India

Glimpse of south of Kerala

I have been in Kerala in India many times, although I am mostly in the north part I have visited the south part few times as well. Here are some pictures from those trips:

Trivandrum:

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

When I was there I was not allowed to go inside, I was told it is only for men. Although if I read their do and don’ts on their own homepage it seems that women are allowed now, you just have to have the right dress code and you have to be a Hindu. Oh well… Here is the whole list:

Entry is restricted to those who profess the Hindu religion.
There is a special dress code. The dress code for men is Dhoti with or without Angavastra. The dress codes for women are Sarees, Dhoties or Pavadas with blouse or other coverings as appropriate to their age. Salvar sets and other modern dresses are not allowed. Young girls below 12 years may wear gowns. No other types of dress should not be worn or taken inside the temple.
The men should fasten their Angavastrams around their waist.
Follow the procedures and timings of the Temple and wait till your turn comes for darshan.
Worshipers should not sit or prostrate or place any articles on the Ottakkal Mandapam.
Umbrellas, slippers, cameras, mobile phones, and any other type of electronic equipments and weapons are not permitted inside the Temple.
Photography is strictly prohibited in the Temple premises.
Respect the customs and usages of the Temple.
Bathe and wear clean clothes before entering the Temple.
Do not smoke or spit inside the Temple.
Do not use or carry pan masala and such other things inside the Temple.
Do not throw away the prasadam and theertham received from the Temple. Handle them with respect.
Do not enter the Temple or Temple premises after consuming liquor and non-vegetarian food.
Do not commit any activities of violence or quarrel inside the Temple.
Carrying much jewellery and money will be at the risk of the bearer.

Agasthya Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre. The park, is situated close to the Neyyar Dam on the foothills of the Agasthyavanam Biosphere, from 2006-2009 it was renamed to Steve Irwin Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre. Steve was the tv-star and famous for his work with wild animals and not being afraid of anything. I goggled little about this park and found out that it is now renamed again to Agasthya Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre in 2009 after Steve’s wife Terri field legal notice for not asking for permission to use his name. I am glad I got to take a picture of the sign they used to have back in 2007 because it is a sign that are no longer there.

Cochin port. The Malabar hotel and the office of the Cochin Port Trust in Willingdon Island:

Houseboat ride. Some houseboats are like real houses where you can stay over, it will have a bedroom and dining area. Some are more simple like this one shown below and this will be fine when you are just taking a tour around Willingdon Island:

Sunset view in Cochin:

Chinese fishing nets and the fish market in Cochin:

Kathakali, is a 300-year-old classical dance form. It combines masques, pantomime, ballet and opera. If you search for Kerala on internet you are bond to find a picture of a Kathakali dancer, usually with green painted face. Another fun fact is that it is usually only men who do Kathakali, they do both male and female characters. If you want to see this in real life there is a place called Kerala Kathakali Center in Cochin, you can book a  seat online or hope to get a seat by just stopping by. At the center you get to see them prepare the makeup and then see the performance that altogether will last for about 2.5 hours. It cost 300 rupees per person. I got to see a bit of the real deal at the Wellington island when one Kathakali dancer was visiting and performed:

Random pictures:

I hope to see more of the south part of Kerala as there are much more to explore.

©2014

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