Known for its lovely beaches, stunning backwaters, amazing hill stations, lush green paddy fields, shimmering waters, undulating hills and valleys, Kerala, Gods own country is as enchanting as it can get. If you are looking for the raw beauty of nature, then Kerala is a perfect choice to explore. Nature seems to call the shots here, and its allure is quite inimitable during the summer months (March-May). It can be the ideal setting to catch the sights and smell of this land before the heavy downpours which the state experiences from month of June. The verdant locales, combined with appealing draws in the form of kettuvallam rides, unending trekking potentials, and amazing food experiences are sure to remain with you forever. This magical land of rich cultures and traditions is blessed with natural wonders, amazing festivals; and once you drop in, all other things seem inconsequential. Prepare to fall in love, in the ‘wink of an eye’!
Varkala is about a wonderful beach location looking over high cliffs with a fascinating combination of spiritual and modern values covered into one small town endowed with temples and covered with shacks in seashore. The beach offers many exciting pursuits such as sun bath, boat riding and Ayurvedic rejuvenation. The view of sunrise and sunset from the Varkala beach is an exotic treat to watch; moreover, activities such as paragliding and parasailing add to the thrill of being here. The Kappil Lake is popular for its serene atmosphere and the coconut plantations. Thenmala Eco-tourism, first planned ecotourism destination in India (1.30 hour ride from Varkala) provides equal opportunities for fun, adventure and leisure.
Chnadragiri Fort, Kasargod
Bekal is the prime allurement of the northernmost District Kasaragod, thanks to the fort, beach and stunning views. The well-kept fort provides marvellous views of the coconut groves, rows of fisherman boats and even the nearby villages. Enjoying boat cruises through the Valiyaparamba Backwaters is a mind-blowing experience. kasargod is home to several attractions like the Madhur Temple, Mallikkarjuna Temple, Chandragiri Fort, Theruvatthu mosque and more. The picturesque site of Kottancheri and Ranipuram Hills bears a resemblance to much to the scenic beauty of Kodaikanal. Kasargod has a vibrant arts and crafts culture. See the traditional performing arts of Kerala-Yakshagana, Bombe-yattu, Theyyam, pulikkali, oppana etc.
Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom
Kumarakom is a cluster of scenic islands around the picturesque Vembanad Lake. Imagine enjoying the day surrounded by waters, enjoying a cruise on a houseboat. Kumarakom backwaters are a scenic place where you can enjoy the bliss of nature. Bay Island Driftwood Museum houses unique collections of articles made of driftwood. Pathiramanal, which translates to the ‘sand of night’ houses an aquarium and a zoo, and is home to exotic types of migratory birds. The sandy shores and the serene coastal lines of kumarakom make the place a perfect spot for a leisure walk. Pay a visit to the local hamlets for an authentic experience of Kerala.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Lovely beaches, historical monuments and cultural wealth are a great invitation to this southernmost district of Kerala. The diverse topography and its spotless mix of appealing scene and fascinating history is the USP of amazing land. The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple portrays both Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture; but it is all the more popular for its immense wealth, the secret vaults and the mysterious door. Located about 30 kilometres south of the city, Poovar Island is a solitude seekers sanctuary. Sree Chithra Art Gallery, Napier Museum, Ponmudi, Veli Tourist Village, kalamachal Kuthiramalika Palace, Kanakakkunnu Hall, Agasthyakoodam, Kovalam Beach, opportunities are endless.
The crescent-shaped beach of kovalam is dotted with various hotels and restaurants. It is indeed a perfect place for leisure and relaxation. One of Kovalam’s most popular attractions is the candy-striped red-and-white lighthouse. Kovalam is an ideal place to spend romantic, relaxing and enjoyable moments amidst serene backwaters with palm fringed shores. Kovalam is not only about sun, surf, sandy beaches and the blue sky; it is also about beach sports like paragliding, swimming, surfing and parasailing. Take a leisure walk on the beach while taking in the breathtaking sunrises or sunsets, revitalize their body and mind doing a spa or Ayurvedic massage at Somatheeram, or else enjoy a delicious hearty meal of continental and local delicacies in the beach shacks and eateries that line the coast.
Tea Gardens in Munnar
Situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala, the idyllic hill station of Munnar is famous for its picture-book towns, lush tea gardens, rolling hills and valleys. Adventure enthusiasts, who are enamoured of the stunning topography, can find this place ideal for paragliding, trekking and rock climbing. Nature lovers can make a beeline for Eravikulam National Park, which is home to rich flora and fauna, including endemic and highly endangered species like the Neelakurinji, Nilgiri Thar, ruddy mongoose and hundreds of bird species. Mattupetty Dam, Anamudi, Devikulam, Nyayamakad, Muniyara Dolmens, Attukal Waterfalls, Photo Point, Echo Point and Pothemadu are other eye-grabbers here.
Fort Kochi, Kochi
Cochin is the perfect place to be if you look to spend time on a breathtaking location, which is vibrant and serene at the same time. Fort Kochi and Mattancherry are heritage zones that are eye-catching pieces of well-preserved history, decidedly charming. Loosen your purse strings, indulge buying kerala kasavu sari, or adorn your walls with expansive murals from the city, or pamper yourself with a traditional ayurvedic spa treatment and massage. Kochi, a melting pot of diverse cultures offers a lot. Cherai, Munnumbam, Puthuvype, Kuzhipally, Vypeen, Fort Kochi…are just a few of Kochi’s known beaches. What better way to soak in the sights of the harbour than to take a sunset boat ride around it?
Periyar National Park, Idukki
Nestled in the hills of the Western Ghats, the picturesque town of Idukki enjoys a cool weather even at the height of summer season. No other place can match Idukki for the variety it offers, in the form of forests, lakes, waterfalls, treks, picnic spots, all at one place. It is ideal for adventure enthusiasts, with great trekking, backpacking, and camping prospects. Idukki is blessed with beautiful waterfalls, a naturally formed sandalwood forest, and India’s first arch-dam and much more. Periyar National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi, Mattupetty Dam, Thekkady, kalvari mountains, Parunthumpara, Meesapulimala, Keezharkuthu Falls, Ramakkalmedu, and Hill View Park call for your attention.
Chembra Peak, Wayanad
Summers are pleasant and you get a clearer view of the dense forests dress up the region in different shades of green. A part of Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, Wayanad is blessed with waterfalls, lookouts, and scenic nature. Possibilities for nature walks, trekking, hiking, and bird watching are easily accessible here. The beauty of Mother Nature can be seen at places like the Sentinel Rockfalls, Tusharagiri Waterfalls, Edakkal Caves and Banasura Sagar dam. Vythiri is known for its spice plantations, lush forests and the tribal communities indigenous to the area. The beautiful Lakkidi is small and open enough to be explored entirely on foot. Trek to the Chembra Peak with a stop at the heart-shaped lake.
Picturesque backwaters, interspersed network of waterways and good number of houseboats, maketh the quaint town of Alappuzha the “Venice of the East”. Its cultural and architectural heritage, serene streets, a pretty beach and the canals combine to give it a unique appeal. The best way to view this unique synergy of land and water is by a boat ride in the waters of Vembanad Lake that offers sightings of rare migratory birds, especially at dusk. Find people engaged in coir making and toddy tapping. Nestled along the Coast is the tiny island of Kakkathuruthu, another stunning destination which was eventually listed in NatGeo’s must-visit destination across the world. No trip is really complete without a little flavour of the rivers, a typical Kerala lunch with rice and fish curry, served on green banana leaves, will be a treat to senses.