10 Popular Tourist Destinations You Must Visit

Kerala is a south Indian state that personifies its beauty at best. One of the most serene places, it offers a calm atmosphere and some of the most spectacular views consisting of majestic hills, white sand beaches, lazy backwaters, picturesque landscape and lush green forests thriving with exotic flora and fauna. It is the perfect place for the rejuvenation of the mind and soul. It is one of the best honeymoon destinations in India, creating a romantic ambience that allows you get lost in its unique natural beauty whilst in the company of loved ones. The tour of the tropical state of Kerala is an experience like none other. The state offers an endless list of activities and destinations that it is almost impossible to cover in just a few days. To make the most of your time in “God’s Own Country”, consider some of the top attractions of Kerala tourism and some of the best places to visit in Kerala:

1. Munnar:
Often referred to as the Kashmir of the south, it is one of the most popular hill stations in South India and one of the best places to see in Kerala. The city has exclusive views of miles and miles of green tea farms on the slopes of the majestic mountains, that are surrounded by low flying clouds, misty valleys and dense forests. It is also a hotspot for travellers seeking some adventure in the hills and provides a lot of hiking routes and waterfalls. The attractions in the city have made it one of the most popular travel destinations domestically as well as internationally. In addition to the scenic beauty, Munnar also offers other attractions like the Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary, Tata Tea Museum and Anamudi which is the highest peak south of the Himalayas and is inhabited by the rarest species of Nilgiri Langur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers and Nilgiri Langur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers.

2. Alleppey:
Alleppey is situated along with the Arabian coast of Alappuzha District and offers beaches, lagoons and backwater trips on houseboats and is among the top destinations of Kerala when it comes to tourism. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the city gives you an experience of a lazy vacation on a houseboat that cannot be encountered anywhere else in the world. As the boat sails through the inland narrow canals, one gets an excellent opportunity to experience the treasures of the city which otherwise remain hidden, like small chapels, Chinese fishing nets, ducks in the water, water lilies and much more. Apart from the scenic beauty of the landscape and the awe-inspiring cruise through the canals, the city offers other attractions like the Statue of Karumadikuttan, a black granite statue of Lord Buddha dating back to 10th century and the ancient and internationally recognised Mannarassala Sree Nagaraja Temple.

3. Thekkady:
Thekkady is one of the best places to visit the vibrant wildlife of Kerala in its natural habitat and is a major attraction for Indian as well as international tourists. Home to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, it preserves various species of animals including elephants, tigers, sambars, gaurs and the very rare lion-tailed macaques. The sanctuary is also home to mighty Indian elephant, Great Indian tiger, leopards, boars, bisons and deer. In addition, there are many ways one can go into the jungle and experience the wildlife, some of which include taking a boat trip in the Thekkady lake and observing the wildlife from a distance, safari in a jeep, walking on foot through the jungle trails for a more personal experience and by taking a safari ride on top of an elephant, acquainting you with an adventure of a lifetime.

4. Varkala:
Varkala is one of the cleanest and the best-kept beaches in India with the emerald blue sea on one side and high rising cliffs on the other. It is a paradise for those who love the sun, sand and Kerala’s authentic cuisine and is also the perfect destination to catch a breathtaking view of the sunrise and the sunset. The beach is a dominant factor in expanding the tourism of Kerala as it is internationally recognised for its beauty as well as the enjoyment it provides with many interesting activities such as sunbathing, boat riding, surfing and ayurvedic massages. Varkala offers seaside places and outstanding resorts that cater to all your needs so you can forget all your worries and indulge in the rejuvenation of the body and the mind while enjoying the soft touch Arabian sea breeze. The other attractions in the city include Janardhana Temple, Sivagiri Mutt and Kappil Lake.

