Kerala is one of India’s prime tourist destinations offering great views; from mountains to backwaters, God’s Own Country never fails a single visitor. The major attractions and destinations of Kerala are Alappuzha, Munnar, Kumarakom, Varkala, Fort Kochi, and Vagamon. Lakes, beaches, forests, coffee and tea plantations, hiking, trekking, boating, wildlife sanctuaries, chilling and cool weathers – God’s Own Country is an all in one package. Apart from the picturesque view and scenic beauty, there is also one major thing that one gets to experience when in Kerala – the rich culture of the land.
Rich in cultural heritage and traditions, God’s Own Country is renowned for the cultural tourism it upholds. From time immemorial, the God’s Own Country has expressed their culture in each and every sector and element. The cultural tourism in God’s Own Country has always been of great importance for the visitors and tourists. It has given a magnificent opportunity for people to explore, understand and experience the cultural richness of the state.
Being a part of the cultural lifestyle of God’s Own Country has been a thrilling and great experience to most people and the number of people from different parts of the world comes to Kerala over and over again. From festivals to food, Kerala has a rich culture to offer. Festivals and art forms in Kerala are a lot inspired by religious or ancestral beliefs. The most common festivals and art forms in Kerala are Thrissur Pooram, Kathakali, Theyyam, and Onam.
Thrissur Pooram Kerala
Held at the Vadakkumnathan Temple annually, Thrissur Pooram was introduced by Sakthan Thampuran in the early 18th century and to this day remains the largest of all poorams. Thrissur Pooram is all about richly adorned elephants and the traditional orchestra playing the most needed music to drive the maddening epic crowd feels their hearts. It is an unbelievable sight.
Kathakali and Theyyam
Kathakali is a 300-year-old dance form bringing together opera, masque, ballet, and pantomime. Wearing heavy make-up, the Kathakali artists take the viewers to a different world with a mesmerizing performance. Theyyam combines, art, drama, and music to tell the tales of the ancestors and the Lords. It is believed that performing Theyyam cleanses the land of impurities and the people will be relieved of all the curses and be blessed.
Mohiniyattam is one of the famous dance forms in India. Mohiniyattom is a graceful and gentle feminine mode of dancing. With an ancient Hindu –Sanskrit culture, Mohiniyattom is a Lasya type of dancing.
Koodiyattam is a traditional art form combining Sanskrit theatre and Koothu. Koodiyattom has been recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Evolved from Kathakali, Kerala Nadanam is a unique dance form with solo dances, dance-dramas, and traditional folk dances. It comprises of nrutha, Natya, aamgika, vaachika, acharya, saatvika, abhinaya, and taala mela.
Onam is the official festival of Keralites. Onam is the period during which the entire state of Kerala is adorned to welcome their long gone “Mahabali”. It is the best season to visit Kerala as you get to see all the colors and happy faces everywhere. A part of the Kerala culture, lets you understand the stories behind Onam and be actively part of it. Onam is also about the OnaSadhya, flower carpets and other activities like Pulikali and Vadamvali (tug of war).
Ayurveda is one of Kerala’s highly held cultures. Accepted worldwide, this medicinal and natural treatment is a cure to almost all ailments in the world. Dated back 2000 years, the values and rituals of Ayurveda not only refreshes and cures your body but also your mind. People from all the corners of the world come to Kerala to undergo Ayurvedic treatment as it is unbelievingly amazing.
Temples and Monuments
Kerala portrays the architectural intelligence of people through their temples and historical monuments. Every temple in God’s Own Country has a myth following it or is devoted to a deity or two. The religious beliefs in the state are quite strong and the cultural richness can be observed very well. The heritage of the land can be witnessed by exploring the temples in Kerala. Historical monuments and temples in God’s Own Country are dated back long years but the values, rituals, and beliefs are still upheld.
Some of the prominent temples in God’s Own Country are Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple (Thiruvananthapuram), Attukal Bhagavathy Temple ( Thiruvananthapuram), Udiyanoor Devi Temple ( Thiruvananthapuram), Tali Temple (Kozhikode), Sivagiri Temple (Varkala), Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple ( Kottayam), Chottanikkara Devi Temple ( Ernakulam) , Mannarasala Nagaraja Temple ( Alappuzha), Lokanarkavu Temple ( Kozhikode), Vadakkunnathan Temple ( Thrissur), Sabarimala Sastha Temple ( Pathanamthitta), Ambalapuzha Srikrishna Temple ( Alappuzha), Ananthapura Lake Temple ( Kasargod), Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple ( Kannur), and Guruvayur Temple ( Thrissur).
Kerala cuisine is just perfect. Nothing to match the incredible and mouthwatering tastes from the Kerala kitchen. The prime food being Sadhya and seafood, there is no better place on Earth, you’ll get it any better. The major ingredients in the Kerala cuisine are rice and coconut and the best thing about the Kerala cuisine is that it is spicy and savory, at the same time, there are so many sweet delights too. Interesting foods from the Kerala kitchen are puttu, vattayappam, idiyappam, vellappam, neyyappam, uniyyappam, etc
With enormous cultural richness, Kerala is a diverse state with people flowing in every year to witness the values and culture of God’s Own Country. Every district in Kerala has a lot to share about the culture in that region. From Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod, Kerala has cultural richness even in every nook and corner. The food, attire, the beliefs, the rituals, are all combined cultural richness that the people in Kerala follow. To experience one of the best cultural diversities in India, one should definitely explore God’s Own Country and immerse themselves in it. Moreover, God’s Own Country is a beautiful place with stunning views and sights which gives you an even more exciting and wonderful time to stay and enjoy the culture and warmth. Get yourselves to Kerala for a peaceful and energetic mind.