5 Reasons Why I Fell in Love with Kerala | Human by Nature

9.06.2020 Kerala, India

If there was one place where moments have transcended time and again to a laid-back sojourn, it has to be in Kerala. If 'Home Away from Home' had a name, where one yearns to belong even after a single visit - short or long, that slowing down to reflect is Kerala. 

Alleppey Boating

During the pandemic of 2020, we have acknowledged that human connections matter to our souls. Travelers are often not only part of an ecosystem of change but are also contributors to the livelihood of the locals who have 'all that is theirs to give' with a smile. Interestingly, Kerala surprises me on its ability to surpass struggles with collective bonding whether it is by offering help by the fishermen - the unsung heroes of Kerala during the floods of 2018 or by locals during the recent plane crash. The famed Snake Boat Race in Alleppey is also a witness to coordination with grace.

So, when Kerala Tourism approached me on this unique campaign 'Human by Nature' that focuses on a fascinating interplay of nature and humanity, I jumped into it right away. Kerala also popularly known as “God’s own country” is globally loved. 

Kerala Tourism Instagram

The video below focuses on how mundane can be extraordinarily beautiful - thanks to the people and the god gifted nature. 

My post today contains stories by people, from people including me for who Kerala remains special and why:


1. The Calm Backwaters of Alleppey

Alleppey holds a dear place in my heart. The gentle lapping of water surrounded by the swaying palm trees, the floating leaves & swimming ducks, our Shikara passing through narrow canals and lagoons, and the unique perspective of village and paddy fields from the water gives it a larger than life aura. I would say its rightly called "Venice of the East" but greener and more dynamic. 

Alleppey Backwaters
  
Backwaters of Alleppey

The highlight of our Shikara ride was when our Boatman docked it in a village situated on the bank of the backwaters. It was where I held an eagle on my hand. Our ride continued with being served freshly fried Karimeen fish onboard. 

People of Alleppey
People of Alleppey Backwaters
Boating in Alleppey
Fish from Kerala

My beau and I were enthralled as we lived a dream without the noise of the outside world with emerald waters surrounding us and fish in our plates. I wish we had Toddy (a local drink) to complete the moment

Alleppey Houseboat Experience
My folks have often raved about their houseboat experience. So, whether it's mundane or luxury, Alleppey has your back. 

Human by Nature
This pic on "Human by Nature" talks of everyday commute in Alleppey which is a mix of regular and irregular people while life happens all around. 

2. Tea and Kathakali in Munnar

Munnar is a euphoria that brings out the lovey-dovey in everyone. While my parents were charmed by idyllic tea plantations, my brother and I were awed at the sight of elephants taking a bath in the Periyar River. 

Munnar Tea Gardens

The panoramic view from the top station, the vendors selling quail eggs, the random Cheeyappara Falls, and the quaint echo lake was cherry on the cake. No wonder it bagged the best romantic destination by Lonely Planet in 2017. 

Munnar Hills

Munnar Tea
Munnar Food

My video on Munnar: 


My aunt, Madhu Prasad who visited Kerala last year says, "Lockhart tea estate is a 100-year-old functioning tea estate that brags of orthodox tea making methods that use buds. We saw various stages of tea processing, from leaves being picked to packaging. We even got to see the shooting of a Malayalam movie on-site". 

Munnar Tea Leaves Processing
  
She continues, "In Munnar, we saw the backstage preparations of Kathakali dance. It takes hours for them to put on the makeup and the costumes are so heavy you have to wonder how they can even move in them, let alone dance. They are mostly male dancers even though they perform roles of both males and females. It's a wonderful experience " 

Kerala Kathakali Dancers
Kathakali Preparations
Kathakali Behind The Scenes

She further continues on Organic Spice Village, "We were amazed to learn that some trees provide multiple spices since the fruit is one spice, the leaves another and the bark third.” 

Kerala Spices

3. The layered sensibility of Cochin 

Cochin Fishing Nets

The photographers' favorite Chinese Fishing Nets can be best captured when the nets triangulate the sea amid the amber colors of Sunset. During afternoon hours, Fisherman demonstrates the age-old traditional method of catching fish for a fee. 

Cochin Fishing and Antiques

A short walk from Chinese Fishing Net is Princess Street. These alleys are great walkaways with Dutch Portuguese Style buildings influenced by European settlement. It also has cafes, shops, and restaurants. 

Cochin Biking
Cochin can be enjoyed on a bike, and watching the transition of traditional meeting modern is riveting! 
  
Cochin Palace
Mattancherry Palace (Famous for Murals) 

Laser Show in Cochin
The laser show in the park by the water is great! 
                                                      
4. The Unique Museum in Kerala 

Museums in Kerala

My aunt says, “Revi Karunakaran Memorial Museum was spectacular. He was a successful industrialist in the Coir Industry and his family collected artifacts from around the world. The museum consists of items made of ivory and has the largest private collection of Swarovski crystals outside of the Swarovski company. They also have a large collection of Jade, Porcelain, and Tanjore paintings. We found this place unique because this was the first museum where we were asked to remove shoes before entering it.”

Kerala for Wellness and Awareness

Kerala is known all over the world for ancient Ayurveda and Wellness. My friend, Nivedith (#Macrotraveller) says, “I had an opportunity to visit Kairali Ayurvedic Healing Village in Palakkad in Kerala and they have treatments for all kind of issues in a very organic way using Ayurveda as the base and I tried the Ayurvedic Therapeutic Massages which is very rejuvenating.” 

Ayurveda in Kerala

Kerala is also known for its high literacy rate. 

Human by Nature
This picture by "Human by Nature" depicts Tribes of Wayanad in the wild but also showcases kids going to school and travelers in awe. A wonderful blend of progressive thoughts and deep roots. 

My words fall short when describing Kerala. Often, I have felt humbleness not only flows through common people but also eloquently rich temples such as Padmanabhaswamy Temple

 
Padmanabhaswamy Temple

This post would be incomplete without mentioning my Keralite friend Stella McGovern for who and her family Kerala is a way of life in Tellicherry, famous in the USA for its black pepper. 

Tellicherry People

Tellicherry People

Tellicherry People

Nature in Tellicherry

Happy Onam everyone. I hope the traditional feast of Onam Sadhya served in Banana Leaves delights us. The latest visuals by Kerala Tourism tells us that thankfully we aren't missing much!

Sponsored by Kerala Tourism

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