apital: Thiruvananthapuram
Language: Malayalam

Kerala, located at the southern part of the Indian peninsula. Since it is situated on the lush and tropical Malabar Coast, hence it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Kerala is even named as one of the Top ten paradises of the world and Top 50 places of a lifetime by the National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Abundant greenery, tropical forests, a fertile coastal plain, fishing and a relatively stable political situation all together made this a perfect tourist destination in not only india but in the whole world. An equable climate, long shoreline with serene beaches, sprawling plantations and paddy fields, tranquil stretches of enchanting backwaters, waterfalls, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments  all of which offer you a unique experience during your Kerala Tour. People here live largely the same way, they have lived traditionally and much of its rich culture and heritage is well-preserved. Kerala also counts as the most educated and healthiest state in India.

Major Tourist destinations

  • Wayanad: Wayanad district of Kerala comprises mainly of three towns Kalpetta which is Headquarters of the District of Wayanad, Sultan Battery and Mananthavady. Wayanad is a Hill station district in the northern part of Kerala, with mist claded peaks. It is famous for its scenic beauty, wildlife and traditions.
  • Kozhikode: Formerly known as Calicut is famous for its harbor, where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498. Now it is mainly famous for its spices like black pepper and cardamom.
  • Palakkad: Palakkad is the chief granary of Kerala, often called the Gateway of Kerala. It lies at the foot of the gigantic Western ghats on the border of Kerala with mountains, forests, fertile valleys, rivers and mountains streams and rich flora and fauna.
  • Kollam: Kollam formerly known as Quilon, district headquarter of Kollam, is the southern gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. Kollam stands along Ashtamudi Lake and Paravur Kayal, also Kallada and Ithikkara are the two rivers that flow through this district making it a major Backwater Destination in Kerala.
  • Kovalam: A world renowned beach destination of Kerela, with three adjacent crescent beaches. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes, Catamaran  cruising etc.
  • Alleppey: Also known as Alappuzha is famous for its backwater boat trips.
  • Thiruvanantpuram: The capital of Kerala is blessed with long shoreline, world renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage, make it a much sought after tourist destination.
  • Munnar: World famous Hill Station situated at the confluence of three mountain streams Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala, located at 1600 m above sea level.

If you want to visit this beautiful destination I have some more information on Kerala Tour and Kerala Tour Packages. You can also find the same on http://www.discoverkeralatours.net

Onam is the most important festival of Kerala, one of the southern states of India. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by all communities, all over Kerala. This vibrant and colorful festival is also a state festival. Onam celebrations are on for 10 days, beginning with the Atham asterism of the Malayalam month Chingam (August/September), which is the first day of Onam.

Onam festival is celebrated as a tribute to the benevolent ruler King Mahabali, who visits Kerala to see the welfare of his people. The festival shows the blissful rule of the King and the freedom, which the people enjoyed under his rule. It is believed that it was on this particular day in the Malayalam month of Chingam when Lord Vishnu took his fifth avatar as Vamana and sent the King Mahabali to nether world, granting him permission to visit his people on Onam day. So the people of Kerala join together to welcome their benevolent ruler during this time which is celebrated with great joy and excitement.

The merry making of the festival starts with artistically laid out Pookalam (flower mat) in front of every home, on Atham day, the first day of Onam. This is to welcome the advent of the vanquished king. Earthen mounds representing Mahabali and Vishnu are placed in the dung-plastered courtyards.

The tenth day is the main Onam, called Thiruvonam. The other merry making activities during Onam to welcome their mighty king, who is affectionately called Onathappan, are the heavily decked elephant procession in Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala and the amusing boat races on River Pampa. Thousands throng the banks to cheer and watch the breathtaking show of muscle power, rowing skills and rapid rhythm of the boat race.

Women folk, usually eight to ten in number, perform “Kaikottikkali” dance around a Pookalam, where a Nilavilakku, (a traditional brass lamp of Kerala,) is placed in the centre. They dress up in heavy jewelry and new Kerala special saris with golden border. Fragrant jasmine flowers on the hair enhance their beauty while performing this clapping dance. Both young and old women submerge themselves in the spirit of the occasion and dance with perfect ease. This elegant dance is a feast to the eyes. The other dances during this occasion are Kathakali, Kummattikali, Pulikali and Kaduvakali.

