I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I kinda like list posts, don’t I? Well, you bet your bottoms I do! This time it will be a little different because I want to show you guys some of my favorite travel photos from Kerala which yours truly took while I was taking part of Kerala Blog Express on a trip of a lifetime!
I’ve been contemplating for a while if I should publish a photo diary regarding my recent trip to India as I was not sure if I’ve taken good photos from that trip but decided I shall dismiss my insecurity and find good enough photographs to edit the living le shizzle out of it, write something funny, and hope to the gods they’re pleasant enough to look at. I consider myself a photoshop wiz, so I hope I gave at least a little justice to some of these photographs because, my friend, Kerala is beautiful!
I’m no photographer nor have the gear for it but truthfully, my point and shoot plus a little magic (photoshop) make a good combination and I’m pretty happy how some of the photographs turned out. I’m not even sure which one I should be proud of, the camera or my editing skills. You be my judge and let me know!
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Anyways, I remember sometime early this year when I randomly signed up for a possible press trip to India with little expectation in mind only to be blown away by surprise one ordinary day at work with an email stating I was shortlisted for Kerala Blog Express.
Clearly, I was overwhelmed and ecstatic but nervous at the same time. At that time, I couldn’t believe I’m heading back to explore Asia with a bunch of strangers in a bus for two weeks around Kerala. I mean, it sounded crazy then, it still sounds crazy now! I still can’t believe till this day how 29 strangers got along so well, we’re all still in contact till now – how great is that!?
With all honesty, Kerala and each corner of the country is one of the world’s greatest marvels, everywhere you look there’s always something fascinating to see. Not only she’s a beauty but I also admire its locals and their communities, I never felt so welcome prior to my visit and never I thought I’ll experience such hospitality.
That said, I won’t deny the fact how much I long to visit once again. Next time, I’ll certainly stay longer and perhaps visit Goa when I go back! With no further blabbing, please see the beauty of Kerala through my photographs and be the judge yourself (not my skills, but the place rather!)
My Favorite Travel Photos from Kerala
My Favorite Travel Photos from Kerala
1. Kerala is indeed the land of spices
Perhaps one of the reason’s why I didn’t think twice of traveling to Kerala is the fact that I wanted to witness the land where some of my favorite spices originated from. I was not disappointed, Kochi (the starting point of our trip) is where the big spice tradings happen even to this day. Granted most of the spices come from further up north in Kerala, you still can’t deny the quality of spices to be found all over the country.
Yes, I brought home TONS of spices and I don’t think I’ll ever run out anytime soon. I got a little cray, can you blame me!?
2. Fort Kochi and the Chinese fishing nets
I’ve never seen this kind of fishing method before not because I know a lot of ways to catch a fish, but somehow this technique is rather popular in Kerala and you’ll see tons of them if you’re by the bay area. This fishing technique was introduced by the Chinese (hence the name) and has been used by local fisherman for centuries.
3. Mohiniyattam – one of the classical dances of India
During the first day of our visit to Kerala, we had the opportunity to watch two of India’s classical dance and one entertaining martial arts performance. The most famous classical dance of India and is widely practiced in Kerala is Kathakali and the second one is Mohiniyattam as pictured above.
I personally enjoyed Mohiniyattam’s performance more as the lady was so graciously dancing around the stage with eyes full of emotions and expressive gestures.
4. The Backwaters of Kerala
If you’ve heard of Kerala before I’m sure you know that the country is famous for its backwaters and almost all guides you’ll ever get your hands on will provide you information on where to experience living in a houseboat while cruising the backwaters of Kerala.
I’m not going to lie, it is one of the best travel experience in Kerala you can have and I personally enjoyed it too! Not only we had the opportunity to see a beautiful sunset, witnessed the beauty of Kerala’s backwaters, but also truly enjoyed a full onboard service with good food and great company. I recommend experiencing the same if you visit Kerala one day!
Also, on a side note, I was also told that apart from Kerala, you’ll also find tons of other places to visit in India. For instance Jaipur attractions are also worth checking out. Jaipur is located in North of India so in contrast with the South, you’ll certainly find such a different culture!
5. Hiking in Munnar with Kalypso Adventures
As a reader, you have to know me and the most important thing you must learn is that I love and enjoy the pleasure of being lazy. Hiking is far, far down in my list before visiting Kerala and boy, did I sweat on this hike!
I am the least active person you’ll ever meet and during one of our expeditions around Kerala, we stayed in a camp base in Munnar up high in the mountains for one night. I was thrilled for sure but the next day we had to hike the Phantom, it is pretty high by the way, and I thought at one point that the hike will take the last breath out of me.
I survived, of course! Thanks to Kalypso Adventures indeed for opening a new door for me, I’m now looking forward to actually burning calories by sweating preferably with a nice view just like what we saw while on top of the Phantom. Other than that, I’ll pass and binge watch How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.
By the way, how cool is this long exposure? It isn’t the best for sure but I couldn’t believe I took this with my point and shoot (Canon G7x). From this list of travel photos from Kerala, this is perhaps my ultimate favorite!
6. Tea plantation as far as your eyes can see
If you’re not aware, India is one of the world’s leading tea exporters and drinkers so it is indeed an important staple in every local’s household, it is part of India’s culture. We did drink tons of chai’s while we were in Kerala and I enjoyed every sip of it!
