. According to the report of Hindustan Times, the number of death reported due to the virus was 10 but the numbers change from 5 to 12 in different news channels and papers which clearly showed the propaganda that was set against Kerala. The state health department confirmed only four death is due to Nipha virus whereas 25 people who have been diagnosed with similar symptoms have been hospitalized

  The disease was said to be under control and the spreading could be avoided by being careful and cautious. The government of the state has advised a number of safety methods by which one could stay away from the virus which, mainly include avoiding fruits as the virus is spread by fruit bat. By using a face mask and by being clean one could avoid being affected by the virus. According to me, the disease was not at a critical stage as it is been shown by the news and the media.

According to the travel and tourism department of the state, The news that is exaggerated and spread is believed to be a deliberate attempt to destroy Kerala tourism sector. With the emergence of such news, the panic spreads not only in local people but also in national level. In addition the Tamilnadu Govt. has given strict guidelines to avoid traveling to Kerala. It was mainly the tourism department of the state that was affected by the news that the human race. By the time I finished collecting information about the happenings, it was 2 pm and we decided to move out of the hotel and explore some of the destinations in Kochi worth exploring. As it was noon with the sun shining right above the head we decided to explore the Hill Palace Museum at Thripoonithura which was the best place that one could explore under hot climate. Traveling for about an hour from the hotel we finally reached the museum which was one best place filled with nature, trees, and shelters. Located at a distance of about 10 km from Kochi the museum was once the official residence of the rulers of Kochi. The palace housed a number of best attractions and artifacts from the past which was exhibited in the area.  Oil-paintings, murals, sculptures, manuscripts, Antique ceramics from the Far East, tombstone, hood stone, laterite memorials and wooden memorials were all some of the best attractions found in the palace. The beauty of the ancient architecture fascinated me the most in the place. After being in the palace for a while we decided to visit the marine drive located close to our hotel where we could enjoy the sunset. Traveling for another 1-hour we reached the drive by around 5.30 which was the perfect time for sunset. Facing the sea the drive was a perfect spot in Kochi where we could enjoy a facilitated sunset. After being in the drive for an hour we moved back to the hotel by 6.45 and reached back to the room by 7.30 pm. Without wasting much time we got freshened up and had the breakfast calling the day off.

The next day we got up by 11 am. After refreshing and having the breakfast we rushed to the airport as we were not ready to miss the flight. We met with the travel operators at the airport who was ready to offer us another tour package to some safer destinations in Kerala but we chose to travel back home as our flight tickets were booked. With the spread of the virus, the tourism department of the state was most affected. Even though the reports say that the over exaggeration of news was to target travel and tourism department of the state all that I was concerned of was my family and their safety which was the only reason for us to fly back home.

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Kinsfolk journey: the once in a lifetime traverse together

