Difference between revisions of "Kerala"
Revision as of 07:54, 7 March 2006
Kerala is a state in Southern India, famous for its culture, spices, beaches and backwaters. It is also one of the most literate and prosperous states in India. Keralalites call their state "God's own country" and it is blessed with tropical forests, a fertile coastal plain, fishing, tourism and a relatively stable political situation.
The people of Kerala speak Malayalam (a palindrome when written in English). However, most of the people speak and understand English, . Most bus routes and other important signs are written in English.
There are three airports in Kerala. The airports at Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are international airports. The international airports have several carriers operating from Singapore, Colombo, Male, Muscat, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Some Airlines based in India are Kingfisher Airlines, Air India, Air India Express, Alliance Air, Indian (formerly known as "Indian Airlines"), Jet Airways, Sahara Airlines
Inter-state private and government buses operates between neighbouring states. Usually the journey is performed in the night so that you can escape the heat of the day.
Trains, buses and taxis provide the easiest way to get around Kerala. Trains are good for long distance travel, say from the north to the south.
Taxis are good but expensive way to get around for short distances. Do negotiate the price before you get into the taxi.
Buses are good for very short travel. Both government and private buses travel between and within cities. Buses within cities are very crowded and if you travel on them, please take care of your belongings (wallet, passport) as pickpockets are not rare.
Auto-rickshaws are another convenient mode of transport for very short travel - not too expensive and fast. By law the auto driver has to start a meter for every journey. However this is rarely done. The best way not to get tricked would be to ask a helpful samaritan how much it would cost to your destination and check it up with your driver before you get into the auto.
3 weeks Kerala, see some of the highlights that Kerala has to offer: experience the busy Kochi (Cochin), relax in the Backwaters, hike in the mountains, make a side trip to Tamil Nadu, and enjoy the beaches.
Visiting Religious Centers
Kerala is one of the places where multiple religions exist in great harmony. This is achieved by one respecting the customs and rituals of other religions. A visit to these shrines is necessary to understand the breadth of cultural influences in the state.
In some Hindu temples non Hindus are not allowed enter the shrines. It is best to ask someone at the temple. Many are happy to let you in as long as the usual rules of the temple are observed. However, photography inside the temple is a strict no-no. Also for male visitors at many places inside a temple, dress code is traditional white dhothi won in Kerala style, and you are not allowed to wear a shirt. The best thing to do is to watch what others are doing and follow. You are also expected to take off your footwear outside the temple. Usually there are no locker facilities, cheap and cheerful footwear is best.
For females any non exposed dress, preferably not shirts and trousers.
There are exceptions to these rules, example everybody is welcome at temple. At Shabarimala any male who have done the prerequisite rituals are welcome, but females are not.
At a Muslim mosque females have some restrictions.
At Christian churches usually males should be at left side of aisle and females on right side.
The synagogue at Kochi is not open to non Jews on Saturdays.