Best things to do and places to visit in Kerala

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Discover the best things to do and places to visit in Kerala, India’s tropical paradise. From serene backwaters to misty hill stations, explore a tapestry of natural beauty, rich culture, and unforgettable experiences in “God’s Own Country.”

Nestled along the sun-drenched Malabar Coast of India, the enchanting state of Kerala stands as a living embodiment of natural beauty, cultural richness, and a way of life that harmoniously blends tradition with modernity. Often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” this tropical paradise beckons travelers from far and wide, offering a tapestry of experiences that will leave an indelible mark on the soul.

From the serene backwaters that meander through lush landscapes to the misty hill stations that offer respite from the sultry heat, Kerala is a destination that captivates the senses and awakens the spirit. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a chance to immerse yourself in a rich cultural tapestry, this verdant land promises to deliver an unforgettable journey.

As you embark on your exploration of Kerala, prepare to be enchanted by the best things to do and places to visit, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience.

  1. Alleppey Backwaters No visit to Kerala is complete without experiencing the tranquil beauty of the Alleppey Backwaters. These serene waterways, formed by a labyrinth of canals, lakes, and rivers, offer a glimpse into a world where time seems to stand still. Embark on a traditional houseboat cruise, gliding through the narrow canals flanked by swaying coconut palms and verdant rice paddies.

As you cruise along the backwaters, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the daily rhythms of life that unfold along the banks, from locals fishing and bathing to children playing and women washing clothes. Relax on the deck of your houseboat, indulge in delectable Kerala cuisine, and soak in the serene ambiance that pervades these enchanting waterways.

  1. Munnar Hill Station Nestled amidst the Western Ghats, Munnar is a breathtaking hill station that offers a respite from the sultry heat of the plains. This picturesque destination is renowned for its vast expanse of lush tea plantations, misty mountain valleys, and cascading waterfalls that paint a picture of pristine natural beauty.

Embark on a trek through the rolling hills, inhaling the fragrant aroma of tea leaves and savoring the crisp mountain air. Visit the Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. For a truly unforgettable experience, take a scenic ride on the Toy Train, winding through the verdant hills and offering panoramic views that will leave you spellbound.

  1. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary For nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a must-visit destination. This lush wetland reserve, nestled on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, is a haven for a diverse array of migratory and resident bird species. As you glide through the tranquil waters on a traditional boat, you’ll have the opportunity to spot rare and exotic birds such as the Cinnamon Bittern, Indian Darter, and the majestic Painted Stork.
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The sanctuary’s rich ecosystem, comprising mangrove forests, paddy fields, and coconut groves, creates a vibrant tapestry of life, where birds and other flora and fauna thrive in harmony. With knowledgeable guides by your side, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of nature that exists within this protected sanctuary.

  1. Kochi (Cochin) Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a captivating coastal city that seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modern influences. This vibrant destination offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from exploring the historic Dutch and Portuguese architecture to indulging in the city’s thriving culinary scene.

Wander through the narrow streets of Fort Kochi, where colonial-era buildings and charming boutiques line the quaint lanes. Visit the iconic Chinese fishing nets, a fascinating relic of the city’s trading past, and witness the skilled fishermen as they skillfully operate these ancient contraptions. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Mattancherry Palace, with its intricate murals and Dutch influence, or the impressive Santa Cruz Basilica, a stunning example of Portuguese architecture.

  1. Kovalam Beaches Kerala’s sun-kissed coastline is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in India, and Kovalam stands out as a true gem. This idyllic beach destination boasts pristine stretches of golden sand, swaying palm trees, and azure waters that beckon visitors to bask in their beauty.

Spend lazy days lounging on the beach, sipping refreshing coconut water and indulging in mouth-watering seafood delicacies. For the adventure seekers, Kovalam offers thrilling water sports like surfing, parasailing, and snorkeling, allowing you to explore the vibrant marine life that thrives beneath the waves. As the sun sets, witness the stunning display of colors that paint the sky, creating a truly magical ambiance.

  1. Periyar Tiger Reserve For those seeking an adventure amidst the wilderness, the Periyar Tiger Reserve is a must-visit destination. This sprawling national park, located in the heart of the Western Ghats, is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including the majestic Bengal tiger, elephants, and a plethora of bird species.
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Embark on a thrilling jeep safari or a guided trek through the dense forests, where you may catch glimpses of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. For a truly unique experience, take a boat cruise through the Periyar Lake, surrounded by the lush greenery and tranquil waters that reflect the beauty of this pristine reserve.

  1. Athirapally Waterfalls Kerala’s natural wonders extend beyond its coastlines, and the Athirapally Waterfalls are a testament to this. These majestic falls, cascading from a height of 80 feet, are a sight to behold, particularly during the monsoon season when the water gushes with incredible force.

Trek through the lush forests that surround the falls, taking in the fresh, invigorating scent of nature. Picnic by the base of the falls, letting the sound of the thundering waters wash away your worries, or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear pools below. The Athirapally Waterfalls offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, inviting you to reconnect with the raw beauty of nature.

  1. Thekkady Spice Plantations Kerala is renowned for its abundant spice plantations, and a visit to Thekkady offers a unique opportunity to explore this aromatic world. Nestled amidst the verdant hills of the Western Ghats, Thekkady’s spice plantations are a feast for the senses, with the fragrance of cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg permeating the air.

Embark on a guided tour through these lush plantations, learning about the cultivation, processing, and uses of these exotic spices. Witness the skilled workers carefully tending to the plants and harvesting the precious spices. You can also indulge in a variety of spice-infused culinary delights, from traditional curries to aromatic teas, allowing you to savor the flavors that have made Kerala’s cuisine renowned worldwide.

  1. Bekal Fort Steeped in history and architectural grandeur, Bekal Fort is a captivating destination that transports visitors back in time. This massive fort, constructed in the 17th century, stands as a testament to the region’s rich maritime heritage and military prowess.
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Explore the fort’s imposing walls, which stretch for nearly a mile along the coastline, offering breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea. Wander through the ancient chambers, courtyards, and observation points, imagining the stories and legends that these stone structures have witnessed over the centuries. For a truly unforgettable experience, witness the stunning sunset from atop the fort’s ramparts, as the golden hues paint the sky and the gentle waves lap at the shore below.

  1. Thrissur Pooram Festival For those seeking to immerse themselves in the vibrant cultural tapestry of Kerala, the Thrissur Pooram Festival is an absolute must-experience. This grand celebration, held annually in the city of Thrissur, is a spectacular display of Kerala’s rich traditions and artistic heritage.

Witness the mesmerizing processions of richly caparisoned elephants, adorned with intricate decorations and accompanied by the thunderous beat of traditional percussion instruments. Marvel at the dazzling display of fireworks that light up the night sky, creating a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns. Experience the pulsating rhythms of traditional music and dance performances, as the entire city comes alive in a celebration of cultural pride and unity.

Beyond these captivating destinations and experiences, Kerala offers a wealth of opportunities for travelers to immerse themselves in the local way of life. Explore the vibrant markets, where you can haggle for spices, handcrafted souvenirs, and vibrant textiles. Indulge in the state’s renowned cuisine, savoring the delectable flavors of coconut-infused curries, succulent seafood, and fragrant rice dishes.

Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or a deeper connection with nature and culture, Kerala promises to deliver an unforgettable journey. This tropical paradise, with its endless charms and timeless wonders, will leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul, beckoning you to return time and again to experience the magic of “God’s Own Country.”

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