Kerala , known as Gods Own Country,is the land of lagoons and palms ,the land of elephants and tigers,and the land of rich cultures and traditions, and has been one of the most sought after places by travellers from all around the world.It is without doubt one of the most beautiful places on the planet and thats why they call it ‘Gods Own Country’.The cultural life of the people of Kerala is equally beautiful and is a major factor in attracting the tourists.So here we have selected for you the top ten destinations in Kerala.
1. Munnar – The Kashmir of the South
Munnar is without doubt the most beautiful place in Kerala.Located at 1600 m above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India.The lush green mountains adorned by tea and coffee plantations are a sight to watch.Munnar gives you a heavenly feeling, with the thick mist surrounding you in the middle of the plantations.The nearby mountains present a spectacular view.There are also some waterfalls and trekking paths for the adventurous traveller.The Indo Swiss diary farm project,the lake and the dam are other sights to watch.With its sleepy little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds and courts, Chithirapuram ,10km from Munnar, still exudes an old world charm.
How to reach there?
Nearest Airport- Cochin 105Kms
Nearest Railway Station – Aluva
If Munnar presented to you beauty which is partly man-made, Wayanad shows you how beautiful nature can be without human interference.The mountains, the winding lanes and the thick forests on either sides give you an ethereal experience.In the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary at the heart of Wayanad,animals like the Indian elephant, spotted dear, bison are easily spotted in their natural habitats,others animals like tiger and leopard can also be seen if you are lucky.The Edakkal caves give you paintings that are some 4000 years old.The Bamboo forests are an excellent picnic spot.For the adventurer ,trekking in Muthanga,Edakkal and Pakshipathalam can be a lifetime experience.Homely stay at the resorts in Wythiri, away from the hustle and bustle of the cities can be a refreshing experience.Other places of interest are Jain temple,Meenmutty waterfalls,Kuruva islands and the Soochipara waterfalls.
How to reach there?
Nearest Airport – Calicut 109 Kms
Nearest Railwaystaion – Calicut
Road : N H 212 (Kozhikode-Mysore) passes via Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery.
3. Anathapuri – The land of the Kings
Thiruvananthapuram ( Trivandrum ) is a must have destination for every tourist visiting Kerala , because it offers you a bunch of places of interest.Kovalam, one of the finest beaches in the whole of India,is only a half an hour ride from the city.Another wonderful beach and pilgrimage centre, Varkala is also easily accessible by road.Kanyakumari is the only place in India where you can see both sunrise and sunset and it is only a two hour ride away from Trivandrum. The hillstation Ponmudi,61 Km from the city ,offers you a day full of beautiful sights.The Ananthapuri temple right in the heart of the city is a historic monument and is a magnificent portrait.The city is connected by air, rail and road to all Metros.
4.Kumarakom- Haven of Serenity
If you are looking for a place to relax ,to relieve the tension that has builded up from your workload, to just enjoy peace and silence, this is the place to be . Located close to Kuttanad ,known as the Venice of the East,with its mangrove covered lagoons and houseboats made on bamboo, serving you the most delicious Kerala food , this place just amazes any visitor. Sailing through the calm waters of Kumarakom or enjoying an ayurvedic massage, life just slows down for you. Kumarakon is also a bird watchers’ paradise.Many different species visit this place all round the year.The resorts organize many cultural programmes exclusive to kerala like Kathakali for their visitors and also arrange spicy Indian food.So if you want to take a break from work and relax, Kumarakom is the place for you.
How to reach?
By Road From the Cochin International Airport it is an 85 Km delightful ride by road to the Muhamma boat Jetty.
By Rail Nearest Railway station- Kottayam – 16Kms
By Water If you have arrived at Trivandrum International Airport, come to Quilon by road or rail (takes just about one hour). From there, you can take the regular ferry service to Alleppey – a long and delightful ride on Kerala’s backwaters. From Alleppey, it’s just a short ride to Kumarakom.
5. Thekkady – A showcase of the Wildlife of Kerala
Thekkady is probably the best place in Kerala to observe wildlife and hence nature.From the mighty Indian elephant to the Great Indian tiger, this place has it all.Elephants, deers, boars, bisons and lion tailed macaques are a common sight in the reservoir area. With some luck,other animals like tiger and leopard can be observed.The tourism department offers trekking right into the heart of the forest either on foot or atop elephants.The resort located in an island in the centre of the lake is the ideal place to observe animals.If you are more adventurous ,you can take the road from Moozhiyar to Thekkadi via Gavi winding through the thickest forests of Kerala.Elephants are a common sight on this path.Boating through the lake is a very pleasant experience and you can observe many waterbirds at close range.This place is ideal for wildlife photography.The best time to visit is between September and March.
