Kerala Travel Diaries- Places to Visit, Things To Do
Kerala, is popularly known as ‘Gods Own Country’, blessed with a scenic beauty of green landscape, a mélange of beautiful beaches, the serene backwaters and a tradition to speak for. It is considered one of the best tourist destinations in India and truly a beautiful one. Dotted with the stunning beaches along the Malabar Coast to the fantastic verdant hillside tea gardens in Munnar, the amalgamation of rich cultures, traditions and folk dances, a land of elephants and the unique local cuisine – Kerala has it all. Kerala is a narrow strip of land with Arabian Sea on one side and Western Ghats on the other side. This place is gifted to receive the monsoon showers first in the city and thus the growth of lush greenery with its radiance and rich fertile soil has also made the land extremely cultivable. Let us see in details about the must visit places in Kerala as well the things to do when you visit the Gods Own Country.
10 Best Places to see in Kerala –
1. Backwaters of Kerala – You want a romantic and serene destination with your partner? Or, a quiet and peaceful experience for a holiday with the family? The backwaters of Kerala is the most tranquil and relaxing place that you have to visit. The sunset along with the incandescent changes in the sky and experiencing that from a houseboat along the palm-fringed Kerala canals is the best moment one can have. Also, the delicious Indian food and chilled beer on board the boat make the experience even more gratifying.
2. Tea gardens in Munnar – Munnar is the famous hill station in Kerala situated at the confluence of the three rivers Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly. Another must visit place in Kerala is the Tea Gardens of Munnar. This place is well-known for its extensive tea plantations where tea is being picked and processed, and you can also try fresh tea straight from the gardens. The land is truly a blessed beauty with winding lanes, misty hills, and forests full of exotic plants and wildlife. If you are an adventurer, try the trekking to Anamudi, the highest peak in south India or go rock climbing and para gliding.
3. Athirapally Falls (Athirapally) – Athirappilly Falls, known as the largest waterfall in Kerala, is situated in Athirappilly panchayath, Chalakudy Taluk in of Thrissur district. It stands tall at 80 feet. And just a short drive from Athirapally, the Vazhachal waterfall is close to lush green forests that are home to many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna. The wild beauty is just as fascinating as enchanting over there.
4. Varkala Beach – Considered to be one of the best beaches of India, the amazing picturesque Varkala beach provides a relatively peaceful alternative to the now commercialized Kovalam. The long stretch of cliff and views that extend over the Arabian Sea is simply breathtaking. There is a paved footpath runs along the length of the cliff, dotted by coconut palms, beach shacks, hotels. Do not miss the uninterrupted view of the sun as it slowly sinks down the horizon.
5. Folklore Museum (Kochi) – If you are a history lover, you have to visit the Folklore Museum in Kochi. It has been built in true Keralan style from ancient temples and beautiful old houses. It includes over 4000 artefacts and covers three architectural styles: Malabar on the ground-floor, Kochi on the 1st, Travancore on the 2nd. Upstairs is a beautiful wood-lined theatre, with a 17th-century wooden ceiling. The Museum is a treasure trove that showcases the rich heritage of Kerala through its numerous art and dance forms.
6. Kovalam Beach (Kovalam) – this is another top rated beaches in India and one of the prominent feature of the Kerala Tourism. The relaxing sun, the Ayurvedic treatments and powerful strong deep massage on the shacks along with the local cuisine is the best thing to ask for. The crescent shaped beach has a light house on its southern side, which provides an excellent view of the city especially the moon-shaped beach and the Vizhinjam mosque. Kovalam which is derived from coconut trees is 16 kms away from Trivandrum. The rocky formations amalgams with the calm blue bay to turn the bay into a special aquarelle on moonlit evenings.
7. Vadakkunnathan Temple – The ancient temple with unique architecture – Vadakkunnathan Temple has been declared as a national monument by the Indian government, under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. It is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Kerala, situated in the heart of Thrissur city and the temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the Vadakkumnathan temple was built by Parashurama. The temple exhibits the classic architectural style of Kerala. The interior of the temple is beautifully decorated with murals depicting the episodes from Mahabharata.
8. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Thekkady) – the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is one of the popular wild life sanctuary preserving various species of animals including elephants, tigers, sambars, gaurs and the very rare lion tailed macaques. The amazing cenic beauty along with its wildlife has been attracting tourists and visitors from all over the world for years and thus considered as one of the must visited place of Kerala. Take a boat trip to Thekkady Lake to experience it like never before.
9. Mattancherry Palace – Built by the Portuguese in the year 1557, Mattancherry Palace was presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the Palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. It is a Bhagavathi Temple in the central courtyard is built like the characteristic Kerala style mansion – the Nalukettu – the home of the aristocracy, nobleness and upper classes, with four separate wings opening out to a central courtyard. It has the view of the panoramic Kochi backwaters and the gorgeous collection of murals collectively covering over 300 sq ft of its walls. There are some display of royal paraphernalia like weapons, swings and furniture which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.
10. Padmanabhaswamy Temple – the richest Hindu temple in the world, Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram and is built in an intricate fusion of the indigenous Kerala style and the Dravidian style of architecture associated with the temples located in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, featuring high walls, and a 16th-century Gopuram. It is In terms of assets gold and precious stones, it is by far the wealthiest institution and place of worship of any kind in the recorded history of the world, with an estimated $22 billion worth of gold and jewels stored in underground vaults. However it is said that only 5 of the 6 underground vaults had been opened and explored.
Things to do in Kerala –
- To have a look at the lush green landscape, take a house boat in Alleppey to travel through the tranquil backwaters is just as amazing as it is made out to be.
- Visit the Eravikulam National Park because of Neelakurinji, which blooms once in 12 years and this rare view is a fascinating experience.
- You can also having a nice trekking experience to the peak of the hill and get to see the Nigiri Thar, an endangered mountain goat.
- Go for a Shikara rides in Alappuzha which has to offer some stunning views of the backwaters and the array of beautiful birds along with the nurturing of nature.
- Watch the Colorful Snake Boat races during Onam festival in Alappuzha, Kerala which is held from July to September particularly during Onam festival.
- Kerala is famous for spices. Visit the spice plantations or gardens in Munnar, Thekkady or Wayanad and experience some authentic black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and the exotic vanilla and explore the farms on a nature walk.
- Stay at a coffee plantation resort or homestay and it would include all the activities like trekking, night safaris, camp fire and plantation walks.
- Watch Theyyam, a dance form staged in various temples of North Kerala, usually in front of the village shrine.
The culture of Kerala is a fusion of Aryan and Dravidian cultures, advanced and mixed for centuries, under inspirations from other parts of India and abroad. It is well-defined by its antiquity, relic and the organic continuity sustained by the Malayali people. Any time you visit Kerala, most likely there will be at least one local festival you can experience. Kerala trace its non-prehistoric cultural genesis to its membership (around the AD 3rd century) in a vaguely defined historical region known as Thamizhagom — a land defined by a common Tamil culture and encompassing the Chera, Chola, and Pandya kingdoms. Kerala has an opulent cultural heritage with its diverse ethos is influenced by three main religions of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Exquisite sculptures, music and dance forms can be seen in the historic growth of Kerala’s cultural traditions. Trissur Pooram, The traditions of Kathakali and Mohiniattam are highly developed art forms that have established from their folk origins into highly evolved classical dance forms.
Kerala is known as the “Land of Spices” and have a unique culinary experience, thanks to its wide variety of spices. The cuisine offers a crowd of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes prepared using fish, poultry and red meat with rice a typical supplement. Food is customarily served on a banana leaf and almost every dish has coconut and spices added for flavor, giving its cuisine a sharp spiciness that is heightened with the use of tamarind. Seafood is the main diet in coastal Kerala, whereas vegetables are the main diet on the plains. Meat is served as the main course in tribal and northern Kerala. Dishes range from simple ‘kanji’ (rice gruel) to extravagant feasts or ‘sadyas’.
Thus, there are a million reasons to visit Kerala. From the serene view of beaches to the lush greenery, relaxing backwater and hills amalgamated with rich heritage of the land true makes it God’s own country. Unique culinary experiences combined with Land of Ayurvedha and Spices, Kerala is a must visit for everyone.
Editor’s Note: I absolutely loved this post Sanchita, so detailed! Kerala is also in my bucket list
Image Source: Google
Have you been to Kerala? If not, after reading this, I am sure you want to 😀