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Athirappilli
athirappilli



Chalakudy river flows from the Anamudi mountains of the Western Ghats, through Vazhachal Forest to the Arabian sea. In the district of Thrissur, the Athirapilly waterfalls plunge over rocks in three cascades , 24 mts to the river bed below.
The surrounding forest is the only location where all four species of Indian hornbill are found together. The wildlife Trust of India has recommended that the area become a sanctuary due to a successful elephant conservation project and the presence of leopard, bison, sambar, tiger and lion tailed macaque.

Alleppey

Alleppey is sometimes called the Venice of the East due to her perfect situation on the backwaters in Kerala. Resorts and hotels with breathtaking backwater views, cater for the tourists who flock here for the houseboat experience and to enjoy the peace of drifting past paddy fields, softly waving palms and watching local life. Houseboats are readily available for hire for a day trip, an overnight cruise or a longer break. The boats come with one to five bedrooms, a cook, a navigator and one more crewman.
The western beach at Alleppey is wide, flat clean and popular with families a ruined pier still reaches out to sea, it was once an important landing place for trading ships. Picturesque Marari beach is north of town and less busy than town beach. Marari is a fishing village and the fishermen launch their boats from the beach each morning. The village and waving palms form the backdrop to the sweeping golden sands.
Famous Snake-boat races take place at Alleppey in August, the racing boats carry around 100 people, the most prestigious race is the Nehru Trophy race, inaugurated in 1952.

Alleppey
Bekal
Bekal



Bekal is a beautiful spot on the coast in the far north of Kerala with wonderful beaches and the best preserved fort in Kerala, constructed in 1650 it has has been important to defence of the region throughout the centuries. Tipu Sultan used Bekal fort as his headquarters when he led the great military force to capture the Malabar. This is a popular film location for many movies. The beach has been well developed with sculptures, rock gardens and a children’s play area, trees have been planted and walkways laid. There are toilet facilities for visitors, and eco friendly waste bins help to keep the area clean. The beach is floodlit at evening, which enhances the beauty and allows people to stay and relax for longer.

Cherai

Cherai is on Vypeen Island, a suburb of Cochin, with the sea on the western shore, and the backwaters to the east. Coconut groves and Chinese fishing nets give the character of the area while the long beach is said to be good for swimming.

Cherai
Kasaragod
Kasaragod






The town is in the north of Kerala, places to visit include Ananthapura Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Madhur Temple, Malik Deenar Mosque and Chandragiri fort. Bakal Fort is 27kms from Kasargod.

Kodanad

Kodanad is a village on the banks of Periyar river. Originally, this place was used by the King of Travancore to train wild elephants from the forests to interact in a friendly and co operative way with humans. Now Kodanad is a government controlled elephant sanctuary and training centre where you see male and females and adorable calves. The elephant is the most auspicious animal to the people of Kerala and no festival would be complete if these majestic beats were not present with their rich caparisons. At this village you can see them fed, bathed and trained, their intelligence and patience have to be admired. There is a zoo at Kodanad with birds and small animals, and you find out about your Zodiac Star Tree, there is a special tree for each sign of the zodiac, it is said that if you plant your Star tree, the planets will be kind to you. Here you can find out all about these lucky trees.

Kodanad
Cochin
Cochin



With it,s wonderful natural harbour, Cochin is often known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Centre of the Indian spice trade for centuries, Jewish, Arabian, Chinese, Portuguese and British architecture and features are still here. St Francis church is thought to be the oldest built by Europeans. The voyager, Vasco da Gama was buried here before his remains were taken to Lisbon, you can still see his tombstone in the church. The Jewish Synangogue, built in 1568, has an ornate gold pulpit, hand painted blue floor tiles from China and magnificent chandeliers from Belgium. The is still an active though small community of Cochin Jews. Jew Town is the busy centre of the Kochi spice trade, many small shops squash together in old buildings and the air is full of spice aromas, look out for the antique and souvenir shops. Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555 as a gift to the Raja of Kochi, probably to secure trading rights. Renovated by the Dutch in 1663, it is now sometimes called The Dutch Palace. Kerala Kathakali centre is a huge new theatre specialising in grand performance of this unique Kerala art form. Useful translations of the evenings story are provided. The Chinese Fishing nets are found around the backwaters of Kerala, the enormous cantilevered nets, counterbalanced by rocks are mainly a visitor attraction now. If you visit the harbour side you can buy a wide variety of fresh fish and then find stalls that will cook it to your taste.

