How to plan a perfect holiday trip to Kerala in India?
‘Kerala’…. A land of rich culture, amazing traditions, vivid customs, and a state that holds abundant wildlife. There is so much that this coastal state offers to people in need of a perfect holiday. The everlastingly beautiful Kerala is a part of South India, popularly known as “God’s Own Country.’ People from distant nations visit this verdant land to catch a glimpse of the unique traditions and culture, mesmerizing temples, tranquil backwaters, and of course the unspoiled tropical beauty of Kerala.
If you are planning to explore the scenic landscape of Kerala, you will be happy to know that the state embraces some of the most exotic beaches, beautiful hillstations, enthralling wildlife, and delightful Ayurvedic therapies and Spa. It is blessed with stunning mountains, lush vegetation, and exotic wildlife, which together makes it a sought after tourist destinations in Asia.
Kerala faces the Arabian Sea in the West and the Western Ghats in the East and it connects 44 rivers that flow amidst the sprawling plantations of the state. All these factors together have ranked Kerala among the top tourist destinations of the world. A place like Kerala can never disappoint you… if you are planning to holiday in Kerala then get ready to behold the captivating sight of the state in the most amazing manner.
Whether you are travelling Kerala for the first time or you have visited it before, the thorough introduction of the state and quick look at some of its amazing destinations can help you plan your trip perfectly.
A glimpse of Kerala
Before you pack your bags and break into the scenic landscapes of Kerala, steal a look at some significant features of the state. Kerala is one of India’s most progressive states in terms of social welfare, quality of life and education. It holds the highest literacy rates, highest life expectancy and lowest child mortality rates that make it a unique cosmopolitan land. Also called the Spice Coast of India, Kerala plays host to travelers and traders from across the world and imprint their traits in the form of architecture, cuisine, and literature.
The state has a rich cultural heritage, bestowed with a pleasant and equable climate throughout the year. In addition, the geographical location of Kerala is such that it receives two monsoon seasons in a year, one during June and second in October. The coastal belt that reaches the Western Ghats while forming a shield, protects the state from dry winds from up north, protects this tropical land.
Other than this, the exotic beaches, bustling waterfalls, deep wildlife, tranquil backwaters, and the cultural extravaganza adds to the beauty of Kerala and invite a large number of tourists from across the world. Here is how you can plan a trip to ‘God’s Own Country.’
Captivate the beauty of Kerala- Visit the most famous and best places!
Already stretching a plan to break into a vacation to Kerala, but do you know what are the best places to visit in Kerala? There are several places in Kerala that can give you an enchanting experience of its natural beauty. From the dense forest to stunning waterfalls and amazing backwaters, Kerala has everything that can awe-struck you with its natural charm. Some of the best attractions in Kerala are listed below. Simply read through…
Kerala Beaches: Exotic collection of Seashores
Surrounded with coconut palms, quaint shops, and beach shacks, the sun-soaked beaches of Kerala are striking enough to astound you. The beautiful sealines of Kerala extends over the Arabian Sea and runs along the length of the cliff, boredered with hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and lush-green vegetation. To experience the loveliness of these beaches, you must visit Kerala in peak season that starts from September. Some of the amazing seashores of Kerala are listed below.
- Varkala: This sparkling beach is about 50 km from capital city Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and is less crowded than Kovalam Beach at the capital itself. The long cliff that runs adjacent to the sea enhances the beauty of Varkala and makes it Kerala’s most sought after beach destination. The best thing about this beach is its sunset view and a 2000-year-old Vishnu temple, which is visited by plenty of foreign tourists every day.
Getting there: Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport and nearest railway station is Varkala Railway station.
- Kovalam: One of the most popular beach destinations of India and Kerala’s best attraction ‘Kovalam’ is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent hemispherical sealines. Many foreign tourists, especially Europeans love to visit this place and enjoy the calm waters of the sea for sunbathing and sea bathing. The beach attractions here include sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, and cultural programmes. Also, there are strings of budget cottages; Ayurvedic health resorts, swimming pools, and Ayurvedic massage centers for the tourists.
Getting there: Nearest airport is Thivandrum International Airport and nearest railway station is Thivandrum Central.
