Kerala Tourism and Travel Guide

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kerala tourism and travel guide

Best Time To visit Climate How To Reach Places To Visit Things To Do Top Restaurants Best Places To Stay Shopping Travel Agents

God’s Own Country”

Kerala- home to the languid backwaters, leafy coastlines, sprawling tea gardens, and coconut vendors who are spotted at every corner to vanquish your thirst, is also famously known as ‘God’s Own Country’. It is a tiny sliver of paradise that is also one of the best tropical tourist destinations one can look for. Whether you want to bask in the sun and sand of the palm tree-lined Kovalam beach or want to take a hike to Munnar hill station, or even if you’re going to walk down the bustling streets of Kochi, Kerala has everything on offer to take your pick from!

The land of literate and simple citizens, Kerala amuses you with its spectacular dance forms, music and handicrafts. Considered to be one among the ten paradises of the world, Kerala is known for long palm tree beaches, beautiful rivers, pious inland waterbodies and a calm, green atmosphere. Apart from lush green and lovely hills of Wayanad and Idukki, beaches like Kovalam and Varkala and backwater destinations including Alleppey and Kumarakom are among few of the highlights of Kerala. Surrounded by coconut trees, the long coastline provides ample opportunity for fishing. Kerala’s backwaters, wildlife sanctuaries, mountain ranges and beaches will give you an ecstatic pleasure, and the serenity is sure to refresh your mind and body.


Best Time To Visit

Though Kerala is a year-round destination, the best season to visit Kerala depends on which place in Kerala you’re visiting. While some places are most enjoyable during the monsoons, others are best visited during the winter season. Overall, the best time to visit Kerala is during September to March, when the weather is pleasant, making it easy for tourists to explore the myriad facets of the state – the hill stations, beaches and backwaters.

The best time to visit backwaters in Kerala is the winter season, which is from November through February. It is when the weather in Kerala is pleasant for local sightseeing and boat excursions in the backwaters. Being the peak tourist season, winter is also the best time to visit Kerala with family for a memorable holiday. On the other hand, the hill stations in Kerala like Munnar receive thousands of visitors in the summer season, from April to June. It is not advisable to visit Kerala in monsoon season.

Whatever you seek – adventure or peace and tranquility, your Kerala trip will offer you all such experiences and more. Such is the beauty of a journey to Kerala! Honeymooners, families, solo travelers and friends traveling in a group are sure to find their own slice of heaven in Kerala, thereby each coming up with their own version of the best time to go to Kerala.

All in all, the best season to visit Kerala depends on what you wish to experience in Kerala, and where. Just adjust your itinerary as per the season, and you can cover as many destinations as you like within a short time frame.


Climate

Summer Season in Kerala

Summers in Kerala are from March to May, and this is when the weather is hot and humid in most parts of the state. The humidity makes it hard to enjoy sightseeing, although it does get cooler in the evenings. Hill stations remain cool during summers as well, so one can surely visit places like Munnar, Thekkady, or Wayanad during the summers. Places such as Kochi, Alleppey, and Kumarakom, on the other hand, turn too humid and uncomfortable for being outdoors. But that doesn’t deter tourists from taking advantage of the lower off-season prices.

Monsoon Season in Kerala

Monsoons, from the months of June to August, are perfect for visiting most parts of Kerala, including the backwaters, beaches, and hill stations. In monsoons, one can enjoy a refreshing climate as well as witness the lush green landscapes of the state in full bloom. The monsoon season is also ideal for indulging in Ayurvedic therapies and spa it offers respite from the humidity and the wet and cold weather helps ignite a sense of rejuvenation. What’s better than being surrounded by lush greenery and the feeling of stress and tiredness leaving your body in waves under the expert hands of a specialized masseuse!

Winter Season in Kerala

December marks the start of winters in Kerala with milder temperature till February. The winter season is perfect for visiting the backwaters and the beaches since humidity is lower and the weather is cool and pleasant. Winters make the hill stations slightly cooler than general. In winters, places such as Munnar and Thekkady offer beautiful views of mist clad mountain tops and foggy tea gardens, a mesmerizing sight for those with a penchant for nature walks. In fact, winters are the best time to visit Kerala for honeymoon.


How To Reach

God’s own land is always welcoming and inviting people from all across the globe. With its gorgeous coast line, this is the ideal place you want to enjoy the beach! Here are some options and suggestions that will help you decide on how to reach Kerala, by air (since the state has many state-of-the-art airports), by rail, by road or using the scenic waterways.

By Air

Are you an air bound traveler? Well, Kerala has an airport tucked away in every other corner. So you can fly right up to your end destination there. You can fly in to Kerala from off shores through the Kochi, Calicut (Kozikhode) and Thiruvananthapuram international airports. Up to 25 international air carriers service air routes to Kerala, so you can plenty of options and flexibility. Within India, Kerala is connected by direct flights from the following cities : ChennaiDelhi, Agatti, Mangalore, Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa.

By Rail

Rail transport on the other hand is what people mostly prefer to travel by. Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are extremely popular and are bustling with lots of activities. You can avail regular train services from the southern parts of the country. For cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the rail services are direct but not too frequent. Since these are popular routes, it’s best to make early reservations and is also cost-effective. Keep in mind that most trains to Kerala have their end destinations at either Thiruvananthapuram or Ernakulam. For last minute bookings Tatkal is a great bet! The chances of getting a seat are better and bookings are available up to a day before the train’s departure. If you want to add some glamour to your tour, get on the Golden Chariot which takes you for a South Indian Rail tour across Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

By Road

Another way to travel is by road using the National Highway to Kerala which connects the state to the rest of the country. Bombay travelers can get on the NH17 and land up in Kochi. The other National Highways to Kerala include NH47, NH212, NH49, NH220, NH208 and NH213. However, this is more popular with the people staying close by to Kerala, mostly from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. You could instead just book a night journey on private or government serviced buses. Air conditioned Volvos make for the most comfortable experience!

By Ferry

Kochi happens to be one of India’s major docks which make way for domestic cruises. A terminal for international cruises in underway and will soon open a great travel route for tourists.

Travelling within Kerala

Once in Kerala, the best way out of the airports is by cab and perhaps the most preferred way to travel within the city. It gives you a chance to appreciate the gorgeous scenery around, and take in the mesmerizing coastal line. Interestingly, helicopter taxis are also available to transport people from the airport to the main city. However, this isn’t very convenient to travel frequently within the city. If you’re not too keen on taxis or auto rickshaws, you could also rent a car to travel around. Although expensive, moving around by car can be more convenient. Bus and inter-city train networks are also available and do a great job of connecting people. Timetables can be easily found and services can be arranged quickly.

When you’re in a coastal area, you can also use the ferry service. It’s probably the most convenient and most used mode of transportation. A perfect choice for connecting short distances!


Best Places To Visit

Places To Visit In Munnar 

01. TATA Tea Museum

The Munnar Tea Museum outlines the development of tea estates which has been displayed by the elementary tea roller to the modern fully automated tea factory. These machinery display various stages of tea processing and the variable contrast in them.

One can also learn the production of black tea from the exhibits displayed within the Tea Museum. At the entrance of the museum, one can witness a sundial placed on a granite block. This artifact has a historical relevance attached to it making it one of the best tourist places in Kerala.

Munnar Tea Museum is home to some of the exotic artifacts like the ‘Pelton Wheel’ used in the power generation plant in the 1920s, the museum also has classic bungalow furniture, iron oven, wooden bathtub, magneto phone, typewriters, manual calculators etc. located in one of its galleries.

Location: 
KDHP House, NH 49, Nullatanni, Munnar, Kerala 685612

Timings: 
10 AM to 4 PM

Entry fee:
 Approximate price starts from INR 75

02. Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park isn’t just a tourist place in Kerala; it is also home to a number of endangered and vulnerable species in the world. The national park is about natural beauty and riveting landscapes that offer one the ultimate opportunity to rendezvous with the wild.

With its natural landscapes and the backdrop of hills, this stunning national park is certainly one of the best places to visit in Kerala. The rolling hill plateau of Eravikulam serves as home to over 25 species of mammals, including the Nilgiri Tahr, which is the largest surviving population of the species.

The park is also home to Golden Jackal, Elephants, dusky palm squirrel, Stripe-necked Mongoose, and porcupine, making this place feel alive with a blend of tall and small animals. Lakkom Waterfalls and the Cauvery River in this region provide a natural source of water to the wildlife here.

Location:
 The Wildlife Warden Munnar PO, Idukki, Kerala, 685612

Timings:
 7:30 AM to 4 PM

Entry fee:
 Starting from INR 65

03. Mattupetty Dam

Nestled inside the hills of Munnar and very near to the Anamudi peak lies Mattupetty, the hill station at a height of 1,700 m. Mattupetty is located 13 km away from Munnar. Here you can enjoy the greenish valleys and feel the fabulous climate around. The main attraction of Mattupetty is the dam and the lake here.

The dam of Mattupetty is a storage concrete gravity dam. The dam was constructed under the Pallivasal Hydro-electric project in the late 1940s, for the purpose of water conservation and power generation. The most attractive part of Mattupetty dam is its still water which reflects the tea garden around.

You can engage yourself with water sports activities like speed boating organized by the District Tourism Promotion Council of Idukki (Munnar) and enjoy the pretty natural surroundings of this beautiful dam. Adventure lovers also have options here like trekking in the Shola forest.

Location: Munnar – top station highway, Mattupetty, Kerala 685616

Timings: All day.

Entry fee: None.

04. Anamudi

The Anamudi Peak, which attains tall in the Eravikulam National Park, is the jewel of Kerala. It is the highest mountain peak in India other than the great Himalayan Mountain Ranges, nestled with rich flora and fauna. It is also home to the largest surviving populations of Asian Elephants, endangered Gaurs, exotic Nilgiri Langurs, and lion-tailed macaque making it one of the best tourist places in Kerala.

The Anamudi Peak is a heaven in the wild, which is covered with conifer forests with some very beautiful rivers flowing inside the jungle. Tourists take a trek to the top of the mountain and enjoy the sight of beautiful rivers flowing into the east like Vaigai and Thamirabarani, and the Periyar River.

Anamudi Peak is remarkably high and has lush wet slopes, which makes trekking even more difficult. Therefore, trekking facilities here are provided by concerned officials and tourists are allowed to trek on foot up to 2 km. Trekkers who wish to climb on the top are required to submit special permission from Eravikulam National Park authorities.

Location: Devikulam Taluk, Idukki.

Timings: All day.

Entry fee: None.

05. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

If you want to see a blend of all tourist places in Kerala, then Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is your destination. This Indian wildlife sanctuary is one of the protected areas of Kerala and features a nominated World Heritage Site. With 34 species of mammals, including panthers and spotted deer, this wildlife sanctuary is one of those Indian destinations that any wildlife or nature lover would like to explore.

The rusty-spotted cats and grizzled giant squirrels, which are known as vulnerable species are also found here. The Mugger Crocodile is quite famous around here. With 22 amphibian species and over 150 species of butterflies, Chinnar is certainly one of those places that will cause butterflies in your stomach. The Chinnar montane rain forest gives it ethereal natural beauty, which is complemented by the Thoovanam Waterfalls, providing this forest with a stunning appearance.

Tourists are allowed to enjoy nature walks at Chinnar and its Pamber River Banks, thereby giving them an opportunity to find a giant squirrel and watch birds. Here, adventure lovers can get a strong rush of adrenaline by enjoying natural activities such as trekking. The scenic beauty makes a perfect backdrop for camping. The lofty watch tower here provides an incredible panoramic view of the entire area.

