Chequered History

Lord ParasuramaEnraged by the arrogance and excesses of the early Kshatriya kings, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Parasurama (avatar of Rama with axe),and swore to annihilate 21 generations of them.Hoverever,oce this mission was accomplished, rivers of blood began to flow over the land, making it unsuitable for Brahmins to live on. Overcome with remorse,Prasurama threw his axe into sea. Where it landed, the waters dutifully receded to creat a narrow strip of land, forming Kerala. This myth may be fanciful, but it is a fitting explanation nonetheless for the birth of a land that has come to be known as ‘God’s own country’. The sobriquet is not linked to the myth hoverever, but to the captivating charms of the region. 

The name ‘Kerala’ is derived from keralaputra or the ‘Land of the sons of the Cheras’, who were the very first rulers of Kerala. Wars have raged over this coveted land since very ancient times. The neighboring Cholas engaged the Cheras in battle since as early as 985 AD.Later, local principalities emerged as power centres.Foremost among them was a group of Samoothiri Brahmins, who soon gained contro of the region’s famed spice trade. The new rulers ,who established their capital in the port city of Kozhikode and had trade links with the Arabs,Jews,Romans and the Chinese.Later,the Portuguese, who first came as traders began to cover the land more than its spices.Subsequently,the Dutch and later, the British, waged endless wars against the Portuguese and the local rajas. By the early 17th centuary, the British had gained control over vast stretches of the land and the spice trade. They went on to rule subcontinent for over 200 years until India gained independence in 1947.

Onam is Kerala’s harvest festival celebrated in the Malayalam month Chingam, from end of August to beginning of September .It marks the Vamana incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the homecoming of King Mahabali.People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome King Mahabali.

Celebrated for 10 days, the festivities comprises beautiful flower carpets,’Sadya’ or traditional lunch, snake boat races,’Puli Kali’ and Onappottan,Thrikkaakarayappan,Thumbi Thullal,Onavillu,etc.

The National Geographic Traveller didn’t declare Kerala Tourism as a must see destination without a reason. From Alappuzha, the ‘Venice of the East’, to Athirapally Falls, the ‘Niagra of Kerala’ falls, there is world within the Kerala. And what is the better time than this year to explore them.The people in Kerala are very vibrant and lovely. Kerala online is different from the real one. The actual one is more dynamic.

 Unlike Any Other Place

KovalamThe beaches of Kerala had begun to attract European guests of the Travancore kings from the early 1930s although tourism had been an in known concept then.However,within three decades, the coast began to see a transformation.Kovalm is a typical example. It had been little more than a sleepy coastal village until 1960s,when backpackers and hippies began to discover the charms of its southern beaches. Before long (1972),the State Tourism Department took over the summer palace of the Travancore royal family, the Halcyon Castle, and converted it into the first 5 star hotel in Kovalam.Today,Kovalam has few equals as a seaside tourist destination, The story is similar in other parts of Kerala – the famous backwaters, the virgin forests and the green hills.

Amazing Waterways

KumarakomKerala has an extensive network of waterways that lace the interior coastline, from Hosdurg in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, covering a distance of 560 km.Bisides the large inland takes that dot the land, the backwaters include the entire network of canals, esturaries and water bodies formed by the inimitable craftsmanship of nature, The waterways pulsate to a different beat, and are characterized by a lifestyle and ethos nonexistent elsewhere in the country.

Kumarakom is typical of this water world. With its backdrop of rich green paddy fields and still grey waters, the region is respondent in scenic beauty. The many resorts that have sprung up in and around Kumarakom have transformed this once quiet and peaceful settlement into a much sought after destination.

Mottled Midlands

MidlandsThe midlands too, are not to be ignored. Except for the absence of sandy Kerala beaches, this region appears to be an encapsulation of all that Kerala stands for. It is known for its undulating hills, flat valleys with extensive rubber plantations, a tract of forest that is one of the finest wildlife reserves in the country, panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields and a vibrant trading community with great economic clout.

Ecological Hotspots

Tea PlantationsThere is plenty for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts to do in Kerala, such as exploring the innumerable national parks and wildlife resorts. Located along the western corner of the Nilgiris, Silent Valley National park constitutes one of the last vestiges of an undisturbed tropical rainforest. With an unbroken ecological history, continuously evolving for millions of years, this is a unique region.It has been termed an ecological island, one that contains immense biological and genetic wealth. Thanks largliy to its difficult terrain and remote to its location.Silvent Valley remains pristine and untouched.

Places such as Thekkady conjure up images of nature at its purest – undulating hills, crisp, clean air, and spice – scented plantations. Then there are the elephants – one of India’s finest wildlife reserves is situated in Thekkady’s Periyar forest. The first in the State to promote environmental tourism, Thekkady continues to beckon the adventurous traveler. Many well protected pockets of wildlife elsewhere in the State draw visitors for the variety of local fauna and the captivating greenery.

