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A travellers diary with 101 things to do in Kerala
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76. Learn Yoga
Relax your mind with yoga at the special ashrams in Trivandrum and Nileswaram – the cultural centre of Kasaragod. Sessions are conducted by spiritual gurus and experts in the field.
77. Walk the historic Kappad beach
This is where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498 with his men in three vessels. Here, you’ll find an interesting landscape of rocks that sprawl right into the sea. An 800 year old temple stands nearby.
78 Munch on crispy snacks
Kerala has a wide range of crunchy snacks- ethakka (banana) chips, chakka vattal (jackfruit chips), pappadam, kuzhalappam, achappam, cheeda and churuttu. All worth every penny, spend on them.
79 Meet martial art experts
Kalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala, is the oldest and most scientific in the world. Watch agile bodies gleaming in oil and armed with weapons practise their feats-chattam (jumping), ottam (running), marichil (somersault)-to stunning perfection. Explore the Bekal Fort.
80 Explore the largest and the best-preserved fort of Kerala at Bekal, Kasaragod.
The imposing laterite structure rising 130 ft. above sea level, stands on a 35 acre headland that runs right into the Arabian Sea.
81 Behold the Queen of the Arabian Sea.
Kochi, also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is breathtakingly beautiful. Apart from being the commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala, Kochi also flaunts one of the finest natural harbours of the world.
82 Discover prehistoric settlements
The Edakkal caves at Wayanad and the caves at the mouth of the Shenduruny River have interesting pictorial writings and cave drawings from the Stone Age. You’ll have to trek at least a kilometer uphill to reach the Edakkal caves.
83 Say a prayer at the old Synagogue
The 500 years old Synagogue in Kochi is adorned with mid 18th century hand painted Cantonese tiles. Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, ancient scripts on copper plates and great scrolls of the Old Testament are preserved here. An age-old clock tower stands nearby.
84 Let a mohini enchant you
Mohiniyattam or the dance of the enchantress reflects the graceful nature of the land. The sensuous, graceful movements of the dancer, clad in gold and off white costumes, will remind you of palms swaying in the gentle breeze and sweeping waves.
85 Spend the night at a Kathakali concert
Kathakali, the four centuries old classical art form, is usually staged at night. Elaborate costumes, ornaments and multi-coloured facial make-up give the artistes a super human appearance, which leaves you spellbound.
86 Cook in earthenware
In most of the traditional homesteads of Kerala, women cook their food in earthenware. For some time-tested reason renders a special taste to the dish prepared.
87 Collect antiques
Stroll up the Jew Street in Fort Kochi for interesting finds like period furniture, ancient coins, elaborately carved pens, ornamental brass latches, antique jewellery, grandfather clocks and timepieces etc.
88 Cruise the backwaters of Alappuzha
Alappuzha, embroidered with a labyrinth of waterways, was extolled by travellers as the Venice of the East. Visit this land where the skiff is the family vehicle, the ducks outnumber chicken and children learn to swim perhaps even before they walk.
89 Meet smart fishermen
It is indeed a spectacular sight to watch Kerala’s smart fishermen outdo the crashing waves by pushing their boats into the sea from a pier beyond the wave point, and simultaneously jumping into it in perfect coordination.
90 See mind-blowing fireworks
Make a wish under a thousand shooting starts -brilliant firework displays that mark the end of a festival in Kerala. And you’ll never miss them as every dawn in Kerala brings yet another festival.
91 Watch a puppet show
Yakshagana Bombeyattu (puppetry) is the art form of Kasaragod. Colourful puppets in huge headgears, elaborate facial make-up and loud attires dancing to throbbing music will keep you entertained.
92 Go for a flower show
Spend a colourful evening with pretty asters, glowing anthuria, exotic orchids, beautiful roses, elegant lilies and a bloom of soft cotton candy at a flower show.
93 Smash the elusive pot
Uriyadi (smashing the pot) is a spirited sport connected with some of the festivals of Kerala. The festive pot colourfully decorated will be hung from a tall pole. All you have to do is try and break it with a stick as the crowd pulls it up and down.
94 Spot a dolphin
If you ‘re lucky, you’ll get to see the dolphins do their grand act at the Cherai beach, in Ernakulam district. Applaud them as they spring out of the magnificent waters with a splash, only to take a marvelous dive back.
95 Buy a Palmyra fan
In Kerala, you’ll find small, handy fans made of medicinal herbal roots, palm fronds, bamboo splits and grass. Get yourself a portable, compact, cute and colourful little fan that comes in handy anytime of the day. When not in use, you could even put it up on the wall as a showpiece.
96 Stay in exotic resorts
Kerala’s innovative hoteliers have amazing experiences in store for you. Some even have Theme evenings when centuries old art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattom are performed as well.
97 Savour nectar
Beat the bees and butterflies to it in a banana plantation. Hold the tip of a banana inflorescence (koombu) to your mouth and suck the sweet nectar.
98 Visit a Snake Park
The Snake Park at Parassinikadavu, Kannur, is the only one of its kind in the whole of India. There are three snake pits and fifteen glass cases full of various species of snakes, and two large glass houses for King Cobras. The snake demonstration conducted is a major crowd puller.
99. Watch thiruvathira
Thiruvathira, a traditional dance performed by women, has simple steps and a single rule-performers should be clad in a Kerala saree. Join them as they sing and move elegantly around a ceremonial lamp (vilakku) or a floral decoration (pookalam).
100. Bring swing to your life; Onam is the season for fun and games.
Visit Kerala during August /September and you’ll find it in every house. The friendly people here will be only too glad to let you join them.
101. Try out new ways to fish
Dangle a rod and line into the flowing waters; sweep a towel through it; feel for fish with your feet in the mud below; or simply try trapping small fish with your hands. Anyway, you’ll never return disappointed.