There are some places in India that have a bit of resemblance to the world’s largest tropical rain forest- the Amazon, one of them being the Southern state of Kerala.
Coast on the West and South and dense forest-covered mountains in the mainland- that is the topography of Kerala. If you’ve ever dreamt of warm sandy beaches, calm backwaters cutting through villages, chilly hill stations and reverberant waterfalls; well, Kerala has them all!
Here is a Photo Story of the Top 5 places to visit in Kerala – God’s own Country that will inspire you to plan a trip to this wonderful place.
The state capital is home to one of the most scenic beaches in India, the Kovalam Beach. The beach is the optimal place to visit after a tiring train journey or even after a comfortable flight to Trivandrum; sit back, sip some cool water right out of fresh coconuts, enjoy the sweet corn on the cob and feel the atmosphere turn tranquil as the sun dips into the horizon. Isn't it the best place to enjoy nature?!
|Sunset at Kovalam Beach in Trivandrum|
I found some hidden locations off the road from the city to the beach that literally left me dumbstruck! The locals were returning home after a tedious and oddly cloudy day. My taxi driver said, "You’ve decided to explore Kerala at the best time of the year. The monsoon is receding, it's lush green everywhere and the humidity has dropped. Have a great time here!" So friendly, I literally felt at home.
|A Banana plantation near Trivandrum|
If you want to experience the canals of Venice in India, look no farther than Alleppey. The backwaters of Alleppey (or Alappuzah as it is locally called) are teensy bit identical to those of Venice.
The locals use the water canals for daily transportation to and from work, school, to purchase groceries and even for business. There are many places with mesmerizing backwaters in Kerala, but Alleppey is the unrivalled destination amongst them.
The best and most suitable means to explore Alleppey is in a houseboat. Some people prefer going to the beach but that’s just mundane. What’s the fun in that!
|The backwater rivulets converge into the Vembanad Lagoon|
I would suggest spending a night (or four!) in a houseboat – these boats are well equipped- one can say a floating hotel or a miniature cruise. As your captain takes to through the backwaters and into the naturally formed lagoon, you are bound to feel enchanted.
This is another favoured (but a little obscure) place with backwaters. I chose to visit both Alleppey and Kumarakom because I had couple extra days. The resorts along the backwaters in Kumarakom are amazing. Alleppey & Kumarakom are on the opposite flanks of the Vembanad Lagoon.
I stayed in one of the resorts run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation ( ) and I was smitten. The entire establishment has been constructed on stilts as a safety measure against floods.
Furthermore, this resort is exactly adjacent to a small bird sanctuary and so, the greenery in & around the accommodations is plentiful to leave you in awe.
|The resort built on stilts in Kumarakom overlooking the Vembanad Lagoon|
|KTDC Resort in Kumarakom|
Amongst all the places on this list, Thekkady is the only one you should visit just to enjoy the incredible landscape. Lush green mountain ranges of the Western Ghats and numerous refreshing waterfalls is what one should look out for. I certainly couldn't get enough of all the waterfalls I came across. I stopped by each one of them!
|Waterfalls en route Thekkady.|
|Waterfalls in the Thekkady area|
The widespread Periyar Tiger Reserve is located in and around Thekkady and is a prime location for safaris and treks. The reserve is spread over a vast area so the probability of tiger sighting isn’t that high. You will definitely see deer, elephants & mountain goats.
Carry some salt with you and preferably wear full sleeved t-shirt & track pants. The forest area of the reserve is tropical and one parasite that you’re bound to encounter is the ‘Leech’. Once it latches on, getting rid can be painful & cumbersome, this is where the salt comes into play. Sprinkle a few grains over the leech & it will let go.
|Hiking in the Periyar Tiger Reserve|
Profoundly known as the Kashmir of South India, Munnar is a great place to chill. Tea and spice gardens take cover almost all of Munnar. A tour of the tea plantations can re-energise you (if the weather complements the scenic backdrop, it’s like icing on the cake!).
Tea, Tea, Tea!
Well, frankly there isn’t much to do in Munnar; just sit back, relax and get a nature’s detox which clears your mind of all stresses. The majestic Athirapally waterfall is a short drive away from Munnar and I highly recommend you visit it.
|Athirapally Waterfalls - At times called the Niagara Falls of India|
These are the top 5 destinations to visit in Kerala. There are many other
serene places in & around Kerala worth visiting like Kodaikanal, Wayanad, Cochin
and Ooty to name a few. If you are a nature lover, Kerala is the perfect
destination to visit in South India.
|What more do you need than a scenery like this everyday?|