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Last Updated Saturday December 24 2016 03:44 PM IST

10 reasons why Kerala is alluring during the rains

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When it rains in Kerala Gulmohar tree drenched in the rain. Photo: Josekutty Panackal

It has been a long, sweltering summer. And then suddenly, over the last two days it has been pouring. The rains in Kerala have a charm of its own. Some days, it goes on raining continuously, but at times, the sun shines bright and all around the lush greens take on a lovely sheen.

But, this has made us yearn for the monsoons. The monsoons will make a landfall at the Andamans and after that Kerala is where the monsoons makes its presence felt in the peninsula. The cool winds gradually start getting stronger, the pitter - patter rainfall becomes a steady down pour and within the first couple of days the monsoon gets stronger in this state much before it covers the country.

  • When it rains in Kerala

    Gulmohar trees drenched in the summer rain. Photo: Josekutty Panackal

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    The rains are expected to last for two more days. Photo: Josekutty Panackal

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    Sometimes the rains come without warning and you have to share the umbrella with your friends. Photo: James Arpookara

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    Water droplets sticking on to the trees on a roadside. Photo: Josekutty Panackal

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    The breeze blowing the umbrella, drenching them. Photo: Russell Shahul

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    A drop of rain. Photo: Russell Shahul

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    The greens take on a different shade during the rains. Photo: Aravind Bala

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    A man walks past a Chinese Fishing net during the rains. Photo: Josekutty Panackal

    When it rains in Kerala
  • When it rains in Kerala

    The rain clouds are gathering. And it will rain. Photo: Rajan M Thomas

    When it rains in Kerala

In his book Chasing the Monsoon Alexander Frater says 'in Thiruvananthapuram, you actually see this entity coming. At least 40-50 people make a chain, holding hands and welcoming the monsoon! It is sent to nourish India. The sheer joy of watching the advancing monsoon! It is an event.' We are not sure if people still hold hands to welcome it, but rejoice, they do.

Frater is just one of the many writers to have written about the drama of the monsoon's arrival on the Kerala coast. The monsoon, they say, bursts on you, and then comes the thunder. Logan, the celebrated author of the Manual of Malabar timed one thunderclap lasting several minutes. Clouds, dark clouds surge in from the southwest, the sea froths and before you can say monsoon, a spray of water drenches you. And, the beaches at Thiruvananthapuram are perhaps the best places to be when this happens.

1) The beaches

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There are a lot of old fisherfolk who will indulge you in the stories of how the monsoon arrives over the oceans and how their lives have been affected by it. But, if you are not interested in striking up a conversation with a local, you can still take a room on the waterfront and watch the sea turn different shades through the course of the day. Enjoy the rumbling dark clouds, the steady roar of the ocean, the waves and the rain outside. It is therapeutic. If you are one of those people who have had a very hectic life over the last couple of weeks and just want to relax, head down to the beaches of Kerala this monsoon.

2) The backwaters

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Backwaters get a bit more tricky. You have to be a bit careful when you pick your cruise organiser. But, imagine being in a houseboat, where you will be surrounded by water all around and it is raining. What more do you need to take off the pressures of a hectic schedule. The cooks usually dish up the days catch.

3) The high ranges

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The high ranges are a whole different story. It is lush green, definitely more than 50 shades of green. And all around there will be small rivulets cascading down the small rocks. The mornings will be misty and then there are days when the sun god decides to take a day off from his schedule and these rolling hills will remain under the mist for longer. There are times when you won't be able to see your hands if you put them out in front of you.

4)The wildlife

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The wild animals, drawn by the water roam fearlessly close to the human habitat. This is perhaps one of those times when you can see them frolick in the waters so close to you

5) The culture

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People of Kerala are warm and inquisitive and they will make sure that you are very comfortable during your visit. We play in the rain, we walk in the rain – and when no one is really watching us, we dance. You could too, but make sure that you don't catch fever.

6) The cuisine

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Have a piping hot tea or coffee from the local shop, indulge in some soft yet hot steaming idlis and vada for breakfast. Settle down for a spicy meal for lunch or fish curry and tapioca for the evening. There is something for everyone. You want the spice levels to be toned down, the restaurants do that too!

7) The history

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The rains tend to keep you indoors. But when the sun shines, run across to one of those museums or grab a big book or just go online and do some research on the history of Kerala. You are sure to find the myth about how Parasurama threw his axe and the seas receded and the state was formed. But, seriously, you may get to know all these stories if you could just sit and strike up a conversation with one of the old timers over a piping hot cup of coffee in some wayside eatery.

8) Ayurveda

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Long long ago, mid June to mid July was when the monsoon would show its harsh face. And people could not really do much of outdoor activities. So, they took to taking care of themselves, with massages, special food and medicines – for their good health. This, according to the Ayurveda practitioner is the best season to get yourself treated. So, what are you waiting for?

9) The religion

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Kerala is truly God's Own Country. And festivals are a way of life. Most of the major festivals are over and whatever remains are linked strongly to the rains. We are talking about the season of snake boat races which are coming up soon after the rains.

10) Discounts

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If none of this lures you, we have this magic word. Discounts. And we are sure it will make you think it over. The peak season is over, and most of the hotels offer discounts which will make your visit easy on the purse too. Pack up your bags and visit Kerala during the monsoon, let the rains rekindle your romance or just give you some time for introspection.

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