- Kerala Tours
Beaches, backwaters, forests, hill stations and heritage points – Kerala has them all. Choose a theme, or sample a bit of everything that this sylvan state has to offer. Either way, it’s bound to be the experience of a lifetime.
A bio-diverse region spread across 2,132 square kilometers on the lofty Western Ghats, Wayanad is one of the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land are some of the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by civilization. The very first prehistoric engravings in Kerala discovered in the foothills of Edakkal and around Ambukuthimala bear testimony to a pre-historic culture dating back to the Mesolithic Age. Strikingly scenic, it is known for its sub-tropical savannahs, picturesque hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions. A holistic confluence of wilderness, history and culture, Wayanad is located on the southern tip of the magnificent Deccan plateau.
Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam – Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach. At the serene Varkala beach is a quiet sea resort rich in mineral water springs. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name ‘Papanasam beach’. A two thousand year old shrine, the Janardhanaswamy Temple, stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach, a short distance away.
On the shores of the enchanting Vembanad Lake, lies the tiny hamlet of Kumarakom. It is part of the “Kuttanad region” called the rice bowl of Kerala. The bird sanctuary in Kumarakom is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live in flocks, in Kumarakom, are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers visitors many other leisure options. Boating and fishing facilities are available in Kumarakom.
Welcome to the Kovalam beach on the Malabar Coast that lives true to its name, which means a grove of coconut trees. This renowned beach boasts of being the most popular amongst sea surfers from India as well as abroad. Here you can laze around and sun bathe, or swim in the cool waters if the sun gets too much for you. You could even rejuvenate yourself with oil baths and Ayurvedic massages that are offered in abundance. The health centers here promote both yoga and meditation so you could also decide to cleanse your mind and soul. Be sure to binge on seafood like lobsters and experience a grand finale with the performance of the famous dance form of Kathakali. When on a shopping spree, do pick up various artifacts. Realize your dream combination of fun, frolic and fantasy at Kerala’s romantic Kovalam beach.
Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, is a city where the beautiful shadows of the past coexist with the present. Thiruvananthapuram literally translates into the “abode of Lord Anantha” and the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, in the heart of the city, is devoted to the deity Anantha. The city being the capital is the center spot for the political activities of the State. Tourist attractions include the Napier Museum, Zoo, Kuthiramalika (Horse palace) and Shangumugham Beach. An hour’s drive away is the world-famous Kovalam Beach, a veritable magnet for tourists.
Thekkady is one of India’s most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries, where you can watch wildlife at close range. 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. The Thekkady sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing wild life. Notable among the denizens of Periyar are the tigers, the majestic Asiatic wild elephants and the distinctive Nilgiri langur. Other animals include the wild boar, wild dog, bison, bear and leopards. Amongst the avifauna, the most profuse are herons, egrets, darters, kingfishers and the great Malabar grey hornbill. A cruise through the waters of Periyar lake, around which the wildlife sanctuary is situated, offers a pleasant experience.
One of the most popular hill stations in India, Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams. It was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Munnar has sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities. Munnar is essentially a tea town and the visitor is greeted with miles and miles of unending tea plantations. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji, a flower which bathes the hills in blue colour once in twelve years. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi, an ideal spot for trekkers.
The commercial capital of Kerala, Cochin is a cosmopolitan city with an outstanding port and international airport linking it to major cities across the world. Flanked by Western Ghats and Arabian Sea, this gorgeous sea side city is a popular tourist destination. Here one can enjoy boat rides and Kathakali dance performances. Top tourist spots in Cochin are Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi beach, Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town, Dutch Palace, Hill Palace and many more.
Alleppey is known as Venice of the East due to its large network of inland canals. In the past, it was one of the busiest trade centers. Today, it is renowned for its backwaters, beaches, marine products, coir industry and also the annual snake boat race competition. Over the years, Alleppey has remained relatively unchanged and this makes the destination quite special. Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is a houseboat cruise. The ones you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times. The original kettuvallams or rice barges used to carry tons of rice and spices. The kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’ was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only.