Tag: Kerala

Best 8 Places to Visit in Kerala

A magical place tucked away to the South of India

The tranquilized environment of Kerala makes it one of the most exquisite tourist hotspots in India. Like Goa, Kerala too moves at a glacial pace. People love the serenity bestowed in the state, thus visit it because of its peaceful surroundings. Kerala has something for everyone. White sandy beaches, forts, harbours, wood lands, hill stations and more, together they whip out a memorable holiday. The lush greens of Kerala are to die for. Noted as India’s cleanest state, Kerala with a bounty of unearthly beauty is indeed ‘God’s Own Country’. If you are planning a trip to this ‘Venice of the East’, then here are some incredible places worth a visit.

1. Backwaters – The Lovely Green

The Backwaters were etched to perfection. It is a paradisiacal sight that cannot be equalled by any other. It is considered to be the highlight of Kerala. The serpentine emerald Backwaters pan out and connect Allapuzha (Alleppey), Kollam and Kottayam. As you slice the waters on a houseboat, you can sight tribal villages on the banks. Everything is vivid on this side of Kerala. The famous Nehru Trophy Snake Boat race takes place here on the second Saturday of August.

Planning a rejuvenating experience on houseboat sailing through the backwaters is one of the best experiences offered by Kerala tourism.

2. Fort Kochi – A jewel by the seaside

This part of the Cochin, takes you back to the colonial era. A lush Dutch and Portuguese architecture along with concepts of urban space, Fort Cochin is Kerala’s laid-back hotspot. Art Galleries, churches, bazaars, spice markets and deli’s conclude Fort Cochin. The boat jetty witnesses long queues. You can cruise on the Backwaters or just go on a long ride into the Arabian Sea, watch the enchanting and ensnaring sunset before you head back home. Kerala packages are sure incomplete if Fort Cochin is missing on the itinerary.

3. Kollam – White Noise

Image courtesy – Nire

Kollam is the southern gateway to the Backwaters. It is considered as a quieter cousin of Alleppey. Although Alleppey is preferred for hiring a houseboat in Kerala, you will not witness hustles and bustles in Kollam. It has a calm and serene atmosphere and the locals see to it you are given your privacy. This small town has an authentic Indian feel to it. The small eateries in the market serve the best Keralite food.

4. Guruvayur – Spiritual Travel

Are you a pious person? Did you think a place often referred to as God’s Own country could possibly have no shrines built as an ode to the one above? Guruvayur, is one of the most visited pilgrimage destination in South India. Here you can visit the Guruvayur Ambalam, a shrine for Lord Krishna. At Guruvayur you can also visit the world’s largest sanctuary for elephants at Anakotta. Other places you must visit include Arattu, Kaladi, Chavakkad and Palayur.

5. Kozikhode or Calicut – Coastal Lovelies!

Kozikhode is a coastal town in Kerala flanked by pure beaches, stunning green landscapes and the fresh aromas of spices being brewed in its spice gardens. The town is also more famously known as Calicut named after Calico, a special hand woven cloth. While here you can learn about the rich history it attributes to while taking in an eyeful of the Kappad Beach and Beypore Fort. Bird watchers ahoy! A certain Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary homes over hundred distinct species of birds. The Thikoti Lighthouse off the coast of Velliyamkallu beach is another attraction which was built above the remains of a shipwreck from the past.

6. Kovalam – The Land of Coconut Trees and Palaces

A word that barely connotes to a knot of coconut trees sure has a world of tourism appeal to it. What used to be a tropical beach three decades ago is a traveler’s jackpot replete with pristine beaches, lighthouses, palaces and yes, loads and loads of towering coconut trees. While at Kovalam travelers always find themselves exploring the Padmanabhapuram Palace. The major attractions here include Kaudiar Palace, Anchutengu Fort and Koyikkal Palace.

