Travelers visiting Kerala will find in it an earthly paradise. In this state of southwest India, the exuberant nature contrasts with the incessant bustle of big Indian cities. Palm groves and mangroves line the sandy beaches and backwaters, coastal roads navigable water. The charm of Kerala is also due to successive mixtures of peoples and cultures that has known. Kerala means "the land of coconuts".
What you can do in Kerala
Travel by backwaters aboard a traditional boat like the kettuvallam, resembling a Chinese sampan, by around Alleppey, "Venice of India". Along the canals, dive into the heart of the depths of Kerala, and discover aquatic village markets.
Settle into the sunny beaches of the coast, or go hiking in the heights of the Western Ghats, cool weather.
Visit Snakeboat Race, the second Saturday of August in the lake Punamada in Alappuzha (Alleppey); It is magnificent race canoes, richly decorated.
Take a stroll through Bangaram Island in the archipelago of the Laccadives, but for this you have to ask permission.
Attend the lavish party Puram, Trichur, between April and May, with its parade of elephants and picturesque processions.
+ Some of its beaches such as Kovalam, are among the most beautiful in India.
+ You can combine the sun and the beach with excursions into the mountains of the Western Ghats.
+ The cosmopolitan population of Kerala is known for its tolerance.
+ Kerala has a great cultural and artistic, sacred and popular wealth.
-The Entrance to the temples is prohibited to those who are not Hindus.
-Access to Laccadives is limited to Bangaram Island, after obtaining regulatory permission.
India is a strong cultural contrast. Most human relationships are governed by the hierarchical caste system, in which each individual is assigned a specific role. The cow is a sacred animal.
You have to remove their shoes to enter Hindu temples, Jain temple, and in mosques. We also have to do so in the Sikh temple, which also have to cover their heads. Please take off all leather items take before entering Jain temples. Before entering a mosque, make sure that visitors are allowed during prayer and that women are allowed entry. Cover your arms and legs and try not to get sloppy. In any case, never touch a sculpture or statue of a deity. Particularly in Kerala, access to temples is generally reserved for Hindus. The temples are a place of worship where Malayalees come only after a purifying bath in a river or a sacred pond, near temples.
As a general rule, in everyday life, avoid contact of your feet with another person. If you offer flowers, research before its symbolic value or the result may not be as expected. When you receive a gift, it is left in a corner to open it later. If during a meal your hosts are barefoot, do the same. If you eat with your hands, use only right, since the left is reserved for personal hygiene. Arranged marriages between families remain.
Indian dishes are varied and change according to the state, the origin of the population and their respective castes. Their only common: rice and tea. Curry is the basis of many dishes. The cuisine of southern India is hotter and takes more spices than the north. Add yogurt (tayré) to soften the dishes. There are plenty of fish tastes. Kochi is famous for its shrimp. Try the traditional thalis, a combination of vegetarian dishes with rice, various curried vegetables, condiments, puris (type of unleavened bread), or chapatis (wheat cakes serve as bread). Do not neglect the chutneys (macerated vegetables or fruits), the idlis (rice balls which are usually served with a spicy yogurt sauce, the dahin idli), the dosas, lentil flour pancakes or stuffed dosas mass seasoned vegetables, ideal for a snack. The dishes use mainly coconut, mango, and all sun-ripened fruits. For dessert, you can opt for the Kheer, rice pudding or the kulfi, a type of pistachio ice cream. Recreate your senses with a payasam, drink coconut milk, mango pulp, cashew nuts and spices. And you do not forget to try the numerous dishes offered by street vendors on the street, at a good price. A tip: avoid crowded places and little restaurants.
Souvenirs and crafts
Indian handicrafts are varied. In Kerala saris you will find very fine raw cotton, gold embroidery and hand-woven estopillas. You can buy objects in carved wood, statuettes and clay masks representing characters of Kathakali (traditional performing art of the region), copper, brass and bronze oil lamps, trays and other objects of worship, not to mention the many fresh spices.
Approach the State Emporium, public shops scattered throughout the country, which have fixed prices. In all other sites you can haggle. In large cities, the shops are open from 10:00 to 19:00, or even an hour later, from Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sundays and holidays.
It is forbidden to export leather goods, snake skins and antiques as well as imported into Europe any ivory object.