Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kerala is one of the greenest and best emerging destinations of India

Tourists from all over the world travel to Kerala to enjoy an Indian holiday on the beaches, backwaters and hills of Kerala. Apart from this, wildlife sanctuaries, historic cities and temples, are few other important features of Kerala.A tour to Kerala can let you experience its spectacular geographical wonder and rich .

Suggestive Itinerary

Cochi - Munnar - Thekkady - Alleppey - Cochin

On arrival at Cochin Airport / railway station and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon proceed to sightseeing of Cochin including Jewish synagogue, the Mattancherry palace, the Chinese fishing nets, St. Francis Church. Over night stay at hotel.

Morning after breakfast drive to Munnar. India's highest tea estate and home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr is located here. On arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon proceed to sightseeing of Munnar & Mattupetty Dam. Overnight at Hotel.

Morning after breakfast proceed to Sight seeing of Munnar- Eravikulam National Park. Overnight at your hotel.

Morning after breakfast proceed to Thekkady (Periyar). On arrival check in at the hotel.
In the afternoon go for a boat ride at Periyar Tiger reserve to view the wildlife in the sanctuary. Overnight stay at hotel.

After breakfast transfer to Alleppey, popularly known as the 'Venice of the East'. Here a houseboat awaits you for a magnificent backwater cruise. Overnight at Houseboat.

After a leisure breakfast, bid adieu to your crew and drive back to Cochin. transfer to the airport / railway station to board the flight / train for onward destination.

More getting from


Place : Fort Cochin
Attraction : Chinese fishing nets
Food style : Thattukada

A different dining experience to choose the fish you would like to eat ,wait for it to be weighed, agree on the price then carry your purchase to  near by grills where your fish will be coocked and served.The fish market offers a variety of fish and shell fish/ seafood etc. This is where the locals come to shop, and is a good place to stock up if you're self catering.

Local fishermen sell the fish here that has been caught recently, either by boat, or in the cantilevered nets.

The freshest of sea food, the concept is of small shacks cooking for u what you have bought from the fishing nets. You can sit on a beachside, see the locals operate the fishing nets, sip in a beer or two, hard rinks also (not legal but u can do it) and just chill. maybe if u r a bit too adventurous you can help in catching the catch which can be cooked for you

Try the grilled prawns in garlic sauce, or the local freshwater KARIMEAN.Grilled lobsters are nice and fresh crabs in coconut sauce....all this with fresh brown bread or the traditional rice plate.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kerala Breakfast

Kerala people are awake early, especially women in the villages. Breakfast proper gets under way when the kids are up, and consists of pootu - cylinders of roughly pounded rice and coconut steamed together in hollowed out bamboos or
Appam - soft, slightly cupped rice pancakes that are deliciously spongy in the centre,
Iddiappams, a kind of vermicelli, are another breakfast staple made with rice powder, made by squeezing runny rice dough through a special press and then steaming it.
These are accompanied by the sweetest Kerala bananas, and may be a cup of warm tea, or else with saucers or spicy egg masala, Vegitable and mutton ishtu a rich tasty gravy bases on onions which is poured over the pootu, appam or iddiappam.

In large towns and cities, however, a more generic, South Indin-style breakfast prevails, based on dishes originally devised in the Karnatakan pilgrimage town of Udipi These include scrumptious deep-fried savoury doughnuts made of chickpea flur called vada, and circular steamed rice cakes, or iddlis, which are broken up and soaked in sambar or mashed together with chatni -a tangy paste often made with ground coconut and finely chopped fresh green chillis.

iddli-vada-sambar breakfasts being dished up from dawn onwards, and around the clock in railway and bus stations. By 11am, however, most, places will have switched to their lunchtime meals menu.
If you're staying in a smart hotel, buffet breakfasts are the norm, consisting of limp versions of Western food and even limper South Indian dishes. The juice of tender coconut – ‘world’s safest natural soft drink’ – is a refreshing nutritious thirst quencher. The staple food of the masses is rice. Kerala cuisine also has a medley of pickles and chutneys. And the crunchy papadams, banana chips and jack chips can give french fries a run for their money any day

Food is integral to the travel experience

Till 30 years back, even Indians from other states had no clear idea what exactly the food of Kerala was like. But with tourism having become a major role, Kerala cuisine has experienced resurgence.