7. Alleppey Beach, Kerala

The beautiful shoreline of the beach welcomes its visitors with an enjoyable retreat. It is among the most famous beaches of Kerala. The beach had enjoyed a unique time in the maritime history of Kerala. The gorgeous sandy shoreline goes well with the blaze of the water to create a relaxing ambience. The beach is very popular for picnics at weekend.

8. Cherai Beach, Kerala

Lies near Vypeen Islands, Cherai beach Kerala is a paradise for fun lovers. The sea on the western corner and the backwaters on the east add charm to the beach. Thick and dense coconut groves and some beautiful Chinese fishing nets are the highlights of the spot.

For a memorable trip to India, leave all your planning to expert travel agents in India

Off to the Exotica

This is probably the closest you will ever get to nature that is raw, yet so achingly beautiful that you can’t help but gaze in wonder! Such is the heartbreak a traveler feels when bidding farewell to God’s own country. I could only include some of the things that you can see and do in Kerala. Hope it helps! If I have missed out on some interesting things to see in Kerala, please add them in comments.

Romancing in God’s Own Country: How to Plan an Exquisite Honeymoon to Kerala

Kerala is situated in the south-western tip of Indian subcontinent. The enchanting serene beauty of Kerala has earned the state, the term “God’s Own Country” and is definitely one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Asia. Kerala was featured by the National Geographic Traveller as one of the 50 must-visit destinations of a lifetime and has also been identified as one of the thirteen paradises in the world.

Some of the special attractions of Kerala that invite newlyweds can be listed as follows-

Munnar Tea Gardens

The luxurious carpet of unending stretches of tea gardens of Munnar presents a breath-taking scenery that covers the mountain slopes of the Nilgiris of the Western Ghats. There is the greenness of tea gardens below and the white fluffy clouds up in the sky that presents a striking combination.

Munnar tea gardens, honeymoon Kerala

You can see the colourful girls with big baskets plucking the tender leaves from the tea bushes and they make for a very pleasant site. The tea estates covering the mountain slope of Munnar is a popular honeymoon destination in Kerala.

Step out among the tea gardens to make some memories and click away till infinity. After visiting the gardens, the honeymoon couples can go for a visit to the tea processing factory and taste some fresh aromatic tea of various flavours and can even pack some for back home.

Wayanad, Chembra Peak and Heart Shaped Honeymoon Lake

The fascinating Chembra Peak is the highest peak in the Wayanad district of Kerala. There is an equally stunning heart-shaped perennial lake half-way to the Chembra peak.

Wayanad, honeymoon Kerala

This tourist point is a very popular honeymoon spot of Kerala. The lake contains water all through the year and from the lake a gentle hike of about a kilometre takes you to the peak. The trekking path leads through dense trees to reach the top of the peak. The Lake remains enveloped in mist and snow and is ideal to spend some romantic moments with your loved one in a honeymoon trip.

Kumarakom: Houseboat Cruise in Backwaters

Houseboat cruise, honeymoon Kerala

Kerala is widely known for its unmatched beauty of backwaters in Alleppey and Kumarakom. In your honeymoon, go for a cruise through the myriad wide backwaters of Kumarakom or the bit narrower backwaters of Alleppey and enjoy the soothing green of paddy fields and verdant coconut plantations. Kumarakom backwaters offer a more silent and less crowded destination to enjoy freely.

Marari Beach: Traditional Kerala Cottage with Private Swimming Pool

Marari Beach has glimmering turquoise-blue waters that mix with the bright sun rays and create a magical water kingdom for the honeymoon couple to enjoy and explore. The delicious food is a major attraction for honeymooners and various other domestic and international travellers.

Marari beach, honeymoon Kerala

Take a dip in the pool or go for a rejuvenating walk along the beaches. Laze around in the pool or the beach with a cool glass of drink. The pool area is secluded and offers some primate intimate moments with the partner. Play around in the pool and have a cool day. Relax and spend a blissful honeymoon.