Gavi

Gavi is a beautiful forest within Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, with stunning grasslands, different tree species, streams and cascading waterfalls, it is ideal habitat for animals and birds of rich variety. Elephant, leopard, bear, tiger, gaur, sambar, lion tailed macaque can all be spotted in Gavi forest. For birders this can be forest heaven, there are known to be 320 species of birds either indigenous or migratory in this territory including hornbill, bulbul, cuckoo, kingfisher, sunbird, mynah, woodpecker and dongo.

Gavi
Guruvayoor
Guruvayoor



In the district of Thrissur, Guruvayoor is an important Hindu holy city, and the Gurvayoor Sree Krishna Temple is said by legend to be 5000 years old. Ekadasi, on the eleventh day of each lunar fortnight is auspicious for Hindu,s, and the Vrishchika Ekadasi is special for Guruvayoor Temple. A memorial for Gajarajan Kesavan is held, the lead elephant places a wreath at the statue of Kesavan while the other elephants stand in honour. There is dawn to dusk pooja, and a grand elephant procession. Each year there is the Chembai Sangeetholsavam, an important Carnatic music festival featuring 2000-2500 musicians, culminating on Guruvayoor Ekadasi day with the musicians singing favourite songs.

Kannur

Kannur is the largest city in north Malabar, with rich history, mentioned by Marco Polo as the emporium of the spice trade. St Angelo’s Fort is by the Arabian Sea 3km from Kannur town, through the centuries it has been owned by the Portuguese, the Dutch who sold the fort to King Ali Raja of Arakkal till it was seized by the British as a military base. Arakkal Palace, is still the property of the only Muslim royal family of Kerala, the Arakkal Ali Rajas. Much of the palace is open to visitors and is a grand example of Kerala Islamic architecture and art. Moppila Bay, near St Angelo’s fort has the remains of the fort and a temple. There is a fishing harbour where it,s possible to take boats if the weather permits.

Kannur
Kollam
Kollam




Kollam in South Kerala is know for cashews and coir and as the southern entrance to the backwaters. The city has a wealth of Temples, Mosques and Churches. Mahatma Gandhi Park and beach 2km from town and the 100 year old, 144ft Thangassery lighthouse are popular attractions. There is an adventure park on the shores of Astamudi lake where cruise boats, motor boats and power boats can be hired from the boat jetty.

Kottayam

Kottayam in central Kerala sits among stretches of Backwater, lush green paddy fields, rolling hills and extensive rubber plantations. This is a major trading centre for trading rubber and spices, printing and spinning are commercially important. The popular tourist destination of Kumarakom is just 14kms away.

Kottayam
Kovalam
Kovalam



Kovalam is a beach town 17kms from Trivandrum, It has three beaches, Lighthouse beach in the south is the busiest, the light beam from the old Vizhinjam lighthouse gives an added charm in the evening. Eve beach is a hive of activity in the morning when the fishermen take their boats out to sea. Samudra beach is separated from Hawah by a large promontory and is less of a tourist spot, it is the working beach of many local fishermen. However, there is a good walk along the sea wall here watching the waves crash on the rocks below is awesome.

