There is a reason this state in the southwestern fringe of India is called “God’s Own Country”. The first thing that you will notice when you land in Kerala is the dark green tracts, the spaces that are full of trees and vegetation even in the cities. To add contrast to this are the dark blue waters of the Arabian Sea. Kerala is a world unto itself. The breath-taking natural beauty of this land is only rivalled by the richness of its art, and the magnificence of its culture.
It is no wonder that this southern state is one of the top tourist attractions in India. And right on top of the tourist getaways are the beaches and backwaters of Kerala.
Not your average run-of-the-mill-beaches
The one question tourists often tend to ask before booking their vacation to Kerala: “Which is the best beach?” There is no easy answer to this one and a local may just dismiss such a question. “What kind of experience are you looking to have in this state?” is the question you must answer before you book your rooms in Kerala. If it is peace and tranquillity and soft sandy beaches you seek, head straight to Malari Beach in Alleppey. If you seek a stunning view of the vast albeit slightly rough sea, a touristy beach where you spend playing and picnicking with family, Kovalam is just the beach for you.
If it is solitude and serenity that you look for, get straight to Alleppey beach, and if it is the marriage of the Western Ghats and the sea, Varkala Beach is perfect. Whatever your choice, you must remember that no two Kerala beaches are alike and no beach in the state is unremarkable.
Live the culture
One of the greatest advantages of taking your next vacation here is that there is much more to experience that the luxurious Kerala hotels and spa resorts. The culture of the state is spectacular. Visiting a beach town is much more than just a fun holiday. The ancient temples of the state and the song and dance performances at the temples make for an experience of a lifetime. Varkala is one place where you can experience both – the wonderful Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Papanasam Beach align side-by-side giving you a taste of Malayali art, traditions, and beauty.
More than a homestay
Homestays are popular almost all across the country. It is only in Kerala that you get to live in the tranquillity of a boat house on the serene backwaters of the state. The network of canals and lagoons that make up the backwaters boast of banks that are home to some of the most colourful flora and fauna. Alappuzha, in fact, is referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ for its extensive network of backwaters. Staying on one of these boathouses, fishing, and cooking is something you must definitely try when in the state.
And since you love beaches and backwaters…
Since you love beaches and backwaters, since you certainly have an affinity for the water, you must try out the amazing seafood that this state boasts of. Among the more commonly used fishes for cooking are the Cod (Sarghan), Indian Salmon (Kaalaa), King Fish (Surmai), Mackeral (Ayala), Pomfret (Avoli meen), and Prawns (Chemmeen). What could get better than walking barefoot to one of the beach shacks, picking out the catch of the day, having it cooked right in front of you, and having it with a drink of cold coconut water?
Also, if you are there in season, do not miss out on the Vallam Kali, the popular boat races, the best among which is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha’s Punnamada Lake.