Kerala - God's Own Country
If we talk of tangible but inexpressible beauty and a phenomenal thing like total literacy, it is none other than Kerala. Tucked at the southern tip of Indian peninsula, Kerala is an easy winner owning to its mind-blowing landscapes. It boasts of a charisma of intriguing customs, high-intensity cultural life and educated public; so often dressed in pristine white. From Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Tourism is a choc-a-block of places that attract tourists and travelers from all over the world. Each and every element here justifies its appellation Kerala - God's Own Country. The tourist spots in Kerala include Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam, Kochi, Munnar, Alleppey, Mararikulam, Varkala and Poovar.
Thiruvananthapuram - The Capital City
Location: Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum lies on the southwest coast of India, is the capital of Kerala.
Tourist Destinations: There are a number of tourist attractions in the capital city. A must visit among them is the Padmanabhaswami temple. Counted among one of the 108 shrines, it is sacred to the Vaishnavites in India. Several kings also built their palaces in and around Thiruvananthapuram. The major attraction here is the 250-year-old temple car made for Lord Vishnu lying within the museum compound of Thiruvananthapuram. Sri Chitra Art Gallery proves to be an ideal place for art lovers. Then, of course, a trip to the capital city is incomplete without a boat-ride on its enchanting backwaters.
Kochi - Queen of the Arabian Sea
Location: Popularly referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin is located on the west cost of India in the beautiful state of Kerala. The city can be regarded as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala.
Tourist Destinations: While in Kochi, one must visit the Fort Kochi that reveals the European heritage of Kochi. Santa Cruz Basilica happens to be a landmark of Kochi and a major tourist attraction too. Further there is 16th century St. Francis Church, The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry and Paradeshi Synagogue (one of the oldest synagogues in the world).
Kovalam - City of Beaches
Location: Kovalam, meaning "a groove of coconut trees," is just 16 km from the state capital of Kerala- Thiruvananthapuram.
Tourist Destinations: Kovalam is actually a combination of three small beaches. Out of these, the southernmost beach, named Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular one among the tourists. Despite the usual sun bathing and surfing, many marine activities are possible at Kovalam. Local fishermen also provide sunrise and sun set cruises in fishing boats. At Kovalam, many hotels and resorts offer Ayurvedic massage and treatment. Yoga centers are also aplenty in Kovalam. Among innumerable beach holiday resorts; Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort, Surya Samudra Beach Garden, Somatheeram, Niki's Nest, Cocunut Bay Beach Resort, Uday Samudra Beach Resort, Hotel Samudra etc own private beaches famous for their cleanliness and secluded location.
Munnar - Panoramic Hill Station
Location: Munnar is a small hill station set amongst the Kannan Devan hills. It is located at 130 km east of Kochi at an altitude of 1524 m above sea level.
Tourist Destinations: Travellers can enjoy a panoramic view of the verdant surroundings and forested hills from Munnar. One can also walk amongst the numerous tea estates of Munnar and view the entire process of making tea at the Kundale tea plantation. Anaimudi (2,695 m), the highest peak in southern India, can be viewed from Munnar. The Christ Church is an important tourist place in Munnar. The National Adventure Foundation conducts a course on paragliding in Munnar. Tourists can also enjoy boating in the lakes in Munnar.
Alleppey - City of Backwaters
Location: Alappuzha or Alleppey is one of the exotic backwater sites of Kerala. Washed by the Arabian Sea and interlocked by a number of canals and bridges; it hosts the Nehru Trophy boat race held every year.
Tourist Destinations: Punnamada Kayal where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place is a must visit site. Krishnapuram Temple, the two-storied building of Alappuzha, displays the typical Keralan style of architecture. Also the largest mural painting, Gajendra Miksham, is displayed in a museum here. Ambalapuzha Temple of Lord Krishna is also a sacred place in Alappuzha. Further in the list are: St. Andrew's Church, established by the Portuguese missionaries in Alappuzha; Mullackal Temple, dedicated to Goddess Rajarajeswari; Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple where the king of serpents is worshiped; The Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple; Kottamkulangara Maha Vishnu Temple, Devi Temple, especially during the time of festivals.
Varkala - Exotic Beach City
Location: What makes the coastline of Varkala exceptional is its landscape. Towering cliffs that stand like silent sentinels, guarding the sparkling waters, back the beach.
Tourist Destinations: Sivagiri Mutt, the samadhi (memorial) of Shri Narayana Guru, the spiritual leader and social reformer of Kerala is frequently visited by tourists. Most people, who visit Sivagiri, also go to Janardhana Swami Temple situated close to the Varkala's beach. Much before Varkala became known internationally for its sandy stretch; its beach named Papanasam was already a pilgrim centre in Kerala. Considered as an auspicious site, during the season of Karkkidakavavu, special pujas are conducted here for invoking departed souls.
Mararikulam - A Fishing Village
Location: Sixty kilometers South of Cochin, Mararikulam is an hour's drive from Cochin and even less from Alleppey. It is the most spectacular stretch of soft sandy beach fringed with palms.
Tourist Destinations: It is one of the local fishing villages, where life still goes on same as hundred years ago. Marari offers endless miles of superb sandy beaches backed by swaying palms, virgin territory where you can experience traditional Keralan hospitality at its best. You can visit traditional coir-making units or explore the marvelous backwaters, where the tranquility, the stunning scenery and the feeling of being transported back in time, makes it a fantastic and memorable experience.
Poovar - Rendezvous the Paradise
Location: Poovar, the real paradise in Kerala is 40 kms from Kovalam. This time in the accommodation that is built on stilts over the sea. Poovar is a beautiful way to get an interesting and unique insight into the state.
Tourist Destinations: In Poovar where clear blue skies and emerald green nature, washed in the monsoon smiles in full glory you can have a perfect holiday. Poovar Island turns stunning with its tranquil backwaters, frilled with swaying palms, a golden beach and the sea on one side. You can opt for a languid bath on the sunny beach nearby or simply row to the fishing village adjacent to the Poovar Island Resort.
Muziris - Mystical Magic of Muziris Heritage Project in Kerala Tourism
Location: Airport, Railways and Bus facilities connecting Muziris Heritage Project from other parts of Kerala are present in Calicut, 145 km away.
Tourist Destinations: Kerala's ancient sea-port Muziris has been acclaimed for its rich contribution in international trade and religious significance. The Kerala Government has recently inaugurated the Muziris Heritage Project, which include a major portion of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts.
Best Time to Visit
Peak Season in Kerala is from September to March when the climate is cool and comfortable. It is the best time to plan a holiday. April to May is considered off season as it is hot and humid. Monsoon Season is from June to August and best time to visit for Ayurvedic massages.
How to Reach Kerala
By Air: Kerala has 2 International airports in Thiruvananthapuram and in Kochi. A domestic airport is in Kozhikode.
By Rail: The state has 200 railway stations that connect to Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta and more.
By Road: Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are connected by National Highways 17, 47 and 49. Many important cities fall on the way. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation runs various buses from local to luxury.
By Sea: Regular ships operate from Lakshadweep Island to Kochi. Tourists can opt for speedboats, public ferries or Houseboats or Ketuvallams.
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