With Western Ghats guarding in the east and Arabian Sea sending refreshing breeze from the west, kerala is blessed with a geographical location which makes it a top tourist destination in Asia. Blessed with forty four rivers, a huge coastline, serene beaches, emerald backwaters, lush hill stations, awesome wildlife, awestruck waterfalls, beautiful art forms, exotic cuisine, enchanting festivals and cultural monuments, kerala is also known for Ayurvedic health treatments and holidays. This beautiful strip of land which is located on the Malabar Cost of South-western India boasts of its eco tourism and medical tourism initiatives while considering tourism as one of the stronger base for the state’s economy. Until 1980’s Kerala remained unexplored, even to the rest of the country. However, aggressive marketing campaigns adopted by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation including the adoption of its tag line – god’s own country- turned out to be a super brand with almost 0.66 million foreign tourists visiting the state in 2010. The rich cultural life of the people of kerala is also a determining factor in drawing the tourists.
Best Places To Visit
Undoubtedly the most beautiful place in Kerala, this hill station is located 1600 m above the sea level. Earning the tag of ‘The Kashmir of the South’, Munnar is adorned by lush green mountains and tea and coffee plantations which are a visual treat. With the mountains giving a spectacular view, there are also trekking paths and waterfalls for an audacious traveller.
Beauty untouched by human interference – that is exactly what Wayanad presents. You will get an otherworldly experience once you view the winding lanes, mountains and dense forests. At the heart of Wayanad, you find the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary where you spot animals like Indian elephant, bison, dear and so on. The edakkal caves where you go to see 4000 years old paintings and bamboo forests are a once in a lifetime experience.
Thiruvananthapuram, is a must visit spot for the tourists visiting kerala is also the capital of kerala. Offering palaces of cultural interest, it is also home to some of the beautiful beaches. Kanyakumari, the only place in India where can view both the sunset and sunrise, is only a two hour’s drive from Trivandrum. The Ananthapuri temple, which is located in the heart of the city, is a historical monument which is a treat to watch.
Located 15 Kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram city, this internationally popular beach is a popular tourist destination for tourists since immemorial. Regarded as one of the finest beach resorts in the world, anyone can take sea bath here without fear. This beach is also suitable for surfing and water skiing, Ayurvedic salons, regeneration resorts despite providing activities such as including snorkelling, catamaran rides, sunset viewing cycling and so on.
The very image of the word ‘Thekkady’ instils images of unending hills, elephants and sprawling and scented plantations. Thekkady also presents Periyar wildlife reserve, which is one of the finest reserves in India, is spread over the district. The beautiful plantations and hilly towns are indeed a treat to watch and also provide an excellent opportunity for mountain walks and treks.
This village is a cluster of islands located on Vembanad Lake. This is a perfect location if you want to enjoy a serene life in the quietness of nature. The houseboats and lagoons made of bamboo would be lifetime experience, with delicious kerala foods and mangrove covered lagoons. A bird watchers heaven, Kumarakom is a perfect destination for an Ayurvedic massage. Some resorts entertain visitors with exclusive kerala art forms including Kathakali.
One of the gateways to South India for foreign visitors, Cochin has numerous attractions for tourists. The city provides options for rafting and boating as you can see the merging of sea with backwaters. Who wouldn’t love a ride in a kerala style house boat? Bolgatty Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Thomas Church, Thripunithura Palace and Chinese Fishing nets in Fort Cochin are enchanting sights which would mesmerise any visitor. Cochin being the only metro in Kerala also offers great opportunities for shopping.
A pilgrimage centre, picnic spot as well as an adventurous place, Vagamon is famous for enchanting hillocks in the midst of grass and beautiful lake. A perfect picnic spot for families, this hillock would be covered in thick mist in winter which makes it difficult for a person to see another who stands 5 feet away. Apart from this inexplicable feeling, pine forests are a treat to watch and Kurishumala Church is a popular pilgrimage centre to where trekking is an adventurous task.
A town characterised by an extensive network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water lakes, Alappey is fondly termed as the Venice of the East. Blessed with amazing natural beauty, this land of backwaters is also home to a varied animal and bird life. Now, this town is known for its beaches, boat races, house boats, marine and coir products.
Mullaperiyar Dam, situated on the Periyar River in Thekkady in Idukki district in kerala has been a subject of controversy since years between kerala and the neighbouring state Tamil Nadu. The recent hullabaloo regarding the control and safety of the thousand year old dam and the validity and fairness of the lease agreement that exists between the two states, regarding the water from this dam has badly affected the otherwise peak tourism in Thekkady-Munnar route. The dispute took a new turn in the recent months when travellers also started feeling the heat.
Kerala is the haven for tourists; you just have to opt a few from the innumerable options that open up for you. The sight of backwaters, hilly mountains, cultural monuments, palaces, serene beaches are once in a lifetime experience, if overlooked you are missing the beauty of a lifetime.