"God's Own Country", Kerala is blessed with gleaming backwaters, a long shoreline, serene beaches, poised climate, verdant hills, cascading waterfalls and exotic wildlife. Add to that delicious cuisine, wealth of age-old culture, captivating art forms, enchanting festivals and ancient Ayurveda; no wonder it is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world today.
Backwaters in Kerala
Kerala is most reputed for its beautiful and tranquil backwaters.
As many as forty-four rivers crisscross the land and finally drain into the Arabian Sea, creating a network of lakes, canals, estuaries and deltas.
Amazing spectacles of countryside can be witnessed cruising in a houseboat or a ferry on its backwaters.
Few of the backwaters in Kerala are:
Kollam: It is known as the starting point of the backwaters.
Kuttanad: Comprising of lakes, canals and rivers, it offers a glance into rural life of Kerala.
Kozhikode: Mostly unexplored by tourists, the site of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam is becoming a popular water sport destination.
Kasargod: It is known for cultivation of rice, coir processing and beautiful landscapes.
Kumarakom: A charming backwater destination that offers tourists lots of leisure choices.
Alleppey: Known as the "Venice of the East", it has a large system of canals.
Beaches in Kerala
Kerala has a number of sparkling beaches along its 600 km shoreline. With soft white sands, unending stretch of turquoise water, tall palm groves swaying with the sea breeze, the beaches of Kerala have an unspoilt and unexplored charm.
Some of the popular Beaches in Kerala are
Kovalam: It is the most popular beach in Kerala.
Cherai: This beach is perfect for swimming; dolphins can occasionally be spotted here.
Andhakaranazhi: It is one of the most beautiful, tranquil and unspoiled beach near Alleppey.
Varkala: It is a laid back beach, far away from the crowd and noise of popular places.
Marari: It offers nonstop miles of sand beaches, swaying palms and virgin territory.
Fort Kochi: Said to be the first European township in India; one can find the old colonial charm around the beach.
Hill Stations in Kerala
Enchanting hill stations lie clad in lush green woods along the Western Ghats in Kerala. Sprawling plantations, refreshing breeze combined with panoramic views in hill stations provide immense pleasure to the traveler.
Some of must visit hill stations in Kerala are:
Munnar: No doubt the most beautiful place in Kerala, It was once the summer Resort of British Government in South India.
Palakkad: A beautiful district of Kerala, situated at the base of the Western Ghats. It's a land of rivers, palm trees and paddy fields.
Ponmudi: The hill station provides a break from the city life and gives an opportunity to relax in the generous nature and calm surroundings.
Wayanad: Nature at her most beautiful self, the hill station shows how stunning nature can be without human intrusion.
Vagamon: It is the most visited tourist destination, with green lush hills, fresh mountain air, beautiful flowers, meadows and spectacular views of the enthralling land.
Idukki: The beautiful hill station draws its name from a Malayalam word 'idukku', which means narrow gorge. It is known as the land of massive mountains, valleys and splendid streams.
Wildlife in Kerala
There are 15 Wildlife sanctuaries, 6 National Parks, 2 Biosphere Reserves and 2 Tiger Reserves in Kerala. One can find plenty of animals and a wide variety of birds and reptiles.
A few popular wildlife destinations in Kerala are:
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: It is famous for Tigers, Lion-Tailed Macaques, Great Indian Hornbill and Ceylon Frog Moth.
Idduki National Park: It is well-known for its rare species of migratory birds and various safari preferences offered.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: One can sight Siberian Cranes, Flycatchers, Herons Water Ducks and other exotic birds in the sanctuary.
Wayanad Wildlife Reserve: Some of the most beautiful flora and fauna like Elephant, Spotted Deer, Leopard, and Bear can be found here.
Ayurveda in Kerala
Today, Ayurveda seems to have found a synonym in Kerala. The ancient medical science has been practiced in India since times immemorial. Rare herbs with therapeutic qualities flourish in the jungles of Kerala. They serve as a rejuvenation agent to the mind, body and soul as an alternative to modern medical science.
Popular Ayurveda resorts in Kerala:
- Kayaloram Lake Resort in Alleppey
- Aranya Nivas in Thekkady
- Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom
- Agastya Ayurveda Garden in Thiruvananthapuram
- Ayurveda Centre in Taj Residency, Calicut
- Marari Beach Resort in Mararikulam
- Somatheeram Ayurvedic Resort Kovalam
- Spice Village in Periyar
- Surya Samudra Beach Garden in Thiruvananthapuram
- Taamra Spa Taj Malabar in Cochin
- Ayurveda Centre Taj Garden Retreat in Kumarakom
- Jiva Spa Taj Green Cove Resort in Kovalam
Cities, Art and Culture in Kerala
Kerala boasts of quite a few cities which have a rich history intertwined with stories and myths. The cities are home to many tourist attractions in Kerala. Kochin is a naval base, Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city and Trissur is the cultural capital, while Kottayam with numerous churches and colonial style houses can be called as the Rome of the East. A lot of art and culture can be found in Kerala. Most of them are in dance forms with elaborate make-up and graceful gestures. The major tourist attraction in Kerala is the Kathakali Dance form. Other dance forms are Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, Koodiyattam, Kaikottikali, Margamkali and Thitambu.
Last Updated on 06/08/2012
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