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This is Kerala

This is the land of a million palm trees. Of crashing waves and white sand and coconuts fresh from the tree. This is a land of fishing nets cast from the shore and fresh fish sold on the beach.

This is a place where people are friendly and hospitality is over the top. Where an extra helping (or three) of spicy curries and perfectly cooked fish find their way onto your plate at every meal.  And service with a smile is as much a part of the meal as the naan and rice.

This a land of honking horns and passing cars on two-laned roads shared with cows and goats. Of tea plantations on rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Where one meter tea is made on the roadside, perfectly foamy and sweet, enjoyed as tuk tuks whizz by.

This is a land of education. Of literacy. Where creativity is valued and tradition is respected. Where boys and girls in uniforms walk to school together, laughing and smiling and holding hands.

This is a land of leadership in technology. It’s a place where the world’s first solar-powered airport welcomes passengers from around the world every day. And a place that has been named the first digital state in India.

This is the land of green-faced Kathakali dancers and Kolkali performers whose dizzying routines are a series of near-misses. Of drummers and dots of sandalwood. Of “namaste” and “you are welcome here.” Where the jasmine is fragrant and woven into beautiful welcome necklaces and the juice is freshly squeezed and perfectly sweet.

This is a place of peaceful backwaters and gorgeous sunsets. Where lotus flowers blossom in the midst of flooded rice paddys. Where residents know the true meaning of slowing down and enjoying life, and entire lives are conducted on the banks of the rivers, lakes and canals. In this place, floating markets row door to door to provide supplies and the school boat picks children up in the morning and drops them off in the afternoon.

This is a land of temple festivals that last for days. Where elephants are decorated and revered. Where the drums are loud and the fireworks are louder and bare feet walk into the temple to pray.

This is a wild land. Where families of tigers roam through villages and elephants bathe in the rivers. This is a place where the Kingfisher is both a beer and a bird, and the giant Malabar squirrel makes its home. This is a place where monkeys roam free, a native land where they’re likely to claim any outsider’s food, drink or wallet as their own.

This is a land that is small on a map but whose impact reverberates worldwide. It’s a place that’s easy to travel, but difficult to leave. This is the place where I fell in love with India.

This is Kerala.

A 14-year-old girl from Kerala India Kathakali Kerala lotus on the backwaters of Kerala WelcomHotel Kerala coconut on the backwaters thesweetwanderlust.comKovalam, Kerala thesweetwanderlust.comBackwaters of Kerala Backwaters of Kerala Rainbow Cruises Sunset on the backwaters of Alleppy Kerala India thesweetwanderlust.comWelcomHotel thesweetwanderlust.comTrip of a lifetime on the Kerala Blog Express thesweetwanderlust.comWelcome sandalwood Kerala India thesweetwanderlust.comelephant family at the Periyar Tiger Reserve Kerala India thesweetwanderlust.comfresh pineapple juice at Turtle on the Beach Resort Kerala thesweetwanderlust.comTheyyam dance at Vythri Village Resort Wayanad thesweetwanderlust.comKalypso Adventures Kerala thesweetwanderlust.comKerala coconut thesweetwanderlust.comOne Meter Chai Kerala thesweetwanderlust.comMonkey at Periyar Tiger Reserve

What is Kerala to you? Let me know in the comments.

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This is Kerala


Monday 10th of June 2019

Very happy to see you have enjoyed in Kerala. Visit again and again.


Saturday 4th of May 2019

This is the proud moment for me... I am from Kerala and it is very nice to learn about my state from others.


Monday 6th of May 2019

I loved visiting your state! Such a gorgeous place with very friendly people!


Sunday 16th of December 2018

Very informative post. I found everything at one place. Images are awesome. I was very worried when the flood took place here recently but now happy to know that restoration process is going on very fast. I am planning to visit this beautiful state again most probably by next. I had visited Kerala in the year 2009. I always miss Munnar, Kovalam and Kumarkum as these are my favorite place in the state of Kerala.


Sunday 16th of December 2018

I loved Munnar, too! The flooding was devastating... I hope that the restoration is going well.


Monday 28th of March 2016

Have never been or heard of Kerala, but it seems to have made quite an impression on you. Love the traditions and wildlife pictures. You really did a nice job capturing the essence of the place. Hope to visit one day and make Kerala "my Kerala."


Monday 28th of March 2016

Thanks so much Rosemary! I hope you get a change to experience Kerala one day, too!


Sunday 27th of March 2016

India is a place I'd love to visit and your descriptions and photos are have stirred up some serious wanderlust. I love how you describe the curries and the wild animals like tigers and elephants. I could picture it with you!


Sunday 27th of March 2016

I hope you get a chance to visit Kerala, Jackie! It was an incredible experience and I'm glad I was able to share just a little glimpse of it with you!