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Most of us are very often family bound people but we do not always have enough time to spend together. And that is probably one reason that we always look out on the requirement of setting off on a journey where you finally get to spend some quality time with them. My look out on this had finally become true where I could make my way to my hometown at Kerala and could take my family and siblings off on a journey to Pathanamthitta which we had been looking forward too since a pretty long time. Since I had been short in time to plan all by myself, I decided to give that job to Go Geo Holidays who basically did everything we were supposed to do and on reaching to my residence, I and my family packed our tiny baggage from Cochin and made way to the less famous destination, but incredibly beautiful destination of Pathanamthitta in Kerala. The Tour packages included an extra comfortable vehicle which rode us all the way to the destination where a travel duration of 4 hours was required.
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The road journey is often the best with the family where you can be as comfortable as ever and talk to each other and enjoy it all the way without getting bored. We took refreshments stop in between and finally when we reached, the location was Konni. The speciality of the destination is that you get to be at a destination where the mammals, Elephants get trained in this place where the wild ones from the forests are being trained. It was undoubtedly amidst the forests where we could be at the original residence of the being. We walked in to find the Aanakoodu or rather the wooden house-like structure that had been made in order to house them. There were a number of them who were of varied sizes. The guide took us around where the main task he had been looking out for was feeding us with information while all that I had been looking out was the sort of comfort the animals had been having residing at Konni. We walked as the guide took us in and that way we just got to be together with the elephants who had been listening to the instructions. Both I and my sister decided to be on an elephant safari as this is a one time experience. We climbed up as per the instructions and was pretty astonished at how different everything looked from the top of the mammal. We went on a short ride and after some point, both of us got down. After feeding them with some food, we decided to get started to the next destination.
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We had lunch on the midway to the next spot which was to Aruvikuzhy Waterfalls. The gem of a place had a number of streams that made the water flow forming a small waterfall. We walked through the stream,s for some time and sat on the rocks talking to each other and holding on to mother and she had a constant feeling of slipping and falling. We were totally indulged in the power that nature had in making all of us blink at its marvel. We walked all the back to the driver where the driver took us to the Aranmula Temple next. The way from Aruvikuzhy had been filled with rubber plantations which indeed added beauty to the place where we could be on a smooth ride with a view.  We were pure vegetarians and so we took the advantage of always remaining pure to enter a temple. After seeking the blessings of Lord Parthasarathy we were driven to the place where we would be having our night stay which was at Gavi. The place has been forever famous after a movie was released with the location of Gavi while we had always been in look out of the place for a long time even before the movie released.
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We reached where the sun had already set. The booking for a homestay had been made where we walked into the rooms that were nature-friendly. The best had been the beautiful dinner amidst nature where they had made a space for us with a huge wooden umbrella shade.  The coolness of nature was more like air conditioners. We were served with good hot food that made a good way to the stomach and the soul at the same time. We sat and spoke to the couple who had been running the homestay. They said that we could go on a nature walk in case we get up early in the morning. We rose up and wore our sweaters to take the walk. The owner then took us on a walk where almost all kinds of plants and trees had been by our sides. Each house had a small poultry as well. The best that we got to see is that the owner stopped at a house for milk where they had been instant getting it out of the cow and giving it. How much freshness could you have gained more than the places like these, I wondered.   The whole family had breakfast after coming back and thanked them for the wonderful stay they offered. Voting was on our cards next where we decided to go to the Reservoir located close by in Gavi itself. We felt even more blissful with the whole family when we had pedalled around the waters and got back where the rain started to sprinkle. The drive back began as we had come a long way into the woods.
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A memorable journey had hence been made where we were more than happy of having been together with the whole family after a pretty long time. the family is often the strongest pillar that stays along with you through the thick and thin and how can there be better companions to travel when they are waiting for you. And that was the whole Holiday packages Kerala where I and my family got back to Kochi by 10 in the night.My return from Kerala was bound tomorrow and  I could not have thanked the team enough for taking us all safe and getting us back home in the same way. To plan another trip would be a hard job where all 5 of us will have to find time from our respective job life.

Kerala a paradise for family holidays to the south

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Family time is something very important in this developing world, where no one has enough time to spare. One of the best ways to spend time with family is by tripping to some beautiful destination filled with natural beauty and peacefulness. Kerala to the southernmost tip of India is one such destination which is considered as the best for family holidays by traveler from around the world. One of the main reasons for the families to love touring in Kerala is due to the fact that the place holds in a number of destinations with gleaming beauty and peacefulness that would be refreshing and entirely different from that in business cities like Bangalore. The state is one of the best family tourist destinations to the south houses a number of tour operators like Gogeo holidays which offers attractive and Fascinating tour packages exclusively for families. Most of the tourist destinations in Kerala fascinate families with its natural beauty and adventurous destinations that children would love. The climatic condition persisting in most of the tourist destination of the land adds up to the facts that attract the travelers to the land. Some of the most prominent destinations in Kerala visited and explored by families are listed below.

Munnar

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Located to the Western Ghats the misty hills of Munnar is one of the best and most visited destinations in Kerala. Most of the families visit the place to enjoy the climatic condition of the place which is mostly cold at daytime and freezing as night falls. Apart from the climatic condition of the place, the scenic destinations of the misty hills are one thing that would attract travelers mainly families to the land. The mist hills being one of the best tourist destination in the land houses a number of hotels, resorts, villas and home stays which offers the best-facilitated and safe stay that adds up to the reasons that attract families to the land.

Best destinations: Known as one of the well-known tourist destination the place houses a number of attractive and fascinating tourist destinations in the land. Some of the must visit tourist destinations in the land includes Top Station, Eco-Point, Chinnakanal, Anayirangal dam, Marayoor, Eravikulam National Park, Lakkom Waterfalls, Anamudi Peak and much more.

Activities: As a most visited hill station to the Western Ghats the place offers a number of adventurous activities which is one main thing that attracts travelers and families to the land. Some of the best activities offered in the hills include Hiking, Trekking, and Boating, Mountain Climbing, Rock Climbing, Horse riding and more.

Thekkady

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Being one of the most beautiful wildlife destinations, Thekkady is mostly explored by families. Unlike the hill stations, in Kerala, the wildlife destinations in the land are blessed with a wide verity of plant and animal forms. Most of the families visit the place to enjoy a jungle holiday in the lap of nature and vegetation. One of the main elements that attract the travelers to the land is the wide verity of animals in the land. Travelers from around the world visit Thekkady to explore its rich wilderness. Families visiting the place mostly chose to stay in the tree houses which would provide you with the best view of the forest, you could also spot wild animal from a safe distance.

