Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beautiful Kerala 1

Some pictures from my recent visit to Kerala, India.

For the first few days, everywhere we went we saw these beautiful creations

made from flowers, petals and leaves

sometimes berries

(the writing here says Happy Onam)

and on this one, the dark red is grated beetroot.

These flower carpets are carefully created (sometimes a fresh one each day) as part of the festival of Onam, in honour of Kerala's most loved king Mahabile

This man came over from the festival procession where he was representing Mahabile, and said hello to us in our car.

Mahabile is believed to return once a year to see how the people he so cared for are getting on.

It is also a harvest festival and the rice and coconut represent plenty and prosperity.

We shared a special feast - a Thali - with local people as part of the celebration. The various delicious dishes and chutneys are served in a set sequence on banana leaves - we ate with our fingers which was easier than I'd expected, I came to quite enjoy doing without the cutlery.

As well as the flower carpets, we saw onam flowers for sale in the streets

and I quickly realised that London, on my return, was going to seem somewhat grey....


ArtSparker said...

What wonderful views, I do appreciate the devotional naure of Indian Culture, it seems very sane in many ways.

Gary said...

Wow, these flower tributes are beautiful but that guy coming at you in the car is scary. I must be damaged by too many villans in children's movies (Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang! anyone?).

I am happy you had a colorful time on your journey.

e said...

Beautiful, Lettuce. I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday. Regarding Timothy Spall, he is fabulous no matter what role he takes on. Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in England, was shown in the film about Pierrepoint.

Betsy said...

I can almost smell that art! :)

Roy said...

and I quickly realised that London, on my return, was going to seem somewhat grey...

Until the first red double-decker looms out of the fog and you realize that London, in its own way, can be very colorful indeed!

Nice shots, and a great tour of an Indian celebration. Thanks!

Giulia said...

Oh so happy to see these. You did not disappoint with the photographs & descriptions. About how large are the carpets? I think I can see bricks against but still curious.

Piles of dream come true. (Also I agree with Ms. ArtSparker re: devotionals).

Ciao-meow, Letty.


Barbara said...

What an exciting trip! I love learning about the customs of other places that seem so foreign to our culture. Imagine in a place where just getting by is sometimes so difficult taking the time to make such beautiful creations. I'll bet the food was so delicious, especially when eaten with your fingers!

herhimnbryn said...

Glory! What colours and sights.

Megan said...

Is that Jerry Mouse on the paper cup? GREAT photos, Lettuce!

Sue Guiney said...

Fantastic! I've wanted to go for so long, and now the yearning is all back and desperate again :-)

Akelamalu said...

How beautiful.

We're off to Goa in November, I hope I get photo opportunities like that. :)

Lynne said...

So beautiful! When you said you were going I had to look up what part of India you were visiting. It looked fascinating! I can't wait to see more! For some reason, India is not a place that comes to my mind when considering an exotic vacation. I may have to rethink ... although it is a bit far from NA.

Shammickite said...

not only London will seem dull and grey, but most places will pale in comparison to those wonderful bright flower arrangements in Kerala.
Perhaps I shall have to follow in your footsteps, it looks like a fascinating part of the world.

mouse (aka kimy) said...


words escape me!! so much beauty. so much color. i want to be elsewhere....and that would be kerala!!

thank you for the feast.

and thank you for your kind and compassionate words/comments on the mouse.


lettuce said...

thanks all.

Gary, he did loom rather
Giulia they were at least a metre across, probably a bit larger than that
Megan yes, indeed it is Jerry
Lynne, Shammickite, anyone - go if you can! its just beautiful

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sue said...

these are gorgeous lettuce. i love them all, but especially the one of the food on the leaves and the flowers being sold in the streets.. beautiful seeing the life there.


Steve Reed said...


Reya Mellicker said...


goatman said...

I am moved by the temporary nature of these creations . . .
as opposed to many of the photos'of creations you take around England, which seem to be of structures and places so permanent.

Food and flowers, how can you go wrong?