12 of the Best Places to Visit in Kerala for the First Time
Are you planning a trip to God’s own country and want to know why it is called so? Well, you have to see it to believe it which cannot be done by just browsing some pictures on the internet. There are many places to visit in Kerala that makes it a complete tourist destination ranging from hill stations, backwaters, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries to Ayurveda retreats, art, cultural activities, scrumptious traditional food and famous churches.
People from all over the world want to experience a slice of this beautiful state in India. You will feel a sense of tranquility and the natural beauty of Kerala will leave you gasping for breath. If you do not know what to include in Kerala’s itinerary, this article will throw some light upon some of the best places to visit in Kerala that will be enough for you to choose from:
If you know a little about Kerala, Alleppey would probably be the first place to pop up in your mind before visiting the state which surely should be on your itinerary. Alleppey is also known as Alappuzha and was given the name ‘Venice of the East’ by Lord Curzon.
It makes the best backwater destination in Kerala where you can also stay in a houseboat that will add a dash of charm in your trip. Once you are done with exploring Alleppey through the backwaters, you can head to Alappuzha Beach where the lighthouse makes a famous tourist place.
There are many best places in Kerala but do not even think to come back from Kerala without visiting Munnar. It is one of the most popular hill stations in Kerala in the district of Idukki and makes a great tourist place. The meaning of Munnar is “three rivers” referring to the merging of the Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala rivers.
Munnar is well known for tea plantations and tea museums where you will be able to experience green valleys and smell the refreshing tea leaves.
Kochi or Cochin is known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ because it used to serve as an important trade center in the earlier days. The charm of Kochi includes many cultures that influenced it – British, Arabian, Portuguese and Chinese. If you are interested in food, history and beaches, Kochi is a perfect place for you. It is also famous for the traditional spice markets where you can buy some authentic spices.
Thekkady is home to exotic wildlife that includes elephants, bison, deer, lion-tailed macaques and tigers. There are many options for a nature lover in Thekkady which includes boating, wildlife observation and trekking, and jungle safari.
If you have more time, you can explore the place on foot by trekking and one of the most famous trails in South India is the path from Moozhiyar to Thekkady Gavi. You can opt for a jungle safari in the Periyar National Park which is a reserve for tigers and elephants.
5. Athirapally Waterfalls
Athirapally Waterfalls in Kerala are the tallest waterfalls, 80 feet in height, located on the Chalakudy River. These waterfalls serve as the perfect backdrop for your pictures. With the magnificent green mountains as the background, you can stand close to the falls and feel a spray of water touching.
Bekal is known for the famous Bekal Fort of the 17the century, for which it has to make a spot in our list of the best places to visit in Kerala. You can recognize this fort in some of the Indian movies out of which one is the famous one ‘Rang De Basanti’. The sea breeze will flow through your hair and make you feel the tranquility and serenity of this place.
You can sit and spend some relaxing time at the Bekal beach or visit the caves at the Nityanand Ashram.
Varkala is considered one of the best tourist places in Kerala. Many yoga teacher training in Kerala takes place in Varkala. There are many activities for adventure junkies which includes boat riding, surfing, jetting, parasailing and horse-riding. The beauty of this place is at its best during sunsets which makes a dreamy atmosphere.
You can stay in the most exotic beach resorts in Varkala to enhance the experience of Kerala. Varkala also has many Hindu temples, visited by religious people all the time.
Kasargod is close to Bekal between Western Ghats and Arabian Sea which magnifies the beauty of Kasargod. It is crowded with rolling hills, coconut plantations, surreal sea breeze, and heritage temples which attracts travelers in search of peace and serenity.
It is also a place where you can witness different styles of temple architecture. The Madhur Mahaganapathy temple is one example which will leave you in awe with its intricate architectural design.
If you want to relax, visit Idukki in Kerala which is in between hills and luxurious forests. It attracts travelers, nature lovers, and photographers all around the year. The place is popular for treks, nature walks and, tea and spice plantations.
Thrissur is famously known for its culture and cultural activities, beautiful waterfalls and beaches. It holds famous celebrations of Pooram and Onam and is undoubtedly known as the ‘cultural capital of Kerala.’
If you are looking for a place to immerse in the culture, art and heritage of Kerala, then Thrissur is a must visit place.
If you want to immerse yourself in the pure breeze of mountains, then you will find the perfect place in Ponmudi hills. If you are an ardent traveler or trekker, you might know that Ponmudi is famous amongst the hikers and trekkers. The landscape of Ponmudi is magnificent and the tea gardens spread all around is ‘cherry on the cake’.
Take yourself out of the hustle and bustle of the cities and run to Kollam to experience nature in its untouched form. It is considered as the gateway to the backwaters and it will not disappoint you with its stunning beauty.
Located on the Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam has a rich history which is the reason for its old-world charm and holds many ports in the Arabian Sea. Take the 8-hour houseboat ride from Ashtamudi to Alappuzha to enhance the experience of your visit which will offer you incredible views.