Athirappilly: Treehouse Watching Over the Waterfalls

This is the most secluded and exotic treehouse looking over the tumbling waterfalls. Watch the furore of the glorious waterfalls from the peace and sanctity of the treehouse. Make your childhood dream of staying in a real treehouse come true at Athirappilly with your loved one.

Athirappilly treehouse honeymoon Kerala

Enjoy the solitude and explore the beauty of Kerala to the hilt.  This destination forms a hidden jewel of Kerala very suitable for romantic couples.

Rocky Solitary Beaches of Kovalam

The rocky shores of the Kovalam Beach is an absolutely romantic and out of a real picture book gallery. It makes every nature lover’s dream come true with surreal beauty. The massive rocky highland protruding out on the seas over the beach creates a mesmeric bay that is beautiful and a safe haven to bathe and swim. Kovalam has a lot of offer with its unique cliff top and quaint fishing villages where you can enjoy watching the simple, rustic village life of Southern parts of India. Kovalam presents a plethora of options in cultural shows where the classical and ancient dance forms are rendered.

Moreover, the beach offers a pleasant stroll across the sands with the gentle waves lapping. Early morning walk through the beachfront or walk at dusk is most pleasurable. You can climb by the lighthouse of Kovalam to watch out for the Kovalam shoreline and the Arabian Sea spread beyond.

Spend the day sightseeing the interesting places of Kovalam, be it the beaches or the lush green seaside villages. There are several properties along the beach ranging from luxurious beach resorts to moderate budget hotels and resorts to budget accommodations and homestay facilities. The beach resorts are acclaimed for their world-class dining facilities, end-to-end seamless customer services and palatable cuisines.

Honeymoon couples do enjoy the sunbathing, lazy swimming along the shallow waters of the beaches, herbal body massages, Ayurvedic treatments, colourful local cultural performances such as Kathakali dance shows and Kalaripayattu, the traditional and ancient form of martial arts demonstration.

Floating Cottages in Poovar Estuary

Thinking of an absolutely solitary, two-some intimate stay that would make for a memorable honeymoon vacation. The endlessly stretching golden sands of Poovar beach and gently blending shoreline with the seas beyond along with the golden sunrises and sunsets that light up a fire on the ocean waters create an ethereal beauty that is best enjoyed with the loved ones.

Floating cottages in Poovar Estuary, honeymoon Kerala

The greenery of the coconut palms stretching mindlessly to the far corners of the backwater merge with the emerald green backwaters.

Floating cottages of Poovar are isolated havens of love and solitude. Catch up infinite moments of intimacy in these lovely surroundings. The small balconies of the cottages facing the backwaters command a fabulous view of the Poovar estuary where you can take in the enchantment of the beach, backwaters, lake and sea altogether.

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Things to tick-off your Bucket List in Kerala

featured image, Kerala

Kerala’s languid charm and exotic beauty are because of its beautiful beaches, national parks, pristine backwaters, poetic hill stations and cobalt blue skies.

It has always been the travel and leisure hub as it guarantees lush greenery of the deep running valleys, a cool climate and a relaxed ambience. Kerala tourism awaits all travellers that are planning a rather offbeat getaway. Blessed with both, blazing heat of summers and heavy rain showers, Kerala is engulfed in the absorbing beauty of nature.

Replete with aspects in abundance, it may be heart-breaking to miss out on any experience in God’s own land- Kerala. And to make sure you that does not happen, we have jotted down a complete guide of what to do in Kerala.

  • Visit Tea Museums
Tea museums

The glorious tea plantations makes for Kerala’s most amazing tourist destination. The soil and climate of the WesternGhats are apt for tea cultivation. That is why it is grown in abundance in Kerala. A visit to the fully automated tea factory and museums gives a first-hand knowledge about the production and processing of tea and about the operations that go into the making of the finest of its kind.

Best tea museums in Kerala: Kannan Devan TeaMuseum and Lockhart Tea Museum in Munnar.