Best destinations: The place being one of the best wildlife destinations to the south houses a number of well-known tourist attractions like the Periyar National Park, Thekkady or Periyar Lake, Mangla Devi temple, Chellar Kovil and many more. One of the most visited destinations in Thekkady is the Periyar National Park which fascinated the travelers and families visiting the place.

Activities: Thekkady is a destination which is known for its wilderness, being a destination known for its vegetation and the wild the place offers a number of adventure activities to entertain the travelers. Some such activities offered in the land include river rafting, bamboo rafting, boating, trekking, hiking, nature walk and much more. Families mainly visit the place to enjoy a night stay in the forest.

 Alleppey

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One of the most beautiful backwater destinations, Alleppey is visited and explored mostly by families. One of the main elements that attract the families to the place is the houseboat services provided in the land. Apart from the houseboat the place also offers a lot more to the travelers visiting the land. The cuisine of the place is very famous for its flavours and taste among the travelers from around the world. Alleppey being a destination with the most complex backwaters stretches facilitates the growth of Ayurvedic herbs and plants of medicinal quality this makes the place one of the best spots for Ayurvedic tourism. The high mineral content of the soil in the waters promote and facilitate the growth of rare plants and herbs in the place. Most of the families visiting the place make use of this Ayurvedic heritage of the land.

Best destinations: Alleppey being a place known for its backwater stretches has a number of destinations other than the complex waters. Some of such destinations in the land which are mostly visited by families are Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Alleppey beach, Vembanad Lake, Pallippuram, Krishnapuram Palace, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Kuttanad Lake, Chettikulangara Devi Temple and more.

Activities: Being one of the best and well-known backwater destinations the place offers a number of entertainment activities to the travelers visiting the land. Some of such activities are boat rides, houseboat stays, boat race, Ayurvedic treatments and much more.

With all these destinations and more Kerala is now one of the most visited destinations to the south by families. It is mostly the beauty and the natural elements of the state that attracts families to the land. With an aim to promote family tourism, the Kerala tourism department is now introducing attractive and entertaining Holiday packages to Kerala. For travelers and families who wish to explore the richness of vegetation and natural beauty, Kerala to the south of the country is one of the best and most prominent destinations.

An escape from the city of I.T hubs to the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum

 

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Bangalore is a rocking city mostly known as the city of dreams by the younger generation and it is true to an extent. Living in Bangalore for the last 8 years all I saw in the place was a number of forts and places of great historical importance. Even with all these wonders, the place had a weak point too, nature and wilderness. The city known as the I.T hub of Kerala lacks natural resources. One thing people living in Bangalore look for while travelling would be nature and natural beauty. It was the same for me too, 8 long years in the city and all I missed was greenery, mountains, waterfalls and forests. Tired of the busy life in Bangalore finally I planned a trip to Kerala with my family, the land known for its natural beauty and destinations filled with greenery.  On the 20th of October, I planned a trip to Trivandrum the capital city of Kerala which is known to have a number of fascinating tourist destinations. Planning a trip was something that I can never get right so to make my trip tension free I decided to avail the best Kerala tour package from Bangalore organised by Gogeo holidays. One of the best things in availing a tour package from tour operators like the Gogeo holiday is that you can have a hassle-free trip enjoying the nature and the place. On the 25th of October, I with my family set off to Kerala taking a two-day leave from my office; we reached the airport at Bangalore by 7 am. After a 3 hr long flight, we finally reached the Trivandrum airport by 10 am and was welcomed by the tour operators in Kerala. The representatives of the travel operators were of great help, without much lag we were taken to the taxi which was waiting for our arrival and then straight to the hotel which was already ready to receive us. The hotel that the tour operators booked for us were perfect with great facilities and the best view of the city. After freshening up we decided to start with the trip for the day.

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Our first destination as planned by the tour organisers was Agastyakoodam, which is said to be the second highest peak in Kerala and a part of Sahyadri range. After a drive of about 1 hr, we reached our destination 11 am. Rich with wildlife the forest of the mountain was filled with rare medicinal herbs, plants and brightly hued orchids. The place could be best referred as bird watchers paradise, this majestic mountain is best accessed by foot from Koror which is located near Meyer dam, and from Bonacaud. The travel guide informed us that the best time to visit the place was from the month of December to April as it is the best time for trekking. This park that is located in Thiruvananthapuram is a part of the Agasthyamala biosphere reserve which is located on the borders of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The place was added to the world network of biosphere reserves in the month of March in the year 2016 by UNESCO. The place is one of the best that people living in cities like Bangalore would love. The view that the peak exhibits of the city are so unique that it would attract travellers like us living in Bangalore. After enjoying the view of the city and the hills we decided to move on with our trip to the next destination.