The most delicious part of the festival is Onasadhya, which is an elaborate and grand meal. This sumptuous meal consists of rice and 11 to 13 tasty vegetarian items, including sweet Payasam, served in a plantain leaf. This meal is first served to Lord Ganapathi, and then to the rest of the family.

Cultural programs are held in the evenings which attract large number of people.

During the time of Onam celebrations, the beautiful Kerala can be seen at her best. This year the main day of Onam festival falls on September 12, 2008.

Lakshmi Menon writes articles on various topics, including South India tourism. Please visit http://www.enchanting-south-india-vacations.com to know more about South Indian culture, destinations, attractions and more.

Thrissur, the cultural center of Kerala cradles this named center. The center is at the banks of Bharathapuzha (Nila) Cheruthuruthy.

This primary center for performing arts in Kerala follows Keralite traditions of classical dance forms, where ancient gurukula system is disciplined. It offers training for Kathakali, Koddiyattom, Mohiniyattom and Thullal. Regular, Long Term, Short Term and Intensive courses are available that makes an amateur into a professional.

The uneding passion of Vallathol Narayana Menon, (a poet and scholar) towards Kathakali and other performing arts, paved way to the establishment of Kerala Kalamandalam in 1930. Pattikkamthody Ravunni Menon, Guru Kunchukurup, Kalmandalm Krishnan Nair, Kalamandalam Neelakantan Nambeesan, Kalamandalam Krishnan Kutty Pothuwal, Painkulam Rama Chakyar, Thottasseri Chinnammu Ammu are the celebrated personalities who did their contributions to Kalamndalam.

The troupes of kalamandalam travel to different countries creating cultural wave throughout the world. They have participated in different International Dance Festivals. Kalamandalam also hosts a number of students and researchers from abroad.

At the primary stage, the staffs found it difficult to meet the expenditure for its maintenance; later it was converted to a grant-in-aid institution fully financed by the government. Presently a hierarchy of executive council and general council administers Kalamandalam (nominated by the State Government). The secretary supervises the day to day matters.

Campus

Presently functioning at Vallathol Nagar offers many facilities for the disciples.

• Kalaris – the training rooms

• Koothambalam- The Temple Theatre

• High School

• College Library

• Recording Studio

• Staff Quarters

• Hostels

• Employees Co-operative Society

• Administrative Block

• Art Gallery

Koothambalam (Temple Theatre)- The temple meant for the performance of Koothu and Koodiyattom is considered sacred. The center designed in the ancient architectural style,
is the place where the communication between the audience and the artists take place.

The institution offers various certificate and diploma courses. High School education with any selected performing arts, plus two and degree courses (B Art) approved the State Government are the added advantages. Institution provides crash courses in Koodiyattom, Mohiniyattom, Kathakali, vocal Music and other percussional instruments. The course continues upto three months to two years depending on the subjects.

Under International Cultural Exchange Programs, Indian Council for Cultural Relations Government of India selects the students.
Vallathol Museum

The Museum at the residence of Vallathol displays the life of Vallathol through writings and images.

The Art Discipline

• Kathakali- famous dance drama play based on themes in Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavatha.

• Koodiyattom- this two thousand year old classical Sankrit theatre performance is a privilege to Chakyars and Nambyars. The main character acts the flash back events is the custom of the play.

• Nangiar Koothu- is a play in which the woman character enacts the Sree Krishna charitam (the story of Krishna) in 41 days.

• Mohiniyattom- the traditional dance form of Kerala flourished in the 17th century A.D. The dancer wears a golden jerry bordered cream color saree, waist garment, gold colored ornaments, jasmine flowers on the head and simple make up on the face.

• Thullal- is a single actor performance that attracts even an illiterate through its simple rhythmic music.

• Panchavadyam- combination of five orchestras- Thimila, Maddalam, Edakka, Kompu and Cymbal. Mostly performed during temple festivals.

Well experienced and talented faculties are available for the same. Kalamandalam RamanKutty Nair, Padmanabhan Nair, Gopi are the pride of the institution who maintain the international standard of the institution.

Admission:

A test in Malayalam or Sanskrit is to be performed prior to the admission and on completing the course on the basis of competence of the student.

