Kerala: A Paradise of Ayurveda, Backwaters, and Hill Stations

Kerala places to visit

A Land of Enchanting Beauty

Kerala, a gem on India’s southwestern coast, is a land of captivating beauty and rich heritage. From its lush green landscapes to its vibrant cultural tapestry, Kerala offers an enchanting blend of natural wonders and human artistry. In this detailed article on Kerala Places to Visit, will guide you plan a memorable Kerala Tourism.

  • Lush Greenery: Kerala is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, adorned with rolling hills, verdant valleys, and lush forests. The Western Ghats, a mountain range that runs parallel to the coast, forms a majestic backdrop to the state’s enchanting scenery.
  • Backwaters: Kerala’s backwaters, a network of interconnected lagoons, canals, and rivers, are a defining feature of the state. These tranquil waterways offer a unique opportunity to explore Kerala’s serene beauty, gliding through palm-fringed canals and witnessing the life of local communities.
  • Beaches: Kerala’s coastline stretches over 580 kilometers, boasting a collection of pristine beaches that cater to every taste. From the golden sands of Kovalam to the secluded coves of Varkala, Kerala’s beaches offer a haven for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing.
  • Hill Stations: Kerala’s hill stations, perched amidst the Western Ghats, provide a welcome respite from the coastal heat. Munnar, with its sprawling tea plantations, and Wayanad, with its misty hills and waterfalls, offer a refreshing escape into nature’s embrace.
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Kerala is home to a rich biodiversity, and its wildlife sanctuaries provide a glimpse into the state’s natural treasures. Periyar Tiger Reserve, with its diverse wildlife, including tigers, elephants, and deer, and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, with its abundance of birdlife, offer opportunities to observe and appreciate Kerala’s natural heritage.
  • Spice Plantations: Kerala is renowned for its aromatic spices, and its spice plantations offer a fascinating insight into the cultivation and processing of these culinary treasures. Visitors can wander through verdant fields of pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, and other spices, learning about their traditional uses and savoring their unique flavors.
  • Cultural Heritage: Kerala’s cultural heritage is deeply rooted in its traditions, art forms, and festivals. From the vibrant Kathakali dance performances to the intricate craftsmanship of traditional weaving, Kerala’s cultural tapestry reflects the state’s rich history and vibrant spirit. Exploring all Kerala Places to Visit, is a thrilling experience of one’s life.

Kerala Places to Visit (Must-Visit Places of Kerala)

Munnar: A Hill Station with Breathtaking Views

Nestled amidst the lush hills of the Western Ghats, Munnar is a picturesque hill station in Kerala, renowned for its mesmerizing landscapes, tea plantations, and refreshing climate. Often referred to as the “Switzerland of India,” Munnar offers a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace, captivating visitors with its breathtaking views and serene atmosphere.

  • Rolling Hills: Munnar’s landscape is adorned with rolling hills that stretch as far as the eye can see. These verdant hills, carpeted with emerald green grasses and dotted with wildflowers, create a picturesque backdrop for the town’s charming cottages and tea plantations.
  • Tea Plantations: Munnar is renowned for its sprawling tea plantations, which cover vast swathes of the rolling hills. The sight of these neatly terraced tea gardens, bathed in the soft morning light, is a visual delight, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich agricultural heritage.
  • Forests: Munnar is home to a diverse range of forests, teeming with a variety of flora and fauna. These forests, ranging from dense evergreen forests to open grasslands, provide a haven for wildlife and offer opportunities for trekking, birdwatching, and nature exploration.
  • Ideal for Trekking and Camping: Munnar’s scenic landscapes and cool climate make it an ideal destination for trekking and camping enthusiasts. Numerous trekking trails traverse the hills, offering varying levels of difficulty and leading to breathtaking viewpoints. Camping under the starlit sky amidst the tranquil surroundings provides an unforgettable outdoor experience.

