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An update from Evaneos
India

Kerala, a different world

Yet another different world in the extraordinary sub-continent that is India!

A literate region

Thanks to its communist politics and very particular history, the state of Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India : 90%, as opposed to 60% in the rest of the country. It is the same for boys and girls, which is absolutely extraordinary in India.

You can really feel it when you are traveling in this culturally rich region during a trip to India. There are schools everywhere, as well as book shops, libraries, churches, art galleries, exhibitions, and museums. I was really excited by the unique atmosphere of artistic and intellectual striving that I felt in this state.

A stall in Kerala

The backwaters

They are certainly the main reason why most travelers come to this area of the south during a trip to India. In fact, this huge network of canals in the heart of luxuriant, tropical vegetation is absolutely magnificent and unique in the world.

You can meander through it on a house boat, which can be rented for one or more days . In my opinion, the best thing is to go for at least two days so you can really experience the magical atmosphere of the place by sleeping on the boat and waking up on the water, in the middle of nature.

Varkala and Kovalam

Kerala's seaside towns can be really lovely but I don't recommend them during the monsoon, when it can rain for days at a time, and you can't swim because the water is so choppy and currents are so strong.

Don't forget to find out about the different religious and other festivals which are held in these villages all year long. Processions and events, often really big ones, are regularly organized in the temples and on the beaches.

Cochin

This little seaside town in Kerala, formerly a Portuguese trading post, has enormous charm. These last few years it has become very touristy and you often pass dozens of tourist coaches from all over the world, particularly Japan.

Obviously, the prettiest part of town is the side streets of Old Cochin, with ancient colonial buildings in faded colors. At sunset, make sure you are near the sea to watch the Chinese fishing nets being lifted and try the freshly landed fish grilled over wood. Delicious!

Nina Montagné
153 contributions
Updated 29 May 2015
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