Munnar is viewed as a crown jewel of the travel industry in Kerala and is a genuinely delightful hill station that must be visited at least once. Captivating magnificence and ethereal appeal of Munnar make it a top tourist place in south India. Munnar is named from the word ‘moonu-ar’ which means three rivers – it is because Munnar is located on the confluence of Kundaly, Madhurapuzha and Nallathanni rivers in the Western Ghats.
During the British Raj, Munnar was the summer retreat for the officers and the colonial influence is still instantly recognizable here. With its extraordinary landscape dotted with vast tea gardens and cloud enveloped peaks, Munnar draws in travelers all around the year. Munnar is over a 100kms from neighboring cities like Kochi and Coimbatore. You need to drive or take road transports as there are no railway stations or air terminals here.
Best Season to visit Munnar
Munnar is an all-year travel destination because of its pleasant weather. However, the peak tourist season at Munnar, similar to other famous tourist places in Kerala, begins from the month of August goes on up to March. However, unlike those places, Munnar has a summer season (April – May) when people come to this hill station to enjoy some chilly weather. Munnar is less packed during the rainy season (June – July).
The spot has various great hotels that are known for their comfort and luxury alongside their extraordinary locations. Munnar has several beautiful locations that you should visit. Read on to know more about these places (both popular and off-beaten) and also check out some amazing restaurants at Munnar at the end.
Pic Courtesy: Thrillophilia
It is one of the four primary waterfalls of Munnar and is exceptionally famous among travelers, as the mountain way through the woods gives chills on each progression towards Attukal Waterfalls. Take extra clothes or swimwear as the pool at the base of the fall has enough water to take a dip.
It is highly suggested that you visit Munnar during Monsoon season if you love visiting waterfalls. Attukal waterfall is situated between Munnar and Pallivasal and you will be able to reach there by crossing a wooden bridge. The waterfalls in Munnar witness swarms of travelers consistently and Attukal is one of those popular waterfalls which is magically outstanding.
Cheeyappara Falls are en-route to Munnar after Neriamangalam and streams down in seven steps making an incredible view from the street near the second step from the base. Without a doubt, it is a great spot to take a break and have some hot tea/coffee before reaching Munnar. There is another waterfall named Valara close Cheeyapara that is encased by thick jungle.
Soaked in the greenery and fog, Pothamedu viewpoint is something worth visiting. This viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the valley and if the day is clear, you can likewise watch Idukki Arch Dam and Muthirapuzha River from a great height. Travelers get a spectacular view of the emerald hills where coffee, tea, cardamom, and pepper make a cover of green everywhere throughout the hills.
While you are having fun looking at the hypnotizing view on the valley, have some ginger tea from the adjacent tea shop and you would love spending your day at Pothamedu. Watching the sun go down the skyline in the vast Sahyadri ranges is one idyllic way of spending your time in this small town. Pothamedu is one of the numerous spots to visit in Munnar which have an invigorating environ.
Kundala is Asia’s first arch dam and Kundala Lake is popular for Neela Kurinji flowers that bloom once every twelve years in the valleys around the Lake. The Echo Point here gets its name because you hear the echo of your voice when you shout. You can also window shop around this place in Munnar. The clean mountain air, misty hills, and panoramic vista make this place worth visiting.
This National Park is a sanctuary that protects the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. This place is the natural habitat of this rare goat that is now endangered. Rajamala area is the popular touristic region of this National Park. Go to Rajamala in case you wish to see loads of Nilgiri Tahr freely wandering around. However, no visitor is allowed beyond the tourist region due to security reasons.
Note– This Park is closed during February-March for around 30 to 45 days and tourists are not permitted inside. There is no internet ticketing office and please expect long lines on holidays and during weekends.
Marayoor is well-known for beautiful waterfalls, pristine rivers, rough hills, bamboo timberlands, exotic sandalwood trees, paintings and cave temples. Marayoor Dolmens goes back to the Stone Age. The dolmens have the name Muniyaras in Malayalam, which means the abodes of Sadhus. These were made with rock slabs, three are used as walls on and the fourth piece is used as its rooftop. Dolmens can be found with 5 rock slabs as well wherein the fifth piece is used as a front wall with a door-like opening. Neelakurinji flowers that blossom only once in twelve years is one more fabulous attraction of Marayoor also.
Hydel/Blossom Park is located close to the Pallivasal hydro-electric project and you can do activities like cycling, roller skating, and boating. There are also hammocks and meditation caves. This is a perfect picnic spot for families who want to enjoy their outing with children in Kerala.
In the event that you are into hiking, Meesapulimala trekking will be an amazing thing to do in Munnar. The trek begins from a spot called silent valley and goes in the middle of the tea gardens and woods. Go on top of Meesapulimala and in the event that it is a cloudless day, you can see the magnificence of Munnar Tea Gardens all over.
Around 13 km off the Munnar town, Mattupetty Dam is a renowned tourist spot. This beautiful spot is bordered by Anamudi Peak spread with various tea gardens with an emerald lake in the middle where individuals can enjoy boating.
Watch the tranquility in water; you would see the undulating reflection of the green tea plants on the sides. The altitude of Mattupetty Dam (1,700 m) makes it one of the highest Dams in Munnar.
This is one of the attractions in Munnar that goes on everybody’s schedule in light of the fact that Mattupetty is dreamy spot Munnar and the Dam falls on the way. Only a couple of kilometres from the Dam lies the lake which is in the midst of the tea gardens and Shola woods; needless to say, it is one of the spots to visit in Munnar.
Surrounded by Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in the north and Eravikulam National Park in the south, Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is home to the popular endangered India giant grizzled squirrel, and furthermore a relieving living space for Hanuman Monkeys, Elephants, Gaur, Spotted Deer, tufted grey langur, Tiger, Leopard, slender Loris, Crocodile, alongside a plenty of flora and birds.
The Eco-improvement Committees of local tribal and the Forest Department encourage ecotourism in the sanctuary empowering a wild experience in a friendlier way.
There is no dearth of intriguing activities to do in Munnar. Plan your schedule picking your favored activities from our list beneath.
Stay at a treehouse
Trekking to Echo Point and camping
Have a picnic near any waterfall
Rock climbing and rappelling
Enjoy Shikara Ride and speed boating in Kundala Lake
Indulge in Ayurvedic Spa
Go street shopping
Visit Tea Museum
Where to eat at Munnar
Much the like its unending natural beauty, there are tons of alternatives for having mouth-watering food in Munnar. In spite of the fact that there are no luxurious restaurants, traditional restaurants, and small stalls offer you lip-smacking dishes.
You can enjoy the well known Kerala style delicacies served on banana leaf at Saravana Bhavan on M.G. Street at reasonable rates.
Kerala or ‘God’s own country’ is proud of its serene backwaters, beautiful pristine beaches, and mouthwatering delicacies! Yes, Kerala is proud of its bountiful spread of non-vegetarian food. The state proudly boasts of various meats like chicken, mutton, beef, pork and a rich mouth-watering variety of seafood like crabs, mussel, king prawns, lobsters, sardines, mackerel, and tuna. When the spicy delicacies are put on the table, the table is set on fire. Now while on vacation in Kerala you will see that the use of coconut in its various forms is used extensively in the food. The chillies, mustard seeds, tamarind, and curry leaves add a unique taste to the food, making it stand out among all the states.
I would like to begin this sojourn of non-veg delicacies available in Kerala with the zeal to bring out the best for your vacation.
It is a food that has taken up a revolution. Now, this is primarily a pancake that is made out of rice, and it is soft and thick in the centre while being paper thin on the outside. It is a rice pancake, and its perfect accompaniment is a stew with chunks of chicken or other meats within it. This is made in infusion with the smooth and supple coconut gravy.
The main ingredients are rice flour, salt, and water. What makes this very popular is the fact that an innumerable amount of thin strands which is tangled together to prepare the lovely appam (pancake). What makes it very versatile is the plain texture that can be teamed up with any kind of curries and especially egg curry. It feels like heaven in your mouth.
The thing about Kerala food is that it will make you believe that anything from the sea is edible. Preparation of this dish requires extra time as the mussels need to be appropriately cleaned. Further, the mussels are cooked in garlic, chillies, turmeric, shallots, garam masala with a large amount of grated coconut on it. Locally this food is called Kallumakkaya Ularthiyathu and will get you licking your fingers.
Also called Nadan Beef Fry, the dark colour of the beef is rendered due to being cooked nicely in curry leaves, garlic and ginger paste and some amount of mustard seeds. It has a robust flavour that will bring water to your eyes but will keep you wanting for more. The perfect accompaniment of this dish is Malabar Parotta.
