Wednesday 18 September 2013

Happy Onam and a Visual Treat of God's Own Country - Kerala

Kerala, better known as "God's own country", is my native place. Onam is the biggest festival in Kerala, celebrated by one and all, with no religious barriers. It falls during the month of "Chingam" ( August - September ). Various festivities include intricate flower carptes ( pookkalam ), banquet lunch ( sadya) boat races etc. As we celebrate Onam, I thought it would be fun to share some pictures with you all from the picturesque Kerala. [Please note these pictures are not taken by me but borrowed from the internet.]

OK for those who do not know about Kerala - it is a green strip of land on the South Western part of the Indian peninsula. Bordered on one side by the deep blue Arabian sea and on the other side by the lush green Western Ghats hills. I grew up in Ernakulam, part of Central Kerala and my parents still live there.

An Ernakulam City Map for you to understand the city better.

Ernakulam is more of a city and is a shopper's paradise. People from all over come to Ernakulam to buy rich Kancheepuram, silk, cotton and other types of sarees. Old Kochi is the place to visit if you want to enjoy Kochi's heritage and culture.

Old Kochi comprises of Jew street in Mattancherry and nearby areas. Do you know that Kerala had Christians, Muslims and Jews living in harmony way before 1000 AD? One of the first trade hubs, Mattancherry still houses a lot of spice shops and antique shops on both sides of the narrow street. Here are few pictures taken at Fort Kochi and Mattancherry; Old Kochi.

The above pictures are of the Streets at Fort Kochi.

The Way-side Food Stalls at Fort Kochi.

Fort Kochi Beach.

The Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry, Fort Kochi.

Knick Knacks and interesting sights at Mattancherry, Fort Kochi.

The wide variety of spices available at the Market.

Any cliche picture of Kochi has a Chinese fishing net (cheenavala) in it. So here is a picture for you all to enjoy, taken just before sunset.

The floodplains of coastal Kerala. Kerala had a lot of paddy fields, a major part of which is destroyed to make room for the concrete structures and rubber plantations. Still we can see some beautiful paddy fields like these. The backwaters and lush green fields, together give a refreshing treat to your eyes and mind.

Now you will agree with me on one thing: Kerala is one of the most beautiful places on this planet ,don't you ?

Hope you all had a very Happy Onam. For making a feast/sadya, please refer to the page dedicated for Kerala sadya recipes on the blog. Hey a sumptuous Sadya can be prepared even after Onam, so go ahead and try the recipes! :)

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