If you are looking for a place that offers spectacular views and tranquil atmosphere, gifted with natural beauty in abundance, and if you have an intention to rejuvenate your body and soul, then think about Kerala. There are spectrum of incredible destinations and best places to visit in Kerala that will give you exhilarating experience.
Explore the Best Places to Visit in Kerala
Kerala is a wonderful land of coconuts, elephants, temples, festivals, rituals and art forms. The iconic state, speckled with its lush green hill stations, awe-inspiring beaches, scintillating backwaters, amazing eco-tourism projects and exotic wildlife, excites the tourists from all over the globe. Here is a selection of 7 best places to visit in Kerala that you should not skip out of your itinerary.
1. Munnar Hill Station – the Heavenly Abode of Tranquility
Munnar Hill Station, a place that is beauty personified, is the most popular hill station in South India and one of the best places to visit in Kerala. Literally meaning “three rivers”, Munnar is located at the confluence of three rivers Mudhirapuzha, Kundala and Nallathanni in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is a unique experience to watch the picturesque views of green tea farms spread over the endless areas of the mountains like green beddings designed by a great artist.
The hill station has lush green landscape, misty valleys and mountains, boundless areas of tea plantations, enchanting lakes, chatty waterfalls and a soothing climate that will give you an incredible sensation. If you love adventure you can go for trekking, paragliding and rock climbing on Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in south India. Neelakurinji, a rare blue flower blossoms in the valleys once in twelve years spreading a mesmerizing bluish hue. Top attractions in and around Munnar include Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam, Marayoor Sandalwood Forests and Echo Point.
Ernakulam railway station is at about 110 km and Cochin international airport at 130 km away from Munnar.
2. Kumarakom – an Exotically Romantic Destination
Located at about 16 km from Kottayam town, Kumarakom is a beautiful village formed by a group of small islands in Vembanad Lake. With swaying coconut trees, green paddy fields, rich mangrove forests, enchanting white lilies, envious vegetation and a soothing climate, Kumarakom is referred as “Green Paradise on Earth”. The National Geographic Magazine has listed this fascinating destination as one of the must-see places in a life time. It will provide you thrilling experience of backwater cruise, fishing and site seeing.
The unique attraction of Kumarakom is its Bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres, which is a safe abode of several migratory birds like Siberian stork, wild duck, etc. Kumarakom is an enchanting destination of Kerala Backwaters. You can have a memorable backwater cruise through the Vembanad Lake in a traditional houseboat savoring the delicious Kerala cuisine. The atmosphere in Kumarakom is alluring; it will make you more romantic. It is one of the best places to visit in Kerala with your partner for a memorable honeymoon experience.
The nearest railway station is Kottayam at 16 km away. Cochin international airport is 85 km away.
3. Varkala Beach – ‘Wash Away Your Sins’ and Relax
Varkala beach, also known as Papanasam beach, is located in Thiruvananthapuram district, at about 50 km north of the capital city. The word ‘papanasam’ means ‘wash away your sins’. It is famous for its natural spring which has medicinal properties. A dip in the holy waters will revitalize you. The unique geological feature of this place is the formation of cliffs adjacent to the Arabian Sea, which are declared as a geological monument by the Geological Survey of India.
With its amazing scenic beauty, this pristine beach is regarded as one of the best places to visit in Kerala. It is clean, less crowded and has a tranquil atmosphere that gives you a great relaxation. You can enjoy swimming, sun bathing and engage in various kinds of water sports. You cannot miss the amazing sight of sunset which is quite memorable experience. You can have a complete Ayurveda massage and rejuvenate your body and soul.
Nearest railway station is Varkala at about 3 km away and the airport is Trivandrum International Airport at 57 km away.
4. Bekal Fort – Excellence of Technology in Defense Strategy
Bakel Fort, a coastal fort situated in Kasargod district, is the largest and well preserved fort in the state. Spread over an area of 40 acres and having huge walls of over 12 m height, it lies on the backdrops of Arabian seashore, as if come up from the sea. Waves from the sea continuously hit its citadel and drench a major portion of the fort. The magnificent Bakel Fort and the fabulous beach nearby, which attract thousands of tourists all over the world, are undoubtedly the best places to visit in Kerala.
