Kerala is a southern state in the sub-continent of India. It is popularly known as God’s Own Country. It will not be an overstatement to say that this is a fitting honor given to Kerala. Dipped in culture and surrounded by enchanting vistas, Kerala is worthy of this superlative. Right from backwaters to fog covered mountains.
From dew riddled tea plantations to spectacular sunrises & sunsets, Kerala has it all. Moreover, throw in an authentic punch of food delicacies and you have a perfect travel destination.
Kerala is known not just for lush green tea plantations. This state is known for its serene winding backwaters. Kerala is also popular for spice plantations. When you visit Kerala, you are sure to unwind in the salubrious climes. Forests, beaches, and hill stations also stand as the best places to visit in Kerala.
Read on to learn more about the best things to do in this wonderful state located at the southwestern end of India.
Best Destinations To Visit In Kerala
Kerala is a small state in India, but she is home to many attractive destinations. Here are some cities that are worth visiting in Kerala. You can try including these destinations and experiences in a 7 day Kerala Itinerary to get the best out of your trip.
You can explore the wholesome beauty of Kerala in Alleppey. Otherwise called Alappuzha, this place is popular for backwaters in Kerala. You can cruise down the backwaters and can enjoy staying on houseboats with relishable fish-based foods. Even, Alleppey is the home for churches and temples if you love visiting religious spots.
Kochi holds the pride of being both the economical and cultural capital of Kerala. It will not be a hike to say that Kochi is the hub for activities to visitors from across the world. Right from exotic spice cultivations and Chinese fishing nets. I should say that surprise awaits you in every corner of Kochi.
Are you looking for a whole body and mind rejuvenation? Munnar can provide you with this rejuvenation. Yes, located on the Western Ghats, this place holds the pride of being one of the highest producers of tea in India. The view of the clouds touching the hills and you when you are standing on the top of the hill is something that will bring a lot of refreshment to your mind. If you look for misty mountains, scenic waterfalls, palm-fringed backwaters, and gushing streams, Munnar has all these things for you.
Do you wish to explore wildlife? Then, Thekkady is the home for the most-popular Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It will be a great and thrilling experience to watch elephants roaming with baby elephants as a family. Take care not to disturb them and they will not harm you. Also, Periyar Lake and Elephant Safari are worth visiting in Thekkady.
How about sinking your feet in the warm and sandy beaches of Kovalam? You will get to see a lot of coconut trees until the reach of your eyes. If you look for a place to take ayurvedic healing therapies, Kovalam has many such centers to heal.
Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala has a religious, cultural and spiritual history. If you are into a religious trip in Kerala, Thrissur will quench your thirst being the home for a lot of temples and churches. Do not forget to taste the delectable vella appam, which is the city’s specialty.
The capital city of Kerala otherwise called Trivandrum is one of the most culturally affluent cities in the state. Trivandrum has a great history of many great rulers ruling the region. They have left behind a lot of wealthy stuff in the city. Do not forget to visit Kowdiar Palace, which was earlier the official residence of the Royal Family of Travancore.
Are you particular about visiting a hill station in Kerala? Then, Wayanad has all it for you. One of the prime hill stations in the South, this part of Kerala boasts different types of plantations. Yes, this hill station contributes to the pepper, cardamom, coffee, tea and other spices needs of India and world nations.
Many natural marvels like cool weather, dams, lakes, caves and waterfalls beautify this city. Do not forget to visit the Matunga Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, you can spot Bears, Cheetah, bison and spotted deer.
Kozhikode or Calicut and Kannur are other must-visit places in Kerala. You can get to see the many best experiences in these cities and towns.
Best Things To Do In Kerala, India
Out of the above-mentioned destinations, here are the best things to do in Kerala which you can consider for your trip. Each of these experiences is unique in itself and worth trying.
Sunrise at Kolukkumalai, Munnar
If you are planning to visit the best sunrise point in Munnar, the Kolukkumalai hike is for you. When you visit this spot, you have a couple of options to reach the top. You can either trek from Suryanelli or you can also hire a jeep for reaching this spot. You know that to view sunrise, you will have to reach the hike early in the morning.
To help tourists in this regard, there is an option to camp at a tea estate. When you stay there, you can hike early in the morning. This place does not suit children of less than four years and adults above 60 years. They will find trekking difficult. Jeep rides will also be hard for them.
Evening ride & stay in a houseboat, Alleppey
Staying and taking an evening ride in the houseboat is an experience that every travel enthusiast should get. When talking about houseboat ride, which is one of the best things to do in Kerala, apart from Alleppey, Kumarakom also offers you the best choices.