In addition to its natural beauty, Munnar offers a variety of attractions and activities, including:

  • Top Station: The highest point in Munnar, offering panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
  • Echo Point: A natural echo point where the sound of your voice echoes back from the surrounding hills.
  • Mattupetty Dam: A scenic dam surrounded by lush greenery, offering opportunities for boating and fishing.
  • Atukkal Waterfalls: Cascading waterfalls amidst a serene setting, offering a refreshing escape from the summer heat.
  • Munnar Tea Museum: Providing insights into the history and cultivation of tea in Munnar.

Munnar’s mesmerizing beauty, coupled with its pleasant climate and diverse attractions, makes it a popular destination for travelers seeking a tranquil retreat amidst nature’s grandeur. Whether you’re an avid trekker, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Munnar has something to offer every visitor.

Alappuzha: Backwaters Paradise

Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is a mesmerizing destination in Kerala, renowned for its serene backwaters, picturesque landscapes, and unique houseboat experiences. Nestled along the Arabian Sea coast, Alappuzha is a haven for travelers seeking tranquility and immersion in the beauty of Kerala’s backwaters. It is one of the most beautiful Kerala Places to Visit.

  • Network of Canals and Lagoons: Alappuzha’s backwaters are a labyrinth of interconnected canals and lagoons, stretching over an area of 1,900 square kilometers. These waterways, gently meandering through the lush greenery, form a captivating network that has earned Alappuzha the title of “Venice of the East.”
  • Serene and Picturesque Surroundings: The backwaters of Alappuzha are surrounded by a panorama of enchanting scenery. Palm trees line the banks of the canals, swaying gently in the breeze. Coconut groves and paddy fields stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a tranquil and picturesque setting.
  • Houseboats for a Unique Stay: A unique experience in Alappuzha is staying on a traditional houseboat, known as a ‘kettuvallam.’ These wooden boats, once used for transporting goods, have been transformed into comfortable accommodations, offering a leisurely way to explore the backwaters. Gliding through the tranquil waterways, passengers can admire the scenery, observe local life, and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.
  • Traditional Fishing Villages: Scattered along the backwaters are traditional fishing villages, where the local fishermen continue to practice their age-old methods of catching fish from the rich waters. Visitors can witness the unique techniques used by the fishermen and learn about the importance of fishing in the region’s culture and economy.

Alappuzha’s backwaters offer a multitude of activities and attractions, including:

  • Backwater Cruises: Experience the tranquility of gliding through the backwaters on a traditional houseboat or a smaller canoe.
  • Birdwatching: Observe the diverse birdlife that inhabits the backwaters, including kingfishers, herons, and egrets.
  • Village Visits: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting traditional fishing villages and interacting with the friendly residents.
  • Sunset Cruises: Witness the enchanting spectacle of the sunset as it casts a warm glow over the backwaters and surrounding landscapes.
  • Ayurvedic Spas: Indulge in rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments at one of the many spas located along the backwaters.

Alappuzha’s backwaters provide an unforgettable experience, offering a glimpse into the tranquil beauty of Kerala’s waterways and the rich cultural heritage of the region. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a peaceful retreat, Alappuzha’s backwaters will leave you mesmerized and rejuvenated.

Kovalam: Beaches, Sun, and Surf

Kovalam, nestled on the southern coast of Kerala, is a captivating beach destination renowned for its pristine beaches, vibrant atmosphere, and laid-back charm. With its three crescent-shaped beaches, each offering a distinct character and experience, Kovalam caters to a diverse range of beach enthusiasts, from sunbathers seeking relaxation to surfers seeking thrill. It is one of the best among Kerala Places to Visit.