5. Kovalam:
Kovalam is a beach town located on the Arabian sea. The town is occupied by an endless sight of coconut trees and the city gets its apt name from the word ‘Kovalam’ means a grove of coconut trees. Before Kerala emerged as a tourism hotspot and a prominent travelling destination, Kovalam was the choice of many tourists for relaxing in the sun and indulging in ayurvedic treatments. The 17-kilometre-long coastline consists of three beaches, Samudra beach towards the north, Hawah beach in the middle and the biggest one, located on the southern side is called the Light House Beach, which together forms the famous crescent of the Kovalam beach coastline. The beaches are divided by rocks and rocky formations projecting towards the sea. It is included in the best tours of Kerala during the months of December and January, especially for its New Year celebrations.

6. Kumarakom:
Kumarakom lifestyle can be easily described by the backwaters, some fresh and tender coconut water, some authentic Kerala cuisine and some of the most picturesque views that just add on to the relaxed ambience of the city. It is a sleepy little town located near the Vembanad Lake (the largest freshwater lake in Kerala), with some exotic scenery and rare flora and fauna. The best attractions in the city include boating, houseboat cruising, fishing and sightseeing through its canals, waterways and lakes, lined with coconut trees, paddy fields and mangrove forests. In addition to the visual delights the town offers, it is also considered as a paradise for bird watchers as it is home to a bird sanctuary where a number of local and migratory birds thrive.

7. Kochi/ Cochin:
Kochi located in Ernakulam district, formerly known as Cochin and is one of the most important seaports and one of the major tourist destinations in Kerala as well as India. Titled as the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’, it is one of the finest natural harbours in the world, which led to the visits by the Dutch, Portuguese, Arabs, Chinese and the British in the past. The impressions of the foreign involvement in the city can be seen in the old English, Dutch and Portuguese houses and buildings, giving you a glimpse of the architecture and life in the colonial period. The city of Kochi is located in central Kerala and most of the tourism destinations are easily accessible from this location. In addition to the immense scope of shopping that the city offers, other attractions of the city include Marine Drive, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary and the Athirappally Falls.

8. Thrissur:
Originally known as Thirusivapperoor, the city is regarded as the cultural capital of Kerala due to its cultural, religious and spiritual abundance that has been recorded historically and is preserved to this day. It is home to cultural institutions such as It houses the Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Kerala Lalithakala Akademi and Kerala Sahitya Academy. The city is known to boast its cultural celebrations in an extravagant manner. The glimpses of this can be seen in the Thrissur pooram which is the most colourful and spectacular temple festival in Kerala and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Apart from its rich culture and history, the city offers other attractive destinations like Athirappally Waterfalls & Vazhachal Waterfalls and the Koodal Manikyam Temple. \

9. Wayanad:
The name of the city Wayanad has been derived from the Malayalam words Vayal (paddy field) and Naad (land), making it ‘The Land of Paddy Fields’. The city is located in the relatively greener part of Kerala and can be called as the Green paradise of the state. It is one of the least populated places in Kerala and is rather calm and quiet, creating a perfect ambience to appreciate the calm and quiet surrounding amidst the scenic beauty and the wildlife. The city has a rich tribal heritage with about 50 tribal communities dwelling in the area and is the perfect place for sightseeing in Kerala, away from all the hustle and bustle of the mainstream tourist destination and big cities. Wayanad all together has many exotic locations in and around the district like Pookot Lake, Edakkal Caves, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Meenmutty falls, and Sentinel Rockfalls. When in Kerala, it is a must to visit Wayanad.

10. Thiruvananthapuram:
Thiruvananthapuram, also known as Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland. It is the largest city in Kerala and is home to many educational institutions, research laboratories and is home to India’s first IT Park and Asia’s third largest, Technopark, making it a land of technology as well. Once referred as the “Evergreen city of India” by Mahatma Gandhi, the city is also considered as one of the 10 greenest cities in India. Some of the major attractions in the city include Priyadarshini Planetarium, Vizhinjam Rock Cut Temple, Kuthiramalika, the Kanakakunnu Palace and Padmanabha Swamy Temple.

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