Kerala, aptly known as “God’s Own Country,” is a land of lush green landscapes, serene backwaters, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage. This tropical paradise in southern India offers a plethora of enchanting destinations for travelers to explore. In this blog with Backpacker India, we will delve into the top places to visit in Kerala, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and unforgettable memories.
Nestled in the Western Ghats, Munnar is a breathtaking hill station known for its sprawling tea plantations, mist-covered hills, and serene valleys. Witness the panoramic views from the famous Echo Point, visit the stunning Mattupetty Dam, and explore the aromatic tea gardens that add to the charm of this picturesque destination.
Tea Plantations: Munnar is renowned for its vast tea estates that stretch as far as the eye can see. These emerald-green plantations, carpeting the slopes of the hills, offer a captivating sight. Visitors can take guided tours of the tea factories, witness the tea-making process, and even indulge in a cup of freshly brewed tea while enjoying panoramic views of the rolling hills.
Eravikulam National Park: Located near Munnar, Eravikulam National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. It is home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, a mountain goat species. Trekking through the park’s lush green trails allows visitors to witness a variety of flora and fauna, including exotic birds, butterflies, and endemic plant species. The highlight of the park is the blooming of the Neelakurinji flowers, which happens once every twelve years, painting the hills in vibrant shades of blue.
Alleppey (Kerala) :
Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is famous for its enchanting backwaters. Embark on a houseboat cruise along the serene backwaters, surrounded by lush greenery and palm-fringed canals. Experience the tranquility of the Vembanad Lake, witness the unique snake boat races, and indulge in the flavors of traditional Kerala cuisine.
Backwater Cruises: Alleppey is famous for its backwater cruises, offering visitors a unique and immersive experience. Embark on a traditional houseboat or a luxurious houseboat, locally known as Kettuvallam, and cruise along the tranquil backwaters, surrounded by lush greenery, palm-fringed canals, and quaint villages. Relax as you glide through the serene waters, witnessing the captivating beauty of the backwaters and catching glimpses of local life along the banks.
Vembanad Lake: The Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala, is a prominent attraction in Alleppey. It is a captivating expanse of serene waters, dotted with small islands and lined with coconut trees. The lake is a haven for birdwatchers, as it attracts numerous migratory birds during the winter season. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake, relishing the tranquility and admiring the breathtaking surroundings.
Kochi (Kerala) :
Kochi also called the “Queen of the Arabian Sea,” is a vibrant coastal city that beautifully blends history, culture, and modernity. Explore the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets at Fort Kochi, visit the historic Mattancherry Palace, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Jew Town. Don’t miss the enchanting Kathakali performances and a boat ride to scenic Bolgatty Island.
Fort Kochi: Fort Kochi is the historical heart of the city, showcasing a fascinating blend of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial influences. Explore the charming streets lined with colonial-era buildings, visit the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets, and marvel at the beautiful St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. Fort Kochi is also renowned for its vibrant art scene, with numerous art galleries, boutiques, and cafes.
Mattancherry Palace: Also known as the Dutch Palace, Mattancherry Palace is a significant historical and cultural landmark in Kochi. The palace showcases a unique fusion of traditional state architecture with Portuguese and Dutch influences. It houses a remarkable collection of murals, depicting scenes from the Ramayana and other mythological stories. Visitors can also explore the palace’s museum, which displays exquisite artifacts, costumes, and weapons.
Wayanad, nestled amidst the Western Ghats, is a nature lover’s paradise. This lush green district offers stunning waterfalls, dense forests, and wildlife sanctuaries. Explore the picturesque Pookode Lake, witness the majestic Meenmutty Falls, and embark on a wildlife safari in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary to encounter elephants, deer, and various bird species.
Charming Hill Stations: Wayanad is blessed with charming hill stations that offer breathtaking views and a cool climate. The town of Vythiri, located amidst dense forests and tea plantations, is a popular hill station known for its serene ambiance and luxury resorts. Lakkidi, known as the Gateway to Wayanad, offers stunning viewpoints and mist-covered valleys. These hill stations provide an escape from the heat of the plains and offer opportunities for trekking, nature walks, and enjoying the panoramic vistas.
Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks: Wayanad is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that showcase the region’s rich biodiversity. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for nature lovers, with its diverse flora and fauna. Explore the sanctuary on a jeep safari or trekking expedition to spot elephants, tigers, deer, langurs, and a variety of bird species. The Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary and Muthanga Wildlife
Thekkady (Kerala) :
Thekkady is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, known for the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Take a boat ride on the Periyar Lake, where you might spot herds of elephants and other wildlife at the water’s edge. Engage in thrilling activities like bamboo rafting and trekking, and experience the flavors of the region’s spices at the spice plantations.
Kovalam: Kovalam is a popular coastal town renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife. Relax on the golden sands of Lighthouse Beach, enjoy water sports like surfing and snorkeling, and witness the breathtaking sunset views from the iconic Vizhinjam Lighthouse. Indulge in Ayurvedic spa treatments and relish delicious seafood at the beachside shacks.
Lighthouse Beach: Lighthouse Beach is the most popular and vibrant beach in Kovalam. Named after the iconic red and white striped lighthouse situated on its rocky promontory, this beach offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. Relax on the golden sands, take a dip in the clear turquoise waters, and witness mesmerizing sunsets. The beach is lined with shacks and restaurants offering delicious seafood and refreshing beverages.
Hawa Beach: Also known as Eve’s Beach, Hawa Beach is a tranquil and secluded stretch of shoreline in Kovalam. It is named after the gentle breeze that blows across the beach, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Hawa Beach is ideal for sunbathing, long walks, and swimming in the calm waters. The beach is dotted with palm trees, offering shade and a picturesque backdrop.
Varkala is a tranquil beach town known for its pristine beaches, high cliffs, and natural springs. Papanasam Beach, with its healing properties, attracts visitors seeking spiritual and therapeutic experiences. Explore the Janardanaswamy Temple, witness the stunning views from the Varkala Cliff, and dip in the rejuvenating mineral springs at Varkala Beach.
Kumarakom is a serene village located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. It offers a peaceful retreat amidst backwaters, lush greenery, and bird sanctuaries. Enjoy a houseboat cruise, witness the migratory birds at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, and indulge in traditional place cuisine at the local restaurants.
Kerala’s charm lies in its natural beauty, cultural richness, and warm hospitality. Whether it’s the misty hills of Munnar, the serene backwaters of Alleppey, or the vibrant cityscape of Kochi, this place has something for every traveler. Explore the breathtaking destinations of Wayanad, Thekkady, Kovalam, Varkala, Kumarakom, and beyond, and let the state mesmerize you with its diverse landscapes, rejuvenating experiences, and unforgettable memories. Discover the treasures of God’s Own Country and embark on a journey of a lifetime share your ex[perinece with backpacker India.