With foreign influences as
disparate as Chinese and Portuguese, Arab and Dutch, Kerala is the spice coast of India. Edged by a thread of unbroken beach line, the state's heart is composed of intensely green paddy fields and a unique network of rivers and lagoons. Upland Kerala, relatively little visited, is composed of hills thickly wooded with teak and rubber. It is here that Kerala's most precious spices are grown in carefully nurtured plantations: cardamom, pepper and nutmeg.
Secluded beaches, palm fringed back waters, mist clad hill stations, lush tropical forests, waterfall, exotic wild life, monuments, art forms and festivals give Kerala a distinctive charm.
Much of the landscape and wealth of Kerala is dominated by tall, elegant coconut palms. No part of this tree is wasted and a flourishing coir industry exists because of its plentiful presence. Coffee plantation spread across the foothills of the Western Ghats, tea grows at higher altitudes and in Southern Kerala acres of rubber trees stand in lines of military precision.
Keralaís contribution to the cultural wealth of India has been enormous. Although the stunning Palaces of Padamanabhpuram and Krishnapuram have decorative, flowing carvings and integrate, earth-colored murals, similar to those in the temples at Vaikom and Trapprayyar, Godís and Men usually dwell in more austere and restrained houses.
38,863 sq km
People Per Sq. km: 819
Dec - May
Onam August - September
The biggest and most important festival, Onam is a harvest festival celebrated through out Kerala for four days. According to legend, it is on the first day that the good Asura king Mahabali who once ruled Kerala, comes from exile to visit his beloved people. Homes are adorned with floral decorations in preparation for his visit. Onam Tourist Week is a cultural feast of art and folk presentations at 20 venues in Trivandrum and other major districts. The festival is marked with elephant processions, Kathakali dances, fireworks, water carnivals and vallamkali, the famous snake boat race. Special feasts prepared for Onam are not to be missed.
The national Food festival 5th to 11the April
Held in Trivandrum is a rare opportunity to taste the traditional, authentic cuisine's of Kerala and India.
Snake boat race Second Saturday of August
Alleppey really comes alive in the depths of the rainy season, when it serves as the venue for one of Kerala's major spectacles - the Nehru Trophy snake boat race - with magnificently decorated long boats, with raised sterns designed to resemble the hood of a cobra. More than enthusiastically powered by up to 150 singing and shouting oarsmen, scores of boats take part, and Alleppey is packed with thousands of spectators. Other events at Payippad and Aranmula also display the strength and rhythm of oarsmen who set the backwaters of Kerala on fire.
Great Elephant March April - May
Thirty caparisoned elephants decorated with gold ornaments, each ridden by three Brahmins holding objects symbolizing royalty including colorful umbrellas create a spectacular sight-especially when accompanied by Chenda Melam, the quintessentially Kerala music. Lakhs of people throng to watch the Trichur Pooram.
Art and Handicraft
Situated at the northern tip in New Mahe is a center for art and ideas. Housing the only Art gallery in Kannur, it aims at providing children and youngsters a platform to practice and perform all forms of fine arts.
Part time as well as full time courses in painting, sculpture, music, dance and pottery are offered to the students. Yoga and Sanskrit are also taught here.
This enables the students understand the application of the art and its history so that they can utilize their knowledge of the art better in their daily life. The teachers are experts in their respective fields and enlighten their pupils with their expertise.
The Murals of Kerala bear the stamp of uniqueness in aesthetic composition and technique. Murals came into vogue in Kerala as early as the 8th century AD.
The most antique Murals of Kerala are found in the Thirunandikkara Cave Temple in Thiruvananthapuram district, now a part of Kanya Kumari district of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. The temple and palace Murals of Kerala are invariably sagas of Hindu gods and goddesses and visual poems of their heroic deeds.
The main chamber has its inner walls decorated with fine Murals of gods and goddesses. The central motif is Anathapadmanabha, the chief deity of the erstwhile Travancore Maharajas.
In modern times, Kerala's paintings attained international repute with the works of Raja Ravi Varma, who has been described as a 'Prince' among painters. Prominent among those who influenced the growth of modern art, were K. Madhava Menon and K.C.S. Panicker.
Kerala's rich tradition of painting has it's roots in the magnificent Frescoes and Mural found in the temples and the churches here.
Certain rituals like Kalamezhuthu also reveal this tradition of painting. Before the advent of paper and ink, natives used the Palmyra leaf for inscriptions and pictorial representations