For those who are not familiar with Kerala, it is a coastal state in South India and is best known for its natural beauty. The state is geographically insulated, and so the traditional culture is well preserved. The different states in India vary a lot in many ways – so much so that travelling to different parts of India may feel almost like travelling to different countries, which is why I’m mentioning Kerala specifically. It’s a very unique place and it’s close to my heart.
In terms of sightseeing, make it a priority to see the backwaters – the bodies of water that wind their way through the entire state, surrounded by towering coconut palms and littered with fishing boats. It’s one of the most picturesque sights in India. To experience the culture, visit some of the many Hindu temples, which have very interesting stories related to Hindu mythology. And to get around, definitely take an autorickshaw or ‘auto’ for short. These cute little 3-wheelers are cheap, can weave in and out of traffic and are fun to ride in.
Oh and the food…my god.
The cuisine varies between different parts of India and Kerala cuisine is quite interesting. There is an abundance of coconuts in Kerala, so they are used for cooking many different curries and chutneys. There is also plenty of good quality, fresh seafood available. It all amounts to far too much to go through on here, but there are some food highlights below.
Here are some pics!
My grandparents’ front door made from beautifully carved wood.
Jackfruit or ‘Chakka’
Thava fish – spicy fish fried crispy in coconut oil.
Falooda – Ice Cream drink with vermicelli, tapioca pearls, rose syrup, fruit and other stuff.
Paper roast dosa – ‘paper thin’ Indian crepe made from ground rice and lentils.
Auto – the best way to get around!
Stunning backwaters in Pullu, near Thrissur
The most important part for me is being able to identify with the part of India where both my parents hail from, seeing and experiencing things that I have heard them talk about for so many years. I’m not even sure if I can really explain why I enjoy it so much. There’s definitely the familiarity aspect for me, as I’ve mostly come to visit the town where my mother was born and stay at my grandparents house. I guess it’s an escape from Melbourne but still a home for me.