My Food Odyssey

5 Reasons To Visit Kerala, India

Tea Plantation, Munnar

India has been on my bucket list for many years, primarily as a food destination. I watched Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay travel around India in search of authentic Indian dishes. I was enchanted by the diversity of both the food and the landscape. I felt I would never get true Indian food anywhere except in India, no matter how many cookbooks I bought or restaurants I visited. I would have to go there myself.

It wasn’t until recently, though, when I heard about the Kerala Blogger Express (a two-week tour of Kerala especially for food, travel & photography bloggers), that I really began to think about where in India I would like to travel. India is huge country – about one third the size of the US and over 46 times the size of my native Ireland! This is not a country you can take on in one trip. You need to break it down into regions.

The more I look into what Kerala has to offer, the more eager I am to go there. Here are a few reasons I would love to partake in the Kerala Blogger Express:

1. Food

Well, of course. I’m a food girl, so naturally I’m drawn to Kerala’s food offerings. I was fascinated to discover that Kerala was the gateway to the original spice route and has been trading in spices since at least 3,000 BC. These days we take our spices for granted. Pepper is on tables in homes and restaurants the world over. As someone who grows much of my own food, I am excited to see how these spices are grown and prepared, and the amount of manual labour that goes into their preparation. Tea and rice are also grown across the region, creating an incredibly varied landscape. I want to wet my feet in Paddy fields, walk through tea plantations and visit markets brimming with fresh produce.

Oh, look at that crab. So delicious!

Tea Plantation, Munnar


Tea Plantation, Munnar

Collecting Tea

Planting Rice

Transplanting Rice

Rice Paddy Field

Sorting Pepper. Look at the amount of it!

Coconut Trees. Coconut features prominently in Kerala cuisine.

Food Market in Chalai

2. West Coast Sunsets

I am a sucker for a good sunset, but give me a sunset over water, especially if I’m on a boat, and I’m in heaven. The colours, the sound of lapping water, the serenity. Sign me up, please!

Sunset at Bolgatty Island, Kochi

Sunset Boat Ride, Kochi

Sunset at Wagamon

3. Wildlife Reserves

Four our honeymoon, we went on safari in South Africa, where we got to see fabulous wildlife. I am very happy to find that Kerala has a number of animal reserves and sanctuaries to preserve and protect wildlife diversity. I have nothing against zoos (assuming they are well managed), but my preference is to see animals in their native, natural habitat.

Monkeys at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Elephants at Tholpetty Sanctuary

Deer at Siruvani Reservoir, Palakkad

Deer at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

4. Cattle Racing

What can I tell you, I’m a country girl at heart and this sport looks like fabulous fun!

Cattle Racing at Palakkad

Cattle Racing at Palakkad

5. Natural Ayurveda Medicine

I’m a qualified massage therapist and have practiced aromatherapy for many years. I fully believe in the power of touch as a healer of both body and mind, and will always try natural therapies before resorting to pharmaceuticals. India is the home of ayurveda and I would relish the opportunity to indulge in some revitalising therapies.

Ayurveda Medicines

I feel more relaxed just looking at this!

Selection of Herbs & Spices for Ayurveda Medicines

Video Version

I have created a short video version of this post, which you can find here:

All photos courtesy of Kerala Tourism, used with permission. For more photos from beautiful Kerala, please see my Kerala Pinterest Page.

Text copyright of June Molloy Vladička and My Food Odyssey, 2017. All rights reserved. Text may not be replicated on other sites within prior permission from the author.

Update: Note that the voting for this year’s Kerala Blog Express has now closed.

Like what you see? Then please subscribe to My Food Odyssey. For updates on my daily life you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.