Location: Munnar – Udumalpet Road, Munnar, Kerala 685612

Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM

Entry fee: INR 10

06. Top Station

Situated in Kundala Valley, Top Station is one of the most popular places to visit in Kerala. The place is famous for having beautiful tea plantations, verdant valleys, fabulous waterfalls and mostly the Neelakurinji flowers that bloom once in twelve years. One of the most spectacular sights that can be witnessed from Top Station is the beautiful landscape covered with clouds.

The pristine beauty of the place will leave you in search of words. It is a great spot to enjoy a picnic with your loved ones and enjoy the most panoramic views of the Western Ghats on your vacation. The place is a haven for nature lovers and best visited from the month of April to May in Kerala.

Location: Munnar – Top Station Highway, View Point Path, Munnar.

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

Entry fee: None.

07. Attukad Waterfalls

It is one of the most beautiful destinations, which you should not miss while intending a trip to Munnar. Attukal extends the beauty of water falling from the top of the hill. The sight of the roaring water and the rolling hills around is something which you can never erase from your thoughts. It is one of the most attractive scenes that you can look at during your stay at Munnar.

The place is also ideal for long trekking and hiking but assumes a cascading and roaring beauty during the monsoons. The beautiful waterfall is surrounded by dense green forest, which will be an excellent spot for those who fancy adventure and want to have a trekking experience.

Location: Attukad Waterfall Rd, Pallivasal, Kerala 685565

Timings: 9 AM to 7:30 PM

Entry fee: One can pay INR 100 for a guide.

Best Places to Visit in Kochi

08. Fort Kochi

Among the tourist places in Kerala, Fort Kochi is a beautiful region located towards the South-West part of the city of Kochi. This region is one of the three main urban regions that constitute the present day Kochi City. Fort Kochi was the place of the first European township in India, the influence of which can still be felt and observed in the city’s architecture and its town planning.

In current times, the Fort Kochi region is considered to be one of the finest places to visit in Kerala, with its major attraction being its beaches, the beautiful sight of traditional fishing in this region, and of course the European inspired architecture of this region.

Location:
 Kochi 682001

Timings: 
5 AM and 9:50 PM

Entry fee: 
None.

09. Cherai Beach

Lined by coconut groves and Chinese fishing nets, Cherai beach in Kochi is considered as one among the best places to visit in Kerala. It is comparatively a less crowded and properly cleaned beach in Kochi that displays a picturesque view of sea and backwater join at a particular point. It is a spot where different species of fishes including dolphins are seen.

Located on the north end of Vypin Island, the beach is a favorite spot of swimmers. The sunset view from the beach spreads multiple hues in front of your eyes. Near to the beach, there are many resorts as well for couples, family, and group of friends.

Location: Cherai Beach Rd, Kochi, Vypin Island 683514

Timings: All day.

Entry fee: None.

10Kodanad Elephant Training Centre

Image Credit : yatramantra

Kodanad on the banks of Periyar River along with the beautiful high ranges near Perumbavoor, Ernakulam is the largest elephant training centers and one of the best places to visit in Kerala Since elephants are unavoidable in any occasion of Kerala people such as temple festivals, processions, cultural shows etc, they get proper care always.

Elephant care centers in Konni and Muthanga are quite famous but Kodanadu has a large number of elephants being trained and cared.

Location: Vallom Panamkuzhi Road, Malayattoor PO, Kaprikad, Kerala 683544

Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM

Entry fee: INR 10

11Santa Cruz Basilica

The Santa Cruz Basilica is considered as one of the good places to visit in Kerala. It is an ancient church built by Portuguese invaders during the colonial period and it is the prominent landmark of Fort Kochi. It is on the Santa Cruz road, Fort Kochi in Kochi district.

This church stands as a predominant relic of the ancient Portugal culture and it narrates the history of Fort Kochi. The Dutch people came after Portuguese avoided this church from their attack so that it holds more pride over any other churches around Kochi. John Paul II declared it as Basilica in 1984. The church has two lofty spires and remarkable bright, whitewashed exterior and a pastel-colored interior.

Location: Bastian St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Entry fee: None.

12Wonderla Amusement Park

Gear up for an adventurous day at Wonderla Amusement Park when you are vacationing in Kerala. It is one of the exhilarating places to enjoy rides and have fun with your loved ones. The amusement park is great for having thrilling experiences with your family. The place has a lot of food options and offers a memorable experience.

A few of the popular attractions at Wonderla Amusement Park are Musical Dancing Fountain, The Vintage Castle, Vintage Tornado, Wavy and Vertical Fall, Caterpillar ride, Rapid River, Wave Pool, and Wonder Splash.

Location:
 Kumarapuram P O, Pallikkara, Kerala 683565

Timings:
 11 AM to 6 PM

Entry fee:
 Starts from INR 385

13Hill Palace of Tripunithara

Thripunithura Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum of Kerala and highly recommended among the places to visit in Kerala. Thripunithura is a town in Kochi and the Hill Palace has been the administrative office of the Kochi royal family.

The palace complex consists of 49 buildings that possess traditional Kerala architectural style and there you can see the remnants, the antique pieces of Kerala culture, heritage museum, a deer park, a historic park, and a children’s park. The pond inside the palace enhances the whole beauty of the palace to the next level.

Location: Hill Palace Rd, Irumpanam, Thrippunithura, Ernakulam, Kerala 682301

Timings: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM & 2 PM to 4:30 PM

Entry fee: INR 10

14Marine Drive, Kochi

Image Credit : Wikipedia

One of the most picturesque locations in Kerala, the Marine Drive is a promenade in the Indian city of Kochi, which has been built in a beautiful way to face Kerala’s backwaters. A popular hangout for local populations, Marine Drive is known for being one of the most enthralling, beautiful tourist places in J. The Rainbow Bridge here is quite popular and provides travelers with a chance to enjoy the structural beauty of this place. The drive is located at an economically thriving region of Kochi.

Visit Marine Drive in Kochi if you wish to experience the bounties of a sunset. The beauty of this region, along with the gentle breeze from the Vembanad Lake makes a perfect backdrop for chatty conversations, eating and shopping. Tourists throng this walkway during evenings, enjoying incredible things that this place has to offer.

Starting from High Court junction till Rajendra Maidan, this Drive has a length of 1.75 kilometers and also offers boat jetties along the way. Two new bridges, the Rainbow and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge offer surreal views of Kerala’s backwaters. Truly, this is one of the best places to visit in Kerala.

Location:
 MG Road, Kochi.

Timings: All day.

Entry fee: None.

Best Places to Visit in Alleppey

15. Alleppey Beach

Alleppey beach is a famous picnic spot in Kerala that houses an extended human-friendly beach. Since Alleppey is known as the Venice of the East, the trade through the sea and backwaters contributes a lot toward the economic development of Kerala.

A pier extended towards the sea is known to be 137 years old and also it is reached out to the mass through the entertainment beach festival conducted on New Year’s Eve. A lighthouse situated nearby exists as a fascination to all groups of people visiting the beach.

The marine products of Alleppey have a great demand among the public, so the beach can be seen so crowded always. Moreover, the serenity on the sides of the beach is alluring. It is lined by coconuts swaying in the sea breeze creating such a nice atmosphere throughout the day.

Location: Alleppey Kerala, 688007

Timings: All day.

Entry fee: None.

16. Krishnapuram Palace

Alleppey boasts of its tremendous collection of old houses and palaces. One such preservation is the Krishnapuram Palace located in Kayamkulam town. It is built in the 18th century by a then ruler of the place.

The traditional architectural style of Kerala is vividly portrayed even in the nook and corners of this palace. Gabled roof, narrow corridors, and dormer windows of the palace still possess pride. Now it is taken care of by the Archaeological Department of Kerala. It has a large pond as well inside which adds more beauty to the palace.

The walls of the palace are made quite attractive with the mural paintings named Gajendra Moksham, Kerala style paintings, and other paintings which are popular. Krishnaswamy temple in the vicinity is the main reason the palace got the current name. Encircled by terraced gardens with fountains are another highlight of this palace on a small hillock.

Location: Ochira Rd,Near Kayamkulam, Alappuzha Dist, Krishnapuram.

Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM & 2 PM to 4:30 PM

Entry fee: INR 10

17. Marari Beach

Marari beach is a beautiful beach located 11 km away from Alleppey town. The white sand beach is a favorite bed for all the tourists since the beach is famous for its cleanliness and the coconut groves on the shore. It is comparatively a quiet beach and the sea seems to be always calm.

This beach has a lot of demand among the tourists because it has umpteen numbers of resorts nearby with beach view rooms. You can see people going for fishing in traditional boats from the shore. The salubrious nature present around the beach is an obvious reason for the beach being a hub for all tourists of Alleppey.

Location: Alappuzha-Arthunkal- Cherthala, Thoppumpady road, Mararikulam, Alappuzha, Kerala 688523

Timings: All day.

Entry fee: None.

18. Alleppey Lighthouse

Built in 1862, the Alappuzha lighthouse is a favorite site for tourists coming to Alappuzha. It is situated in the coastal town. It was the landmark for many traders from different parts of the world especially colonial people from Portuguese, Dutch, and England.

The 30 feet high lighthouse preserves the history of Alappuzha port which was the main trade port during the ancient period. But it has been made open to public visit since 2007. The lamp of the lighthouse now is a 230 V 150 W Metal halide lamp which extends its light to a remarkable distance.

The lighthouse celebrated its 150th year in 2012 and it marks the pride and majesty of the Kerala rulers during that time since it is a stamp of the royal family of Travancore loved during that time.

Location: Alappuzha Light House, CCSB Rd, Civil Station Ward, Alappuzha, Kerala 688012

Timings: 9 AM to 11:45 AM & 2 PM to 5:30 PM

Entry fee: INR 10

Best Places to Visit in Kumarakom

19. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

For all avid bird watchers and fauna lovers, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is nothing less than a heaven. Set in the backdrop of Kerala Backwaters, this beautiful bird sanctuary is known for its lush green lawns and deep blue skies, which are adorned by birds from all over the world. The sanctuary, which is spread over 14 acres offers boat ride from Kavanar River or the Vembanad Lake.

The main attraction of birds that can be seen here includes the duck, the Brahminy Kite, waterfowl and cormorant, darter and egret along with heron, cuckoo, moorhen, and owl. The place is also home to a number of migratory birds such as flycatcher, Siberian Crane, teal, lark and parrot. The bird sanctuary is probably most popular for having migratory birds from as far as Siberia and the Himalayas.

Mostly an early morning trek, preferably before the sunrise, is one of the best ways of watching birds here. The birds leave their forest homes early in the morning and usually surround and fly over the lake, making it the hub for bird watchers from all over the world which makes this place one of the best tourist places in Kerala.

Location:
 Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563

Timings
: 6:30 AM to 5 PM

Entry fee:
 INR 50

  • 20Kumarakom Beach

    Image Credit : trinityairtravel.com

    Kumarakom is one of the most breathtaking Kerala tourist places that is known for its backwaters, museums, scenery and the most fabulous beaches. One can look forward to having a refreshing getaway with adventure activities like swimming, water polo, snorkeling, volleyball, and other water sports activities. One can appreciate the calm nature on the beach resorts and look forward to relaxing and unwind by the beaches.