Constructed in 1650 AD by Shivappa Nayaka, the fort was an important military station of Tippu Sultan. The massive walls have openings for guns. The important features are a ditch surrounding the fort on the land side, water-tank with flights of steps, tunnel opening, facility for keeping ammunition and the observation tower. Watching from its observation tower gives a fascinating view of the surroundings. The fort is declared to be a special tourism area by the Government and is presently protected and preserved by Archaeological Survey of India.
Nearest railway station is Kasargod at 14 km and nearest airport is Mangalore international airport at 60 km.
5. Chembra Peak – Ascend the Peak, crossing ‘Heart of the Hill’
If you love to have an adventure trip and would like to relish the natural beauty, standing close to the clouds, then Chembra Peak in Wayanad is your perfect destination. Situated at 2100 m above sea level it is the highest peak in Wayanad, adjoining Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu and Vellari Hills in Kozhikode. You have to take permission for trekking from Meppadi Forest Office.
The trek starts at the watch tower which is 5 km away from the Forest office. It will take about 3 hours to reach to the top of Chembra Peak. Ascending through the rugged terrain, on the half way you will find a heart-shaped lake, which is the unique attraction of the peak. It is believed that the lake has never dried up. On reaching the top of the peak, you will be astounded with the enchanting natural beauty and can see the whole Wayanad with a bird’s eye view. The whole trekking can be completed in a day, but the thrilling memories will last for a life time.
Kozhikode railway station is 72 km from Kalpetta and Calicut international airport at 100 km. From Kalpetta to Meppadi bus service is available.
6. Gavi Eco tourism – A Perfect Spot for Nature Lovers
Gavi, a quiet and beautiful Eco tourism spot and a part of the famous Periyar Tiger Reserve, is located in the eastern extreme of Pathanamthitta district. This tourist haven is rich in flora and fauna and is blessed with tropical forests, hills and valleys, cardamom plantations, waterfalls and grass lands. Endangered species like Nilgiri Tahra and lion tiled macaque are sited here besides herds of elephants, varieties of animals and over 260 species of birds.
You can enjoy the thrill of trekking, canoeing in the tranquil waters of the lake, wildlife watching and night safaris. Other than the accommodation in the eco-friendly ambience of ‘Green Mansion’, you can also try ‘tree top houses’. Camping in the forests in specially built tents is the unique feature of Gavi. Gavi has a magical spell that makes it one of the best places to visit in Kerala and attracts tourists mostly from European countries. The world renowned tourism major ‘Alistair International’ has listed it as one of the must see places in India.
Kottayam railway station is at 114 km at Cochin international airport is at about 190 km from the site.
7. Silent Valley National Park – Call of the Wilderness
Silent Valley National Park, located in the Nilgiri Hills in Palakkad district, is a part of the Western Ghats World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. Spread over an area of 90 Sq. km, it is acclaimed for its tropical evergreen forests and a haven of endangered flora and fauna, some of which are rarely found anywhere in the world. It is a treasure house of several endangered species and biodiversity. The region is locally known as ‘Sairandhri Vanam’, meaning the ‘forest of Draupadi’, thus giving it a mystical touch of the famous epic Mahabharata.
There are over 1000 species of flowering plants, 108 species of orchids, 34 species of mammals, more than 150 species of birds and a numerous varieties of butterflies, moths and other insects. It is a home to the largest population of lion-tailed Macaque, an endangered primate. Descending from a height of 2000 m, River Kunti flows through Silent Valley. With its enchanting wilderness, evergreen sholas, amazing bio diversity and the absolute tranquility, the valley will steal your heart.
The nearest railway station is Palakkad at 69 km and the airport is Coimbatore international airport at 91 km away.
No trip to Kerala will be complete without visiting any of the above places. This is not all about Kerala. There are many more spectacular locations and best places to visit in Kerala. Be ready for a long trip.