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Kerala

Gods Own Country

Kerala, a state in Southern India, is known as a tropical paradise of waving palms and wide, sandy beaches. It is a narrow strip of coastal territory that slopes down the Western Ghats in a cascade of lush, green vegetation and reaches the Arabian sea. Kerala borders the states of Tamil Nadu to the east and Karnataka to the north. It is also known for its backwaters, mountains, coconuts, spices and art forms like Kathakali and Mohini Attam. It is the most literate state in India, and a land of diverse religions, where you can find Hindu temples, mosques, churches, and even synagogues. With world-class sporting options, Ayurvedic spas and treatments, eco-tourism initiatives, beautiful tall blue mountains, pristine rain forests, golden beaches and an enormous range of accommodation, Kerala has much to offer the visitor.

Kerala was named as one of the "ten paradises of the world" and "50 places of a lifetime" by the National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Kerala has high standards of living compared to its neighbours and other Indian states and has indices such as education and healthcare that are on par with developed countries. Therefore, tourists can relax without being followed around by taxi drivers, touts or guides, though there are some beggars who have migrated from poorer states. Abundant rainfall means that you can find lush greenery that remains pretty much throughout the year. A holiday here is an opportunity for rejuvenation. You can get an Ayurvedic oil massage, spend a day or two on a houseboat with nothing to do but watch coconut trees pass by, or just laze around on Kovalam or Varkala beaches. Thus, tourism is more experiential here, rather than being devoted to seeing highly touristed sights.

Attractions

The Backwaters of Kerala are a maze of lagoons criss-crossed with rivers, shallow pools and canals, all separated from the sea by a narrow strip of sand banks. Backwaters are present throughout the state but Alappuzha and Kottayam are most notable in this regard.

The Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats , popularly known as Nilgiris, are close to Trivandrum and there are numerous hill stations in this area. The most popular is Munnar, the honeymoon capital of the state. The highest peak of the Western Ghats is located at Anamudi (2,695 metres) and is good for trekking. The area is also home to several sanctuaries and forest reserve areas. There are more than two dozen waterfalls, both large and small, with numerous rapids and springs. The largest fallwaters are at Athirampally, where three milky waterfalls fall at great speed.

Kerala has 650 km of coastline and numerous beaches. Popular recreational beaches include Alapuzha Beach, Kollam Beach, Cherai Beach, Muzhappilangadu beach and Varkala Beach. Some of these beaches also have historical significance such as Kozhikode alt-Kozhikode Beach where Vasco da Gama first landed in India and Kovalam Beach near Trivandrum.

Kerala is home to numerous historical monuments that can be found in many cities. It hosts the Cherman Perumal Mosque in Kodungallor which is the world's second oldest intact mosque and is home to many rare artifacts. There are forts in Bekal, Palakkad and Thalassery from the pre-British Raj era that are worth exploring. Also of interest are several palaces in the state. Most notable are the Hill Palace in Kochi and the Palaces at Sree Padmanabhapuram, located 30 km from Trivandrum.

Kerala was the first state to formally embrace the eco-tourism concept in South Asia, and has made considerable strides in this respect. The Akkalum Tourist Village in Trivandrum has a floating bridge and beautiful landscaped gardens and many famous statues and sculptures dot the area. Kumbalangi Model Village for Sustainable Tourism near Kochi was a once sleepy fishing village, and now popular visitor attraction with a planned focus on sustainability. Thenmala Eco-Tourist Village in Kollam is the first such place in India, with an intense focus on the natural environment. It offers numerous exhibits include 27 rare trees, many sculptures, and a large musical fountain.

Kerala is famous for its pilgrimage options. Most of the religious sites are deep-rooted with shades of strong myths, legends, and many have long historical tales of more than 1,000 years to tell. Finding a temple, church or mosque is not difficult, as houses of worship are present in almost every nook and corner. Kerala is famous for its religious harmony. Keralites are very religious people and religious functions dominate all walks of life. This does not mean that those in Kerala are a closed minded people; it's an very open society that accepts respectful debate and discussions about religion.

