The most distinct places to Visit in Kerala from a discerning traveler perspective
Kerala is predominantly known for her natural beauty, cultural aspects, and traditions. There are many tourist destinations in Kerala are world mostly renown. However, I am aiming to write about the best places or phenomenon that you should not miss in each of the tourist places in Kerala. For each place in the list, the facts and stories associated with them are what makes them more interesting, and I would love to showcase all of them for yours. If you are looking for a Kerala tour package bundled with the best of the experiences, in that case, you are very much at the right place - Check out how to plan your Kerala Holiday.
The Cochin International Airport Most Kerala tour packages or tour programs to Kerala have an arrival at Kochi Airport. If you ask me about how could I enter an Airport as once among the most distinctive places to visit. There are enough and more reasons to acclaim Cochin International Airport to be one among the best airports in the country for its distinctness and innovation. The moment you land you should be already knowing that the airport is only govt and private partnership project in the country. Their most recent innovative initiative was the installation of the solar project where the entire airport got powered by solar energy. The lights, the motors, the air conditioning, everything run with power sourced from the sun. Is'nt that incredible. Something which could not be initiated even in developed countries.
Athirapally Waterfalls The Athirapally waterfall is one among the beautiful waterfalls in South India. This 80 feet waterfall is on the Chalakudy river that flows down after multiple dams and the upper Sholayar ranges. Even though there is another waterfall named Vazhachal which is a few kilometers further of Athirapally falls, the later is more known for her beauty. The waterfall is extensive, and during monsoon, the waterfall becomes mightier gushing down into the river. The best time to visit Athirapally waterfalls is from June to August when the state of Kerala receives her South West monsoon. For most Kerala tour packages, Athirapally waterfalls work more like a day tour from Kochi something you visit while heading to Munnar. However as an authorized Kerala Tour Operator, we recommend to stay in Athirapally if you have a love for nature, we organize a forest therapy program hosted by one of our popular guides in Athirapally.
Jew Town in Kochi The Malabar coast of Kerala would have been one among the few places who welcomed Jews, especially after the fall of the second temple of Jerusalem. Jews were given much respect and had the right to do business and trade. The Jew town was a place in Mattancherry, where Jews once resided in Kochi. The Kochi Maharaja gave land adjacent to his palace to built the Paradeshi Synagogue, and many Jews here settled close to the synagogue. After the formation of Israel, many Jews decided to move back to Israel, which Jews believed to be their homeland. When most of them left Kochi, they sold their home and belongings here to local traders and merchants. Today these home are converted into antique shops. While walking towards the Synagogue, you will very well get a clear idea about how beautiful the street is even today. You will come across the Jew town in more of our guided sightseeing tours of Kochi.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate and Factory Up in the Western Ghats of Kerala, some 30 kilometers east of the Munnar town is a place called Suryanelli. Further east of Suryanelli is a mountain range as high as 8000 feet, known as the Kolukkumalai high ranges. It is in these high ranges where the British built a tea estate and a factory during the late 1940s. The Kolukkumalai tea estate is the world's highest organic tea estate and has a factory that process tea in the traditional orthodox method. There are no proper roads to this place, even though the way to Kolukkumalai tea factory is via Suryanelli in Munnar, the factory and the estate are partially located in Tamil Nadu. There are some magnificent viewpoints located in this hills overlooking the Valley of Kurangini. The tea here is considered to be one among the best because of its elevation and getting to watch the orthodox tea manufacturing process in those old machineries brought all the way from England. Kolukkumalai is not part of the regular sightseeing tour of Munnar, being the case you would need to ask for a visit to Kolukkumalai specifically.
Trek the Western Ghats Most Kerala tour packages operated by Kerala tour operators would either have Munnar or Thekkady in their program which essentially is part of the Western Ghats of Kerala. The Western Ghats are the mountain ranges South West of India, and these mountain ranges have a vast expanse from Kanyakumari towards North of Indian throughout the coastline all the way to Gujarat. These mountain ranges are home to some of the most distinct flora and fauna in the world. They are considered to be one among the top bio hotspots in the world, and older than the Himalayas. Now what makes it more interesting for you as a tourist, these mountain ranges offer some great opportunity for trekking and hiking experiences in Kerala as well in Karnataka. The prominent places that come under the Western Ghats of Kerala are Munnar, Thekkady, Athirapally, Ponmudi, Nelliyampathi, and Nilambur. As it moves towards the North of Kerala, the elevation declines. The highest peak in South India, the Anamudi comes under the Western Ghats, within the Eravikulam National Park.
