What are the misunderstandings about Kerala

With dreamlike landscapes with shimmering colors, temples and very present traditions, Kerala is an intense cultural experience. A few days on board a "backwater" to explore the waterways, which connect the remote villages of the islands with the continent, offer a good opportunity to discover the nature of Kerala in an original way. The beaches, on the other hand, are known all over the world for their beauty, which is sure to delight bathers. In addition to the beauty of the landscape, this state also attracts attention with the lowest illiteracy rate in the country and its impressive development and has become a model for the whole country.

Kerala: the key figures

Area: 38863.0 km2

Population: 33,000,000

  • Some beaches such as B. that of Kovalam are among the most beautiful in India.
  • Combine a beach holiday with mountain hikes in the western ghats.
  • The cosmopolitan residents of Kerala are known for their tolerance.
  • Kerala is rich in cultural, artistic, sacred and folk elements.
  • Entering temples is not permitted for non-Hindu people.
  • Access to the Laccadive Archipelago is limited to Bangaram Island and only possible with a restricted permit.

Kerala: what should you visit?

  • The islands of the Laccadives

The arts and culture

Kerala: what souvenirs should you take with you?

The craftsmanship is very developed in India. In Kerala, you can find saris made from very fine raw cotton embroidered with gold, as well as handmade cotton items. Carved wooden objects and clay masks representing people from the Kathakali, objects made of copper, brass or bronze, oil lamps, plateaus or other cult objects are suitable as souvenirs, and don't forget the abundance of fresh spices.
Go to the State Emporiums for prices are fixed in these state-owned stores that can be found across the country. You can trade in all other shops or stands. In the big cities, shops are open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. They are closed on Sundays and public holidays.
The export of furs, snake skins and antiques as well as the import into Europe of any ivory object is prohibited.

Kerala: what should you eat?

Indian cuisine is very varied and the dishes are different depending on the state, origin of the population and their respective caste. However, all of them should not be without rice and tea. Curry is the basis of many dishes. The cuisine in the south of India is much more piquant and hotter than that of the north. You can add yogurt (dahi) to your dish to take away the spiciness. Try the different fish dishes. Kochi is famous for its shrimp. Try the traditional Thalis, an ensemble of vegetarian dishes with rice, various vegetable-curry mixes, spices, puris or chapatis (cereal wafers that are eaten like bread). Try the chutneys (macerated
Vegetables or fruits), the idlis (rice balls that are often eaten with a spicy yoghurt sauce: the Dahin Idli), the dosas (pancakes made from lentil flour) or a masa dosa (spicy gratinated vegetables), the ideal small snack . The preparations based on coconut, mango or other sun-ripened fruits should of course not be missing. For dessert you can try the kheer, a type of rice pudding, and also try the kulfi, a type of creamy pistachio ice cream. Drink Payasam, a sweet coconut milk drink with mango pulp, cashew nuts and spices. Don't miss the many street food, these are cheap and sold by hawkers. A tip: Avoid stalls or restaurants that are empty.

Kerala: main cities

Kerala: what are the cultural specifics?

Hindu India is a real cultural shock. Most interpersonal relationships are governed by the system of castes, in which each person has a predetermined role. The cow is a sacred animal in India.
Take off your shoes before entering Hindu and Jain temples and mosques. This also applies to the temples of the Sikhs, where you have to cover your head. Take off your leather clothes or imitation leather before entering a Jain temple. Before entering a mosque, make sure that visitors are allowed to be present during prayers and that women are welcome. Cover your arms and legs and avoid neglected clothing. Under no circumstances should you touch a statue or sculpture of a deity. In Kerala, temple access is generally only permitted to Hindus. The temples are places of worship where the Malayalis go after a cleansing bath in a holy river or basin at the temple.
Avoid touching a person with your feet in everyday life. If you want to give flowers as a gift, find out what they mean beforehand in order to avoid misunderstandings. A present is placed in a corner and only opened later. Take off your shoes while you eat if your hosts aren't wearing them. If you eat with your hands, only use your right hand, the left is used for intimate cleansing. Arranged weddings between two families are still commonplace.

Kerala: tips for your trip

Let yourself be on the? Backwaters? on board a traditional boat such as B. a kettuvallam, a kind of Chinese sampan, to drive Alleppey, the "Venice of India". Dive into the depths of Kerala along the canals and discover the markets on the water in the villages.
Stroll along the sunny beaches of the coast and go for a mountain hike in the heights of the ghats with their fresh climate.
On the second Saturday in August, watch the regatta Nehru Cup Snakeboat Race on Lake Punamada in Alappuzha (Allepey), a race with beautiful and ornate pirogues.
You can also visit Bangaram Island in the Laccadive Archipelago, but the visit is regulated.
Witness the splendid Puram festival in Trichur, which is held in April - May and is characterized by its elephant parades and picturesque processions.

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