Rain-Soaked in God’s Own Country

, Detour

Monsoons always cheer up the vacation vibe in Kerala

Imagine a vast expanse of greenery – freshly washed – with a plethora of flora and fauna – that is Kerala during the monsoon season. Tranquility, clean fresh air, silence, wellness and solitude are some of the other important luxuries offered by a holiday in ‘God’s Own Country’ when you want to escape the city and spend time with yourself or a loved one.

The rain clouds gather from the Bay of Bengal and hurry to Kerala through the Palakkad Gap in the Western Ghats. The landscape of Kerala is unbelievably lush and green during the monsoon – when the jungles grow a new cover, rivers display their might and one sees and hears the flora and fauna enjoying the bounties of nature. Also, contrary to the widely held belief, Kerala does not face the fury of the rain gods, just their love.

One great benefit of visiting the state during the monsoon is that you don’t have to face the rush, which is normally seen during the peak season, that runs from October to March. This means an undisturbed sojourn among the serene backwaters, through the spice plantations, at an Ayurvedic retreat and its wildlife. What’s even better is that monsoon is ‘off season’ – so tour operators and hotels offer incentives and attractive packages. The hotels often reduce their rates by almost 50 per cent to lure tourists to come to the state during the monsoons.

Communion With Nature

Kerala does not have incessant rains that stop all activity. Occasionally, the rains might stretch on for a few days but sunshine is never far away. These golden interludes provide an equilibrium to the natural flow of life in the southern state.

Munnar, the tea haven of Kerala, is a popular tourist spot in the monsoons as the rains add vibrancy to the lush green valleys and picturesque lakes. Located about 13 km from Munnar is Mattupetty, which is also a delight for nature lovers. The hill station is perched at a height of 1,700 m in the Idukki hills and offers idyllic view of the rain clouds.

Abode of Ayurveda

Kerala has always been known as a destination to pursue wellness in the form of the ancient science of Ayurveda. As nature recoups with the rains, it s rejuvenation time for humans too. “Monsoon is the best time to enjoy Ayurvedic therapies as the body is at its optimum best to get maximum benefits from these. During the monsoon season, the atmosphere remains dust-free and cool, opening the pores of the body to the maximum, making it most receptive to herbal oils and therapy. The myriad herbal oils and medications applied on the body during the monsoon can help ensure muscle flexibility and dexterity of movement. The post treatment period is also crucial for the body so the cool salubrious monsoon weather allows you  to cool down as your body recuperates in bliss,” asserts Gita Ramesh, Joint MD of the Kairali Group.

At Kairali, a one-of-its-kind of a holistic space, enjoy healing inside out with traditional and authentic ayurvedic therapies, treatments and medications along with yoga and meditation. A certified model of a wellness retreat, the healing village has 30 premium villas, amidst verdant green surroundings. Kairali offers the goodness of a wellness holiday, along with the adventure of an organic retreat. Add to it the superb location and luxurious pampering, and you have a winning combination.

Relaxing on the Beaches And The Backwaters

A break to Kerala isn’t complete without riding the backwaters. Hire a traditional houseboat and cruise down while enjoying authentic South Indian cuisine onboard, courtesy the local fishermen. There are many things to do and explore in a houseboat, like looking at the lush green landscape and being served a freshly prepared meal as you travel through the tranquil backwaters. The rain just adds to the beauty with fresh greenery all around making it picture perfect.

If you visit Kerala during this time of the year, you can make in time for various beach festivals that take place in Alleppey such as Champakulam Moolam Boat Race and the Alleppey Beach Festival. Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere is a piece of Kerala that is off the beaten path. As you explore the earthy beauty of God’s Own Country, you can be sure not many people would have seen this part of heaven before. The best part of staying there is that it encourages you to experience Kerala not as a tourist, but as a participant dipping into the true flavour of Kerala. They also serve mouth-watering spicy fish wrapped in banana leaf.

Local delicacies

The ‘land of spices’ has many exquisite foods to showcase but few of the ingredients like coconut, chopped, grated or shaved, coconut milk or paste are common to most foods. If you enjoy seafood, Kochi has some pretty great restaurants and cafes. While everything from the karimeen to the lobster here is delicious, one must try moilee, a curry made from coconut and kokum, a local fruit used to add a sour tang to curries.

Another popular delicacy of Kerala is Appam with Stew: Appams are light, fluffy pancakes made of rice, crispy at the edges and moist at the centre, best enjoyed with a fragrant stew of meat and/or vegetables.

Whether you plan to ride through the backwaters or take a trek to Munnar or go for some nature sightseeing in Thrissur, the trip to God’s Own Country would definitely be worth remembering.

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