    The place will leave you spellbound as you take a stroll by the beach which will leave your senses revived. There are also places where you can unwind with yoga, meditation and have a relaxing time enjoying an Ayurvedic massage at Kumarakom Beach.

    Location:
     Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kerala, 686563

    Timings: 
    All day.

    Entry fee: 
    None.

  • 21Vembanad Lake

    Image Credit : keralaenchanting

    The pulse of Kerala can be felt at the Vembanad lake, which is a confluence of ten rivers. The largest Lake in Kerala also the pride of the state is a labyrinth of several groups of small islands, lagoons, canals, and estuaries presenting an overwhelming display of nature’s glory.

    Being a tourist hot spot exclusively for backwaters, one may find over five hundred Kettuvallams, traditional houseboats either plying or anchored to the banks. The Kumarakom Bird sanctuary is on the banks of Vembanad, showcasing hundreds of migratory and local birds in their flamboyance.

    Location: 16 km from Kottayam.

    Timings: Sunrise to Sunset.

    Entry fee: None.

  • Best Places to Visit in Kovalam

  • 22Lighthouse Beach

    Kovalam is one of the best places to visit in Kerala and is the most visited tourist attraction in India. Kovalam beach is famous for the smooth white sandy beaches which run alongside the Malabar Coast. Lighthouse beach in Kovalam which is much loved by the people.

    This beach was named after the 30 meters high lighthouse which stands tall on the beach. Located towards the southern end of the beach this acts as an observation platform Poovar and Beemapalli mosque. There is a total of 142 steps through which you can reach the top. The rhythmic tones of waves along with the cold breeze from the Arabian Sea are more than enough to enthrall any visitor here.

    Location: Light House Beach Road, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695527

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 23Karamana River

    Karamana River is another famous attraction in Kerela which is very famous among the people. Starting from the southern tip of the Western Ghat flows the Karaman River. This river merges with the Arabian Sea near Kovalam, after flowing 66 km westward.

    The areas near the river mainly consist of dryland crops such as pepper, coconut, and rice. The river has two important dams, Aruvikkara Dam and Peppara Dam. This place offers a spectacular view of the lush greenery and the backwaters.

    Location: Kovalam, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 24Vellayani Lake

    On the off chance if you are searching for a quiet place to spend your weekends the Vellayani Lake is one of the best tourist places in Kerela. This freshwater lake is an exceptionally well-known cookout spot and is found 7 km from Kovalam.

    Voyagers come here for a boat ride or to invest the energy hailing the appeal of the scene while they invest some recreation time. During Onam, festival enthusiasm takes over as the popular traditional boat races are organized here. The peaceful lake entices individuals from great distances abroad to appreciate the grand perspective.

    Location: Lake Rd, 7 km from Kovalam.

    Timings: 
    All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 25Valiyathura Pier

    Make your weekend unique with a visit to the most extraordinary tourist place in Kerela. Valiyathura Pier is somewhere else which is an unquestionable requirement visit destination in Kerela. This 214-meter long Pieris situated at the old port of Valiyathura, an unwinding shoreline at Kovalam.

    This dock was utilized by the angler amid the high tide and is currently a well-known spot for calculating and photography. Upheld by 127 solid heaps, the dock had four 3-ton cranes and one 10-tonner to empty load from the boats. Since the wharf was situated in shallow waters, substantial boats needed to grapple in the remote ocean and transport their product in little vessels.

    Location: Valiyathura, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695008

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 26Neyyar Dam

    While you are in Kerala don’t miss a chance to visit the Neyyar Dam which is one of the most visited tourist places in Kerala. Situated at the foot of the Western Ghat this lake was established in the year 1958. This popular picnic spot is heaven for tourist in search of some serenity and isolation. Refresh your spirit as you visit this one of a kind dam while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

    The Neyyar Dam is a part of the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary which is an abode of a variety of flora and fauna. One can find different species of wildlife like wild boars and elephants to the vast range of medicinal herbs. This place is definitely a paradise for nature lovers.

    Location: Kallikkad, Kerala 695572

    Timings: 8 AM to 7 PM

    Entry fee: INR 10

  • 27Hawah Beach

    Hawah beach is one of the best beaches in Kovalam which is a hit among the people. This beach lies opposite to the lighthouse beach. This beach is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches among the beaches in Kovalam. While you are the visit you can see the stack of palm groves.

    If you visit the beach in the early morning you will find it filled with fishermen who will be busy with their day to day life. Hawa beach is separated from other beaches by the foreland of Edakkalu.

    Location: Light House Beach Kovalam, Vizhinjam P.O, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695521

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • Best Places to Visit in Thrissur

  • 28Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary

    The chimmony wildlife sanctuary is located in Mukundapuram taluk of Thrissur district; one of the best places to visit in Kerala. It is spread along the Western Ghats. The place is a haven for more than hundreds of various species of birds, both common and endangered. Chimmony dam adds more beauty to the entire place where serenity has been displayed so well.

    It is a protected area for a variety of wildlife, lush green forests, water reservoir etc. Also, you might get trekking and bamboo rafting facilities also around the sanctuary. So it is considered as a must visit a place that offers a breathtaking panoramic view.

    Location: Chimmini Dam Road, Dist. Thrissur, Pariyaram, Kerala 680304

    Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

    Price: INR 10

  • 29Athirappilly Waterfalls

    Fondly known as the ‘The Niagara of India,’ Athirappilly Falls is certainly the best waterfalls in the country. Located at the Chalakudy River, this waterfall has a total height of 82 feet and is located at the segmented type at an elevation of 390 feet.

    The river just below the falls remains turbulent and resumes its calmness after a kilometer. The falls are also known for flowing towards the Arabian Sea and its environs are known for being home to a number of animals and plants, including endangered species.

    Apart from the scenic beauty of this waterfall, the place is known for its wildlife, including animals such as Asiatic elephant, Sambar deer, leopard, bison and lion-tailed macaque. The forests here serve as a nestling bastion for Malabar Pied and Grey Hornbill along with the Great Hornbill. Teak, Bamboo and Eucalyptus are some of the trees that are widely found here.

    Location: 
    Athirapally, Chalakudy Taluk, Thrissur.

    Timings: 
    8 AM to 6 PM

    Entry fee: 
    INR 15

  • 30Vadakkunnathan Temple

    Vadakkunathan Temple in Thrissur is one of the must-visit places of Kerala that displays the tradition and authenticity of typical Kerala through its walls and structures. Standing in the middle of a huge ground known as Swaraj Round, Vadakkunathan temple is one of the biggest temples of Kerala and the main idol here is Lord Shiva.

    Thousands of people visit the places everywhere and it is famous for hosting the renowned Thrissur Pooram, the festival with a maximum number of people comes together at a time. The temple bagged a UNESCO award for the conservation and renovation of the building. Anayoottu is yet another attraction carried by the temple with hundreds of elephants get good proper food.

    Location: Swaraj Round N, Kuruppam, Thekkinkadu Maidan, Thrissur, Kerala 680001

    Timings: 3 AM to 10:30 AM & 4 PM to 8 PM

    Entry fee: None.

  • 31Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple

    Paramekkavu Devi temple is one of the largest temples in India which could be considered as one among the best places to visit in Kerala. It is one of the many temples that participate in the huge festival of Kerala, Thrissur Pooram.

    The temple is situated opposite to Vadakkunnathan Temple, another huge temple. The major deity of Paramekkavu is a goddess. The cool breeze inside the temple solaces each devotee’s heart. The Kerala architectural style is beautifully displayed at each point of the temple.

    Location: Paramekkavu Devaswom Building, Round East, Thrissur, Kerala 680001

    Timings: 4:30 AM to 11:30 AM & 4 PM to 9 PM

    Entry fee: None.

  • 32Snehatheeram Beach

    Snehatheeram beach is located in Thalikulam, calm place in Thrissur district and one of the best places to visit in Kerala. It is maintained by Kerala Tourism department; the beach is known as love shore. Domestic as well as international tourists flow towards this beach every year in an unlimited number.

    The cleanliness, well-maintained surroundings, the cool water are the key factors that attract people. The view from the shore is enigmatically coupled with the relishing breeze around always. There is a children’s park as well with large aquariums, also there is a family restaurant nearby named Naalukettu. It is a better location to have a good time with your friends or family.

    Location: Thalikulam, Thrissur.

  • Best Places to Visit in Wayanad

  • 33Chembra Peak

    Chembra peak joins Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu and Vallarimala in Kozhikode. The peak is evident from almost all parts of Wayanad. This place is an excellent destination for trekking expeditions. You have to take prior approval from the Meppady forest office prior to the trek at Chembra Peak.

    Night camping is not permitted at Chembra peak as there is a threat from wild animals. It will take at trivial three hours to reach the top point of Chembra peak. On the way to this peak, you can witness the heart-shaped lake, which is said that it has never dried up. It is one of the popular attractions of this peak.

    This lake is known as ‘hridhayathadakam’. From the summit of the peak, you can enjoy the views of whole Wayanad. You can also sight Kozhikode, Malappuram and Nilgiri districts from here. You will get amazed by the enthralling charm of nature here. There are many peaks nearby Chambra peak. But it is hard to climb into those, as they are cloaked with impenetrable forests.

    Location: Chembra, Wayanad 673586

    Timings: 7 AM to 5 PM

    Entry fee: None.

  • 34Kuruva Island

    Kuruva Island also known Kuruva Island is a preserved river delta, holding a group of islands in Kabini River. Sprawling over 950 acres of estate, Kuruva Island is richly populated with flora and fauna. The terrestrial distinctiveness of this island makes this place evergreen with a calm ambiance.

    Living deep on this island, you can witness many beautiful structures like bridges constructed of bamboo trees and other rare species of trees. The isolated island is home to precious species of birds, orchids, herbal plants etc. The island is enclosed by streams and you can have a boat ride or raft within this stream enjoying the enchanting beauty of the island.

    Location: Kuruva Island, Wayanad, Kalpetta, 673121

    Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

    Entry fee: INR 10

  • 35Pakshipathalam Caves

    Pakshipathalam caves- the very name of the place refers to the richness of birdlife here. Here virgin forests, rivulets, and steep hills together offer challenging avenues for trekking. A cave which saints are believed to have used for meditation in ancient times has become a major attraction for tourists.

    Pakshipathalam lies in the Brahmagiri hill range and is located close to Thirunelli temple, Wayanad in Kerala. A trek to Pakshipathalam takes you through moist deciduous forests, rolling hillocks, open grasslands, slippery trails, and narrow rocky caves.

    Also known as Munikal caves, this den of birds lies deep inside the forest. With no proper roads, the 8 km hike on the jungle trail is quite challenging.

    Location: Tholpetty, 7 km from the Thirunelli Temple, Kalpetta.

    Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

    Entry fee: INR 50

  • 36Edakkal Caves

    When it comes to exploring the hidden facets of Kerala, then there is no place better than the Edakkal Caves. These caves, which are situated near the Wayanad district, are known for having pictorial writings and details that are at least 6000 BC old.

    Considered to be drawn and represented by the Neolithic man, these caves provide incredible insights into the prehistoric civilizations around the world. They aren’t technically caves, but they are rather considered to be clefts and rifts, with fissures that have been caused by splitting of rocks. Several tons of this cleft or the rift serve as a cave.

    The carvings here are known for representing human and animal figures, providing an indelible insight into the presence of prehistoric settlement. In fact, the oldest one dates back to more than 8000 years ago and suggests that these Edakkal caves have been inhabited several times in history.

