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One of the southernmost states of India, Kerala truly is (in my own personal opinion, at least) the fairest of them all.

Affectionately known as “God’s Own Country” (also the official tourism slogan of the region), it is beautiful. Actually, it’s more than beautiful. The English language fails me when I’m trying to think up a word strong enough to describe the state but, if you’re mildly versed in Spanish, just imagine someone saying “increíble” with all the gusto and emphasis normally used. Then multiply it by 5000. And that is how I feel about Kerala.

Despite belonging to a country one typically associates with a sweltering hot climate, over-crowded streets and trains, and dusty streets that seem to have an incomprehensible dryness about them (thanks for that, TV), Kerala is actually very, very green.

One of the greenest places I’ve ever been, in fact, and you should all know that I come from a place which is luscious and green enough to serve as a pretty high benchmark in the “how green is my valley” stakes, so this is some pretty high praise I’m singing over here.

For the sake of having a statistical backup, I just did a wee bit of Googling, and Kerala is actually 45% green. That’s a lot, am I right or am I right? And in case anyone is wondering, India’s greenest state, with almost 90% of its surface area covered in forest is Mizoram, which I’d never heard of before today but now won’t ever forget. 

At 38,863km², Kerala is only 18,000m² larger than Wales but has ten times the population, with more than 33 million people living there. That’s 2,200 people per square mile which is utter madness if you ask me. But it doesn’t even feel crowded; in comparison with other parts of India, you’re positively swimming in personal space!

Not only is it big and green and spacious (for India), but it’s also kind of super advanced when compared to many of India’s other states. It has the highest literacy rate, the highest life expectancy, and is paving the way when it comes to accepting and providing opportunity for the largely segregated and ostracised transgender community in India.

In short, Kerala is a pretty bloody fantastic place. 

Although I spent the best part of four months living in and exploring Kerala last year, this site is suspiciously empty of any posts. With the exception of this little anecdote about my time exploring the Alleppey backwaters. The problem is that Kerala is such an incredibly beautiful, welcoming and overall amazing place that I fell into too much of a routine there. I forgot I was on holiday and felt at home.

So I took fewer photos. I let the extraordinary become ordinary and become incredibly lax in recording my life over there; incredibly lazy when it came to storing away memories and photographs to look back on in weeks (or years) to come. Because Kerala had become my home, I let my adventures in Rajasthan overpower my everyday life down South, and I just sort of forgot to share its beauty with the world (or, ya know, the 2.4 people who read this).

So, for this Sightseeing Sunday, I dug deep into the archives and came out with a little tiny handful of photos I did manage to snap over in Kerala. Photos which, while they admittedly don’t capture the full beauty of this wonderful state, will hopefully be enough to persuade at least one person out there to visit someday, and take it all in for themselves.

Not all photos are mine; a few were very kindly ‘donated’ by a very good friend, and these have been marked. Thanks G. 

Alleppey / Alappuzha
Munnar tea plantations
Thrissur Pooram, © G Paul
View over Munnar
Alleppey / Alappuzha
View from Munnar tea plantations
Rammakalmedu © G Paul
Munnar tea plantations
Near Trivandrum
Thrissur Pooram; © G Paul
View from Munnar
© G Paul
Near Alleppey
Thrissur
Near Mattupetty
Athirappilly
Fort Kochi
Athirappilly
Alleppey / Alappuzha

10 Comments

  1. I have always wanted to visit India. I am quite impressed with how green it seems to be. Hearing you describe it makes me want to visit even more. And I totally understand how you could become lax while being there. It is actually a good thing. You were fortunate enough to let it become a home and not a visiting destination. A true blessing.

  2. What really fascinates me about India are these extreme contrasts and these pure impressions. You have this amazing wild nature, so much vegetation, waterfalls and much more. And also you see these bright beautiful colors of the Indian dresses and even here on the elephants. I think, India must be one big visually overwhelming journey from all I have seen so far and also your beautiful shots give me clearly this impression. So yes, I can imagine that Kerala is a pretty bloody fantastic place!

  3. I love your description about how you feel about Kerala. You certainly get the message across with your passion and lovely photos. I’ve been to Kerala and loved it. It was at the time when Kerala was run by the communist party too. The backwater cruise is a must-do when visiting the state.

  4. That is a ton of green! I am not surprised that it is 45% green!! I have heard so much about Kerala, but what a big statement to say its God’s Country. How amazing! Kerala looks so unbelieveably beautiful – I am loving all the greenery. So wonderful to hear that you felt right at home – I would love to experience this one day.

  5. I’ve heard so much about Kerala but had no idea it was called God’s Own Country. From your photos, I can totally see why. The scenery is absolutely stunning. I would love to visit and see all of this in person.

  6. Yes, you were right. Even the ‘incredible’ do not qualify the aura of Kerala in its entirety. It’s so lush and beautiful. It’s been a long time I had a place like this to myself. I’d love to visit Kerala and listen to nature speak to me and teach me its course. Really, I don’t blame romantic writers for idolizing nature.

  7. Abigail Sinsona Reply

    Wow those are such strong words to describe Kerala. As I read through your post, I come to understand and feel your passion towards Kerala. Looking at your photos, it is not hard to see why you would fall in love with it.

  8. You took some beautiful shots of Kerala State. I visited a few years ago and they brought back memories – especially the tea plantations and the fish nets in Kochi. I still believe that Yorkshire is the true “Gods own country”! You were so lucky to stay there for a few months, I only had about a week to enjoy Kerala.

  9. Kerala is my favorite place in India and I have been to 3 times there. My favorites are backwaters of Allepey and tea plantations of Munnar. You are very much correct, though Kerala has high density of people living there but too much greenery does not make it feel like crowded. Kerala is really God’s Own country with friendly people.

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