“After all there is a reason why Kerala is called God’s own country.”
Kerala, in southwest India, is regarded as one of the nation’s most beautiful states and is sometimes referred to as “God’s Own Country.” The state is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and is known for its vibrant festivals, customs, clothing, and delectable cuisine. Kerala is a great vacation spot for couples on their first date and families because of its lush tropical greenery, immaculate beaches, peaceful backwaters, and variety of flora and wildlife.
The state’s capital, Kochi (also known as Cochin), is situated on the Malabar coast in Southern India. With both local and international airports, as well as additional road and train connections, Kerala makes sure that every part of the state is easily accessible to passengers. The brackish lagoons known as the backwaters, particularly in Alleppey, are many people’s favourite part of this state and are best experienced from houseboats. Ayurveda practices, which are well-known around the world for their purifying and therapeutic properties, are also well-known in this region.
The beholder is drawn in by the local cuisine, celebrations, and artistic expressions. The most significant event, Onam, is observed by both residents of the state and those from outside of it. A prominent example of the vibrant and beautiful quality of Keralan traditions is undoubtedly the Kathakali, a fundamental classical Indian dance form.
Kerala is also abundant in wildlife preserves, enormous tea estates, and charming hill towns. These locations draw travellers all year long and are a big reason why Kerala was named one of the top 50 travel destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveller.
Top Best Places to Visit In Kerala
Munnar is a hill station in Kerala that is situated in the Idukki district and is well-known for its tea estates, vegetation, winding roads, blanket of mist, and vistas. It is one of the most popular and visited tourism locations worldwide, especially among honeymooners, and is located at 1600 metres in the Western Ghats.
Explore the vast tea estates and the unusual flora and fauna in Munnar, which was once the summer retreat of the former British government. Its main draws include the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park, and tea plantations. The endangered Nilgiri Tahr and the rare Neelakurinji flowers, which bloom only once every 12 years (the next bloom is in 2030), are two further attractions of Munnar.
Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and the majority of the guest rooms are, are the two sections of Munnar. Additionally, it is a great location for boating, paragliding, trekking, and camping. Because the area is hilly, Jeep safari is another well-liked pastime. The two most prominent tourist spots in Kerala, Alleppey and Thekkady, are frequently visited alongside Munnar.
It’s easy to find tea and spices in the hill station. Shops dotted across the hill town sell cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, coffee, and a variety of handcrafted chocolates.
Alleppey, often known as Alappuzha informally, is renowned for its system of canals and lagoons with lovely backwaters and the houseboats that offer overnight accommodations. The coastline of Alleppey, which is in Kerala’s southernmost region, offers some of the best beaches and water activities throughout the dry season. Alleppey is frequently thought of as a superb destination for a honeymoon or a wonderful family vacation when combined with other stunning locations in Kerala like Munnar and Thekkady.
The palm-fringed interconnect system of canal backwaters at Alleppey draws a lot of travellers from around the world. Kuttanad, commonly known as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala,” occupies a sizable portion of Allapuzha and is dotted with lakes, backwaters, and verdant rice fields.
Staying in Alleppey is fantastic since there are so many houseboats, homestays, and soothing Ayurvedic resorts. The houseboats go through Kerala’s tranquil backwaters where you can get vistas of lush paddy fields, choir-making activities, and locals going about their daily lives. Famous temples like Chettikulangara Devi Temple and Mullakkal Temple may be found all across Alleppey.
In order to add a bit of authenticity to your trip to Allepey, make sure to catch a traditional snake boat racing on Punnamada Lake in the months of August and September and taste some toddy (palm wine) at a nearby toddy shop.
