Kerala , known as Gods Own Country has some of the best tourist destinations in India for any kind holiday. It is the land of coconuts, backwaters, elephantsand the land of rich cultures and traditions, and has been one of the most sought after places by travelers from all around the world which was also recommended by Lonely Planet as one of the must visit family destinations to visit.It is without doubt one of the most beautiful places on this planet and that’s why they call it ‘Gods Own Country’. From the stunning beaches along the Malabar Coast to the maze of backwater canals cutting through huge rice fields to the glorious rolling hillside tea plantations in the Western Ghats, Kerala’s landscapes are almost as diverse as its people and the culture and history of the people of Kerala is a major factor in attracting the tourists. If you are planning to visit Kerala, here is a selection of the best places to visit in Kerala curated by the holiday experts in Iris Holidays.
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Backwaters of Alleppey always comes on top as the best place to visit in Kerala, simply because it is a unique experience that you cannot get anywhere else in the world. Alleppey which was described as the one of the places known as ‘Venice of the East’ by Lord Curzon is one of the Kerala houseboat packages which includes a cruise along the backwaters on one of the traditional thatched boats known as Kettuvallam is one of the quintessential Kerala experiences to enjoy while on a holiday in Kerala. A cruise along the canals with traditional Kerala meals served in a banana leaf is captivating and weaves a kind of meditative spell weaving a feeling of calmness and beauty around you. All months from September to May are good time to visit and go to Alleppey which has few of the best backwater tours in Kerala. Apart from Backwaters some other attractions in Alleppey are Alappuzha Beach offering one of the most beautiful views of the Arabian Sea, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Edathua Church, Champakulam Valia Palli, Krishnapuram Palace also attracts lot of tourists.
Munnar is the most beautiful hill station in South India and one of the best tourist places in Kerala which has the unique sight of steep hillsides are covered with about 80,000 acres of verdant tea plantations like green blankets over mountains. Munnar is usually cold and comfortable and gives you a heavenly feeling, with the thick mist surrounding you in the middle of the green tea plantations. Munnar was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India and British colonists discovered that the altitude, gradient and orientation of the slopes were particularly suited to the cultivation of tea which gave the lush green mountains adorned by tea and coffee plantations which is a sight to watch in modern Munnar. There are also some waterfalls and trekking paths in Munnar for the adventurous traveler. The Indo Swiss diary farm project,the lake and the dam are other sights to watch.With its sleepy little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds and courts, Chithirapuram ,10km from Munnar, still exudes an old world charm.
Kumarakom which is located close to Ayemenem village where the famous book God of small things is set is the most beautiful place in Kerala (arguably) with its mangrove covered lagoons and houseboats made on bamboo, serving you the most delicious Kerala food , this place just amazes any visitor. Sailing through the calm waters of Kumarakom or enjoying an ayurvedic massage, life just slows down for you. Kumarakon is also a bird watchers’ paradise.Many different species visit this place all round the year.Checkout our post on Kumarakom Village and the houseboat experience in Kumarakom.
Wayanad shows you how beautiful nature can be without human interference.If the beauty of the Munnar is partly man made through tea gardens. Wayanad is a derivative of the term Vayal Nadu, where Vayal means Paddy fields and Nadu the land, comprising it to indicate a land of paddy fields. Wayanad is explicitly beautiful with mist clad mountains, intense forests and fertile green plantations. The forests of Wayanad are cosmic landmasses for animals to enjoy their natural dwelling. The hills, rocks and valleys which contribute to the very unique terrain of Wayanad provide for exceptional adventure experiences. Mountains and forests intersperse to create numerous outback trails, trekking routes and opportunities for other adventure sports. With vast areas still unexplored, Wayanad is truly an adventurescape waiting to be discovered. The mountains, the winding lanes and the thick forests on either sides give you an ethereal experience. Checkout an article on Wayanad Tourism and an experience in the hills of Northern Wayanad.
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Probably the best place in Kerala to observe wildlife while doing a boat trip in lake is Tehkkady. From the mighty Indian elephant to the Great Indian tiger, this place has it all.Elephants, deers, boars, bisons and lion tailed macaques are a common sight in the reservoir area. With some luck,other animals like tiger and leopard can be observed.The tourism department offers trekking right into the heart of the forest either on foot or atop elephants.The resort located in an island in the centre of the lake is the ideal place to observe animals.If you are more adventurous ,you can take the road from Moozhiyar to Thekkadi via Gavi winding through the thickest forests of Kerala.Elephants are a common sight on this path.Boating through the lake is a very pleasant experience and you can observe many waterbirds at close range.Checkout Thekkady Boatimings and Things to do in Thekkady Tourism .
