101 things to do in Kerala



A travellers diary with 101 things to do in Kerala

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(51 -75) 
51. Treat your sweet tooth
The famous Mithai Street of Kozkikkod has everything to make your mouth water – from heavenly haluvas, juicy jillebies to creamy milk sweets. Relish them as they melt in your mouth.
 
52. Study rare flora
Treat your eyes to exotic orchids, anthuria, sandalwood trees etc. in the forests. One of these, the rare Neelakurinji, bathes the mountains of Munnar in blue once every 12 years. It is expected to bloom next in 2006. 
 
53. Romance the spice hills
Holiday amidst the sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns and winding lanes of Kerala’s mist clad hill stations – a world where tranquillity abounds. The dense tropical jungles in these hill stations house some of the exotic bird and wildlife sanctuaries in the country.
 
54. Watch the making of an Arabian dhow
Witness this 1500 year old tradition at Beypore. It takes an expert team of 15-30 strongmen at least two years to shape a vessel in wood. Locally called uru, this Arabian trading vessel is fast fading from the shipping scene.
 
55. Bathe in waterfalls
Nowhere else will you find water so playful, so pure, so pacifying. Crystal clear waters cascade down the mountains of Kerala, gurgling, whispering, laughing and cleansing everything in their way. Watch them wake serene rivers with a magnificent splash.
 
56. Go arty
You can browse in the art galleries for hours without track of time. Among them are collections of the world famous works of Raja Ravi Varma, Raja Raja Varma, Svetlova, Nicholas Roerich, rare murals and masterpieces from China, Japan, Tibet, Bali and other parts of India.
 
57. Visit scenic Kuttanad
Explore the lush paddy fields of Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala – the only place in the world where farming is done 1.5 or 2 m below sea level. Kuttanad is in the interiors of the beautiful backwater district of Alappuzha.
 
58. Taste Payasam
The payasam, a rich milk delicacy prepared with vermicili, gram or rice, is a delight for the plate. The most common dessert of Kerala, the payasam is made in scores of flavours and garnished with raisins and nuts fried in ghee. It is usually eaten with salty snacks.
 
59. Feast your eyes on the largest mural

The palaces and museums of Kerala have an exotic collection of ancient murals. The Krishnapuram Palace at Kayamkulam displays the largest of these masterpieces – gajendramoksham – which belongs to the 18th century and depicts an event from mythology.
 
60. Watch Theyyam
Theyyam is the oldest ritual art form of Kerala, Look on in awe as Theyyam performers invoke the temple diety Bhagavathy with their frenzied dancing and throbbing temple music in the courtyard of village temples.
 
61. Try coconut hair oil
The secret of a Malayali woman’s long, black, lustrous hair could be yours too. Coconut oil is considered the best nutrient for hair and a coolant for the head. In Kerala, both men and women massage oil on their heads before a bath.
 
62. Explore a tharavad 
Relive the old times in the perfect settings of antique furniture and exquisite woodwork in Kerala’s heritage holiday homes and nalukettu (quandrangular mansions with a central courtyard), each more than 50 years old.
 
63. Learn Malayalam
Malayalam, Kerala’s sweet toned language, has 56 letters in its alphabet. Try learning the basics and roll the words off your tongue.
 
64. Star gaze
Steeped in astronomy, Kerala’s planetariums will show you much more than Mercury, Venus and Mars. Buy a ticket to the evening star gazing sessions and experience the wonders of the universe.
 
65. Holiday on an island
Spend a weekend on Kerala’s islands or lagoons, and experience special moments . Spectacular sunset, balmy backwaters and succulent seafood at Bolghatty, Pathiramanal, Poovar….These paradises can be reached only by a ferry or boat.
 
66. Picnic beside virgin lakes
Pack a picnic basket and spend a romantic evening beside the crystal clear lakes near Munnar. Try your luck at fishing and feast on your fresh catch. Go for a long walk hand-in-hand, undisturbed. Lie down on the most comfortable of grass beds.
 
67. Go paragliding
Sweep across the lush green hills of Munnar on a paraglider and enjoy the vantage of an eagle. See the soothing blues and greens of nature. Enjoy the wind beneath your wings. Feel on top of the world.
 
68. Walk in to a palace
Besides exquisite wooden architecture, the palaces of Kerala flaunt the finest floors in the world. Floors that, surprisingly, need least maintenance – being made of crushed coconut charocoal, egg whites and the sap of plants. You’ll also see collections of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
 
69. Muse in a Museum
The museums of Kerala, especially the Pazhasiraja Museum at Kozkikkod, pay full tribute to outstanding crafts-historical and contemporary ornaments, temple carts and Ivory carvings of life sized figures of Kathakali in full regalia.
 
70. Watch Thullal
Thullal, an exotic art form, and the rhythmic sounds of music accompanying it will keep you in a constant stage of merriment. Humour, satire and social criticism are its hallmarks. This art form was fourmulated overnight by the renowned poet, Kunjan Nambiar.
 
71. Visit the zoo
The zoological parks in Kerala have plenty to excite the animal lover in you. The Trivandrum zoo is one among the best designed in Asia and is set amidst woodlands, lakes and lawns.
 
72. Wash your sins away
According to a myth, sage Narada was approached by mendicants who confessed to having sinned. The place he created for them to pray for redemption is known as the Papanasham beach (papanasham meaning redemption from sins) at Varkala, Trivandrum. Take a dip and come out feeling clean in your heart too.
 
73. Go nuts
You can get raw, fried, grilled, salted and spiced cashews at surprisingly affordable rates from Kollam where cashew plantations and industries abound.
 
74. Chew into a juicy mussel
It is indeed fun watching mussel collectors anchor their boats, dive down and bring up basket loads of these fresh water delicacies. The shells are later burnt in kilns to make lime.
 
75. See wildlife from a boat 
Watch wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat at the sanctuaries of Kumarakom, and Periyar. Herds of wild elephants bathing in the lake, the Indian bison digging his horns into an unaffected tree, the cormorant darting into the waters… a treat for an amateur photographer. 

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