Naturally Kerala Blog Express will take us to see a tea plantation, I just did not realize it will be this beautiful. On our hike back to the base camp in Munnar, the train takes you across this beautiful view and I can’t help but feel lucky to see such amazing view. Don’t you agree? All the sweats and short of breaths was all worth it in the end!
If you’re keen on visiting Munnar and surrounding areas, there are many Kerala tour packages you can take part of so you don’t have to even think about how to get from one place to another. Make sure you book from the right tour companies!
7. A random photo of a cat
Just because why not.
8. Along the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekaddy
We didn’t really saw wild tigers but this reserve really fascinated me not only because of its beauty but their purpose.
As you probably know, tiger’s are sought after by tons of unspeakable sort of people and are often hunted as a trophy. However, in Periyar Tiger Reserve, they are well taken care of and it is one of the most important destinations in Kerala we visited. There are about 30-40 tigers and tons of various other animals that are protected and roaming freely and wildly in this reserve.
Periyar Tiger Reserve is massive covering about 925 sq.km. of land dedicated to protecting the area’s flora and fauna and serves as a sanctuary for the animals who calls it home. However, despite the large area, only about 10 km is allowed for tourists to visit and that is to keep the wild untouched and protected.
9. Periyar Tiger Reserves Grandeur
Following the snippet from above, Periyar Tiger Reserve is indeed well looked after. The calming view of the forest knowing the animals are living in peace is heartwarming.
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10. Mingling with the youth of Kerala with The Blue Yonder
At one point of our trip to Kerala, we had the opportunity to visit a local village school where the children gathered in a hall to watch a rather entertaining show of Kathakali (he was famous, kids loved it!) and they seem to enjoy our presence too!
It was pretty fascinating how young children can be so happy about the little things in life, for instance, a fellow blogger and I lend our cameras to the kids and they were so overjoyed as they snap each other’s photographs! Ah, the bliss of the simple things. The photos will stay with me forever to serve as memories of that day.
A little input about The Blue Yonder, it is an organization that focuses on cultural preservation and as well responsible tourism, two things that are important to discuss and support! Basically, they show travelers around the areas in Kerala they partnered with and offer one of the unique experience a visitor can get – exploring and learning about the local community’s culture by diving into their tradition and everyday living.
Apart from this visit to the local village school, we also experienced, what we all agreed with, the best part of the whole trip! We dined and ate local cuisines (we ate with our hands!), visited a sacred forest, and visited Sopanam School of Panchavadhyam where the students played a traditional instrumental performance for us and we even had the chance to learn and play ourselves. How cool is that?
11. The road to the beach which I didn’t bother to check out
But they said it was nice but the waves are too strong to swim at! You’ll find the beach beyond that sand dunes and it is actually part of the Lalit Resort so it is private. Obviously, I didn’t go further down because my lazy ass couldn’t be bothered with the heat. Tell me again why I even travel? On my defence, the hotel is too gorgeous that I just need to test out their lovely pool and be a lazy grilling potato (you see, it is the perfect definition of me).
12. Look at the smiles of these lovely ladies, beautiful, aren’t they?
When we visit a small village called Edayilakaddu where we were yet again greeted by a performance by the local women, surrounded by friendly faces, and fascinated children. We had the opportunity to visit their sacred forest and fed monkeys which the locals take care of. It was a fascinating experience, one of a kind.
We had a few minutes to chill while in there and while I’m trying to take photos of these ladies, another blogger was also taking their photo and clearly they are more fond of him as he managed to get the smile and giggles out of them! Well, good for me, I got this beautiful photo capturing their beautiful smiles!
13. Visiting Bekal Fort in Kasaragod before the overnight train
I’m not sure what to say about this photo. We visited the Bekal Fort briefly literally minutes before they close for the day but I kinda dig the lighting on this one, don’t you agree? Nevertheless, the fort is beautiful and you can see the beach and watch the waves touch the shore.
14. The most exciting experience I was looking forward to!
But I did not expect the situation we faced to ever happen – sleep in our sweat.
Nope, not because the train was hot, in fact, it was comfy and chill but rather because we had a full day throttle outdoors visiting various places that we didn’t had the time and opportunity to take a shower before we hopped on this 11 hours overnight train ride to Trivandrum! I’m not complaining, it was awesome! Not to mention, I stink alongside my fellow bloggers (insert laughter) and that only took our relationship to another level.
It was indeed an experience I wouldn’t mind having again, sleeping in overnight trains I mean! That said, always remember to bring baby wipes with you. I at least managed to wipe my, well, sweaty parts. Moving on!
15. The last sunset from our trip to Kerala
Goodbyes are not my thing, I am always positive that I’ll meet everyone in that trip again (I already met one shortly after!) but it is never easy to part ways when you’re starting to get to know each other despite the amount of time spent together.
I think the toughest was to see my roomie Eví go home before me and sleep in an empty room, we got along so well! Apart from this, the last night with the whole gang of Kerala Blog Express Season 4 was the bomb. We had so much fun eating, drinking, and dancing like silly gooses.
Truthfully, Kerala is amazing and it was certainly a trip of a lifetime for me and I’ve done many things I would normally never even dare to do myself. Of course, the places we visited and how every one of us was stunned by Kerala’s beauty and how many things we learned from the trip sums up to one great adventure.
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*Thanks to Kerala Tourism and Kerala Blog Express for making this trip happen!
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