Known around the globe as the ‘Gods own country’, Kerala has Golden beaches, emerald backwaters, lofty mountain ranges, powerful art forms… the choices are many and so are the wonders that await you.
Renowned for its scenic locations and natural beauty, Kerala is sure to enchant any nature lover with its hills, backwaters, beaches, waterfalls and wildlife. The state also has a rich heritage and thriving culture one can explore by visiting the various forts, palaces, museums, monuments and pilgrim centers. Both natural and manmade brilliance awaits you at every turn.
Growing at a rate of 13.31%, the tourism industry is a major contributor to the state’s economy. It is an established destination for both domestic as well as foreign tourists. Kerala is well known for its beaches, backwaters in Alappuzha and Kollam, mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries.
Other popular attractions in the state include the beaches at Kovalam, Kappad, Cherai and Varkala; backwater tourism and lake resorts around Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam; hill stations and resorts at Munnar, Wayanad, Nelliampathi, Vagamon and Ponmudi; and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar, Parambikulam and Eravikulam National Park.
The “backwaters” region—an extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that centre on Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam, also see heavy tourist traffic. Heritage sites, such as the Padmanabhapuram Palace, Hill Palace, and Mattancherry Palace, are also visited. The city of Trivandrum ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala.
Kerala has an endless list of tourist destinations that will interest any traveller. It would be impossible to pick and choose a handful of destinations, but we’re going to try anyways, here it goes:
- Alapuzha backwaters:
Alappuzha, known as the ‘Venice of the East’, is especially popular for its houseboat cruises where you can soak in nature at its finest form. Today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Alappuzha Beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends out to the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which greatly intrigues all visitors.
- Bekal Beach in Kasaragod
Bekal Beach is located in the northern-most district of Kerala, Kasargod. Here lies the majestic Bekal Fort, one of the most well maintained forts in Kerala. he area has been beautified in many ways. Two Theyyam sculptures have been made using laterite. Sheds were made whose walls were decorated with murals by artists from Nilambur.
A rock garden has been built along with a parking area where laterite boulders of various sizes are used. Picturesque trees have been planted along the beach. Visitors can soak in the majestic panoramic view of the entire area from the newly made walkway.
- Agasthyakoodam peak
Agasthyakoodam is nature’s ode to bird watchers. This second highest peak in Kerala has long been known as a bird watcher’s paradise and many gather here to catch the sight of exotic birds. It can be viewed from near Neyyar Dam as well as Bonakkad.
Agasthyakoodam is also known for its remarkable flora & fauna, especially certain rare medicinal herbs which have been discovered here. Over 2000 species including lichens, orchids, mosses and ferns have been recorded in the area.
- Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thiruvananthapuram
Around 32 km from Thiruvananthapuram, one comes across 12,000 hectares of natural vegetation in the form of the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It offers a rare chance to view flora & fauna alongside many trekking options.
The Neyyar Dam nearby is also famous due to its many features, chief amongst them being a picturesque picnic spot for families, friends and solo-travellers alike. The Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary of which the dam is a part is the habitat of over a hundred species of fauna including the Asian Elephant, tiger, leopard, Slender Loris and reptiles and amphibians like the King Cobra, Travancore Tortoise, etc.
One can avail boating facilities at the reservoir which provides for a beautiful panoramic view of the area.