Some Must-Do Activities On Your Trip To Kerala, Kochi, India
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There's a lot just waiting to be discovered here, what with a plethora of fun activities vying for your attention to choose from - ranging from mystic houseboat rides to the blissful Ayurveda massages for calming your excited nerves to even experiencing the thrill a snake boat race. Read on to know more about how you can make your visit to Kerala a memorable one and what you can do to ensure that when you get old, you have many exciting tales to tell your grandchildren about this sojourn:
Stay on a houseboat:
I bet you've heard a lot about these houseboats already and once you're away from the concrete jungle and the hustle and bustle of city life, you should make the most of it. Connect with nature and romanticize the wilderness with your stay in the backwaters of Allepey, Allapuzha or Kumarakom on a luxurious houseboat. Of course, you always have the option of staying in a hotel, but where's the novelty in that? In case, a long stay on unchartered waters is not your cup of tea, don't lose hope. You can try going for a backwater cruise on the Vembanand lake, which is the largest lake in Kerala and also a popular picnic spot and check out the flora and fauna there. Sounds like good fun! The best time for this activity would be during winters.
Cheer at a snake boat race:
Onam is the most popular festival in Kerala and is celebrated with sheer pomp and joy each year in the months of August-September. The whole of Kerala comes alive in a festive fervor for 4 days with music and dance, decorating houses, Onam Sadya (feast) and even boat racing. The boat race is a very integral and important aspect of Onam wherein about 100 oarsmen row huge and beautifully decorated snake boats and men and women celebrate by cheering the snake boats skim through the water. I'm sure you can't wait to be part of this festivity. Be there, do it!
Bring out the adventurer in you:
If you thought Kerala was only about houseboats and boat races, think again. On your visit to the beautiful hill station Munnar, trying your hand at paragliding is an absolute must. And don't worry, you don't need to be trained for it. Glide over the magnificent hills of Munnar with the help of an instructor. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, it's true!
Give your tired mind and body a new lease of life with the famous Ayurveda massage therapies that are ever so popular with tourists visiting Kerala. Just lie down and relax and let the experts do the rest for you. Bring harmony to your soul and experience the soothing herbal massages that rid you of your stress and ailments. There are many centers and spas all over Kerala which offer this facility with packages at competitive rates. So go ahead, pick a package of your preference and feel the magic as it happens. Monsoons are considered to be the best time to indulge in Ayurvedic therapies in Kerala.
Get enthralled by folk art:
Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Thullal, Oppana, Margamkali are just some of the forms of classical folk dances performed in Kerala. Each dance form is unique and has a story and a style of its own. Some of these dance forms have become popular worldwide, but what better place to witness an enthralling dance performance than in the place of its origin!
A Fall isn't always a bad thing:
Case in point being the beautiful Athirapally waterfalls. This place could well be dubbed as India's Niagara Falls as these 80 feet high falls are sure to give you an adrenaline rush. The best time to visit here would be in the monsoons and we recommend that you trek your way up and down the falls. The soothing sounds of the cascading waterfalls and witnessing the huge mass of water coming crashing down is something that only a lucky few get to experience in their lifetime. So make sure that you, too, are that lucky one!
Get in touch with your wild side at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary with a jungle safari or go bamboo-rafting on the Periyar lake. You could also energize yourself with a visit to the countryside by taking a canoe ride across the serpentine canals in the quaint villages of Kerala. (For more information, check out a good resource on the place like www.irisholidays.com.)
Regarded as one of the most ancient and scientific forms of martial arts in the the world, Kalaripayattu is still practiced in Kerala. It is supposed to be one of the important aspects of an Ayurvedic physical treatment called Kalarichikitsa. Some of the moves of this form of combat are sure to leave you astounded and amazed. So make sure you don't miss witnessing this celebrated form of martial arts.
Indulge in some intellectual fact finding with a visit to Kerala's St. Angelo Fort, Fort Kochi, Bekal Fort, Edakkal Caves, Mattancherry Palace, Jew Street, Ariyannur Umbrellas among other attractions. All these places will take you back in time and tickle your imagination by giving you a taste of how things used to be.
Drown your stress and sorrows in the picturesque beaches – be it the scenic Varkala beach or the Kovalam beach (don't miss the Lighthouse here), the mesmerizing Beypore beach, the ancient Ezhimala beach or the serene Bekal beach. Lose yourself in the sun and the sand on the sunkissed beaches of Kerala.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry:
If you are one of those people who live to eat, then your love for food will only increase as you relish Kerala's mouthwatering cuisine. Their food items are enriching with some authentic flavors of the South. Coconut is a favorite additive here and is added to most of the food preparations be it their vegetarian or non-vegetarian meals. 'Toddy'- a drink made of liquor and water with sugar and spices is a popular beverage in the rural areas and a Kerala specialty. Do try!
There's something for everyone at Kerala. So, what are you waiting for? Get your checklist of these activities ready and tick away while you live it up at this Southern Paradise of India!!!
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