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Kerala

With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 ms in the east and networked by 44 rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. An equable climate. A long shoreline with serene beaches. Tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters. Lush hill stations and exotic wildlife. Waterfalls. Sprawling plantations and paddy fields. Ayurvedic health holidays. Enchanting art forms. Magical festivals. Historic and cultural monuments. An exotic cuisine... All of which offer you a unique experience. And what's more, each of these charming destinations is only a two hour drive from the other. A singular advantage no other destination offers.

Kerala, India's most advanced society: With hundred percent literacy. World-class health care systems. India's lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy rates. The highest physical quality of life in India. Peaceful and pristine, Kerala is also India's cleanest state.

Places to Visit in kerala

Alappuzha also known as Alleppey is the Venice of the East and rightly so. Swaying palms, silver beaches, charming lagoons and canals make it a charming sight. Not surprisingly, it is one of Kerala’s most popular tourist destination and attracts a steady inflow of tourists all around the year.

Alappuzha has a fascinating history. According to legend, coastal areas in and around Alappuzha used to be under water. In time, silt and sand came together to form it. In the ancient times, Alappuzha was under the reign of the powerful Chera rulers. It was an important centre of religion and culture in the 9th to 12th century A.D.

It was around this time that the Portuguese settlers arrived. They built a lot of magnificent churches in Alappuzha. Trade and commerce flourished. In fact, even in those days, Alappuzha traded with Arabs in coir products - coirn yarn and fibre as well as pepper.

Today, Alappuzha is a leading exporter of coconut oil, arecanut, cardamom, sugar and pepper. Probably the only thing that can match its exports is its picturesque beach. Fringed by imposing buildings, remnants of the colonial past with a 140 year old pier that extends into the sea, it is a rare sight indeed. Alappuzha has two parks with boating facility available in both. Make it a point to cruise along the backwaters. It’s a great way to get a first hand glimpse of Alappuzha’s riverside life!

Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple

The highlight of this magnificent temple is its massive oil lamp made from granite. This lamp can hold up to 1,000 wicks. When they are lit together, it truly creates an unforgettable sight. The best time to visit the temple is February and March when a special festival is held for the Bhadrakali deity who is known with her miraculous healing powers.

Eddakal Caves

Located in the Ambukuthis hills, these caves were formed by a massive split in the side of a cliff. The two natural rock formations that resulted are a repository of well-preserved pictographs dating back to ancient times.

The scenic beauty of Athirapilly waterfalls presents a spectacular visual extravagance to visitors. A very popular picnic spot, Athirapilly is located close to Chalakudy in Kerala. The falls are located amidst dense forests and the entire region looks ‘picture-perfect’ in every way. Athirapilly-Vazhachal waterfalls are situated on the edge Sholayar forest ranges, just 5 kms apart.This sparkling cascade of silvery water, falls from a height of approximately 80 mts to join the Chalakudy river below.

You can have a spectacular view from the top of the waterfalls when you walk through the rock pathway that leads from the main entrance. And for those with an adventurous streak, there is a fantastic view from the bottom of the waterfalls which can be reached with a little bit of trekking on slippery mountain trails. It’s a beautiful trail and you can relish the water from the falls sprinkling all over you. The view of the entire landscape is amazing.

But the falls can be treacherous, especially during the monsoons due to the slippery grounds, changing currents and the presence of huge rocks. So, enjoy the view, but be careful, all the same. Best Time to Visit Athirapilly Waterfalls is July to September. Unique attractions in and around Athirapilly Waterfalls are Chapra Falls (1.5 km away from Athirapilly), Vazhachal Falls (about 5 km from Athirapilly), Dream World Amusement Park (24 kms from Athirapilly) and Silver Storm Amusement Parks – (about 30 km from Athirapilly).

Cherai Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala bordering the northern end of Vypeen Island, is located about 26 km from Ernakulam city, Kochi.

The place is a unique combination of sea and backwaters rimmed by lush green coconut palms and paddy fields. The backwaters are a combination of lakes, lagoons, canals and estuaries.

The 15 km long golden Beach is very clean, shallow and is ideal for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. The newly beautified 400 Meters of the main beach has a walkway and High mask lamps which make the beach enjoyable even at night. Trained security staff are present round-the-clock in the beach. The Beach is very safe and tourists of all age groups can enjoy the Beach alike. The beautiful beach is studded with seashells of various hues and shapes. There is a park for children on the beach. Water Scooter and Speed Boats are available for hire. One could catch an occasional glimpse of Dolphins as they spring out and dive back into the water. The far end of the beach is lined with Chinese fishing nets which is a beautiful sight by itself.