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After the tour of the peak we reached back to the taxi by 1 pm, as all of us were hungry we decided to have the lunch and then continue with our journey. After having the lunch from the nearest hotel we started our trip to our next destination, the Veli tourist village. We reached the place by 2.30 after a drive of 1 hour. The place is one of the best picnic spots for a family where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea. The place offered us with boating facilities which we enjoyed to the best. Travellers are free to hire the pedal boats to explore the flavour of the lagoon in an easy manner. The place is one of the best families could enjoy as it offers different activities for the families. Children visiting the place could enjoy the beauty of the place by climbing and playing over the sculptures which dot the landscapes. We explored the beauty of the place by enjoying a boat ride through the waters. It is not that boat rides are not there in Bangalore, one of the major difference that one can feel in the boat rides in Kerala and Bangalore is the sight and beauty that each provides. By enjoying a boat ride in Bangalore one could explore the beauty of the city while in Kerala you could explore the beauty of nature. The vile tourist village is one of the best destinations where families could enjoy the evening availing different Kerala tour packages for family. The place promises to entertain the whole of the family even children with complete safety. Families could enjoy tension free picnic in the place. One of the other attractions for the travellers visiting the place would be the Veli beach which is located 8 kilometres away from the Trivandrum town and provides the best view of the waters and the sunset. After enjoying in the place for a while we decided to move on to our last destination of the day.

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After enjoying the boating and tour of the village we started our trip by 3.30 to our next destination, Ponmudi. A mesmerising hill station with twisty pathways and chilling, green, wooded surroundings the place is one of the best destination where travellers could spend a peaceful day. We reached the place by 4.15 after a 45 min long ride. The place is filled with a verity of colourful and beautiful mountain flowers, rare species of butterflies, small rivers and springs. Apart from being a picnic spot, the place is also known to have some perfect trekking trails which attract a number of trekkers. People living in Bangalore are more attracted to trekking but as the place lacks much of trekking destinations its Kerala that they prefer to trek. Ponmudi is one such destination in Kerala which most loved by the trekkers in Bangalore. Ponmudi, also known as the golden peak among the nature lovers and trekkers is an enticing and breathtaking hill station in Thiruvananthapuram. One of the major attractions of the peak is its scenic view and the 22 hairpin turns located along the narrow and short routes which the bikers and riders love to explore. These hairpins make the ride to the destination thrilling and entertaining. By the time we decided to leave it was already 6 pm and so we voted to stay in the place to enjoy the sunset. After enjoying the sunset we decided to get back to the hotel as we had to check out the next day. After refreshing and having food we decided to sleep as we had a busy day ahead.

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The next day we woke up by 8 and after refreshing and having breakfast decided to check out. It was our last day in Kerala as we had to return back to Bangalore. We started our trip to our first and last destination of the day Varkala by, 10.30 am. After a ride of 45 min, we finally reached the place by 11.30 am. Varkala is a place with a number of seaside resort and spa and hence known as the land of resort and spa. The travellers visiting the place are mostly over-see tourist who visits the land to enjoy the magic of rejuvenation and spa. Apart from being a mesmerising tourist destination, the place is also a well-known Hindu pilgrimage centre. The place is the final resting place of Sree Narayan Guru is located at Varkala, at a top hill called the Sivagiri. With the presence of high cliffs with mineral spring raising from the coastline the place is one of the best and well-known pilgrim centres in Trivandrum. According to the mythical story of the place, a sage named Nerada was once visited by a group of mendicants who admit to having sinned it is believed that Nerada threw his valkkalam which is a cloth made of the bark of a tree into the air, and the place where this piece of cloth landed was later named Varkala. The place where these mendicants are believed to pray for redemption came to be known as the Papanasham beach. The other attractions of the place are the presence of Sree Janardhana Swami temple and the nature care centre. By the time we finished the tour of the place we decided to get back to the Trivandrum international airport which was another 1-hour drive from the place.

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We reached back to the airport by 2.30 and board the flight back to Bangalore by 4.40. Trivandrum the capital city of Kerala is a place considered to be one of the best destinations for families to tour and hence is a prominent tourist destination in most family holiday packages to Kerala. The day spends in the place with my family was the most relaxing and refreshing that we enjoyed o the best. Entirely different from Bangalore Kerala is a state which is a rapidly developing city that conserves and preserves its natural resources. For travellers and families who wish escape from the busy life of the city the capital city of Kerala is one of the best and most prominent destinations.