    Location: 
    Nenmeni, Kerala 673595

    Timings:
     8 AM to 4 PM

    Entry fee: 
    INR 15

  • 37Banasura Sagar Dam

    Image Credit : Bharath Shankar – Flickr

    Another tourist spectacle of Kalpetta is Banasura Sagar dam. It is the biggest earth dam in India and the second biggest of its class in Asia. The dam is made up of huge piles of stones and rocks. Situated about 15 km from Kalpetta, the dam contains a vast stretch of water and its striking beauty is flattered by the string of mountains seen on the backdrop.

    It is structured in the Banasura Lake and the nearby hills are known as Banasura Hills. Stories say that the Asura king of Banasura undertook an intense punishment on the top of these hills and thus it was named after him. The scenic mountains invite adventure travelers and the dam site is an excellent starting point for trekking.

    During monsoon, travelers may also be able to witness the small island in the dam’s pool. The boundless expanse of the clear aqua of the dam spotted with small islands is a photographer’s pleasure.

    Location: Banasura Sagar Dam, Padinjarathara 673575

    Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
    Entry fee: INR 10
  • 38Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

    The animal sanctuary of Wayanad isn’t just for wildlife enthusiasts, it is also a great place for photographers, vacationers, couples and travelers who wish to choose unique rides of the state. With some unusual birds found in this place, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary has gained prime importance. Apart from birds, the wildlife area is also known for housing some of the most endangered species of flora and fauna.

    With salubrious climate, the place is known for housing a wide range of flora, fauna and avian fauna. For instance, the forests here combine moist deciduous trees, including rosewood and bamboo. A number of semi-green patches are also found throughout the jungles here.

    Apart from them, monkeys, wild dogs, and bears are also popularly seen here. Monitor lizards, panthers and jungle cats are also quite common. In terms of avian fauna, peacocks are quite popular. They are widely seen dancing with their feathers open. Cuckoos, jungle fowls and woodpeckers can be witnessed by avid bird lovers. Babblers are also a common variety of avian fauna seen throughout the Wayanad Wildlife Reserve.

    Location: Bathery- Puthupally Road, Sultan Bathery, Kerala 673592

    Timings: 7 AM to 10 AM & 3 PM to 5 PM

    Entry fee: INR 10

  • Other Places to Visit in Kerala

  • 39Varkala Beach

    Varkala Beach is one of the famous beaches of Southern India located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This beach is also known as the Papanasam Beach with the word ‘Papanasam’ meaning ‘wash away your sins’. It is believed that a dip in the waters of this beach would wash away all your sins.

    This region is quite famous amongst tourists owing to the fact that it is the only region in Kerala where cliffs can be seen adjacent to the Arabian Sea. These cliffs are considered to be unique geographical features owing to the fact that they are the only elevation on the otherwise flat surface of Kerala.

    Considering its beautiful location and amazing scenic beauty, this place is counted as one of the top Kerala sightseeing places. This beach is a haven for sunbathers and swimmers. And it also has an array of spas and exotic restaurants.

    People come here in masses each year to enjoy the aura of this place along with getting a beautiful glimpse of the setting sun, which is quite mesmerizing to experience. Apart from this, the beach also serves as an elegant spot for various kinds of water sports and spas, which is enjoyed in abundance by one and all who visit the Varkala Beach.

    Location: Varkala 695141

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 40Bekal Fort, Kasargod

    Image Credit :  Wikipedia

    The Bekal Fort is the largest fort in Kerala and is one of the most important places to see in Kerala. It is spread across 40 acres of land and it appears as if the fort has come up from the sea considering the fact that almost 3/4th of its exterior is drenched along with the waves continuously hitting its citadel.

    It is believed that the fort was built in order to serve the purpose of defence because there are no remains of any palace, mansion or any such building found here. The outer walls of the fort had holes that were supposedly used to defend the fort effectively. There were two layers of holes on the outer walls, the upper and the lower.

    The upper holes were constructed in order to aim at the farthest points while the lower ones were used to strike when the enemy was nearer. Presently the maintenance, preservation and protection of the fort have been given in the hands of the Archaeological Survey of India, which has been looking after its welfare quite efficiently.

    Location: Kasaragod Road, PO Bekal Fort, Beside Bekal Fort Railway Station Dist, Bekal, Kerala 671316

    Timings: 8 AM to 5:30 PM

    Entry fee: INR 5

  • 41Kottayam

    Image Credit : Arian Zwegers – Flickr

    Kottayam being one of the popular places in Kerala reveals a number of administrative, educational and business related spots and attractions. Also, it is famous for its contributions to girls’ education and education as a whole. Religiously, culturally and economically Kottayam does a marvelous job in order to make itself an attraction always.

    The famous backwater of Kumarakom is a part of Kottayam. The number of tourists coming to spend the holiday in houseboats is unbelievably increasing day by day. The typical Kottayam cuisines especially Non Vegetarian items are world famous.

    The first college of Kerala that is CMS College has been established in this district of Kerala during the colonial period of India. Thirunakkara temple, Meenachilar, the birthplace of Saint Alphonsa, the huge rubber plantations and much more add heavenly beauty to this district at the center of Kerala.

    Location: Kottayam, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 42Kollam

    Image Credit : keralatourism.org

    Kollam is known as the place of cashew nut and one with plenty of water-based attractions. It is considered as one of the good places to visit in Kerala. The basic point of tourism is Ashtamudi Lake around which a number of resorts and restaurants are located. Paravoor is a quite famous area of pure tranquillity and serenity being disposed of parallel to the attractive atmosphere of the resorts.

    The freshwater lake of Kerala, Shasthamkotta is yet another feature of Kollam tourism. The origin of Kathakali is from this particular district as history says. The world famous Kottarakkara Ganapathi temple belongs to Kollam. Also, you can visit the many cashew nut factories of Kollam at any time you wish to.

    In addition to these, visit Neendakara where you can see the vast harbor brimming with fresh fish caught from the Arabian Sea. Altogether Kollam situates as a popular place to visit at any time of the year since it has a moderate climate throughout the year.

    Location: Kollam, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 43Kuttanad

    Kuttanad, well known for its vast paddy fields from Kerala gets its staple food in a huge amount considered as one of the best tourist places in Kerala. Kuttanad is a part of Alappuzha district and it has the lowest altitude which is famous for being an important hotspot of farming.

    The green paddy fields arrange a feast for the visitors’ eyes undoubtedly. Pamba, Meencahil, Achankovil, and Manimala are the major four rivers of Kerala lull Kuttanad for its unending farming activities. The village hosts the world-renowned Vallamkali as well that drags a countless number of tourists every year. Ramankari backwater is where this vallamkali happens.

    Totally, Kuttanad is the place water blessed abundantly, for it is blanketed by many rivers, lakes, and backwater. The major tourism of Alappuzha rolls in the hands of Kuttanad. The cuisines related to water lives also stand as an essential factor to attract more tourists.

    Location: Kuttanad, Alapuzzha, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 44Vagamon

    Famous for its cool climate during summertime, Vagamon is a tourist destination that attracts a number of international as well as local tourists everywhere. Consider this place while you are on a tour, for it is one of the beautiful places in Kerala.

    It is a part of the tranquil Western Ghats and is nestled amidst lush green tea plantations and forests. National Geographic Traveller accounted for this one as one of 50 most attractive places to visit in India. Here, you can observe the most scenic valleys and hills lulled by fog, waterfalls, and striking greenery always.

    It is an abode of beautiful flowers and orchids; the place is cuddled up within Thangal, Murugan and Kurishumala hills which represent the three prominent religions of Kerala. This area is a perfect pitch for moderate trekking, rock climbing, paragliding etc.

    Location: Vagamon, Idukki district, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 45Periyar National Park

    A delight for fans of nature, Periyar National Park and wildlife sanctuary is one of the best tourist places in Kerala located in Thekkady. Nestled amidst the cardamom hills, Periyar National Park is known for offering a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of life.

    Known for its scenic beauty and biodiversity, this national park is home to tropical evergreen forests covering the entire landscape. One of the star attractions of Periyar National Park is the 100-year-old artificial lake which is located in the heart of the century where most of the wild animals can be seen.

    Location: 
    Kumily, Thekkady.

    Timings:
     6 AM to 3 PM

    Entry fee: 
    INR 25

  • 46Kozhikode

    Renowned for its history, Kozhikode is one of the most beautiful tourist places in Kerala. It was the place where Vasco-da-Gama first landed in India and the origins of the famous Spice route were mapped. It is famous for its picturesque beach where one can behold one of the most fantastic sunsets and enjoy a great deal of seafood.

    Some of the must-visit places in Kozhikode are Dolphins Point, the lighthouse and the Lions Park. The city is a great visit to plan with your family and friends if you wish to cherish some laid back time in the realm of nature.

    Location: 
    Kozhikode, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: 
    None.

  • 47Ponmudi

    An ideal weekend getaway, Ponmudi is one of the most exciting places in Kerala. It offers some scintillating views of the rolling hills and misty mountains that complete the beautiful landscape. The wonderful getaway will enchant you with a variety of flora and fauna that boasts of mountain flowers, wild orchids, and many exotic butterflies.

    It is a great visit if you are fond of adventurous activities like trekking and camping. There are many picturesque resorts and packages where you can relax with your loved ones and have a superb time in the beautiful valleys of Kerala.

    Location: Ponmudi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

    Timings:
     All day.

    Entry fee:
     None.

  • 48Munroe Island

    Comprising of 8 beautiful islands separated by small water channels, Munroe Island is one of the most gorgeous places in Kerala. With various tourist attractions like the narrow waterways, canal cruise and the famous Kallada Boat Race held here during the 10-day festival of Onam, Munroe Island is worth a visit if you wish to give your bucket list some sweet adventures.

    The place is mostly known for its relaxed and calm ambiance which offers a fresh respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With some glittering views of the each and coconut plantations, Munroe Island is a good visit to cherish some leisure time when you are vacationing in Kerala. Munroe Island is a pleasant visit if you are interested in getting a glimpse of the typical backwater island villages of Kerala.

    Location: Puthen Purayil, Nemmani, Munroe Island, Kollam 691502,

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 49Peermede

    Boasting of verdant beauty with rolling hills and sparkling streams, Peermede is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. The pristine natural beauty of this place is enticing for every traveler and makes it a perfect getaway for families, adventure aficionados and honeymooners.

    There are a number of beautiful plantations of tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and pine forests that dot the landscape of Peermede. There are also a number of trekking trails which can be explored around the beautiful landscape of Peermede allowing you to have an unforgettable vacation in Kerala.

    Location: Peermede, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.

  • 50Thenmala

    Known as India’s first planned Ecotourism destination, Thenmala is one of the most wonderful places in Kerala. Literally meaning the ‘Honey Hill’, Thenmala is known for its quality honey and dense forests. The place is known for its eco-friendly activities and will enchant you with a number of adventures like boat rides, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

    Some of the popular places to visit in Thenmala are Thenmala Dam, Leisure Zone, Nakshatravanam and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary. Offering a refreshing experience to let you escape the worries of life, Thenmala is a wonderful vacation destination that you must see when you are visiting Kerala.

    Location: Thenmala, Kerala.

    Timings: All day.

    Entry fee: None.


