Santa Cruz BasilicaKerala
Religious | Scenic
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Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is one of the famous basilicas of Kerala. It’s one of the eight basilicas in this state. One of the heritage buildings of Kerala, this basilica is a must see attraction! The impressive edifice attracts many every year!
Better known as the ‘Gods own country’ Kerala is renowned for its unique geographical attributes. A first choice for any nature and serenity lover, Kerala beckons its travelers with its clear blue sky, exotic backwaters, lush green tea and spice plantations, thick foliages, stunning beaches, striking wildlife, long coastline and exclusive ayurvedic treatments make this region as one of the ten paradises on earth as declared by the national geographic traveler magazine. This enigmatic land on Malabar Coast was formed in 1956 and is surrounded by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Lakshadweep.
One of the top holiday spots, eco-tourism of Kerala is quite famous and a growing industry owing to the state’s many exquisite landscapes and extensive greeneries. A hub for international travelers, Kerala in 2010 witnessed almost 660,000 foreign nationals. Well connected to all the prime cities in India, Kerala has NH 66, 766, 544, 183, 85 and 966 passing through it.
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city of Kerala. With 98 percent literacy rate, Kerala offers a world class setting luring travelers from every corner of the globe! Divided into Malabar, Central Kerala, Northern Travancore, Southern Travancore and Central Travancore, this placid place offers a spectrum of opportunities for any traveler to explore!
Food is one of the key attractions of Kerala. Unique in taste and preparation, Keralan cuisine is the life of this place! Famed for its fiery spicy delicacies, rice is the staple food of Kerala. A daily Keralan meal comprises vegetable, fish curry, meat along with rice. Coconut is an essential ingredient for most of the Kerela food preparations.
Sadhya is a typical festive buffet of this area which is served with steaming hot rice with olan, avial, kalaan, thoran, kichiadi and other side dishes. It’s a huge spread of 24 items and is served on plantain leaf. Seafood is another major attraction of this place. A patent breakfast of Kerala includes idli, puttu, dosa, pidiyan, upama and Idiyappam.
In non-vegetarian dishes, Kerala people love chicken, beef, mutton and duck. On special occasions, commoners also love to take lamb and pork. Rice breads, Kerala paratha and pathiris are the common breads of Kerala. Payasam and Pradaman are the famous sweets of this land. Serving rasam at the end of each meal is a common practice of this land.
Among beverages coffee, tea, fruit juices, shakes, tropical juices and cocktails are equally popular drinks of Kerala. People in summers prefer to take ice creams with milk shakes to beat the heat. And not to forget the perennial refreshing drink of this state, coconut juice!
Colorful festivals observed with absolute grandeur mark the true characteristics of Keralan lifestyle! This land of diversity has many important festivals which are observed with total fanfare, music and tradition.
Onam is the most important local ten day festival in Kerala. It’s a harvest festival observed in the months between August and September. Tiger play, kathakali dance, boat races and other games are the main attractions of this festival. Theyyam, a more than 800 years old festival, is observed between December and April. Participants present more than 400 different types dance performances depicting different mythological characters. Vishu is a significant festival of God’s own country, and celebrated as the New Year for the Malayali. Fire crackers, eating payasam and Vishu kanji mark this festival.
Boat festival takes place in the backwaters of Kerala where one can find different boats, their separate teams, competing against each other and cheering onlookers adding a zing to the festival! Thrissur Pooram Festival is marked by a thirty-six hour puja dedicated to Lord Shiva, observed with fireworks and music. Attukal Pongala, takes place for ten days, is dedicated to Goddess Attukal Devi. Holding a Guinness book of world record, Attukal Pongala witnesses largest female congregation every year.
Christmas, Makaravilakku festivals and temple festival are also celebrated with same fervor and passion!
Majorly a Hindu state with huge Tamil influence, Kerala culture is represented by Kathakali, kalaripayattu and kuttiyatam. These eminent art forms are the UNESCO designated Human heritage art of Kerala. In addition, folklore, Malayalam literature and different ragas and talas creating carnatic music hold an important place in Kerala. Many prominent litterateurs, music composer and dancer guru were associated with this culturally rich land from time immemorial.
Besides, martial art is an indigenous art form and quite popular cultural attribute of Kerala. Cricket, soccer, badminton and kabaddi are the popular sports of this region. Elephants take up an important position in Kerala culture. An indispensable element for temple festivals, elephants are generally given a different name and are the state animal of this place.
Though the state has highest literacy rate and fairly liberal in outlook, still core residents prefer to remain conservative in different social issues, customs and tradition.
Visit to this paradise is a must; travel to places like Munnar, Alleppey, Wayanad, Fort Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Bekal, Vagamon, Trivandrum, Kovalam and other beautiful places can give a true picture of the culture and tradition of this pristine land!
This artistic land has many indigenous handicrafts that make this place stand-out! Coconut shell craft is an authentic local craft of Kerala with huge demand. Calicut district is mainly into this art form. Various nut boxes, spoons, vases and other items of daily necessities are made out of this form.
Wood carving is another art from which can be seen in different palaces and temples of Kerala. Mainly rosewood and sandalwood are used as this place produces the best quality of them. Figurines of animals, jewelry boxes, lamp shades and other home décor are made of wood.
Horn carving is practiced by the Vishwakarma community residing in Thiruvananthapuram. Various small show pieces like lamps, vases and other work of art can be seen in horn carving handicraft.
Due to the large availability of coconut, coir crafts are exceedingly popular art form of Kerala. Also metal woodcrafts, screw pine products and bamboo mat paintings are also quite well-known arts and crafts of Kerala. Papier-Mache masks, rice straw and banana plant fiber are also some of the admired art forms of Kerala!
There are emporiums and ample shopping centers and malls across the state from where one can collect these exquisite local souvenirs!
Malayalam is the official language of Kerala. Majority of the locals especially the ones living in the cities understand English. Hindi is understood but spoken ability is limited among the a few residents. Tamil is also spoken by some people in Kerala. Kannada, Marathi and Konkani are the other dialects of this place.
By Road: The city has brilliant bus connectivity to all the important cities in south India and in and around. City Volvos, state buses and private buses crisscross the city frequently.
By Train: Aluva is the nearest rail station. It has up and down trains to Bikaner, Dibrugarh, Chennai, Rourkela and other cities.
By Air: Cochin International Airport is the closest airport to this basilica. It has flights to all the important cities within India and abroad.GET DIRECTION
Cochin is a tourist hotspot! Hence it has innumerable budget hotels, home stays, mid range bungalows, and boutique hotels to stay overnight!
The city has galore ice cream parlors, cafes, eateries and posh restaurants catering south Indian, Chinese, north Indian and continental food.
Volvos, pre paid taxis, autos, rental cycles, motor bikes, and ferry rides are the common local transports of Kochi Fort.
From October till March are the ideal months to visit this place!
Extraordinarily bright and white-washed exteriors, lofty spires, pastel colored interiors, striking altar, adorned frescoes and murals and beautiful paintings are the main attractions of this basilica!
Hill Palace – One of the largest archeological museums in Kerala, Hill Palace is a must visit for any history buff!