A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby makes this place even more beautiful. The main attraction of Cherai is the 'Poyil' a large inland lake forming a part of the calm serene backwaters separated from the ocean by only a narrow sandbar. A boat ride along the palm fringed backwaters and paddy fields is a breathtaking experience you will never forget. The water is calm, crystal clear and you could loose yourselves in the beauty of the surrounding Kerala Village life. One could get a glimpse of country boats ferrying paddy or fish, fishermen casting for the days catch, reapers working in the paddy fields, toddy tappers climbing coconut trees for tapping toddy, ducks wading across the water with their ducklings, storks looking for their prey in the paddy fields etc. The water fields here are single crop ones mostly cultivating paddy. In between the crop season the paddy fields are converted into fish farms, mainly prawns. Cherai is also well known for the mouth lingering fresh sea food and country wine Toddy (fermented coconut water).

Kappad is a famous beach of Malabar Coast in the district of Calicut, of the state of Kerala in India, located about 16 km from Kozhikode town. It is also known by the name of the Kappakadavu, locally. It is situated on the banks of the Korapuzha River.

Kappad Beach is a beautiful beach which has rocks covered with moss. This beach is also known for its clear blue water, golden sand and its fishing hamlets. The place is bliss and attracts numerous tourists every year. Presently, it is one of the important tourist places in Kerala.

Kappad also finds its importance in the Indian history. This is the place where Vasco d Gamma, a Portuguese explorer landed when he discovered India in 1498. At that time Malabar was ruled by the Zamorins who warmly welcomed Vasco da Gama.

This was a great event in the history of India, as the world was made aware about India and its prosperity. This route gave the access to the Europeans to the India’s wealth. Later they stayed here for 450 years. To commemorate the landing of Vasco d gamma, a small stone monument is built there with the inscription, "Vasco da Gama landed here, Kappakadavu, in the year 1498."

The main reason why Europeans was attracted to Malabar was the abundance of spices and calico textile. Kerala is still one of the largest producer and exporter of the spices. Pepper cardamom and cloves are its main products.

Kappad is also known for its Ayurvedic treatments. It has many Ayurvedic centres which offer numerous Ayurvedic health and holiday facilities to the people. Visitors come here from different parts of the world to enjoy Ayurvedic massages and herbal treatments.

An ancient, 800 year old temple, on the rocks close by, is devoted to a local God in the vicinity. This place attracts a lot of devotees and visitors. Apart from the religious significance it is also known as historical and architectural splendour. Kappad is best visited during winter, as it relatively milder. Monsoon season is not a good time as the rainfall is extensive.

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide.

This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.

Strictly speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region adjoining the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Ernakulam is also the name of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district - but, for all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the same place.

Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.

The palm-fringed bays of Kovalam in secluded coconut groves, promise a relaxed stay. The unforgettable image of Kovalam is that of the coconut-palms-lined high rock promontory that cuddles the calm and wide expanse of the blue waters. This marvellous beach is a tourist's dream come true.

The Three Beaches Of Kovalam

The beaches of Kovalam can be divided in three parts. The southern most beach and the most popular from the three, is the Lighthouse Beach. Further south on the beach one can have a spectacular view of the Vizhinzam mosque, but photography is prohibited here.

The middle beach is called Hawah. Each morning this beach acts as a base for the local fisherman. The northern most beach, Samudra, is least affected of all by the changing times. It is dotted with few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels.

Water Sports At Kovalam

Kovalam is a natural bay ideal for kayaking, swimming, surfing and skiing. One can swim in the shallow blue water and have a sunbath in the exotic tropical sun can adorn you with a good suntan. The coast at many places is lined with beautiful patches of coral reefs or you can crest the waves on logs of lashed woods on catamarans.

Leisure & Entertainment Activities At Kovalam Beach

When you are tired of aquatics, swimming or sunbathing, you can explore the handicrafts, jewellery and cloth shops spread along the waterfront. Not to speak of the delightful seafood fare including lobsters available at the beach-side restaurants of Kovalam.

In the evening the quiet atmosphere of the Kovalam beachside is enlivened by Kathakali performances, the classical dance-drama of Kerala. At present Kovalam is developed not only as a beach resort, but also as a Yoga and health center. One can have Ayurvedic massages and oil baths or learn in detail the methods of doing Yoga and meditation taught by experts.

From Kovalam, you can go for a backwater cruise to the beautiful countryside of Kerala paddling country boats, enjoying its lush greenery. A few hotels even offer houseboats, country boats and catamarans for the tourists at reasonable rates.

On the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, lies the city of Kumarakom, which is an ornithologist’s paradise. It is an ideal place to spend your holidays as Nature basks in the glory of mangrove forests, coconut canopies and swaying paddy fields in the company of waterways and canals. Kerala has been blessed with a wide array of rivers, canals and tributaries crisscrossing it throughout. Surrounded by the Arabian Sea, cruising along the Backwaters of Kerala on a Houseboat is an enriching experience.