Kerala’s tryst with spices remains as strong as ever. The trading of spices between Kerala and world goes back at least to the third millennium BC. Kerala is the land of different spices. Breakfast, lunch, dinner even snacks in evening tea has served with different items. The various people, who invaded, colonized, traded with or settled in this area, all left their indelible mark on the cousine that, incourse of time, evolved into one with an identity of its own. One that is remarkable for its simplicity, taste and range. Cardamom,Pepper,turmeric,cinnamon,nutmeg,ginger,chilli,curry leaf,clove has big role in Kerala food menu preparation.
In Kerala rice plays an important role in food menus. It’s not just a staple but also the base for large number of dishes. Most of the foods are served on banana leaves.

Kerala cuisine is a combination of Vegetables, meats and seafood flavoured with a variety of spices. Seafood's are main diet of Coastal Kerala. Whereas Vegetable is the main diet in plains of Kerala and Meat is the main course among tribal and northern Kerala

Sadya' - Kerala feast:
The typical Kerala feast served on a banana leaf, is a sumptuous spread of rice and more than 14 vegetable dishes, topped with `payasam', the delicious sweet dessert cooked in milk.

Aappam is a Kerala favourite and there are many varieties. For breakfast this pancake is usually made from a rice flour and toddy batter. It has a thick, spongy center and very fine lacy outer section. It's usually taken with spiced sauce, sometimes with fruit.

Puttu is another popular breakfast dish. It is made from rice flour dough combined with shredded coconut steamed in a bamboo stick. It is served with banana or plain with sugar.

Idi-appam is rice noodles usually served with coconut milk but they may also accompany meat dishes

Portuguese Starts the colonial history in india

On 1500 December 24 the first Portuguese fleet had come to Cochin.

The admiral of this fleet was Pedro Alvares Cabral (the discoverer of Brasil).
The king of Cochin allowed place for establishing the business and a "feitoria" (factory) .In 1502 a new expedition under the command of Vasco da Gama arrived at Cochin, and the friendship with the Rajah of Cochin was renewed.
After the departure of Vasco da Gama, the Zamorin of Calicut, enemy of the Portuguese, attacked Cochin and destroyed the Portuguese "feitoria". The Rajah of Cochin and his Portuguese allies were forced to withdraw to the island of Vypin. Here, they were reinforced by three ships under Francisco de Albuquerque’s leadership and, some days later by Duarte Pacheco Pereira (the author of "Esmeraldo de situ orbis") the Calicut troops immediately abandoned the siege.

In 27 September of 1503 the foundations of a timber fortress were laid. This was the first fortress erected by the Portuguese in India. At the departure of the Portuguese fleet to Portugal, Duarte Pacheco Pereira with three ships and 100 men were left in Cochin for assistance to the Rajah. Meanwhile, the Zamorin of Calicut formed a force of 50.000 men and 280 ships to drive the Portuguese out of Cochin. Duarte Pacheco Pereira was in command of only 100 Portuguese, 300 Malabar troops and about 5.000 soldiers of the King of Cochin. Pereira was a formidable commander. For five months, he and his men were able to sustain and drive back all the Zamorin’s assaults. He saved Portugal from being driven out of India. After this victory, Pereira returned to Portugal, and the King paid him the highest honours.

In 1505, a stone fortress replaced the wooden fortress of Cochin. The first church of Cochin was that of St.Bartolomeu built in 1504. In 1506, the construction of Santa Cruz church (which gave its name to the Portuguese town) was initiated.

A parish church called Madre de Deus was laid in 1510. In 1550, the Jesuits added a large three storied college to the church.
For a better defence of the town, a fort called "Castelo de Cima" was built on Vypeen island at Paliport.

In 1510, Afonso de Albuquerque started a school (a Portuguese "casado" Afonso Alvares was the teacher) but after his death it closed down. However, the Franciscans started a new school in 1520. They built a friary (Santo Antonio) (1518-1520), a seminary and the beautiful church dedicated to St.Francisco de Assis (1516-1522). Vasco da Gama was originally buried in it on Christmas eve of 1524. The floor of this church was paved with tombstones, which, in 1887, were removed and fixed its walls, where there are still today. This church is a living historical monument of today’s Cochin

When the Kerala history Begins

Geologically Kerala is much younger than rest of India, and it is believed that it came out of the ocean floor following some seismological event in the distant past.

The ancient history of Kerala is shrouded in the mists of tradition. The most popular legend would have it that the land crust that forms the State was raised from the depths of the ocean. Parasurama, the Brahmin avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, had waged an epic series of vengeful wars on the Kshatriyas. Came a moment when Parasurama was struck by remorse at the wanton annihilation he had wrought. He offered severe penance atop the mountain heights. In a mood of profound atonement, the sage heaved his mighty axes into the midst of the distant ocean. The waves foamed and frothed as a prawn-shaped land extending from Gokarnam to Kanyakumari surfaced from the depths of the sea to form the state and hence the sobriquet - "Gods own Country".