Fish Molee Kerala Style
Just like Bengal and Goa, Kerala has a fish curry that it is proud of. It is just not another fish curry that is casual. This is absolutely stunning as the wholesome flavour of coconut and cocoa elevates the dish to some other level that is unmatched.
Simple ingredients come into a holy union to form the best prawn curry. It is not only delectable in taste but also is quaint and simple. The prawns are cooked amazingly by sprinkling chilli, salt, and pepper and finally dipped in coconut milk and cooked with jaggery while finishing up with curry leaves. So simple yet so ethereal.
The chicken is not cooked simply, but it is marinated well in spices. The marination renders a subtle flavour that you can feel in your mouth while eating. Further, this marinated chicken is fried which gives it a unique brown hue with flavours and aroma that is inviting.
When the ‘meen’ or the fish is marinated in the spices and lemon juice, it gives rise to a perfect mouth-watering dish that you have to try to feel its aesthetic essence. This is a must try item while you are in Kerala!
The food of Kerala has nature’s blessing on it. The state is rich in seafood, vegetables, meats of all varieties making it a food paradise along with a traveller’s paradise. Once you reach Kerala, then you can find out that the state offers more than just vegetarian food and a very opinionated opinion of everyone is kept at bay after trying this non-vegetarian delight. These non-vegetarian dishes of Kerala is undoubtedly a must-have while on vacation out there.
Mango is known as the king of fruits and is the most common tropical fruit. When it comes to mango, the variety is almost endless. In India alone, more than 100 assortments are known. Every type has its very own particular attributes. A remarkable variety of mango trees are there in Kerala. Raw mangoes are widely utilised for making pickles and chutney. Ripe mangoes are eaten as such and also used to make a variety of desserts, jam, juice, pulp, drinks, toffees, and so forth.
Banana trees prefer tropical humid lowlands which is why Kerala is able to export a huge quantity of bananas every single day. Bananas have an assortment of sizes and colours when they are ripe. They can be yellow, red and also purple. Ripe bananas are exceptionally sweet and they can be eaten as such while raw bananas can be used to cook various dishes. Banana chips are really famous in Kerala. Eating banana diminishes the danger of breast cancer, colorectal cancer and renal cell carcinoma in ladies.
Jack fruit is the biggest tree-borne fruit on the planet. The tree is generally found in the tropical lowlands. This fruit is fleshy, fibrous and is contained in the spiky casing. Raw jackfruits can be used to make various recipes. The seeds can also be eaten by roasting, baking or boiling. Jack fruit tree is utilised in the treatment of different sicknesses, for example, skin ailment, diarrhoea, urinary retention and also a weakness.
The papaya is a tall plant and has a solitary stem that grows up to around 5 to 10 meters tall. The Ripe fruit is eaten as such, and the unripe papaya is cooked and eaten. They are utilised to make curries, stews and salads. It has a high amount of gelatin in it that can be utilized to make jams. It also has its medicinal benefits. Soup of raw papaya or unripe papaya slices is eaten to end undesirable pregnancy in the early stages.
The cashew tree gives the cashew nuts as well as cashew apples. The cashew nutshell fluid derived from the fruit is rich in anacardic acids. This can be utilised efficiently for tooth issues as they are destructive to the bacteria. The cashew nut is the most loved snacking option, and they are eaten as such or mildly salted, sugared or coated in chocolate.
Custard apple mainly grows in the tropical hot and humid climate. The Ripe fruit is darker or yellowish in colour with some red. The fruit has a sweet flavour. The fruit pulp can be eaten as such and can be additionally used to make a beverage which is as a substitute for milk. The raw fruit can fix dysentery as well as diarrhoea.
Coconut fruit is among the healthiest foods on this planet. This fruit has loads of health benefits and also beauty benefits. It can help control cholesterol and furthermore could make your skin and hair more beautiful and healthy. Moreover, it was demonstrated that coconut might help treat different diseases, such as kidney issues, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetic issues, and so on. Coconut is used in various types of cuisine, and the oil is also used for cooking.
Coastal areas such as, Trivandrum, Alappuzha, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kannur Kollam have sandy soils which suitable for coconut trees.
Rose apple is also called wax apple, bell fruit, mountain apple, etc. The colour of the fruit varies from white to green to red. It turns red when it ripens. It is sour in taste, hence used in salads and to make pickles. The fruit is rich in vitamin C. This fruit helps to reduce cholesterol levels too.
Sapodilla fruit is huge with an elliptical or round shape and looks like a potato and has around 3-5 seeds inside. The pulp of the fruit has a light yellow to brown colour with a granular texture. It can be eaten as such and also used to make milkshakes.
Black Plum has a sweet and sour flavour. As the name suggests, the fruit colour is black with tender pink flesh. The raw fruit is green and changes to pink and finally to black colour as it grows. Wine and vinegar are additionally produced using the fruit. It is high in vitamin A and as well as vitamin C.
Indian households mostly use Tamarind as a spice. The sweet, as well as sour taste of tamarind, makes it an imperative flavour of the vast majority of the cuisines. It can give a pleasant, sour flavour to dishes. The tamarind mash is can be a great condiment in dishes. It likewise has numerous therapeutic properties. The Ripe fruit is eaten as such and furthermore utilised for healing wounds.
Guava is fleshy and has a sweet taste. It can be eaten as such or also used to make juice, jams, etc. Each fruit has many tiny and edible seeds. The fruit contains fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin A, B3, B4, and so on.
Indian Gooseberry or Amla finds excellent use in Ayurveda, and many in Kerala grow it for this very reason. The flavour of this fruit is a blend of astringent, sour and bitter. The bitter taste changes to sweet if we drink water alongside it. All parts, for example, the fruit and its seeds have different healing properties and henceforth utilised in making ayurvedic meds. It can relieve various medical problems, for example, digestion issues, fever, constipation, cough, blood purification, asthma, and so forth. You can eat the fruit raw or use it to make pickles and dried amla.
Rambutan fruit is found in tropical areas, and are very similar to lychee & longan. The ripe fruit tastes sweet. It is often used to make juice or it can also be eaten just as such. Lychee mainly grows in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala.
The Cocoa Fruit from the cocoa tree is native to tropical regions. It grows in some regions of Kerala. Cocoa is a primary ingredient in making chocolate.
These are some of the popular fruits that grow in Kerala; however, there are many other varieties too. If you visit Kerala, you must take advantage of Kerala’s wide variety of fruits and snack on them whenever you can.
Many holiday destinations have high mountain ranges and hill stations. If you are visiting any such destination where you have to go thousands of metres above sea level, you might need to be careful of altitude sickness. As you read further, you will find out what altitude sickness is, what are its symptoms and how you can treat it.
When you go higher up the earth’s atmosphere, your body is affected because of various reasons. Some of these reasons are decreased air pressure, low humidity levels, increased UV radiation and of course, cold. Such drastic changes in the environment around you cause “Altitude Sickness. It usually begins when you reach a height of 2500 metres or 8000 ft. But some travellers can feel altitude sickness even at lower altitudes, depending on their health and body type.
The major reason for altitude sickness is an overall decrease in the amount of oxygen relative to the air pressure. So even though oxygen content in the atmosphere remains 21% at least up to a height of 20,000 metres, you will still experience altitude sickness because of decreased air pressure. That is because when air pressure decreases, your body requires more oxygen. But you don’t get more oxygen.
The symptoms of Altitude sickness can increase in severity as you go to higher altitudes. Dehydration may also occur since your lungs will start losing water.
• Contributing factors towards the onset and severity of the altitude sickness are the rate of ascent, the altitude ascended and the exertion which has occurred at the high altitude.
• The most common cause behind altitude sickness is rapid ascent which results in all the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Altitude Sickness is of three types
1. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
It is the most common type of altitude sickness. It affects almost half the travellers who live in low altitude regions but then come and sleep at higher altitudes. Some feel sick at 3000 metres, some at 2400 metres, while some even get sick at 2000 metres. The symptoms of AMS can occur anytime within the first 24 hours of arriving at high altitude.
AMS can be diagnosed looking at the following symptoms:
Lack of appetite
Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms could be mild or severe. If you encounter these symptoms, do not go higher up until the symptoms they subside. Otherwise, there could be major complications. Most likely, the symptoms will subside within a day.
Every person has a different level of susceptibility towards altitude sickness. Symptoms can aggravate after overexertion. Other than these primary symptoms which are often accompanied by disorders such as peripheral oedema, nose bleeding, breathlessness, rapid pulse, there are several other symptoms too. In some cases, where the person is highly susceptible to altitude sickness, life-threatening situations may also develop. We will talk about them when we discuss the other two types of altitude sickness.
There are many precautions you can take to successfully avoid AMS.
