Almost all of us, the digital population of the world, are already acquainted with the state of Kerala in the southern part of India. After all, Kerala is the state of India which receives maximum media coverage, thanks to Kerala tourism board. Kathakali dance, ayurveda centres, backwaters, pristine beaches, tea gardens and the diverse palate of food the state offers is no secret anymore. However, we have curated a list of 6 best kept secret experiences to have in Kerala!
1. Home-made chocolates of Munnar–These sweet delights can be found in the shops of Munnar. Heaven for the sweet toothed visitors to the city, they come in different flavours, colours and shapes. Generally, the chocolates are incredibly sweet and flavoured with cashew and almonds. Most of the shops provide the buyer samples to taste before finalising the actual transaction. You can buy these boxes of chocolate and easily carry it home to gift to your friends and family.
2. Once in 12 years blooming of Neelakurinji – Neelakurinji is a flower which blossoms every 12 years in the Western Ghats of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The shrubs are around 30 to 60 centimetres high. When they bloom, the green landscape of Kerala transforms into a purplish blue heaven. The blooming of these flowers can be best experienced in Idukki district of Kerala. The magical flowers bloomed last in the year 2006.
3. Explore Silent Valley National Park – The lesser known national park perched in the state of Kerala in the district of Palakkad was once threatened by a hydro electric project in the 1970s. Thankfully, the project got cancelled amid stern protests. Currently the park is the habitat of the endangered species of the lion tailed macaques. A wide variety of butterflies are also found to fly around in this park. The silent valley national park is a perfect example of an offbeat destination in Kerala.
4. Backwaters of North Kerala–The backwaters of Kerala need no introduction. Nobody departs Kerala without cruising on the waters in Allepey or Kumarakom. But the backwaters of North Kerala are different. They are primarily found in Kasargod district of Kerala and they are free from the tourist clutter. Living in the kettuvallam, or houseboats, over the backwaters of Kerala, you can observe the calm life that the villagers lead.
5. The Jewish neighbourhood of Kochi – The most interesting part of Kochi is the Fort Kochi area. Around the Pardesi synagogue in Fort Kochi is the Jewish neighbourhood, lately known as the ‘Last Jew Town’. The colourful walls with David’s star imbibed in the iron railings of the doors and windows make this place completely different from the rest of India. Most of the Jews who still choose to live in Kochi sell handmade products, curios and artefacts. The rest have migrated back to Israel. Unfortunately, this neighbourhood is living upto its name and very soon, the last Jew town will vanish with the end of its last generation.
6. Mohiniyattam–This Indian classical dance form originated in Kerala, but unlike Kathakali, it is not that popular with tourists. Like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam dance’s unique features lie in its expressions. During British rule this dance form was maligned and ridiculed at; thankfully all that narrow mindedness exists no more. If you find yourself on Keralite soil someday, don’t just stop at Kathakali – grab a ticket to the Mohiniyattam show as well.
N.B : All photos used in this post are sourced from Royalty Free Photo stock of Kerala Tourism Board.
Are you from Kerala? Do you know of any more secret spots or activities to do in ‘God’s Own Country’? Write comments and let us know!
Love Traveling? Sign up for the free newsletter here to read our travel tales and inspirational tips!