Embroidered by the breathtaking Arabian Sea on one hand and a land rich in surreal beauty, emerald backwaters, serene beaches, lofty hills, sprawling paddy fields, exotic wildlife, enchanting art forms and delectable cuisine makes Kerala a truly divine place, rightly accredited as "God's Own Country". This paradise offers visitors with an exceptional experience and continues to charm with its varied hues.
Kerala has turned into a major tourist destination attracting travellers from all round the globe. The busiest tourist season for Kerala is from November to March but the ‘off season’ month of August is a great time to visit Kerala to experience local traditions, festivals and lots more! Here's a quick overview of the 10 most enchanting things to experience in this coastal land in the month of August.
Festival of Onam
Onam, the biggest celebration of Kerala and a time when Kerala is at its best, marks the arrival of the beloved legendary King of Kerala, ‘Mahabali’. The grand celebration of Onam starts from the first day, Atham and continues for ten days till the final day called Thiru Onam. This ten day festival unfolds the rich cultural heritage of Kerala comprising of the Onam ‘Sadhya’, traditional dance of Thumbi Tullal and Thiruvathirakali, elephant processions, a series of games like ‘Vadamvalli’ and preparation of varieties of ‘Payasams’. Have a glimpse of secular spirit and an ambiance of brotherhood this Onam.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race or Snake Boat Race
Watch this exhilarating cultural fiesta come alive on the Punnamada backwaters of Alappuzha district on the second Saturday of August month. This water carnival witnesses around 125 oarsmen participating in unison to the rhythmic chants and beats of drums. The movements of competing boats, the high-pitched and rhythmic boat songs referred as Vanchipattu, the colour, sweat, excitement and teamwork fill the atmosphere leading the spectators to a state of frenzy and turning it into an exhilarating water sports worth witnessing.
Ayurveda massage is highly recommended for the relaxation of body and mind in addition to stimulation of nerves and muscles. Being a combination of ancient science and art, it can significantly reduce the amount of toxins present in the skin and mobilize toxins within the muscles, joints and organs. Surrender to the magical fingers of specially trained masseurs and soothe your tired nerves after running around in Kerala.
Kathakali Dance Performance
Kathakali is a spectacular amalgamation of dance-drama, having evolved as early as the 2nd century in Kerala. This visual art form involves exaggerated movements, heavy makeup, flamboyant costume and hypnotic percussions. Go back stage to meet the artists and watch them prepare for their performance as they invest 8-10 painstaking hours to carry out the elaborate Aharya (make up) for an extremely graceful execution.
Visit to Iringal crafts village
Blending the streams of art and business, Kerala Tourism Department has set up an exclusive crafts village near Vadakara in Kozhikode, where traditional artisans can showcase skills and products. Wide array of art products are crafted with the use of banana fibre, coir, bamboo, sand, coconut shells, husk, palm leaves, coconut leaves and screw-pine, eventually turning this as an ideal destination for souvenir shopping.
Watching a Kalaripayattu Bout
Kalaripayattu is possibly the oldest martial art form originated in Kerala. This art of combat combines the strength and flexibility of the body with the discipline and focus of the mind. The Gurukkal system consists of rigorous physical training followed by training in the use of combat weapons. Give a try to the martial art form considered as the forerunner of Karate & Kung-fu.
Fishing with Chinese fishing nets
Cheer the fishermen as they participate in a tug with their huge Chinese fishing nets. Operated from the shore, these nets are set up on bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them into the sea. This unusual method of fishing is what one can witness only in Kerala.
Houseboat tour in Kumarakom
Explore a maze of verdant deep lagoons, canals, rivers, lakes and splendid Kerala backwaters by embarking on Kerala houseboat cruise in Kumarakom. Floating over the tranquil backwater, a Kettuvallam (houseboat) cruise in Kumarakom provides breathtaking and amusing prospect to see coir villages, water flowers, water birds, lush green paddy fields, coconut groves, traditional villages on the shore, temples, and of course an opportunity to witness the rural lifestyle in Kerala.
Visit tea gardens in Munnar
Pluck fresh aromatic leaves with the locals from the picturesque tea gardens of Munnar. Munnar, also commonly referred as "Kashmir of South India" offers wide expanse of luscious tea, coffee and spice gardens strewn with cascading waterfalls. Taste different flavours of tea and take a walk in stunning green gardens to get refreshed to the hilt.
Experience a Homestay
Live the traditional way of live and experience home away from home in a Homestay in Kerala. Live with ultra-hospitable local families, interact with people from different cultures, observe their lifestyle for a day and take away a pleasant memorable experience. Quite an authentic way to breathe in Kerala indeed!
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