Kerala, a tiny strip of land at the southernmost part of India, is a much loved tourist destination thronged by holiday makers. Referred to by the tag line ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is frequented by both locals and foreigners alike. Holiday destinations in this small State are scattered across in different pockets. Be it beaches, dense forests, hill stations, rich culture and hip hangouts, Kerala has something cut out for every kind of tourist. All you got to do is know your special needs and head straight to the place that offers it.
Kerala will particularly appeal to the beach lovers, as there are plenty of beaches across the State, right from the Kovalam Beach of Trivandrum to Bekal beach of Kasargode. Kovalam Beach, which has three crescent shaped beaches, is a surefire amongst the tourists. You will love it for its cleanliness, beach side shacks, open grills and the handicraft shops.
Apart from the beaches, what attracts tourists to this lovely State is its scenic splendour. If you are in the mood for a good trek up the hills, then think no more, just land up in Kerala with your trekking gear. Of all the high ranges in Kerala, Munnar is the most popular one. Munnar, with its wide expanses of tea plantations, tree houses and rich flora and fauna is an attractive hill station.
Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. An equable climate, a long shoreline with serene beaches. Lush hill stations and exotic wildlife. Waterfalls. Sprawling plantations and paddy fields. Ayurvedic health holidays. Enchanting art forms. Magical festivals. Historic and cultural monuments. An exotic cuisine… All of which offer you a unique experience. A Journey through the curving and winding backwaters of Kerala is an experience of returning to nature. Houseboat holidays have become popular in the backwaters of Kerala and provide an extremely soothing experience
Kerala, India’s most advanced society :A hundred percent literate people. World-class health care systems. India’s lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy rates. The highest physical quality of life in India. Peaceful and pristine, Kerala is also India’s cleanest state.
Taking a honeymoon in Kerala :- Looking for something a little different from the Maldives or Mauritius, then Kerala could be perfect for you. Every bit as romantic or luxurious but with a wonderful culture and “get away from it all” experience.
Ayurveda Kerala :-Kerala is the spiritual and historical to the healing system called Ayurveda, which in many ways is there original models for the world’s other healing systems such as Western Medicine. Although Ayurveda is growing popular as an adjunct to beach resorts and five star hotels throughout India, the real thing is not simply a massage or two in the hotel spa, but rather a serious medical practice that can resolve many ailments and is extraordinarily effective with conditions such as obesity and muscular problems.
Kerala Houseboats :- Traditionally, the Kerala houseboat was called Kettuvallam, which means a boat
made by tying together pieces of wood. Unbelievable as it may sound, not a single nail is used in the making of a Kettuvallam. Jack wood planks are joined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. The materials that go into the making are all local and Eco friendly bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets etc These traditional country boats were used as the mode of transport in the early times from the isolated interior villages to the towns. But these boat services have been laid off with the developments taken place in the transport services in the recent past. Today these giant 80-foot long crafts have been adapted into luxuriously furnished houseboats. A Kettuvallam usually has one or two bath attached rooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising two oarsmen and a cook. Traditional lanterns are used as lights.
Some of the major holiday destinations in Kerala are:
Alleppey (also Known as Alappuzha) :-The town was founded by Raja Keshawadasan, Divan of Travanacore in 1762. With the arabian sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the venice of the east by travellers from across the world, this backwater country is also home to diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, Alappuzha (Alleppey) has grown in importance as a backwater tourist centre, & also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry.
Places to Visit in Alleppey:Kuttanad, Alappuzha (Alleppey) Beach, Pathira Manal, Champakulam Church, Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple
Cochin (also Known as Ernakulam ) :-Fort Cochin with its stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the backwaters and its historical associations is one of Kerala’s prime tourist destinations. Along its winding narrow lanes are some Old Dutch houses, spice markets, the Dutch Palace, India’s oldest European church built in 1503 and a Jewish synagogue. Huge, elegant chinese fishing nets that line the tip of Fort Cochin are a must see and when you’re there, you can savor the fresh catch of the day at nearby restaurants. It is in Cochin that you can enjoy the spectacular Kathakali dance-drama performances in one of the many studios.
Places to Visit in Cochin: Fort Kochi, Chinese Fishing Nets, St. Francis Church, Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), Synagogue, Bolghatty Island, Willingdon Island.
Munnar :-A scenic four-hour drive from Cochin takes you to Munnar, a nature lover’s paradise. This place with its hillside rivulets and streams running along the roads, extensive te
a plantations, and breathtaking views also has a sizable population of wildlife. A stroll through Eravikulam National park will bring you ‘face to face’ with a good population of Ibex. Mudapetty Dam is an ideal picnic spot on the route to the ‘Top station’, from where you can enjoy the views of the valley. . Sprawling tea plantations, picturebook towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Munnar also has the highest peak in south india, anamudi, which towers over 2695m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.