Kerala culture- the amalgamation of influences

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Kerala, the minuscule state in the Southern tip of Indian continent, has been capturing the attention of travelers from all over the world for many years. There are many simple yet alluring facts of Kerala that make everyone fall in love with it, in the first glance itself. The local culture is such one fact. When everyone goes after the glamorous backwaters and misty hill stations with the help of some amazing Kerala tour packages, that are covered by many travel operators like Gogeo Holidays, some of them may wish to experience the unique culture and traditions of this God’s own kingdom. Kerala holds a unique and distinct culture that is sure to boast of by every Keralite. This uniqueness is visible with everything that is home to, in the colorful vibrant festivals, art forms, performing arts, world-renowned literature, painting, music, the amazing cuisine and so on.

What we now describe as the culture and traditions of Kerala is actually a confluence of the amalgamation of different kinds of influences that this land has faced with. According to the archeological and historical evidence, the first and earliest inhabitants of Kerala were the Dravidians. And you can still see the influences of this Dravidian culture in different aspects of Kerala it’s day to day life.

The land of counts

As the name Kerala literally indicates, this state is indeed the land of coconuts- the tree of life. Many cultural habits of this state have been revolved around the cultivation of this crop. The tender coconut water is Kerala’s own soft drink that is now loved by many. And if the soft flesh is mixed with the water, it makes up for a wonderful snack.  The matured coconut is grated as used as an ingredient for almost every dish that Kerala own. And the coconut oil made from the dry county is also using to cook almost every dish. The toddy, which is got from the coconut tree is Kerala’s own unique alcoholic drink which is made from the sap of the flower before it blooms.

Not only the land is full of coconut fringed landscapes everywhere, this tree also has made a great impact on the lifestyle of many people here.  Toddy tapping is the source of income of many people here, and you can find Toddy shops in many parts of Kerala.  The course that is made from the coconut husk forms the basis of the coir industry here. The choir is also used in many interesting ways. The fiber of the coir is used to make mats, rugs, baskets, and many other fascinating handicrafts. Many tourists buy these as typical Kerala souvenirs. So do not forget to visit the major coir hub- Alleppey in Kerala with your cheap Kerala family tour packages at low price, during your trip to Kerala. The list is not needed here. The outer shell of the coconut is also used to make different handicraft products and attractive traditional pots and ornaments.  The coconut leaves are used for the purpose of thatching the traditional houses and the dried ones make up a form of fuel. So as you can see, the coconut indeed is the tree of life in Kerala and makes up a big part of the culture in here.

Mind blowing tourist destinations in Kerala

Unique performing arts to preserve the tradition

If you want to watch the live performance of the portraying of Kerala’s culture- then the best way is to watch some vibrant performing arts, which still maintain the Kerala’s culture in its purest form. The major performing arts that belong to Kerala are the Theyyam, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Panchavadyam, Kalaripayattu and do on. All these musical extravaganzas and performing arts reveal the unique culture and the old era of this vibrant state.  IN the ancient times, these kind of art forms were only part of temples and places that are linked to religions. But now these are more become like public spaces. Try to include Kalamandalam, one of the renowned cultural center in Kerala with your itinerary of the affordable Kerala tour packages, the experience would be experienced for you.  Most of these unique arts of Kerala is now packaged as cultural products and is preserved for the future generations.

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The fascinating beauty of Kerala’s tuskers and elephants

Well, we call it tusker mania.  When you head out to explore the cultural roots of Kerala, you would be amazed by the fact that no even a single temple festival in Kerala passes without and the array of beautifully decorated tuskers on the display for the public.  Keralites are simply big fans of elegant elephants and the tuskers. And these form an important part of the culture of this land. Elephants are considered to be a symbol of royalty and prestige for the Keralites, and also a big source of good fortune.  In all the major temple festivals in Kerala, the idols are carried out by only by an elephant, who are considered as the Lord Ganesha himself.  One of the popular such tuskers- Guruvayur kesavan who used to carry the deity of Lord Krishna in the temple of Guruvayur has a statue erected in that area, These tusker heroes are more like legends who are kept in the memory of people even after their death. You can also find fascinating paintings that portray these tuskers in their all glory. You can include the places like Kodanad elephant training camp, and Punnathur kotta near Guruvayur with your affordable kerala holiday packages for family to watch the elephants in its natural habitats.

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The unpretentious food- the remarkable simplicity

No love is sincere than the love of food. The Kerala’s own dishes are known as one of the most healthy dishes in the entire world. Like many other popular cuisines, Kerala’s cuisine also takes advantage of the different mixture of flavors, spices, seafood, and especially coconut. Even just the simplicity of all these food items will make you want to try them. The cuisine of Kerala reflect the influences of many cultures and historical, geographical, social conditioning effects. Especially those from the colonial era, when the British, Dutch, used to rule here. Kerala is one such rare place in the entire world, where you can find as many varieties as for both the vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisine in equal amount.