  • Kovalam Beach: The most popular and largest of the three beaches, Kovalam Beach is known for its calm waters and gentle waves, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and leisurely strolls along the sandy shores. The beach is lined with palm trees and beach shacks, adding to its tropical ambiance.
  • Lighthouse Beach: Named after the 30-meter-tall lighthouse that stands as a prominent landmark, Lighthouse Beach offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. The beach is slightly more crowded than Kovalam Beach but still provides ample space for relaxation and enjoyment.
  • Hawah Beach: Tucked away amidst rocky outcrops, Hawah Beach offers a secluded and adventurous experience. With its strong currents and rocky terrain, Hawah Beach is a popular spot for experienced surfers and those seeking a more challenging beach experience.

In addition to its beaches, Kovalam offers a variety of attractions and activities, including:

  • Sunrise and Sunset Views: Witness the mesmerizing spectacle of the sun rising and setting over the Arabian Sea, creating a breathtaking display of colors.
  • Ayurvedic Treatments: Indulge in rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments at one of the many spas located in Kovalam.
  • Shopping and Dining: Explore the vibrant beachfront markets and savor the flavors of traditional Kerala cuisine at the numerous restaurants lining the shore.
  • Cultural Performances: Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending traditional dance performances and music concerts held in Kovalam.
  • Exploring Nearby Attractions: Visit the ancient Vizhinjam Mosque, located on a hilltop overlooking the Arabian Sea, or venture into the nearby countryside to discover hidden temples and waterfalls.

Kovalam’s beaches provide a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, offering a blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil retreat, an adrenaline-pumping surfing experience, or a taste of Kerala’s vibrant coastal culture, Kovalam has something to offer every traveler.

Kerala Places to Visit – List continues… 🙂

Thekkady: Wildlife Encounter in Periyar Tiger Reserve

Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Western Ghats, Thekkady is a captivating destination in Kerala, renowned for its rich biodiversity and the Periyar Tiger Reserve, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Thekkady offers a unique opportunity to encounter a diverse range of wildlife in their natural habitat, while also exploring the serene beauty of the surrounding forests and hills.

  • Home to a Diverse Range of Wildlife: Periyar Tiger Reserve is home to a remarkable array of wildlife, including the majestic Bengal tiger, the gentle Asian elephant, and a variety of deer species such as sambar, spotted deer, and barking deer. Other notable inhabitants of the reserve include wild boars, gaur, sloth bears, primates, and over 350 species of birds.
  • Boat Rides on Periyar Lake for Wildlife Viewing: Periyar Lake, a serene expanse of water within the tiger reserve, offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe wildlife from the comfort of a boat. As you glide through the tranquil waters, keep your eyes peeled for elephants grazing by the lakeshore, deer bounding through the undergrowth, and the elusive tiger lurking amidst the dense foliage.
  • Trekking Opportunities in the Surrounding Forests: Thekkady boasts a network of trekking trails that wind their way through the lush forests surrounding Periyar Tiger Reserve. These trails offer varying levels of difficulty, catering to both experienced trekkers and casual explorers. Embark on a trek and immerse yourself in the verdant surroundings, while keeping a lookout for the occasional glimpse of wildlife.

In addition to its wildlife encounters and trekking trails, Thekkady offers a variety of attractions and activities, including:

  • Mangaladevi Temple: Perched atop a hill overlooking Periyar Lake, Mangaladevi Temple is a revered Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Mangaladevi. The temple offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and is a popular spot for a peaceful retreat.
  • Chembra Peak Trek: Challenge yourself with the strenuous trek to Chembra Peak, the highest peak in the Western Ghats. The trek rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys, offering a glimpse into the vastness of the Western Ghats.
  • Thekkady Spice Plantation: Embark on a tour of a traditional spice plantation and discover the aromatic world of Kerala’s spices. Learn about the cultivation and processing of spices like pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and savor their unique flavors.
  • Cultural Performances: Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural tapestry of Kerala by attending traditional dance performances and Kathakali shows held in Thekkady.

Thekkady provides an unforgettable wildlife experience, allowing visitors to witness the incredible diversity of flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Whether you’re an avid wildlife photographer, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a glimpse of the wild, Thekkady will leave you enchanted and inspired by the wonders of the natural world. It is the most adventurous among Kerala Places to Visit.

