Highlights of Kerala – God’s Own Country

Swaying palm trees, coffee plantations, magical backwaters, rice paddies, hill retreats, majestic elephants, gorgeous national parks, and age-old shrines. That is Kerala for you.

Also known as God’s own country, Kerala is not just a holiday destination. It is an experience. An experience that is soulful. Mystical. Enriching. This southern Indian beauty has a lot to offer – from ayurvedic retreats and yoga to verdant hills and fragrant tea plantations fringed in the Western Ghats to national parks and amazonian vistas to delight all types of travelers.

Because Kerala will spoil you with choices, here’s what you can pick when you take a trip to Kerala.

Kannur

Still untouched by tourism; Kannur is rustic, beautiful, and dotted with beaches absolutely virgin. Take a stroll in one of these pristine clean beaches and you will wonder where have they been all your life. For those seeking to get a quieter taste of Kerala; Kannur’s homestays, palm-fringed beaches and uninterrupted views of the Arabian Sea will not disappoint you. Quite off the beaten track for most travelers, we recommend you to rent a Savaari car in Kannur with a reliable driver for the ease of traveling around.

Wayanad

Another tranquil destination in Kerala, Wayanad’s quiet villages, winding roads carved within forests and cozy homestays truly let you escape. When you visit Wayanad, be prepared to undertake some road travel as most sightseeing places are spread around. Wildlife is a big attraction here along with countless hikes and several lakes to admire a sunset.

Kochi

Known to be Kerala’s most popular destination, Kochi is known for reasons more than one. Fort Kochi, Kathakali dance performance, organic cafes, art galleries, churches, museums, even Synagogues and of course the Marari Beach pack all that Kochi can offer. Because Kochi is close to the seashore, it was invaded by the Dutch, Portuguese, British and later Arabic traders. Hence you will find an Indo-Portuguese museum, a Dutch cemetery, as well as several beautiful churches to explore such as the Santa-Cruz basilica. There’s also a growing number of art galleries (often with cafes), such as the Kashi Art Gallery. And while you see and imbibe it all, don’t forget to try the authentic Keralan delicacies at the Solar Cafe. It is one of the best places in Fort Kochi to try Keralan cuisine.

Munnar

While Kerala may be known for a lot of things, tea is the real game here. And who does not like sipping on some freshly brewed tea whilst enjoying the most stunning vistas you would have ever laid your eyes on! When you set foot in Munnar, you know why they call Kerala, God’s own country. It looks straight out of a postcard. And because of its elevation, Munnar is blessed with great weather all throughout the year. Visit Munnar to feel the purest touch of nature.

Thrissur

Kerala’s cultural capital, Thrissur is known to preserve Keralan performing arts, religious sites and the renowned  Thrissur Pooram festival, Onam festival and Vadakkumnathan Temple. Thrissur literally translates to “three temples of Shiva”. The festivals celebrated in Thrissur are a spectacle to watch and a visit to Thrissur is incomplete without witnessing these. Dotted with several shrines, Thrissur is certainly the right place to experience the rich abundant culture of Kerala, and more so during festivals. Most recommended mode of transport is to rent a car in Thrissur with an experienced driver and go around the place since most of the sightseeing places, as well as hidden gems, are spread about.

Alleppey

The number one tourism draw in southern India is the backwaters of Kerala. The irresistible pictures of houseboats cruising through the palm-fringed canals allowing you glimpses of green paddy fields, beautiful avifauna and the life of locals has put Alleppey on every traveller’s list. The Alleppey beach in the Arabian Sea is a beautiful example of the gems you’d cross along the Malabar Coast. The history attached to this beach only amplifies its appeal, and a walk down the 137-year old pier should definitely be on your list. Make sure to catch a traditional snake boat race in the months of August and September and do try out some toddy (palm wine) at any local toddy shop for taking home an authentic experience.