Why Kerala Is The Perfect Introduction To Your First Time In India…
Oftentimes when you think of India images may flash through your head of the Taj Mahal, riding a camel through the desert and visiting beautifully decorated forts. There are a lot of awesome places to visit in India which need to be on any backpacker’s itinerary. Though, along with that amazing imagery is often a feeling of anxiety. Questions of will I get robbed, is it safe for a women or what happens if I get scammed overwhelm you and that’s where the idea of visiting stops. Though, what if I were to tell you there was a part of India that was the perfect introduction to the country. A place where people smile to you on the street, English is widely spoken and palm trees cover the landscape. Well, welcome to Kerala, the perfect India for beginners, so you no longer need to worry about where to start traveling in India.
So lets get into it and find out what actually makes Kerala the ultimate introduction to India….
Kerala, The Ideal India For Beginners
English Is Widely Spoken
Now within India itself there are actually twenty two official languages. Different states and regions will have their own dialect which can cause issues when Indians travel domestically. This is because even though these people are from the same country they cannot communicate. As a result of this English is widely spoken throughout India and especially so in Kerala.
Kerala has one of the best literacy rates in all of India and many people are educated to a high level. Though walking down the street you might not be able to understand anything, as locals speak Malayalam. But if you were to ask a question in English there is a very high chance you’ll receive an answer in English. Its never too hard to find someone who speaks English which makes Kerala the perfect place to begin your first time in India.
Known as ‘Gods Own Country’ Kerala is a place where one day you can find yourself swimming in the ocean surrounded by coconut trees and the next day be trekking in hill stations. No town here is like another. There are so many Southern Indian gems to explore and places to visit in Kerala, it is easy to spend a month traveling just within this one area.
One of the most famous landscapes of Kerala is the backwaters. Otherwise known as Venice of the East, the Kerala Backwaters are an intricate maze of lakes and canals connecting the majority of the state. This unique network, where ocean and fresh water meet, runs over 900km’s and is one of the main attractions when traveling in Kerala. You cannot miss relaxing on your own houseboat watching the world pass by.
Two other unique features of Kerala’s landscapes are complete contrast to each other, the hill stations and the low lying beach towns. Wayanad and Munnar are just two of the many hill stations located at higher altitudes in the mountains. Here is an adventure lovers paradise with activities galore and many amazing tea plantations. Towards the coasts you will find plenty beautiful beaches and coconut trees galore. This is the perfect place to catch some sun and relax in a hammock. Whether you are backpacking, here on a family vacation, or perhaps having a romantic getaway Kerala has the perfect place for you.
Compared with a lot of other states in India, Kerala is a relatively clean place. Though, in saying that I don’t mean the streets are spotless, because unless you’re in Singapore that’s basically impossible. For me I found it to be similar levels of pollution to a lot of South East Asia with small piles of rubbish here and there, but nothing overwhelming.
I understand this my not pay much importance to you, especially if you plan on traveling up further North in India. But it will assist you in dealing with the initial culture shock of arriving in a new destination. Ultimately making Kerala the ideal spot to begin traveling in India.
Kerala is a beautiful part of India, though the local people, otherwise known as Keralites, are equally as beautiful. You will constantly be receiving smiles and they will be more than happy to interact with you whether that means taking a photo or answering a question. Whether you are at a festival, in the street, or perhaps even at a wedding you will be met with smiles and kindness. You can check out this guide to Indian weddings for do’s and don’ts, as well as what to expect.
They are extremely proud of their amazing state and are happy you are being able to experience it. I would often receive questions of where I have been so far, what I have done and what the rest of my plans are. The recommendations from the locals are endless as they will be wanting you to see the best on offer. You will be invited to their homes for a meal or tea. Honestly, the Keralites are some of the most hospitable people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
So, if your traveling to India and wish to really experience a culture and get to know the people, I cannot recommend Kerala enough.
Stay Safe In India
I will preface this by saying no where in the world is always going to be safe. Basically just use your commonsense and do your research. Though, comparatively with a lot of India, Kerala is widely considered a safe state to travel. Now, I am not sure whether that is because there is less tourism than up North, but I like to think it is due to the kindness of the people.
Scams are also less common in Kerala, though please keep alert as no where in the world is perfect. You will still also need to haggle in the markets to get a good price. Even though the people are friendly they still have bills to pay.
This list obviously just touches on a few points about why Kerala should be your first stop when traveling in India. The state us also well equipped with a variety of accommodation options, no matter your budget. Also they have various transportation options, allowing you to get between point A and point B easily.
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[spacer height=”20px”]Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.
Backpackers Wanderlust was able to visit the Kerala while partaking in Kerala Blog Express season 5, however, as always, all opinions are my own.