Kerala also is well known for its unique cultural and geographical characteristics. There is a reason Kerala is called “Gods Own Country”. Whatever type of holiday you are looking for Kerala, will have something for you from tropical beaches, to wellness retreats such as (yoga, medication and Ayurvedic treatments), Kerala has something for everyone. The day trips on the house boats are a specular way to see Kerela’s backwaters, you can book for longer for up to 3-5 nights on these luxurious house boats that come with cooking and all facilities on board such as bedroom, bathrooms and even WIFI. Kerala also offers great cultural sights and landscapes such a tea plantations, waterfalls, historic buildings, and cultural shows, also dot forget to explore some of the local villages and go off the beaten track.
Check out this post on: Kerala Itinerary and Highlights
Ancient Kerala is mentioned as the land of the Cheras in a third-century BC Ashokan edict, and in several even older Sanskrit texts, including the Mahabharata. There is not much kown about the state’s early rulers. The Cheras traded with China and the Arabs, which the Chola empire were against, this led to 100 years of conflict. Around 1100 the Cheers lost their capital and moved south of the state to establish a new capital called Kollam. Trading with Europe commenced around 1498, around this time a fleet under Vasco da Gama (from Portugal) reached the coast of India and began relations with the state. Read more here – History of Kerala.
Location: Kerala is situated in the southwestern tip of India. It shares its boundaries with Karnataka on the North and northeast and with Tamil Nadu on the East and south and has Lakshadweep Sea to the West.
Ways to reach:
Airport: You can reach Kerala by Airways. Kerala has three international airports:
- Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is located in southern part of Kerala
- Kochi International Airport is located at central part of Kerala.
- Calicut International airport is located in the North & connected to both India as well as international cities via flights.
Road: You can reach Kerala through National Highways 17, 47 and 49. Via Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Kerala has network between its important cities by number of state highways.
Railway: direct trains to Kerala are available from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and other few major cities. 200 Railway stations are interconnected to Kerala by most of the places in and out of Kerala.
The transportation costs varies from region to region depending upon the means of transportation.
Why you must visit: There are many reasons for which you must visit Kerala.
- Kerala is often called as real paradise. It has beautiful serene backwaters and rolling hills, gushing waterfalls and boat races.
- In Kerala, you can find ancient cultures in modern cities. Moreover, it is famous for the delicious cuisine it offers and the most colourful festivals it celebrates.
- The beaches of Kerala are so mesmerising. Moreover, the refreshing coconut juice along with the shade of the rows of palm trees gives the best relaxing feeling ever.
- Kerala is known for its green forest covers, calm and quiet backwaters, amazing sun-kissed beaches, spices, etc. It has popular hill stations of Munnar, Wayanad and Idukki that offer mountaineering and rock climbing.
- Kerala is known for its houseboat all over the world.
- Kerala is very popular for hot and spicy cuisine that offers great taste.
- Allepey backwaters is well known for backwater trips on houseboats. it is always on the top of the best tourist places in Kerala because of the unique features that if offers which is not offered anywhere on the globe.
- Renownd destinations in Allepey are Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple , Arthunkal Church , Krishnapuram Palace, Pathiramanal, Marari Beach, Sri Krishna Temple in Ambalappuzha etc other than the beach in Alleppey.
- Munnar is the most popular hill station in south India and considered as the best tourist place in Kerala. It has beautiful views of mountain slopes that are covered with about 80,000 miles of green tea farms. There are lot of waterfalls and hiking routes in Munnar for adventure seeking guests.
- Kumarakom is situated near Vembanad Lake that offers the exotic scenery along with the rare flora and fauna. Spread across 14 acres, there is a huge variety of birds that include teal, wild duck, egrets, herons, cuckoo, and other migratory birds. The sanctuary is open for public daily from 6AM to 6PM.
- Wayanad is often referred as ‘green paradise’ since it is a blend of nature and heaven together and is one of the best places to visit in Kerala during summer. It is famous for richness it holds in tribal heritage and agricultural abundance.
- Varkala is amazing beach with little seaside and high cliff part. Varkala sightseeing includes attractions like Varkala beach, janardhana temple, Sivagiri Mutt and kappil lake.
- Nelliampathy is one of the best hill stations in India. This is regarded as the best place to visit in monsoon as one can see peacocks dancing during this season.