Kozhikode

Calicut ( Kozhikode) in the north of the state is Kerala’s third largest city, in the Middle Ages, this was the major spice trading port, Vasco da Gama landed here in 1498. The city was once an important cotton weaving centre, giving it’s name to calico, a hard wearing cloth. There is a good beach ,with two 100yr old piers and a light house, the sunsets are said to be spectacular. Lions Park and the Aquarium keep children amused , while the city has several good shopping malls. Nearby Beypore has a long boat building history, Magnificent “Urus” have been built here for centuries, reportedly 1,800 years. These beautiful vessels are lovingly handcrafted with jackfruit wood because the sandal wood used in early years has been depleted. Initially, the ships transported spices, ivory, perfumes and passengers to Arabia, now few Urus are built, made to order for the richest men in the world, some from Gulf countries. These days you can watch men fashioning model Urus as souvenirs, it,s a delicate task to build a boat inside a Johnny Walker bottle!! Kappad beach, the exact spot where vasco da Gama landed, is long and clean, uncrowded so good for families. Local fishermen launch their boats each morning and return in the evening to unload their catch.

Kozhikode
Kumarakom
Kumarakom



This popular tourist destination is set on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake of the Kerala backwaters. Kerala houseboat cruises are famous around the world, and Kumarakom is popular centre for this relaxing pastime. The Bird Sanctuary can be visited by canoe arranged by local fishermen. Resorts and hotels can arrange boating, yatching and fishing. Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is set in Aymanam village, near to Kumarakom. Development is controlled in the area to preserve it,s natural beauty.

Kuttikkaanam

Situated at a height of 3500 ft above sea level, Kuttikkanam was once the summer retreat of the Rajas of Travancore, now it is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Kerala. Valangam waterfalls, not dramatic , but still charming. Summer palace of Travancore Rajas is a teak structure, and though in need of restoration, it,s tiled floors and underground escape passage hold memories of a lost aristocracy. Parunthumpara, or eagle rock gives panoramic views of the whole Peermade region. Madammkulam is a pond at the bottom of a waterfall, shaded on all sides by thick woods. The natural beauty and vast expanse of tea and coffee plantations, occasional streams and winding lanes give the whole area a soft, romantic atmosphere.

Kuttikanam
Marari
Marari



This is a truly picturesque coastal village in the Alleppey district, home to fishing communities that have lived here, in the same way, for centuries. In the morning you can watch the fishermen launch their boats, then later maybe watch them return with their catch. Marari beach is one of Kerala’s most beautiful, white sand with a backdrop of waving palms. If you walk away from the resort beaches sometimes the area can be polluted. A good alternative is to hire a bicycle to ride through the villages and coconut groves, enjoying local life at first hand. Hotels and resorts are plentiful in the surrounding area, and being only a 20 min drive to Alleppey, it is easy to combine a beach and backwater houseboat holiday.

Munnar

Munnar, probably the most famous of Kerala Hill Stations, is an area of outstanding beauty with hills and valleys covered in tea and spice plantations with the Western Ghats mountain rising majestically behind. The climate is moderate, becoming cool in the evening time when you will need warmer clothing. There is plenty to visit around Munnar, and plentiful hotels and resorts to please every tourist whatever their needs or budget. After the amazing sight of hill after rolling hill covered in emerald green tea bushes, the Tea Museum at Nullatanni estate in Munnar gives an interesting view into the past and an understanding of how tea is processed today. On display are many items relating to the 100 yr old history of tea and how it still prospers today. Eravikulam National Park, now being considered by UNESCO for world heritage status, is high altitude grasslands, mountains and rivers, Anamudi, at 2695m is India’s highest peak outside the Himalayas. Among the 26 species of animals here, the largest surviving population Of Nilgiri Thar are carefully managed, They are so sensitive to disturbance that the Park is closed from early February to early April when the young are born. Tours of Eravikulam are taken by mini bus, driven by staff who know and understand the wildlife. Anywhere you walk in Munnar and surrounding area will delight you the views and fresh air, there is plenty of opportunity for longer treks. Mattupetty Dam is a scenic lake with boating available in row or motor boats. You may see waterfalls while driving around, Attukal Waterfall is a favourite, at it’s most dramatic during monsoon seasons. Top Station is a special viewpoint, with good visibility there is a magnificent panorama of mountains and hills, but when the clouds come down the view is lost.

