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The Best places to visit in Kerala and a perfect Kerala Itinerary

Enchanting forests on rolling hills, mesmerizing waterfalls, winding roads through lush green plantations, serene backwaters and pristine beaches – the little state of Kerala is a paradise for nature-lovers. No wonder they call it God’s own country. Kerala is home to some of my most favorite places to visit in India. Here’s a list of the best places to visit in Kerala.

Note that I am talking about holiday destinations where you can spend atleast two to three days if not more. Within these places you have some top attractions I will be talking about.

My top 5 places in Kerala

Munnar

Munnar in MonsoonSituated at an elevation of 1600 m, Munnar is the most beautiful hill station in South India. A former summer resort of the British, Munnar is famous for the lush green tea plantations on rolling hills. It is also home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kerala like the Lakkam falls, Chinnakanal falls etc. While it is a perfect destination for families, Munnar is attracts adventurists for the several hiking trails. 

Points of interest:

  • Eravikulam National Park famous for the endangered Nilgiri Tahr
  • Anamudi Peak – highest peak in South India
  • Matupetty dam
  • Kundala Lake
  • Anairankal dam
  • Kanan Devan Tea estate
  • Top Station

Where to Stay:

Alleppey

Who has not heard about Alleppey, the Venice of the East. You can stay in a houseboat and have a soulful experience in the backwaters of Kerala. Or just take a ferry with the locals to explore the villages of Alapuzha. A boat ride in the Vembanad Lake will take you through the vast lake as well as the narrow canals passing through the villages. Float in the waters waving at the inquisitive locals, enjoying the views of rural life, succulent paddy fields and watching birds that visit from far-away lands.

Apart from backwaters and birds, Aleppey is notable for amazing religious architecture. You will find some of the prettiest churches here as well as some beautiful temples. And of course, the quaint and clean beaches of Alappuzha in the west. 

Points of interest:

Vembanad Lake, Aleppey Backwaters, Aleppey Lighthouse and museum, Alleppey beach, Pathiramanal, Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Mulakkal Rajeshwari Temple

Where to stay:

Poovar

Poovar IslandCoastal Kerala is dotted with enchanting islands accessible only through backwaters. One such island located at the southern tip of Thiruvananthapuram is the unspoiled island of Poovar. I was lucky to visit this serene village on a short corporate trip. It is a wonderful place to detox and revive yourself in the weekend and come back with new energy to work on a Monday.

Interesting Places and Activities

  • Backwaters
  • Poovar Beach
  • Thirparappu Falls, etc.

Places to stay:

Estuary Saovar Portico

Over The Hill

Thekkady

Thekkady is located in Idukki, the most beautiful district of Kerala. Did you know that the famous Sabarimala Temple (yes that one that broke into national news) is located at a hill-top in Periyar forest? In fact the trek to Sabarimala on foot begins from a temple here. It is one of the biggest Hindu pilgrimage and has a great deal restrictions on all those who want to visit it.

 

Interesting places and activities:

The main attraction of Thekkady is the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Here are some things you will enjoy in and around the reserve:

Jungle Safari in Periyar Tiger Reserve, attend cultural performance at Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, Periyar Lake cruise, Spice garden tour, Ottakathalamedu, Bamboo rafting, shopping at Kumily

Places to stay:

Kovalam

Located only 16km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, Kovalam is the home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the country. While in here, you can stroll around, indulge in beach activities or in other fun-filled activities around Kovalam Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach, and Samudra Beach.

Points of interest:

  • Vellayani Lake
  • Lighthouse Beach
  • Chowara Beac
  • Kovalam Beach
  • Halcyon Castle, etc. 

Where to stay:

My other Favorite places in Kerala

Wayanad

Wayanad is a mid-size district in Kerala with many small hamlets in the wild and wonderful nature. It is a fascinating place, not just for nature-lovers but also for history-buffs. Archeologists found traces of human civilization that have existed here for over 6000 years. The Edakkal caves are the glowing evidence of the claim. It also has the largest tribal community in Kerala.

The main regions of interest in this district are Bansura Sagara Hills which is home to the huge namesake lake, Vythiri- a tranquil town near Chembra Peak with resplendent views and Sultan Bathery – the home to Edakkal caves and the Mathunga Wildlife sanctuary.

You will need at least four days to enjoy all the major attractions of this beautiful state. For a weekend trip from Bangalore you may shortlist one of the three main regions to explore.

Key Attractions in Wayanad:

  • Chembra Peak
  • Bansurasagara Lake
  • Vythiri viewpoint
  • Edakkal Caves
  • Kuruva Island 

Places to stay:

For easy access to most attractions, you can base your stay in the beautiful towns of Vythiri or Kalpetta. For a more offbeat experience, you can plan to stay in Sultan Bathery. Here are my recommendations:

Kasargod

Bekal Fort Kasargod Kerala - roadtrip from BangaloreKasargod, the northernmost district of Kerala is one of the least explored regions in Kerala. In this small region you will be able to satiate your quest for mountains, and seas, scenic backwaters and historic forts. Bekal Fort which is the largest and the most well preserved fort of Kerala is the highlight of Kasargod. Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore constructed this 300 years ago.

Spend a day in the tranquil backwaters of Nileshwaram. It’s not famous like Alleppey or Kumarakom, but you will enjoy staying in the houseboat here. Near Nishwaram there is a beach called Thaikadappuram which is famous for olive riddley turtles. 

You can reach Kasargod by train or bus from Kochi. A roadtrip from Bangalore to Bekal is also a great idea.

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The Best of Kerala - God's own country in India. #IncredibleIndia

If you liked the post, save it so that you can plan your next jungle safari in India. This is the 11th post in the series “My Fabulous Five” for #BlogchatterA2Z. You can read other previous posts hereSubscribe for email updates and connect with me on Instagram for more travel stories.

 

Sinjana Ghosh

Sinjana Ghosh is a full-time business professional with a penchant for writing and travel planning. Backpack & Explore is a journal of her travel stories and tips she collected from her experience. She is the author of the travel book “Postcards from India” which is available on Amazon, Flipkart and Notionpress.com

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6 Comments

  1. Swarnali Nath April 15, 2022

    Kerala is in my wish list for so long. Even yesterday I was telling my mom that I so wish to travel to Kerala. I so love the scenic beauty of Kerala. Be it rivers or forests or hills and others, Kerala is so rich with nature’s treasures. Lovely post Sinjana.

    Reply
    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 15, 2022

      Thanks Swarnali. Yes, besides natural beauty I love Kerala for how rooted the people are to the ancient cultural art forms.

  2. Matheikal April 20, 2022

    Another thumbs up to you. Great compilation.

    Reply
    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 20, 2022

      Thanks a lot

  3. ANUKRATI DOSI May 7, 2022

    The beauty of Kerala is indeed hypnotizing.

    Reply
  4. Elena Pappalardo May 7, 2022

    Wow, I can’t get over those mountains in Wayanad! Kerala looks like such a fascinating place. Thanks for putting it on my radar!

    Reply

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