Kerala, Human By Nature
Kerala is a state in India which is commonly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’ a land of rich diversity, deep-seated culture and tradition, and somewhere which everyone needs to get at the top of their travel list. Beyond the main headlines of what Kerala can offer, the natural delights, the kind-hearted locals, the experiences, there is a far deeper meaning to what it means to both live and spend time in this Indian state. Human by nature is what we are discussing today, the intrinsic connection between all things in Kerala, the links between the people and the wildlife, the land, sea and sky, and the relationship between all of these factors which contributes in making Kerala such a desirable place to go. In line with the #humanbynature campaign from the tourism board of Kerala, we want to delve a little deeper today into what that means for both the people of Kerala, and those who wish to stay in this stunning Indian region.
Kerala is more than just a travel destination, it is far more than a pretty place or somewhere which will offer you a good time, this is a place where the details are just as important as the main events, the smallest moments create the biggest memories and it is very much what lies beneath the surface of the land, the smiles and the traditions, which make Kerala such an outstanding place.
The focus of this campaign is to highlight not only what Kerala offers to tourists in terms of sights, but understanding more about the preciousness of life here, and how the fabric of nature, wildlife and human life are beautifully interwoven.
Local People – I’ve always dreamed of Kerala, and actually my first ever employee (who still works for me to this day) was from Kerala. He’s such a nice guy, so my expectations of the people were high. The people of Kerala, known as “Malayali”, lived up to those expectations, and more! Indian has always been known for friendly locals, but Kerala is next level. Warm, inviting, hospitable. They are so proud of their region, of their food, and their culture, but also so welcoming of tourists who find themselves there. I can say ‘Keralites’ are a real highlight of visiting. Thanks for everything!
Sea – The sea provides a sensational backdrop to this region but it is also the beating heart of industry for many who live in Kerala. Trawlers launch daily from the coast as the fishermen head out across the waves to bring home fresh fish to feed families and to drive industry. The coast and the sea here in Kerala are very much multifunctional and as well as working life they also serve as places for people to enjoy themselves. For as many fishing boats you’ll see you will also witness young kids playing football on the beach, lovers gazing out across the sea as the sun sets and families walking along the water’s edge as the day breaks.
Forests and More – These forests are enchanting, they are filled with awe and wonder and they are also the lifeblood of Kerala. Forests filled with centuries of tales of exploration and discovery, trees and plants providing fresh fruits, herbs and building materials, not to mention the animals which call this place home. Many of these forests give way to gushing rivers with massive gorges where waterfalls like the famous Athirapilly Falls can be found. National parks in Kerala offer everything from dense forest to tranquil lakes, rapids, river gorges and thousands of species of wildlife, which all help to make up the beating heart of the region.
Mountains – Kerala is a mountainous region and for hundreds of years locals have set out to explore what lies in these mystical mountain peaks. As the mountains rise up from the Earth, each layer changes and the flora and fauna of the highland areas of Kerala like in the Western Ghats, are exotic and beautiful in the extreme. Locals here take a spiritual view of these impending mountains and as you watch the early morning mist sweep over the rugged faces of each ridge, you will instantly see why they are so revered and respected.
Streets – The streets in Kerala play just as important a role in defining the region as the natural beauty does and it too is inextricably linked to everything around it. These streets may be man-made but this is where the very best of nature is brought to the people, Chai tea made on the streets with leaves directly from the paddies, freshly picked fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables on sale on street stands, donkeys and horses transporting crops, as well as buildings, ovens and crockery on sale which has been made from the earth, the forest wood and the mountain rocks. The streets are very much one with the landscape here in Kerala,
Culture and Tradition – Events take place throughout the year in Kerala which pay homage to the traditions of this slice of Indian land. Most of these festivals such as Theyyam and Theeyattu are celebrations of Kerala’s ritualistic past, they use many colors and tell tales and carry out traditions in the form of dance and music, with some incredible costumes being used to recount such tales. Once again we see humans touching nature as the festivals celebrate the warriors of the past using animal-themed costumes and colored face paints which are made using natural ingredients. Whether recounting tales of battles in the case of Theeyattu, of mystical legends like the Theyyam festival or celebrating faith through by floating replica temples on the water with the Attuvela Mahotsavam festival, each of these celebrations drives home the importance of nature here in Kerala, and how it falls in line with everything that the locals do.
Enjoying it All
To celebrate the very best of the natural landscape here in Kerala, and to gain an insight into its importance here, these are some of the best experiences which you can have as a tourist.
Cruising Along the Backwaters – Head to Alleppey and take a houseboat down the canals of Kerala where you can see an array of wildlife as well as gaining fascinating insight into local life and how this network of canals supports the locals.
The Source of Tea – Scattered across the stunning landscape of the Western Ghats are lush green tea plantations which serves as a big source of industry here in Kerala. In Munnar especially a visit to these plantations will provide many photo ops of the rolling hills and breathtaking views. Learn about the growing of tea and enjoy some freshly brewed local produce.
The Periyar Jungle – The wildlife sanctuary in The Periyar jungle, found in the Western Ghats is home to some of Kerala’s incredible wildlife. Here there are almost 300 species of birds to be found, Asian elephants, giant squirrels and hundreds of monkeys flying amongst the tress. Here the animals are well cared for, such is the attitude to nature and its conservation here in Kerala.
As you can see, Kerala is far more than just another tourist destination, it is a place which beats to the same rhythm as the nature which surrounds it, it is a region which ebbs and flows as the seasons change and it is a place filled with wonder and delight which will fascinate just about any traveler who arrives here.