Kerala - One of the 50 must see destinations of a lifetime - by National Geographic Traveler!


Cochin Places of interest
Munnar
Thekkady/Periyar
Alleppey
Trivandrum Places of interest
Other Attractive places in Kerala

Dutch Palace:
Built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin in1555 it was renovated by the Dutch during their short regime.

Koonan Kurishu Shrine:
This small chapel in which the Koonal Cross stands is situated in the heart of the busy commercial center of Mattancherry.

Jewish Synagogue:
Built in 1568,this building was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch two years later.

Gundu Island:
The smallest island around Kochi, Gundu Island has a coir factory where coir is made into rope manually and carpets are manufactured by hand operated looms.

Fort Kochi:
Lies 10 km from Ernakulam.

St.Francis Church:
The oldest church constructed by the Europeans in India.

Dutch Cemetery:
Lies at a short distance from St.Francis church near the entrance to the beach.

Santa Curz Basilica:
This Roman Catholic Church has some very beautiful painting on the ceiling.

Chinese Fishing Nets:
At the entrance of Kochi harbour, these nets are a fascinating sight.

Willingdon Islands:
This is a man made island created from the materials dug while deepening the Kochi Port.

Bolgatty Islands:
This is a beautiful island lying close to Ernakulam.Bulit by the Dutch in 1744, Bolgatty palace is situated here.

Shiva Temple:
Situated in the center of the town the annual festival in the temple is conducted for eight days in January.

Hill Palace Museum:
This is the largest archaeological museum of Kerala where sculptures, rare coins, old weapons, manuscripts and memorabilia from the Kochi royal family exhibited.



Munnar:
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1600 m above sea level, this hill station was the summer resort of the British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make Munnar a popular hill station. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.

In and around Munnar:
Eravikulam National Park- Rajamala, Mattupetty Dam, Eco Point, Kundala Lake, Top Station, Marayoor, Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary etc.



Thekkady/Periyar:
A breathtakingly beautiful sanctuary located nearly 1800 m above sea level in the dense semi- and evergreen deciduous forests of Idukki district, Thekkady is a landlocked home for its myriad fauna and flora as well as for the Mannans, Palians and Ooralie tribes who still continue their ancient methods of herding and bee keeping.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary:
is a fascinating natural wildlife reserve spread across 777 sq. km, which was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The Sanctuary is centred around the 24 sq km artificial lake formed by Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river. There are three watch towers to observe wild life at Edappalayam and Manakkavala and Thannikudi.

Major Activities at Thekkady:
Tribal Village Visit, Plantation tours through the spice, coffee and tea plantations, tea factory visit, elephant rides, boat cruises on the Periyar Lake, trekking in Wild Life Sanctuary etc to enjoy the real wild life of Kerala.



Kumarakom
is a tourist village in Kottayam District; it's a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Karimeen (Pearl spot), shrimp and prawns. The bird sanctuary extends over 14 acres (57,000 m?), and came into existence following preservation efforts from the government. It is a major tourist attraction.

Houseboats
Kumarakom has a wide variety of houseboats. They are used only for tourists these days. A separate boat known as Kettuvallam is used by the people to go fishing or to transport goods. Apart from these, there are elegant special boats (Snake Boat), which take part in the boat races around Onam time. Kumarakom is one of the most beautiful villages in the world. No wonder why the foreign tourists call it as a paradise on earth.

Alleppey
also known as Alappuzha is one of the beautiful town in Kerala which is known as the Venice of the East. It is the backwater hub of Kerala and also home to Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala.

Backwaters of Alleppey
Alappuzha, the water locked district has become one of the best Backwater tourism destinations in God's Own Country. In Alleppey the life revolves around water. Children learn to swim before they walk. They learn to row boats before they bicycle. They learn their first lesson from the school of fish.

Punnamada Kayal
A backwater cruise on the Punnamada Kayal takes you along canals, past scenic islands offering sublime views of coconut and paddy fields, Chinese fishing nets and toddy tapers at work.

Man-made islands
Alleppey or Alappuzha's beauty is not merely in its backwaters, but in the man-made islands that you will find amidst the waters. Water carnivals using the gigantic snake boats and the country canoes of varying sizes have an important role in the community life of the people of the district. Alleppey overall is one of the best tourist destinations in Kerala.

Kovalam:
known as Paradise of the South, only 16 kms away from Trivandrum. The crescent-shaped beach has three parts. The southernmost beach called as the light house beach, The northern side known as Samudra and the middle as the hawah. Surfing and swimming are among the other water spots possible in Kovalam Beach. You can spend your leisure time in Kovalam to have an everlasting experience.

Varkala:
The beach offers a magnificent view of the sun rise and sun set that a few destinations in Kerala possess. Varkala is also an important Hindu pilgrimage center. The long sandy beach, the quiet and the clean secluded beach, the red laetrile cliffs, the soothing mineral springs attracts the tourist. The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs.

Ponmudi:
(61 km from Thiruvanathapuram city): An idyllic hill station with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi are located 915 m above sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and the deer park nearby, this hill station also has excellent trekking trails.

Neyyar wildlife Sanctuary
(30 km from Thiruvananthapuram) Main attractions: Elephants, gaurs, sloth, bears, Nilgiri tahrs, lion safari park.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
(50 km from Thiruvananthapuram) Main attractions: Elephants, sambar deer, leopards and lion tailed macques.



Wayanad:
lies at an altitude varying from 700 - 2100 metres above the sea level. The district has the highest number of tribal settlements in Kerala. They form 1/5 of the total population of the district. The hill ranges of Vythiri taluk (taluk is a sub division of a district), through which the road from Kozhikode ascends the Wayanad plateau over the mind boggling bends and ridges, are the highest locations of Wayanad district.

Attractions of Wayanad
A major centre of hill products the district is noted contributor of foreign exchange to the State. Apart from archaeological and anthropological uniqueness Wayanand has genuine claims for an enviable position in tourism promotion. The major tourist attractions of Wayand are:

Lakkidi, Glass Temple, Edakkal Caves, Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary, Kuruva Island, Thirunelli Temple, Pookot Lake, Chembra Peak, Sentinel Rock Water Falls, Banasura Sagar Dam, Pakshipathalam etc.

Silent Valley National Park
(40 km from Mannarghat): Main attractions: Elephants, tigers, wild boars, flying squirrels, lion tailed macaques and king cobras.



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