The Western Ghats

Western GhatsVirgin beaches, langid backwaters and lush tropical vegetation are not the only attractions of Kerala. There are regions with cool climes and hilly environs that wait to be savoured.The Western Ghats offer cool, misty, ountains, undulating meadows and picturesque valleys where vast areas are given over to plantations of tea, coffee and cardamom. The rolling High Ranges form a demarcating line at the eastern edge of Kerala, separating the State from its neighbours.The dense forests, extensive ridges and deep ravines of Ghats have always sheltered Kerala from mainland invaders. These highlands with their meandering roads and magnificent waterfalls, have also bestowed upon this region an ambience that is completely different from the State’s other scenic locals. Remote yet easily accessible from any part of Kerala, each destination here is known for its own quaint charm.

Art, Culture and Celebrations

KathakaliArt and culture have always been integral to Kerala. The pluralist aspect refeclted n the art forms of the State is rooted in the rituals of its indigenous people. Among the dance forms that have evolved from ancient customs, the most prominent are surely the theyyyam of northern Kerala and the padayani of south - central Kerala. Although kooduyattam and Kathakali are classical forms once favored by the elite, they now represent quintessential dance form of the region, An interesting feature of the influence of kalarippayattu,a physical discipline that was followed irrespective of gender.

Kerala is also a land with a variety of celebrations that transcend regional and religious boundaries. What stands out is the thread of harmony that runs though the different ceremonies and rituals. The most spectacular event of all.Onam epitomizes a newfound vigor and optimism about life. The festival celebrated the return of King Mahabbali, who is believed to visit his subjects every year. To convince their beloved king that Kerala is till the land of milk and honey, people decorate their homes and celebrate to the fullest, sometimes even faking prosperity, to present a happy façade for their king.

Ayurveda

AyurvedaAyurveda,the Science of Life, is perhaps the oldest and definitely, the most holistic, medical system available to the contemporary world.Althogh it is practiced all over India, Kerala is perhaps the only State where this science still follows age old traditional laws.Sitated in the tropical region, the State has an unparalleled wealth of herbs and natural vegetation. Although similar plants are perhaps found in Himalayas, those found in Kerala have a special potency due to the State’s unique geographical position and tropical climate. What is more, the hot and humid climatic condition of the region is regarded as especially favorable for ayurvedic treatments. In fact, the practitioners of Ayurveda in Kerala have evolved their own special formulations that are considered particularly efficacious.

Architecture Heritage

Napier Museum Kerala possesses a distinctive architecture style. Tiled roofs and gables, with spires, are ubiquitous.However,structure rarely rise above the first floor. Wood was used extensively not only on doors and windows, but even to make solid, carved walls. The numerous palaces,temples,churches and mosques dotted the State showcase this traditional style.However,the heavy solid wood with brass embellishments, used earlier on doors and windows, is rarely used these days, if at all.

Monsoon Tourism

Kerala is the ultimate monsoon getaway for its lush green landscape,backwater sights and wellness therapies on offer.For more details of monsoon tourism in Kerala,visit http://halokerala.com/Kerala/monsoon-tourism/

Adventure Tourism

Image of Adventure Tourism in KeralaThere are many untapped adventure tourism destinations in Kerala and we are organizing events like Kayaking. Adventure sports enthusiasts from India and abroad are visiting Kerala’s major tourism spots especially in Malabar. Waterfalls in Kerala, especially at Thusharagiri, are best for any kind of adventure sports tourism activities. The geographical features of the place and the availability of water throughout the year make these places unique spot for it. Kayakers are of the opinion that the rivers in Kerala have good, clear water as opposed to that in North India, where the water is hard and polluted.Adventure sports and tourism are getting a new lease of life in Kerala with the wide participation in various tourist destinations.

MICE Tourism in Kerala

Kerala is well positioned to take over as the MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conventions and Exhibitions) capital of the country, according to the tourism industry. With over 6,000 quality rooms and 4,000 rooms in the classified segment, Kochi is slowly becoming a conference destination.

Kochi has prestigious international brands like Marriot,Crown Plaze and Holiday inn and also three big convention centres (Le Meridien,CIAL and Gokulam Park).The upcoming projects at Bolgatty Island and Cheranelloor will add more infrastructure to catapult Kochi into the ideal MICE destination. However, the four and five star categories is till inadequate to attract big international conferences. It is estimated that India’s share in international MICE business is a meager $4.5 billion of the total $ 280 billion annually.

Kochi has excellent potential in terms of cost and ambience of destinations. But the tourism department has limited role as it is the organizers of international conventions who pick the MICE destinations through bidding.Kochi has other inherent adventages,including diverse attractions, shopping and sightseeing options and leisure destinations within a shore distance.

Tourist's Map of Kerala

Image of Tourist's Map of Kerala

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Green and gold are the defining colors of Kerala; green for the tropical lushness that bursts from every patch of ground in Kerala; gold for the prosperity that has for many thousands of years been a consequence of this abundance. You see the two in combination everywhere, in the borders of the white cotton mundu worn by Keralan men ,in the ceremonial umbrellas hoisted over temple deities as thy’r processed on elephant back during festivals, and in the makeup of the kathakali hero, framed by his trademark jewel- encrusted headdress…Experience our unique Kerala Tourism activities and Kerala Tour Packages...... COME AND ENJOY IT WITH HALO BACKWATERS.                         

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