With its lovely beaches, soothing weather, and healthy foods, South India is a fascinating tourist destination. Kerala is one of the five South Indian states and is popular with tourists from all over the world. Its natural beauty has earned it the title ‘God’s Own Land’ from foreign traders and Hindu mythology.
In Malayalam, the official language of Kerala, the word ‘Kera’ means ‘coconut tree.’ ‘Alam’ means ‘land.’ Kerala is the land full of coconut trees. It has a long coastal region, dense rainforests, lakes, backwaters, and green valleys. Several waterfalls, beaches, and wildlife sanctuaries make Kerala one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
Best Time to Visit Kerala
Winter months from October to February is the ideal time for visiting Kerala. The temperature remains cool, ranging between 18 and 29 degrees C, with low humidity level in the air. It is best to avoid summer and monsoon seasons as they are usually hot and have heavy rainfall. Online travel booking makes it easy to arrange flights and once in the country, guided tours are the best way to get around.
Best Places to Visit in Kerala
This prominent city is famous for Santa Cruz Basilica, Ernakulam Mahadev Temple, and Bishop’s House Museum to name a few. Veeranpuzha Lake with backwater lagoons and Areekkal Waterfalls is also a popular tourist spot. Kochi features several beautiful beaches, like Cherai Beach, Marine Drive, Munambam beach, and Fort Kochi beach. Tourists can find cheap flights to Kochi, the perfect place to start their Kerala tours.
This business hub of Kerala is locally called Alappuzha. It’s popular among tourists for backwaters and luxury houseboats. Alappuzha Beach, Vembanad Lake, Krishnapuram Palace, and Karumadikkuttan shrine are notable tourist attractions.
This pretty coastal town of Kerala is popular among tourists for various water sports, like parasailing and paragliding. The golden Varkala Beach, beneath Varkala Cliff, is the perfect place for these activities. Edava Beach, Thiruvamdabi Beach, and Saint Sebastians Pilgrim Church Moongodu are the other notable places for sightseeing.
Next up on this list of the Best Places to Visit in Kerala is Munnar. It is the most popular hill station of Kerala, at a height of 6000 feet on the Western Ghats. The scenery here features Mattupetty Dam, Kundala Lake, Mattupetty, and Pothamedu Viewpoint. Tourists should also visit Blossom International Park, Eravikulam National Park, the Life of Pi Church, and Marayoor Dolmens. Many people also opt to travel to Anamudi Peak, Meesapulimala Peak, and Top Station from Munnar.
It is famous for lagoons and coconut trees and is an ideal site for enjoying a houseboat cruise. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall, Kumarakom Beach, and St. Maryês Church in Cheriapally are the major tourist attractions in the area. Fishing in the canals of Kumarakom and Lake Vembanad is also popular.
Last up on this list of the best places to visit in Kerala is the capital city of Kerala. Now known as Thiruvananthapuram, it is a prime tourist destination for pilgrims and art lovers. Padnabhapuram Palace, Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum, and Kerala Legislative Assembly building are popular attractions. Tourists should also visit Agasthyakoodam Peak in Sahyadri Mountain, Ponmudi or Golden Peak in the Western Ghats. The Veli Tourist Village is perfect for enjoying the supernatural scenic beauty.
Things to do in Kerala
An overnight stay in a houseboat is a must. Tourists also love riding in small boats called Shikara, to enjoy the scenic beauty along the lagoons. Visiting spice plantations of Munnar, Wayanad, and Thekkady is a great place to buy spices of the region. Trekking the hills of Munnar and Kannan Devan Hills is also popular. The jungle safari in the wildlife sanctuary of Periyar is another exciting activity in Kerala. Tourists may also enjoy the thrill of staying in a treehouse in Wayanad, Athirapally, or Munnar.
Kerala traditional dishes
Kerala is known for traditional cuisines different from other Indian dishes. Erissery is a stew of lentils with pumpkin and coconut. Appam is a thin and crispy pancake that pairs well with Istu, a stew made of coconut milk, vegetables, and spices. Parippu curry is a traditional spicy dish of chickpeas. Sambar is an aromatic soup of lentils with vegetables with pairs with Idlis in Kerala.
Non-vegetarians enjoy dishes like spicy chicken fry, prawn curry of Kerala, Fish Molee in Kerala style, and Karimeen Pollichathu – a spicy baked fish recipe.
Lifestyle and culture of Kerala
Native people of Kerala speak Malayalam and most speak English quite fluently. Moreover, they are health-conscious and prefer less oily foods. The traditional wear of men comprises of a shirt or kurta with cotton lungi and a towel over the shoulder. Women wear two pieces of cloths with stripes or borders that are worn like a sari.
How to Reach Kerala
There are two international airports in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. Kozhikode is a domestic airport. Sometimes, tourists book last min flights via online travel agencies, which may be a bit costlier than flights booked at least a month before the scheduled date. 200 railway stations connect this state to all cities in India while various road transport systems are also available for tourists arriving from neighbouring states.