If there’s one place I’d like to spend my vacations every single year, then it has to be Kerala for sure. Despite the considerable tourism in the state, I still believe its beauty is criminally under glorified. Here are some must-visit places in Kerala.
We visited Kerala right after monsoons in the month of August. I’d recommend the months from July to September so that one can enjoy the boat races, lush greenery, fogs, and the backwaters in their full might and not have to put up with the humidity of summer months (March-June).
Kerala is accessible through two international Airports: Kochi and Trivandrum.
We landed in Kochi and then headed to Kumarakom, Thekkady, Munnar, and Alleppey by road. I’d suggest at least a week-long trip to actually appreciate the beauty these places have to offer.
Now I can write down the entire Wikipedia and that wouldn’t be enough to express my admiration for this state. So, I’ll just go with the memories of each city that I carry in my heart.
As the capital of Kerala, it has all the big city vibes. Budgeted accommodation is easily available in the heart of the city. Interestingly, a very unique Jewish culture embraces this city. A considerable population of India’s remaining Jews lives here. Located in the heart of the Jewish street of Kochi we have the oldest synagogue in the country.
Check out accommodations in Kochi in Kerala for the best prices today on Booking.com:
As you walk through the narrow street with handicrafts laden stalls on both sides and the smell of fresh bread in the air, an archaic building of not very impressive architecture shows. The synagogue is open on all days except for Saturdays.
Kumarakom and Alleppey
Now, these are the places where one enjoys the famous Kerala backwaters, Houseboats, and classic duck curry.
As someone who has primarily lived in desert lands and so the concept of water highways (yes sir, National waterways exist!) was a revelation to me. Duck farms and people using boats for “inter-village” travels, let’s just say I was in constant awe.
Coincidentally we got to witness the practice sessions for the boat races! Long, thin boats(snake boats) with people sitting in two parallel rows, rowing with all their might and the drums beating like it’s the end of the world is the spirit of the Indian Festive season.
The next day, we were in Thekkady. This is the place for enthusiastic teenagers. I was an over-enthusiastic teenager back then and the Forest adventure Park was the ultimate highlight of my trip. I’d have loved to boast with some pictures but they wouldn’t allow carrying a camera along, oops!
Though, I do have pictures from the Elephant Park. You get to ride on elephants and feed them and take cute pictures with them. These elephants, I swear, were more photogenic than me.
My mum’s favorite spot, the spice garden is on the way from Thekkady to Munnar. Out of the must-visit places, this place in Kerala will interest you if you are into Ayurveda, botany, or just a nerd in general.
Here’s another article on Kerala that might interest you:
The hill station of Kerala. Tea gardens, Kathakali, massages, and Eravikulam national park (closed during our visit due to breeding season) are the stop points in Munnar. We spent three days here and I felt like I was in an Arundhati Roy novel. Munnar summarizes Kerala in all aspects: natural beauty to culture to tourist admiration.
One needs to book advance tickets for all places you want to visit. We went to the Punarjani Traditional Centre for a cultural insight into Kathakali and Kalaripayattu.
Did I mention the waterfalls? A lot of the waterfalls were seasonal because we went right after the monsoons. However, the Lakkom waterfalls are a sight to behold. I remember the thick fog towards the end of dawn as we stood among clouds in front of the Lakkom falls. I still firmly believe that’s exactly what heaven looks like. Change my mind if you can!
Tea gardens are everywhere. As you travel on the roads of Munnar so far as your vision goes, farther extend the tea plantations. For someone who really is interested in tea processing, the Tata tea museum is worth the visit.
With its western front lined by the Arabian sea, there are beaches everywhere in Kerala. There are so many of them that I decided to create a separate heading for them. Here I present to you the top 5 beaches in Kerala:
- Kovalam beach: Well, we didn’t go here because it’s in Trivandrum. However, that doesn’t stop it from being the most popular beach. This beach is so picturesque, the Instagram fam is going to love it.
- Allepey beach: We did go here! It’s very popular with tourists. It’s the location for the Annual Nehru trophy boat race.
- Kappad Beach: Located in Kozhikode, this one is for the folks who really want to escape the crowd. In fact, Vasco Da Gama came here running from the world.
- Kozhikode Beach: Just for the dolphins and huge lighthouse.
- Kannur Beach: Because they are simply gorgeous!
That sums up our family trip to Kerala. I have added sources and places that we visited and that I genuinely appreciate.
Kerala has something for everyone. From the spirituality to adventure seekers to the ones looking for an escape, there’s a niche for everyone. The diversity, tolerance, and literacy in the local population make you want to come again.
On a closing note, I truly recommend visiting the official website of Kerala tourism to customize your trip and to check out more on the must-visit places in Kerala.
So guess you know where to pack your bags for, as soon as the pandemic subsides!
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