- Bekal: This beach destination is new in the list of exotic beaches of Kerala and is famous for its fort, which is the oldest in Kerala and is one of the largest and well preserved. You can explore this beautiful beach and drive through the backwater to experience the untouched beauty of the place and enjoy the panoramic view of the fort.
Getting there: Nearest airport is Bajpe Airport in Managlore and nearest railway station is Pallikere and Kasaragod railway station Bekal.
- Marari: Located 11 km from Alleppey and about 60 km from Kochi, Marari is another popular beach in Kerala that can stun you with its natural beauty. Found close to Kerala villages, the beach preserves cleanliness and maintains serenity through the year. The locals here go out to fish everyday while the woman prepares food and sell coir mats and brushes to the tourists. Marari is a perfect beach destination, especially for people who seek calmness amidst the natural serenity.
Getting there: Nearest airport is Cochin International airport and nearest railway station is Alleppey Railway Station.
- Payyambalam Beach: Payyambalam is another beach destination located at Kannur town of Kerala that beholds some very beautiful sights and serene landscape. The place is highlighted with lush-green garden and a massive sculpture of mother and child and some amazing resorts that organize ageless folk arts like Theyyam and folk music for the visitors. Apart from the beach beauty, the town Kunnur is also popular for its abundant wildlife and tranquil atmosphere.
Getting there: The closest Kannur airport is Karipur International Airport in Kozhikode and the nearest railway station to Kunnur is Ernakulam and Trivandrum Railway stations.
Kerala Backwaters: Truly Enchanting
Other than the beaches if there is anything that can captivate you all throughout your journey, it is Kerala backwaters. One of the most tranquil and relaxing things found in Kerala, the backwaters gives you a splendid houseboat experience along with the facilities like fishing, boat riding, sightseeing, etc. This emerald watery paradise is among the top tourist attractions in Kerala, so if you are all set to visit the majestic Kerala backwaters, here are a few suggestions that can be of help.
- Kumarakom backwaters: If you love being surrounded by trees and abundant vegetation, then Kumarakon is the place for you. This verdant land is situated in Kottayam district of Kerala where attractions like villages, green hills, forests, and coconut groves are common throughout your boat ride. A journey through this backwater will give you an amazing experience that you can remember throughout your life.
- Alleppey backwaters: Referred to as ‘Venice of south’, this amazing backwater is popular for its palm-fringed narrow canals and luxuriant landscape. Any traveler who visits Kerala makes sure that they catch a glimpse of Alleppey backwater and enjoy the panoramic visual treat that this place offers. The Alleppey backwater is listed among the best Kerala sightseeing tours that attract foreign tourists in a good number.
- Backwaters of Kochi: Popular as ‘Queen of Arabian Sea,’ Kochi holds in its arms some of the best backwater spots. Considered as the enchanting and serene backwaters of Trivandrum and Alleppey, Kochi backwaters are mostly located inside the main city and cover areas like Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Jewish Synagogue, Blogatty Palace and many more.
- Backwaters of Kollam: Considered as ancient trade centers of Kerala, the backwaters of Kollam gives way to famous Ashthamudi Lake, which is a beautiful water body surrounded by sprawling vegetation. The journey from Kollam to Alappuzha is the longest cruise in Kerala, which takes about 8 hours to reach the main spot. However, the tour is delightful and it will give you an exciting visualization of flora and fauna on the shores and riverbanks.
- Trivandrum Backwaters: From the beautiful lakes to intricate canals and scenic rivers, the backwaters of Trivandrum are attractive and economically valuable to the state. The best part of this serene land is Vembabad lake, which is 200 sq kilometers in area that opens out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin port. The Trivandrum backwaters is also famous for its canoe rides, which is the meeting point of two rivers-killi and Karamana.
Kerala Ayurveda: Rejuvenate in the Lap of Mother Nature
Kerala is one of the most popular destinations for Ayurveda treatment in India. The plenty of Ayurvedic resorts available in Kerala cater for people who seek Ayurvedic treatment for serious health problems and for those who want to relax their senses with the help of Ayurvedic massage. The special Kerala Ayurvedic centers located in different parts of Kerala offer treatments like rejuvenation Therapy, body massage therapy, body immunization/longevity treatment, anti-stress program, psoriasis treatment program, body uzhichil, etc.
