Places to Visit in Kerala
Kerala is fondly known as “God’s Own Country”. Its enchanting beauty, backwater, and lagoon attract more than ten million tourists every year. Along with it, this state full of coconuts and elephants offers rich biodiversity as well as cultural heritage. Kerala is considered to be the best city in India and it is nothing short of a paradise especially for a holiday.
Apart from the lush green hills of Wayanad and Idukki, beaches like Kovalam and Varkala, backwater destinations including Alleppey and Kumarakom are among the most prominent tourist places in Kerala. To have some best memories in life everyone must and should visit this place as there are many more beautiful places to visit in Kerala. Here is a sorted list that must be a part of your travel plan guide.
Alleppey is extremely famous for its backwater trips, houseboat stays and serene beauty due to which many people attract to its territory. This city of Kerala is also known for beaches, temples and traditional boat races.
Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha) is the oldest backwater city in Kerala. The place is famous for its many rivers which are on the shores of the sea and is home to many canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoon. This place is often referred to as Venice of India. Travelling to Alleppey with backwaters houseboats and rural life can be the best experience of your life.
Suggested Read: If you are someone visiting from London, you can get your stuff placed in a self storage unit until you are visiting Kerala.
One of the largest tea-garden areas in South India and most beautiful, very popular hill stations in Kerala. Munnar is one of the best tourist places in Kerala for 2-3 days trip itinerary. It is known as the commercial centre of some of the world’s largest tea estates.
Apart from this, Munnar has many protected areas which are home to endangered species like Eucalyptus, Thar, and Nilkurinji. Munnar is located on the banks of three rivers – Madupetti, Nallathanni, and Periyavaru, and also blessed with natural viewpoints besides tea plantations. Eravikulam National Park, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and Tea Gardens are its major attractions.
Kumarakom is a small and beautiful city in Kerala situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Alleppey along Kumarakom, part of the Kuttanad region, has beautiful water areas and they are collectively one of the most important tourist places in Kerala. You can enjoy spending the whole evening and night on a cruise or houseboat sailing from Alleppey to Kumarakom. Fishing will make the trip to Kumarakom most memorable.
Tourists will get to see the most exciting sport snake-boat race here, which you will have to visit during Onam in August and September. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary located here is spread over 14 acres. Migratory birds like egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoos, wild ducks and Siberian cranes assemble here and attract tourists.
Wayanad is one of the most beautiful and greenest tourist places in Kerala, with popular waterfalls, historical caves, cosy resorts, and homestays. In Malayalam, Wayanad means the land of paddy fields. As it lies on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, this popular city is famous for its spice gardens and wildlife. The entire region is lush with mountain ranges and Tholpetty in the north, Muthanga in the east with Tamil Nadu, Kalpetta in the south, Mantavists in the north-west and Sultan Bathory (Sultan Battery) in the east. Overall, Wayanad is a great place to celebrate weekends in South India.
Thekkady, located in the Idukki district of the Indian state of Kerala, which is also a major hill station in Kerala. The site is situated at an altitude of about 3300 feet above the Thekkady sea level. Thekkady is one of the important tourist attractions in Kerala where thousands of tourists from abroad come here every year. The biggest and major attraction of the place is the Periyar National Park, watching wildlife closely is an exciting experience. Apart from this, this place is also famous for the production of spices.
Kovalam is a small town located 16 km from Trivandrum, famous for its beautiful beaches. The soft sand with the waves of the Arabian Sea makes this place attractive. The coconut trees standing in a row here provide natural facing to Kovalam. Kovalam is a sheltered bay with its unique and amazing beaches and is endowed with unusual natural beauty. This town also offers luxurious holiday options for tourists and it is counted one among the favourite beaches of foreign tourists in India, where they like to enjoy swimming, sunbathing and other water activities.
Vagaman is a beautiful tourist destination in Kerala situated 1100 meters above sea level. Vagamon is famous for film shooting and is a man-made forest that was built during the British period. Another major tourist attraction in Vagamon is the Marmala waterfall located along the Erattupetta route, symbolizes the peace of Vagamon.