The original inhibitors of this land were dark skinned negritos of the proto-australoid race. These original people have negroid features. About three thousand years ago, when the Dravidians moved to south India they pushed these original inhabitants to the hills and forests. They were kept separate from the rest of the population till recently as untouchables.

The Dravidians originally came to India from the Mediterranean region passing through Iraq, Iran, and Baluchistan. Many scholars believe that they came out of the same stock as the Abraham's ancestors of the Sumerian civilization. They left for India before Abraham started his journey to the Promised Land in Palestine.

According to this legend, Kerala was a gift of the Arabian Sea to Parasuraman, one the 10 avatars or incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In order to atone for all the sins he committed in 21 wars, Parasuraman threw his favorite weapon, the axe, in to the sea standing in Gokarnam. The axe fell near Cape Comorin. A land came out of the sea from where he stood to the place the axe fell. He called the land Keralam. He divided it in to 64 parts and gifted it to 64 Brahmins families.

Kerala has been a true melting pot of many cultures for the past 3,000 years. Though the breaks in the Western Ghats, the Dravidians and Aryans came to Kerala in the beginning, but Kerala's long seashores have left an open door for foreign visitors always. Some Jews came to Kerala in 585 BC, soon after their Babylonian captivity and also others later during the Roman persecution in 72 AD. After the Middle East, Kerala has the most ancient Jewish community in the world though most have left for Israel since its founding in 1948. According to many Jewish historians, Kerala is the only land where the Jews of the Diaspora were never persecuted.

In modern history

15 AD: St. Thomas visited Kerala

24 December 1500 : The first Portuguese fleet called on its port, a firm ally of the Portuguese.

1604: The Dutch arrive in kozhikode

1800: British established their supremacy in Kerala

Kerala One of the best holiday destination in the world

Destination of life time, yes it is not an exaggeration when it use for Kerala holidays destination. A sliver of dense greenery sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the forested Western Ghat mountains, the state of KERALA stretches for 550 Km along India’s southwest coast, and is just 120Km wide at its broadest point. It is one of the ten Paradises of the world.

It’s blessed with unique geographical features, and the lush tropical landscape, fed by two annual monsoons, intoxicates every newcomer. Equally, Kerala’s arcane rituals and spectacular festivals stimulate even the most cynical imagination.

Better educated, more literate and more politically sense than any other in India, the state’s 32.5-million- strong population has also embraced the globalized economy with grate enthusiasm. The most popular destination for visitors is undoubtedly the grate port of Kochi (formally cochin), where kerala’s extensive history of peaceful foreign contact is evident in the atmospheric old quarters of mattancherry and Fort Cochin- hubs of a still-flourishing tea and spice trade. The capital, Thuiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum), almost as far south as you can go, and a gateway to the nearby palm-fringed beaches of Kovalam, provides various opportunities to sample Kerala’s rich cultural and artistic life. More physical pleasures are the reason travelers flock to varkala, just over an hour north of the capital, where Hindu pilgrims share the Papanasanam beach with ranks of sun worshippers and yoga buffs, against a spectacular backdrop of red laterite cliffs.

More than anywhere else in India, the great joy of exploring Kerala is in the traveling itself, especially by boat. Ferries, cruisers, wooden longboats and house boats ply the backwaters, slowly meandering through the spellbinding Kuttanad region near historic Kollam and alappuzha on the southern tip of the huge Vembanad Lake. Drifting between swathes of palm trees and past tiny villages in the humid heat, you vannot fail to be lulled by the unhurried place of life.

The only way to escape the humidity of the lowlands is to head for the hills. Roads wind through landscapes dotted with churches and temples and past spice, tea, coffee and rubber plantations, as well as natural forest, en route to wildlife reserves such as Tholpetty and Periyar, where sightings of wild elephants are virtually guaranteed. Further highland options include the former British hill station of Munnar, surrounded by endlessly rolling tea estate, the spice plantations of Palakkad, and the beautiful forested district of Wayanad, with its indigenous tribal population.

Kerala is short on the historic monuments prevalent elsewhere in India, and the ancient temples that do remain are still in use, and usually closed to non- Hindus. Following an unwritten law few buildings in Kerala, whether places, houses or temples, are highter than the trees , often creating the illusion of clean , green cities. Typical features of both domestic and temple architecture include pillared verandas and long, sloping tiled and gabled roofs that offer protection from both rain and sunshine .the definitive example is Padmanabhapuram palace ,just over the border in Tamil Nadu ,and easily reached from Thiruvanathapuram.