• Fort Kochi, the quaint town sitting along the shores of the Arabian Sea, has centuries-old tales of Kerala's cultural and commercial interaction with the West. There is no better way to explore the queen of the Arabian Sea other than setting out on foot. Take relaxed walks in cotton dresses, casual shoes and of course, a straw hat and immerse in the amusing sights that proudly retain the specimens of a bygone era. Once just a fishing accessory, the Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks are now a big bait for tourists. The Chinese fishing nets or "Cheenavala" brought to Kochi by Chinese explorer Zhen He, when silhouetted against the sunset, provides for a breathtaking vista. For the best view of the nets, head to the Vasco da Gama Square, the narrow walkway that runs along the Fort Kochi beach.Kerala Tourism
  • The imposing fort of Bekal, shaped like a giant key-hole is one of the largest and best-preserved forts in Kerala. The beautiful expanse of the shallow beach near the Bekal Fort known as Bekal Fort Beach has been developed as an exotic beach location and includes two laterite sculptures of Theyyam. The 300 year old fort offers a splendid view of the Arabian Sea from its tall observation towers, where a few centuries ago huge cannons used to be placed. A beautiful walkway has been laid, which gets illuminated when the sun goes down, so that the tourists can explore the beauty of the finest coastline and enjoy the panoramic view of the fort. Multi shed and Eru madam (Tree house) is provided so that tourists have a comfortable hub to take rest and enjoy the sea breeze. Today, the historic fort has become a favourite shooting location.Kerala Tourism
  • If you want to spend some quality time, getting lost in the sounds and beauty of the hydrosphere, step into any boat, ranging from small country boats to luxury houseboats, and wind through the labyrinth of canals in Alappuzha. While cruising through the canal networks linked to the Vembanad Lake, one will come across vast stretches of paddy fields, coconut lagoons and pied King Fishers hurtling down to catch their prey. Another interesting sight is that of large flocks of ducks being shepherded to newly-harvested paddy fields. Pathiramanal, a small island on the backwaters of Alappuzha, is a haven for hundreds of rare birds migrating from different parts of the world. Surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, stretching from Alappuzha to Kochi and the Kayamkulam Lake, Pathiramanal is accessible only by boat. Referred to as the “Venice of the East”, Alappuzha, caressed by the Arabian Sea in the West, intricately decorated by the many networks of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers, is a land of extreme beauty. Famous for its boat races, the singularity of this land is the region called Kuttanad.Kerala Tourism
  • The pride of Kerala and a testimony to nature's splendour and human innovation, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake - an artificial lake, at Thekkady. Lying on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Thekkady offers picturesque foliage, iridescent lakes, majestic ranges of the Western Ghats and cool, aromatic breeze at all times. Below all this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. Situated in Idukki district, at an altitude of 900-1800 meters above sea level, it is a dream destination for adventure travellers and Nature lovers alike. In addition to elephant rides, cruises on the lake and treks to the ruined Mangaladevi temple - a beautiful old stone temple situated in the heart of the Thekkady forest- Periyar Tiger Reserve offers tourists the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants at close quarters.Kerala Tourism
  • The most famous and picturesque waterfalls of Kerala, Athirappalli and Vazhachal are located just five km apart on the edge of the Sholayar forest ranges. The five kilometres between the two waterfalls is not only a scenic location, but it is also the only region in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen. The Athirapally Falls join the Chalakudy river, which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats, after plummeting down 80 feet. Just a short drive from Athirapally, the Vazhachal waterfall is close to dense green forests that are home to many endangered and endemic species, and to Dream World, the state-of-the-art water theme park, which is also known for its exhilarating water amusement rides and has a total of 42 rides, out of which 24 are water rides. Some of the major attractions at the park include, a Wave Pool, a 30 ft high raft ride called Stormy River and the Rain Dance with snow effect, were people dance in the rain showered on wooden platforms, and snow showered from the sidewalls in synch with the rhythm of music and colourful lights.Kerala Tourism
  • Munnar, literally meaning three rivers in Malayalam, is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams- Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala- and has served as the romantic locale for many heroes and heroines to sing their words of love. The hill station situated around 1,600 meters above sea level was used to serve as the summer resort for the British Government during the colonial era. Sprawling tea plantations, picturesque towns, winding lanes, virgin forests, savannah, rolling hills, scenic valleys, numerous streams, splashing waterfalls and winding walkways are all part of the great holiday experience that Munnar offers. One of the main attractions near Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park, which is famous for its endangered inhabitant, the Nilgiri Tahr. The National Park also houses the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which stands mighty and tall at 2700 meters. The peak can be climbed with the permission of authorities. Also known for the exotic “neelakurinji” flowers, which only bloom once in 12 years, Munnar is a sight to behold during the “kurinji season”, with the hills and valleys bathed in the blue of the flowers.Kerala Tourism
  • Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with a sheltered natural bay, with shark free waters fringed with coconut groves and miles of fine sand. Kovalam has been a favourite haunt of tourists for many decades and consists of three crescent beaches formed by rocks projecting into the Arabian Sea. The southernmost of these beaches is the Lighthouse beach, because, as the name suggests, it houses a lighthouse, which is 35 meters high. Perched on top of the palm-covered Kurumkal Hill, visitors can climb the spiraling staircase inside to the top of the red and white lighthouse and enjoy a spectacular view of the surroundings. The leisure options at the Kovalam Beach are plenty and diverse with everything ranging from sunbathing to swimming to herbal body toning massages to special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising available at your command. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, shopping zones, swimming pools, convention facilities, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centres. The place also offers a range of sea food restaurants where the most scrumptious, Kerala-style meals are served.Kerala Tourism
  • The traditional classical performing arts in Kerala dates back to a thousand years. In fact, the State owes most of its transnational fame to its nearly 300 years old dance form Kathakali, which is a unique combination of ballet, opera, masque and the pantomime. Having evolved from other performing arts such as Kudiyattam, Krishnanattam and Kalaripayattu, Kathakali enacts stories from ancient Indian epics. Chavittu Natakam is a colourful and vigorous theatre form of Kerala, popular among the Christian communities of Kodungalloor. Mohiniyattam or Dasiyattam, which was very popular from the 9th to 12th century AD, is considered as the sinuous dance of the enchantress. Slow, graceful, swaying movements of the body and limbs and highly emotive eye and hand gestures are unique to this dance form. Oppana is a dance form essential to the wedding entertainment of Malabar Muslims, where young maidens clap their hands, sing and dance around the bride, often making teasing comments and innuendos about her anticipated wedding night. Theyyam (pictured) is a magnificent living tradition that goes back several thousand years. It originated as a Hindu ritual form of worship in North Kerala and puts on a show of a rare combination of dance and music and is a reflection of Kerala’s tribal culture.Kerala Tourism
  • Ayurveda, the science of life and longevity, is the oldest healthcare system in the world that has been preserved in Kerala and has surpassed many invasions and intrusion, both native and foreign. This 5,000 year old tradition combines the profound thoughts of medicine and philosophy and stands for the wholesome physical, mental and spiritual growth of humanity. Ayurveda has gone on to become a unique, indispensable branch of medicine and Kerala’s equable climate, natural abundance of forests and the cool monsoon season allows for it to flourish here. In Kerala, Ayurveda is not just a healthcare system, it is a lifestyle and miracles such as paralysed people walking, curing of fatal diseases are all regular occurrences among the practitioners. Some of the popular treatments among tourists include, Rasayana Chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy), which tones up the skin and rejuvenates and strengthens all the tissues so as to achieve ideal health and longevity, Kayakalpa Chikitsa (Body immunisation and longevity treatment), which retards the ageing process by arresting the degeneration of body cells and immunisation of the system and Sweda Karma (Body Sudation) in which the impurities from the body are eliminated through medical steam baths, thereby improving the tone and complexion of the skin, reducing fat and curing certain rheumatic diseases.Kerala Tourism
  • Want to lose yourself amid the heady mixture of pomp and pageantry? Then head over to the Tekkinadu Maidanam in Thrissur to celebrate the world-famous Thrissur Pooram. The festival held during the Malayalam month of Medam (April-May) on the premises of the Vadakkumnatha temple is the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. Introduced during the reign of Sakthan Thampuran (1775-1790), the Raja of Kochi, Thrissur Pooram is an assemblage of various deities before the presiding deity, Lord Siva, at the Vadakkumnathan temple. Traditionally, two groups representing the main geographic divisions of Thrissur, Paramekkavu Temple and Thiruvambadi Temple, rival to add to the Pooram's grandeur. Both teams field face to face arrays of majestically caparisoned elephants, after which the 'Kudamattam', a competition in the swift and rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequinned parasols, is conducted. Ilanjitharamelam, an amazing percussion ensemble featuring about 250 odd artistes, provide the music, as the thousands who throng to every beat, wave their hands in accordance to the rhythm generated by the chenda, kuzhal, kombu and elathalam (traditional instruments of Kerala). Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi also display an array of fireworks as a grand finale to two days of classic entertainment.Kerala Tourism

There are many reasons as to why Kerala should be the next place on your travel itinerary.

Be it the vast lands covered with tea plantations, or the life-affirming waterfalls or the backwaters that awaken the philosopher in you, Kerala has something special to offer everyone.

Here are a few things specific to Kerala, that might compell you to travel there.

For more information on Kerala and for details to travel to the God's Own Country, click here