Saturday, January 21, 2012

God's Own Country (Kerala)

Kerala, a tiny state in South India, is often referred to as 'God's own country'. What is there to this state so that it got such a name, you might wonder. Well, you will certainly get your answer when you are visiting the place. The locales, the culture, the traditions, everything will make you repeat the famous tourism slogan, "Kerala- God's own Country".

The state of Kerala lies sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The breadth of the state is just about 150 kms. Within this landscape there are highlands, midlands, and lowlands. The tallest peak of the region is about 3 km above sea level (Anaimudi, Idukki district) while some places in Kuttanad (Alappuzha district) are actually below sea level. The variety in the geography is the prime reason for Kerala to be one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.

The major hill stations in Kerala are Munnar, Wayanad, Ponmudi, and Wagamon. There are tea plantations through the mountains of these hill stations. Tea production in Kerala was begun by the Britishers who ruled here. There are numerous waterfalls and some major dams in the hill stations. Travelling through the Ghat roads to these places will be an amazing experience. If you are not in a car but on a public transport bus, the adventure increases.

Kerala has a coastline of 600 kms and fishing is a major source of income for the locals. There are many beaches in Kerala running through the length of the state. The most famous ones are Kovalam, Shankhumugham, Veli, Fort Kochi, Beypore, Kappad, Thalassery and Cherai.

There are many historical monuments in Kerala. You can see shades of architectural styles from all over the world in these buildings. For example, the Hill Palace in Ernakulam has traces of Dutch and British architectures. Some of the temples are built using styles from all over India.

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