Kumarakom is one of the few places in the world where the means for transportation is through boats. Nothing can prepare for you for the sight of the mystical Kumarakom backwaters and the experience of just simply cruising along the waters and watching the nature pass you by. The bird sanctuary of Kumarakom is a visitor’s delight and a favorite haunt of many migratory birds such as egret, darters, herons, teal, cuckoo and many more. The ideal way to watch this sanctuary is circling the waters around it in a boat. If you also want to experience this unforgettable encounter with nature’s beauty, join us on Tour Packages for Kumarakom.

Blessed by nature, the weather is Kumarakom is tropical and well balanced throughout the year. This is nothing less than paradise where one comes closest to nature in wondrous Kettuvalams, traditional Houseboats of Kerala that take you around the backwaters. These traditional houseboats are however now being rapidly replaced by the modern ones offering you all amenities on board. Set back in a Kettuvalam, on the Vembanad Lake and watching the birds play around with you, Kumarakom is definitely a place worth coming to if in need of a rejuvenating Holiday.

Munnar Known as Kashmir of South India, Munnar is situated in Kerala. Snuggled in the lap of such an alluring terrain, Munnar is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Kerala. Enchanting beaches, diverse wildlife, picturesque landscape and flawless backwaters make Kerala an enthralling tourist destination in India. Munnar- an idyllic destination is located at an altitude of 6000 feet above sea level. Munnar derives its name from the Tamil word ‘munnu’ meaning “three” and ‘aar’ means “River”- spelled as Munnar on combining. The place is situated between the confluence of three rivers namely Madurapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundala.

Its exotic series of flora and fauna make it a favorite summer resort not only of today but from the times of British rulers in colonial days. Kerala Munnar not only embraces people with its natural ambience but with its amazing foggy hills, and its aromatic zing of tea and coffee plantations. This pleasing and breathtaking hill station has always been famous among honeymooners and tourists from all over the world. The place is a paradise for nature lovers and provides them the best ambience, the honeymooners require for their dream honeymoon tour. Its beauty never misses to captivate people’s mind and soul with its very first glimpse. Rambling tea plantations, rising and falling hills swathe in bright green beauty of flourishing valleys are big attractions for families. Various adventure sports like rock climbing, trekking, paragliding make this heavenly place a perfect holiday spot for you and your family.Kerala.Enjoy finding best Munnar resorts reviews, resorts list, prices and more.

Munnar tourism has made this place easily reachable from various parts of the country through railways, road and even airways. Driving to Munnar can be adventurous but you can even go for the air travel, the nearest airport is Cochin airport. A Munnar travel guide can make you visit each and every exotic place in the city. The main attractions of the place are Eravikulam national park -jungle safari in Eravikulam Park can give an astonishing sight of Tigers, Leopard, Langur, Elephants, Sambars, Nilgiri tahr and many other rare species. Anamudi peaks which is known to be the best place for trekking and other adventure sports is located within Eravikulam national park and is also said to be the highest peak in south India. Chinnar wildlife sanctuary, pothamedu, devikulam, kuthumkal waterfalls and echo pint are some of the main visiting places in Munnar Kerala.

Papanasam Beach or Varkala Beach is Hindu pilgrimage site as well as a well-known tourist destination in Kerala, India. Papanasam Beach lies 50 km to the north-west of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and 37 km to the south west of Kollam city. This is a place where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. The beach is extended to 500 meters with white sand. Varkala Papanasam Beach is regarded as a holy beach and the literal meaning of this is “Destroyer of sins”. It is said that a dip in the holy waters of this beach will relieve us from all the sins that we have committed and it purifies our body and soul.

Legend of Papanasam Beach

It is believed that Lord Brahma instructed Pandyan king to build a temple here to wash away his sins. There is also a story saying that Sage Narada threw his ‘Valkalam’ (a loin cloth made from bark of a tree) to this place and asked the pilgrims to dip in that water to get rid of the sins committed.

Tourist Attractions

Papanasam beach is a calm and quiet beach away from all crowds and other disturbances that you see in other picnic spots. The resort area that lies that between two cliffs makes the beach looks stunning. Fine sidewalk along the cliff edges is a real once in awhile experience. Mineral water springs comes gushing out from these cliffs and are famous for their medicinal qualities which people drink as holy water and the narrow road leading to the beach is designed by paddy fields and tall palm trees on both sides. The beach is ideal for sunbathing and swimming. The sunsets here, are an extra ordinary view and is considered to be the right time for a long walk.

Karkidaka Vavu Bali at Varkala Papanasam Beach

People come here on the new moon day of Karkkidakam Malayalam month for doing the last rituals of their dearest ones and other ancestors whose soul rest in peace. This offering is called ‘Vavubali’. After this, people visit Sree Janardhana Swami Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which lies facing to the beach and get the ‘Thilakahoma’ done there.