There is a pilgrimage centre “Thangalpara” surrounded by mountains has a religious significance, as once it was the resting place of Hasrat Sheikh Fariduddin Baba, a revered Sufi saint. Vagamon Lake is the perfect place to witness a spectacular sunrise or sunset. Vagamon is slowly attracting tourists with activities such as trekking, rock climbing, and paragliding.
Bekal is situated in the Kasargod district of the Indian state of Kerala. The city is one of the best tourist places in Kerala as it is known for its famous Bekal fort. Because of its scenic beauty and historical significance, Bekal is among the top three honeymoon places in South India. The breathtaking beaches, historical forts, beautiful parks, and temples make this place special.
Kozhikode Formerly known as Calicut, located on the Malabar Coast honoured to be one of the best tourist places to visit in Kerala. It is one of the commercial cities in Kerala. Kozhikode is famous for its culture, educational institutions, and historical landmarks; this city is reminiscent of the Dutch and British eras.
Vasco de Gama set his foot on the coast of Kozhikode in 1498 and ‘discovered India’ and established trade routes with the West. The city of Kozhikode remains a centre of domestic and international trade. The city of Kozhikode is a marketing centre for commodities like pepper, coffee, rubber, lemongrass oil, etc.
Varkala is one of the gorgeous and best places to visit in Kerala with the kaleidoscopic coastal town in Trivandrum where cliffs on one side and flourishing greenery on the other side attracting thousands of tourists. It is a good choice to visit Papanasam beach in Varkala as paragliding and parasailing can be enjoyed here. Many other activities like boat riding, jetting and horse riding can be enjoyed on the beach. Varkala is also an important religious place in Hindu culture as it has many temples, such as Janardhana Swamy Temple, Anjengo Fort, Vishnu Temple, Sivagiri Monastery and many more.
Kannur also was known by its former name Cannanore is another one of the scenic places to visit in Kerala. It is located on the northeastern coast of Kerala with its beaches, monuments and ancient temples. The footprints of the Dutch, Portuguese, British and Mysore Sultanates are still spread in the town. Huge cashew trees have been planted here by the Portuguese, which attracts many tourists.
Kasaragod is a beautiful city and district in the state of Kerala. Being the ‘land of seven languages and many cultures’, people of Hindu, Christian and Muslim religions live peacefully in Kasaragod. Kasaragod is located close to Bekal, inserted between western ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. Kasaragod is a tourism-rich and culturally rich city, which has many attractions for visitors from all over the world. It has pristine beaches, magnificent temples, magnificent forts, Western Ghats, spontaneous backwaters and magnificent mosques.
Kochi or Cochin is a commercial port city with a trading history that is around 600 years old located on the south-west coast of India. Fondly called the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”, the city is the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. This metropolitan city has upmarket stores, art galleries and some of the best heritage accommodations. Kochi is also an important place to see Kathakali and Kalarippayattu performances and Biennale Festival.
Poovar is a beautiful island which is a small rustic town locates 27 km from Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum and 12 km from Kovalam. This tranquil island lies between the Arabian Sea and the Neyar River. The island has golden sand and the beautiful sunset is worth seeing. Poovar is primarily a fishing community and is an ideal place to learn about the breathtaking culture and traditions of the local people.
Idukki is popular for wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice gardens and luxurious forests locates at the top of the Western Ghats surrounded by mountains. This place-name comes from the Malayalam word Idukku which means “narrow valley”. Periyar which is one of the largest rivers in Kerala flows along the Idukki gorge between two massive rocks namely Kuruvan and Kuruthi. The huge Idukki Arch is the site of the dam.
The Idukki Dam is one of the largest arch dam in Asia. Kulmavu Dam and Cheruthoni Dam are other important dams in Idukki. Idukki is the powerhouse of Kerala as it yields 66% of the state’s hydroelectric power consumption. Idukki is also famous for its spice production and tea plantation. Many of the popular Kerala tourist destinations like Munnar, Vagamon, Marayur, and Thekkady are located within this district.
Thrissur or Trichur is a small town fondly popular as the “cultural capital of Kerala”. This city is famous for temples, religious spots, Thrissur Pooram and Onam celebrations. The festivals celebrated here are major attractions for tourists. The one who passionate about the rich traditions of Kerala, Thrissur will be the perfect place to visit.