Periyar National Park The Periyar National Park located close to the Cardamom hills of central Kerala, within the Western Ghats of Kerala. This park is one among the national park that has a Tiger reserve and is known to have revolutionized the way tigers are protected in the region. The National park has the Periyar reservoir sprawling across the national park, and this reservoir was formed after the Mullaperiyar dam was built within these forest ranges. The forest department efforts have helped a lot in converting the poachers of the forest to be protectors of the woods. The Tribal men who were dependent on these forests were given jobs in the forest department of Kerala who helps the forest to preserve in an ideal manner.
The Periyar National park offers a range of forest-related hikes and treks where guests could experience. Some of the exciting programs offered here include Bamboo rafting, green walk, nature walks, tiger trails and many more. These trails offer great chances for birding as well as sighting small beings of the wilderness.
Cardamom Hills Kerala has been home to some of the fascinating spices of all time. Spices trade has been there on the Malabar coastline since ancient times. Vasco Da Gama, the sailor who first landed in the Malabar coast used to call the black pepper from the Malabar coast as Black Gold. The South West of India is production centers of some of the most top quality spices across the world. There are many spice plantations in the region like tea, pepper, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. A visit to these plantations will give you a clear idea about the quality and peculiarities of the spices form this region of the world. There are many outlets organizing spice plantation tours where they have little spice farms, and one can experience the crux of the spice world from a good plantation visit. The cardamom hills of Kerala would turn to be one among the top places to visit in Kerala if you have a perfect guide who could narrate the best stories about cardamom since ancient times. One such tour is the cardamom tours organized by Green Earth Spices in Thekkady
Responsible tourism in Kumarakom Kumarakom is a beautiful backwater village on the backwaters of the Vembanad lake. This agrarian backwater village has a lot of beautiful resorts right on the banks of the backwaters. Kerala Tourism has been known for many innovative initiatives in the field of tourism. While Kumarakom gained space in the tourism map of India as well in the world. The people of Kumarakom did not gain anything out of it. People from elsewhere owned most of the resorts in Kumarakom, and the people who worked there were neither from Kumarakom. The act of tourism did not benefit the local community. The Responsible tourism initiatives of the government of Kerala paid off well for the people of Kumarakom. Their agricultural produces were purchased by resorts, a lot of ancillary services were availed by resorts in Kumarakom. They have been conducting day tours and other activities organized by the local community which helped them directly. Like this, the act of tourism started to improve and gain the people of Kumarakom through responsible tourism initiatives. Kumarakom will be a great place if you are someone who is interested in village tours and experiencing local life.
Backwater cruises The backwaters of Kerala is one of the most fascinating water worlds on Earth. Essentially the backwaters are an extension of the sea into the land the land forming a lagoon along with numerous Island. Some of the smaller lakes are connected other larger backwater lakes with narrow canals making it a vast expanse of water, almost like an unending lake. There is a community that lives along the banks of these backwaters, a community that depends on the backwaters for their livelihood. Some of the most common occupations include fishing, collecting shells, dredging, coir husking, and a lot more local jobs. These are out of the ordinary experiences you get to witness while you cruise along these backwater highways. It is like a water town, these canals work like water highways, and everybody has got a boat. A Kerala backwater houseboat cruise is very much part of many Kerala tour packages operated by Kerala tour operators based in Kochi.
Beaches of North Kerala Kerala has a long stretch of coastline. However, there are not many beaches where you could enjoy the beaches to the best. Some of the best beaches towards the South of Kerala include Varkala and Kovalam. Some famous beaches where you have accommodation in central Kerala include Marari beach (more like a fishing village), Fort Kochi, Kuzhupilly and Cherai. However, the best of the beaches in Kerala are in North Kerala, Kannur and Kasargod have a wide range of beaches and beach homes. On the downside, Kannur has minimal accommodation options in terms of tourist perspective. However, Nileshwar and Bekal have a bunch of options in terms of beach accommodation in North Kerala. Tourism in North Kerala is picking after the opening of the Kannur Airport.
Lakshadweep Islands Green Earth Trails is an authorized Lakshadweep tour operator based in Kochi. However, that is not the reason why we included Lakshadweep in this list. If you would love to make your Kerala holiday the most beautiful one, then Lakshadweep is the most suitable way to make it exotic. These Islands are located some 250 nautical miles away from the Arabian sea coastline and functions as a union territory. It would take just one hour and twenty minutes to reach Agatti which is the only aerodrome in the Islands. A combination of a Kerala holiday along with the Lakshadweep Islands would make it an ideal option for a holiday of a lifetime. Check out the "Holiday to Lakshadweep Island" page that we have in our website, you will get a clear idea as to why we recommend the Lakshadweep Islands.