The best way to avoid AMS is to ascend slowly. Do not increase your sleeping altitude by more than 500 metres per day. Take a day’s rest for every 1000 metres that you ascend.
Even if you do climb to very high altitudes, try to come back to a lower altitude before it is sleep time. This will help you to adjust easily.
If you have the habit of regularly drinking tea, coffee, soda or any other drinks containing caffeine, do not stop drinking them. Stopping them will aggravate AMS.
You can take preventive medicines to avoid AMS. One such medicine is Acetazolamide. Take this medicine one day before ascent and continue it for 48 hours or till you reach the highest point of your trip, whichever comes first. It can cause a few side effects like frequent urination, numbness of hands and feet, drowsiness, blurry vision and nausea. Pregnant women must avoid Acetazolamide.
If you are allergic to Acetazolamide, then take Dexamethasone. Please note that Acetazolamide is a sulfa medicine and some may be allergic to such medicine.
You can take aspirin to prevent headaches, which is the most common symptom of AMS.
In order to treat AMS, you may have to take rest, descend and take medicine. One thing you must definitely avoid is ascending to higher altitudes.
Take non-prescription medicines for headache, nausea and vomiting. Aspirin will prove to be helpful for headache and Zofran for nausea and vomiting.
If the symptoms of AMS do not subside in one or two days, start descending to lower altitudes. You will feel much better.
If the symptoms are severe, you might have to take supplemental oxygen via a tank or a concentrator. Many prominent high-altitude regions will have oxygen companies. Take a prescription from your doctor in advance so that you can take oxygen from one of these companies.
Acetazolamide and Dexamethasone are useful not only to prevent AMS but also to treat it
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema is a dangerous type of altitude sickness. The results could be fatal. Fluid begins to accumulate in the lungs because of leakage in the lung capillaries. HAPE is not a common type of altitude sickness, but it can occur when you rapidly ascend to altitudes higher than 2500 metres.
HAPE can be diagnosed by looking at the following symptoms
Shortness of breath
Difficulty walking uphill
Cough with pink, frothy sputum
The symptoms of HAPE may not begin to appear immediately like with AMS. Instead, you might see the symptoms only after 2 or 4 days. They can get worse gradually and you might start feeling breathless even while resting. Please note that you may not have symptoms of AMS if you have HAPE.
As with AMS, the best preventive measure you can take to avoid HAPE is to ascend slowly. You must do this, especially if you have had HAPE in the past.
For HAPE, preventive medicines may include tadalafil, nifedipine, acetazolamide or dexamethasone. But doctors will not recommend them unless you have had a history of HAPE.
If you notice symptoms of HAPE, you need to act immediately. The first thing you need to do is descend as soon as possible without a second thought. Then, seek medical attention. If you do not descend immediately, the situation will get worse. You might even reach a position where you unable to walk. And sometimes, the complications can be life-threatening.
In order to treat, you can try the following methods:
Take rest and stay warm.
Medicines like Nifedipine can help treat HAPE.
The most effective way to treat HAPE is to take supplemental oxygen. If, due to some circumstances, you are not able to descend, take supplemental oxygen as soon as possible. It can save your life.
A temporary treatment is using a portable hyperbaric chamber where you can take oxygen.
The hyperbaric chamber can be very useful. It is an inflatable pressure bag. You can enter the bag and it can be inflated with a foot pump. Once inflated, the air you breathe will be similar to the air you breathe in low altitude regions. As a result, the oxygen content in your blood increases, giving you immediate relief. One good thing is that you can remain in this chamber for several hours without any problem.
But this is only temporary. Descend as soon as the opportunity arises.
High-Altitude Cerebral Edema is a rare type of altitude sickness. It is a life-threatening medical condition. Fluids start accumulating in the brain because of leakage in the brain capillaries. This causes the brain to swell. And yes, it is as bad as it sounds.
Since HACE is a sickness related to the brain, most of its symptoms are also brain-related. The following are the symptoms of HACE:
Difficulty walking straight
Confusion and irritability
Feeling of intoxication
Severe tiredness or weakness.
The preventive measures of HACE are the same as the preventive measures of AMS. So scroll back up to see the precautions for HACE.
Just like HAPE, HACE is also a life-threatening medical condition. So act immediately if you notice symptoms and descend as soon as possible. Apart from the descent, you can try the following treatments:
Most of the treatments are similar to the treatment procedures of HAPE. For example, even for HACE, you need to take supplemental oxygen or use the portable hyperbaric chamber.
An important medicine that helps treat HACE is dexamethasone. Take this medicine with you if you know you’re going to be anywhere above 3000 metres from mean sea level. As soon as you notice symptoms of HACE, take one dose of dexamethasone. The recommended dosage is 8 to 10 mg. Then, for every six hours, take a dosage of 4 mg until you descend.
What can we say in conclusion? Beware of altitude sickness when visiting high-altitude sickness. Keep checking if you’re developing any of the symptoms mentioned in this blog. You can do much to prevent altitude. The foremost thing is to ascend slowly. And when you observe the symptoms, stop ascending. If symptoms get severe, start descending.
Some important points to keep in mind:
Caution must be taken while skiing, hiking and other activities during the first 24 hours, as overexertion during these activities may prove to be fatal.
Alcohol, sleeping pill and all kinds of respiratory depressants should be avoided. Alcohol aggravates acute mountain sickness by causing dehydration. So if you get altitude sickness, you must avoid alcohol for the first 24 hours.
Drink lots of water
Hope the above information will help you be able to deal with altitude sickness. If you keep in mind the preventive measures, you will be able to avoid it altogether. Here’s wishing you a safe and memorable travel experience no matter where you go!
Kerala, which is known as God’s own country is situated at the southern part of India. Kerala is a magical land that is rich in cultural diversity, tales and legends. You would find some architectural brilliance when you come here. Apart from some significant historical buildings, you would also find beautiful temples which form an integral part of the state. Many of them are as old as 2000 years, and they were built mainly to offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Hence if you like to explore a beautiful place along with some great temples, then Kerala is the right choice for you. You would get to connect with the soul of India when you visit Kerala.
The divine nature of the temples along with the opportunity to explore the spirituality of the religious place would definitely give you a boost to visit all these beautiful places. Along with the religious enthusiasm, the beautiful architecture and the beautiful festivals also add to the brilliance of these temples. In this article, we are going to list down the top 7 temples that you should definitely visit when you are in Kerala.
The temple was built dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is undoubtedly one of the most famous temples in Kerala. The architectural brilliance of the temple is really praiseworthy, and it is one of the reasons why people from all over the world are attracted to this. The stone carvings and murals of this 8th-century architectural brilliance are something to look out for.
Speciality – the idol of Lord Vishnu in this temple reclines on the eight-headed serpent god called Anantha. Also, you should plan a visit to this temple during festivals like Alpashy which occurs in October – November and Panguni which occurs during March – April month.
Timing – the darshan time of the temple is as follows, between 3:30 am and 4:45 am the Nirmalya darshan takes place followed by darshan timings between 6:30 to 7:30 am, 8:30 to10:00 am, 10:30 to 11:10 am, 11:45 to 12 noon, 5:00 to 6:15 pm and finally 6:45 to 7:20 pm.
2. Udiyanoor Devi temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Another famous worship spot in Thiruvananthapuram is the Udiyanoor Devi temple where the people worship Lord Shiva. Other deities worshipped in this temple includes Nagaraja, Sri Madan Thampuran, Lord Ganesha and Dharma Sastha. This is the only temple in Thiruvananthapuram which faces north direction. This temple is one of the oldest temples in the area which built around 1300 years ago.
Speciality – In this temple, you would find the shrine of Udiyanoor Devi who holds weapons, that has the gesture of Lord Vaishnava and Lord Shiva together in her four hands. You should pay a visit to this place during festivals like Pongala Mahotsav, Urootu Mahotsav and Thrikkodiyettu.
Timings – the temple is open from 4:30 am to 12 noon and from 5:00 pm to 8:15 pm.
3. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Image Courtesy: Kerala Tourism
Located at Attukal in Kerala, this temple worships goddess Bhadrakali who is considered as the goddess of salvation and prosperity. The temple is located very near to the heart of the city and is known for gathering of millions of devotees around the year. It is believed that praying in the temple would help the devotees in attaining salvation and prosperity and all of their heart’s desires would also be fulfilled.
Image Courtesy: www.keralain360.com
Speciality- The main festival for this temple is the Pongala Festival where around three million women gather at the temple every year to pray and cook the famous Pongala to please the goddess. This Pingala is a 10-day festival where the 9th day or the “Pooram Day” is considered to be the most important. With such a massive amount of gathering each year, the temple has made its place in the Guinness Book of World Record.
Timings- the temple remains open between 4:30 am and 8:30 pm.
