When the black rain clouds are embraced by the brawny rocks of the Western Ghats, what results is an incessant shower of joy and delight. It is the monsoon time in Kerala. A time when nature in all her million moods pours down to fill the minds and hearts of her offspring...a time when new buds sprout everywhere relishing the many boons of heavens.
Kerala with its welcoming green pastures, brimming rivers and beautiful hill stations has a different charm during the monsoon season in India. Every part of this land resonates with joyous cheers of the downpour. In Kerala the monsoon comes in two seasons: the southwest monsoon from June to August and the northeast monsoon from October to November.
People cheerfully partake in this carnival of nature, which for them is a welcome change after the long and sultry summer days. It is hard to confine oneself inside the four walls of a room during this season. For the farmers, monsoon is a promise of prosperity; for children it is the season of rainbows and paper boats; for elders it is the time to read the holy Ramayana. The rainy season is marked by alluring aroma of hot snacks that arises from each and every kitchen. The sporadic sunny interludes with a charming rainbow add to the beauty of this wonderful season. Some of the most interesting temple festivities in Kerala like the Ochirakali take place during the monsoon season.
Monsoon is also an ideal time to undergo herbal treatments that would replenish the body and mind. Many traditional treatments that offer holistic healthcare get into vogue during the monsoon season. The Ayurvedic treatment during the southwest monsoon period is widely known as karkitaka chikitsa, which is a rejuvenation therapy considered most effective during the Malayalam month of karkitakam that roughly corresponds to the month of July/August.
Panchakarma, a rejuvenation therapy comprising five modes of treatment as prescribed in Ayurveda is done during the southwest monsoon time. It is meant for purification of the body by eliminating toxins and removing the stagnation. During this period a nutritious medicinal gruel known as karkitaka kanji (kanji means porridge) with many ingredients of medicinal value like herbal leaves, roots, flowers and spices is consumed. It is a favourite seasonal diet aimed at the complete nourishment of the body and the soul.