Kerala, a state situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the India. Kerala is also known as the 'God's Own country' and was named as one of the "ten paradises of the world" by the National Geographic Traveler............one of the 'must see destinations' for a complete traveler.
Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, has made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Tourists from all over the world visit Kerala to enjoy the exotic beaches, wonderful mountain ranges and extravagant backwaters. The wildlife of Kerala is also fabulous. Another major ingredient of a Kerala vacation are the ayurveda massages and spas.
There are so many amazing and fun things to do in Kerala, India. And if you need help deciding what to do on your vacation, check-out some of our favorite attractions and activities.
Backwaters of Kerala
The place to visit in Kerala is the Backwaters. The calm and enchanting backwaters of kerala are world famous. The palm-fringed waterways which connect small villages along the cost are definitely an excellent spot. The backwaters are at its best in Alapuzha and Kumarakom. You can enjoy a cruise in the house boats in these quite backwaters and enjoy the greenery uninterrupted.
Kerala Back Water Locations : Kumarakom, Kollam and Bekal
The Kovalam Beach, Kerala India is among the top rated beaches in the world and is located at an hour drive from Thiruvananthapuram. The lush blue sea and blazing sand make a perfect combination to enjoy. It has three different beaches of which the Lighthouse beach is the most famous beach.
The beach is overcrowded during weekends
Water sports on the beach include jet skiing, water skiing, surfing, catamaran rides etc. Ayurvedic treatment especially during monsoon is another attraction of Kovalam.
Kochi is known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea". Apart from being a very busy port which is famous all over the world for its Chinese fishing nets is also a heritage designation. The examples of the rich architecture of Kochi include The Dutch Palace at Mattanchery, Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Cochin and the Jewish synagogues. Kochi is also the most advanced city in Kerala with all the modern facilities and five star hotels. Kochi Attractions include Jewish Synagogue or the Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, located in Kochi in South India
Situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, this hill station was once the summer capital of the British Government in South India. Famous for lush green surroundings, reservoirs, forests, tea estates and wild life sanctuaries, Munnar offers the best climate in Kerala. The quiet environment and cool atmosphere here keeps attracting thousands of visitors every month. Munnar is also famous for exotic flora
Periyar National Park
Boating is the only way to view the wildlife in Periyar National Park.
Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of the famous wildlife sanctuaries in India, spread across 777 Sq. Kms out of which 360 Sq. Kms is thick forest, is one of the best places for viewing wild elephants. This green oasis is one of the last safe havens for the elusive Indian tiger - an endangered species now on the verge of extinction. Wild animals like the Elephant, Gaur, Sambar Deer and wild boar, which can be easily seen from close quarters during the serene boat ride. Other Mammals like the Nilgiri Thar, the lion tailed macaque, the bonnet macaque, the Malabar giant Squirrel, the flying Squirrel, the jungle cat and the sloth bear are seen only once in a while.
Thekkady (Idukki district) is the location of the Periyar National Park, which is an important tourist attraction in the Kerala state of India.
The man-made Thekkady Lake shimmers in a green hue, reflecting the surrounding evergreen forests. This stunning artificial lake is created by the Mullapperiyar Dam constructed across the scenic Periyar River.
Eravikulam National Park
Located at a distance of 15 kms from Munnar, this national park has been attracting visitors from all over the world with its irresistible grace and beauty. The park has an area of 97 sq km and lies along the coasts of Munnar Forest Division. The rolling grasslands and beautiful mountain ranges together with the rare and splendid wildlife makes this park breathtakingly beautiful. It is also the natural habitat of the rare species of mountain goats known as 'Nilgiri Tahr'.
The important waterfalls in Kerala are Athirampally, Vazhachal Waterfalls, Palaruvi, Tusharagiri, Munnar, Wayanad
Situated at Kodencherry in Kozhikode district, the plantation destination that abounds in rubber, arecanut, pepper, ginger and spices is also a trekker's delight
Thrissur Pooram is the biggest and most colorful temple festival of Kerala. It is celebrated in Vadakkumnathan temple in the Thrissur district. Elephant procession (Kudamattom) is the major attraction of this festival, which witnesses the participation of elephants from various temples of Kerala.
Kerala Snake Boat Race
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular Vallam Kali held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, Kerala, India. The race conducted on the second Saturday of August every year is a major tourist attraction.
Truvananthapuram is the capital city of Kerala. It was earlier called the Trivandrum. The mild climate of the city along with its architectural and cultural ambience will surely create a memory in anybody's mind. The major attractions at Tiruvananthapuram include the Sri Chitra Art gallery, Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple, palaces of the rulers of Travancore. Many museums of history and art also add glamour to the city. Tiruvananthapuram will surely find a place in the travel guide of any visitor to Kerala.
Silent Valley National Park
Located at a distance of 40 km from Mannarkkad, this extremely fragile wildlife sanctuary is a unique preserve of the tropical evergreen forests. The national park has an area of 90 sq km. Despite the name, the clamour of Cicadas is absent here. The Silent Valley National Park echoes with the sounds of its diverse wildlife. The park is also natural habitat to many endangered species like rare birds, tigers and deer.
The most scenic backwaters to be seen in Kerala are near the town of Alapuzha. One of the most significant things that every tourists wish to seen in Kerala is the snake boat race that is held annually in the backwaters of Alapuzha. This boat race happens in the month of the Onam festival in Kerala.
Kumarakom is a group of islands in the Vembanad Lake. The most luxurious hotels and resorts in Kerala are in the Kumarakom islands. The swaying palm trees, waterways, green paddy fields and the sound of birds from the nearby sanctuary makes Kumarakomone of the best tourist spots in Kerala.
Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resorts
Ayurveda, is one of the oldest healing and rejuvenation system, which is known to have existed before hundreds of years. Ayurveda will surely find a place in the travel guidebook of Kerala for any tourist. Many tourists come to Kerala from all over the world to experience ayurvedic massages and other therapies. The massages involve treating the body with oils from medical herbs.
The Varkala beach is located 54 kms from the capital city Thiruvananthapuram. This isolated and quiet beach is a place where you can have a relaxing beach vacation. This beach is also famous for its mineral springs and ayurvedic spas. Varkala beach also attracts tourists with its picturesque landscapes.
Ponmudi Hill Station
The name 'Ponmudi' in the local language means golden crown. The Ponmudi Hills are located near the sea at a distance of 50 kms from the beaches. The road to this exotic hill station passes through a canopy of thickly matted foliage. Tourists occasionally come across lone elephants ambling along the roads. The tea estates in Ponmudi are not as big as those in Munnar, but they are more beautiful.
The Bolghatty Palace
This palace is one of the oldest ones build by the Dutch in India. It is located at a scenic island in Kochi. This villa was built by the Dutch in 1744 AD and beautiful gardens were landscaped around it.
Trivandrum Zoo, one of the oldest in the country, was established as an annexe to the Napier Museum in 1857 by the Maharaja of Travancore in order to attract more visitors. Animals include the Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Indian Rhino, Asiatic Lion, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Giraffe, Hippo, Zebra, Deer and Cape Buffalo.
Puthe Maliga Palace Museum
Bolgatty Palace, Lake Palace, Mascot Hotel, Bolgatty Island Resort, Tea County, Aranya Nivas, Water Scapes, Samudra, Periyar House, Tamarind KTDC Easy Hotels
Do make it a point to visit some of the numerous tea and spice plantations in the area. This is the best way to understand how these exotic spices are grown and to learn how they are used in the local cuisines.