4. Sivagiri Temple, Varkala
Sivagiri Temple is another must visit place when you visit Kerala. Here you would find the tomb of Sree Narayana Guru. The temple is situated in a huge piece of land which has the Samadhi on a hillock. You can attend the Guru puja here which is performed every day and then you would be offered with lunch for which you have to buy a coupon of INR 50.
Speciality – You would find the main residence of Sree Narayana Guru on the temple premises where all of his personal belongings are displayed.
Timing – the general schedule of the temple is 5:30 am to 12 noon and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
5. Janardanaswamy Temple, Varkala
Image Courtesy: Navrang India
Janardanaswamy Temple is an ancient temple whose age is about 2000 years, and it is situated in Varkala city. The temple is the home to Janardana Swamy who is another form of Lord Vishnu. The temple also houses an ayurvedic treatment centre, and it is said that the water in the sea near to Varkala Beach has a lot of medicinal values which should not be missed. Going to the temple is not quite easy as the devotees have to go up through a series of steps and that can be challenging for some. The temple also depicts some of the great Kerala culture and architecture.
Speciality- The Aarattu festival is celebrated at the Janardanaswamy temple each year in March and April which is also known as the Meenam Month.
Timings- The temple remains open each day of the week and the timing is 5:30 am to 12:00 and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
6. Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Temple, Kollam
Image Courtesy: Kerala Backwaters
This is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in Kerala and is an ancient Ganapathi temple. Even though you would find the family of Lord Shiva in this temple but devotees give the main priority to Lord Ganapati. The ‘Nivedhyam’ is an exceptional offering that devotees make to Lord Ganesha in this temple, and later they distribute the offering to the devotees coming to the temple free of cost. There is always a heavy rush of devotees at this temple.
Speciality- People say that the first every Kathakali performance took place in the premises of this temple centuries ago. The temple celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganapathi with lots of joy on the Chaturthi day.
Timings- the temple remains open every day between 8:00 am and 7:30 pm.
7. Oachira Parabrahma Temple, Oachira
Image Courtesy: Travels and Tourism
As per the name, the temple is located at Oachira in the district of Kollam. This temple is an age-old one which does not believe in idol worship and offers prayers to the supreme force which is nature. The temple premise is very big and covers an area of about 36 acres. Every year the‘Oachira Vrischikam’ festival is celebrated here in December and January. You would also see many other festivals being celebrated here throughout the year.
Speciality- The temple does not believe in idol worship, and hence they neither have a deity nor a temple structure. The formless Lord Shiva with his ultimate power known as the Para Brahma is worshipped here under the preserved trees.
Timings- the temple remains open from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm.
8. Ambalapuzha Srikrishna Temple, Ambalapuzha
Built in the 17th century, this temple is very famous for the form of Shri Krishna they worship here. He is worshipped in his childhood form as Unni Krishna. Many believe that the idol was transported to this temple during the reign of the famous king Tipu Sultan from Guruvayoor in order to save the idol from the political turmoil that was happening at that place during that time.
Speciality – The temple celebrates the Ambalapuzha temple festival during July along with the Araattu festival that mainly occurs in the month of March and April. During this time, the temple offers the prasadam here which is known as Palpayasam, which is basically a sweet dish which has rice, milk and sugar.
Timings – the opening hours of the temple is between 4 am to 12:30 pm and between 5 pm to 8 pm.
9. Mullakkal Rajarajeswari Temple, Alappuzha
This temple is a multi-faith worshipping temple and hence the temple is accessible to devotees coming from different religions and castes. The temple showcases ancient Kerala architecture. A beautiful pond surrounds the temple. The premises of the temple has many beautiful trees. Devotees worship the Goddess Durga in the form of ‘Mullaka Amma’ in this temple.
Speciality: this 500 years old temple has a lot of specialities. Here, devotees worship with the help of some unique South Indian dishes and sweets and they say that the temple follows the same prasadam recipe since its origin. ‘Mullaka Chirappu’ is the biggest festival at this temple. It takes place for 41 days. The first Sunday of December is the women’s festival when women do everything for the celebration. The temple also celebrates the Navaratri festival with great zeal.
Timings: the timings of the temple are 4:30 am to 10:00 am and 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
The temple is located at Alappuzha and is one of the most famous temples in Kerala. Devotees worship the deity of Bhadrakali here. It is believed that the goddess brings salvation and prosperity to her worshippers. You would also find many sub-deities in the temple premises. The primary abode of the temple has a small temple.
Speciality- The temple celebrates several festivals including Parayeduppu, Kumbha Bharani, Ethirelpu Ulsavam, Aswathy Ulsavam. The people of Chettikulangara offersKettukazhcha to the deity to attain blessings from her. They also offer Kuthiyottam to the goddess which is a dance practice, and this practice has been perfected in the course of several years.
Timings- The temple remains open on all days between 5 am to 12 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm
11. Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, Aranmula
Image Courtesy: GoTirupati
The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is one of the 108 temples of the Lord Vishnu that has been revered by the 12 saint-poets. Parthasarathy is another name of Krishna in the context of the chariot that he rode for Arjuna in the great war of ‘Mahabharata’. Along with the annual Utsavam, the temple also celebrates many other festivals like the Onam Festival, Khandavanadahanam (which is like a bonfire) etc.
Speciality- On the annual festival each year, the king of Travancore maintains the golden dress to offer to the Sabarimala Ayyapan temple and the temple board practices the golden dress offering to the Sabarimala temple in an annual basis.
Timings- the temple remains open for visitors between 4 am to 11 am and between 5 pm to 8 pm.
12. Sree Vallabha Temple, Thiruvalla
This is one of the highly orthodox Hindu temples in Kerala where devotees worship Lord Sree Vallabha. This temple is one of the biggest temples in Kerala and devotees come from different part of the country. Looking..
Although the ideal home for elephants is in the wild, many of them do not get to stay in the wild. A number of elephants have been saved from circuses, zoos or temples; they may have been stranded or harmed. It is not practical or safe for them to go back to the wild. So elephant parks and rescue centres come to the aid of such elephants. But since it becomes expensive for these centres to house, feed, and take care of elephants, the centres often supplement their earnings through visitors who come to see those elephants. It’s usually hard to find out if these spots that brand themselves as elephant parks or rescue centres are really as ethical as they claim to be.
Do not support or promote any park that offers elephant rides, unnatural performances or other sorts of unnatural behaviour intended for sightseers. Support genuine parks and rescue centres for those elephants that can’t go back in the wild. Breeding should take place only if they have suitable conditions to rear baby elephants. Once they grow up, they must be able to go into the semi-wild or wild conditions. But some centres continue to keep the elephants in small spaces. They hand them over to mahouts who use them in the wood logging business.
Know what these Parks Offer to the Tourists
Not every park that claims to be a sanctuary or a rescue centre is legal or ethical. Make sure to never visit an elephant park that advertises tricks, shows or paintings – and do not ever ride an elephant.
We encourage you to read reviews and see pictures online prior to visiting elephant parks. Maintain a strategic distance from any organization calling itself a “park” but is using chains and hooks for the elephants or lacks fundamental arrangements of shelter, water, and food.
Human rights issues, environmental worries– there are many, yet one of the things that we need to be more vocal about is animal welfare. When you see animals in trouble, held in poor conditions or overly burdened with work, especially if it happens in the travel industry, do not hold back on raising your voice for the voiceless.
The barbarous procedure of training the elephants for elephant rides often goes unnoticed by travellers. In order to guarantee the safety of visitors, the young elephants go through a merciless and disturbing procedure. They tie the elephants firmly in tiny spaces to avoid any kind of movement. They beat the elephants severely and keep them from food and even water; this can keep going for a few days or even weeks. The aim to instil the fear of getting beaten so that the elephants will ‘behave’ around the visitors. That is extreme cruelty.
The demand for elephants in the tourism industry is increasing every year. So there is a need for capturing more and more elephants from the wild only to undergo mistreatment and abuse at the centres.
Temple elephant beaten mercilessly in the Indian state of Kerala. - YouTube
Elephants must always continue in their natural behaviour. They don’t dance, paint or play football naturally. So if you see an elephant doing any of those things, please know that it has gone through abusive training in order to be able to do that. It may be something that the visitors will enjoy. But it’s not something the elephants enjoy. So DO NOT visit these spots where elephants perform unnatural things.
Educating Children about Animal Abuse!
Tragically, an elephant ride is still one of the most popular tourist activities in Asian countries. A study on 3,000 elephants by World Animal Protection in 2017 at tourist sites across India, Thailand, Nepal, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia, found that about 77% of the elephants were living in poor environments that were terribly cruel. In some of these habitats, they tie up the elephants when they are not performing; the elephants have little or zero interaction with other elephants, inadequate food, and stress-prompting environment. The study also discovered that there was a huge increase in the number of elephants present at the travel sites in these places.
