55 Best Places to Visit in Kerala 2019 (Photos & Reviews)

Recommendations for Kerala

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Kerala is a coastal state located in the south of India and stretches to a length of nearly 580 km, offering some excellent beaches and hilly mountains perfect for tourists wanting to have a laidback holiday. The tropical weather of this state acts as a big booster for greater footfall of tourists visiting this place. Due to the picturesque landscape and soothing environment, the state is also tagged as ‘God’s own country’ and is among the most highly visited tourist regions in this part of the world. The state is squeezed in between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea.

Kerala has a diverse landscape to its credit, which ranges from coconut wrapped beaches, stunning mountain ranges, wildlife reserves, spice plantations and the peaceful backwaters. Towards the southern part of the state are situated the Kovalam beaches, which are one of the best beaches preferred by tourists in Kerala. The mountain ranges of the Western Ghats which are located in this region are often converted into the tea and spice plantations, and offer another visual marvel to the onlookers. The places such as Alleppey, Varkala, Munnar and Kochi are some of the hot towns of the state, which offers the tourists more than just a holiday.

The state also harbours an exclusive wildlife sanctuary named the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, which is a lush green medley of the spice plantations as well as the paddy fields. This wildlife sanctuary is the abode of the different species of elephants. When one pays a visit here, one can find the herds of elephants roaming here and there in their own rhythm. The jeep safaris are also conducted to make the tourists aware with the natural habitat of the wildlife. Having won several awards across the globe for its ecotourism initiatives, the state of Kerala is truly a “gods own country”.

 

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Munnar

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Tourism in Kerala is defined by its backwaters and its idyllic greenery, but one can also find the unique hill-station of Munnar, nestled amidst the pristine natural beauty of Kerala, that is slowly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. It is located at an altitude 1,532 metres above sea level, Munnar is known for its natural beauty as well as its sprawling tea estates. Its hilly terrain, lush green forests, pleasant hills and pristine lakes have also allowed Munnar to develop into a popular camping and trekking site.

People from the surrounding metropolitan cities travel to Munnar to spend their weekends exploring the area on foot and setting up camp to spend some quality time in nature. It is slowly emerging as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Kerala for more reasons than one. Its year-long pleasant climate, scenic beauty and historical attractions make it the ideal retreat for nature-lovers and peace-seekers.

The hills of Munnar are also ideal for agriculture of crops such as tea and coffee. These hills are also home to some endangered species of rare plants and animals such as the Neelakurinji and the elusive Nilgiri Tahr. Local attractions such as the Eravikulam National Park as well as the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary attracts tourists from all over the country. What makes Munnar even more attractive is the presence of three stunning rivers that flow through the area, namely Periavaru, Mattupetti and Nallathanni. 
There are viewpoints distributed throughout the area from where you can observe the hills, valleys and rivers. All in all, a visit to Munnar is a truly rewarding experience, especially for lovers of nature.

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Cochin

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Kochi (also colonially known as Cochin) is a city located on the southwest coast of India in the state of Kerala. It has been a major port since the 19th century and was built by the British Raj in India for its strategic and industrial importance in foreign trade. Kochi is arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the diversity and beauty of Kerala. With the best places to visit in Cochin, it has been rated among the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council. Cochin and its surrounding hill station Munnar are a must visit for those touring Kerala. The backwaters of Kerala can especially be experienced through the waterways flowing across Cochin in streams and lagoons. Such places have now been converted into picnic and fishing spots, where visitors can boat through the water and stop midway on an isolated camp for some private time with nature. Fort Kochi, one of the most famous beaches has a colonial era feel and cool winds from the Arabian sea that soothes the nerves of backpackers sailing or cycling across the city. Cochin is also particularly known for its religious houses especially British era churches, and forts that have been converted into temples.

 

This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the vast water body and the hills provide a moderate equatorial climate for visitors. With the best places to visit in Cochin, informally it is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala

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Wayanad

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Known for its soothing temperature all around the year, Wayanad is the ultimate destination to escape the scorching sun of North India. This place doesn’t only offer its cool temperature but along with that, it has untouched woods, misty mountains, and long spread plantations. Often called the spice garden of India, Wayanad is laid with many tourist places and vast orchards of various spices like cardamom, Black pepper, Star Anise, Fenugreek, Black cumin and more. These green orchards of distinct spices give this place a different fragrance which is further enriched with the aroma of coffee plantation, nutrition of organic fruits and vegetables and waving paddy fields.