To engross yourself into the soulful treatment given at Ayurvedic resorts in Kerala, you must visit the place during the moist, humid climate, i.e. monsoon, as this is when you get an abundant supply of medicinal plants and herbs. Also, monsoon is the perfect time to rejuvenate your body and fight serious problems like stress. Here are top Kerala Ayurvedic resorts that offer the excellent range of refreshing Ayurvedic treatments.
- Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort: World’s first Ayurvedic resort ‘Somatheeram’ is located on a hillock near Kovalam beach and it is spread across a wide expanse of greenery. For those in search of Ayurvedic solace must visit this resort to experience the best of Ayurvedic holidays and meditation. The presence of the resort near the beach makes it even more delightful and the goodness of traditional Ayurvedic therapies and a healthy diet routine provided here can help people unwind easily.
Special massage therapies: Pizhichil massage is effective in curing diseases like paralysis and nervous disorders, Abhyangam treatment to fight diabetes and obesity, Nasyam, Snehapanam, and Kizhi for battling severe skin diseases, leukemia, and sports injuries.
- Kairali Ayurvedic Health Village: spread across 50 acres of lush land in the Palakkad district of Kerala, the Kairali Ayurvedic Health Village is the most spectacular resorts found in the state. It has streams running beside each of the cottages in the resort and it maintains its own organic garden to serve guests with only vegetarian food. No alcohol is served at this resort as its only motive is to treat a patient with natural alternatives and organic methods. Most of the foreign tourists love this place as this it gives relaxation and healing together. The resort provides almost all kinds of therapies in the form of massage, yoga, and meditation.
- Kalari Kovilakom Ayurveda Resort: Your Ayurveda tour in Kerala is incomplete without the mention of Kalari Kovilakom Ayurvedic resort- the palace of the ancient Vengunad Kingdom in Kerala converted into an Ayurveda center by CGH Group. This amazing resort does not allow meat, leather, footwear, or alcohol inside the palace and there is no TV, or any entertainment inside. It completely focuses on Ayurvedic treatment, which combines yoga, personal, and customized therapies, and other deep healing methods. If you are under a lot of stress and want to start your life all over again, then Kalari Kovilakom is the place for you. Visit this place for the best of Ayurvedic treatment.
- Ayurveda Yoga Villa: A perfect difinition of beauty, the lush Ayurveda Yoga Villa is located in the abundant district of Wayanad, where nature flourishes and looks its best. The tourists here enjoy a unique blend of Ayurveda treatment, yoga practice, and training in Kalari marital arts and they get personalized treatments depending on their illness. It has an herbal garden and shop on the premises and a panel of well trained doctors and teachers. So, if you want a rejuvenating escape, the atmosphere of this resort is perfect for you.
Kerala Hill Station- Enjoy the Sprawling Tea Plantation at Munnar
After the beautiful backwaters, reviving Ayurvedic resorts, and sun-kissed beaches if you are left with something in Kerala, it is Munnar. A hillstation located on the eastern terrain of Kerala, Munnar is at 1600 m above sea level and is most popular for its extensive tea plantation, Eravikuman National Park, Anamudi peak, Mattupetty Dam and lake, chinnakanal waterfalls, Tea Museum, etc. For people who are interested in adventure acts, the place offers trekking opportunity to trek till Anamudi, the highest peak in South India, rock climbing, and para gliding.
Reaching there: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport- 125 km away and the closest railway station is Aluva Railway Station- 110 km away from Munnar.
Kerala Waterfalls: Visit the Spectacular Waterfalls in Kerala
- Athirapally Waterfalls: The picturesque view of waterfalls, enchanting shrubbery and captivating wildlife, the Athirapally Waterfall is simply spectacular. The amazing cascade is located on the Chalakudy River in Thrissur district of Kerala, where a flow of 3 streams runs together curving the mountainous area for the next 1 kilometer. The travellers who are on for sightseeing in Kerala can visit this place anytime of the year.
Other waterfalls that you may like to visit during your stay in Kerala are Vazhachal Falls 5 km from Athirapally Thrissur, Palaruvi Falls in Kollam district, Thusharagiri Falls 50 km away from Kozhikode Station and 28 km from Calicut Airport, Thommankuthu 20 km from Thodupuzha, and Meenmutty waterfalls in Wayanad.