Elephant issues have been a big concern. Having control over such a gigantic wild animal for such a long time and then using for rides or making them do unnatural things like kicking a football or painting pictures with their trunks, is never right. Learn about the captive elephant spots and educate your children too.
Put an emphasis on educating and imparting your knowledge. Give feedback to these parks. Please be careful not to hurt innocent animals just for the sake of entertainment.
Educate Other Tourists about Animal Abuse!
Individuals often imagine that a captive elephant has been domesticated, thus it is OK to have them under human control. However, they never receive training like a dog or a cat. Whether the elephants were born in the centres or were brought from the wild, they still have to undergo torture to accept human control. There is much proof that this procedure is astoundingly brutal.
Truly, there are a large number of elephants that have been saved from working in ventures like logging. But it was additionally discovered that the number of elephants being poached from the wild has expanded to feed the travel industry attraction for rides and fun. A few settings appear to attempt to surpass each other with fresh offerings that evidently give little respect to the elephants’ welfare. For example, an elephant tumbling off a tight rope would be so fatal for the elephant.
Do your duty by leaving your feedback and review to caution other travellers. It truly works – numerous camps have stopped offering elephant rides because of demands from travellers, and the media. Photographs and video recordings are particularly incredible tools. So make sure to have proof if possible. Share them on social media and review sites.
Inform your Travel Agent
In case you book via a tour agent, bring up your concerns to them – a lot of the companies don’t have any idea what is happening on the ground and only get to know about practices through visitors alerting them about it. This is the way by which you truly can have a positive effect. Furthermore, in case you see other explorers en route, alert them as well. Word of mouth is an amazing tool, especially in the travel industry. Do get the message out about the great spots you visit as well; they require all the support and help.
Even though numerous elephants live their whole lives as captives, many are being taken care of by associations that enable them to live in huge, natural and open areas with other elephants, with the right diet and care. Ethical Travel is the way to go for elephants living in captivity. There is not enough land to free them into nature.
Keeping captive elephants in open sanctuaries is the best choice. Most of them will never be freed, as they were habituated and can’t fight to survive in the wild. Volunteers are especially necessary at those sanctuaries – it requires a hell lot of work to take care of an elephant. Simply making sure they have enough food can take hours every day!
Remove Elephant Rides from your Wishlist
There is something fascinating about riding an elephant. Sitting on its back as the big animal gradually meanders down the trail in thick jungle, or along the beach. That is why it is common for people to have this on their wishlist.
However, in reality, riding elephants must be stopped. All animal welfare organizations are against riding elephants due to the abuse that the animals experience when they are instructed to carry travellers.
Why People still Ride Elephants?
Most people do it for fun and they have no idea about what happens behind the scenes. But if the same travellers see the videos of elephants being beaten with electric prods and hooks, most of them would no longer be willing to ride elephants just to have fun. Hopefully, they would strike it off from their wishlist.
Besides the cruelty, there are many reasons why individuals should skip riding an elephant and choose more sympathetic approaches to see or experience elephants.
What are the other things you can do if you do not want to ride elephants?
Many destinations around the world feature ethical sanctuaries. They enable you to feed and spend time with elephants without harming them. Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary or Elephant Nature Park in Thailand are two ethical sites where the interaction with humans does not compromise the safety of elephants.
Get to know about Elephant Junction in Thekkady. Here, you can interact with elephants in ways that don’t hurt them. But sadly they offer elephant rides still!
Discourage Elephants for use in Temples, Churches or Political Party Processions
Boycott the use of elephants in religious places, processions and other occasions. In states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, temple celebrations occur in the hottest time of the year. It has become normal for elephant caretakers to make their elephants stroll on the tarred, hot roads during these peak summer days. A full-stop is necessary.
Humans have no right to harm any animal, large or small, just for the sake of pleasure. Please be more aware of the training the elephants undergo for rides and other performances. It will help you understand why you shouldn’t encourage such activities. Interact with elephants, in way that both you and the elephant will enjoy. Kindness to animals is as important as kindness to fellow humans.
Although the month of June is the wettest month in Kerala, the month of July doesn’t fall far behind. During this month, the chance of rainfall is between 80% and 90%. Because of the rain, the tropical land of Kerala takes on an exquisite scenic charm. Many tourists may wonder if they can really have a good time holidaying in Kerala this month. But if you plan well, you can enjoy experiences which you cannot have during other months of the year.
Have a look at some specific benefits of visiting Kerala in July:
Courtesy: Arabian Gazette
Cheap tariff at hotels and resorts
The month of July is not a peak holiday season in Kerala. So hotels and resorts will offer rooms at very reasonable prices. But their facilities and amenities still remain the same. So tourists can enjoy great luxury without having to burn a hole in their pockets. If a traveller is getting value for money during his holiday, what more would he want!
An ideal time for Ayurveda is the monsoon season
During the monsoon season in Kerala, there is little or no dust in the atmosphere. And the pores of the skin are wide open because of the weather condition. Because of this and other significant reasons, experts claim that the monsoon season in Kerala is an ideal time for Ayurveda. The body has the most impact of therapy during this season. The locals of Kerala believe that the month of Karkidakam in the Malayalam Calendar is the perfect month for Ayurveda. According to the Gregorian Calendar, Karkidakam begins somewhere in the middle of July every year.
Kerala backwaters’ picturesque beauty
It is true that the backwaters in Kerala are scenic and serene throughout the year. But during the monsoon, their charm is something else altogether. You can enjoy an unforgettable experience of the magical beauty of these backwaters by taking a houseboat cruise. Sometimes if there is only a slight drizzle, canoe rides are also a great experience. No amount of words can actually describe the beauty you will see during your visit to Kerala backwaters during the monsoon.
Kerala in July – List of Best Places to Visit
The diverse topography, colourful culture, natural beauty and exquisite views make Kerala a favourite holiday destination for many travellers from all around the world. Kerala actually is one among the top 100 destinations in the world. It has the name “God’s own country”. Only a visit to Kerala will tell you why.
Have a look at some of the best destinations to visit in Kerala
Ideally, a tour of Kerala would start and end at Cochin. The city is famous for its wide variety of sightseeing attractions which include historic places as well as sites showing natural beauty. Some of the most famous attractions are Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace. Since many of the sightseeing attractions in Cochin are indoor, you can enjoy visiting them even in the rains. But outdoor sightseeing would obviously be difficult.
Do not miss going to Fort Cochin during your visit. It features interesting museums, palaces and buildings. If there is only a slight drizzle, try to take a cycling tour of Fort Cochin.
The most famous attractions you can visit in Cochin are:
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
Tomb of Vasco-da-Gama
Activities to do in July: You can enjoy outdoor sightseeing only when it’s not raining. But even if it does rain, you can enjoy visiting museums, palaces and malls. You can also enjoy cultural shows and eat local food at restaurants.
The hill station of Munnar has a completely unique charm during the monsoon. The showers make the tea gardens shimmer gloriously. And the serene lakes of Munnar turn magical because of the rains. You can simply enjoy the view or take a closed-top boat ride. During monsoon, the climate in Munnar is misty and there are clouds everywhere. So the views are simply magnificent. And there are so many sites in Munnar which offer you an opportunity of standing amidst the clouds.
Look at some of the best locations to visit during your Munnar visit,
Marayoor & Chinnar
Mattupetty Dam & Echo Point
Rajamala- Eravikulam National Park
Activities to do in July: July would be a great time to visit the dams and waterfalls in Munnar. Because of the rains, they will be in their full glory. So make sure to visit the Mattupetty Dam, Attukal Waterfalls and Chinnakanal Waterfalls. The lakes will also enjoy a great environment during the monsoon. So visit Kundala Lake and enjoy a closed-top boat ride. The Pothamedu Viewpoint and Photo Point are also known for their exquisite views during the monsoon.
The town of Thekkady features beautiful spice gardens, serene lakes and exotic flora and fauna. Periyar Lake especially is a wonderful attraction in the town. The boating experience at the lake is ideal for all age groups. Since the boat has a roof, you don’t have to worry about the rain. During the boat ride, you will enjoy views of animals coming from the forest and drinking water from the lake. You can never forget this sight.
Some of the best destinations to visit in Thekkady are:
Periyar National Park and Lake
Activities to plan in July: During the monsoon, you can definitely try boating at Periyar Lake. As said earlier, the boat is closed-top; so there is no need to worry about the rains. The only problem could be that if the rains are heavy, then you may not be able to spot wild animals out in the open. If rains are not too heavy, you can enjoy nature walks and border hiking. But whether there are rains or no rains, you must be careful about the leeches during the monsoon season. And since there will be leeches, please do not try outdoor camping. Check out the full activity list at Thekkady here.
