Tired of the chaos in your city? Need some calm backwaters to soothe your soul?
Kerala is just the right place for you then! From the long stretched sea shores to the backwater pathways to the lush verdant hillside tea gardens, pristine and peaceful Kerala is one of the most progressive, cleanest states in India. Nicknamed as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala has some unique geographical features that have tourists flocking over all around the year. It has a long shoreline of beaches, calm backwaters, foggy hill stations, gushing waterfalls, delicious cuisine and some very friendly people.
Here is a list of places that you just shouldn’t miss when in Kerala:
Do not miss out on a backwater trip along the palm-fringed Kerala canals on a houseboat when in Alleppey. Alleppey is known as the ‘Venice of the East’ that provides views and experiences that will stay etched in your mind forever. You can spend a night on a houseboat with some delicious food and a few drinks gazing at the moon with tranquil waters setting your mood just right.
If you’re a tea person, then Munnar is one place you absolutely do not want to miss! It is surrounded by verdant green tea plantations and you can actually see the tea being picked and later processed in the tea factories. There is also a tea museum here. Munnar provides a mesmerizing view of the low flying clouds and deep misty valleys. Munnar is the most popular hill station in Kerala with some British touches here and there. Munnar has a lot to offer to adventure enthusiasts wildlife lovers as you can go rock climbing, paragliding, trekking to Anamudi which is the highest peak in South India and also visit the Eravikulam National Park.
Wayanad is interpreted as the land of paddy fields in Malayalam which is the local language in Kerala. Exactly according to its name, Wayanad provides a very appealing view of the paddy plantations with a tribal heritage that has various life style of more than 50 tribes living in that area. It is the least populated city in Kerala but copes with the rest of the cities with the help of the amount of scenic abundance that it provides. It gives the feel of an exotic landscape with mind-blowing views to a tourist. It has much to offer to adventure enthusiasts to visit places like Edakkal caves, Chembra Peak, Lakkidi, Meenmutty Falls, Banasura Sagar dam, Sentinel Rockfalls, Tusharagiri Waterfalls, Kalpetta and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
Kochi also called Cochin is in Central Kerala and is located in a district called Ernakulam on the coast of the Arabian Sea. It is quite a contrast to view against the rest of Kerala as many foreigners like the Portuguese, Arabs, Dutch, Chinese and British have visited here in ancient times and have left their mark in the town. Most of the tours in Kerala start from here as it is in the central part of the state. The Fort Cochin is a historic place which has the remains and impressions of the beautiful colonial periods and is just 8kms away from the city. Jewish Synagogue, Chinese Fishing Nets, Mattancherry Palace and The Dutch Cemetery are few of the places that are major tourist attractions in this city.
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala and is the largest and the most populous city in the lush green state of Kerala. This is the land of art, culture, religion, history, mythology, technology and what not! This capital city boasts of the richest temple in the world where the there is an idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on the Serpent Anantha called the Padmanabha Swamy Temple.It is the right place for art lovers as there are many ancient stone carvings sculpted. Kuthiramalika Palace Museum , Napier Museum , Ponmudi and Veli Tourist Village are some other destinations in Thiruvananthapuram that you must visit. You will need at least a day to complete the whole tour of the city.
Kovalam beach is located around 12kms from Trivandrum City which is the capital of Kerala. The Kovalam beach is divided into 3 rocky parts that mix with the bay waters-Lighthouse beach, Hawah Beach & Samudra Beach. These three all together form a crescent shaped beach that is calm and ideal for bathing.It is one of the most famous beaches in India and the area around provides every need of a tourist from cottages to yoga centers and medicinal ayurvedic massages. If you’re looking forward to a sandy beach backed by coconut groves with tranquil waters then Kovalam is just the perfect beach for you.
Malampuzha boasts of a gushing dam, its catchment area, a distribution canal and a verdant garden on the front side. This garden known as the Malampuzha Garden has various other added features like an aquarium, a snake park and a ropeway that provides an aerial view of the dam and the beautiful garden below. The Malampuzha Gardens are lush green and have well laid out flower beds with fountains and sculptures. It also includes a canal that flows through the middle of the garden with boating facilities. The dam and the gardens are open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays and till 8:00 PM on weekends.
This is probably the only national park in India that allows you to view the wildlife while enjoying a boat trip in the Thekkady lake. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary houses various species of animals including the extremely rare lion tailed macaques, tigers, leopards, boars, bison, deer, sambars, the great Indian elephants and gaurs. This thick evergreen forest with its rare rides in boats or on elephants is a different experience all together. It is a must see National park for all adventurous people.
Ladies get ready for some shopping of beautiful silks here!! Calicut also known as Kozhikode is famous for its culinary delicacies and historical culture. It is said that Vasco de Gama first came to the port of Calicut in his search for spices and other trades. Thus today it has become one of the main commercial cities in Kerala. With some very famous educational institutions, Calicut also serves some very authentic Malabar food like ‘kalummakaya’ , ‘chatti pathiri’ and a lot of varieties of deserts like halwa and coconut sweets.
These are only 9 places that I have mentioned as must-visit destinations, but there is much much more that Kerala has to offer. The best part about visiting these different places in Kerala is that each destination is only 2 hours away from each other. Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations and always comes up with delicious mouth watering delicacies that are hard to find in the rest of the world. It is not merely a destination for honeymooners but also for nature enthusiasts and people who need a calm retreat. According to the National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Kerala is ranked in the ‘Top 10 Paradises of the World’. If Kerala is the next place you want to visit, then you are definitely in for a real treat!