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A travellers diary with 101 things to do in Kerala
(1 - 25)
1. Wake upto the world’s best breakfast
Kerala’s spread of morning dishes – vellayappam, Uppuma, iddli, puttu, masala dosa,appams etc. have been rated the best breakfast in the world by Travel & Leisure magazine. A must-try is the crisp lacy appam served with meat/vegetable stew.
2. Walk-through paddy fields
Here’s different walking experience. Venture in to the very heart of the paddy fields, on narrow dykes. Don’t lose yourself completely in the dazzling green around you, as you’ll have to watch out for the slushy water passages that run through your mud path.
3. Tip toe across a coconut trunk bridge
In the interiors of Kerala, you’ll come across plenty of small water bodies with these extremely narrow Bridges. Watch the native folk cross them with case, but think twice before you do. It isnt your cup of tea, don’t worry. Further down the water’s edge you’ll find a more friendly bridge.
4. Sip tender coconut
Refresh yourself with a sip of cool tender coconut- nature’s rejuvenating nectar – and a scoop of its soft white flesh, Nutrition at its natural best.
5.Take a swig of toddy
Ask your tour guide to arrange for fresh madbura kallu (sweet toddy extracted from the coconut palm) and have it the Kerala way with exotic karimeen pollichathu (baked fresh water fish) or spicy pickles.
6. Stay on an exotic houseboat
Embark on an enchanting journey across sun – dappled backwaters on a kettuvallom-fully furnished traditional rice boats. While your eyes explore the rustic life that floats by, treat your palate to backwater delicacies prepared by your personal chef.
7. Ride a Canoe
Drift along serene waterways in a country craft, Enjoy the breeze, answer a cuckoo’s call. Wave back at the cheerful village folk on the banks. Invite some of their chirpy children to hop in for a ride. They’ll keep you well entertained.
8 Workout on a treadmill
In Kerala, traditional treadmills are still used to irrigate the paddy fields. Try your luck with the local farmer and see if you can get to pedal one.
9. See Chinese fishing nets
Watch fishermen tug at these huge nets with their rich haul. These nets that billow from massive bamboo poles were brought here by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongolian King. Their silhouettes against the evening sky make for terrific pictures too.
10. Choose your pick from the Fisherman’s net
Along the Malabar Coast and at Vasco da Gama Square in Fort Kochi, you can select your favourite from an inviting display of juicy sear fish, sardines, prawns, red snappers etc. Ask the friendly fisherman to fry it for you the local way.
11. Feast on kappa and meen curry
Try Kerala’s hot red fish curry with steamed tapioca or boiled rice. It’ll make your mouth water. And your eyes as well. But you’ll still enjoy it.
12 Savour a Sadhya
Seat yourself on the floor, roll your sleeves up and get started on this multi-course feast of rice, 12-15 vegetarian dishes, spicy pickles, crunchy banana chips, crispy pappadams, plantains and payasam- the dessert. Served on a plantain leaf, the meal is eaten with the fingers.
13 Wear a Kerala saree
Stun your friends in Kerala saree - five metres of fine off-white cotton edged with golden zari, that lends an extraordinary elegance to the person wearing it. Each piece is specially woven on a traditional handloom.
14. Wear jasmine in your hair
Get yourself a string of jasmine-the natural ornament for your hair. You could even pluck them fresh from a garden and string them yourself.
15 Spice up your life
Kerala is the Spice Coast of India. Take home a chest full of exotic spices and win compliments for your aromatic cooking. These are also available in special gift pouches.
16. Ride on 8 tonner without wheels
At the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, you and your friends can majestically ride into the scenic jungle on an elephant. A mahout will guide you on your enchanting journey.
17 Watch birds
Spot egrets, herons, Siberian stork, darters, teals and hundreds of other migratory birds in Kerala’s enchanting bird sanctuaries. Hear them sing. Take their Family photograph. Applaud their aerobatic skills.
18 Follow the tiger’s trail
Join the Thekkady tiger trail- a real adventure trek into the dense forest with expert guides. Cook in the jungle. Sleep in tents. Wake up to the sounds of the wilderness. Try and spot a tiger.
19 Design a floral pattern
During Onam, the harvest festival in August/September, you can see colourful, beautiful floral decorations in the courtyards of Kerala’s homes. Try making one with family and friends.
20. Cheer a snake boat race
Watch the backwaters of Kerala come alive. Feel the excitement bubble in you as teams of 100 oarsmen row their snake boats, their bodies swaying in unison to the fast rhythm of full throated singing, in one of the most exhilarating water sports.
21. Feel the rain on your body
Kerala’s invigorating monsoon will cleanse you, refresh you and rejuvenate you. Let it run down your body, and wash away stress. So don’t just listen to the pitter-patter on the roof. Step out.
22 Munch an uppumanga
You’ll simply relish a meal that is accompanied by uppumanga, tender mangoes preserved in brine for months (the longer, the better).
23 Get an Ayurvedic massage
Gift yourself new life. Surrender to the magical fingers of specially trained masseurs. To medicated baths that will refresh you. Herbal diets that will replenish you. Yoga that will revitalize you. And meditation that will recharge you.
24 Say hello to the Nilgiri Tahr
Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr live in the Eravikulam National Park at Munnar. Friendly as they are, you can pat them or pose for pictures with them. So meet them and have plenty to brag about when you get back home.
25 Sip fine tea
Take a walk through the green carpeted tea hills of Kerala and strong aromas will lead you in to the factories over a hundred years old. Here you can taste and pick up the finest tea in the country.