Munnar
Nelliyampathy
Nelliyampathy



Nelliyampathy is a charming hill station situated 52 kilometers from Palakkad. The beautiful tourist spot is blessed with tea and coffee gardens, cardamom and orange plantations, green forests with wild animals such as elephant, hillsquirrels and Indian bison. All the coffee and tea plantations were started by British and later on sold to Indian companies. The famous tea plantation Manalaroo Estate is the highest yielding tea estate in India. One can buy fresh tea from their garden outlet in their factory. Apart from the Nelliyampathy hills, many other beautiful spots make Nelliyampathy rich in beauty. The other tourist spots are Kesavanpara which offers a panoramic view of the land below, Seetharkundu can be viewed from the top of the mountain. It is believed that Rama, Lakshmana and Sita of the epic Ramayana had lived in the place and Sita used to offer worship with the water from a small stream. Chulliyar Dam and Meenkara Dam can be seen at a distance from the mountain.

Palakkad

Palakkad lies at the foot of the Western Ghats mountains on the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The area is very fertile, making it the main grain producer for Kerala, the paddy fields, forests, rivers and streams with the mountains behind give it a special scenic beauty. Malampuzha gardens and dam, 10km from Palakkad is popular with tourists. The gardens are perfect for picnics with lawns, flower beds and fountains, the rose garden has more than 100 varieties. There is an aerial walk way which crosses the garden enjoyed by children and adults alike. On the dam, there are boats for hire, pedal boats, rowing boats, water scooters and motor boats are all available. On Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays the whole site is illuminated. Palakkad fort is one of the best preserved in Kerala, built in 1766 by Hyder Ali of Mysore, it was modified by the British in 1790. The Archaeological Society maintain this important granite structure. Kollengode is a picture of rural beauty, Kollengode Palace, Vishnu Temple and a memorial to the poet P. Kunhiraman Nair are worth a visit, while the Seethakundu and Govindamalai hills are great for walks and trekking. Kalpathi is famous for it,s annual Temple Cart and music festivals. Nemmara attracts visitors from all over world for the annual Nemmara Vallanghy Vela. Spectacular fireworks and amazing elephant procession make this festival outstanding.

Palakkad
Ponmudi
Ponmudi



Ponmudi is a delightful hill station some 60km north-east of Trivandrum in an area rich with forests The winding approach road has 22 hairpin bends with scenic views at every turn. This ecologically important region is ideal trekking country, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is nearby with Asian elephants, sambar, leopards, lion tailed macaques, more than 400 bird species and 300 species of butterflies. Several waterfalls, Ponmudi Falls close to the hill station, Kallar Falls on the route to Ponmudi and Meenmutty Falls which is a long trek through the forest and requires a permit from the Forest Department. Agasthyarkoodam is one of highest peaks in the Western Ghats, this famous wilderness region can only we explored with permission from the Forest Department.

Poovar

Poovar is a small coastal village in the Trivandrum district, 22 KM far from Kovalam, having a beautiful beach which attracts tourists. Poovar has an estuary which connects with the sea during high tides and its natural beauty enables it to be a quiet tourist spot.

Poovar
Peerumedu
Peerumedu




Peermade is 85 km east of Kottayam is a small, picturesque hill station set among rolling hills, tea gardens and spice plantations. Peermade is named after Peer Mohammed, the Sufi saint, you can visit his mausoleum and also the summer palace of the Rajas of Travancore. At Grampi, 5kms from Peermade is Eagle Rock, giving panoramic views of Peaks, plains and forests. A great place for trekkers.

Silent Valley

Silent Valley National Park is at the heart of the Nilgiri Biosphere, rich in animals, birds and plants, biologists are drawn here to study the rich biodiversity. The river Kunthi descends 2000m from the Nilgiri Hills to flow crystal clear through the valley. Mammals, birds and insects, plants which include over one hundred species of orchid, give this wild, green area, unique appeal.