In fact, backwaters in the state are an extensive network of interlocking lagoons, canals, lakes, beaches, and rivers. Both Kumarakom and Alleppey are popular for attractive landscapes.
The distance from Alleppey houseboats to Kumarakom houseboats is just 32.6 km. The reason is that both these cities are located on the two ends of Vembanad Lake. You can travel from one place to another even on boats.
Night forest safari in Periyar National Park, near Thekkady
How about exploring the wild at night? Yes, to help tourists get wilderness experience, night trekking is permitted. It starts from a couple of points. One from the entrance of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and the other from the bamboo grooves. When you choose this trekking, you will be accompanied by a couple of guides and an armed forest guard. But, the best bet is to choose a night safari. Exploring the wild at night will be a thrilling experience. It will start at 11 pm and will end at 3 am.
Hike To Chembra Peak, Wayanad
Do you admire soothing natural beauty? Do you love adventure trips? Then, you should not miss hiking to the Chembra Peak in Wayanad. It is at a distance of about 8 km from Kalpetta and very close to the Meppady town. The beauty about this hiking point is that it adjoins the Vallarimala in Kozhikode and Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. You can reach this peak by walk from Meppady.
Edakkal Caves walk, Wayanad
You should be fit enough to visit this place. Once you visit, you will get to see how people lived in caves in the Stone Age. You can get to know these things from the cravings in the cave. To reach the cave entrance, you will have to hike. So, it would be better to wear suitable sports shoes and comfortable clothing to hike. Once you reach the cave entrance, you will have to take around 340 steps to reach the caves.
Bamboo Rafting in Wayanad, Karuva Island
Bamboo rafting in Kuruva Island is one of the attractive spots in Wayanad. But, you should remember that this region is a reserved forest area. The region preserves a lot of water plants. Bamboo rafting is the only way to reach this island. This trip will bring you the most unforgettable and unique experience. You can visit this place from 9 am to 3 pm. When you take your kids, your kids will truly love this trip.
Kalaripayattu Show in Kochi
When it comes to the best things to do in Kerala, you should never miss the kalarippayattu show in Kochi. You know that Kathakali is the traditional dance form that belongs to Kerala. On this show, you can get to see performers expressing their talents. The show is hosted by a traditional arts center in this part of Kerala.
Food Walk in Kochi
Kochi is a royal destination for centuries. The city is known for not just rich foods but also yummy delicacies. Thanks to the small food joints that preserve the food culture in the city.
When you take a food walk in Kochi, you will stroll the lanes with the oldest food shops in the city. On this lane, you will get the chance to taste a variety of local snacks. Examples include Kerala halwa, nankeens, chips, dhokla, payamburi, nuller puttu and idiyappam. Even, on this lane, you will get the chance to view the preparation of the most celebrated sweets in the coastal state.
Best Season To Visit Kerala
Kerala holds the pride of being the most beautiful places in the world to visit all-round the year. However, it is generally believed that December to February months are the ideal time to visit Kerala. But, I would like to tell you one thing here. As you look for the best things to do in Kerala, the monsoon creates magic in this state in India.
I would like to tell you that Kerala has a couple of rainy seasons. The first rainy season in God’s own country begins in June every year, while the second begins in mid-October. The second rainy season will end at around mid-November.
You need not have to fear visiting Kerala during the monsoon. The reason is that unlike other places, Kerala’s raining pattern is different. It will rain for a few hours. Then, there will be soft sunshine for some years.
During this sun shining time, you will feel excited to see the sun’s rays passing through wet palm fonds. The temperatures during this season will range from the utmost 29 to 230C. In short, the season will be pleasant for you and your family to enjoy the experiences offered by Kerala.
Why Visit Kerala During the Monsoon?
Here are 6 reasons to choose to visit Kerala during the monsoon:
- The world-known Onam festival falls in this season.
- The ideal time for a less-crowded exploration
- Attractive deals in hotels and other accommodations as monsoon is off-season in Kerala
- Beautiful lush green hills
- Scenic overflowing waterfalls
- The ideal time for ayurvedic treatments
A visit to Kerala will be an experience for your lifetime. So, choose a few of the best experiences in Kerala from this list. I am sure that your trip will be unforgettable!
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Umang is a travel blogger based in India and has been writing about his travel experiences since 2013. He has traveled India extensively and has been recognized as one of India’s top travel blogger by many travel brands & tourism boards. Along with sharing his experiences, he also shared travel tips, itineraries and ideas.