Thekkady is a popular tourist destination in Kerala since it is home to Periyar, the largest Tiger Reserve in the nation. You can enjoy bamboo rafting in the Mullaiperiyar Dam catchment area in Periyar National Park, a popular destination. Additionally, tourists can go on nighttime excursions through Periyar’s wilderness. In order to make the most of their honeymoon in Thekkady, couples have the option of visiting the Periyar Lake, which is a part of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Also nearby is Anakarra, a beautiful natural area where you can stroll on a bed of lush flora and take in the scenery. Murukkady is another well-known location where visitors can take in the natural beauty and vast panoramas of coffee, pepper, and cardamom plantations. Parunthumpara Hill, which is blessed with stunning vistas, is charming. Another place nearby with numerous beautiful waterfalls and cascades is called Chellar Kovil. Thekkady’s Mangala Devi Temple, which is 15 kilometres away and situated at an elevation of 1337 metres, only opens during the Chitra Pournami Festival.
Along with tourist attractions, Thekkady offers lodging options ranging from basic homestays to rather lavish resorts. Numerous hotels are located close to the national park, and a boat safari early in the day inside the sanctuary is essential to see wild elephants, bison, wild boars, different birds, etc.
For those looking for a holiday in the forests where they can witness wildlife, Thekkady is the best place to go. Prepare yourself for an exciting tour filled with sightseeing chances that will take you to little streams flowing through the dense forest along the terrains, including hills, valleys, and plantations that dot beautiful Keralan countryside.
Kochi or Cochin is a port city in southwest India that has a 600-year trading history. It is located on the Malabar coast. The city, commonly referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, serves as the financial, commercial, and industrial hub of Kerala. Kochi boasts an eclectic mixture of backwaters, beaches, islands, coasts, and plain terrains. It exudes an old-world charm with varied language populations, including the Jews, Konkinis, Gujaratis, and ethnic communities like the anglo-indians.
Kochi, which once traded in the southwest, still preserves its Dutch and Portuguese structures, like the Old Harbour House, Mattancherry Palace, Bolgatty Palace, Jewish Synagogue, etc. Some of these structures have undergone modifications over time. Modern shops, art galleries, historic mansions, and some of the best museums, like the Hill Palace and Kerala Folklore Museum, can be found in the cosmopolitan town.
Ernakulam, Jew Town, and Fort Kochi are crowded with eateries and shopping areas in a vintage-meets-future style, in addition to palaces, beaches, temples, and historical attractions. In addition to sightseeing, Kochi is a popular tourist destination for its Ayurvedic massages and is a must-see location to attend performances of dance dramas like Kathakali and the artistic martial art Kalarippayattu.
The Kochi Muziris Biennale, an international contemporary art show, is held every two years in Kochi and is open to all art lovers.
In addition, Cochin is home to a collection of islands and lagoons that are connected by boats. One of the largest artificial islands in India is Willingdon Island, which is located in Kochi. Kochi, which has a functioning naval facility and an Indian Navy air squadron, is the official residence of the southern command of the Indian Navy.
Kovalam is a seaside town in Kerala that is well known for its resorts and ayurvedic massage clinics. It is around 13 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram. The lighthouse beach, which has a 30-meter-tall lighthouse, is Kovalam’s largest beach. Samudra Beach and Hawa Beach are the other two nearby beaches. All three of these beaches have shallow water and little tidal variation.
Kovalam, which was formerly a fishing community, began drawing tourists in the 1930s and gained notoriety during the hippie movement of the 1970s. It continues to see a large influx of visitors from Israel and Europe.
One of its most popular indulgences is ayurvedic medicine, along with yoga, meditation, and other cultural pursuits. With its abundance of spices, wooden statues, and handicrafts that may be bought as takeout, Kovalam may complete the circle.
Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, is a charming synthesis of a deeply ingrained heritage and a sentimental colonial legacy. The days when this city was only used by nautical explorers are long gone; today, Trivandrum is a pricey metropolis with quaint urban appeal and a wealth of architectural and historical sites to visit. It is built upon seven hills. Additionally, Kovalam and Varkala, two other prominent beach towns, are accessible from Trivandrum.
