Kerala is a mesmerizing land. Its exquisite beauty and rich culture attract tourists from around the globe. The serene backwaters, high mountains, green valleys and ubiquitous greenery captures the hearts of anyone. In addition to it, the historical monuments and the festivals dating back thousands of years proclaim the culture and heritage of the land.
As Kerala is a destination with many attractions, you will need someone to guide you to those you will find appealing. There are also some factors that you can keep in mind to make the travel to the destination more enjoyable. Here is a guideline that will help you on your tour in Kerala.
What is the best time to travel to Kerala?
Kerala is considered a year-round tourist destination. However, it is better to avoid visiting between March and May, which marks the summer season in the land. The season can be hot and humid. The Winter season, which falls between November and February, is considered the best time climate-wise to visit the land. June to September is also a good time to travel if you want to imbibe the beauty of the Kerala monsoon.
How much time should I spend in Kerala?
Many great destinations are worth a visit in God’s Own Country. If you plan to see some of it, you have to spend at least one to two weeks in Kerala. However, there are many tour agencies that provide two-day and three-day packages to the south Indian state. But if you want to enjoy a relaxing vacation time in the state, it is better to plan a holiday for a couple of weeks.
What are the sightseeing opportunities?
Kerala is known for its exquisite natural beauty. There are many beautiful sights one can go to in the land.
If you love to visit a hill station and enjoy the beauty of rolling hills and beautiful green valleys, Kerala is the best tourist destination for you. Because of its captivating beauty, Munnar is considered the king of hill stations in the land. Thekkady, Wagamon, Gavi, Malakkappara, Ponmudi and Malalpuzha are few places. Moreover, Idukki and Wayanad districts have several small and large hill stations.
The Arabian sea borders Kerala on the western side. Hence there are several beaches throughout the length of the state. Kovalam, Varkala, Cherai, Pathiramanal, Fort Kochi, Chavakkad, Bekal, Naatika, and Kaapad are some of the many beautiful beaches in the state. If you are on a honeymoon trip, make sure to spend an evening on a beach and enjoy the sunset. There is nothing more romantic than that.
It is estimated that almost 29 percent of the land area in Kerala is still covered with forest. Many of the forest regions are considered ecologically sensitive areas and hence are proclaimed as protected areas. At present, there are five national parks in Kerala: Silent Valley, Aanamudi Shola, Eravikulam, Paampadum Shola and Mathikettan Shola. Apart from these, eleven wildlife sanctuaries, two bird sanctuaries and a Tiger reserve — Periyar tiger reserve — are part of the state. Trekking through these regions is an opportunity to see some of the rare and endangered varieties of flora and fauna.
Where should I go to enjoy the backwater beauty of Kerala?
One of the best attractions, which cannot be missed on a visit to Kerala, is the beauty of its backwaters. Alappuzha and Kumarakom are the two best places to enjoy the serene water bodies. The land is blessed with 44 rivers and 34 lakes. Many of them are at once tourism destinations and venues that host boat races. These water sports attract thousands from far and wide.
Cruising through Vembanad lake is one of the best activities that you can involve in while you are on the land. The traditional houseboats that take you on the cruise have all the facilities of a home. You will be astonished by the multi-storied construction and luxuries— including air-conditioned bedrooms, attached bathrooms, and sit-outs— that await you in boats.
Which are the festivals in Kerala?
As Kerala is a conglomerate of many religions, there are many religious festivals in the land. Most of them are celebrated by all alike, which proves the harmony in the land. Of the many, Onam is the unique festival in the land. The myths associated with the harvest festival and the colorful celebrations make it the best time to visit Kerala. Attukal Pongala, a celebration that millions of women attend, and Thrissur Pooram, a festival of percussions, colors and fireworks, are famous. Snake boat races conducted after the monsoon season also attract many tourists from around the globe.
Religious festivals like Christmas, Eid-ul-Fitr, Easter and Vishu are also celebrated with much pomp and flair.
What are some of the historical places in Kerala?
The south Indian state has many pre-historical, historical and colonial remnants in the land. The cave paintings at Edakkal, burial pots recovered from Muziris, Muniyaras, umbrella stones and hero stones proclaim Kerala’s past since the stone age. There are many remnants of trade relations with China, Persia and ancient Greece. The Chinese fishing nets and Jewish Synagogue in Fort Kochi, old churches, mosques and the Roman and Greek coins recovered from many parts of the land testify to the trade relations.
There are eleven forts including Bekal fort, St. Angelo fort, Pallipuram fort, Tellichery fort and Palakkad fort, which reminds us of the colonial past of Kerala. Many old buildings are preserved in Fort Kochi and Alappuzha bearing the architectural style of the French, Portuguese and the English.
What are the languages spoken in Kerala?
Malayalam is the native tongue in Kerala. But as a state with a high literacy rate (almost 94%), everyone has a basic understanding of the English language. You can talk to even the street vendors in English and get a response. This makes it easier to travel and ask for directions in the land.
What is the best mode of transport?
Even the most remote villages in Kerala have a well-developed public transport system. Short service buses and long-distance buses run by the government and private groups are available. Moreover, taxis and autorickshaw services are available from almost all junctions. But if you are looking for long-distance travel, you can rely on trains. They are at once cheaper and more punctual. Those who travel through them are of the opinion that it is the best place to observe the diversity of India.
What are some of the adventure activities in Kerala?
As the land is covered in forest, trekking and safari are the major adventure activities in the land. Almost all national parks and forest regions promote such activities. In places like Munnar and Thekkady, you can stay at tree houses and also have camping adventures. Most beaches allow swimming and water sports. Maybe this is why many tourists consider Kerala as a one-stop-shop for tourism activities.