Pic Courtesy: Iris Holidays
Of all the destinations in Kerala, Alleppey welcomes the most number of tourists. The backwaters of Alleppey look better during the monsoon than during any other season. The wet palm trees on the shoreline, the sound rainwater hitting the backwaters and the pleasant views together make Alleppey a must-visit destination in the monsoon. The most beautiful way to experience the beauty of Alleppey is to enjoy a houseboat cruise. It is an experience of a lifetime.
Alleppey’s best attractions are:
Activities to plan in July: Houseboat cruise is definitely the most popular activity in Alleppey. Monsoon is the best time to enjoy it. In a houseboat, you do not have to worry about the rains. You can just relax and enjoy the views. Apart from enjoying the views, you will also relish the delicious food they will serve you during the cruise. Since the food will have many authentic flavours of Kerala, foodies will just love it! You can also enjoy canoeing if there is only a slight drizzle. But if the rains are heavy, canoeing is impossible.
The scenic backwater village of Kumarakom is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. The tiny colourful houses and lush greenery of Kumarakom make it especially picturesque. Kumarakom will offer you an excellent opportunity of exploring village life and interacting with the locals. It also offers different types of backwater cruises. A famous attraction in Kumarakom is the bird sanctuary. It houses rare species of birds like wild ducks, herons, storks, etc.
Some of Kumarakom’s best attractions are:
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Activities to plan in July: Since there will be rains from time to time, you may not have a good canoeing experience. But you must try the houseboat cruise and other closed-top boat rides if any are available. Bird watching, village walks, canoe rides, and toddy shop visitsare other activities which you can try. But do look for those dark clouds before planning any such activity.
India has a rich heritage related to the spices which have been grown here. The story of spices in Kerala is thousand years older and the major contribution of spice export from India is also Kerala. Kerala has shown its dominance over spices and marked the richness of spices obtainable in its latitudinal area. Situated in Southwestern part in India, it has served a wide range of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food in its cuisine.
Kerala is the “Spice Capital of India” and “Land of Spices”. The trading business of spices in Kerala is very primitive including England and one of the oldest tradings of spices is with the Sumerians. So Kerala has become the leader of spices all over the world. The spice trade in Kerala is flourishing very well till date. There is numerous and varied type of spices grown in Kerala, some of them are listed below. Let’s take a look at them:
The Most Popular Spices in Kerala!Pepper – The Black Gold
Pepper is considered as “king of Spices”. Its popularity, richness of flavour and medicinal values helped pepper to get the title of king of spices. Kerala’s pepper is often seen as the reason that has lead to colonial wars. The pepper has thus marked a changing scenario in the history of spice story of India.
Black pepper is the world’s most cultivated as well as the most traded spice in the world. It has been used in approximately every dish all over the world. In outer countries, pepper is paired with salt and it compliments every dish. It is produced by green circular drupes of the pepper plant. It helps in giving spiciness to any dish without adding chillies. Pepper has numerous health benefits also as it is rich in many vitamins and minerals. Some of the benefits are: it acts as an anti-inflammatory, it is a superb antioxidant and it helps in enhancing the absorption of nutrients.
Clove is yet another popular spice that is primarily cultivated in Kerala. Numerous types of oils are being produced by cloves and usually used in all meat dishes which enriches the flavour even more. Apart from its uses in dishes, it is usually being used in maintaining dental health also. Many toothpaste, soap and perfumes use cloves for its medicinal values. Apart from helping in maintaining dental health it also helps in improving liver health if taken on a regular basis. Also helps in maintaining the bone density. It can often be used as antioxidants. It can help in curing stomach ulcer also.
The aroma and flavour of cardamom are very distinct from other spices, this distinct feature resulted in increasing the demand for cardamom. Due to its popularity, Europeans have started to use it and started cultivating it in their local areas. It is used as prime ingredients for the production of many breath fresheners also. Apart from Europe, African and Arabian people have also used it. It is called “Queen of Spices”. It is having numerous health benefits like other spices have. Some of the health benefits are lowering blood pressure, it helps in protecting from chronic diseases as it helps in anti-inflammatory. It sometimes helps in proper digestion as well as treatment of stomach ulcer.
Cinnamon is basically the inner bark of trees with the scientific name “Cinnamomum”. It generally came up as rolls because it comes from trees. The compound you take in by consuming cinnamon has great health benefits. Cinnamon is also a natural food preservative as well as a brilliant antioxidant. Due to its anti-inflammatory benefits, it is very beneficial for repairing of body tissues and also help in fighting against many infections also.
The versatility of ginger is responsible for the popularity of ginger across the world. Kerala is also known for the high-quality production of ginger. Ginger has numerous health benefits also apart from adding flavour to food. It has numerous compounds that are useful in maintaining the metabolism of the body. It helps in increasing the fighting capacity of white blood cells of the body against any external infection or microbes. Ginger also adds a unique flavour in every dish. It is also useful in the treatment of nausea, cold and flu, indigestion, inflammation and many more health issues. Nowadays, people are using ginger extensively in cake baking, biscuits, cookies and many more sweet dishes also.
Turmeric is a very auspicious spice in ingredients. In almost every dish in India, turmeric enhances the taste as well as the dish’s colour. Not only a spice, but it is also a natural antiseptic as well as a natural body cleanser. Thousands of years back, people would use turmeric to beautify Indian beauties. It is also a natural acid indicator that can help in determining the acidity of any substance. Sometimes, people use turmeric in ice cream, baked products, yoghurt, biscuits, orange juice, dairy products etc. Turmeric is put in hot milk to make “turmeric latte” which is very beneficial yet again to increase the metabolism of the body.
This is a mild spice growing primarily in Kerala and along with its use in spices, people use it in baking many desserts such as muffins, fruit pies, sweet bread, soups, cookie, puddings etc. That is because of its distinct flavour and aroma. Many essential oils come from nutmeg which acts as industrial lubricants. If you consume nutmeg in large quantity, it can result in hallucination and can ultimately lead to death. During pregnancy, you can take it only in a small amount because in large amounts it can affect the fetus as well as the mother.
Tamarind is basically a fruit having edible pulp. It grows in Asia and North Africa. The sweet and sour taste of tamarind gave it the name “Indian Date”. These trees generally grow in tropical areas and Kerala is famous for its tropical weather. In South India, people use tamarind in “sambar” which is a perfect side dish for idlis. Due to its sweet and sour taste, it has become a flavouring agent in many Indian chutneys, pickles, curries and some summer drinks. Apart from all these uses in culinary, people use it in woodworking also. For example, they use it in making furniture, chopping boards and some small wooden objects. And due to tartaric acid present in tamarind, it can remove a layer of copper carbonate from any material as it is a weak acid.
Star anise is in the shape of a star. It is a product of pericarp of fruit which they remove just before the ripening of fruit. Many use it in biryani for adding an aromatic flavour. They also use it in mouthwashes, soaps, toothpaste and skin creams. Along with its use in many culinary dishes, it helps in solving many health issues such as constipation. It is a blood builder also. And if you have no sleep, it can help you get to sleep. It has anti-fungal properties and can also act as a mosquito repellent.
It is a herb but it is also an excellent spice that grows in the lands of Kerala. South Indians add it in almost every dish such as lemon rice, sambhar, different types of chutneys and rasam as well. People generally grow curry leaves in a small area in the home. In general, people call curry leaves as “sweet neem leaves”. During any dish’s preparatory stage, people put curry leaves while frying onion or tomato. It then enriches the whole dish by its alluring fragrance.
It is a very sour tasting fruit which becomes a spice after a very long procedure of processing, drying, and cleaning. It is generally termed as “Malabar tamarind”. This tree grows only in coastal areas. So Kerala became more valuable for production and trading of Cambodge. The fruit of Cambodge when dry, takes a shape of a ring. It is a great flavour for fish curries or meat curries. People use it in Ayurveda as well. Cambodge is an amazing antioxidant and a great catalyst which help in weight loss. It helps in easy digestion after a heavy lunch and it can cure severe ulcer also if you take it regularly.
These are basically dry seeds that people add during the initial stage of preparation of any dish. It easily grows in the sub-tropic or tropic region. This plant is basically drought tolerant and using cumin seed has become a tradition in India. They make the seeds into a fine powder and then it becomes a primary ingredient in the preparation of curries. It is mixed with coriander seed powder in every North Indian curry.
