Kerala – The 5 Senses Trip

Life was going normal until one fine day when I landed in Kerala. This was one place where all my travel plans went haywire, for there was so much to do here. My life hasn’t been the same since then; I’m so ardently in love. With Kerala of course. When it came to writing this story, I couldn’t find a way to put it all together. Wondering, I remembered the concept of ixigo’s very own Five Senses Trip, and my task became quite easy.


Going on the similar lines (like the Rajasthan story), I weaved this one for you.


This One Time, You Would Wish For A Nose Like Ganesha!

Photo Courtesy – autopilot

All right, now if you have stopped wondering/laughing, let me explain. By “a nose like Ganesha”, I just meant a bigger, more responsive one that could smell some 100 times more than a human nose. The term “sense of smell” will get redefined once you reach Mattancherry Spice Market, a “spicy” stretch in the western part of Kochi. A sharp, tangy and very alluring smell will lure you to these markets. There’s one at Alleppey and Kottayam too. Garam Masala anyone? Or maybe, The Mistress of Spices.


They’ll Put You To Sleep With A Touch!

Photo Courtesy – Thomas Claire

Err.. I was referring to Ayurveda and spas, for it’ll get back all the sleep that you might have been losing to that sprained neck, back pain, frozen shoulder or, well the not-so-glowing skin. Ayurveda is Kerala’s gift to the world, with the best spas and centres at Palakkad (Kairali Resort), Kovalam (Somatheeram), Trivandrum (Beach and Lake Resort) and Kovalam (Ideal Ayurvedic Resort) and, of course, at Kumarakom (the Zuri).


Ahh… It’s a Wet Canvas.

Photo Courtesy – mehul.antani

I could never understand the term “Contemporary Painting” until I saw Kerala. This state is so beautiful that the landscape seemed like a slightly shimmering, wet canvas. One touch and it would’ve smudged. Your check list must include all the lighthouses, boulevard beaches, a night on a houseboat, and driving a Jeep across tea estates. I, perhaps, didn’t sleep for 3-4 nights, just to keep looking at the beauty of this place. So much so that it stabs at you with the beauty of it; just like sunlight across pines after rain. Ahh…


Every House Is A Music Academy Here. Hear.

Photo Courtesy – shankertucker site

I was so enamoured by the charm of dear Mr Shanker Tucker that I read his bio. And that’s when I realized what I always knew. It was Carnatic Music that got him to India. Then there’s the legendary Usha Uthup too. Well done Kerala! This is a state where “guru ji” is a term that’s very much in use. I saw kids as young as 3 sitting obediently, seemingly meditating, as they were taught the nuances of Kerala’s very own Carnatic Music, flutes, violins and more. What heaven. Just for a tip, chuck your IPod for this one. There’s music on the streets. Music fests in residential colonies are quite common, and you can walk into one with some genuine talk. And yes, there’s the Malyalam Pop Music too.


It’s Not Just Idli Sambar.

Photo Courtesy – Yashima

And banana chips. Don’t go with what the restaurants in the rest of India offer on their “Special South India Menu”. There’s appam, thalaserry biryani, puttu, aviyal, fish curry, and payasam, the dessert that I simply fell in love with. Just for some more information (it’s nostalgia), payasam is made of fresh milk, coconut, cashews, dry grapes and sugar. Kerala is one place where I actually ‘sensed’ food. To call it a day, try some todi too. In case you get a high, don’t tell anyone that I advised you to do so.


While I’m off to find more such “5 Senses” destinations for you, do write in to let me know of your ideas. Perhaps, your suggestion will make for ixigo’s next story.


Till then, happy travelling.


About the author


Shikha Gautam loves to play with steering wheels, roads, words, flute and guitar among other things. Not necessarily in that order! You can contact her on twitter @ShikhaGautam