Kerala Temples: Mighty Seek at Glorious Temples of Kerala
- Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple: Kerala embraces all sorts of religion from Hinduism to Jainism and hold marvelous temples and churches, visited by devotees from different parts of the world. One among these temples is Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple situated in the heart of capital city Trivandrum. The temple is known for the huge idol of lord Vishnu made from a specific mixture as per the Vedic traditions, which lies in reclining posture inside the temple. A must visit for everyone who love visiting shrines.
- Sri Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor: This holy place is most popular among Hindu believers who visit this temple to have a glimpse of deity Krishna in huge numbers. Some people even conduct weddings here as it is considered auspicious. The temple has Dwaja Sthambham (Statue of lord Krishna), which is 33.5 m high and gold plated and it is brighten every evening with multi-tiered oil lamps lit during Pooja. To visit this temple you can catch a daily passenger train from Ernakulam via Thrissur.
- Sabarimala Sastha: This temple is located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta district of Perunad in Kerala. It is visited by as many as 50 million devotees every year and is open only during certain days. Hordes of people visit Sabarimala during the 41 days of Mandala Pooja and Makara Sankranthi after observing austerities.
Kerala Wildlife Sanctuary: Indulge in Eco-tourism Activities at Periyar
Nothing is more exciting than walking around the rich wildlife of the most amazing national parks known for absurd animals and plantation. Here is a chance for you to travel around the Jungles if you are in Kerala’s Periyar National Park or Thekkady, one of the most popular national parks in southern India. The verdant park stays open all year round attracting tourists from abroad even during the monsoon season. It is known for its elephants, elephant rides through the jungle, boat safari, and excellent variety of eco-tourism activities.
Other wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala are Parambikulam Sanctuary, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, and Aralam Sanctuary.
Best time to visit ‘God’s Own Country’
The people who are planning to visit Kerala should decide on what they want to see and do here because Kerala has something to offer to the visitors all year round. It is a tropical land hot most of the time but the arrival of two monsoons and incessant rainfall makes it flourishing throughout the year. The best time to visit ‘God’s Own Country’ is during the cool, dry season, which starts from December to February. It is the peak tourist season as the climate is moderately cool during this time.
If you want to keep away from sweating then avoid travelling down to Kerala between March and May as the climate is hot and humid here during summer. However, you can plan your vacation during monsoon, which starts from May and continues till November also because monsoon is considered to be the best time to receive Ayurvedic massage.
Kerala is actually a rainy state and it rains here for almost nine months, which adds to its lush greenery. There is a lot you can see and do during your excursions in Kerala at the time of the monsoon, for example- you can visit Periyar National Park during rainy season, witness rich tea plantation at Munnar, take Ayurveda massage and treatment, attend Snake boat races, observe Onam festival and Elephant festivals.
Be it your favorite beach destinations or enchanting backwaters, the capital city ‘Trivandrum’ is connected to all the major tourist attractions in Kerala. Here is how you can reach Kerala all the way from distant lands.
By Air: There are two International airports in Kerala-Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and Kochi International Airport to reach the state. It has a domestic airport too that link these airports to other airports in India.
By Train: Kerala is interconnected by 200 Railway Stations with the main stations in Trivandrum and Kochi and direct train for Kerala can be availed from metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta, and other cities.
By Road: Kerala can be reached through National Highways 17, 47, and 49 and a number of State Highways. It is directly connected to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
By Sea: The Kochi port is connected to Lakshadweep Islands. It is also inter-connected through the backwaters of Kerala which is a popular means of transportation in the state.
Kerala is one of the most amazing states of India! It’s a home to myriad art forms, exotic nature’s resources, tropical paradise and most sought after tourist destination in Asia today. It attracts travellers from all over the world and has most enterprising educated populace. One should definitely visit this land of rivers and backwaters and if you are planning to break free into the beautiful landscape of Kerala now, this is a perfect guide to check through.
Mark your favorite destinations from the options above and plan a perfect trip to ‘God’s Own Country.’ We wish your tour to Kerala be the best and may you remember it all through your life.