Many times one can find Hindu temples, Christian churches, Muslim mosques, and even Jain temples in the same city. While in Kerala, take note of the interesting architecture of many Muslim mosques. Unlike other parts of India, Islamic Architecture in Kerala is similar to Kerala Temple architecture without much Persian influence. However, many new mosques are built in Arab Style due to growing Arab influence in Kerala society

Kerala is world famous for its Ayurvedic treatment (one of the world's oldest holistic treatments). Due to a tourist boom, Ayurvedic Spas have became popular for light massages

A cruise on the Backwaters of Kerala is a popular visitor pastime. Try renting a houseboat from either Kumarakom or Alleppy. An individual houseboat can be rented in 24 hour and 12 hour blocks. Rates differ according to the season and duration.

Best time to Visit

Peak Season - Ranges from September to MarchThis season offers perfect weather. Sunny skies are at its mild, pleasantest best providing a great salubrious climate to enjoy beaches, hill stations and backwaters.

Winter season is perfect for a visit to any of the destinations of Kerala[1] like Kottayam, Alleppey, Varkala, Kozhikode and Thekkady.

Off Season from April to May

Monsoon Season from June to August and each season in Kerala is unique making it an ideal destination for tourists who are coming for different kinds of travel experiences in each of these seasons. What better season than the monsoons to see the waterfalls in their full glory.

01Day One: Arrive in Cochin | Drive from Cochin to Munnar (135 km/approx. 5 hours)

Arrive in Cochin and our representative, would take you onboard the designated vehicle to reach Munnar.

Cochin is a major port city, situated on the west coast of Peninsular India. It is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the west and Western Ghats on the east. This unique location has earned Cochin several renowned titles like 'Queen of the Arabian Sea' and 'Gateway to Kerala'. It is an ideal starting point for exploring the breathtaking scenic beauty and age-old charm of the state. Its diverse attractions, such as the Fort Kochi Beach, Mattancherry Palace, St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica and Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary make this place a famous tourist haunt in the country.

Once you reach Munnar, complete the check-in formalities at the hotel. Thereafter, the remaining day is free for leisure activities. Overnight stay at the hotel.

02Day Two: Sightseeing in Munnar

SAfter a relaxing overnight stay, start your day and leave the hotel for a sightseeing tour of Munnar.

From undulating hills to expansive tea estates, Munnar has a lot in store for tourists. This serene hill station is bestowed with diverse landscapes marked by enchanting waterfalls, gushing streams, rich biodiversity and lush greenery. Start your sojourn by admiring the breathtaking beauty of the Nyayamakad Waterfalls. Hold your breath as the next attraction is Anamudi Peak – the highest point in South India. It is a perfect place to behold the panoramic view of the Western Ghats. Later, undertake an excursion to the Eravikulam National Park, where you can see several rare species of fauna and flora, such as the Mountain Goat and Neelakurinji, respectively.

Later, enjoy a comfortable overnight stay at the hotel.

03Day Three: Drive from Munnar to Thekkady (130 km/approx. 4 hours)

Embark on a road journey to Thekkady (Periyar).

Located on the Western Ghats, Thekkady is famous for its natural reserves and spice plantations.The region is an abode to varied animal species, including tiger, elephants, spotted deer, langur, sambar and wild boar. A tour of Kerala is incomplete without visiting this place that offers ample opportunities for leisure activities like a boat ride on the Periyar Lake, excursion to Periyar National Park and visit to spice plantations.

Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel and relax for some time. Explore the famous site of spice plantations (Charges applicable), which will revive your mind with its serenity and aroma of different spices, such as pepper, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Thereafter, return to your hotel room for an overnight stay.

04Day Four:Drive from Thekkady to Alleppey (160 km/approx. 4 hours)

Check-out from the hotel and thereafter, drive to Alleppey – the Venice of the East.

Alleppey, also referred to as Alappuzha, is among the oldest planned towns in the region. Famous for houseboat cruise, boat races, clear beaches and marine products, this place is a world-famous backwater holiday destination. Some of the most popular tourist attractions of this serene land are the Alappuzha Beach, Mullakkal Temple, CSI Christ Church, old lighthouse, Punnamada Lake.

Upon arrival, check in to the hotel for overnight stay.

05Day Five:Depart from Cochin

Checkout andproceed to the Cochin Airport to board the flight for your onward journey. Thank You for Choosing Travelenrouté