30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God’s own country

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.

Kerala God's own country
The Boatman

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.

Flowers of Munnar at Tea county resort.
The Flower abode

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?

tea workers working at Tea gardens Munnar
Conversations with smiles

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.

Scenic backwaters of Kumarakom
First look of backwaters

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.

eravikulam natural park munnar
Tea gardens at Eravikulam National Park

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 Mahadev temple Kerala
Vaikom temple

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!

chinese fishing nets in backwaters
The cluster of Chinese fishing nets

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.

Kathakali dancer at cultural centre Munnar
Praveen and his fantastic eye show.

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:)

 

tea gardens in Munnar
Guardians of the gardens

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

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 the Parambikulam lake
God’s rays at God’s own country

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 plantation in Kerala
Coffee and spice

“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!

ladies sitting outside vaikom mahadev temple
The Meeting place

“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!

Kumarakom backwaters
The magic of the Backwaters
sunset at munnar
Chasing sunsets

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

Waterfalls enroute Munnar
Tiny surprises.

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

bamboo rafting at Parambikulam reserve
Bamboo rafting

“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.

chinese fishing nets and houseboats
Life in the backwaters

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

kathakali dance performance
Amal as Lord Vishnu.

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

tea leaves at Tea museum Munnar
The tea museum at Munnar

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

houseboats at Kumarakom
Sail away

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

 

Munnar at its best
The endless green en route Munnar

Nature therapy at its best!

 

boat at the backwaters
Another perspective.

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

 

A wooden door

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

performer of Kalaripayattu munnar
The preparation

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

 

 

A relaxed getaway at Kerala backwaters
Mood.

Kala hand models graciously for my lens! 🙂

 

mattupetty dam munnar
Mattupetty Dam

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

jew street Kochi
Doors!

 

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

Fishing net in Kumarakom
Another fishing net.

They made for great subjects and never tired me!

Kathakali masks
Vibrant shops

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

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

88 thoughts on “30 Photographs explain why Kerala is God’s own country

  1. Let’s go somewhere together again Divya! The destination matters not, the company does! Fabulous replay of a memorable trip! Finding beauty in mundane sights….that is something I learned from you on this trip!

  2. Read the title and knew we were in for a treat…and I was right 🙂 Lovely experiences! Kerala is special, right? We’ve spent very little time there. It’s only here that we’ve discussed, “should we live here?” 🙂 Waiting for more stories from Kerala!

    1. Hehe. Thank you;) The title seems a tad bit ‘listicle’ like but I couldn’t think of a better one 😀 Pictures can never do justice to the experiences. Made some great memories here. I can’t wait to go back and yes, I totally understand why you discussed that 😀

  3. God’s own country captured by God’s own little gifted girl ! Have traveled extensively to Kerala in the past and this brought back great memories, specially of a great Kerala trip that Mo and me did way back in 2000 !

  4. Those photos are absolutely stunning. I would love to visit Kerala in person to see that breathtaking scenery. And I love the doors, too!

  5. Kerala really looks like a God’s own country. Photograph of Tea gardens at Eravikulam National Park is so stunning. I revived my childhood memories of Kerala trip through your post. Lighting of lamps by a performer looks so splendid.

  6. I have heard so much about Kerala and how wonderful it is. Your pictures really confirm that. We have been thinking about visiting on our way to Sri Lanka and you have made me sure that is the right choice

  7. I don’t remember that I have read anything better than this lately. Such a virtual treat! Kerala is full of natural beauty and you’ve covered the essence of the place beautifully, Divyakshi! Fab post 👍 . Also,this actually made me realize that monsoon season is just round the corner and there are wonderful getaways from Pune. I’d love to accompany you, if you plan to visit any. 😊

    1. Thanks so much Saumy! 🙂 there is still so much to be seen in the state:) yes, yes! I haven’t explored Maharashtra properly. Would love to go to a few places including Purushwadi!

  8. Oh, you’ve reminded me of how wonderful Kerala is. I was there 20 years ago – luckily before digital cameras became mainstream, or I would have broken the Cloud with my photographs. I’m going to go home and get the albums out this evening. thank you so much for this post!

  9. Indeed looks like they have their world of their own. I have a long pending wish to explore their backwaters, especially after a friend of mine spent her honeymoon there.

  10. WOW such beautiful photos, you captured it so perfectly I feel like I am there. The food looks delicious and everything has a magical feel about it! I would love to visit one day and see this for myself! 🙂

  11. Brilliant… I was looking for some dedicated photos on coconut/coconut trees but consoling myself as few pics have coconut tree in the background

  12. Wonderful post as always Divsi. Each photograph tells a story on their own. Keep it up . We often wonder what do we do with lots of photos from a trip. This is an ideal example of what we can do and obviously the pics have to be such

  13. Incredible pictures, Kudos to you! You have managed to capture the essence of Kerala in a very good way in your pictures. Your pictures make me want to go and relive in God’s Own Country again.

  14. Powerful pictures which capture the true essence of Kerala. I have been to Fort Kochi 4 times. Few days ago, I disembarked at port in Kochi. I was aboard a cruise from Dubai. Even before I reached Kochi, I enjoyed the monsoon when the ship was in the sea. Once in Kochi, I lost my inhibitions and got myself drenched in the heavy rain. It has made me want to discover Kerala in monsoon. Hopefully soon.