Having said this much about the greenery in the city, it is understood that it will have numerous wildlife sanctuaries, reserves and national parks protecting the rural life of the forests. Adding to all the natural beauty you have India’s largest earth dam and Asia’s second-largest earth dam, Banasura Sagar Dam in Wayanad. Having mighty mountains, dense woods, and gushing rivers, Wayanad is a hub for trekking, hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, rappelling, camping, and many more adventurous activities.

You can trek to India’s largest Earth Dam, Banasura Dam or trek to witness the sun setting behind the mountains from Wayanad’s highest peak, Chembra Peak. The list doesn’t end here, you have the chance to explore potentially Neolithic age at Edakkal Caves. You will find some petroglyphs- prehistoric rock carvings used as a communication tool.

Moreover, you will find some amazing examples of ancient architecture and religious beliefs through the monuments like Thirunelli Temple, Karinthandan Temple, Ancient Jain Temple and much more. All these threads weave into an amazing tapestry that will glorify your photo album as well as the album of your life.

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Alappuzha (Alleppey) is known as ‘the Venice of the East’. Offering the best tourist places in Alleppey, this charming place is the hub of Kerala’s backwaters and is home to a huge network of backwaters and more than thousand houseboats. The houseboats you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact a reworked version of the Kettuvallams of olden times. Kettuvallam is a Malayalam word, ‘Kettu’, means living structures and ‘Vallom’ means boat. In the olden days, kettuvallam or boat with a thatched roof that covers over wooden hulls was used to carry tons of rice and spices.

The modern houseboats are equipped with all the comforts of a good hotel room like air conditioners, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. An uninterrupted view of life in the backwaters fringed with coconut trees can be enjoyed from a houseboat. A perfect place to unwind with its laidback canals and lush greenery. The Alappuzha beach with a 137-year-old pier extending into the sea and an old 17th-century lighthouse built by the Portuguese add to the magic of the place. It is famous for its boat races, marine products, and coir industry.

So get ready to wander around this small but chaotic city center and bus-stand area, with its modest grid of canals. Head west to the beach or in practically any other direction towards the backwaters and Alleppey becomes elegant and greenery-fringed, waning into a watery world of hamlets, punted canoes, toddy shops and, of course, houseboats. Float along and gaze over paddy fields of succulent green, curvaceous rice barges and village life along the banks. Indeed, it is here that nature has spent upon the land her richest bounties. Come and explore the best tourist places in Alleppey.

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Kochi

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Kochi, also known as Cochin is the biggest city in the state of Kerala. This city is being used as a part and the gateway to India since the 14th century, and is one of the best places in South India. To explore and see the best tourist places in Kochi, steep in the rich glorious history, nurtured by the foreign powers like Arabs, Portuguese, Chinese, British, and Dutch for centuries, it’s a must visit city for those who want to learn about the rich history of the country as the Colonial India and its trading prowess during the earlier times.

 

A flood somewhere in the 1300s carved out the harbor of the Kochi, and since 1341 it’s being used as a port by the European, Chinese and Arab merchants. There is an array of historical sites which reflect the influence of these international traders on the city.

Kochi is one of the best places that are ideal for both, a family holiday and a romantic honeymoon. The houseboats and boating in the tranquil backwaters make visiting Kochi an experience of the lifetime. Also, if you love Ayurveda and Yoga, and want to dig deeper in it, there are many Ayurvedic centers and resorts in the city that can be visited.

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Kovalam

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Kovalam – the beach town located by the beautiful Arabian sea can be found situated within the boundaries of Thiruvananthapuram city of Kerala. There is much incredible beauty that lies within this city. One of the main reasons why this place is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in India is because of its beaches.

Not many know but there is great historical background pertaining to this beach town. Kovalam first received prominence when the Regent Maharani of Travancore, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi constructed the first beach resort known as the Halcyon Castle during the 1920. The place then started gaining increasing attention as tourists from all over the world started flocking to Kovalam. The major phase where Kovalam shot into limelight was during the 1970’s when hippies all teh way from Ceylon came to Kovalam.