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The vibrant celebrations and festivals

Kerala is also home some of the most vibrant and unique festivals in the entire world. And these reflect the musical, religious, historical aspects of the state. And one of the common thing you would find about these festivals is the traitor harmony and oneness among them. Which means, regardless of different religions and culture, everyone takes part in these and celebrates in harmony, The traditional practices of the land is cultivated in the same spirit by the people here, and many still hold on to the ethics and values of the culture. Each of these celebrations is not for a particular people, or community or religion, it is for the entire society.

So, as a sum up, it can be said that the culture of Kerala reflects the confidence of many communities, civilizations, and most importantly the ones of people with the mother nature. People here carve out their identity preserving this unique culture and still being open to the modern aspects and plethora of influences from the outside world.

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Buy These from Kerala on Your Honeymoon Tour and Impress Your In-Laws!

Shopping places in Kerala

Are you planning your honeymoon trip to Kerala? There are some amazing places to visit and experience in this God’s Own Country that can be quite romantic and cherished all through your life. Don’t think that Kerala tour packages for family only are popular here. Munnar and Allepey are among the most booked honeymoon destinations in India. There are some amazing beaches, beautiful hillocks, and pristine backwaters to explore during your romantic days in Kerala. If you are more concentrating on the romance, you can avoid traveling and local sightseeing and just relax and explore each other in the beautiful locales of the remote hill stations and treehouse resorts. Tucked away from the maddening tourist crowd, some places exist here in the heavenly abode of nature that can carry you to another world full of romance and bliss. But how about another important and interesting factor, of impressing your in-laws! As a newly married, the husband and the wife can make the most of their honeymoon in knowing about each other and also impressing each other’s family with something exclusive from this land of exotic spices and coconuts. Here’s a list of 5 such exquisite items you can buy easily from Kerala during your honeymoon days here to create a lasting impression on your in-laws.

1. The Aranmula Mirror or Kannadi

Kerala shopping item

This is the most exclusive gift you can give to your beautiful mother in law for giving you your best partner! The Aranmula Mirror is very exotic due to various factors. It is considered a very auspicious possession that will make women more beautiful each time they see their reflection. It is a mirror which is made completely of metal and uses no glass at all. The secret mix of the metal alloy is known only to the family who has been making them since many centuries back. You can buy this from Aranmula directly from the family who make them or buy them from some authentic government emporiums who sell them. Aranmula is a small village around 115 kilometers from Trivandrum. You can enjoy you Kerala tour packages for couple in Kovalam and Trivandrum that are famous for honeymoon holidays and visit Aranmula and see for yourself how this beautiful mirror is made. Aranmula is also famous for the snake boat race held every year during the Onam festival.

2. The exotic spices

Kerala spices

Munnar, as you may know, is one of the most booked honeymoon destinations in India. The beautiful and green hillocks, the mist-covered mountains and the dew-covered tender tea leaves at the tea estates are definitely something that can make some cherished moments of your life. The tea estates are the highlight of Munnar honeymoon packages. A lazy walk through the narrow winding roads of the tea estate, hand-in-hand, watching the sunset can be the most amazing experience of your honeymoon days. You can get your photo clicked by someone or take a selfie against the setting sun to keep it framed as a memoir of your beautiful romantic honeymoon days. Apart from tea, Munnar has some amazing coffee and spice plantations too. The green mountains are rich in fertile soil and a beautiful and pleasant climate that are most suitable for such plantations. Kerala has always been exporting its exotic variety of spices such as black pepper, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and star anise. You can buy assorted spices packed in ornate boxes to gift your in-laws. You can also buy spice flavored perfumes from the local shops which have very exotic fragrances. If you miss these in Munnar, you can always buy them directly from the retail outlets of the Spices Board of India which is the government organization in charge of the Indian spice market.

3. Kathakali Motif

Kerala kathakali motif

Kathakali is an ancient dance form of Kerala which is very unique. It has some amazing hand postures called Mudras and facial expressions that convey the story rather than swift leg movements as in the other dance forms. Typically, Kathakali is performed based on mythical stories from Mahabharatha and Ramayana. A single performance can continue overnight! Even though it is very difficult to understand the story and the lyrics which are mostly in Sanskrit, foreigners enjoy a short, 1 to 2-hour performance exclusively orchestrated for them. Kathakali is a symbol of Kerala and during your honeymoon packages for Kerala, you can buy some Kathakali motifs made of wood which is available in various sizes and patterns. Each character portrayed has a specific color combination of costumes and makeup which takes many hours to put on. The makeup is usually done using organic elements and colors only. You can either buy the wooden Kathakali face or the entire figure with makeup and costume and the rates will change according to the pattern selected.

