Better known as God's Own Country, Kerala is a heavenly portrait splashed with myriad of enchanting hues. Situated in the southern tip of India, Kerala is caressed by the Arabian Sea in the western coast of India. It is a green Venice, but unlike Venice, where man has created most of the glory, in Kerala nature rules. This beautiful coastal state of India is the country's ambassador to the world of travel and tourism. From the lagoons & backwaters that meander through the enchanting landscapes, to the rich and colourful culture & heritage that weave a tapestry of tourism delights, Kerala is a dream holiday destination of India.
Travelers from across the world visit this splendid destination that offers countless tourist destinations including :
Thiruvananthapuram: Previously called Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala is located near the sea and has a pleasant tropical climate. This city is home to the famous Shree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple. There are several grand palaces of the maharajas of Travancore state, an observatory and a museum with fine works of art and a collection of antique jewellery, the Shree Chitra Art Gallery with works of art by Kerala's renowned painter Raja Ravi Verma and a collection of Tanjore Paintings.
The prime attractions of Thiruvanantpuram include:
1. Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple
2. Vettukad Church
3. Sankhumugham Beach
4. Veli Tourist Village
5. Public Park
Kovalam Beach: Located 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram, this beach is considered to be one of the best in the world. Apart from swimming and relaxing on the white sands, you can enjoy surfing, water skiing and a catamaran ride.
While visiting Kovalam, don't forget to visit the following destinations:
Varkala Beach in Kerala: The striking geography of this beautiful beach has made it very popular. Behind the beach are towering cliffs that contrast with the white sands and the blue sky and clear water.
The major tourist attractions here include:
1. High cliffs with rich mineral springs
2. The 2000 year old Janardana Swami Temple
3. Nature Center
4. 2000 years old shrine of Lord Vishnu
5. Mineral water springs that are known for their medicinal value
Kerala Backwaters: Travelling through the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional kettuvallom or houseboat is a tour like no other. The tranquil water, the green palm-fringed coast, the sounds of sea birds calling, tropical vegetation and friendly people. It is an experience to cherish forever.
Kumarakom : A cluster of islands located on the Vembanad Lake, with mangrove forests, a bird sanctuary, paddy fields, palm trees, and waterways, this getaway feels like a corner of paradise.
Kumarakom offers a variety of tourist attractions that include:
1. Bird Sanctuary
3. House Boats
Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve: Also known as Thekkady, this wildlife reserve located in the Western Ghats, is home to a large population of elephants and a number of tigers. The rare Nilgiri Tahr can also be seen here. A large lake within the park on which you can take a boat ride and observe the animals at leisure is an added attraction.
Silent Valley National Park : Situated in Palghat district, this tropical biosphere reserve, is home to many rare plants and animals, including tigers, lion tailed macaques and elephants. This forest is considered the last representative virgin tract of tropical evergreen forest in India.
Kochi: Formerly known as Cochin and also called the "Queen of the Arabian Sea" this seaside town is the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala state. Apart from the busy port, there's a lot to see in this picturesque town. One of the oldest synagogues in the world is located here in Cochin. Built in 1568, this beautiful structure is worth a visit. St Francis Church, where Vasco da Gama was temporarily buried, Fort Cochin, the Dutch Palace at Matancherry, the Santa Cruz Basilica and the Chinese fishing nets used by local fishermen are all must-see stops on your tour of Kochi.
The major tourist destinations in Kochi include:
1. Chinese Fishing Nets
2. Santa Cruz Basillica
3. St. Francis Church
4. Wellington Island
5. Jewish Synagogue
Ayurveda: Ayurveda - a traditional system of medicine practiced in Kerala for over 2000 years, has gained popularity worldwide. This system of medicine as practiced in Kerala involves massage therapy, using oils made from various herbs. The treatment relaxes and rejuvenates the body and is suited to the individual needs of the visitor.
Allapuzha: This beautiful coastal destination, has some of the most picturesque backwaters in Kerala. The annual snake boat races held here every year are a popular attraction. Teams of rowers power their long narrow boats, swiftly through the water competing for the Nehru Cup.
Other attractions in Alleppey (Allapuzha) include:
Munnar: This beautiful hill station in eastern Kerala is known for its verdant ambience, and has some of the highest tea estates in India. You can visit a tea estate and watch how tea is grown and processed. There are also facilities for para gliding and boating in Munnar.
Some of the most admired tourist spots in Munnar include:
Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary: Part of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, this wildlife sanctuary on the Wynad Plateau is known for its moist deciduous forest which is home to tigers, leopards, elephants and the rare Malabar Giant Squirrel.
The stunning natural environments of Kanyakumari- the endpoint of Indian mainland invites you for an unforgettable holiday experience. A pilgrimage for the Hindus, it has been attracting tourists due to its unique geographical positioning. The sight of Sunrise and Sunset at Cape Comorin is something, which cannot be forgotten easily.
Explore these tourist attractions at Kanyakumari and cherish the experience:
1. Vivekanand Rock Memorial
2. The Kumari Amman Temple
3. Gandhi Memorial
4 Guganathaswamy Temple