The individual can join in any one of the subjects. Classes will be taken for Functional Malayalam and Sanskrit, if requested.

Courses commence from June 1st to March 31st and vacation classes are available from April 1st to May 31st. No deadline is fixed for the receipt of applications. The institutions also offer crash courses.

Medium of Communication- English, Malayalam and verbal communications are encouraged. Communication of the teacher with the foreign students is mainly through ‘mudras’(hand gestures). English is mainly used when long discussions are needed.

Course structure: Basics and special coaching (2hrs) will be given at the beginning of all courses. Only after the completion of the basics of the course, one can go through the intermediate and advanced lessons. The training of the foreign students will be with the native students after they have gained enough experience that particular course.

Financial asssistance

Sponsorships are available for the foreign students intending to study in Kerala kalamandalam. Indian council of cultural relations, Government of India, New Delhi Indo Sasthri Canadian Institute, the NCERT, and the American Institute if Indian Studies are some of the Indian institutes there is possibility of sponsorship.

Universities and departments of culture and education all over the world assist the same.

Application

The duly filled up application is to be send to the following address along with a crossed DD of US$- 10 or Rs.500 or a certified check. On the receipt of the application form along with this processing fee, the details of the courses will be informed. Students intended to join in the crash course should submit their application in a plain paper along with their bio-data.

Address:

KERALAKALAMANDALAM

Cheruthuruthy – 679 531

via Trissur, India

Phone number: 91 – 4884 – 262418, 262562

Fees: fees are payable in advance and in different installments.

Accommodation:

Paying Guest- per head per month: 150$ – 200$

Foreign Students hostels:

• With cooking facilities – 70$

• Without cooking facilities- 50$

Documents to be submitted

1. Photocopy of the passport and the student visa

2. One passport size photo

3. Original No-AIDS certificate attested by the recognized authority of the particular country

4. A short description on the performing art training or exposure you have made (optional)

5. Recommendation letter from the teacher (optional)

To reach there:

Air: Cochin International Airport

Rail: Thrissur Railway Station

Road: Thrissur K.S.R.T.C bus station

Dev Sri provides Kerala tour and travel information through The Kerala Tourism website. Check out the website to find cool places, genuine Ayurvedic centers and Kerala travel packages.

Website built, hosted and promoted by Aienet Communications.
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nam is a Festival Celebrating in Kerala a state in India. In India the states are mainly divided according to Languages and culture. KERALA belong to a southern state where the Language is Malayalam. Kerala there is 13 districts and 3 main religions (Hindus, Christians, Muslims). The kerala districts has lot of variations in their culture as for northern side theyam and related festivals are important and sorthern part Pooram temple festival is more celebrated.Since in India the states are divided according to Languages in the Kerala the main Language is Malayalam. So the keralites are normally known as Malayalees and as in modern eworld as Mallu. In India we can see lots of states names are evolved from their language like Tamilnadu (the place of Tamil) from the language Tamil, Karnataka (Kannada Language), Gujarath (Gujarathi Language) etc etc. But the Kerala name has been evolved from keram the Malayalam word for coconut. As the name suggests the dominant agricultural activity is growing coconut tree. Now there are lot of other agricultural activity also like Rubber tree, vanilla, tea, coffee etc. But wherever you go you will be able to see Coconut tress (thengu in Malayalam). Kerala is Very beautiful place and it has got a good position on Indian tourism Map. Kerala Backwaters and houseboats are very attraction for the visitors.

Onam the Religious story:

Onam History Manly related to Hindu Religion, But now the Festival has become State Festival and all religions celebrate it. Malayalees believe that once upon a time the king Mahabali was ruled Kerala. Mahabali was the grand son of Prahaladha who was one of the greatest devotee of lord Vishnu. His Fathe hiranyakshipe was against God and He claimed he is ultimated god and every body should worship him. Prahaladha the only son of the king Hiranyashibu defied his father and told him that lord Vishnu stays in even in pillars and rust. An angry hiranyakashibu cut the pillar saying let me see your Vishnu inside the pillar. And Vishnu emerged from pillar as in the form of Narashimham (half Man-half lion form). Vishun is taken Narashimham form as Hiranyakashibu got a blessing early from Lord Shiva that no man or no animal will be able to kill him.