To experience the Thrissur Pooram festival one can visit during April and May. Other tourist destinations in Thrissur include the Vadakkunnathan Temple, Shakti Thamanpur’s Tomb, Archaeological Museum, Athirapally Falls, Heritage Gardens and many more.
Kollam, situated on the Lakshadweep coast, is an ancient port city in Kerala. Being a coastal city, business activities got a new dimension here, for any time the city has had trade relations with China, Egypt, and Malaysia. Kollam is the place that takes credit for being the center of the country’s cashew trade and spice industry. Kollam is present on the banks of the Arabian Sea, which is one of the main reasons for its beauty. Being a seaside town, Kollam is full of beaches and flora. Puri is famous in the world among Kollam, which is famous for its beauty and serene environment.
Kuttanad fondly known as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala” due to its high cultivation. Perhaps this will be the only place in this world where farming happens below sea level. August-September is the harvesting season of Kuttanad. Kuttanad is famous for small backwaters and huge water bodies. Over the years, ridding of motorboats, horse boats, country boats through Kuttanad are famous through out the world. Tourists can travel from Alappuzha to Kuttanad on boats of their choice.
Palakkad, which is popular as Palghat, 52 km from Coimbatore, is a city and headquarters in Palakkad district in the state of Kerala. It got its name from the Pala trees and it is one of the top tourist destinations in Kerala. This place is a land of valleys, hills, rivers, forests, mountain streams, dams and irrigation projects. Palakkad is famous for its various cultural traditions, which appear as fairs and festivals. Around this one can visit Palakkad Fort, Silent Valley National Park, Pothundi Dam, Jain Temple, Dhoni Falls, Valayar Dam and many more.
Guruvayur is a small town in Thrissur district in Kerala, which is about 25 kilometers from Thrissur city. This place considers as a very special because of the temple of Lord Krishna. Guruvayur is one of the popular pilgrimage sites in Kerala and it is the fourth largest Hindu temple in India. The deity of this temple is Lord Guruvayurappan, who is in the form of Balagopalan (child form of Krishna God). Locals also calls this place as South of Dwarka. Daily, a very large number of devotees visits this holy temple.
Ponmudi is a stunning hill station located 56 km from Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala. It is one of the best places to visit Kerala for trekkers with the dense hills and winding roads of the Western Ghats. The hill station locates at an altitude of about 3002 feet, this entire area surrounds by strong hills and valleys. Most of the months of the year the hills covers with mist. Wildflowers growing on the banks of Gurling Brooks make this place special.
#22. Munroe Island
Monroe Island is a collection of eight small islands which is present at a distance of 27 km from Kollam. You can reach the island by road and backwater. The island is on the name of British officer Colonel John Munnar who played an important role in the construction of canals in the region and for the integration of backwater routes.
At present thousands of tourists come here every year to visit the natural beauty and tourist places. Munro Island is located at the point where the Aishtamudi backwater merges with the Kallada River. It is an ideal holiday destination and tourists can indulge in a wide range of activities such as sightseeing and fishing. This place is famous for the coconut fiber industry and tourists can see the process of making coir and making goods from it.
#23. Kavvayi Backwaters
If you are looking for the most fantastic backwater experience then Kavvayi Backwaters is one of the most scenic places to see in Kerala. It is the third-largest backwater in the state. Kavvayi Backwaters known for an ideal honeymoon and family holiday destination in the entire of Kerala. From October to March it is the best time to visit this place.
Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala and also the largest city in the state located at the south-western edge of Kerala. Because of its amazing natural beauty and serene environment in Thiruvananthapuram number of tourists attracts from all over the world. Trivandrum is a metropolitan area located on 7 hills with lots of scenic spots like a floating sea of Arabian Sea, tall coconut trees, lush green valleys offer beautiful views.
Malappuram, one of the northern districts of Kerala, has historical significance, which is evident from its rich culture and remarkable heritage. Three rivers, Chaliyar, Bharathapuzha, and Kadalundi, flow through Malappuram, enriching the soil and culture.
The district of Malappuram bounds on the east by the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, and on the west by the Arabian Sea. Malappuram is also an important part of Kerala tourism. Historical monuments, culture, traditions, religious sites and natural attractions among the tourist destinations of Malappuram make Malappuram a unique destination for travelers.