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Cochin offers many attractions for guests who are interested in culture and history and is the starting point for most of the tour packages in Kerala which makes it a popular place to visit and do sightseeing in Kerala. Fort Kochi and Mattancherry are the places worth exploring in Kochi.A guest can also Visit the Jewish Synagogue built over 400 years ago, containing beautiful Belgian glass chandeliers and paved with hand pained tiles from China; the Dutch palace with its wonderful murals depicting the entire story of the Ramayana; St:Francis Church which was the original burial site of Vasco De Gama and which is the first European church that was built in India and try out the fishing in the Forth Kochi beach using the Chinese fishing nets. Cherai Beach and the St.Thomas Church at Malayattoor are also attractions around Kochi that may be of interest.The Thripunithura Palace is one of the biggest of its kind in the whole of Kerala.The Chinese fishing nets in the lagoons are an enchanting sight.Being the only metro in central Kerala, it also gives you great opportunities for shopping.
The capital of Kerala is among those few destinations that offers palaces like Padmanabhapuram Palace and Kanakakunnu Palace, beaches like Kovalam, Varkala, Shankumukham and Azhimala, hill stations like Ponmudi and other attractions like Poovar inside a short distance. Kovalam, one of the finest beaches in the whole of India,is only a half an hour ride from the city. Another wonderful beach and pilgrimage centre, Varkala is also easily accessible by road from trivandrum .Kanyakumari is the only place in India where you can see both sunrise and sunset and it is only a two hour ride away from Trivandrum. The hillstation Ponmudi,61 Km from the city ,offers you a day full of beautiful sights.Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is the riches temple in the world is also in trivandrum. .
Varkala in Kerala is a beautiful destination with a small beach and a cliff side which is full of activity and is among the best beach destinations in Kerala. Varkala is famous for its beauty of the beaches and the ayurvedic resorts The main attraction in Varkala is the PAPANASHAM, this is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Varkala is also famous for Medical Tourism. The long sandy beaches, beautiful resorts, fresh air etc attracts the tourists to Varkala, who wish to make the holidays enjoyable and a memorable one. The unique and beautiful sights of varkala is one of the best examples for the beauty of God’s Own Country. Varkala beach is about one kilometer long and divided into two. The northern end is for sun worshippers & the southern end is for Hindu devotees.
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Kovalam Beach is known as the Paradise of the South and is 16 kms away from Trivandrum. The name Kovalam derives from coconut trees. The lighthouse offer an amazing view of the moon-shaped beach and the Vizhinjam mosque. To the north of Kovalam lies the Samudra where time seems to have frozen. Hawah in the center is the hub of activities with the fishermen setting out to the sea. The rocky foreland blends with the calm blue bay to convert the bay into a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights. There are three beaches at Kovalam, separated by outcrops jutting out to the sea. The larger one is called Light House Beach for its 30 meter high light house. The second largest beach is Hawah Beach.Check out Tourist Places near Kovalam Beach and a weekend holiday experience in Kovalam.
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Poovar made it to the list over Marari, Cherai and other places because it is the only estuary in Kerala which connects with the sea , river and lake during high tides. Poovaris an explorer’s haven where an island of almost indescribable beauty awaits you. A lingering boat cruise along the palm-fringed shores of emerald green backwaters and you have arrived at the Resort, a place where nature is at its pristine best with swaying coconut palms, endless golden sands, the deep blue sea and breathtaking sunsets. Its natural beauty enables it to be a quiet tourist spot for any discerning traveler who is planning for a honeymoon package in Poovar.
The beauty of the best places to visit in Kerala cannot be just written or explained, it has to be experienced and there are lot of other tourist places in Kerala. Fringed with coconut palms that carpet the land from hills to shores, Emerald green backwaters drench every pockets of this leaf-shaped country called Kerala. Sun-kissed golden sands sprawled on the pristine Kerala beaches snatch every emotion of a solitary traveller. Dark, deep forest reserves carrying spicy aroma houses many exotic species in their sleeves. And above all, it is the magic of Ayurveda, that refreshes you again and again for a more exhilarating journey and you continue to do so in this God’s Own Country.