Best Things To Do

1. Watch a Kathakali Performance – and Get Mesmerized

Kathakali, Kerala’s soul, is a beautiful dance form in which dancers decked up in colorful costumes tell you enchanting stories of the land with nothing but their expressions and postures. Watch a Kathakali performance in Kerala, which usually takes place at night, and be enthralled by stories of passion, lust, and power. This centuries-old dance form is believed to have originated from a rivalry between two kings of the region.

2. Visit the Iringal Crafts Village – For a Cultural Experience

Located near Kozhikode, on the banks of River Chaliyar is Iringal Crafts Village. The village is spread across 20 acres of land, where local artisans and craftsmen are encouraged to show their skills and sell their products to visiting tourists. You can pick up some beautiful works of art here made from coir, banana fibre, bamboo, coconut shells and other local materials found in abundance in Kerala. But it does not end at that. If you are curious about art yourself, you can attend art workshops here and learn to make a few art pieces yourself.

3. Watch a Kalaripayattu Bout- An Exciting Experience

Kalaripayattu is a form of martial arts which originated in Kerala. It is believed to be more than 3000 years old. Shaolin, the Chinese form of martial arts, is believed to have originated from Kalaripayattu too. Much like other martial arts forms, this art form too was taught in isolation in ancient times  The art form lost much of its significance in modern times. However, it is slowly making a comeback in the form of dances and fitness routines. There are about 500 schools in Kerala which train people in this magnificent form of martial arts. When in Kerala, watch a Kalaripayattu bout. You will be mesmerized by the forms and athletic moves of the fighters.

4. Explore Sandalwood Forests at Marayoor- Nature’s Delight

Situated 40 km from Munnar, in Idukki district, is Marayoor, or Marayur. It is famous for its natural sandalwood forests, and its rock paintings which date back to pre-historic era. There are caves to be explored and a children’s park as well for some fun and frolic. Get down at Ernakulam station and take a taxi to Marayoor for a different kind of Kerala experience.

5. Take an Elephant Ride- And Feel Like a King

Kerala is known for its procession of elephants decked up in beautiful colors. But even more exciting than that is a ride atop one of the elephants in Kerala. You can explore the countryside with an elephant ride by the banks of Bharathapuzha River, you can ride deep into forests for an exciting wildlife safari, or you can choose to explore the many plantations of Kerala atop an elephant- there are quite a few choices to choose from.

6. Watch a Theyyam Performance- A Beautiful Form of Art

Theyyam is a form of God, a corrupt one at that, as believed by the people of Kerala. A Theyyam performance involves invoking the God and seeking His blessings. It is a popular art form of Malabar, which also stands for equality between the lower and upper castes of Hindus. It is an open-theatre like performance in which a lot of hymns and praises are sung, and like other art forms of Kerala, this one too involves some colorful costumes and beautiful dance postures.

7. Bamboo Rafting in Periyar- For an Adventurous Experience

Periyar wildlife sanctuary is one of the most popular forests reserves of Kerala. You could either take a jungle safari through the reserve or take a bamboo rafting ride in Periyar Lake. Bamboo rafting in Periyar lasts for about 3-4 hours and takes you through the many delights of one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala . You get to explore the flora and fauna of the region, and indulge in a bit of hiking as well. If you keep close to the banks of the lake, you have a good chance of spotting tigers, elephants and other majestic animals of the wild.

8. Ayurveda Massage- A Heavenly Bliss

Ayurveda in Kerala is akin to gambling in Las Vegas, you just cannot miss it when visiting the destination. Ayurveda resorts dot the landscape of Kerala, offering various forms of natural treatment and rejuvenation. Take a break and get an Ayurveda massage from the experts when in Kerala. The experience is nothing short of divinity.

9. Sail Down Alleppey Backwaters- A Romantic Experience

The backwaters of Alleppey are like the soul of Kerala. You can take a houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Alleppey, which is one the best houseboat experiences in Kerala, travelling through the narrow canals, and enjoying the lush greenery. It is a romantic experience, irrespective of whether you are with your partner, friends, or all alone.

10. Sip Tender Coconut Plucked from a Coconut Tree- And Get Refreshed

You just cannot separate Kerala from coconut. This gift of nature is everywhere to be seen in Kerala, from housing to clothing, art forms, food and more. There is nothing like sipping a tender coconut plucked straight from the tree. It literally refreshes you from inside out, and the lush surroundings of Kerala just add to the experience.

11. Go Fishing with Chinese Fish Nets- A Different Kind of Tourist Attraction

You may have tried angling in beautiful lakes, idling on a sunny afternoon. However, fishing with Chinese fishnets is a completely different experience. Visit Kochi and try fishing with these huge installations. Chinese fish nets are believed to have been introduced to Kochi by a Chinese ruler. They form an important part of the livelihood of people of Kochi and make for a great tourist attraction as well.

12. Cheer a Snake Boat Race- It is Better Than a Cricket Match!

Every year, in the months of August and September, the calm backwaters of Kerala come alive with the energy and enthusiasm of snake boat races. Thousands throng the backwaters to cheer their favorite team on to the finish line. The 130 feet long snake boats are packed with hundred rowers each, who row in unison at frantic speeds. Visit Kerala during the months of August and September, and pick your favorite team to cheer. Champakulam and Jawahar Thayangari are two of the most popular teams in the snake boat races of Kerala.

13. Marvel at Elephant Pageants- Beauty in the Beast

Beasts can be the beauty as well, and elephant pageants in Kerala are a perfect example of that. Thrissur and Palakkad in Kerala host several elephant pageants throughout the year, the Thypooya Mahotsavam in January being the highlight. Watch beautiful decked up elephants strut their stuff in style during these pageants.

14. Spend a Day with an Elephant in Kerala- It isn’t Confined to Just Movies

Elephants are an important part of the culture of Kerala. There are about 700 captive elephants in Kerala, mostly in the Trichur region. Elephants play a part in important religious ceremonies in Kerala, apart from serving as a pride for people. You can spend a day with an elephant in Kerala, watch the mahouts bathe then, and scrub them with coconut. The elephants of Kerala are usually calm creatures which do not mind you getting close to them.

15. Athirapally Waterfalls- Rich in Biodiversity

A part of Sholayar region of Kerala, close to Kochi, Athirapally forests is home of the magnificent Athirapally waterfalls. The waterfalls can be seen in full flow right after the monsoon season. It is a biodiversity region as well, home to several species of flora and fauna. Take a trek to the waterfalls and you could spot some exotic species of Kerala wildlife, including the lion-tailed macaque, Great Indian Hornbill, and Cochin Forest Cane Turtle.

16. Stay in a Houseboat- Romanticism Personified

There are several beach side resorts and hotels in Kerala, but nothing can beat a stay on a houseboat. In contrast to the houseboat stays of Kashmir, you get to stay on the backwaters of Kerala and enjoy the lush greenery, and the tranquil surroundings. It is an awesome experience for bird watchers as well, as backwaters of Kerala are home to some exotic species of birds.

17. Ride a Canoe- And Explore the Remote Parts of Kerala

If you are interested in the remote villages of Kerala, one of the best things to do in Kerala is to ride a canoe. Canoeing in Kerala takes you to the countryside of Kerala and gives you an opportunity to explore the lives of people in villages, apart from some really scenic delights. Canoeing in Kerala can be a romantic experience as you paddle your way through the backwaters with your special someone and should be a part of you honeymoon trip to Kerala.

18. Elephant Ride at Periyar- A “Gigantic” Experience

Periyar wildlife reserve is a well known habitat for various mammals and species of birds. The majestic tiger is the most popular resident of Periyar wildlife reserve. Take an elephant ride through the forest reserve, which takes you to the interiors of the forest, making for a really adventurous experience. You feel like a king as you get atop these gigantic but calm creatures.

19. Watch Birds- And Get Amazed at the Beauty of Nature

The lush green surroundings of Kerala are ideal habitat for a large variety of birds. It comes as no surprise then that there are more than 500 different species of birds to be spotted in Kerala. If you are a bird lover, you can spend hours watching birds in Kerala. Some of the best destinations in Kerala to go bird watching are Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar, and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.

20. Watch a Bullock Race- Truly Animalistic

It’s rustic, it’s dirty and it’s fun. Of the many exhilarating experiences of Kerala is bullock race. Ever year, Malapurram district of Malabar plays host to the bullock race, which attracts several people from the neighboring districts and areas. Put your bet on the bull you like the most and watch it put every possible effort to finish first. It cannot get more animalistic than that.

21. Stay in a Tree House- For a Rustic Experience

Most of us have seen it in cartoons and imagined ourselves living in one. In Kerala, you can actually do that. Stay in a tree house when in Kerala, which is made from eco-friendly materials like bamboo etc. Set atop a tree, high above the ground, you have birds for company and lush views of forests when you open the windows.

22. Walk the Cobbled Streets of Fort Kochi- Back to Colonial Times

Slow down the pace of life and spend time walking the cobbled streets and narrow lanes of Fort Kochi. It is a city of historical significance, with a distinct colonial flavor about it. Explore the heritage of the place, and when you feel tired, stop by one of the many cafes and lounges that line the streets of Kochi, sip a hot cup of coffee while watching the sea, and let time just pass by.

23. Take a Train Ride- Ernakulam-Kollam-Trivandrum– As Scenic as it Gets

If you want to have a beautiful overview of the state of Kerala, there is nothing better than a train ride from Ernakullam to Trivandrum via Kollam. You get to see the backwaters, the beautiful lakes of Kerala and coconut palms swaying in the distance on this enchanting train ride.

24. Arabian Dhow at Beypore- Skilled Craftsmanship

Beypore is a small town located close to Calicut in Kerala. The town is known for its shipbuilding history, which is believed to be as old as 1800 years old. It is here that Arabian Dhows, or Uru, are made and then supplied to the Gulf. The Urus is massive ship which last for almost five decades with minimal repair and maintenance. Take a tour of Beypore and watch the skilled workers in action, making Arabian Dhows. These ships are made entirely by hand and there is no metal used, except the steel nails which are used to hold the boat together.

25. Visit Kuttanad- The Lowest Altitude Destination of India

You may have travelled to places at great heights and watched in amazement the beauty of nature. But how about taking a trip to a destination which lies a little below sea level? Kuttanad is a town which lies about 1 to 2 meters below sea level. It is known for its rice paddy fields, and its many quaint villages. Take a tour of Kuttanad and watch the many rivers that flow through the region.

26. Explore a Tharavad- An Intimate Heritage Experience

Tharavads are heritage homestays in Kerala. If you want to experience life in the old times, complete with antique furniture, intricate woodwork etc, stay in a Tharavad in Kerala. These heritage homestays stand out for their hospitality and a really warm experience they give their guests.

27. Paragliding in Munnar- For an Adrenaline Rush

If you thought Kerala is all about tranquility and calmness, you are missing out on quite a lot. While in Kerala, you can fly over the majestic hills of Munnar with paragliding. You don’t need any training for this exhilarating experience. All you need is some courage and trust your paragliding pilot. Sailing over the hills and having a bird’s eye view of the lush green plantations is a mesmerizing experience.

28. Visit the Vembanad Lake- One of the Most Beautiful that Kerala has

Located close to Kottayam in Kumarakom is the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake of Kerala. It is a beautiful lake and a popular picnic spot. You can take a backwater cruise in the lake, go boating, or spend your evenings fishing by the lake. Either way, it is a splendid experience.