    1. Thanks Abhinav! Yes, I was following your trip on social media. Looked grand! Kochi is a melange of various cultures. Love it’s vibrance.

  15. Your photos are delightful. They represent a wonderful time that you spent in Kerala. I like the photo of the vegetarian meal a lot. It looks like prepared with care and plenty for everyone to share.

  16. This is so beautiful. I loved each picture and your lovely note with this. Wish all of them were full-size though. I love Kerala, have visited it multiple times and can go again for many more.

  17. After reading your post, I am considering to visit Kerala later this year. Sri Lanka is on my bucket list this year. But now I am thinking, maybe I should visit Kerala instead. It is a true nature paradise!

  18. Kerala really is God’s country. It looks absolutely beautiful. I absolutely love the image of the 2 women in the field. This is one part of India l would love to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Loved all the 30 pictures! I totally agree with you..Kerala is god’s own country! I spent a month there in 2015 and I fell in love with that state, its people and the culture. I can’t wait to come back!

  20. The photo of the women sitting on the verandah perch and the mirror lake with dainty tree foliage are fantastic shots, bringing out Nature and Man.
    Yes, we’ve been to Kerala and one visit is just not enough! Great holiday

  21. Kerala is one such state that I haven’t explored it yet! Your pictures speak for itself how surreal it is! Hope to visit soon someday in my life!

  22. I saw this video on Twitter first but could not resist seeing it all over again. It is so well made…the beautiful Kerala in a gist. The greenery, the culture…Well done Divsi. And then, the treat of your pics!!! 🙂

  23. When I visited Kerala a few years ago I was so impressed with how clean it was. Cruising the backwater is such a wonderful way to see rural life. It’s a part of India that isn’t as confronting as the big cities.

  24. With photos like these showing the landscape and scenes of Kerala, there would seem to be little wonder why it is called God’s Country. It does look like such a lovely place and I would just love to see it one day. You did a fabulous job with the video as well and this post is certainly a wonderful advertisement to promote Kerala as a great destination for anyone. Thank you for sharing your experience and inspiring others to follow.

  25. This is superbly crafted and is inspiring me to write similar posts on my blog. I relived my entire trip while going through your stunning showcase of gorgeous pics of an absolutely divine and surreal state in India – I think Kerala really knows how to preserve beauty, traditions and nature and have created a real haven for tourism!!! Great post Divisi!!

  26. When I think of India, I think of bright, vibrant colors and these photos have certainly brought those out. I enjoyed the photos but looking at all the work that goes into a cup of tea makes me feel guilty for enjoying what seems like a simple pleasure. I especially love the photos of the boats. From what I have seen, fishing plays an important role in the life and culture and a series of photos without it would be missing something.

  27. My county in the UK is also called Gods own country, it should be twinned with Kerala! You really captured Kerala in the YouTube video. From the backwaters to the tea plantations, the local music adds to the feeling of Gods own country too!

  28. Beautiful story telling. I love how you mix verse, description and photography into an immersive collage. I can’t pull any particular thread without the collective whole of the experience reaching my senses.

  29. Wow, great post! Kerala is probably the region in India that I’m most keen to visit and after reading this it’s multiplied ten-fold! Can’t wait to check it out for myself!

    1. It’s kinda strange but I couldn’t comment separately. The window would just not appear. And the only window i would get is for signing up for updates.

      Anyway I am using this to comment. Beautiful pictures and can make anyone google for more for their next trip. I love Kerala in monsoon. Guess that’s the best time to go there. Everything is so fresh and so colourful.

  30. Your photos of Kerala are just beautiful. They show such a colorful side to this area. I can see why you call Kerala God’s country. Surely an area this beautiful has been blessed.

  31. wow Kerala looks so wonderful! To be honest I have never heard about it before but now I definetely understand people who wants to backpack around India! This is something different that what I see from photos from big cities! Looks so tropical, peaceful and beautiful! Your photos are amazing! I cant wait to visit now!

  32. Kerala looks totally awesome and a paradise to check out. This is one region of India I always wanted to visit. The photos capture the region nicely. Cant wait to get out there.

  33. Very powerful pictures which show every aspect and strength of Kerala. And yeah that door too! 🙂 I liked the way you told stories in between. Do we travel together sometime? 🙂

  34. The photos are stunning and capture the beauty of Kerala, nuance by nuance. Words are inadequate to determine the enchanting experiences that Kerala offers, really God’s own country. A magic land where one gets lost.

  35. Travel is about the tiny moments and unexpected finds for me too – it looks like Kerala offers a lot of each. Your photos are gorgeous and I’m inspired to explore the destination. I’m keen to learn more about the various experiences – tea houses, houseboats, and Kalaripayattu performers. I will keep an eye out for your future posts.

  36. Through your lens, Kerala is truly an incredible place! Thanks so much for sharing your photos and your love of Kerala!

  37. The landscape and nature is one of a kind! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. I really have to stay on an houseboat really soon 🙂

  38. Such beautiful captures. Couldn’t agree more with you. Kerala is a beautiful destination. We have always loved travelling through the state, loved spending time in a houseboat as well as atop a tea garden.

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