Kerala is truly a gorgeous state and it gets more beautiful with the monsoon rains. Aptly known as ‘God’s Own Country ‘, my first Kerala travel memories go back to decades. Nearly all my childhood vacations were spent with my Tamil grandparents and our summer plans always included visiting various places in Kerala. Those were innocent days of temple toting with protective grandparents and much later in life,  one of the airlines that I worked for had weekly halts at Cochin. Those halts ushered in a different aspect of Kerala travel and I splurged a lot on Ayurvedic spa sessions, local cuisine, and shopping.

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Beautiful Kerala is synonymous with these houseboats.

Kerala travel memories now and then

With so much of overexposure, you would think that Kerala would lose its magical aura in my eyes, yet somehow the gorgeous southern India state managed to get more enticing with each visit. Luckily my post flying career took me to many nice lesser known places in the state and I recently took my family there for a visit. Needless to say, Tarek fell headlong in love with Kerala and now we have a huge treasure trove of beautiful memories to share.

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From the coast to the hills of Kerala

Kerala makes me feel like a child in a candy shop and till today I find it difficult to pinpoint my favourite places or things to do in the state. While the backwaters are obviously amazing, I love the waterfall dotted hills of Neeliyampathy and winding lanes of Jew Town with equal fervour. The ancient dolmen sites near Palghat are equally stunning and the rest of my Kerala travel memories are one big kaleidoscope of food, natural attractions, spices, and relaxation.

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Lush green and magical, these are the Alleppey backwaters.

My Kerala travel memories are full of foodie delights

There are many things about Kerala which appeal to me and their spice-laden food is one of them. I sampled varied authentic dishes of Keralite cuisine while traveling through the state and from the toddy shop platters to Tiffin houses meals, those were an orgasmic smorgasbord of red rice, seafood, fishes, vegetables and velvety curries. My gluttony continued during my recent visit and as a family, we explored its gastronomic delights.

Kerala is a potpourri of folksy and vibrant festivals

The state’s rich and varied culture too ranked high on my Kerala travel memories and I was lucky enough to experience the Pulikali Tiger Dance, Theyyam performance, and the Vallamkali or the Boat Festival during my visit. With so many experiences it is difficult to sort out my Kerala travel memories without creating a huge jumble and in this photo series, I will include only my Kerala travel highlights from 2016. That year, I focussed more on the western part of the state and I hope you enjoy the blessed beauty of Kerala through my eyes.

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The local rural life along the water.

Kickstarting the Trip Itineraries section with my Kerala travel memories

2018 Kerala travel memories will also be coming up soon, so stay tuned and until then, check out the latest feature on my blog, called the Trip Itineraries. I have started off with two of my Kerala travel itineraries and this will be a regular feature for all the destinations I have visited. You can also check out the individual travel guides and tips in this section.

My 2016 Kerala travel itinerary

My 2016 Kerala travel highlights include the Pulikali Tiger Dance and Vallamkali. Thus, the itinerary focused on Thrissur for Pulikali and Allepey for the boat race or Vallamkali. After that, I took a train for Palghat or Palakkad before visiting Nelliyampathy and crossing over to Tamil Nadu. My 2016 Kerala itinerary looked something like this – Kochi-Thrissur-Alleypey-Palakkad-Nelliyampathy-Tamil Nadu.

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A tranquil scene of Kerala backwaters.

Our 2018-19 Kerala travel highlights and itinerary

I took Tarek and Akash for the 2018 year ending in Kerala. We spent 2 weeks in God’s Own Country, which incidentally was being rocked by Sabarimala conflicts. This curbed our itinerary a bit and we spent nearly one week in northern Kerala. The result, however, was very relaxing and our days were filled with swimming in the sea, lagoon, bird watching, and canoeing. At night we watched the trance-inducing Theyyam dance. These restful moments were blessing after a hectic first week of our Kerala travel, during which we went to Munroe Island, Thekkady, and Madurai. Long story short, despite being a bit hectic, we had wonderful Kerala travel moments and our 2018-2019 itinerary was as follows. Kochi-Munroe Island-Kumily(Thekkady)-Madurai-Kannur via Kozhikode-Kochi.

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Kerala is about lush green fields,

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Misty tea gardens,

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Deep forests and tumbling waterfalls,

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Gorgeous lakes,

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And blessed solitude.

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Then there are the vibrant festivals,

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Larger than life performing arts,

Kerala travel is incomplete without a cultural show

And graceful dances which capture the imagination.

Kerala travel should include a boat race

No Kerala trip is complete

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Without knowing about its intriguing history,

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Which was deeply based on the state’s rich spice production.

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On your Kerala travel, explore its lesser-known sites,

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Indulge in the state’s gastronomical delights,

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And feast your eyes on different shades of green.

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Kerala is indeed God’s Own Country.

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