4. Anappattom or the Elephant’s ornament

Kerala Anapattam

Like most of the south Indian states, Elephants are a part of Kerala’s temple rituals. On special occasions and festivals, the elephants are dressed up with a special gold plated ornament called Anappattom which covers their forehead. There’s a beautiful pattern followed for the Anappattom and miniature and cheap forms of this beautiful handicraft are a popular gift item bought by the tourists. You get these in plastic and metal and the rates depend on the materials used and the size of the Anappattom. These are available as key chains to actual sized one which is used as a wall decoration. Definitely buy a few Anappattoms made in metal during your Kerala tourism honeymoon packages to gift your in-laws. This is completely unique to Kerala and is a much sought-after gift. You will be amazed to know that an actual metal Anappattom with cost lakhs of rupees as they are handmade and use brass and copper that are gold plated. It is a tedious process that takes weeks to months to complete.

5. Brass lamps

Kerala Brass lamps

Indians consider oil-lit lamps as very auspicious. These are the perfect gift to your in-laws as you enter the house as the ever burning auspicious lamp of the house. Kerala’s brass and bronze lamps are classy and they are meticulously created in a few places like the Nadavarambu near Trissur. It is a place quite famous for beautifully made traditional lamps of all sizes. You can definitely buy one even if you do not believe in lighting it with oil and cotton wick. They look very beautiful as a showcase item too. Many hotels and resorts keep huge bronze lamps in front of their lobby as a part of their decor. You can buy them from many places other than Nadavarambu also during your Kerala tour packages.

Kerala chips

Other than these exotic Kerala specialties, do not forget to buy the variety of chips and halwa as you head back home.

 

My experience of Kerala travels

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Bamboo village,Wayanad  PC: Nicolas (my hubby)

5 years seems like a long time since we have been travelling to Kerala every year in a row without fail. But every time we reach this place on exciting Kerala tour packages for couple, it looks fresh and new to me! There’s something here completely fresh every year we come. It is not about the concrete buildings that sprout every month in the cities and towns, it is more about some hidden treasure that is unearthed with every trip of ours. It might not be new to the people here, but then it’s new to us, it is new to me for sure. I am Linda and my husband Nikolas and I have been coming to Kerala every year since 2010.

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My first click..PC: me and only me..

Our first ever visit was a day’s stopover during one of our luxury cruise around the world and that one day’s trip to the Kochi city and the suburbs were enough to make us fall in love with this beautiful place. By the end of the day, we collected enough information to pack our bags next year to come back here from Kentucky, where we actually live. We would love to call this our place now as we have been coming back every year without fail for the last 5 years. Our children tease us often telling we are on our Kerala tourism honeymoon packages every year and we both are in our 50s now! The place is so calm and pleasant that we truly wished we had come here during our young ages and we would have tried to get settled here itself. Kerala has such a charm and rich culture that we just love and respect the people here.

The Mysterious Mountains of Munnar

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My happy place in Kerala, Munnar PC: Nicolas

Over the last 5 visits, we have been to many popular tourist destinations in Kerala and we know that there are so much more to visit even now. We usually take a 3-week tour here and once we just spent our days entirely at Ollur, enjoying the Ayurvedic wellness treatment. Once we even booked romantic Munnar honeymoon packages and the manager was stunned to see us ‘old’ couple booked on a honeymoon. He soon realized the matter and did not consider our age anymore as we are very much in love even now and enjoyed our ‘honeymoon’ days in the beautiful resort. We try to explore more of nearby places avoiding long travels unless necessary. When we were in Munnar, we had seen most of the Munnar like none of the other tourists would have! We spent 2 weeks in Munnar and have explored almost every nook and corner of the place including the forests and rivers.

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A naughty monkey in Munnar PC : me 

Our pictures taken in Munnar prompted our 2 children in their 20’s to tag along with us once on tour packages in Kerala. They could hardly spend a week here as they wanted to make the most of their India tour and hence, went to Delhi to explore a Golden Triangle Tour there for another week. They even managed a week at the Andaman Islands and enjoyed every bit of India they saw. That’s when they realized the magical effect of Kerala’s forests and monsoons that attracted us every year here. We enjoyed trekking through Rajamala and tried our luck with some mountain climbing too while in Munnar. It was quite refreshing even for our children to spend some quality time and we were happy about the long lost days of family tours we got back in Kerala.

