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Carpets of greenery, tall coconut trees swaying in the wind, boats maneuvering on channels bordered by
paddy fields, frothy beaches, terrific waterfalls, tea garden slopes and therapy massages, welcome to
Kerela – God’s own country.
This southern Indian state should be on the wish list of every avid traveller, for the sheer number of
different as well as unique experiences that it provides.
The state is blessed with natural beauty which manifests itself in the gorgeous beaches along its coast,
the back waters which cut through it, the rolling Western Ghats, the numerous rivers that flow across
the state and the abundance of wildlife in the large forested areas. On the other hand, Kerela is equally
known for its spas, therapy massages, spices, tea gardens, dams , martial arts, cuisine and culture. Put all
of this together, and you know why even God wouldn’t mind calling Kerela his very own country.
Kerela was formed on 1 November 1956 after the States Reorganization Act which combined all the
Malayalam speaking regions together.
How to reach
The capital of Kerela is Thiruvananthapuram and is well connected by rail and road.
Rail – Thiruvananthapuram is the main railway station. Other cities of the state, such as, Cochin,
Palakad, Kozikhode and Calicut are also easily accessible.
Air – Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut are the airports in the state.
Road – Number of national and state highways crisscross through the state, connecting all of its major
What to see
Kerela has a lot to offer on its plate. Check out some of these treats for a lavish and fulfilling tour.
Cities: Some of the major cities/towns of the state that are reflective of the essence of Kerela are:
1. Cochin – Also fondly called Kochi is a port city that resonates in its architecture, aura and ethos
the influences of the Portuguese, Dutch and British who have ruled here. Almost synonymous
with the Chinese fishing nets that are the postcard pictures of this city, Kochi is a great blend of
the traditional, old and modern themes. Some of the landmarks here are, the Fort Kochi, Santa
Cruz Basilica, Vasco House, Dutch Palace, Hill Palace and for the bird lovers, the Mangalavanam
2. Kovalam – The beach town of Kerela, Kovalam has the Hawah Beach, Lighthouse Beach,
Samudra Beach in its kitty. Beautiful frothy waters and armed with sporting activities such as ,
surfing and motot boating, the beaches of Kovalam are a sight to behold. From a fishing village,
Kovalam today is a thriving tourist hub, visited by a large number of international tourists as
well. Check out the Halcyon Castle and Vellayani Lake too.
3. Trivandrum – The capital is not far behind in tourism and is also an important spice trading
center. Besides the many temples, the Papdmanabhapuram Palace, Napier Museum and
Shankhumukham Beach are some other attractions here. For wildlife enthusiasts, the Neyyer
Wildlife Sanctuary is a must visit, where one can see the elephant, lion, tiger, nilgiri tahr, leopard
The presence of the Western Ghats, has undoubtedly been instrumental in giving Kerela some of the
most beautiful hill stations.
1. Munnar – Located at 1600m Munnar is a hill station that abounds in surreal beauty. The natural
beauty is only enhanced with the tea gardens and spices that adore the hill slopes in uniform
pattern and size. Visit the Tea Museum and Top Station for splendid views of the landscape.
The Eravikulam National Park is a magnificent forest destination which is home to the Nilgiri
Tahr, elpehants, tigers, leopards, jackals and avian species and should not be missed on your
tour to Munnar. The Anamudi Peak , the highest peak in south India, is situated within the
premises of the park.
The Mattupetty Dam and reservoir are another tourist attraction when in Munnar. Enjoy the
views, the echo points as well as the hawkers and shopping.
For adventure lovers, Munnar offers paragliding, trekking, besides of course, wildlife spotting.
2. Wayanad – Another beauty comfortably settled in the Western Ghats, one must visit, the
Chembra Peak, one of the highest in south India at 2100m. The Kuruva Island , located in the
midst of the Kabini River, is uninhabited but home to a number of wildlife and avian species. The
Soochippara Waterfall is not only a soothing sight but also a spot for bathing, swimming and
rafting. The Banasurasagar Dam, Pookot Lake and Meenmutty Falls are all fascinating locations
in Wayanad, only exemplifying the marvelous landscapes and views. For nature lovers, without a
visit to the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, the trip to Wayanad is incomplete.