Like mentioned previously, Kovalam is a popular holiday destination mostly due to the beautiful beaches that it houses. Where there are beaches, there are beach resorts that make up for a very enthralling stay experience in a certain place. The Vizhinjam sea port is located approximately 3km away and is quite popular for the delicious food items that it has to offer. For instance, the wide range of fish items that the tourists will surely love. Apart from that, the ancient hindu temples, the big grandeur churches and the beautiful mosques comprises the spiritual bit of an experience in Kovalam.

Kovalam gained the title of being the most prominent tourist spot especially during the hippie era. It still continues to hold a great position in terms of being the most popular holiday destination in India. Tourists all the way from Europe and Israel come flocking to this perfect location in hopes of having the time of their lives.

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Kumarakom is a cluster of beautiful little islands on the Vembanad Lake, Kerala’s largest lake in South India. It offers a scenic view of emerald green backwaters of Kerala flanked by luxuriant vegetation and paddy fields. Being endowed with worldwide recognition on account of its backwater tourism, the tourist places in Kumarakom is most sought after tourist destination due to its pristine beauty and tranquility. With miles of solitude and peace being one of the most serene offerings of Kumarakom, this fascinating destination has got something for everybody whether you are seeking relaxation, rejuvenation or on a honeymoon trip.

 

An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers visitors many other leisure options. Whether it is a cruise on some of the most beautiful houseboats or a rejuvenating experience of watching the most peculiar birds in the sky, Kumarakom hits the spot in many ways. Kumarakom is an enchanting destination to enjoy a tropical paradise along with refreshing Ayurvedic Spas and a spiritual escape with some famous pilgrimage centers. If one wishes to engage in some daring adventures, Vembanad is a veritable playground. The lake is the favorite hotspot for adventurers to indulge in activities like angling, yachting, and boating. For shopping lovers and foodies too, Kumarakom is a delight for travelers.

 

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations and is known for its divine, pristine and serene ambience and nature. Along with blessed with a wide variety of flora and fauna, Kumarakom is gifted with great weather, beautiful landscapes, waterways and lush greenery. The tourist places in Kumarakom are a rich spectrum of cultural and historical diversity and offers one the much needed escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. If one wishes to dive into the experience of taking a close sneak peek of nature, then Kumarakom turns out to be one of the most spectacular destinations in Kerala.

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Have you travelled to that land made on seven hills by the sea shores, characterized by undulating terrain of low coastal rich green hills, which our father of nation once called, “The Evergreen city”? The tourist places in Trivandrum are amazingly beautiful and will leave you spellbound for sure.

 

Trivandrum! Where the rainbow mist covers the mountains of flowers, butterflies color the sky and a breathtaking sight to boast of charming beaches, alluring temples, historic monuments, spectacular palaces, wonderful backwaters, and tea, coffee and spice plantations with a vintage royal taste amalgamated with the harmonious blend of contemporary and modern styles.

 

Ruled by lovers of art and architecture, this splendid beach city breathes in its natural and historical significance with lots of facets of a metropolitan culture still clinging back to its cultural roots. Emerged from one story only to delve deep into another, this city glows green in dappled sunlight filtering through dark green trees, greeting the backwaters that open up into the Arabian Sea.

 

The tourist places in Trivandrum in houses beautiful places. The old house on the hilltop still wears its steep, gabled roof of fresh memory and the temples have distinctively and remarkably found a golden space in its geography and into the books of history that have already been written or will be.

Trivandrum has held its beauty over these amorphous years where the memory has only just begun. The capital and the largest city of Kerala, is full of beginnings and no ends, and everything is for forever.

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Calicut

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The largest city of Kerala, Calicut is currently known as Kozhikode. Founded in the year 1948 by Vasco Da Gama, it lies on the south west coast of Arabian Sea. Largely popular for its alluring charm and picturesque views, Calicut is indeed one of the most prominent tourist attractions of Kerala.  

If you read through the history of Calicut, you’ll know that the place has been under the rule of several dynasties. It has always been an opulent trading town and is an erstwhile capital of the daunting Zamorin dynasty. Another significant fact about Calicut is that its name comes from Calico which is a hand woven cloth.