Alleppey’s Alluring Backwaters

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A canal in Allepey PC: Ram (our guide)

It was so captivating that, our daughter who got married soon after decided on honeymoon packages for Kerala and they had a wonderful time exploring the backwaters of Alleppey and Kochi. We have not been to Alleppey but we have enjoyed Kumarakom, Kollam and Trivandrum through the backwaters. We had befriended one of the tour managers we met during our second trip to Kerala, a very enterprising young man in his 20’s who was helping out his father in the tourism business. He helped us book his friend’s houseboat on a customized trip through the backwaters and rivers for a week which was unlike any of the luxury cruises we have experienced during our 50 years in the US.

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Gas delivery in Alleppey…that was really surprising  PC : Nicholas

This was life to the fullest and the best enjoying the basic elements of nature which gave us the kind of happiness, serenity and relaxation none of our luxury trips have ever given! Though the boat driver was telling us that this particular boat was more booked for Kerala honeymoon packages, he was very kind to help us with seeing the places around and also served as a guide when the boat was anchored for sightseeing in the land. He even helped us with a small canoe ride that took us through the narrow channels of water in the interiors where the houseboat could not enter. That was amazing! In fact, that was the most beautiful part of Kerala we had ever seen so far. We actually saw people live on the banks of these rivers and living quite happily with the limited resources which were quite humbling.

Romantic Rendezvous at the Beaches

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Sunset at Kappad beach….Hatsoff Ram for this wonderful click…

One of our cheap Kerala family tour packages was theme-based as we wanted to enjoy the beaches of Kerala throughout the state. During our previous visits, we had visited the Kovalam beach, Fort Kochi beach and Trivandrum beach only. We read a lot on Kerala’s locations and came across an article that explored quite a lot of beaches some of which were world famous. Since we did not want to miss them, we booked on an exclusive beach holiday and landed in Trivandrum from where we took a car to take us to the various beaches and the resorts nearby during the trip. Even though we had visited Kovalam’s beaches, they have a special charm and we spent our first night of the trip in the Leela Kovalam beach resort to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise there.

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Camel ride at fortkochi beach..that was thrilling PC: me

The next day we visited all the beaches nearby and went to Trivandrum. We had not visited the famous palace of Travancore which we visited on our way. It was unlike any other palace I have seen so far in my life! Apparently, this was a popular place for family tours and honeymoon packages as the place was quite crowded. Sankhumukham beach was particularly beautiful with the Mermaid statue were we took some pictures too. After spending some time at most of the beaches in Trivandrum, we went to Varkala Beach which was also called Papanasam beach! The cliffs and the warm springs from them converging into the ice-cold sea at Varkala were amazing. We visited the Allepey beach next and stayed over at the Marari beach resort. Though we had read that this was ranked among world’s top 5 beaches, we had never imagined it would be such a beautiful experience.

First stint with Ayurveda

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For those from the Western countries, Kerala’s beaches may not make sense in the first place. There won’t be coast guards, beach benches, bikini-clad women or kids playing with a beach ball! But I can promise you, your mind will go all blank for a good reason. All your worries and tensions will fly away, the moment you step out in these amazing beaches. It is plain nature in its raw elements that relaxes you rather than the beach chairs and a host of other facilities at the beach. Believe me, Mararikkulam turned is where we tried out our first stint with Ayurveda and it was an awesome experience. This is something you must try out while on exclusive Kerala tour packages for family. We were so awestruck by the place and the Ayurvedic massage that we enjoyed there that we enquired more about it later in our tour and decided to indulge in 3 weeks of Ayurvedic rejuvenation on our next tour of Kerala.

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We booked in advance as advised and were booked in a cottage at the center. It had no air conditioner or swimming pool! The food was plain and mostly bland. They gave you medicines from time to time which tasted extremely bitter. But all that endured, we felt at least a few years younger and stronger inside and outside after the treatment. It was a 15-days treatment and a week’s rest after that and we were back to the US where our friends and our children kept wondering what magic potion we had in Kerala! The staff seemed initially detached but we realized it had more to do with the language than the attitude. Over the years, we also understood the basic words in Malayalam and soon befriended most of the staff at the center. We even learned Yoga which was practiced there and continue it over the year and a half now since we learned it.

And miles to go…

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Meet my friend..a young vedic student, Thrissur PC: me 

We have planned our next trip and this time, it is going to be a longer one as we want to travel first and then undergo the rejuvenating treatment before we come back to Kentucky. This time, we have planned a trip to the North of Kerala to explore Kozhikode, Kannur and Palakkad and then visit the plantations in Thekkadi. We are thinking of investing there but need to find out if there are any legal restrictions as we are American citizens. Once we are done with the travels, we will enjoy our days of Ayurveda at Ollur where we went during our last visit. And we realize, there’s so much more we have to explore in this God’s Own Country for which we will keep coming back!!!