Places to Visit in Munnar: Pothamedu, Devikulam, Nyayamakad, Rajamala, Eravikulam National Park.
Kumarakom :- Bordered by the lofty western ghats on the east and the vembanad lake and paddy fields of kuttanad on the west, kottayam is a land of unique characteristics. Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and a totally literate people have given this district the enviable title : the land also boasts the first malayalam printing press which was established by benjamin bailey, a christian missionary, in 1820 A.D.
Places to Visit in Kumarakom: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.
Thekkady (also Known as Periyar) :-The very sound of the word thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. In the periyar forest of thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in india, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.
Places to Visit in Thekkady: The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kumily, Murikkady, Vandanmedu.
Kovalam :- Kovalam is the only beach resort of Kerala, and is very popular with the Indian as well as international tourists., Kovalam lies about 12Km south of Trivandrum. It consists of two palm-fringed beaches separated by rocky headlands.Kovalam consists of three successive small crescent beaches; the southern most known as Lighthouse Beach, is where most of the visitors spend their time. The beach is bordered with low cost lodging houses, and restaurants which offer adequate facilities, at affordable tariffs – ideal for a long stay. The light house on the promontory at the southern end of the beach, offers a spectacular view across to the Vizhinjam mosque. Photography is prohibited here.
Varkala :- This is another good beach 50 km from Trivandrum. The Papanasan beach here is not as crowded as the one in Kovalam. This small town in Kerala is well-known because of the Janardhana Swamy temple, which holds its legend for over 2000 years. To honour the ancestors the residents of this town celebrate Arattu every year in March/April. The sun, sea and the calm beach under the red cliff attracts western visitors to this delightful place.
Thiruvanthapuram (also known as Trivandrum) :- Thiruvananthapuram (known as Trivendrum) the capital of Kerala. Located at the South Western tip of India, is bounded by the Arabian sea on the West and Tamil Nadu on the East. The wooded highlands on the Western Ghats in the Eastern and North Eastern borders give some of the most enchanting picnic spots, a long shorline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage make this district a much sought after tourist destination.
Places to Visit in Thiruvanthapuram:Kovalam Beach, Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, The Napier Museum, Sree Chitbra Art Gallery.
Kollam (Quilon) :- Quilon or Kollam is located 155 km south of Cochin with old timber buildings and red clay tile roofings, which is a mark of typical Kerala architecture. For most tourist Kollam is either a starting point or the last stop of their backwater trip. The much cherished ashram of Mata Amritanandamayi is in the proximity of Kollam
Kozhikode (Calicut) :-Once the capital of the powerful zamorins and a prominent trade and commerce centre, Kozhikode (Calicut) was the most important region of Malabar in the days gone by. Today, lush green countrysides, serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience make Kozhikode (Calicut) a popular destination.
Kannur :-With the western ghats in the east (Coorg district of Karnataka state), Kozhikode (Calicut) and Wayanad sistricts in the south, Lakshadweep sea in the west and Kasaragod in the north, Kannur district is bounded by a wealth of natural beauty. The district itself which shares much of this natural splendor has been a key contributor to the cultural, religious, political and industrial heritage of the state. In addition, Kannur enjoys the credit of having been the cradle of many a colourful folk art and folk music of Kerala.
Travel Guide Line
Best time to visit
High season: December – May ,Monsoon Rejuvenation programmes: June – November
Cotton outfits, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion etc.
Heavy penalities including imprisonment for possession of narcotic drugs.
Go only to those Ayurveda centres that are classified/approved by the Department of Tourism
All standard restaurants offer a variety of cuisines including Continental, Chinese, Indian and typical Kerala fare.
Tap water is purified and quite safe to drink. It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams. Bottled water is also available.
Police control room: 100
Fire station: 101
Some temples do not permit entry to non-Hindus. Strict dress codes are followed in most of the temples. Footwear is banned inside the temple premises
Nudity is not allowed in any Kerala beach.
Smoking is banned in public places
Footwear in houses
Visitors to most Kerala houses leave their footwear outside before entering the house.
Demonstrativeness in public
Behaviour demonstrating affection in public like hugging or kissing is not an accepted practice in Kerala.
To visit a wildlife sanctuary, prior permission has to be taken from the concerned authority of the sanctuary.
Image Gallery of Kerala
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