30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country

Tripoto
Photo of Kerala, India by Divyakshi Gupta

Kerala is nature’s own poetry.

While the fragrance of tea and the flavours of varied spices envelope you, the endless, velvety green tea gardens sprawl across like a blanket.

The landscapes of the backwaters bewitch you in ways you cannot fathom and the long nature walks spellbind.

You are lost in the vibrance of the masks of the Kathakali dancers and awed by their meticulous, elaborate preparation.

And just when you feel you cannot be surprised any more: You bump into the elusive Nilgiri Tahr on the road to Eravikulam natural park.

On one hand nature soothes your senses, on the other the fierce Kalaripattayu performance excites.

And then there is music. Music in the countless waterfalls, music in the streets of Kochi and music in the enchanting, ancient temples reeking of divinity.

Here's a video with glimpses of my Kerala memoirs.

While one trip to this gorgeous Indian state isn't enough, it certainly gave me enough evidence as to why it is called God's own country.

So here is a photo essay of 30 photographs (as starters! ) detailed posts will follow, with fond snippets from this memorable trip.

The Boatman

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

" Mr. Jenev, can I just hop off the car for a minute? "

I was hesitating since a long time but when I found this moment, I knew I had to jump out and capture it.

This is the quintessential Kerala. Calm, serene, mediative and lush green. Unperturbed and oblivious to my lens, the boatman was immersed in fishing, while I intruded just a little in his daily routine.

The Flower abode

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

" Kala!! Did you see the flowers?" I was spell bound. Walking through Tea county resort meant walking past idyllic cottages camouflaged with flowers, neatly arranged flower beds and spending hours admiring the contrasts of each cluster. Who said flower therapy couldn't heal?

Conversations with smiles

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

" Can I click you? " I ask timidly in Hindi.

Laughter. Some cheerful banter.

" Malayalam? " she inquires.

I shake my head.

So we converse in smiles.

First look of backwaters

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Like an excited kid, I watch the houseboats cruise by. Ripples on the green waters, coconut trees dancing, a mesh of leaves and anticipation of the upcoming ride.

Tea gardens at Eravikulam National Park

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

The bus driver drove like a maniac. "How will I ever click?" I tell Kala.

The green soothes the eyes and the trees disappear as quickly as they appear in a blur.

And then it slows. Thank God for curves! ????

Vaikom temple

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Impromptu plans are the best. Even better when you have a travel partner that is game for them. Kala and me took this unplanned trip to Vaikom Mahadev and it was one of the best decisions ever. This ancient temple in Kerala with its beautiful architecture and frescos on the wall was one of its kind!

The cluster of Chinese fishing nets

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

In pursuit of the perfect shot of the Chinese fishing nets, we climbed boats, tilted left to right, jumped and did what not. Only to find an endless cluster at the backwaters of Kumarakom.

Praveen and his fantastic eye show.

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

The auditorium was packed. Praveen decked up in all his finery enthralled us with his eye movements and impeccable dance moves. If you thought dancing was easy, you could adorn this costume and all those ornaments and try:)

Guardians of the gardens

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

They toil all day so we get that perfect cup of tea every morning.

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta
Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

In search of the perfect vegetarian meal in Kerala : two of my most memorable meals are in focus here.

One served on the houseboat: a yummy spread that satiated the tummy and soul and the other because we craved for Filter kaapi! ????

God’s rays at God’s own country

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

This was during my visit to Parambikulam in 2015. We were bamboo rafting when I looked at the sky and watched its drama unfold. Nature surprises and how!

Coffee and spice

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

"Would you like a spice planation tour?" Mr. Jenev asked us.

Who wouldn't. Especially city dwellers who hardly get to see their kitchen ingredients growing in the wild.

And what a tour this was. Figs, pineapples, ginger, clove, rubber, cinnamon, Tulsi, cardamom, coffee and more!

The Meeting place

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

"To click or not?" I ask myself. The sun was setting over the temple and the simplicity of these ladies waiting in the compound caught my eye. Ultimately I did click. Not a perfect shot, but makes for a great memory!

The magic of the Backwaters

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Chasing sunsets

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

I frantically look up google to find the perfect sunset point in Munnar. An hour later found this from our window.

Tiny surprises.

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Waterfalls enroute Munnar are as common as chocolate and spice shops!

Bamboo rafting

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

"Will we get to row these?" I ask the boatman at the Parambikulam lake.

"Yes, but with us". But boy, I forgot all about the raft when the sun starting setting and clouds played with the hills.

Life in the backwaters

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

They have a calming effect on you, as the houseboat cruises at its own speed, it washes the laid back serenity on you too.

Amal as Lord Vishnu.

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

His expressions were so innocent and he shied away when I asked for a picture with him!

The tea museum at Munnar

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

A little too touristy for me but definitely a learning experience of how tea is made.

Sail away

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

My favourite pastime during my houseboat stay was counting other houseboats!

The endless green en route Munnar

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Nature therapy at its best!

Another perspective.

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Another pastime was seeing the ripples sparkle in the afternoon sun.

A wooden door

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Kerala's heritage museum in Kochi is a great place to study Malabari architecture and marvel at the artefacts!

The preparation

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

The Kalaripayattu performer prays to the Goddess by lighting lamps before his performance.

Mood.

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Kala hand models graciously for my lens! ????

Mattupetty Dam

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

Echo point, sunset point, this point and that point: the list is endless.

Doors!

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

But then more than all the touristy points, here is what makes travel worthwhile for me. Tiny moments. Unexpected finds.

Another fishing net.

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

They made for great subjects and never tired me!

Vibrant shops

Photo of 30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God's own country by Divyakshi Gupta

There was shopping and more shopping and shopping and probably we both could go back just to complete a few items that missed the bag!

Note: I was invited to visit Kerala by KeralaTourism. A big thank you to the team for the efforts in organising this trip!

This blog was originally posted on Quirky Wanderer.

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Just back from Kerala and I know what it means
Mon 05 06 19, 13:25 · Reply · Report