How to reach?
Nearest Airport- Cochin -190 Kms
Nearest Railway station -Kottayam-110 Kms
6. Cochin – The Queen of Arabia
Cochin is the main gateway to South India for foreign visitors and it offers many places of interest to tourists.It gives easy access to almost all tourist places in Kerala.It is connected by air, road and rail to all major places.The merging of the backwaters with the sea gives lot of opportunities for boating and rafting.The ride through the lagoons in Kerala style houseboats is an unforgettable experience.The famous Bolgatty Palace and the Jewish Synagogue are situated on the banks of the lagoons.There are also places of pilgrimage like the Santa Cruz Basilica and the St.Thomas Church at Malayattoor.The Thripunithura Palace is one of the biggest of its kind in the whole of Kerala.The Chinese fishing nets in the lagoons are an enchanting sight.Being the only metro in central Kerala, it also gives you great opportunities for shopping.
7.Thrissur- The cultural capital of Kerala
Thrissur or Trichur is famous for the Thrissur Pooram, one of the biggest festivals in the whole of India.The sight of a hundred adorned elephants on either sides of the famous Vadakkunnatha Temple during the festival is a must watch scene for anyone visiting Kerala.The festival takes place around April-May.The city is also famous for many of the traditional art forms of Kerala like Kathakali.The Guruvayur temple located near the city is a famous pilgrimage spot.The two major waterfalls of Kerala, Athirappally and Vazhachal, which have been the locations for many Bollywood films , are only a few hours ride from the city.Anakkayam , 20 Kms from Chalakkudy is on the shore of the famous Chalakkudy river and the place is breathtakingly beautiful with its rushing waters, chiseled rocks and silent streams.
How to reach?
The city is well connected by road and rail.
Nearest Airport – Cochin -60Kms
8.Vagamon – Enchanted Meadows
Vagamon is a pilgrimage spot , a picnic spot and at the same time a place for adventure.Situated near the Kerala-Tamilnadu boundary,in the district of Kottayam, the main attraction of this place is the hillocks stretching over a large area,with only grass and a beautiful lake among the hillocks.This is the ideal family picnic spot.During the winter , the hillocks are covered by thick mist,so thick that you cannot see a person standing 5feet away.Being within that mist, in such beautiful landscape is an inexplicable feeling and it must be experienced.The nearby pine forests are an ideal place for romantic couples.The Kurishumala church atop a hill is a famous pilgrimage place and the trekking to the church is a very adventurous task.
How to reach?
Nearest Railway station – Kottayam – 75Kms
Nearest Airport – Cochin-100Kms
9.Kollam(Quilon)- The land of Cashews
Kollam( The Portuguese called it Quilon) is a mixture of hills,backwaters, religion and culture.The Ashtamudi lake is the largest in Kerala and boating in the lake is a tranquil experience.The Thankasseri lighthouse built by the Portuguese is a famous historical monument.The Thenmala hills on the farside hosts the first ecotourism project in Kerala and the butterfly part is just awesome.Palaruvi falls near Thenmala is believed to have herbal ingredients mixed with the water.The place also has an adventure zone offering rock climbing and mountain biking.For the traveller seeking religious refuge,the Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram in Vallikkavu is world famous.
How to reach?
Kollam town is well connected by road and rail to all major cities.
Distance to Cochin-120Kms
10.Agastyakoodam- the abode of biodiversity
Agastyakoodam (Agastya Malai), a towering forested peak of 1868 metres, and adjoining forests in the tail end of Western Ghats form the most diverse and unknown ecosystem in Peninsular India. These forests, falling in the Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala and the Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu habours many endemic species of plants that are unique to peninsular India.The undulating hills of these area, especially those at lower elevations, are also known for their abundance of medicinal plants. A sizable proportion of around 2000 medicinal plants used in the traditional systems of medicine are found here.Trekking to the top of the hill, you can observe many rare fauna and flora in their natural habitat.This place never fails to satisfy the adventurous traveller.The place can be accessed from Trivandrum by road.