I am going to Kerala, the southwestern coast of India in March as a courtesy of Kerala Tourism and their Kerala Blog Express initiative, and needless to say that I am very excited! (and a huge thank you goes also for everyone who voted for me during the selection process!).I have never been to India, but I’ve spent two weeks touring nearby in Sri Lanka, so I have some idea what to expect, but then again, India is a completely different country – so it’s going to be about all new adventures!
I love how Kerala Tourism has asked us to give some input for the agenda, and after endless amount of reading and browsing I’ve come up with my bucket list of things to do and places to see – and knowing me it’s a mix of experiences, culture, nature and heritage.
Ayurveda and yoga
This is the place to de-stress and relax and seek inner peace with an Ayurvedic massage. I did yoga at sunrise in Sri Lanka, and yoga in India where it originates is just a must do. Daily morning yoga outside in the garden or the beach just would be the perfect start for the day!
Deserted white-sand beaches
As much as I like touring around and learning about new cultures, a holiday needs to balanced. Something both for the body and the mind. After a long, grey, dark, and should I add rather damp winter in England, sunshine is what my body needs. A day on the beach, some pool time at the end of the day – one just cannot keep doing from dawn til dusk without some proper relaxation.
These backwaters consist of a unique chain of brackish lagoons and lakes parallel to the sea. The area is unique and breathtakingly beautiful and to explore the area, along palm tree lined canals with a traditional houseboat would be an amazing experience.
Tea and rice
Yes, I’ve seen lots of rice paddies and visited a tea plantation – and absolutely loved those experiences and would like to learn a bit more about how we produce things. What I’d love to do especially is to see the sun rise at the famous Munnar tea plantation area, take a walk along the tea bushes and try to pick some leaves in the early hours of the morning (the process is very delicate and precise for creating different tea products from green to silver tip teas). The same goes for the rice paddies – seen them, but not experienced them closely, and the actual harvesting of rice is still a bit of a mystery for me…
To this same bucket goes also spices and cooking: I learned how cinnamon sticks were carved and natural rubber collected in a spice farm in Sri Lanka, as well as we had a little cooking lesson for local dhal. As i love Indian curries and naan bread, I’d love to learn some local cooking also!
Kalaripayattu Bout – martial arts
As a fan of martial arts this Indian martial arts not only originated in Kerala, but is considered the oldest form of fighting in general. I’ve seen images of the fighting on the beach, and seeing it at sunset seems like the ultimate experience.
Traditional Kathakali performances
Classical Indian dance-drama with colourful costumes that originated in Kerala. However, these perfomances normally appear to start at night and last until early morning, so I’m hoping they can find one of shorter versions. I think I;m becoming a horrible mass tourist here and wondering if they have a dinner perfomance where you can sample local curries and other specialties while watching the performance…
Bengal tigers and especially elephants are what India is famous for. These giant animals bring the inner child out of everyone and are adorable to watch while bathing in the river or gently grazing around. For tigers Periyar Natural reserve in Thekkadi is the go-to place where one can observe tigers in a breathtaking setting.
Temples & castles
As you might already know, I’m a huge fan of castles, temples and other remarkable monuments – and naturally I’d love to see what Kerala has an offer in this area. I’m hoping to see the seaside castle of Kannur and a few remarkable temples with their monkeys walking around such as this Peralassery Subramania Temple with a submerged pool or Ananthapura Lake temple.
Hiking and being surrounded by beautiful nature, good both for the body and soul. Up the mountain, by the lake, across the rice paddies, along the beach. Sunrise, sunset. So many possibilities to cease the moment.
So, these are some of the things I’ve earmarked for Kerala, and I look forward to heading into new adventures chosen for our little group by the local specialist. See you soon Kerala!
[All images courtesy of Kerala Tourism]