Varkala Janardhana Swamy Temple

Janardhana Swami Temple is an ancient Lord Vishnu Temple situated near Varkala Beach. Janardanaswamy Temple is around 2000 years old and is often referred to as Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the south).

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady

Periyar, in Kerala, is the best-known wildlife sanctuary in south India. Though billed as a tiger reserve, Periyar is really famous for its wild elephants, 100-year-old artificial lake and its setting in the beautiful thickly forested Western ghats. This is not your best shot at spotting the Bengal Tiger considering there are less than 40 of them that inhabit an area of 777sq.km but there's plenty of other animals like the Nilgiri langoor, Nilgiri tahr, bison, deer, antelope and about 700 elephants to make the trip worthwhile. The Periyar Tiger Reserve consists of tropical evergreen, semi- evergreen and moist deciduous forests. Its legal status as a National Park is still pending and only one notification has been issued. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1978 and the first research started in 1991. The results indicate 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes and 112 species of butterflies. The core area is 350 sq.kms. The final notification of the buffer area is pending. The national park and the tiger reserve is rated as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India for wildlife photography, bird watching, elephant herds and tiger watching.

The Flora & Fauna in the Periyar National Park

Some of the deeper valleys contain tropical evergreen forest with extremely thick tree cover that even bright sunlight finds hard to penetrate. These trees that have grown to amazing heights of up to 130-140 feet seems to having being there forever. The few level areas in the park contain marshy grasslands near the edges of the lake and other water bodies. Spread out across the park are also patches of semi-evergreen forest used as important cover by many of the animal species. Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary Kerala are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers in the Periyar national Park. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Gee's Golden Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen.

Ponmudi is a hill station situated about 61 km away from Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala, on the Western Ghats along the Arabian Sea. Located at an altitude of 1000 m, it is one of the highest hill stations in Thiruvananthapuram.

Popularly called Golden Peak, Ponmudi is surrounded by scenic hills, spice plantations, tea estates, natural springs and winding streams. Ponmudi was founded by Rishi Parshuram, a prominent Indian mythological figure. Though a quaint place, it has a turbulent history. This land has been ruled by the Ays, Venads and Varmas, and was invaded by the Cholas and Mughals.

It is frequented by tourists during August and September when the Aaranmula Temple Festival and Aaranmula Boat Race are held. This hill station is also the gateway to Varkala, an important pilgrimage site where the 2000-year-old Janardanswamy Temple is located.

Some notable tourist attractions located in Ponmudi are Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Echo Point and various trekking spots. Mist-laden valleys, especially Golden Valley near Kallar River, also draw tourists. Travellers can find a deer park and wood and stone cottages coloured in bright hues while visiting here.

Tourists can spot barasinghas in the mini-zoo located north of Ponmudi Crest. Meenmutty Falls are also located in the vicinity of this hill station, though tourists need to seek permission from the Forest Department for exploring it. Apart from sightseeing, Ponmudi is also famous for Ayurvedic medical treatment.

Tourists can also trek and hike in the Agasthyar Hills located close to the hill station. The best time to participate in adventure activities in Ponmudi is in the months of January and February.

The nearest airport to Ponmudi is Trivandrum International Airport, which is situated 61 km away. Trivandrum Central railway station is the nearest station and connects this hill station to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Buses that run every 2 hours also ply from Thambanoor bus stand to Ponmudi. It can also be reached by driving down the Thiruvananthapuram-Nedumangad-Chenkotta Highway.

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most famous Lord Vishnu Temples in Kerala, South India. Also known as Sree Ananda Padmanabhaswamy Temple, this Mahavishnu Temple is located inside East Fort, in Thiruvananthapuram - the capital city of Kerala, India. Lord Vishnu is enshrined here in the Anananthasayanam posture (in eternal sleep of yognidra), lying on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake. According to traditions, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram is believed to have been worshipped by Chandra (Moon God) and Lord Indra (the head of the Devas).

Significance of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu. Divya Desams are the holiest abodes of the Lord Mahavishnu that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhvars (saints). Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple is also one of the seven Parasurama kshetras in Kerala. The city of Thiruvananthapuram is named after the Lord. The word Thiruvananthapuram literally means "The land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy.

The idol of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is made up of 12008 salagramams that compose the reclining lord. They are special because they are from Nepal, from the banks of river Gandhaki and they were brought to the temple with all pomp and gaiety on elephant top. On top of them "Katusarkara Yogam", Navaratnams, a special Ayurvedic mix, was used to give a plaster. Followers believe that the Lord has personally come in disguise and had saved many times the Travancore Kingdom from the clutches of enemies.

 

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