Kerala, ‘God’s Own Country’ as it is fondly called, transforms into an absolute paradise during the monsoons. With lush greenery gracing its backwaters and hills, cloudy sunsets, cool breeze and an array of festivals, Kerala becomes a must-visit monsoon destination in the country. Sporadic showers heighten the romance of the season, making it all the more cheerful and pretty. Though monsoons might not be the best time to hit the beaches in Kerala, here are five reasons why you must not miss visiting this beautiful Indian state in monsoons.
Snake boat races
The months between July and September, typically famous as Kerala monsoon, are water sports season as well, especially with the backwaters around Alappuzha playing host to a series of snake boat races. The most famous of the lot is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, generally held on the second Saturday of August every year. The regatta takes place on the Punnamada Lake, and features ceremonial processions and magnificent floats. Its star attraction is the synchronised rowing of traditional 30 m long snake-boats or chudan valloms, which have a raised prow resembling a snake.
The Onam sadya feast
This ten-day harvest festival celebrates the homecoming of the mythical king Mahabali, but it’s also a good excuse to feast on some of Kerala’s most lip-smacking vegetarian fare. Traditionally served on palm leaves, the nine-course banquet is held on the last or tenth day. It’s best savoured at a local home, but you don’t manage to get an invite then most local restaurantsalso offer these meals. The preceding days are filled with costume parades, boat races and shopping discounts.
Great hotel deals
Sandwiched between Kerala’s sweltering summers and its peak tourist season (November to March), the Kerala monsoon is a great time to snag deals at otherwise expensive hotels and resorts. If you’ve ever fantasised about an indulgent houseboat trawl through the backwaters, then this is the time to get the best bargains. To avail the best discounts, make sure you plan your visit before the end of September, after which tariffs being climbing up again.