  • Take A Stroll At The Beach

Collecting multi-coloured seashells, wading into the sea, building sand castles and racing crabs or just a casual stroll in the sands, this is just a gist of what you can do at the beaches in Kerala. Unspoiled and spotless, words fail to label the serenity of these beaches. You can also indulge in challenging water sports activities like parasailing, banana boat ride, jet skiing and many more.

Strolll at a beach in Kerala

Best beaches in Kerala: Kovalam beach, Marari beach, Varkala beach, Bekal and Fort Kochi beaches.

  • Live In Tree Houses

Constructed using eco-friendly materials, tree houses in Kerala are tall and sturdy trees that overlook thick, dense forests. If you wish to feel closer to nature, spending a couple of nights in these kinds of accommodation is a must. It is equipped with class-apart amenities and provides for an exquisite experience.

tree houses

Best tree house resorts in Kerala: Jungle Jive tree houses in Munnar, Tranquil Resort in Wayanad, Ranger Wood Nature Castle Machan Treehouse in Thekkady.

  • Gobble On Kerala’s Varied Cuisine
Cuisine in Kerala

Kerala takes all its visitors on a gastronomical journey owing to the mind-boggling food varieties it offers. Due to its coastal setting, numerous lip-smacking dishes are prepared out of seafood like tiny prawns, sardines and oysters. Having said that, vegetarians also have a long list of dishes such as appam with stew, Idiyappam and Malabar paorta.

Must-try Keralan dishes: Puttu and Kadala Curry, Kerala Prawn Curry and Fish Molee

  • Sail On The Backwaters

The views of the majestic emerald backwaters is indeed a sublime sight for a traveller. The villages and scenic islands can be spotted as you sail. Hop on a houseboat and behold the mirrored lagoons for an experience of a lifetime. You can behold postcard-perfect views with coconut trees lined all along the houseboats. Moreover, delicious cuisines will be prepared on board and served fresh to you.

Sail on the backwaters of Kerala

Best backwater destinations in Kerala: Alleppey, Kollam, Kumarakom, Kuttanad and Kasaragod

  • Get An Ayurveda Massage
Ayurveda massage in Kerala

Kerala has also gained popularity as a holistic health destination. Hence, many resorts and individual chains offer all kinds of Ayurvedic healing therapies, treatments and spas. Indulge in a deep tissue massage that will ease out all your stress knots. The various sought-after services that these outlets provide offer ultimate refreshment to the mind and soul.

Best Ayurveda spas in Kerala: Carnoustie Ayurveda and Wellness Resort in Mararikulam, Kalari Kovilakom in Palakkad and Nattika Beach Ayurveda Resort in Thrissur.

  • Experience An Authentic Village Life

Safeguarded from the ravages of industrialisation, the quaint villages in Kerala have maintained their pristine charm. You can live a laid back and scheduled life and add a definitive cultural dimension to your Kerala trip. Revisit the olden era of the rural village and its culture rich background. Indulge in activities like coir making, Canoe fishing and walk through lush paddy fields.

authentic village life in Kerala

Most scenic villages in Kerala: Vaikom, Kumarakom, Kovalam and Thekkady

  • Take A Spice Tour
Spice tour in Kerala

The intoxicating aroma of pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and many such will take over all your senses when in Kerala. Its equable climate and matchless geographical positions has helped the state become the de facto exporter of varied spices. Wander through these plantations and you can also buy fresh spices from where it originates.

Best spice plantations in Kerala: Cinnamon Gardens Spices Plantation in Munnar, Goodly Plantations And Group Of Companies in Kochi and Green House Spices and Spice Plantation in Thekkady

Buckle up your shoes, because your bucket list for a Kerala tourism package is absolutely ready!

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God’s Own country indeed!

Any guesses which state in India I am referring to? It is the land of coconuts, backwaters, elephants and the land of opulent cultures and traditions. It is one of the renowned places for tourists from across the globe who love the marvelous beaches along the Malabar Coast to the labyrinth of backwater canals traversing rice fields to the magnificent hillside tea plantations in the Western Ghats. It is called ‘Gods Own Country’.