Although grown in Kerala, every part of India and the world uses cumin as a brilliant spice. Apart from being a good and enriching spice, it is also a very good weight loss agent. Those who are trying to lose weight can take cumin seeds on a regular basis. High level of cholesterol is usually the cause for the heavyweight problem. And if you take cumin seeds regularly, cholesterol levels will reduce.
Vanilla is basically a flavouring agent used in cakes, puddings, sweets etc. It is an extract from the orchids of genus Vanilla. You will find them mainly in coastal areas of Kerala. It grows in vines which attach themselves to the trees around them. The process of vanilla production requires pollination. Pollination can be from insects, wind or by animals. These are basically pods which give a very rich flavour of vanilla. The main byproducts of vanilla are a vanilla extract, vanilla liquid or vanilla powder.
India has been the biggest producer of Basil. In India, people consider basil to be holy. Besides its uses in culinary, it is having a great use in the medicinal world. It is a small tender herb which doesn’t grow much and has a sweet pungent smell. Many eat it raw along with honey or jaggery to cure a cold or cough. It makes the immune system stronger. People add basil in sweet dishes as well as some quick salads or dishes for getting distinct flavours and fragrance.
Life is full of adventures and thrills and they add spice to our life. These spices of life make our life more happening and exciting. Same goes with food as well. When you add different spices in a dish, the dish will be excellent. We talked about..
You know the holiday you have been dreaming about, saving up for and getting ready for months. You want the trip to be perfect– have all the food and explore new places! It will be a time to switch off from the hustle bustle, let loose, disconnect.
And who has energy or time to hit the treadmill when there is so much going on? But remaining active during your vacation is genuinely more vital than you may think.
Finding time to work out during the vacations may appear to be a miracle; however, it is all about getting some activity as you eat, drink and have fun. Luckily, with a little planning, you can keep up your fitness level, regardless of where you are. Try not to give the vacation a chance to keep you from working out. One of the best parts about travelling is without a doubt the food – from pizza to waffles, the majority of us want to try the local cuisine when on vacation. And why not?
But then getting back home to discover none of your clothes fit any longer, mainly if you were working hard to stay fit before is not exactly what you would want.
So is there a way to enjoy your vacation and eat all the delectable food without sabotaging your fitness level and health? There are two ways to do it:
For most people, during a holiday, their workout regimen goes for a toss. Here are some simple ways to stay active and squeeze in some exercise during the vacations.
1. Stay as active as possible in Airports
Flight delays and layovers leave you with additional time at airports; do your best to stay active during that time instead of just sitting down all the time. Rather than sitting (you will be doing a lot of that on the plane), keep your luggage in the locker, tune into your favourite music, and walk around the terminal. Of course, it is anything but a rigorous exercise, but walking also helps you a lot. With only 15 minutes of walking, you can burn 100 calories. In addition, all that walking will stop you from snacking unnecessarily.
No matter wherever you are, say no to elevators or escalators and climb stairs. The best calorie-burner!
3. Walk as much as possible
From the beautiful parks to monuments, there is no better method to take in the scenery, fragrances of a place you are visiting than by walking. Walking will be a significant factor in helping to keep your body fitness levels down. Walk as much as you can. Walking is an incredible way to see new places, stay fit without putting extreme stress on your body, and also saves you a lot of money!
4. Play with the Kids
Unwind and sunbathe a bit, however, ensure you have some fun with the kids, as well. Play in the pool. Go bike riding. Play on the beaches. Odds are you will have a great time with the little ones.
5. Plan your day itinerary to incorporate some sort of movement
Is the morning time brimming with standing and little walking in the churches and museums? Then plan your day such that after lunch you go on more adventures activities. Take a stroll along the beach or the park. Or you can even approach your hotel helpdesk for walking maps of the place. In case you are in a new area, they will be able to tell you about safe pedestrian routes.
6. Plan for Fitness
When booking your stay, pick hotels that have fitness centres, gyms, etc. If you can get out of bed and hit the gym within minutes, you will have given yourself the best chance that you will fit a workout into every day. Also, working out each morning will expand your motivation to eat healthy for the rest of the day.
Sure, it is incredible to know there is a gym or fitness centre only down the stairs in your hotel, but at the same time getaways are an ideal opportunity to have some good time. Want to climb up a mountain? Get into those walking shoes! There is an opportunity to go for scuba/swimming class? Go for it! Go canoeing in the local lake. Play beach volleyball. Do water sports. Anything that requires movement and enables you to have a ton of fun is a win-win situation.
8. Explore Restaurants by walking
Why hire a taxi when you can go for a relaxed stroll in the cool breeze to and from the restaurant? Find the right place to eat out close to where you are staying. In addition, strolling after a meal is an excellent method to help keep yourself fit.
9. Aim for a minimal workout
While travelling, you might not have as much time as you do at home for your usual exercise that is absolutely alright. Doing your best is always better than doing nothing. Try to achieve the 50% activity level of your typical everyday exercise routine.
10. Enjoy the rewards
Every day as you wake up, looking forward to the superb things you will be doing, the places you will see, remind yourself how extraordinary it feels to have the capacity to move and to walk. Travel bestows new energy to the mind. Since you have taken great care of yourself by being fit, that power is yours!
Let’s be honest– The busier your day gets, the more likely it is that you will avoid going to the gym or do any exercise. Put exercise before anything else, so you have no reasons to find excuses.
12. Plan mini-workouts
Because you probably won’t get the chance to exercise each day during the vacations, or the exercises you do get in probably won’t be as vigorous of course, try to sneak in mini-movement activities throughout the day consistently.
13. Train little, but efficiently
Work out an exceptionally conservative exercise routine before your vacation. This truly is one time in life where aiming for less is an excellent policy!
Your routine ought to be extremely straightforward. Following a rigorous routine with such a large number of variables, for example, climate, gym resources, time difference, opening times, and so forth, will only add stress to your vacation.
14. Carry a jump rope
Jumping rope is an incredible method to get in some cardio exercise, and it can be done pretty much at anyplace. Get one along with you.
Plan your 30-minute exercise consolidating three lower body exercises like lunges or squats and three chest area works out like chair dips or pushups.
Warm up with activities like walking or running at a park, do 10 to 20 rounds of a lower body exercise and 10 to 15 rounds of an upper body work out.
Do these steps two or three times, at least thrice a week during vacation.
16. Prioritise Sleep
Make sleep a priority. Many individuals have poor sleeping habits. This often gets worse during vacations as you try to do a hundred things every day. But do not compromise on sleep. Do not come home from the holiday feeling like you need another vacation!
17. Do not forget to Relax
Do not to try too hard. Remaining fit is critical; however, do not dismiss the real purpose behind the vacations is relaxing. If you need to do both, make sure to keep your excise routine very simple.
B. Diet Control Tips
Diet makes up for 80% of your fitness level! No one wishes to hear this while on vacation, yet how you eat will reflect on how you look like and feel about your body. Truly! It is almost impossible to outrun a terrible eating regimen.
1. Eat carbs only for one meal
While you are on vacation, your exercise level will presumably be just a fraction of what it generally is. Limiting your carbs guarantees you are only eating around 200 gms of carbs/day. The best part of eating along these lines is that you can still have local street food without the stress of gaining too much weight.
2. Minimise gluten intake
The keyword here is ‘limit’ –not ‘completing avoid’. You could order a dish that has some gluten, for example, an exquisite lamb dish with a small quantity of bread on the side. Concentrate on maintaining a strategic distance from large servings of gluten, for example, pasta, cake, bread, and so on.
Each meal ought to have a protein source and at least one vegetable; you could include a few nuts and fruits too. Try to limit grains and dairy; just eat them in small amounts. You do not have to eat only salad when travelling and not eat anything that tastes good. Instead, make it a point to eat 80% healthy, and afterwards eat anything you desire.
Here’s a list of things you should be trying to include in your diet:
Eggs: Chicken eggs, duck eggs, etc
Fowl: Chicken, duck, turkey – creatures with wings
Meat: Lamb, beef – four-legged animals
Fish & Seafood: fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, clams, and other variants.
Vegetables: Leafy, green vegetables are a must
Fruits: Fruits are essential and they also contain lots of natural sugar and are higher in calories. When you need an instant pick up eat a fruit instead of store bought an energy drink.
Nuts: Contain healthy fats and are high in calories. They are a healthy snacking option but do not overdo it.
Oils: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc
Tubers: Sweet potatoes and any kind of yam. High calorie and carbs!
Bacon: Who doesn’t love bacon but make sure to eat in little quantity.
4. Opt for the healthier options on the menu
Make better choices even when you are at fast food joints and restaurants as much as possible. It is vital to order healthier dishes only if you like them. Because if you do not, you are going to feel terrible for eating something you do not want to.
5. Keep yourself hydrated
We don’t give it enough importance. It is the most important thing to drink more water if you are travelling.
