Kerala finds a place in the 19 places shortlisted by CNN this year for travel enthusiasts to visit in 2019. “This area of India has it all: sun, sea, sand, good food, houseboats, culture and wildlife. Its spectacular natural landscapes — think palm trees and sprawling backwaters — lend the region the nickname “God’s Own Country,” the report says.

The report also talks about the devastating floods in August 2018, “Severe floods during the summer of 2018 wreaked havoc across this southwestern state, but many of its top tourist destinations escaped unscathed.”

The Cochin International Airport and its solar panels are also mentioned in the report. CNN Travel also describes Kathakali dance as “the storytelling dance form known for its colorful and intricate costumes and masks that hails from Kerala.”

The postcard-perfect Kovalam beach and Varkala also get a mention in the report. It also suggests visitors to try surfing in Kovalam and a relaxing stay at Varkala. “Kerala’s backwaters are famous for a reason: a nexus of waterways linking the regions’ villages and best explored via kettuvallam — a traditional wooden houseboat. It’s worth spending anywhere from a single afternoon to a week on one of the many rental houseboats on offer, enjoying the sights and sounds drifting by,” says CNN Travel.