29. Visit the Mattancherry Palace- A Historical Landmark of Kerala

If you love history and heritage, one of the best things to do in Kerala is to take a trip to Mattancherry Palace, which is located close to Ernakulam. The palace dates back to 1557, with renovation done by the Dutch in 1663. It is built like a typical Kerala mansion, with murals that tell stories of the ancient times. There are several artifacts on display too which date back to the royal era. You can take a boat ride from Ernakulam town to Mattancherry Palace.

30. Watch Thullal- And Get Enthralled

There are several cultural and heritage art forms in Kerala, one of which is Thullal. Like most other art forms, Thullal is dedicated to the Gods to seek their blessings. The ceremony is supposed to bring happiness and prosperity. Devotional hymns and sung and girls can be seen dancing to traditional Kerala music. As the ceremony reaches its culmination, you can feel the performers entering a state of trance. The entire ceremony is mesmerizing, with all the senses coming together, almost in unison with the surroundings around you.

31. Visit Bekal Fort, Kasargod- A Historical Treasure

One of the most well-preserved forts of Kerala is the Bekal Fort, located close to Kasargod. Back in the old times, the fort was a strategic position because of its proximity to the state of Karnataka. Today, it stands as a testimony to the past, telling tales of rulers and the people that they ruled. Several excavations have been done at this historic site, revealing religious structures and other artifacts offering a peek into the ancient times.

32. Trek to Chembra Peak, Wayanad- For Mesmerizing Views

If you love trekking, you would enjoy taking a trek to Chembra peak in Wayanad. It is the highest peak in Wayanad. The trek is relatively simpler, and it takes you through some lush greenery of Wayanad. The top of the peak offers some amazing views of the valley below. But the highlight of the trek is the mist which engulfs the mountain most times of the year.

33. Visit the Edakkal Caves, Wayanad- A Trip Back to Stone Age

Located in Ambukuthi Hills, close to Wayanad, are the Edakkal Caves. These are natural caves which have pictorial drawings dating back to the Stone Age. Some of the drawings in these caves are believed to be as old as 7000 years old. A tour of these caves is an enchanting experience which tells us a lot about our ancestors.

34. Watch Mohiniyattam- A Celebration of Feminine Love

Out of the many cultural dance forms of Kerala is Mohiniyattam. It is a dance form which celebrates the feminine form of life. Watch beautiful dancers show feminine love in many forms and let them enthrall you. The dance form dates back to 16th century, when it was performed only in temples or royal courts. You will be mesmerized with all the facial expressions and the mudras of this dance form.

35. Take a Stroll on Jew Street, Kochi- An Eclectic Experience

Out of all the colonial charms of Kochi is the Jew Street. As the name suggests, it was once a bustling Jewish community. Although most Jews have shifted back to Israel, you cannot miss the distinct Jewish flavor in this part of Kochi. There are quite a few cafes on this street where you can pick up a book and get lost in time.

36. Uriyadi- Celebrate Janamashtami the Kerala way

Uriyadi is akin to the way Janamashtami is celebrated in Mumbai. Pots are hung on high wires and young boys try to break the pots and take home the winnings. But there is a slight twist involved. On the other side of the fence are people with a rope in hand, meant to protect the pots. Watch the Uriyadi festival in action at the time of Janamashtmi in Kerala. It is a cultural experience, and fun too.

37. Visit the Parassinikkadavu Snake Park- As Close as You can Get to King Cobra 

The crawling reptiles may seem creepy to most of us, but they are still fascinating, especially when they are kept in glass houses they cannot get out of. For a slightly different and a slightly adventurous experience, one of the best things to do in Kerala is visit the Parassinikkadavu Snake Park located in Kannur District. Various venomous and non-venomous snakes are preserved in the park, including the mighty King Cobra.

38. Cycling in Munnar- A Fantastic Eco-Tour

One of the best ways to explore the lush greenery of Munnar is to take a cycling tour of the region. Hire a cycle and explore the many plantations of Munnar, and get a peek into the rural lifestyle of Kerala. It is an environment friendly way of exploring the beauty of Kerala, and a tantalizing one too.

39. Get High on Toddy

Toddy is an intoxicating coconut drink and an important part of Kerala’s traditions. When in Kerala, take a swig of Toddy and let it work its magic. It is a slow acting liquor which is very sweet in taste. You don’t want to have too much of it at once, unless you are trying to forget your wife!

40. Munnar Tea Garden Tour- A Refreshing Tour

If you thought only Darjeeling is associated with tea in India, think again. Munnar in Kerala is an important part of India’s tea trade. There are about 30 odd tea estates in Munnar, producing high quality tea. Take a tour of a Munnar tea garden, learn about the various kinds of teas, and spend some time in the midst of nature, literally.

41. Experience Thrissur Pooram- A Colorful Religious Festival

One of the most colorful things to do in Kerala is witness Thrissur Pooram. It is a religious festival which takes place in the month of April in Thrissur. You can see scores of people offering their prayers to Lord Shiva, decked up in colorful clothes, and reveling in the atmosphere. The highlight of the festival is some of the best dressed elephants, and beautiful umbrella showing competition.

42. Kayaking in Backwaters- For an Adventurous Backwater Experience

If you are looking for something more adventurous to do than just a backwater cruise in Kerala, take a kayaking tour of the backwaters. Row your way through the narrow canals and explore the varied flora and fauna of the region. Work up a sweat and take a tour of the many villages too which are situated by the backwaters.

43. Relax on Varkala Beach- One of the Most Pristine of Kerala

Varkala Beach is a quaint beach located on the boundary of Thiruvananthapuram. You can lounge on the beach and see the waves crash against the rocks, or you could explore the Vishnu Temple here, which is believed to be about 2000 years old. Don’t forget to take a dip in the water here, as it is supposed to absolve you of all the sins.

44. Explore Marari Beach- For Rejuvenation and Relaxation

Marari Beach is a little known beach, and a beautiful one at that, located close to Alleppey. The beach offers a reclusive experience, away from the maddening crowd of the city. While you are here, you can explore the fishing village of Mararikulam too and learn about the local lifestyle of the people.

45. Take a Jungle Safari Through Periyar- An Exhilarating Experience in the Wild

A tour of Kerala isn’t complete without an experience of the wild kind. While in Kerala, take a jungle safari through Periyar wildlife sanctuary. The forest reserve is noted for its elephant and tiger population. It is also known for its wide variety of birds, making it a haven for birdwatchers as well.

46. Explore the Backwaters of Kumarakom- You will be Enchanted

The backwaters of Alleppey are enchanting, and the backwaters of Kumarakom are even more so. When in Kerala, you just cannot miss out on exploring the calmness of tranquility of Kumarakom. It is not without reason that Kumarakom is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Kerala.

47. Stay in Vythiri Tree House- Really Close to Nature

One of the best-known destinations for honeymoon trip in Kerala is Vythiri resort. But even if you are all alone, a stay in a tree house at the resort is a magical experience. The tree houses here are plush, and yet very rustic. They are eco-friendly as well, made from locally available materials. They even use solar energy and spring water for power needs.

48. Onam Festival- A Cultural Extravaganza

Onam festival takes place sometime in the months of August and September. It is a 10 day long festival, and the most important one in Kerala, which signifies the homecoming of King Mahabali. You can see some exhilarating snake boat races during this time, witness some colorful dances, and explore the tradition and culture of Kerala.

49. Parunthumpara Trek- An Exotic Experience

One of the lesser known treks in Kerala, but nevertheless a magnificent one, is the Parunthumpara Trek, or the eagle rock trek. The trek takes you to a viewpoint close to Peermade in Idukki district. The viewpoint offers breathtaking views of deep trenches, lush valleys and the Trishanku Hills as well.

50. Nelliyampathy- Kerala’s Best Kept Secret

Surrounded by lush tea and coffee plantations is Nelliyampathy in Kerala, located close to Palakkad. You can enjoy cool mountain breeze and views of the mountains at this hill station, or take a tour of the many plantations. There are some enchanting trekking trails to be explored too in Nelliyampathy.

51. Kalamachal- Away from the Crowds

Situated on the banks of Vamanapuram River, in Thiruvananthapuram district is Kalamachal. It is a scenic hill station with lush greenery and calm surroundings. If you are looking for nothing but relaxation in Kerala, Kalamachal could be a good place to spend your time. It is a little known destination in Kerala, and perfect for those who want to spend their time away from the crowds.


Best Places To Eat

Almost all Mallu dishes are prepared in coconut and various spices giving a sharp pungency in the flavour that is further heightened with a hint of tamarind. The use of coconut gives richness to the dishes and also absorbs the tongue teasing hot flavours.
Being a coastal state, sea food is also found in abundance, which is cooked in various different styles. So, let’s find out where you ought to head for the local favourites in Kerala:

1. Shala Restaurant

Literally, Ma ke haath ka khaana! The very USP of this place is home cooked food by the local housewives. So, you can expect delicious home cooked food in a lovely set up. It’s a small place and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you see a long queue waiting outside to get a table here.

Speciality: Malabar prawn curry, kingfish steak, and the vegetarian special (which changes daily)
Location: Peter Celli Street, Fort Kochi, Kochi

2. Rahmathullah Hotel

Don’t go by the looks of this little place because if you want to have the best biryani in Kerala you’ll have to bear with it! Kayee’s Rahmathullah Hotel has been serving since 1948 and everyday people from all across line up here to have a taste of their delectable biryani.

Speciality: Biryani, Fridays you get fish Biryani and on Tuesdays, prawn. On all the other days chicken and mutton is available.
Location: Aanavaadal, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Kochi
Ratings: 5 star

3. Kethal’s Chicken

Forget KFC, its KCF or Kethal’s Chicken Fry that you must try! Operating since 1949, this is an amazing place that’s been serving Kerala’s favourite fried chicken.

Speciality: Chapppathi and chicken fry with lime juice sprinkled on it
Location: Rahmaniya Lane, Chalai Bazar,Trivandrum
Ratings: 4 stars

4. Rapsy Restaurant

While on a backpack trip with a tight budget, Rapsy Restaurant is your answer to delicious food at cheap rates. Prices for Rapsy’s famous paratha or biryani starts at just Rs. 50!

Speciality: Spanish omelette, Israeli shakshuka (eggs with tomatoes and spices) and Mexican salsa.
Location: Main Bazaar, Munnar
Ratings: 4 stars

5. Grand Pavilion

The Grand Pavilion is one of the oldest and most popular eatery in Kochi. If you can get past the crowd and find yourself a table in here, you are in for a gourmet’s delight.

Speciality: Syrian food, the Karimeen Pollichathu (fried pear spot fish), Seafood, Biriyani, and authentic Keralan dishes
Location: Ernakulam, Kochi
Ratings: 5 stars

6. Menorah

The nearby beach adorned with the huge Chinese fishing nets ensures a steady supply of fresh fishes and other sea food at Menorah. No wonder they serve the best sea food in town!

Speciality: Jewish food and sea food
Location: Koder House, Fort Cochin, Kochi
Ratings: 3.5 stars

7. Hotel Annapoorna

All the vegans out there may rejoice! Hotel Annapoorna is a pure veg restaurant serving the best Mallu breakfast and other traditional food.

Speciality: Puttu, Masala Dosa, Idli (all veggie favourites, just name it)
Location: Perumbavoor, Kerala
Ratings: 4.5 stars

8. Dal Roti

Are you missing your tandoori chicken, roti and dal makhni? Well, if you want a break from the coconutty, spicy and tangy local flavours of Kerala, step in to Dal Roti.