3. Vagamon – One of the undiscovered charmers, Vagamon is a magnificent hilly getaway and
boasts of the Thangal Para, a sought after region for adventure seekers.
4. Idukki – Another hill station up its sleeve, Idukki is famous for its wildlife, spices and tea
plantations. Close to the Idukki Arch Dam, lies the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, sheltering the deer,
jungle cat, wild dog, wild boar, tiger and more. Birds include, Malabar grey hornbill, bulbuls,
woodpeckers, flycatchers and more.
This brings us to the wildlife areas of interest in Kerela. Some have already been mentioned above
however, the main wildlife attraction in Kerela is the Periyar National Park.
Surrounded by the hills the Park is home to a number of species such as, the tiger, elephants, gaur, Nigiri
Tahr, sambar, sloth bear and more. Birds such as the Black Baza, Frogmouth, black necked stork, wood
pigeon are found here.
The Periyar River flows through the Park, and boat safaris are also common. The reservoir and the
Mullaperiyar Dam are wonderful sights too.
The Park is situated in the district of Thekkady. Thekkady is a famous tourist destination in Kerela and
the towns of Kumily and Pullumedu are visited often by tourists.
And finally, we have been reserving the best for last. The backwaters of Kerela are its foremost
attractions, giving the traveller a unique experience that is unmatched elsewhere. Come sail across the
brackish waters; watch the paddy fields and coconut trees stretching far away, the water plants gently
giving way to your boat and the little settlements in the corners, which will lift your spirit and make you
wish that the ride never ends.
1. Kumarakom – One of the finest backwater encounters, Kumarakom invites you warmly to its
luxuriant waters. Located around the Vembanad Lake, which is one of the largest lakes in the
country, the other attractions here include the Kumarakom beach, Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls, the
marvelous Pathiramanal Island and the birding hub, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.
2. Kozhikode – Also known as Calicut, is another backwater destination which also reflects the
rural and rustic cultures of the state.
3. Kollam – Located along the Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam with its backwaters is as good as it gets.
With a large network of connecting water ways, Kollam is well connected to the other
4. Kottayam – Rich in history, culture, arts and crafts, Kottayam sports great backwater views and
5. Alleppey – One of the most popular for backwater cruising, Alleppey is also very well connected
via road and rail. The Alleppey beach is a quaint spot, however it is the houseboats that steal the
The state is the land of umpteen gorgeous, jaw dropping waterfalls that will excite and awe you. Some
of these include the Cheeyapppara waterfalls, Athirapalli waterfalls, Chethalayam waterfalls and more.
Day 1 – Arrive in Cochin by noon and check into the hotel. After a sumptuous south Indian meal we head
into the city to explore the monuments, architectures and the famous fishing nets at the beach. Return
for a quiet dinner and retire for the night.
Day 2 – We start early for Munnar today. Be mesmerized by the drive and soak in the enchanting
sceneries on the way. Post lunch we discover Munnar in its full glory. Retire in the lap of nature for
Day 3 – After a few more sightseeing destinations, we make our way to Thekkady today and watch the
wildlife unfold before our eyes. Enjoy the cultural activities and some shopping in the evening before
calling it a day.
Day 3 – Lets start for Kumarakom today and sail our way into the dashing backwaters of the state. Spend
the full day in the waters and capture Kerela in its elements.
Day 4 – We make our way to Kovallam and enjoy all its attractions today. From sightseeing to shopping
to munching and snacking spend a fulfilling day.
Day 5 – Alleppey beckons to explore the backwaters and the beaches. The journey itself will be very
exciting as we will cross many other enthralling sites. From Alleppey you may continue with your
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