Here are some of the important tourist destinations of Kerala.
Kochi " Queen of the Arabian sea". Kochi has a fascinating blend of cultures as varied as Dutch, Portuguese and English. Ancient churches, colonial structures, century old synagogues and enchanting backwaters make Kochi a tourist spot offering a host tourist attractions. Kochi is ideal place to watch cultural shows such as 'Kathakali', Mohiniyattam and other art forms of Kerala. Kochi had influences of explorers and traders who visited this wealthy land. Kochi is ideal for backwater cruise.
Places to visit: Chinese fishing net, Santa Cruz Basilica, Duch palace (closed on Fridays), Synagogue (closed on Saturdays), Jew town, Hill palace Museum (closed on Mondays), Museum of Kerala history (closed on Mondays), Veega land.
7 Hrs Backwater cruise »
Altitude : 1600 m above sea level. Temp. 0°C to 26°C
Munnar is to Kerala what Switzerland is to Europe. This mist-capped hill station is home to exotic wildlife and plant life. Munnar is the most enchanting experience of
nature in all its virgin beauty. Sprawling tea plantations and winding roads make Munnar a popular hill station. Munnar you can explore the wilderness of the dense forests through trekking, mountain climbing, forest camping and bird watching. You will be accompanied by naturalists and local guide. Places like Pothamedu and Devikulam offer trekking. Mattupetty lake is a calm spot for picnics and boating.
Places to visit: Mattupetty dam (13 Km from Munnar), Rajamala (17 Km from Munnar), top station (32 Km from Munnar).
Altitude : 1100 m above sea level. Vagamon for those who loves privacy and nature. Vagamon is surrounded by beautiful meadows, valleys and tea gardens with un-spoilt nature, sparkling streams, lake, country boats, fishing, green tea gardens and cardamom plantations.
Thekkady ( Periyar) Altitude 1200 m above sea level. Thekkady for the wildlife enthusiast. The periyar wildlife sanctuary amidst the rich jungles .you can have a boat safari on the Periyar lake around which the wild life sanctuary is based. As the area never gets too cold in the winter months and doesn't have too harsh summer, periyar is a great tourist area all year round. This is one of the few Indian reserve forests which allows trekking. You can also have an elephant safari through the forest to see the wild life in their natural habitat.
Kumarakom for the nature lovers. An ideal place for bird watching. A backwater town you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings. A voyage takes you to the rich green, sleepy little village of Kumarakom on the Vembanad lake. Gliding along the calm
and serene backwaters flanked by green leaves and palm seeing a rural Kerala . Nowhere else in India will you find a place as beautiful and secluded as Kumarakom.
Alleppey (Alappuzha)- For the back water lovers. Alleppey is with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet "Venice of the east". Alleppey is also known for its spectacular snake -boat race "The Nehru Trophy boat race". held on the second Saturday of August, every year. It is excitement all around as snake - boats , each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind. The House boat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey gives one first hand experience of the village life style, toddy tapping, fishing, Coir-making, prawn farming etc.
Kovalam For the sun and sand lovers. A sheltered natural bay created by a high rocky promontory extending into the Arabian sea.
Studded with coconut palms and fringed with lagoons and sheltered coves, this internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists. A ravishing tropical beach, Kovalam has been attracting travellers from around the world over with its unspoilt beauty.
Places to visit in Thiruvananthapuram (15 Km): Padmanabha swamy temple, Sree Chithra art gallery (Monday holiday and Wednesday forenoons), Zoological park (Monday holiday), Planetarium & Science and technology museum (Monday holiday).
Athirapally / Vazhachal water falls Witness the most fascinating waterfalls in Kerala and take a dip in the cool and fresh water if you want. No where else in India will you find waterfalls as breathtaking as those in Athirapally and Vazhachal. These picturesque spots stand nestle close to the virgin forests and towering mountains.
Wayanad: Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary is rich in biodiversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Sanctuary has the typical moist and dry deciduous forest types, which covers most of the area. Kalpetta is the district headquarters of Wayanad. Pookot lake-3 km south of Vythiri. The perennial fresh water lake, nestled among wooded hills, is a only one of its kind in Kerala. Set in a beautiful valley and surrounded by evergreen forests and wooded hills, Pookot is one of Wayanad's top visitor draws.
Kanyakumari: Where three seas mingle. The tip of Indian peninsula was known as 'Cape Comorin' and today rechristened Kanyakumari, after the temple of vergin Goddess that stands on the shore washed by the waters of Indian occean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea. You can also visit Suchindram temple and Padmanabhapuram palace on the way to Thiruvananthapuram.
Places to Visit: Vivekananda Rock Memorial ( Ferry service-8.00 am to 4.00 pm), Thiruvalluvar statue, Gandhi memorial, Government Museum, Suchindram Temple(13 Km), Padmanabhapuram palace (37 Km).
Lakshadweep Islands: Lakshadweep means a hundred thousand islands. Each island is fringed by snow white coral sands.The islands offer precious heritage of ecology and culture. The unique feature of the island is its coral reef. 4200 sq km of Lagoons are rich in marine wealth spread over 36 islands.
The under water view at Lakshadweep is kaleidoscopic and breath taking. The lagoon offers excellent potential for water sports like swimming, wind-surfing, diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
Lakshadweep islands are well connected both by air and sea from Kochi. While islands like Agatti and Bangaram can be reached by Air, the other islands can be reached by ship from Kochi. You can also plan Kerala tour with Lakshadweep package
Guruvayur- pilgrim centre: Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala. Its main attraction is the Sree Krishna temple. The temple is described as 'Bhooloka Vaikuntam' and 'Dwaraka of the south'. It is a heaven on earth for many. The temple opens to the melody of 'Nadaswaram' at 3 am every day for the 'Nirmalya Darshan'. Devotees make many offerings to propitiate the deity for health, wealth and prosperity.
Sabarimala: It is, 191 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 210 km from Kochi: One of the most famous pilgrim centres in India, Sabarimala is situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 m above sea level and is accessible only by foot from Pamba (4 km). The temple is dedicated to Sree Ayyappa. Pilgrim season: November to mid January. Mandala Pooja and Makaravilakku are the two main events of the pilgrim season. The temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during vishu (April). Nearest railway station: Thiruvalla (102 km) People of all castes and creeds are permitted into the temple. However, entry not allowed to women between 10 and 50 years of age.
Kaladi: Kaladi near to Angamali is pilgrim center on the banks of Periyar. It is also the birth place of the great Indian Philosopher Sri Adi Sankara Acharya. There are two shrines of Sri Adi Sankaracharya. One dedicated to him as Dakshinamurthy and the other to Goddess Sarada, maintained by the Sringeri Mutt. On the same premises there is a spot, Vrindavan where Adi Sankaracharya's mother Aryamba was cremated. In addition to it there is a an ancient Srikrishna Temple close by which was the family temple of Sankaracharya. Another temple known as International temple dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna Deva has been built with a hope that it would become a temple for all religions and an abode of peace.