Being a history enthusiast, I always wanted to visit Kerala, God’s Own Country, and check out the rich cultural heritage. A perfect combination of Aryan and Dravidian architecture, Kerala’s ancient culture and art have evolved over the years. Be it native dance form or performing arts, classical music, literature or martial arts, this Indian state undoubtedly holds the most vibrant cultural heritage.
Since Kerala has always been my dream destination, I planned a quick weekend getaway with my friends to explore its diverse art and culture. As the COVID protocols are not over yet, we skipped the public transport facility and decided to rent a car in Kochi with a local driver for our trip. Also, to give you a better overview, here are some top cultural activities and art forms we saw during our trip.
Theyyam Ritual Worship in Munnar
Our trip began with witnessing the renowned Theyyam Ritual. Most prevalent in the northern districts of Kerala, Theyyam is a spirited dance routine that conveys the folklore and mythical tales of this Indian state. Men usually perform this mesmerising art form that involves music, dance and mime.
Speaking to a few locals here, we came to know that this art form has a vibrant cultural history of more than a thousand years. And, do you know the best part? With their style of music and choreography, the performers honour local heroes and ancestors by wearing heavy costumes and colouring their faces.
Kalaripayattu Match in Trivandrum
You cannot miss Kalaripayattu when in Kerala. So it was apparent that we headed straight to see this exciting age-old martial arts form. Originated in Kerala, it is one of the ancient Indian martial art forms. As many people in Kerala still practice Kalaripayattu, numerous centres teach this to young boys and girls to keep the vibrant culture alive.
Traditional Delicacies on Alleppey Houseboat
Alleppey is well-known for its stunning canals, breathtaking backwaters, and classic timber houseboats. In ancient times, people used these boats to transport goods (including spices) between Kerala’s cities and towns via canals.
Presently, these houseboats serve as a beautiful tourist spot where we floated through the serene backwaters and enjoyed the local delicacies. While we ate many cuisines ranging from shrimp, squid, crab and lobsters, I cannot forget the taste of fresh fish that the houseboat staff caught and cooked immediately for us.
Ancient Folklore Museum in Kochi
Our journey ended with a visit to the famous Folklore museum in our home city Kochi. This ancient museum in Kochi provides valuable insights to researchers, art lovers, and tourists from across the globe.
Exhibiting magnificent architecture, this place holds a massive collection of wood and bronze sculptures, jewellery, ancient terracotta, oil lamps, tribal and folk art and utensils. At this museum, we further witnessed stunning paintings from the stone age, musical instruments and more than 4000 different artifacts collections that intend to preserve the cultural heritage of Kerala.
With its cultural and heritage sites and ancient art forms, Kerala is truly the most spectacular place to visit in India. In fact, we were amazed by its vibrant history and majestic Dravidian style architecture. I would recommend everyone to visit this culturally rich state once in their life to get a glimpse of our glorious past. A pro tip from my side would be to hire a private taxi via a top-rated cab booking app for a comfortable journey.