Silent Valley
Thekkady
Thekkady



Thekkedy hill station is best known for Periyar Wildlife Reserve, centred on a man made lake, bordered by banks of evergreen and deciduous trees which provide perfect habitat for a wide range of animals and birds. Thekkady town is not large, but is has plenty of small shops selling locally grown spices and plenty of souvenirs to take home. Restaurants are many and varied, providing good quality food to suit all tastes. Guided trekking through the forests, boat safaris or bamboo rafting on the lake, bullock cart rides, martial arts demonstrations and spice plantation walks are among the activities that Thekkady has to offer. Spice plantations are a feature of the landscape, giving perfume and visual variety to the landscape.

Trissur

Thrissur, Kerala’s 4th largest city has been important for centuries beginning with habitation in the stoneage. Set in central Kerala, the area is only 2.83 m above sea level, the Kole wetlands drain water to the river and then to The Arabian Sea, keeping the city free from floodwaters. As a major financial centre it is home to the head office of three major banks, in education Thrissur has some great academic institutions including the important Hindu educational centre, Vadakunnathan Temple. This is the city of the Thrissur Pooram festival, probably the most colourful and spectacular of Kerala’s hundreds of festival events. There is plenty to visit in Thrissur: Shakthan Thampuran Palace, reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style 1795 is now managed by the Archeological Society. Archeological and Art Museum, collections of ancient wood carvings, bronze sculptures and jewellery. Thrissur Zoo, favourite with children for it,s animals and snake house. Vilangan Kunnu, A hilltop amusement park, great for kids who love the play area, and for adults who appreciate the views, particularly at sunset. There is a nominal entry charge and parking charge. Guruvayur Temple, dedicated to the Lord Krishna. Anakotta- Guruvayoor Elephant Sanctuary, where at any time there are 50 or more elephants of all ages and sizes. The elephants are all gifts to the Lord, and they are trained to serve the Lord Krishna. The ritual of feeding the elephants observed here is an offering to Lord Ganesha.

Trissur
Trivandrum
Trivandrum



Mahatma Gandhi once referred to Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, as the “evergreen city of India “, it sits close to the extreme southerly point of Kerala on low rolling hills. This city is both ancient and modern, historic temples and palaces and modern research facilities side by side, plus this is where the Indian space project began. Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple is world famous since the discovery of treasures said to be worth 1000000 crore ($18 billion ), in the temple vaults. Visitors must adhere to the dress code before going in to the temple. Padmanabhapuram Palace at Kanyakumari was the home of the Rajas of Travancore until the late 18th century, made entirely of wood, the architecture is typically Kerala style. Set in seven acres of buildings, courtyards and verandahs, it is wise to take a guided tour, there are a total of 108 rooms !!. The ornate wood carvings, sculptures, Keralan brass oil lamps and furnishings from as far away as China, are fascinating. A 30 ft wall kept Tipu Sultan from taking the palace complex in the 18th century. Napier Museum and Sree Chithra Art Gallery are in the same compound at the heart of the city. The museum design is a mix of Keralan, Moghul, Chinese and Italian architectural styles, which complement each other. The rare artifacts on display, ornaments, carvings and many other items from Kerala,s history, are beautifully displayed. Nearby in the Sree Chithra Art Gallery, you can see paintings by Kerala,s famous Raja Ravi Varma, and a magical oriental collection from Japan, Tibet, Bali and China which give a glimpse of the culture and art of these nations. Trivandrum Zoo is 55acres of woodland and lakes which is now planned out as natural enclosures for the 80 plus animal species from around the world. Alongside the recreational aspect for visitors, the zoo is dedicated to conservation and preservation of endangered species. There are also a wide variety of species from the bird and reptile worlds all managed to promote their health and well being. Yann Martel wrote his book ( now a movie) Life of PI after studying a lion at this zoo for many months.

