Natives of Kerala call their home state God’s own country, and any traveller there will find it hard to argue. This serene seaside state seems to occupy a time apart from the glitz and bustle of modern city India, and it’s a wonderful getaway for any hardworking, restless family who needs a break from city life. You can find miles upon miles of beaches on the Arabian sea, delicious spices and teas in growing towns like Munnar, and a nature lover’s paradise in the wildlife reserves of the Western Ghats. No matter what you dream of discovering on your vacation, you can find it in Kerala…and you’ll probably find a few surprises you never even imagined on the way.
Where should you begin? Let’s take a look at some of the most beloved travel spots in Kerala.
Trivandrum (or Thiruvananthapuram, if you feel like twisting your tongue on the city’s historic name) is the capital city of the state of Kerala. It isn’t big, but this bright, vibrant city is still a great vacation spot with plenty of energy. Many travellers simply treat Trivandrum as a stopover on their way to some of the bigger beach resorts, but they’re missing out on some of the incredible history and culture Trivandrum has to offer.
The Shri Padmanabhaswamy temple, nearly 300 years old, is one of Trivandrum’s absolute must-see destinations, especially for Hindu travellers. The deity in this temple’s inner sanctum is Padmanabha, made from over ten thousand sacred salagramam. The sanctum is a Hindu-only sanctuary, but other visitor will love the seven-tiered gateway tower, which rises 30 meters above the temple itself!
In addition to the beautiful temple, Trivandrum is home to some spectacular art and history museums, showcasing Victorian art dating back to the period of Kerala’s colonial history. If you’re an art and culture lover, this is a perfect destination for you!
Kochi is the cultural and historical melting pot of Kerala, with a history that goes back well over 600 years to the Chinese traders who came to the Arabian Sea shores and left behind their unusual net making techniques.Kochi is a blend of mainland towns and island villages, centred around Ernakulam. You can travel through the islands, including historical towns like Fort Cochin, on boat tours: one of the most popular activities in the region.
There is a true blend of culture here, thanks to Kochi’s trading history. You can find a Dutch synagogue that dates back to 1600 AD, as well as remnants of the British Raj and Portuguese architecture. Traditional Indian culture is still going strong here as well: TripAdvisor calls Kochi the best place in India to see traditional Kathakali dancing, as well as cultural museums like the Mattancherry Palace. If you’re looking for a fascinating history and a one of a kind blend of cultures, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Kochi.
Munnar is often called a tea-and-spice town…no surprise, since its cradle in the foothills of the Western Ghats is surrounded by beautiful tea plantations. Munnar is a wonderful place for nature lovers. Its name comes from the three mountain streams that meet in the area, and the mountain scenery makes for beautiful hiking. Staying in Munnar, you’ll be less than ten miles from Eravikulam National Park. This park is home to gibbons and macaques, hundreds of bird species, and even elephants, in the right season. If you’re especially lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the endangered nilgiritahr ibex that still lives in the area! A day trip in the opposite direction will take you to Anaimudi, India’s tallest mountain, a perfect place for adventure hiking and even paragliding.
Now is a great time to jump on one of Sterling Holiday’s Kerala travel packagesto take you to Munnar. Munnar – Terrace Gardens resort has just been restored and refurbished, and it’s a beautiful place to relax and rejuvenate. The resort itself is located a little ways from Munnar town itself, in the hills near Chinnakanalvillage. It’s restful and restorative, with an unparalleled view of the Western Ghats and the tea plantation of the region.
Ready to Go?
It’s no wonder Kerala has become one of India’s most popular tourist destinations. It has beautiful scenery and natural wonder as well as a fascinating blend of history and culture…and with the right travel package, you can get incredible value-for-money out of a trip to this beautiful coastal state.
Despite its popularity as a vacation destination, Kerala has maintained its own sense of quirky, rustic charm. It has an energy all its own, not frantic and hurried like the big cities of modern India…but still bright and alive, just beneath the surface.