Mahabali was grown on the laps of his grandfather prahaladha and became very religious and devotee to Lord Vishnu. Subsequently he has become the ruler of their kingdom which keralites believe is Kerala. When Mahabali ruled over Kerala it was said as the Golden time in Kerala history. No body ever starved and there was no beggar in the streets. There was no fake measurements or no body used to lye. As the Mahabali name Spread his power as king as well as his spiritual power as good person started growing up. By this Lord Indra who is the king of Heaven got afraid and He thought His Position as King of heaven will Loose to mahabali who looks more eligible for that position. So he consulted the sage naradha and prayed to Lord Vishnu to save his position.

Vishnu takes Vamana avatar

As Vishnu was very pleased with his devotee Mahabali, and he knows that Mahabalies earthy days are over, he accepted Indras request. He promised Indra that he will do the needful. As Lord Vishnu want to bless Mahabali as well as end his earthy days as it is almost completed. He also knows that Mahabali got selfpride of himself since he believe his the best king in the world and he is always having blessings of Lord Vishnu. If he dies in this state his self-pride will stop him to attain the eternal position after his death. So he is taken the form of small brahmin boy (called vamana avatar) and visits Mahabali. Mahabali as usual too proud of himself asks the boy what you want. The boy replied him Oh King I just needed 3 feet of land to sit and pray. Mahabali offered him more land but boy stayed with his request of 3 feet land. And Mahabali granted him and asked him to measure the three feet of land himself.

Once Mahabali agreed for his request Vamana(Lord Vishnu) grown himself to the Universal form. And with One foot he measured all earth, and with second foot he measured Heaven, and sky. Then he tolled to the Mahabali there is no land left to keep his third foot. Mahabali who recognized that vamana is none other than Lord Vishnu and he was so much ashamed of himself about his self-pride as he can not full fill one boys request for3 feet of land. He understood that lord Vishnu has emerged himself to kill his self-pride and to purify him. So he humbly asked the Lord to keep his 3rd foot on his head. Pleased with his obedience Lord Vishnu granted him the rule of Pathalam (The world under earth) and Promised him the King of heaven after the Indras Period. He also granted him a day in a year where he can return to Kerala to visit his people which is onam. And he pressed Mahabali to pathalam (world under earth). Even thought Kerala has become poor afterwards the Malayalees will some how celebrate Onam with flowers, and with lot of food on Onam so that their beloved king will think that Kerala is still prosperous like the days he ruled the country. Now a days Onam is celebrated along with leopard dance all over kerala where people will dress up like leopard and dance in front of a leopard hunder who dressed up as leopard hunder with gun and Boat races all over kerala.

Morality:

Lot of question we ask is why Lord Vishnu send Mahabali to Pathalam (The world below earth) even though he is good.

  1. Every person has a limited number of earthy days and Mahabali finished it. So instead of Dying He got a chance to rule another world.
  2. He has got chance to keep his head under Lord Vishnu’s holy feet and thus he purified to utmost level a man can be achieved. His all sins which might have acted as obstacle in his way to eternity has been cleared. We must read this along with how the cross has been used to kill thousand of people is purified just because they crucified the Jesus (Son of God) on cross.
  3. Because of this incident He has got the position King of heaven (after Indras Period) which indra was trying to deny him.
  4. He may be the only person in any history where god has begged something from (3 feet of Land). We all beg and pray to god for blessing and Prosperity. He is still remembered by his People even after thousand of years where as other kings has Been Forgotten

Onam Celebrations:

Malayalees Celebrate Onam by putting pookalam (Arts by flowers) in front of Their house. It will start 10 days before the Onam and Onam falls on 10th day of Pookalam. On onam (called as thiruonam ) day Pookkalam will be the biggest one. Onam days Normally will Traditional vegetarian Dishes with Rice, sambar, avial, upperi, Pappadam and Payasam. Lot of special dishes like Varuthepperi, Pickle etc will be there. Non Kerala Malayalees celebrate on Onam in their house. Malayalee association in non Kerala celebrate Onam on nearest Sunday, Saturday or holidays of the country they live. In Kerala Onam is Celebrated By Boat race and other activity

Onam Greeting Cards Onam greeting cards will be send days before the Onam to make sure that no postal delays are affected the delivery. Now Lots of online greeting cards sites are there to where we can send Beautiful Onam greetings. Below are some sites.

http://www.365greetings.com – The got a variety of Onam cards which can be found at Onam cards Sections. This site is Without any popup ads

http://www.123greetings.com – 123greetings got Lot of Onam greetings

Author is having 7 years of experience in Web design and hosting.