Kumarakom: Vembanad Lake’s Tranquility

Nestled along the serene shores of Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a picturesque village in Kerala, renowned for its tranquil backwaters, rich biodiversity, and Ayurvedic wellness retreats. Kumarakom offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and rejuvenating therapies, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful escape amidst serene surroundings.

  • Picturesque Village on the Banks of Vembanad Lake: Kumarakom exudes a tranquil charm with its lush green fields, rows of coconut palms, and traditional Kerala-style houses lining the lakefront. The village’s laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals provide a warm welcome, inviting visitors to slow down and immerse themselves in the serenity of the surroundings.
  • Houseboat Cruises for a Tranquil Experience: Glide through the tranquil backwaters of Vembanad Lake on a traditional houseboat, known as a ‘kettuvallam.’ These wooden boats, once used for transportation, have been transformed into comfortable accommodations, offering a unique way to explore the lake’s serene beauty. As you cruise along the tranquil waters, admire the lush greenery lining the banks, spot local fishermen casting their nets, and witness the vibrant hues of the sunrise and sunset.
  • Birdwatching Opportunities in the Surrounding Wetlands: Kumarakom is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with a wide variety of bird species inhabiting the surrounding wetlands. The lush greenery and backwaters provide a haven for migratory birds, while resident birds add their melodious tunes to the tranquil atmosphere. Embark on a birdwatching excursion and spot a variety of birds, including egrets, herons, kingfishers, and even the occasional migratory bird from far-off lands.
  • Ayurvedic Spas for Rejuvenation: Indulge in the ancient healing traditions of Ayurveda at one of Kumarakom’s renowned spas. Experienced Ayurvedic practitioners will guide you through personalized treatments using natural herbs and techniques, aiming to restore balance and promote overall well-being. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of the spas and emerge feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and revitalized.

In addition to its serene backwaters, rich biodiversity, and Ayurvedic wellness options, Kumarakom offers a variety of attractions and activities, including:

  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Explore the diverse birdlife at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, home to over 50 species of resident and migratory birds.
  • Vembanad Lake Kayaking: Experience the thrill of kayaking through the tranquil backwaters of Vembanad Lake, paddling alongside traditional fishing boats and admiring the lush greenery.
  • Village Cycling Tours: Embark on a leisurely cycling tour through the village of Kumarakom, interacting with the locals and gaining insights into their traditional way of life.
  • Cultural Performances: Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural tapestry of Kerala by attending traditional dance performances and Kathakali shows held in Kumarakom.

Kumarakom provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, offering a tranquil retreat amidst nature’s beauty and the rejuvenating power of Ayurveda. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful getaway, a birdwatching adventure, or a cultural immersion, Kumarakom will leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and connected to the tranquility of nature.

Kerala Places to Visit – You may include all the above key points in your tour plan to explore the God’s own country to it’s maximum.

Unforgettable Experiences (Kerala Places to Visit)

Backwater Cruises: Gliding Through Nature’s Embrace

  • Explore the interconnected network of canals and lagoons
  • Experience the serenity of Kerala’s backwaters
  • Enjoy the unique houseboat accommodation

Tea Plantation Tours: A Journey into the Aroma of Munnar

  • Witness the lush green expanse of tea plantations
  • Learn about the intricate process of tea cultivation
  • Savor the refreshing taste of Munnar’s tea

Trekking Adventures: Exploring the Western Ghats

  • Embark on treks through the mesmerizing landscapes
  • Discover the hidden gems of the Western Ghats
  • Experience the thrill of challenging trails

Kathakali Performances: A Cultural Tapestry

  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions of Kerala
  • Witness the mesmerizing blend of dance, drama, and storytelling
  • Be captivated by the expressive facial expressions and colorful costumes

Spice Plantation Tours: A Culinary Delight

  • Venture into the aromatic world of Kerala’s spices
  • Discover the diverse range of spices grown in the region
  • Learn about their traditional uses and culinary significance

Practicalities for Your Kerala Journey

Transportation

Kerala, nestled on India’s southwestern coast, is a captivating destination renowned for its serene backwaters, lush hill stations, and vibrant cultural heritage. With its well-connected transportation network, reaching Kerala from various parts of India and abroad is a seamless and convenient experience.