A must-see temple in India is the Padmanabhaswamy temple, sometimes referred to as the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple. Attukal Bhagawati, Aazhimala Siva, Karikkakom Chamundi Devi, and Pazhavangadi Ganapathy are a few of the other well-known temples in Trivandrum.
A few museums, including the Kuthiramalika Palace Museum and the Napier Museum, are located in the city. The Padmanabhaswamy temple is close to the Kuthiramalika Palace Museum. This museum, which houses rare paintings, traditional furniture, and other royal family items, is renowned for its Travancore-styled architectural characteristics and its structural elegance.
7. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
The region is home to a wide range of wild creatures and is regarded as the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Wayanad. This sanctuary, along with the Karnataka regions of Nagarhole and Bandipur, make up the Nilgiri Bioreserve. The refuge has been designated as a Project Elephant site and offers visitors an enchanting vista and a wealth of experiences. If you are driving along the road, you can see these animals running about freely.
The Western Ghats’ hills are home to a lush forest, Indian bison, tigers, elephants, and deer, as well as Panthers, jungle cats, civet cats, monkeys, wild dogs, and bears, are among the species that can be seen here. The refuge draws photographers and wildlife enthusiasts because of its natural surroundings and the species it supports.
8. Thirparappu Falls
The flowing waters of the Tirparappu Falls, which are around 55 miles from Kanyakumari, are a beautiful sight. This waterfall, which falls from a height of 50 feet, is artificial. Below, the water accumulates in a charming pool that is a great location for kids to splash around. The falls are surrounded by lush vegetation and local wildlife, making it a haven for environment lovers. The best time to visit Thirparappu Falls is as a day trip from Kanyakumari or as a pit stop on the way to Trivandrum.
The spectacular waterfall that forms these falls is the result of an unusual confluence of streams. The area below the confinement is completely secure and is no less than a premier waterpark. A modest shrine to Lord Shiva is located at the entrance to this place and is widely adored by the locals.
Take a boat ride over the serene waters of Thirparappu and let the breathtaking scenery surround you.
Wayanad in Kerala is renowned for its spice farms, wildlife, and luxurious resorts and homestays. It is replete with waterfalls and historical caverns. One of the numerous activities you may do to see Wayanad is to walk through the vast spice farms, hike to the prehistoric caverns, or take a resort vacation.
The wildlife reserves of Wayanad, which are home to an extraordinary variety of flora and fauna, are what the region is most known for. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which is quietly situated within the Western Ghats hills, includes the Wayanad Wildlife Reserve as an essential component. Elephants, leopards, and bears are just a few of the many animals that may be found in Wayanad. From South Indian cities, a weekend trip to Wayanad is a great option. Nagarhole, Bandipur, and Mudumalai are the three national parks you will pass through if you are travelling by car from Bangalore.
The distinctive 15-meter-high “Northern Cliff” next to the Arabian Sea makes Varkala, a seaside town in southern Kerala, stand out from other nearby communities. It is well-known for its hippie scene, cliffside shacks that serve delicious seafood and play international music, and the tomb of the saint Sree Narayana Guru from Kerala. The Jardana Swami Temple, also called Dakshin Kashi, is another attraction in Varkala.
Varkala is a small slice of paradise with some of the most pristine beaches, hills, lakes, forts, lighthouses, natural fisheries, and springs. Additionally, there are numerous stores offering cotton harem pants, oxidised silver jewellery and yoga mats with Hebrew-language signboards. It is a must-visit city in Kerala because of its ayurvedic treatments, inexpensive resorts, hostels, and clean beaches.
Best time to visit Kerala
The best time to visit Kerala is from September to February when the temperature is significantly lower. While the state becomes extremely hot during the summers (March to May) and receives heavier-than-expected downpours during the monsoon season (June to August), not all tourists are advised to travel during these times. But for some, it can be a lovely combination of celebrations, natural beauty, and the much-discussed Ayurvedic therapies.