Situated on the western coast of India, Kerala is one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. The mighty Western Ghats separate Kerala from Tamil Nadu and also plays a crucial role in ensuring that this narrow stretch of land remains lush and green throughout the year. Kerala has a network of about 44 rivers. The vast majority of them originate in the Western Ghats and flow towards the Arabian Sea.
Kerala is a traveler’s delight. The state has serene beaches, vast stretches of emerald backwaters, lovely hill stations and amazing wildlife. Better still, each destination is only a two hour drive from the other. Read more about planning a perfect trip to Kerala.
What to see and what to do in Kerala?
Kerala has a number of picturesque hill stations and sprawling national parks.
Most popular hill stations and National parks
Temple festivals of Kerala
Kerala has temple festivals of three distinct types. In northern Kerala, spectacular ritualistic dance performances called Theyyam is the hallmark of temple festivals. Central Kerala has its own unique temple festivals with festooned elephants and orchestra. Snake boat races are held in the rivers and backwaters of southern Kerala.
Kerala has a population of about 35 million people and boasts of living standards comparable to those in developed countries. The state has the highest literacy rate, the highest life expectancy rate and the lowest infant mortality rate in India.
Kerala lies in the south west corner of India. It has tropical climate. Summers are hot. In March, April and May, day time temperatures in some parts of the state can be as high as 40 degree Celsius. The temperature is typically in the 28-32 degree Celsius during other seasons. Winters (November – January) are mild and unarguably the best time to visit Kerala. Kerala also has a long rainy season. The state receives about 300 cm rains in a year. Actually Kerala has two rainy seasons. The South West Monsoon lasts from June to September. The North East Monsoon typically arrives in Kerala in the middle of October and lasts for a few weeks. A peculiarity of this rainy season is that it typically only rains in the evenings and at night. Also the rains are accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Kerala has a unique geography. The state has three geographical regions. The highlands slope from the Western Ghats into midlands which consist of small hills and valleys, backwaters, rivers, canals and a coastline of 580 km. The wild lands cover dense forests, tea and coffee plantations. The most visual aspect of Kerala’s geography is its rich greenery. Green is the color that meets your eye wherever you look.
People and Life
Kerala is one of the most progressive states in India. People are educated, friendly and hospitable. About 50 percent of the population is Hindu. Northern Kerala has a considerable population of Muslims. They account for about 30 percent of Kerala’s total population. Likewise, southern Kerala has a considerable population of Christians. A remarkable aspect of Kerala people is their respect for and tolerance towards people of other faiths. People follow their faith without feeling any compulsion to bring others round to their views. Onam, the biggest festival, of the state was originally a Hindu festival. However, over the years, it has transformed itself into the ‘national festival’ of all Malayalis. Needless to say, communal unrest is nonexistent in Kerala.
Interested in visiting Kerala? Read about the visa requirements here.