Calicut indeed has innumerable things to attract tourists from across the world. From nature lovers to adventure seekers, kids to the elderly, the city brings forth a myriad of things for all. The best time to make a visit to Calicut is during the months of September to March. During this time, the weather is largely pleasant and several adventure tour packages can be availed to keep you engaged and entertained. For tourists, Calicut is mainly like a hopping off point for Wayanad or for a long exploration over the Ghats leading you to Bangalore or Mysore.


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Boasting of unspoiled forests and a rich flora and fauna, Thekkady is a nature lover’s paradise in India. Situated in Kerala, God’s own country, Thekkady is a beautiful little city which is home to the largest tiger reserve in India. Thekkady boasts of a pleasant and cool climate throughout the year, making it suitable for a visit whenever you want to.

It offers tourists a laid-back vacation with the opportunity of enjoying nature at its absolute best, in the middle of scintillating backdrops and scenic landscapes. Having greenery all around, Thekkady has numerous cardamom, tea and coffee plantations, several magnificent mountains, waterfalls as well as pristine rivers.

Thekkady is home to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of the best places you can go to observe wildlife and catch a glimpse of the magnificent tigers. Thekkady is also a great place for bird watching, with several jungle safaris offering an experience like no other.

Some of the other famous tourist attractions in Thekkady include the Mangla Devi Temple, which is quite old and is considered a must-visit place for religious people. Other places you can visit here are the plantations near Odamade, Murukkady and Vellaramkunnu. You can also spend some much-needed time of relaxation in the small village of Chellarkovil.

Tourists can enjoy many different adventure activities including trekking, rafting, jeep safaris, bamboo rafting and many more. One of the best activities you can enjoy here is exploring the dense forests on an elephant safari.

Thekkady is also known for is spice markets, where you can get to experience the vibrant culture of Kerala. This is one place which will leave you wanting more every time you come here on a holiday, with its backwaters, pleasant climate and an all-over attraction.

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Kannur

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Kannur also known by its English Name – Cannanore is a Municipal Corporation in the Kannur district. Situated 518 km from the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur is the 6th largest state of Kerala and 27th largest in India.

The northern coast of Kerala is way less touristy than its southern coast. This is an attraction in its every right. The major draw card of this end of the coastal Kerala is the underdeveloped but very beautiful beaches found here. Besides this the enthralling theyyam possession rituals conducted here are also equally magnificent.

During the role of the Kolathiri rajas, Kannur was the key port that was brimming with the international trade. Kannur was then also christened as the ‘great emporium of spice trade’ by the explorer Marco Polo. Ever since then, the regular colonial suspects such as the British, Dutch and Portuguese have gone a step ahead to exert their influence on this region. Presently, Kannur is an unexciting yet consenting town of Kerala that is largely known for its cashew trade and the weaving industry. Given the fact that Kannur is predominantly, a Muslim area, the tourists must keep in mind their culture and traditions and further act accordingly.


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Periyar

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Periyar – popularly known as the Spice Village is situated in the outlying suburbs of Kerala. The picturesque destination is surrounded by small, captivating cottages amidst the spice gardens of Kerala. Tourist places in Periyar bestows you with an ethnic feel with its distinguishing feature of being a place which is not flanked with noise and pollution. This serene, tranquil destination is an ideal location for those who are looking to rest in the midst of nature. The lush and greenery with cool atmosphere make this place a calm location. The tiny cottages endow Periyar with a certain charm that you would find nowhere else giving you the feel of homeliness and harmony. There are various spots which you can explore in Periyar.

 

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a famous wildlife sanctuary that covers about 777 sq km in Thekkady and is considered the most charming natural sanctuary. Surrounded by deep forests, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is also a Tiger Reserve. Aside from various animals, the most enthralling feature of the sanctuary are the gigantic elephants frisking in the water.

 

Periyar River also known as Vandiperiyar flows throughout the center of the village providing sustenance to various tea and coffee plantations across. Vandiperiyar is surrounded with loads of tea factories flanking the tourists to visit the spot to taste the wondrous types of tea and coffee. Pullumedu quarries along the course of Periyar River. Pullumedu offers a good destination sight at various plantations, lush green vegetation, shrubs, vast spread lawns and greenery. There is also a popular Shree Ayyappa Temple located on the course of Pullumedu. The rare surrounding and vibrant ambiance make it the most tranquil destinations in Periyar. The densely covered forest in Pullumedu endows the feeling of belonging.