Malayalam is a language spoken by nearly ninety percent of people who reside in the state of Kerala in India. Closely tied to the Dravidian family of languages, this thousand year old mother tongue of nearly thirty million Malayalis, has received tremendous influences from abroad leaving its mark on Malayalam literature as well. With borrowed elements from Sanskrit, Arabic and English, Malayalam literature can truly be seen as universal in nature.

With historical evidence and accuracy lacking to back up different compositions, legends and folklore have taken precedence over chronological facts. Malayalam literary works are often closely tied to the earth and its surroundings. Occupations like agriculture and farming gave birth to literary wonders which were simple in style and focused on the trials and hardships of everyday lives of farm labourers while others literary works focused on religious rituals. With the invasion of the Aryan race, these folk rituals were modified in imagery and themes making them appear quite different from their original appearance.

Folk songs were often composed and sung based on a person’s vocation, such as the ‘Pulayas’ who earned their livelihood by working on the soil throughout the year. Like other religions that have religious and social folklore, Malayalam literature also consists of many songs associated for all events of a person’s life. The famous Vatakkan Pattukal (ballads of the north) and Thekkan Pattukal (ballads of the south) deal with stories and themes varying from non-religious folklore to expressions of grief. Folk poetry compared to the poetry of the elite shows greater energy and dynamism. The rhythm is the main feature of Kerala’s musical culture. Some folk songs which have left a lasting impact on the minds of the Malayalee include the Mappila Pattukal (Moplah songs) and the Idanadan Patt.

Ramacharitam is a poetic expression of the Ramayana written in the 12th century and is considered to be the oldest literary work in Malayalam. Since Sanskrit left a lasting impact on Malayalam literature, it resulted in a unique literary language known as Manipravalm. Compositions from a 14th century book brought about two literary styles, ‘Sandesha Kavyas’ and ‘Champus’. Ezhuthachan is the strongest and most vibrant personality to emerge from the 16th century with historical works such as Adhyatma Ramayanam’, ‘Bharatham’ and ‘Bhagavatham’ to his credit. The ‘Attakatha’ is popularly known as the ‘Kathakali’. Another mass appealing Malayalam art form is ‘Thullal’ whose creator is Kunchan Nambiyar. With western missionaries arriving in the 19th century and translating the Bible to Malayalam, this led to more different expressions in writing styles.

So, if Malayalam songs is what you are looking for? You can check this link for the latest in Malayalam songs. You can also download Hindi movies and listen to Marathi songs from these links.

Malayalam content in internet world increases far better than before. A lot of websites already appeared in google’s search results with high page rank. But majority of the keralites are not aware of how to start a malayalam blog by using free blogging tools available on the net. I just try to teach you how to blog in malayalam.

First of all you have to create an account from blogger.com or some other blogging sites. And go to settings page of your account. Select Unicode-8 for publishing properties. Then your malayalam content will properly work on your blog. Then a question arises. How to write malayalam content? There is so many malayalam word processors available. But almost all of them are not compatible with Unicode Settings. Varamozhi editor is a good choice in malayalam documentaion. After completing malayalam content, just click “ctrl” + “U” in order to get a unicode supported page. Then copy entire article from that page and paste it into your blog post page. Submit. Your malayalam blog is ready to read by anyone.

You can also use “ilamozhi”, an online malayalam text generator for the purpose of blog creatiion. Its scheme is almost same as in varamozhi malayalam editor.

There is already a malayalam blog community in cyberspace. It doesn’t mean you must get a membership from them. But getting a membership from that community will help you increase popularity of your blog.

Dont wait. Start your malayalam blog now. Superstars like Mammootty already started his personal blog in malayalam.

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Asker Hassan is the co-writer in bharathnet blog

Asker Hassan - EzineArticles Expert Author

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