Kerala (Image courtesy-waytoindia.com)
Kerala (Image courtesy-waytoindia.com)

Whether it is the awesome seashores to the backwater pathways in Alleppey and Kumarakom or fabulous tea gardens in Munnar, Kerala offers some of the best destinations for a family vacation, holiday or honeymoon.

Kochi situated in Ernakulam district, which is in central Kerala is an important seaport in India. Kochi is the starting point of any tour package in Kerala. Some of the places of attractions here are the Jewish synagogue, Cherai Beach, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Palace. Around 1568, a beautiful structure was built in Jew Town which is the Jewish synagogue. The synagogue has been decorated with splendid Chinese tiles and remarkable Belgian chandeliers.

Jewish synagogue
Jewish synagogue (Image courtesy-www.trawell.in)

Fort Cochin, a historic place has some beautiful imitations of the foreign heritage. Kochi has an interesting history behind it, becoming one of the best natural harbours in the world. Around 1341, a major flood created an estuary at Kochi until then it was a landlocked region. The Portuguese were the first European settlers in the 15th Century when it became a port for seafarers. Mattancherry place is an old Portuguese architecture with the influence of the Orient. It has unique historical and architectural perspective.

Munnar– You can hire a cab and reach Munnar which is a 3-hour journey from Cochin. Kerala’s most beautiful hill station has an alluring terrain. It has splendid views of mountain slopes covered with green tea farms, low-flying clouds, and misty valleys. Munnar has a cold and soothing climate with organic tea farms.

Munnar (Image courtesy-www.keralaholidays.com)
Munnar (Image courtesy-www.keralaholidays.com)

If you’re an adventure tourist then you can go hiking and see dazzling waterfalls. Places of attractions are Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary, Tata Tea Museum, and Idukki Arch Dam.

Idukki Dam
Idukki Dam
  • Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary– This sanctuary is among the 12 Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Protected areas of Kerala. On the southern side, it is covered by the Eravikulam National Park and on its north is Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also check out the widespread sandalwood forest close to this sanctuary. The sanctuary has over 1000 species of flowering plants and over 225 bird species. Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India can also be found here, which is an endangered species. Mammals, like the elephant, tiger, leopard, sambar, spotted dear, etc. can be spotted here.

Grizzled Giant Squirrel from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala India(commons.wikimedia.org).

It is an ideal haunt for trekkers with deciduous forests and grasslands; river trekking, cultural site trekking, nature trail, Thoovanam falls trek, trekking and camping at Vasayappara organized by the Forest department, which is part of the eco-tourism activities of the sanctuary.

  • Tata Tea museum– A museum for tea opened by Tata tea is dedicated to the legacy of the origins and evolution of tea plantations. It houses curios, photographs and machines which depict the growth and origin of tea plantations in Munnar. Here, you get to sample different kind of teas from mild, average and strong.

Tea Museum at Munnar (Image courtesy- commons.wikimedia.org)
Tea Museum at Munnar
(Image courtesy- commons.wikimedia.org)

Food A variety of Fish curry/seafood is a specialty in Kerala.

Fish Curry-Kottayam style (mnlive.com)
Fish Curry-Kottayam style

Other places are worth visiting:

Alappuzha You can hire a Houseboat here and enjoy and relax in the backwaters.

Ayurveda Center- Kerala is renowned for Ayurveda treatment. The center is surrounded by many plants and trees. It has experienced professional doctors. You will enjoy the Ayurveda treatments.

Ayurveda center in Alappuzha
Ayurveda center in Alappuzha

WayanadIf you love nature then this has scenic forest area. A drive to Wayanad is through the Bandipur Forest, which is quite a sight. Wayanad flourishes with scenic beauties of nature and one can smell the flavor of pepper floating through certain areas.

Wayanad Bamboo Road
Wayanad Bamboo Road

Truly, Kerala is God’s Own Country!

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