Years ago, the local government of Kerala launched a payoff for this tropical state, mainly to attract more tourists: Kerala, God’s own country. Marie-Gon and I are far from being religious, but somehow the payoff triggered me and it still does. Have you ever been to this southern Indian state? Good changes that you like it there. Since our first visit to Kerala in 2004, we have developed a deep and long-lasting love for this green and tropical state. The people are friendly, it’s green and you can find a lot beautiful beaches there, most of them very quiet and empty. Furthermore: there are fascinating cities, Theyyam worshipping (mainly in the North) and a bunch of wildlife parks for you to explore, Periyar National Park is one of the most fascinating wildlife parks in the south of India. Not to mention the delicious local cuisine, with a lot of coconut-based curries and – if you’re on the coastline – some mouthwatering grilled fish. I blogged about this state earlier, we visited it in August and fell in love again. And now, at the end of the year and just before Christmas, we decided to go back. But this time, we picked another area to explore: the far north. The northern coastal region around Nileshwar has a long sandy beach with nothing but a fine sea, fishermen’s houses and an interesting mix of Mosques, Che Guevara portraits and very very friendly people. I will talk a bit more about demographics of India in one of the upcoming posts, but can’t control myself now and share some bits and pieces about Kerala: according to 2011 numbers, it has a 26% Islam population,which is on the high side if you compare it to many other states. Hinduism is still the dominant religion, but the percentage of followers is low if you compare it to most other states (55%). And It is one of the states with a very high number of Christians: 18% of the population is a Christian. This results in a beautiful mix of churches, mosques and Hindu-temples. The Kasagarod-area, the most northern part of Kerala, is a remote area which is not under the radar of international tourists. The main reason: Except the Bekal fort and the Teyyam rituals between December – February, there is hardly anything to visit or to do. No spectacular forts, no ancient temples, just normal Kerala-street life. And the demographics of the north are also different in comparison to the state-level numbers: the ratio of Muslims is much higher (37%) and Christians are hard to find (less than 7%). Very interesting in the south: the Communist party has a lot of power. The Prime Minister of Kerala is a member of the Communist Party of India. As a result, you will see a lot of images of old Soviet-leaders. The result is a friendly mix of mosques, images of former Soviet leaders, in a tropical setting with hundreds of thousands of palm trees. Check my first video for my blog and let me know if you like to see more of these video’s.