Varkala

Varkala beach is popular with tourists for swimming and sunbathing and the only place in Kerala where rocky cliffs lead down to the sands. The cliff top has a variety of good hotels and resorts with their own access to the cliffs and beach and several restaurants and small shops selling an array of essentials and fancy goods. Varkala is also known as Papanasam beach which means “ redemption of sins”, according to legend St Narada threw his loin cloth which landed at this beautiful spot, Narada the instructed pilgrims to pray here to have their sins forgiven. Ayurveda is strong in Varkala with many small massage and treatment centres and the District Ayurvedic Hospital, some visitors use these facilities for treating many ailments, others just enjoy a massage for a feeling of general well being. Visit Varkala and enjoy the beach or take advantage of the activities on offer, most days there are cricket, volleyball or football fun matches on the beach. On the north cliff, evening shows of Kathakali starting with a demonstration of the complicated make up is a good opportunity to witness the traditional dance/drama of Kerala. Nearby is the fishing hamlet of Anjengo with the remains of a British Fort and Edava beach which is quiet, tranquil and uncommercialised.

Varkala
Vagamon
Vagamon



Vagamon is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Kerala particularly situated in Kottayam-Idukki boarders of Idukki District, Kerala. It is situated 1100 above the sea level. It is also known as ‘Scotland of Asia’and was discovered by the British who found the place ideal for tea plantations. Vagamon is listed as one of the 50 most attractive places to visit India by ‘National Geographic Traveler’. Vagamon Hill Station surprises visitors with its scenic valleys, beautiful green meadows, rolling hills, enchanting pine forests, misty mountain views, tea gardens, waterfalls and overall stunning greenery.

Wayanad

Wayanad, in North Kerala is an area of more than 2000 sq km in the magnificent Western Ghats. Blessed with outstanding natural beauty, far from commercialisation, Wayanad is home to tribes as yet untouched by civilisation. Jewel like Hill Stations, wide grassy savannahs, deep forests and fragrant spice plantations, plus a cultural history reaching back as far as the Mesolithic age, Wayanad offers a rich tourist experience. The wildlife sanctuary is made up of two distinct areas, Muthanga in the south, and Tholpetty to the north both are part of the Nilgiri Biosphere. Hills, mountains and thick forest form the habitat, a third of the forest is deciduous and semi evergreen trees, bamboo and low growing shrubs give cover for smaller animals. Marsh lands and natural ponds are watering holes, a good place to spot wildlife. Elephant, leopard, tiger, giant squirrel, sambar, langur are just some of the animals that visitors have seen here. Because the sanctuary is managed ecologically there is a small area in the centre where only rangers and researchers can go, this doesn,t spoil the visitor experience in any way, jeep safaris can surprise and delight with the wide range of animal and bird life to be seen. Edakkal Caves are evidence that this area was inhabited by man at least 5000 yrs ago, carvings (petroglyphs) inside the caves showing human figures and the tools of their daily life, plus symbols that as yet, no one has understood, suggest this was a prehistoric settlement. The climb to the cave over rocks and steep slopes is worth while for the magnificent views, including Phantom Rock in the distance. On reaching the cave, it is worthwhile for a few Rs to take a guide who can point out many figures and symbols that otherwise could be missed. These stoneage carvings are rare, the only examples in South India. Soojipara waterfall near Meppady is reached by a downhill trek through woodland, it falls from 100 ft into a rocky pool below making it fun to stand under the fall and bathe in the pool, the rocks are good picnic spots…….then you trek back up ! Near the parking area at the top good tea and coffee are available alongside places to by tea, spices and souvenirs. Chembra Peak is the tallest peak in Wayanad, Chembra is above all a fantastic trekking location, after taking a ticket from the forest office and getting a guide if you wish, drive to the watchtower, about 5 km away where the trek begins. The short drive takes you through tea gardens which is a good start to the day. Walking at a medium pace, the trek to the peak will take at least four hours, taking you upwards past a heart shaped lake and giving dreamy views. It is possible to drive part way to Chembra, winding through tea gardens till you reach a spot where you can the ribbon of road you travelled up and the distant misty hills beyond. Pookot Lake is a large freshwater lake where you can hire canoes, row boats or pedal boats or walk the perimeter path shaded by forest trees. The waterlilies on the surface of the water are a joy to see, visitors are not allowed to pick them. There are tea and snack facilities at the entrance, and a souvenir shop selling items made from bamboo and coconut husk, spices and herbal medicines are also available.

Wayanad

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