Kerala is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India. Kerala is often termed as paradise set in green!!
Kerala is not just some backwaters and hill stations as it is usually advertised but it has so much more to offer.
Famous Beaches in Kerala
Being a coastline State Kerala has a long western border with Arabian Sea. There are beaches of all types :- wet and wild hilly shores, long promenades, beaches adjoining backwaters and the sea . Take your choice.
Bekal Beach in the northern most part of Kerala Kasargod is a long lovely one. The Bekal Fort in the middle makes it enchanting. View the sea from the ramparts of the fort, or walk, swim, or picnic. The place is a declared tourism spot, so all amenities are provided such as accommodation for all pockets, good roads, clean beach etc. It lies at a distance of 16 km from the town of Kasargod.
Muzhuppilangad Beach is 5 km north of Thalassery. (15 km from Kannur ) An unpaved road winding through coconut groves lead you to the beach. The 5 km long beach curves in a wide expanse: you can even see the Kannur beach to the north. About 200 meters away is the Green Island. But the Prize goes to the 5 acre Dharmadam Island in beauty. During low tide you can walk to the island if you get permission from the owners. The rocky shores are remarkably beautiful.
Kovalam Beach is the most well-known beach in India. The bay created by the jutting promontory is calm and ideal for bathing. The place has everything you need, comfy cottages, high-end hotels, pools, yoga center, places where you can have soothing medicinal oil baths. It is only 12 km from Trivandrum City.
Varkala Beach also known as Papanasam (washing away sins) Beach is unique for the presence of cliffs a strange sight on the flat coast. As the waves dash against them, water spouts and spas are formed. One can bathe and swim also at the beach. There are many shops around to have snacks. The town of Varkala is about 32 miles north-west of Trivandrum.
Cherai Beach is on the western coast of Vypin Island ,25 km from Kochi. Goshree bridges connect the island to the mainland. There are regular ferry services also connecting the two areas . Cherai beach is the longest compared to two other beaches in the island.
Sankumugham Beach is located very close to Trivandrum City. It is one of the evening hideouts for the city dwellers to unwind and relax.
Calicut Beach is another beach that is located close to the city center. I have never seen any other beach where these many ice creams shops operate close-by. I am not talking about the ice cream carts but actual shops.
Kappad Beach is a historically important beach in Kerala. It is the place where Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer landed in 1498. It is 12 kms away from Calicut city and has beautiful sandy beach stretches.
Well, there are many more beaches as Kerala is a coastal state. Depending on where you are traveling in Kerala, you can ask your Kerala tour operator to guide you to the one near that location.
Beautiful Waterfalls in Kerala
Kerala also has some beautiful waterfalls across the state. Here are few of the most beautiful waterfalls which are worth a visit.
Athirapally waterfalls is located in Thrissur district on the Chalakudy River. The fall drops in 3 streams, which keep the river turbulent for the next 1 kilometer. The river flows through forests and ranges.
Vazhachal Falls just 5 km from the entrance to Athirapally is also a tourist attraction. One can drive 30 km from Chalakudy rail Station through winding roads and greenery to reach the place. A paved path leads you to the top; a steep path takes you to the bottom of the falls. Kochi is the nearest Airport.
Palaruvi Falls is located in Kollam district, 75 km from the city of kollam. It is a single drop (299 ft) horsetail type across the Kallada River. The up-stream herbal groves give a healing property to the water.
Thusharagiri Falls is formed by the Chalipuzha River which diverges into 3 Falls, which envelopes the area with misty spray. The highest is the Thenpara Falls from a height of 246 ft. The place is amenable to hardy trekkers and rock climbers if they are equipped for it. It is about 50 km from Kozhikode Station; Calicut Airport is a further 28 km.
Thommankuthu is a seven step waterfall, 20 km from Thodupuzha. It is a lovely picnic spot in the greenery surrounding the Falls. There are a number of caves to explore in the area.
Meenmutty Waterfalls, one of the gorgeous waterfalls in the state is located in Wayanad. To reach there, one needs to go on a 2-kilometer trek enjoying the wild terrain..
Backwaters of Kerala
It is a network of rivers, lakes and inlets interconnected by canals forming 900 km of waterways on the west coast of South Kerala. A number of towns among this serve as points for starting and ending cruises.
Vembanad Kayal, the longest lake is the star attraction. The Port of Kochi at the lake’s outlet to the Arabian Sea is the chief starting point; Alleppey the Venice of the east also is an equally popular location to start the cruise. So is Kollam the gateway from the south end.
Regular ferry services connect towns on both banks of the backwaters. Tourists prefer to use furnished Houseboats with all facilities, such as fresh tasty meals, viewing decks, freedom to stop where you want etc. There are islands like Vypeen near Kochi, Kumarakom bird sanctuary, Pathiramanal, Monroe Island near Kollam and many others. Hotels and resorts and even home stays are available throughout the course of the backwaters. Canoes can be used for narrow canals.
Ashtamudi, Sasthamkotta are also major lakes in the system. Backwaters of Kuttanad, Kollam, Allapuzha, and Kochi are well known names in Kerala and all are equally splendid. The view of coconut palms, green fields, birds, small town life is all to be enjoyed while cruising.
Top Hill Stations in Kerala
Kerala slopes from Western Ghats to Arabian Sea; as a result the eastern terrain is hilly and there are a number of evergreen hill stations amidst the ranges.
Munnar at 1600 m above sea level is the most popular; it provides a lot of tourist activities ; also there are many tourist spots around it. These include Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi the highest peak in Kerala, Mattupetty Dam and lake, Chinnakanal waterfalls , Tea Museum among others among extensive tea plantations. Nearest airport is Cochin International Airport 125 km away. It is 110 km from Aluva Railway Station.
Vagamon lies in the Idukki -Kottayam border area. The altitude is 1130 m, with cool summers. The place is immensely beautiful with many points of tourist interest. The meadows, forests and hills veiled in mists make it alluring. It is a must be seen spot. Nearest airport is Cochin; by rail Kottayam is closest. Palai, 33 km away is the nearest town.
Ponmudi is 58 km from Trivandrum, the capital. A road trip passing 22 hairpin curves and crossing many rivulets takes you there. Day trip will give you time to cool among forests and hills. KTDC runs a hotel for overnight stay and also a place for conferences. Peppara wildlife sanctuary, Golden Park and Kallara river are nearby places to visit. Waterfalls invite you to their cool green shade.
Lakkidi is the gateway to Wayanad the hilly district. From Calicut, a comfortable road with a lot of view points on the way takes you there. Wayanad experience starts from there. . Most of the tourist spots are around lakkidi, Vythiri and Kalpetta and all these places which are near each other offers plenty of places to stay. Hotels, resorts, cottages and even tree houses are available. Calicut Airport is the nearest, and Calicut is the railway station to embark. A distance of about 75 km exists between Calicut and the important parts of Wayanad.
Gavi, a hill station in Idukki is growing in popularity. It is a part of Periyar Tiger Reserve. The road trip starts from Vandiperiyar 28 km away, by jeep. It is an Eco-friendly spot where you experience the solitude of the wild. Camping is possible with permission, permanent accommodation is increasingly being built.