  1. Air:
    • Kerala boasts two international airports, Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) and Calicut International Airport (CCJ), catering to both domestic and international travelers. Trivandrum International Airport, situated in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, serves as the primary gateway to Kerala, offering direct flights to major cities across India and international destinations like the Middle East, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Calicut International Airport, located in the northern city of Calicut, provides connections to various Indian cities and select international destinations.
  2. Train:
    • Kerala’s extensive railway network connects the state to major cities across India, making train travel a convenient and affordable option. Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station (TVC) and Ernakulam Junction railway station (ERS) serve as the primary railway hubs in Kerala, offering direct trains to various cities within the state and beyond. Regular trains from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai provide convenient connections to Kerala.
  3. Road:
    • Kerala’s well-maintained national highways, including NH 47, NH 17, and NH 49, connect the state to major cities across India, making road travel a popular choice for both self-driving enthusiasts and bus travelers. Several private and government bus operators provide regular bus services from major cities within Kerala and neighboring states.

Here’s a summary of the key transportation options:

Mode of TransportationDescription
AirDirect flights to Kerala from major Indian cities and international destinations via Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) and Calicut International Airport (CCJ).
TrainRegular trains from major Indian cities to Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station (TVC) and Ernakulam Junction railway station (ERS).
RoadWell-maintained national highways connecting Kerala to major cities across India, enabling self-driving and bus travel.
Table: Kerala Places to Visit – Transportation

Accommodation

Kerala, a captivating destination in India, offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preference and budget. From budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays to luxurious resorts and heritage mansions, Kerala’s hospitality sector caters to a wide spectrum of travelers, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay.

  • Diverse Options Ranging from Budget Hotels to Luxury Resorts:
    • Kerala’s accommodation landscape boasts a variety of options to accommodate travelers of all budgets and preferences. Budget-conscious travelers can find comfortable and affordable stays in guesthouses, hostels, and homestays, often offering a taste of local culture and hospitality. For those seeking a more luxurious experience, Kerala’s numerous resorts and heritage mansions provide opulent accommodations, world-class amenities, and personalized services.
  • Availability in All Major Tourist Destinations:
    • Kerala’s major tourist destinations, including Munnar, Alappuzha, Kovalam, and Thekkady, are well-equipped with a wide range of accommodation options, ensuring that visitors have ample choices to suit their needs. From budget-friendly accommodations in the heart of bustling towns to serene retreats nestled amidst nature’s embrace, Kerala’s accommodation options are conveniently located to cater to travelers exploring various aspects of the state’s diverse landscapes and attractions.

Here’s a summary of the key accommodation options:

Accommodation TypeDescription
Budget HotelsAffordable accommodations offering basic amenities and a comfortable stay.
GuesthousesFriendly and welcoming establishments with a local touch, often offering shared facilities.
HomestaysImmerse yourself in local culture by staying in a traditional homestay, experiencing authentic Kerala hospitality.
ResortsLuxurious accommodations with a range of amenities, including swimming pools, spa facilities, and fine dining options.
Heritage MansionsStay in a piece of Kerala’s history, enjoying the charm and grandeur of a heritage mansion.
Table: Kerala Places to Visit – Accommodation

Kerala’s accommodation options extend beyond these categories, encompassing a variety of unique and specialized accommodations, such as houseboats on the backwaters, treehouses nestled amidst lush greenery, and Ayurvedic retreats focused on wellness and rejuvenation. With such a diverse range of options available, Kerala ensures that every traveler can find a comfortable and memorable place to stay, perfectly complementing their exploration of this enchanting state.