 

The village of Periyar is considered to be amongst the chief attractions of Kerala and counted among the best tourist places in Periyar. Periyar with its wildlife and remarkable natural setup adds beauty and charisma to the beautiful state of Kerala.

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Journey to the South of India and God’s Own Country to discover a gem that offers tourists plenty of holiday thrills. Kasaragod is located in the famed Western Ghats and much of its topography reflects this. Green hills and coconut gardens create beautiful oases that are a treat to explore while the Arabian Sea to the west invites you to visit unspoilt beaches. The tourist places in Kasargod boasts of historical structures, religious sites, ritual worship like theyyam, and art forms like yakshagana and gombeyaata. If you’re fortunate enough, you can witness festivals like Sarvajanika Ganeshotsava and Mallikarjuna temple festival taking place.

Like much of Kerala, Kasaragod is very tourist-friendly. You’ll have no difficulty finding places to stay. Getting from one local attraction to another is easy too and transportation is readily available. However, despite being a popular tourist destination, it doesn’t feel overdeveloped. It still retains an old world charm and this gives it a special character.

If you’re planning to travel to Kasaragod, there are certain important details you should know. The tourist places in Kasaragod are definitely going to give you an experience of a lifetime. The experience so great that it will remain etched in your heart forever and you will share you travel tales with your dear ones. Hence, we’ve put together a list of them including the best time to visit, best tourist places and the best places to stay at. Read on to find out more about this beautiful town and district, Kasaragod.

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Vagamon

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Idukki

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To the humankind lost in the concrete jungle, Idukki tourist places acquaints them with the splendor of nature and God’s magnificent creation. Idukki, one of the quaintest districts of Kerala, is home to a number of prominent tourist places.

The district, which lies in the Western Ghats of Kerala, is topographically known for its rocky terrain and varied verdant vegetation. Places in Idukki is full of cliffs, lush greenery, lagoons, tranquil rivers and cascading waterfalls that hypnotize the tourists and leave them with everlasting memories. Having names of Painavu, arch dam, poonchira, Idukki shows a variety in its attractions.

The 3 rivers Thodupuzhayar, Periyar, and Thalaya along with their tributaries keep Idukki evergreen. They are not only a source for irrigation and power generation but also a place for the existence of diverse flora and fauna that add charm to the Idukki. The
places to visit in Idukki range from popular hill stations, Wildlife Sanctuaries, to majestic waterfalls, dams, and not to forget, the historical places.

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Nemmara

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Marayur

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Varkala

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Varkala is a small city that lies within the “God’s own Country” and its high, red cliffs make it a unique place to visit. This city is situated in the northern suburbs and is a major tourism and commercial centre in the municipality of Thiruvananthapuram.

Varkala Beach is one of the major attractions of this city and attracts hundreds of people every year from all over the country. The clear blue waters with the black sand shores make the beach unique while the stunning sunset is something truly worth witnessing. The natural beauty of this beach is enhanced by the high, red rocks that have existed for millions of years due to layers of sediment, giving the whole area a surreal setting and making for some breathtaking views.

If one is looking for heritage places here, then one must visit the Janardana Swami Temple. This temple is over 2000 years old and is believed to be the shrine of Lord Vishnu. The site is so sacred that it is also referred to as the Varanasi of the South. The other places to visit are the Kappil Beach, Anjengo Fort, Sivagiri Mutt, the Varkala Tunnel, and other ancient temples that Varkala is known for.

The city of Varkala is well connected through public transport. The nearest airport is the Trivandrum International Airport which is 39 km away from the city. The ever-busy Varkala Railway Station is connected to all the major cities in India. Private buses are also available at frequent intervals from all the adjacent towns and cities, as Varkala is situated near National Highway 66.

Since Varkala city has a tropical climate, the best time to visit is during the cool and pleasant winters. The summers are generally hot and humid and the monsoon months experience heavy rainfall which might hinder your travel and sightseeing plans. The city is well-equipped with multiple guest houses and hotels for a comfortable stay. The cuisine here is mainly South Indian, but variables are also available to cater to the tourist diaspora that visits Varkala every year.

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Lakkidi

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Kumily

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