A. Say good morning with the world's best breakfast
Kerala's spread of morning dishes - Vellayappam, Uppuma, Iddli, Puttu, Masala Dosa, Appams etc. have been rated the most delectable breakfast in the world by Travel & Leisure magazine.
B. Get an Ayurvedic massage
Gift yourself a new life with Kerala Ayurveda. Surrender to the magical fingers of specially trained masseurs. To medicated baths that will refresh you. Herbal diets that will replenish you. Yoga that will revitalize you. And meditation that will recharge you.
C. Cheer a snake boat race
Watch the backwaters of Kerala come alive. Feel the excitement bubble in you as teams of 100 oarsmen row their snake boats, their bodies swaying in unison to the fast rhythm of full throated singing, in one of the most exhilarating water sports.
D. Say cheers with toddy
Ask your tour guide to arrange for fresh madbura kallu (sweet toddy extracted from the coconut palm) and have it the Kerala way with exotic karimeen pollicbathu (baked fresh water fish) or spicy pickles.
E. Holiday on an exotic houseboat
Embark on an enchanting journey across sun-dappled backwaters on a kettuvallum (traditional houseboats). While your eyes explore the rustic life that floats by, treat your palate to backwater delicacies prepared by your personal chef.
F. See Chinese fishing nets
Watch fishermen tug at these huge nets with their rich haul. These nets that billow from massive bamboo poles were brought here by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongolian King. Their silhouettes against the evening sky make for terrific pictures too.
G. Take your pick from the Fisherman's net
Along the Malabar Coast and at Vasco da Gama Square in Fort Kochi, you can select your favourite from an inviting display of juicy sear fish, sardines, prawns, red snappers etc. Ask the friendly fisherman to fry it for you the local way. Try Kerala's hot red fish curry with steamed tapioca or boiled rice.
H. Savour a Sadhya
Seat yourself on the floor, roll your sleeves up and get started on this multi-course feast of rice, 12-15 vegetarian dishes, spicy pickles, crunchy banana chips, crispy pappadams, plantains and payasam- the dessert. Served on a plantain leaf, the meal is eaten with the fingers.
I. Spice up your life
Kerala is the Spice Coast of India. Take home a chest full of exotic spices and win compliments for your aromatic cooking. These are also available in special gift pouches.
J. Have a grand ride
At the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, you and your friends can majestically into the scenic jungle on an elephant. A mahout will guide you on your enchanting journey. Or watch a grand spectacle of 30-60 caparisoned elephants in a majestic procession, while trumpets and drum beats work up to a frenzy. The best of these spectacles is seen at the Thrissur Pooram festival.
K. Hit the Jungle trail
Join the Thekkady tiger trail- a real adventure trek into the dense forest with expert guides. Cook in the jungle. Sleep in tents. Wake up to the sounds of the wilderness. Try and spot a tiger. Spot egrets, herons, Siberian stork, darters, teals and hundreds of other migratory birds in Kerala's enchanting bird sanctuaries. Hear them sing. Take their Family photograph. Applaud their aerobatic skills.
L. Listen to temple music
Panchavadyam is an orchestra of 5 native instruments - suddha-maddalam, kombu, edakka, elathalam and timila. This traditional temple music accompanying elephant pageants builds up the festive spirit. And never fails to leave its listeners entranced. Audio cassettes of panchavadyam are available.
M. Shop till you drop
For starters try the small stalls with fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken… High pitched salesmen luring you with impossible bargains. Visit these bustling markets or chandas for fresh buys. Kerala's handicraft centers have an extraordinary collection of wood, coir shell and sandlwood souvenirs, trinkets and jewellery. Woodcarved Kathakali masks, snake boats, elephants, jewellery boxes etc. are perfect showpieces for your drawing rooms and ideal gifts for friends.
N. Hail the bananas republic
In Kerala, red, green and yellow are synonymous with various types of plantains'. These digestives come in different shapes too - tall, short, stout, sleek... And while you taste banana chips, raw banana dishes, banana milk shake, banana ice cream, dried bananas, fried bananas… you'll wonder if there's any other fruit more versatile.
O. Stay in a tree house
Spend romantic nights in the tree houses of Palakkad washed in the sweet scent of the forest flowers, and let the sounds of the forest fill up your dreams.
P. Bathe in Kerala
Don't miss your chance to take a dip in the waters of the Nelliyampathy forests in Palakkad or the mineral springs at Varkala. These waters are known for their medicinal properties. Or bathe in waterfalls. Crystal clear waters cascade down the mountains of Kerala, gurgling, whispering, laughing and cleansing everything in their way.
Q. Learn exotic art forms
Watch Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Theyyam or Thiruvathira and pursue one that interests you most. Learn how a story unveils through the eyes, fingers, feet and myriad expressions of the artist.
R. Walk the lanes of Fort Kochi
Put on your hat and sunglasses, wear comfortable sandals and embark on a walking tour of Fort Kochi where bastions, churches and mansions built by the British, Dutch and the Portuguese, 500 years ago will greet you. Interestingly, Vasco da Gama, one of the world's greatest explorers, was buried here.
S. Watch the making of an Arabian dhow
Witness this 1500 year old tradition at Beypore. It takes an expert team of 15-30 strongmen at least two years to shape a vessel in wood. Locally called uru, this Arabian trading vessel is fast fading from the shipping scene.
T. Learn Malayalam
Malayalam, Kerala's sweet toned language, has 56 letters in its alphabet. Try learning the basics and roll the words off your tongue.
U. Holiday on an island
Spend a weekend on Kerala's islands or lagoons, and experience special moments . Spectacular sunset, balmy backwaters succulent seafood at Bolghatty, Pathiramanal, Poovar….These paradises can be reached only by a ferry or boat.
V. Learn yoga
Relax your mind with yoga at the special ashrams in Trivandrum and Nileswaram - the cultural centre of Kasaragod. Sessions are conducted by spiritual gurus and experts in the field.
W. Spot a dolphin
If you 're lucky, you'll get to see the dolphins do their grand act at the Cherai Beach. Applaud them as they spring out of the waters magnificent splash only to take a marvelous dive back into it.
X. Try out new ways to fish
Dangle a rod and line into the flowing waters. Sweep a towel through it. Feel for fish with your feet in the mud below. Or simply try trapping small fish with your hands. Anyway, you'll never return disappointed.
Y. Wash your sins away
According to a myth, sage Narada was approached by mendicants who confessed to having sinned. The place he created for them to pray for redemption is known as the Papanasham beach (papanasham meaning redemption from sins). Take a dip and come out feeling clean in your heart too.
Z. Cruise the Kerala backwaters
Kerala, embroidered with a labyrinth of waterways, was extolled by travellers as the green Venice. Cruising down the backwaters of Kerala on kettuvallum (houseboat) is an exotic experience. One gets to see the real Kerala in all its unspoiled splendor