Kerala is fondly called ‘God’s Own Country’ owing to its tranquil backwaters, pristine beaches, quaint hill stations, and overall scenic beauty. The state is also popular for offering top-notch Ayurveda treatments and yoga centers. Kerala tours also offer a glimpse into the state’s rich culture that reflects in its performing arts, cuisine, and way of life. The state is home to rich flora and fauna with the likes of Periyar National Park being home to rare species of birds, animal, and plants. Visit these 5 incredible places that showcase the best of this fascinating state that continues attracting people from the world over.
Kerala’s primary attraction is its backwater tour and Alleppey is an ideal place to experience it. Hire a houseboat and stay overnight for an enriching experience. Witness the way of life along the banks of the river along with paddy fields and try water activities like canoeing that are offered by the local villagers. There are countless houseboats to choose from and these cater to all budgets. The houseboat staff cooks fresh meals onboard and ensures that you have a memorable time exploring the backwaters. From Alleppey, you can get connected to other popular backwater destinations like Kumarakom, Cochin, and Quilon. Also known as Alappuzha, the city is home to the picturesque Alleppey Beach that hosts popular festivals like the New Year celebration Alappuzha beach festival and the sand art festival. The Alappuzha Lighthouse is worth visiting here. Alleppey has a wide variety of hotels and restaurants including the ones at the beachfront.
Munnar is a majestic offering of the Western Ghats located in the Idukki district and a prominent part of Kerala tourism. Its stunning landscape, awe-inspiring waterfalls, serene lakes, and beautiful tea plantations have made it an extremely popular choice among nature lovers. Fondly called the ‘Kashmir of South India’, Munnar is a celebrated honeymoon destination. The hill station has pleasant weather ideal for exploring its best offerings like Kundala Lake or boating, Atukkad Waterfalls, Eravikulam National park, Echo Point, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, Pothamedu View Point, Rose Garden, Mattupetty Dam, Carmelagiri Elephant Park, Subramanya Temple, Top Station, Idly Hill View Point, and Munnar Tea Museum. There are several top-notch hotels and eateries in this town. Munnar has much to offer hence one needs to plan a longer stay if possible to explore the places as well as relish the natural beauty on offer.
Another mesmerizing place situated in the higher Western Ghats, Wayanad is a fascinating amalgamation of nature and history. Ambukuthimala in Wayanad district is home to the pre-historic Edakkal Caves that are a must-visit. It is believed that the place has its roots from the start of the New Age Civilization. The pictorial writing on the walls of these caves symbolizes an ancient era during the time of Kutumbiyas clan. Wayanad was also ruled by the Kadambas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara Empire, The Mysore Wodeyars and the Sultans before coming under the British rule. It was the British who constructed roads here and tapped into the cultivation of tea and other crops. The places of interest in Wayanad include Soochipara Falls, Chembra peak, Pookot Lake, Kuriva Dweep, Thrissilery Shiva Temple, and the famous Nagarhole National Park that is located about 64 from here.
Also located in the Idukki district, Thekkady is home to the Periyar National Park that is one of the most important tourist attractions of Kerala and a prominent Tiger Reserve. One of the highlights of a visit to the national park is a boat ride on the Periyar Lake that offers an opportunity to sight different animals and feel the essence of a journey through the jungle. There are rare flora and fauna forms throughout the forest. The national park is home to nearly 35 species of mammals including the endangered ones. You can spot animals like Bengal tiger, white tiger, sloth bear, Nilgiri langurs, sambar, etc. Elephant safaris are extremely popular here and the national park is also an important reserve for this gigantic animal. Apart from mammals, the park is home to more than 250 species of birds, 45 reptiles, Amphibians, about 40 species of fish, and more than 150 types of butterflies. Other places of interest in and around Thekkady are Murikkady that comprises of coffee and spice plantations, Chellar Kovil that is a must-visit for cascades and waterfalls, and the Mangala Devi Temple.
The coastal city of Varkala is a charming place to visit in Kerala. Varkala beach is the only place in the southern part of the state that is home to cliffs that extend over the vast Arabian Sea. The view is simply stunning and the beach is surrounded by coconut palm tree that adds a beautiful dimension to the entire place. You can find several restaurants, shack, and shop along this beach that is also known as Papanasam beach. The word Papanasam means redemption from sins hence a dip in the waters here is highly sought-after. Other places of interest in the city are Anjengo Fort, Kappil Lake, Janardana Swami Temple, Varkala Tunnel, Sivagiri Mutt, and Natural springs. The promenade above the beach houses several high-quality Ayurvedic massage parlors.