Who can say no to a dessert? Very few of us! If you end up nibbling just because there is food in front of you and not because you are hungry, then avoid snacking altogether.
If you are starving, at that point obviously, have a bite. It is essentially an instance of having a healthy snacking option in small quantity. For example, rather than two scoops of ice cream or two pieces of cake, have one with some fruits.
7. Stay prepared for food emergencies
Be ready for emergencies when it is difficult to find food. Carry healthy snacks with you. Here are some options you must consider:
Energy Bars – An excellent choice for when you do not have access to food. Eating that will keep you full for a reasonable amount of time until you finally have options to eat.
Nuts – Readily accessible, high in fat. And they keep you full.
Dark Chocolate – 80% or a higher quantity of dark chocolate as it guarantees low sugar content. There are many options available in the market.
You want to spend every night like it is a weekend night when on vacation, right? You will perhaps end up drinking more frequently and more substantial amounts than you would have back home. Keep in mind that this will happen and plan accordingly.
We get it you love alcohol. Is it even a holiday if you didn’t have a drink? A large number of us significantly increase our regular calorie consumption on vacation with liquor.
If you enjoy a piña colada on holiday, do not have two a day– just go for one! Be conscious that there are a lot of calories in drinks and choose wisely.
There are healthier and body-friendly drinks too, remember the below pointers before ordering your drinks:
Beer – We know you love drinking beer but avoid it. Beer is exceptionally high in carbs. Hops, utilised in beer, are broadly known to contain potent estrogenic substances too. If you are looking to achieve optimal health, you should try to avoid beer.
Opt for Low carb Alcohol – The perfect beverage of choice would be vodka, white rum or a glass of dry white wine, for example, Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc. Keep away from any sweetened mixers or low-quality alcohol. If you love shots, stick to Tequila, Whiskey or Vodka.
9. Carry some supplements along with you
Dietary supplements are an incredible way of boosting your diet while on holiday. While they are not the alternation to a natural, healthy diet, they are capable of making sure that you do not have any nutrient deficiencies and stay energetic, compensating for all the holiday indulgences you want to make on your dream holiday.
Such a large number of individuals plan their vacations knowing they will get overweight, and lose their fitness level, yet they do not do anything about it. Keeping in mind the above pointers will help you stay fit. However, don’t overstress, go on vacation, accepting the fact that you won’t be able to keep up your typical diet and exercise. You can come back to your routine entirely once you are back!
Kalaripayattu is arguably one of the oldest forms of martial arts still existing. The system had its origin in Kerala. It is practised by warriors of Kerala belonging to all castes and religions. This martial art form uses medieval age weapons like – Urumi, Swords, Katar, Spears, Machete, Shield, Quarterstaff, Gada, Trishula and Madu. It is taught in isolated places, away from social gatherings, by the masters. In order to learn it, you need immense strength and courage. Because of a touch of modernisation, Kalaripayattu is emerging again as a weapon of self-defence. It has become famous in movies, theatres and in fitness also. Students of all ages take part in Kalaripayattu. It is also known as Kalari Gurukulam.
There are three levels of training courses – beginners, advanced and expert levels. This form of martial art not only trains an increase in concentration power but also helps to subdue the stress of the day-to-day activities. A dedicated Kalari Student generates – Sadhana (Practice); Anubhava (Experience) as well as Pradarshan (Performance), in this art form.
The Kalaripayattu enhances
It also removes the stress and fatigue of the body. Kalari training improves the overall lifestyle of the participants.
It includes strikes, kicks, grappling, weaponry, preset forms and healing techniques. The weapons can be bought either online or from the institutions from where one is taking the training.
Some of the best Kalaripayattu training centres in Kerala are –
The Buddha Kalari is a Martial Art School – Thiruvananthapuram
The Buddha Kalari is a Martial Art School in Thiruvananthapuram. The instructor Dr.Suchith not only teaches the art excellently but also helps young students to master the art and follow his footsteps. Very slow learners can also easily grasp the lessons. The greenery all around soothes the learners. Buddha Kalari was the first school in Kerala in traditional style to offer training Kalaripayattu in the Southern form. The centre has organized many International as well as National level performances and workshops on Kalaripayattu. They run a year-round training programme for domestic and international students.
CVN Kalari Sangham is a well-known institution in Trivandrum. More than 62 years of coaching has made it a top ranking training centre. It organises many international as well as national level performances and workshops. Many international students also take part in year-round training programmes. CVN Kalari was the first traditional school to offer training in Northern style Kalarippayat in the southern part of Kerala.
Aikya Kerala Kalari Sangham provides training in Meithari, Kolthari, Ankhathari as well as Verumkai, which are the various forms of Kalari. The main aim of the institution is to make one attain divine power. The Aikya Kerala Kalari established in 1972 by Sri.T.K Madhavan Gurukkal. This institute has been a motivation for many institutes in different places of Malabar for popularisation of Kalari and Kalari Chikilsa (treatment system).
The instructor (Guru) has offered training sessions to the Indian military, Calicut Medical College and many other government institutions also.
ENS Kalari is one of the most popular Kalaripayattu centres in the state. It is a part of Kerala Kalaripayattu Association. There is a group of well-experienced group of trainers. They have a vast knowledge of Ayurveda, Mathematics as well as Physical education. It is in Kochi, Ernakulam. E.N. Sreepathy Embranthiri Gurukkal established the ENS Kalari in 1954 at Nettoor- Ernakulam. In ENS Kalari offer training in both Northen and Southern Style of Kalari. This institute has got approval from Kalaripayattu Federation of India. It is also affiliated to Kalaripayattu Association, Kerala. Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council has also authorised the ENS Kalari.
Lubaina Kalari is in Chembumukku, Kakkanad, Kochi. Besides teaching Kalarippayattu, it also provides Kalari Treatments, Steam bath, and Uzhichil. It also has individual Self Defense courses for women. The practice happens in Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. The Lubaina Kalari has a long tradition and history, and the late Abdullakutty Gurukkal established the current Kalari in 1959.
The Kalariyil Dharmikam is in Parasuviakkam, Trivandrum. It is a centre of learning, healing and spirituality. Guru Balachandran Nair popularly known as Satguru Hanuman Das teaches the art as well as Kalari Chikilsa to the resident disciples in the sincerest manner. Since it away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the environment is great for student to meditate and receive training. The greenery, the delicious food and the comfortable rooms make the experience even more beautiful. Through Kalaripayattu Training, Kalari Treatments and daily celebrations in the Hindu temple, there are plenty of opportunities to develop mentally and physically.
Arjuna Kalari and Marma Chikitsalayam Centre is another very well known Kalaripayattu learning centre as well as a medical unit. Its trainers know this gravity-defying martial art very well. The training helps students to have a well-developed mind and body.
Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam -Vadakara
Kadathanadan Kalari Sangam is at Vadakara. They provide Kalaripayattu training, Kalaripayattu Exhibition as well as Kalari Massage. For international visitors, they offer a special 5-day package that includes One day Kalari oil massage and 4-days Kalaripayattu self-defence techniques. There is also a particular self-defence course for women.
Sri V. Sreenivasan Gurukkal, Sri Raghavan Gurukkal, Sri Dhamu Gurukkal and Sri Valappil Karunan Gurukkal established this Kalari in 1949 at Vadakara.
Hindustan Kalari Sangam Calicut: Shri. Veerasree Sami Gurukkal established as well as patronised Hindustan Kalari Sangam, a traditional Kalarippayattu school, in 1050. This school offers training in Kalarippayattu as well as Ayurveda healing.
The Choorakkody Kalari Sangam teaches Vadakkan Sampradayam(Northern style) as well as Thekkan Sampradayam(Southern style). They also have short term courses of one, two and three months. Special offers for foreigners is that they can customise their timings. This institution also develops new methods which are suitable for stage shows. Sri Kunhi Moosa Gurukkal established this Kalari in 1976 at Villiappaly near Vadakara in Kozhikode. C K S has played a vital role in promoting the martial arts form.
The Vallabhatta Kalari Chavakkad carries out workshops, demonstrations and choreography work. There is a homestay facility providing healthy and hygienic food. They also offer Kalari Marma Chikiltsa and have branches in European countries, USA, China, London and even Belgium and France. Sri Veerasree Gurukal Sankunni Panicker established the current training centre at Chavakkad, Trichur in 1957. However, it got affiliated to the sports council in 1959.
In this tough world which is becoming tougher day by day, one needs to compete with a large number of people at every step of one’s life, and Kalaripayattu is its gateway. It is gradually becoming recognised, and it might soon become included in the national games.
With rigorous practice, basic level training can be completed in three months. The intermediate level takes about six months. But the advanced level takes a long time of about one to two years.