Having been given the tag of being one of the ‘Ten paradises of the world’ by National Geographic Traveler has gone a long way of letting holiday-makers know the potentials Kerala holds as a holiday destination. With a long coastal line of 580km dotted with beautiful sandy beaches, Kerala was relatively unknown on the holiday circuit till after the 1980s.
Located in southern India with one side flanked by the Arabian Sea and the other side by the lush Western Ghats, Kerala is rich in unspoiled natural beauty. With its distinctive traditions and elaborate temple festivals adding an exotic element to its cultural heritage, Kerala makes for a great holiday experience. Despite its being the first fully digital state in the country, the pace of life here is slow, making it an ideal location for a leisurely vacation.
Its varied demography of sandy beaches, verdant mountains, mysterious valleys, deep jungles, bright hillside plantations, cascading waterfalls and its amazing backwaters beckon to the avid nature lovers for a closer feel of this exotic location. Here’s a break-up of some of the places you might want to visit on your next trip to Kerala.
The perfect blend of sun and breeze paired with the sting of the surf and the romance of swaying palm trees, make for an ideal and leisurely stay at the beaches here. Alappuzha has numerous beaches along its coastline that are a dream-come-true for sun-worshippers. The Marari beach here has been rated among the world’s top five ‘Hammock Beaches’. Other amazing beaches are the Kappad beach, the Beypore beach and the Cherai beach. In Thrissur area, you can visit the Nattika and the Vadanappilly beach. The Kovalam beach near the capital Trivandrum city was one of the first beaches discovered by backpackers and hippies in the 1960s and since then, the beach has evolved into a major tourist destination with every facility available in its vicinity.
The lush green of the plantation covered hills are a sight for sore eyes and the deep sense of peace and silence that is experienced here is enough to soothe the most ruffled of souls. These hills are the encroachments of the Western Ghats which rise to an average of 1500m above sea level to create must-visit exotic hill stations such as Munnar, Wayanad, Vagamon, Nelliyampathi, Thekkady and Ponmudi. There are deep lakes, sanctuaries and National Parks set in these verdant locales for wild flora and fauna to flourish undisturbed. Tea, coffee and spice are the main plantations to be found here.
An extensive network of canals, rivers and lakes form the brackish backwaters which have become famous globally. Houseboats that are converted into luxurious homes are available for rides through the serene backwaters where you can experience the serenity of rural life in undisturbed natural surroundings with the green and blue hues of jewels gleaming through the dappled sunlight breaking through the thick canopies of swaying palm trees. Ashtamudi Lake and Vembanad Lake are the main backwater destinations and were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier mysterious islands across the mouths of rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats.
Heritage sites and places of cultural interest also abound here to thrill the history seekers. So plan on Kerala the next time you want to book a vacation!