Speciality: North Indian food, Kathi rolls
Location: Fort Kochi, Kochi
Ratings: 4 stars

Cafes, Shacks and a Continental Breakfast

Oh, don’t you worry; you won’t be deprived of a fine Continental meal here in Kerala. The fact that it’s a diverse state with a variety of international influences can be clearly seen in their food.

Let’s look at some of the best places for continental food in Kerala:

9. Beatles Restaurant

Just like the name, the place is equally amazing. Overlooking the breathtaking Lighthouse beach, this restaurant invites a huge number of tourists who come here for laid back time out. The tiger prawns served here are to die for!

Speciality: Burgers, Seafood and continental breakfast
Location: Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
Ratings: 4 stars

10. Indian Coffee House

A flamboyant, spirally red brick tower, in the central station road of Trivandrum attracts flocks from all corners of the town. It’s the oldest and the biggest chain of restaurant in all of Kerala- The Indian Coffee House. A refreshing cup of filter coffee with a side of dosa or idli is just the way to begin the day in Trivandrum!

Speciality: Coffee and snacks
Location: Central Station Road, Trivandrum
Ratings: 4 stars

11. Kashi Art Café

Food or no food, Kashi Art Café is a must visit in Kochi. The casual vibe and the artsy setting of the place has turned it into an attraction in itself. However, the food here is also terrific!

Speciality: Western breakfast and coffee
Location: Fort Kochi, Kochi
Ratings: 4.5 stars

12. Le Sante Café

Come here to hog on the best burgers in the town! Located in the heart of Kozhikkode town, Le Sante Café is awesome for hangout and a quick bite.

Speciality: Burgers, Waffles, ice-creams and desserts
Location: NIT Mukkam Road, Kozhikode
Ratings: 4.5 stars

13. German Bakery (Waves)

The most popular hangout in town, the German Bakery has the best breakfast menu. You can spend hours on the on an airy, sunburnt-orange balcony sipping coffee and nibbling on their delectable food.

Speciality: Curries, seafood, tofu and pizzas
Location: Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
Ratings: 3.5 stars


Best Places To Stay

Of all the places to stay in Kerala, here are the most luxurious 5-star hotels where you can enjoy ultimate peace, privacy, and comfort. Take a look!

1. Old Harbour Hotel

Undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Kerala, this Kochi hotel is an oasis of tranquillity where you can forget your worries for a while and relax in its wonderful colonial style ambience. Nothing is too much trouble for the helpful and welcoming staff. The quaint rooms, beautiful pool, authentic spa treatments and stunning views of the iconic Chinese fishing nets make the perfect recipe for a holiday to remember. Everything from eco friendly toiletry pots to antique phone and rose petals on the bed is carefully thought of. Evening dinners in the garden to the sound of traditional music are nothing short of magical.

Address: 1/328 Tower Road,Fort Kochi, 682001 Cochin, India
Price/night: Double room with garden view @ INR 25000
Tripadvisor rating: 5/5
Website

2. Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra

With its romantic seaside setting, a private beach and beautiful sea-facing infinity pool Niraamaya is undoubtedly one of the finest luxury hotels in Kerala near the beach. You could spend languid days ambling around coconut trees, soaking in pampering spa treatments and attending soothing yoga sessions on a platform overlooking the sea. The spacious cottage style rooms are fitted with terracotta roofs, wooden pillars and tiled floors, invoking a dreamy luxurious feel. The speciality restaurant offers gourmet seafood grills, and you can witness perfect sunsets at the Madira bar while sipping sundowners.

Address: Pulinkudi Mullur PO, 695521 Kovalam, India
Price/night: Garden view rooms from 12000 INR and sea view rooms at 19000
Tripadvisor rating:4.5/5
Website

3. The Leela

Perched on a cliff, this gem amongst Kerala hotels offers spectacular views of the Arabian Sea and Kovalam shoreline. Everything about The Leela spells luxury, comfort and magnificence. You can walk to the beach for a dip, visit the lighthouse or just soak in the views from the infinity pool and enjoy your drinks at the Sky Bar. It is also one of the most sought after 5-star hotels in Kerala for organizing grand memorable weddings for your loved ones.

Address: Kovalam Beach, 695527 Kovalam, India
Price/night: Superior double with beach view starts at 19000 INR
Tripadvisor rating:4.5/5
Website

4. Brunton Boatyard

This restored Victorian boatyard exuding colonial grandeur and charm is one of the top picks for Kerala hotels by travellers. The decor is a perfect blend of Portuguese and English elements, adding to the understated elegance. A tranquil oasis ensconced in lush greenery, this magnificent property offers unmatched views of the Arabian Sea: you may even spot dolphins and sea otters from your room balcony! It is ideally located to explore the Fort Kochi area and the complimentary sunset cruise in the private boat is a delight.

Address: Calwati Road, Fort Cochin, 682001 Cochin, India
Price/night: Sea view rooms from 11000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

5. The Panoramic Gateway

When scenic mountains views are complimented by a dip in the heated rooftop pool, you know you’ve made the right choice in booking one of the best luxury hotels in Kerala, India. There are two separate pools so that families and couples can relax in privacy while feasting their eyes on the sweeping views of Munnar valley. The rejuvenating spa massage is recommended.

Address: Chithirapuram,Munnar,Idukki District Kerala,Pin 685565, 685565 Munnar, India
Price/night: Deluxe double from 10000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

6. Spice Tree Munnar

This is one of the ideal Kerala hotels for switching off from the hustle-bustle of the outside world and getting lost in the luxurious rooms and soothing hill views while listening to bird song. The yoga, nature walks, cooking and tea tasting sessions ensure you wouldn’t want to leave this amazing property and go anywhere else. There’s a free coffee bar down the hill where you can sip tea and coffee while treating your senses to the sights of bountiful nature all around. The infinity pool overlooking the hill is another spot to let yourself sway in tranquil bliss.

Address: Nadukkurissu, Muttukad-Periakanal Road, 685618 Chinnakanal, India
Price/night: Classic double room with spa bath at 10500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 5/5
Website

7. Chandy’s Windy Woods

One of the top hotels in Kerala, this one bowls you over with breathtaking views of the mystical Munnar tea plantations which are just a stone’s throw away. The luxurious and spacious rooms along with the artificial waterfall and in-house trekking make you want to spend your days The chef not only takes personal interest in pampering your taste buds but also conducts interesting cooking classes for the food enthusiasts.

Address: Meencut P.O. Chithirapuram, 685565 Munnar, India
Price/night: Deluxe double room with mountain view starts at 9000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 5/5
Website

8. Fragrant Nature Munnar

One of the top hotels in Kerala, Fragrant Munnar is the perfect blend of luxury and comfort in the lap of nature. Each tastefully decorated elegant room offers lovely views of the lush green mountains. The in house cafe allows you to indulge in some decadent cakes while sipping awesome coffee or blissful cinnamon tea. A restaurant with a view and a well-equipped gym are more reasons for Fragrant Nature being amongst the coveted Kerala hotels. They also organise delightful guided treks explaining the local flora and fauna of the region.

Address: Baison Valley Road, Pothamedu,, 685612 Munnar, India
Price/night: doubles from 9000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

Budget Friendly 5 star And Luxury Hotels In Kerala

Just like its luxurious hotels, Kerala has also got a lot of budget-friendly 5-star hotels that will offer you luxury without burning a hole in your pocket. Have a look!

9. Hycinth By Sparsa

This western style hotel in the heart of Trivandrum is amongst the popular Kerala hotels due to the comfort and convenience it offers. The rooftop swimming pool is one of the highlights of this modern hotel and is a huge hit with the guests. It is located very close to the popular Padmanabhaswamy temple and the Napier zoo. Spacious rooms and excellent food are other reasons to book your stay here.

Address: Manorama Road,Thampanoor, Trivandrum, 695001 Trivandrum, India
Price/night: 7500/- for Club Double Room
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

10. Vivanta By Taj

Your search for Taj hotels in Kerala that offer luxury without pinching your pockets ends here. Living up to the brand name, the hotel offers spacious well appointed rooms, swimming pool, bar and health club. The hospitality, service and friendliness of the staff will make you want to revisit this centrally located 5 star hotel in Kerala. The large banquet hall is well suited for weddings and conferences.

Address: C V Raman Pillai Road Thycaud , 695014 Trivandrum, India
Price/night: superior double room from 7000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

11. Kochi Marriott Hotel

Expect nothing less than the quintessential Marriott hospitality at this centrally located 5 star hotel in Kerala. This is a very modern hotel with spacious well equipped rooms, a lovely pool and all other amenities for a restful break. Its proximity to the hugely popular Lulu shopping mall is one of the highlights of this top rated hotel. In fact the hotel also provides a shuttle car to/from the mall for the convenience of the guests.

Address: Lulu International Shopping Mall, 682024 Cochin, India
Price/night: Deluxe King or Queen rooms from 6500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

12. Elixir Hills Munnar

This relatively new entrant to the list of top rated Kerala hotels wins your heart from the moment you step in, with the tranquil ambience, their unique welcome drink and exceptionally caring staff. Located in a beautiful setting in the lap of nature, the luxurious property is surrounded by lush forests and waterfalls. The presidential suite comes with a Jacuzzi and a lovely balcony with breathtaking views. You could enjoy a romantic candle light dinner or spend some relaxed moments in the wonderful coffee shop.

Address: Near Letchmi Tea Estate Mankulam, Munnar, 685612 Munnar, India
Price/night: Deluxe suite from 5500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

13. Poetree Sarovar Portico

Be prepared to be pampered from the time you walk into this beautiful Thekkady hotel spread over 9 acres of land in the midst of pristine forests and wilderness. It is one of the best budget hotels in Kerala to unwind and relax in a splendid natural setting. Each sun-drenched room has l[plush interiors, elegant furnishings and a private deck with spectacular views of the verdant hills and the serene Periyar lake.

Address: Ottakathalamedu, Amaravathy P.O. Kumily, Thekkady
Price/night: Club room from 6200 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

14. The Raviz Calicut

The top rated hotel in Calicut, The Raviz is amongst the most budget friendly 5 star hotels in Kerala. There is a spa, wellness centre and massage parlour where you can indulge in pampering treatments while you relax in this modern business hotel. Excellent rooms with all amenities and a lavish breakfast spread are other highlights of this property.

Address: 5/3410, RP Mall, Mavoor Road, Kozhikode, 673004 Kozhikode, India
Price/night: Premium double rom from 5700 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

15. The Trident Cochin

The lovely pool area, impeccable interiors and the ever smiling faces of each of the staff members are the first things you notice at this elegant 5 star hotel in Kerala located on Willingdon island. Trident hospitality is sure to sweep you off your feet with every little thoughtful gesture. Complimentary cooking classes and not-to-be-missed traditional massages offered by the in house spa add to the memorable experience of your stay here.

Address: Bristow Road, Willingdon Island, 682003 Cochin, India
Price/night: Superior double room from 4500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Website

16. Ramada Alleppey

Located 2 hours drive away from the Cochin International Airport (82 km), Ramada Alleppey is a gorgeous 5-star classified resort hotel in the ‘Venice of the East’, Alleppey. This comfortable and luxurious hotel sits overlooking the breathtaking backwaters of the Punnamada Lake. Beautifully illuminated rooms with the view of the water body located in the front simply make your stay experience extremely soothing. The hotel features modern day amenities including pool, restaurant, bar and lounge, fitness center with a gym, and spa. The rooms feature a minibar.