- Marari beach, which is just 2 kilometres away from Allepey is famous for best backwaters in Kerala. The beautiful scenery of the beach offers a mesmerising experience.
- Ashtamudi refers to a lake with eight branches. It is the second largest lake in Kerala. Ashtamudi lake is the best place to enjoy the serene beauty of coconut and palm trees.
- Kerala is famous for Nilgiri Tea & Kerala kapi and Monsooned Malabar coffee.
- Nothing can beat Kerala in the variety and quality of spices it offers.
- Locally known as Nenthra-kaya upperi, banana chips are amongst the most popular items to shop in Kerala. The same is true for cashew nuts.
- Kasavu Mundu is the traditional textile of Kerala. It is a pure handmade cotton cloth with typical zari border.
- Kerala, being the land of coconuts is idea place to pick coconut and coir products like rugs, carpets, mats.
- Kathakali masks are very renown ranging from wall hanging mask to a fridge magnet.
- Nilavilakku or traditional Malayali oil lamp is another important handicraft of Kerala. It is considered as one of the significant items for traditional home décor.
- Some famous markets are Spice Market in Kochi, Connemara Market in Trivandrum, Asparagus in Varkala, Hindustan Spices and Herbals in Idukki, Pulickatti Handicrafts in Alappuzha.
- Famous malls are LuLu Mall in Kochi, Centre Square Mall in Kochi, Oberon Mall in Kochi, R P Mall in Kollam, Focus Mall in Kozhikode.
Food places to check:
Some of the restaurant that provided finest highly rich cuisine food in Kerala are Paragon in kochi, Dhe Puttu in Emakulum and Kozhikode, Villa Maya heritage Restaurant &many more.
Places to stay:
5-star hotels : Old Harbour Hotel, Taj Bekal Resort & Spa, Le Meridien Kochi, courtyard by Marriot kochi, Kochi Marriott hotel, Trident hotel, Taj Green Cove in Kovalum.
4-star hotels : Lemon tree Vembanad lake resort, The gateway hotel Varkala, Keys select hotel kochi, Tutrtle on the beach, Beaumonde the Fern
3-star hotels : Cocobay resort, Silvertips,Hotel treats Thekkady, Tea Valley resort.
Ivory bar, Ajantha bar, Ponus Nightclub, Varkala club, glow, Neera bar and more are best places to enjoy the unleashing nightlife of Kerala.
- Carry woollen clothes if you’ll visit Munnar or Thekkady.
- There is no railway station by name Cochin. So, search for Ernakulum instead.
- The food is generally spicy but if you are not fond of spices you can try out the various appams.
- Carry local cash as not all places accept cash.
- Try a Ayurvedic treatment – use only Ayurveda centres that are classified/approved by the Department of Tourism
- Take a day or overnight trip on a house boat, to see the backwaters of Kerela.
- Take part inn a cooking class to learn how to make dishes from Kerela using traditional methods and local ingredients.
- Temples: Some temples do not permit entry to non-Hindus. Strict dress codes are followed in most of the temples. Footwear is banned inside the temple premises.
- Nudity is not allowed.
- Smoking is mostly banned in public places.
Season to go:
September-March : Cool climate
April-May : hot, humid summer season.
June-August : Monsoon season, suitable for Ayurveda.
Visa: Get tourist visa even on a short notice.
Currency: Indian Rupee.
Souvenirs always help you remember memories of your trip, below are some of the places in each district where you can purchase some wonderful items.
There are many great festivals in Kerala, which are associated with Kerala’s temples.
Thrissur’s famous Puram festival is the most spectacular.
The snake boat races in June, August and September are a incredible sight. Kerala’s Hindu festivals are planned according to the Malayalam Calendar, so dates change from year to year – see keralatourism.org.
Swathi Sangeetotsavam (Jan) Takes place at the Thiruvananthapuram’s Puttan Malika Palace.
Maha Shivrati (Usually early March). Its is the night of the worship of Shiva which is an all-night vigil at temples across the state.
Vishu (Mid-April). A festival of lights and fireworks on Hindu New Year’s Day.
Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race (Second Sat in Aug). The most spectacular of the boat races attracts huge crowds to Punnamda Lake near Alappuzha.
Onam (Ten days in Aug or Sept). Kerala’s harvest festival is marked by singing, kathakali, pookalam(floral “carpets”), traditional food and in Thrissur, pulikali (the dance of the tigers).