Browsing CategoryKerala

The city of Kochi ( Cochin) in Kerala has been attracting traders and travelers for over 600 years and as a result of which has Dutch, Portuguese and even English influences in this city. Kerala is known for its spice trader but Kochi is so much more than that. While the rest of Kerala is more laid back and calm, Kochi attracts visitors with its relaxed charm and fun things to do and explore. The next time you visit this city, these are a few things that might interest you. Chinese Fishing Nets – These Chinese fishing nets are commonly…

Every year I like to hit rewind and pick out some of my favourite dishes of the year. They’re in no particular order and most of the time are the oddest choices. I enjoy doing it and it’s a great way to wrap up the year. This year however, I felt a bit underwhelmed by everything. I made a conscious choice to not eat out or talk about things unless I felt they were delicious. I wanted to avoid anything mediocre ( my version of average though someone else might love or hate it ) and focus on the WOW…

Forget the coconut in everything, the gorgeous luxury hotels and the kick ass food, one of the coolest things in Kerala is their very own Martial Arts form called Kalaripayattu. Whenever I think martial arts I think of Chinese or Japanese men prancing around skillfully with crazy acrobatics and jumps and turns – something straight out of a Kung Fu flick. This Kerala style martial arts is not all that different – except they’re not Chinese or Japanese men. I’ve only seen pictures and video clips but this was my first live demo and the master explains that this is in fact older than kung fu and is the base…

Like other Indian states, Kerala is devoted to its culture of dance and music. Without even visiting you automatically associate Kerala with Kathakali because every advertisement or poster about God’s own country is accompanied with a majestic image of the dancer. However there is much more than just Kathakali in Kerala and if you really want to learn more then you must visit the Kalamandalam arts center. I can’t help but feel like this is straight out of a story book. A vast property with small cottages where students practice with their gurus, the hot sun beating down along with…

After spice shopping and the beauty of Thekkady, suddenly I find my self in the hills of Munnar. It’s much cooler and the only thing you see all over is rolling hills filled with tea! This is the land of tea plantations and apart from a few cardamom plantations this is all you see. I’m not really a tea drinker but I can appreciate the brew when it’s unadulterated and not drowning in milk. Though I didn’t drink any while I was here.  I did however take a bunch of clichéd photos in the middle of all the tea. I also discovered my…

The first thing I was instructed to do when I told my folks I was off to Kerala, was to buy as many spices as I could possibly carry back. Kerala is known for their spices but I find it a little ridiculous to lug back a bunch of stuff that is easily available down the road! Oh well, I’m happy to indulge and bring them back for everyone. Though these are readily available all over the state, the place famous for its spice plantations is Thekkady. It’s beautiful and I’m lucky enough to stay in a town called Kumily…

This is where the Kerala Blog Express starts to get really interesting. Alleppey a region in Kerala that’s famous for its massive backwater channel is flooded with luxury house boats. I use the term luxury loosely because some might think it’s not fancy enough but I think it’s pretty darn good. These boats which were big enough to house people on it for days, were used to ferry rice up and down the river many moons ago. Now they’re used to ferry eager tourists who stay on the boat and get a chance to experience the beauty of Kerala. Our…

Kerala is as religious and spiritual as any other state in India. Serpent or Snake worship is as common here as any where else in India. Though I’m wary of snakes I find them fascinating creatures and was very eager to visit the famous snake temple – Mannarasala. Sadly there are no real snakes here, just idols but a small walk around the temple was educating to say the least. If you are interested in Hinduism and learning more about serpent worshiping I would suggest you pop in and visit the temple. Sadly I couldn’t photograph anything inside and my fingers were just itching to capture the puja…

It’s been three days of Kerala surfin’ and third time’s the charm! I finally had my first thoroughly satisfying Kerala styled meal.  So far I’ve had glimpses of authentic Malayli food, guest appearances by apams in my breakfast buffet, the occasional avial and thorans ( cooked in grated coconut) but I hadn’t had a complete Malyali meal till today.   The Raviz Hotel which is a part of the ITC chain of hotels has an beautiful water front property right on the backwaters of Kollam. As I’m constantly told, Kollam has virgin backwaters, almost as if people haven’t discovered its…

I’m in God’s own country, tucked away in my adorable little cottage enjoying the sound of the waves crashing outside and I have to pinch myself to remember I’m not dreaming. The Kerala Blog express has kicked off in full speed and I’m soaking up everything that Kerala has to offer. The last time I was in Kerala was when I was 13 yrs old and my memories are vague at best. The only thing that I distinctly remember is the amazing sambhar and chutney I ate in Cochin. Just goes to show you’re never too young to appreciate good…