Address: Nehru Trophy, Finishing Point, Punnamada, 688001 Alleppey, India
Price/night: 5,800 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.1/5
Website

17. Forte Kochi

Located on the popular Princess Street of Fort Kochi, Forte Kochi is a heritage hotel that was built in the 1860s. The hotel was originally built by the Dutch and was a part of the palatial home of an eminent Jew family. Each room of this building reflected the traditional Dutch architectural style, so it was later rebuilt in accordance with the architectural style of the glorious colonial period in Kerala. The hotel has 27 luxurious rooms that are elaborately decorated and feature a minibar too. The hotel has a restaurant and a pool. You would also enjoy the complimentary breakfast during your stay.

Address: 1/373. Princes Street Fort Kochi, 682001 Cochin, India
Price/night: 7,900 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.7/5
Website

18. The Gateway Hotel Beach Road

The Gateway Hotel Beach Road in Calicut is a well thought accommodation service for travelers. Located not much far from the Calicut city centre, the hotel is easily accessible. Calicut or Kozhikode being a city that is historically and culturally rich, one really needs to explore the city for a real experience. The location of the hotel also enables you to step out into the historic city and discover at your time and pace. The best part is that after a long exhiliriating day, you have a comfortable abode to return to. The lush green surroundings of the hotel and the modern facilities including pool, restaurant, bar and lounge, free parking, fitness centre with a gym and spa, would never let your staycation be anything less than perfect.

Address: P.T.Usha Road, 673032 Kozhikode, India
Price/night: 7,300 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.4/5
Website

19. The South Park Hotel

Located in the heart of the capital city, Fortune Hotel The South Park is one of the best 5 star hotels in Kerala for business travelers. The rooms feature a mini bar and a smartly furnished desk area where you can comfortably sit and work on your laptops. The rooms are clean, well planned and spacious. The hotel rooms also have sufficient seating area. The South Park Hotel provides facilities including restaurant, bar and lounge, free parking, fitness centre with gym and spa. The room tariff is inclusive of breakfast.

Address: M. G. Road, Palayam, 695034 Trivandrum, India
Price/night: 3,100 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.1/5
Website

20. Radisson Blu Kochi

Located at the Kochi city centre, the Radisson Blu Kochi is an example of true luxury and comfort stay. The chic interiors of the rooms and the unique service culture of the hotel makes your simply unforgettable. Along with soundproof rooms and suites the hotel features an on-site spa, an open rooftop swimming pool, Gymnasium, well equipped Banquet Halls, and a Business Centre. These amenities guarentee a relaxing and productive stay in the city. Radisson Blu Kochi lie in close proximity to the transportation hubs, popular shopping areas and other tourist hotspots, making these places easily accessible for its guests.

Address: S.A Road, Elamkulam Junction, Kadavantara, Ernakulam, 682020 Cochin, India
Price/night: 5,100 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.3/5
Website


Shopping In Kerala

No vacation is complete without a heartfelt retail therapy. And Kerala is no exception. The graceful dresses, works of art, aromatic spices, beverages, and oil – there are ample options to fill the bags with while shopping in Kerala. Here is a quick rundown on where & what to shop in Kerala. Have a look before you plan a holiday in Kerala.

What To Shop In Kerala?

Kerala is not just an scenic tourist place, but it is also an amazing shopping destination. Here are the things that you must buy on yur Kerala holiday for the best shopping in kerala experience:

1. Tea And Coffee

Bagging tea and coffee is an important part of shopping in Kerala at Munnar. The Nilgiri Tea grown in various parts of Kerala and Kerala Kapi & Monsooned Malabar Coffee are rich in aroma, taste, and color. These can be obtained from local shops or certified counters of the tea & coffee estates.

Where to find Tea Estates: Munnar, Kolukkumalai, Wayanad, and Vagamon

Where to find Coffee Estates: Wayanad, Gavi, Nenmara, Idukki, and Peermade

2. Spices

Nothing beats Kerala in its variety & quality of spices and the expansive spice plantations. Be it fresh black pepper, cloves, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, or star anise, the richness & aroma of these spices is something to die for. If you are shopping in Kerala for spices, head to the locals shops in Kumily (near Thekkady) and around Fort Kochi.

Where to find spice plantations: Munnar, Kumily, Periyar, and Thekkady

3. Banana Chips And Cashew Nuts

Locally known as Nenthra-kaya Upperi, banana chips are amongst the most popular items to shop in Kerala. They have a huge fandom in not just South but even in North of India. In some of the shops, you get the privilege of watching how they are actually prepared. Another best consumable product that you can buy from Kerala is cashew nuts, that are available here at quality and price. You can visit the cashew farms for experience or simply buy them from the shops. Both are available in abundance at local stalls, especially in and around Fort Kochi. Don’t forget to taste and bargain if you are planning to buy in bulk.

4. Kasavu Mundu And Dresses

Kasavu Mundu is the traditional textile of Kerala. It is a pure handmade cotton cloth with typical zari border. Though these are Malayalee custom dresses, nowadays people generally wear during ceremonies, temple visits, and weddings. Prices may vary with the difference in the handwork, the material, and the place from where it is bought. There are branded outlets as well as local shops for some steal deal.

5. Handicrafts

Coconut and Coir Products: Kerala, the land of coconut, is an ideal place to pick coconut and coir products. These include rugs, carpets, mats, and some amazing cool souvenirs made of coconut husk.

Kathakali Mask: One should not leave Kerala without buying a Kathakali souvenir. Be it a wall hanging mask or a fridge magnet, this is one of most alluring shopping attractions in Kerala.

Nettur Casket and Chundan Vallam & Uru Models: Some of the fascinating wooden chests of the world are made in Kerala. Kerala is globally popular for snake boat races and you must definitely pick a Chundan Vallam or Urus (model boats) as souvenirs for gifting someone or decorating your own household.

Nettipattam: Well-decorated elephants can be seen during festivals, ceremonies, and marriages. Nettipattam, the decorative ornament used for elephants, can also be used as wall hanging or décor.

Nilavilakku: Nilavilakku or traditional Malayali oil lamp is another important handicraft of Kerala. It is considered as one of the significant items for traditional home décor.

6. Aroma Oils

Kerala is a place that boasts of best of the practices of Ayurveda science. Healing spa therapies, beauty treatments, and rejuvenating massages are popular in Kerala. Almost every resort has individual spa centers. A wide range of essential aromatic oils needed for various therapeutic treatments is available in Kerala at the best competitive rates. These aromatic oils have a soothing effect on body and mind. You can also take a few to gift to your friends.

7. Jewelry

To inspire the womanhood in you, check out the fascinating and super cool jewelry (both artificial and gold) available in various cities. The gold ones reflect traditional Malayalam spirit while the junk jewelry and amazing in design and pattern.

Famous Markets In Kerala

Now that you know what all thing to buy while shopping in Kerala, here are some of the most popular markets from where you can buy these things:

1. Spice Market – Kochi

The Spice Market in Kochi is one of the extremely popular shopping places in Kerala. It is lined up with local stores dealing with wide variety of spices. The strong aroma & vibrant colors of spices and the bustling market attract tourists round the year.

Famous for: Wide variety of spices like hand-picked ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, and pepper or black gold.

Timings: 10 am – 9:30 pm

Also in Kochi: Anokhi for Contemporary Crafted Textiles, Tribes India for tribal items (Paintings, shawls, and figurines), and Niraamaya for Ayurvedic clothing & textiles

2. Connemara Market – Trivandrum

Connemara Market, also known as Palayam Market, is a popular shopping destination in Trivandrum. The marketplace is dotted with local unbranded shops that sell vegetables, groceries, household items, coir products, and garments.

Famous for: Fish, live goats, fabric, clothes, spices and mistletoe and wine (during Christmas)

Timings: 7 am onwards

Also in Trivandrum:

  • Chalai Market: Popularly known as Kerala’s busiest street market, Chalai Bazaar is another prime shopping destination in Trivandrum. While locals come here to pick their daily vegetable & grocery stocks, tourists explore this market for garments and beverages.
  • Sarwaa: Sarwaa is another must-visit shop in Trivandrum. It is an extensive outlet with a splendid collection of different ethnic brands of knick-knacks, handicrafts, ornaments, rustic motifs, junk jewelries, and mural painting on bamboo frames.

3. Asparagus – Varkala

Asparagus is a one-of-its-kind eco-shop in Varkala that deals with all kinds of Kerala handloom, Kerala handicrafts, organic and khadi cotton and spices.
Famous for: Kalamkari, Ayur-vastra, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, turmeric, & coffee powder

Timings: 10 am – 5:30 pm

Also in Varkala: The Art of India is another handicraft shop, known for moderately priced handicrafts, jewelry, pashmina, and carpets.

4. Hindustan Spices And Herbals – Idukki

One of the primary hubs for spice shopping in Kerala, Hindustan Spices & Herbals is a one-stop solution for all kinds of spices and medicinal herbs with therapeutic value.

Timings: 10 am – 6 pm

5. Pulickatti Handicrafts – Alappuzha

Located near the boat jetty, Pulickatti is a fantastic and reasonably priced shop for souvenirs and artifacts.

Famous for: Wooden and metal handicrafts

Famous Shopping Malls In Kerala

Kerala has a variety of sopping places, from street markets to bazaars from shopping complexes to shopping mall. Here are some of the most popular shopping malls in Kerala:

6. LuLu Mall – Kochi

Spread over sprawling 17 acres, Lulu Mall is a major attraction of Kochi and one of the most popular shopping destinations in Kerala. With more than 215 branded shops, bustling food court, movie theaters, ice skating, and bowling alleys, this majestic looking mall pulls tourists around the year.

Timings: 9 am – 10 pm

7. Centre Square Mall – Kochi

Another up-market mall in Kochi, the Centre Square is one of the popular shopping places in Kochi. This 5-storey mall has big brand players, happening food court, activity centers, & movie screens attract local people as well as travelers for a fantastic shopping experience.

Timings: 10 am – 10 pm

8. Oberon Mall – Kochi

Opened in 2009, this Oberon Mall is a lifestyle center with top listed domestic & global brands in retail, food, and recreation. With close to 100 stores & kiosks, this glamorous shopping place in Kerala houses some of the leading brands in fashion accessories, white goods, fine dining, and international Spa. However, this mall is more famous for having the first multiplex theater in Kerala.

Timings: 10 am – 10 pm

9. R P Mall – Kollam

Formerly known as the K Mall, RP Mall is the pioneering lifestyle venture from the renowned Malabar developers. This sprawling 2,10,000 sq.ft mall has 5 bustling floors. It houses leading names in fashion, jewelry, salon, food court, wedding studio, and cinemas.

Timings: 11 am – 10 pm

10. Focus Mall – Kozhikode

Located in the heart of Calicut city, Focus Mall is a popular shopping hub here. Its prime location, graceful design, and plethora of facilities pull tourists throughout the year. With escalators to shopping areas, see-through capsule elevators, ample parking space, and numerous branded shops, Focus Mall assures impressive footfall every day.

Timings: 10 am – 11 pm

Bonus: The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival

The phenomenal & revolutionary shopping festival in Kerala is organized by Kerala Tourism, in coordination with the Industries & Commerce Department, Finance Department, and local Self Government Departments. This annual shopping fiesta is an integral part of the experience of shopping in Kerala. Along with international brands, this shopping festival in Kerala also provides exciting offers, fun-filled competitions, exciting prizes, and loads of surprise deals.

Note: Keep checking their website for dates and further announcements.


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