Tips for a Memorable Visit

  1. Ideal time to visit: The best time to visit Kerala is during the dry season, which runs from September to March. The weather is pleasant during these months, with sunny skies and cool temperatures. The monsoon season, which lasts from June to August, can bring heavy rains and flooding. However, if you don’t mind the rain, you can still enjoy Kerala’s lush greenery and waterfalls during this time.
  2. Light and comfortable clothing due to humidity: Kerala is a humid state, so it is important to pack light and comfortable clothing that is made of natural fibers, such as cotton or linen. You may also want to pack a raincoat or umbrella, as there is always a chance of rain, even during the dry season.
  3. Bargaining while shopping: Bargaining is a common practice in Kerala, so don’t be afraid to negotiate prices when shopping for souvenirs or other goods. Start by offering a price that is about half of the asking price, and be prepared to walk away if you are not happy with the final price.
  4. Trying local delicacies: Kerala has a rich culinary tradition, so be sure to try some of the local delicacies while you are there. Some of the most popular dishes include Kerala fish curry, appam (a type of pancake), and idiyappam (steamed rice cakes).
  5. Learning basic Malayalam phrases: Learning a few basic Malayalam phrases will help you connect with the locals and make your trip more enjoyable. Some useful phrases include “hello” (namaskaram), “thank you” (nandri), and “goodbye” (poyi varam).

Here are some additional tips for a memorable visit to Kerala:

  • Be prepared to relax: Kerala is a place to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Take some time to relax by the backwaters, go for a walk in the hills, or simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Be respectful of the local culture: Kerala is a traditional state, so be sure to dress modestly and be respectful of the local customs.
  • Learn about the local history and culture: Kerala has a rich history and culture, so take some time to learn about it before you go. This will help you appreciate your surroundings and make your trip more meaningful.
  • Be adventurous: Kerala is a great place to try new things. Go for a hike, take a boat ride, or try some of the local activities.
  • Be patient: Things may not always run on time in Kerala, so be patient and don’t let it get to you. Just relax and enjoy the experience.

I hope these tips help you plan a memorable visit to Kerala!

Conclusion

Embrace Kerala’s Enchantment

Indeed, Kerala is a mesmerizing destination that captivates the hearts of travelers with its captivating beauty, rich cultural tapestry, and genuine warmth of its people. Embark on a journey to this enchanting land and discover a treasure trove of experiences that will leave you spellbound.

Serene Backwaters: A Tranquil Escape

Gently glide through the labyrinthine network of canals and lagoons that define Kerala’s backwaters, a sanctuary of serenity and tranquility. Allow the gentle sway of the houseboat lull you into a state of relaxation as you admire the verdant landscapes adorned with coconut palms and traditional villages lining the shores.

Cultural Tapestry: A Symphony of Traditions

Immerse yourself in Kerala’s vibrant cultural heritage, where ancient traditions and vibrant celebrations intertwine to create a symphony of colors, sounds, and emotions. Witness the graceful movements of Kathakali dancers, marvel at the intricate artistry of handcrafted textiles, and let the rhythmic beats of traditional music transport you to a realm of enchantment.

Warm Hospitality: A Touch of Kerala’s Heart

Experience the genuine warmth and hospitality that permeates the very essence of Kerala. Encounter friendly locals who greet you with welcoming smiles and open hearts, eager to share the stories and traditions that make their homeland so unique.

A Journey of Discovery and Rejuvenation

Embark on a journey of self-discovery as you explore Kerala’s hidden gems, from serene hill stations veiled in mist to bustling markets brimming with local flavors. Indulge in the rejuvenating power of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system that harmonizes mind, body, and spirit.

Kerala, a land of enchantment, awaits you with open arms, promising an unforgettable journey that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

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