Do you know why Kerala is called ‘God’s own country?’
Because Kerala, the state of India is blessed with Mother Nature.
The state has many beautiful places to visit in Kerala. It is famous for green plantations, enchanting beaches, and sparkling backwaters. The state is also popular for its art & culture and mouth-watering cuisine.
The state is located on the southwestern coast of India. Kerala geographically is divided into three parts:
- Highland – Highlands is a part of the Western Ghats which rise to an average height of 900 m. The area of the highland is around 18,650 sq. km.
- Midland – Midland is a land between the mountains and the lowlands with an area of 16,200 sq. km, it is made up of hills and valleys.
- Lowland – Lowlands are also known as the Coastal Area. The area is around 4000 sq. km.
The state is further divided into 14 districts which can further be grouped into three parts based on geographical, historical, and cultural similarities.
- North Kerala district consists of Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram.
- Central Kerala district consists of Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki.
- South Kerala district consists of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam.
Top places to visit in Kerala
List of 12 top places to visit in Kerala which will help you to explore Kerala and have a memorable trip.
Kochi city comes under Ernakulam district and is called the Queen of the Arabian Sea. The city is also known as Cochin. It is a popular trading city in Kerala. The city is famous for its different culture which seeks to remain in their lives till date.
The most famous sight for tourist attraction is Kochi fort and the famous Chinese fishing nets. The Chinese fishing nets were brought from the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan.
Kochi city is also well-known for its old and ancient dance-drama style Kathakali. Kathakali dance is an important part of Kerala’s tradition. It has intricate costumes and subtle dance gesture that tells about an important Hindu mythological tale. We can see the show at Cochin Cultural Center or Kerala Kathakali Center.
Munnar a popular hill station of Kerala situated in the western ghats of the Idukki district. It is well-known for its tea and coffee estates which are spread all over the city with various shades of green hills because of which it is known as the Kashmir of South India.
The must-visit places of Munnar are Kannan Devan Plantation Museum to see tea-processing and taste various teas. Echo Point is another place which is located right on the lap of the lake and hills covered with green trees. As the name says, this place is well known for echoing voices. As you scream, it is fun to hear your voice echo around again and again. The Photo Point is one more beautiful sight on the top of the rolling slopes and moving plains of Nilgiris in Munnar with the backdrop of tea gardens.
Thekkady city of the Idukki district is India’s largest tiger reserve-Periyar. The city is covered in dense woods and wild plants and that is how it makes Kerala’s best tourist forest destinations. The city is excellent for enjoying jungle wildlife vacations.
Periyar National Park is the main attraction, where one can enjoy bamboo rafting and an early morning ride in the boat within the sanctuary which is an awesome experience and you might be able to see some wild animals like elephants, wild boars, bears, and various kinds of birds, etc.
Alleppey is called Venice of the East because of its beautiful backwaters and for houseboats present in the backwater. Besides backwaters, the place is known for its beaches, lagoons, and lake filled with water lilies.
A must-visit place in the city is Alappuzha Beach. Also one can attend the traditional and famous snake boat race if they travel in August and September month.
Kumarakom city of the Kottayam district is located near Vembanad Lake, which is Kerala’s largest lake. The city is a cluster of many small man-made islands reclaimed from the lake. Kumarakom city is famous for its backwaters, cruise houseboats, and Kumarakom bird sanctuary. Kumarakom bird sanctuary is the perfect place for nature lovers where one can find all kinds of uncommon migratory birds.
Thrissur is identified as the cultural capital of Kerala because of its spiritual, cultural, and religious leanings. The district is famous for performing arts, religious sites, and famous festivals like Thrissur Pooram festival, the Onam festival, etc. The major attraction for tourists is the various festivals that are celebrated here.
The Kozhikode city of Kerala was formerly known as Calicut. The city was founded in the year 1948 by Vasco Da Gama, it is on the southwest coast of the Arabian Sea. The city is the marketing center for goods like pepper coconut, coffee, rubber, lemongrass oil, etc. The city has a prestigious IIM institution.
The major tourist attractions of the city are Beypore, Thusharagiri Falls. Thusharagiri fall cascades down into three waterfalls which are located in a small village, the name of the falls means snow-covered mountains. Along with these, there is a tourist place which is the most popular and busiest place in the city, The Sweet Street of Kozhikode city.
Kovalam is a coastal town located near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. The city comes under the Thiruvananthapuram district. Famous for its three adjacent crescent-shaped shallow water and low tides beaches like Samudra beach or Lighthouse Beach. Lighthouse which is located on the lighthouse beach is 35 meters tall and is known as the Vizhinjam Lighthouse, located on the top of the Kurumkal hillock.
The city has also gained popularity as the center of Ayurveda healing in the past few years. Ayurveda treatments and massages are one of its most popular indulgences along with yoga, meditation as well as other cultural activities.
To learn more about Ayurveda Massage, you can check out my other blog ‘Kerala Ayurveda Massage‘.
Poovar is a small agricultural city that comes under the Thiruvananthapuram district. Also known as a fishing village, the quiet island of Poovar lies between the Arabian Sea and the Neyyar River. The must-do activity is hiring a boat that will take you to the mangrove forest in backwaters and also a must-visit to the golden sand beach.
The capital city Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram is known as “The City of Lord Ananta”. The city is in between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. A must-visited temple of India the Padmanabhaswamy temple is situated in Trivandrum city.
The Kuthiramalika Palace Museum which is located close by to the Padmanabhaswamy temple is a famous tourist place for its Travancore-styled architectural features and its structural elegance.
En route to Trivandrum, there is a famous place to visit in Kerala near Trivandrum, which is the Jatayu Earth Center. It is also called Jatayu Nature Park or Jatayu Rock it is a park and tourism center at Chadayamangalam in the Kollam district of Kerala. Jatayu’s name derives from the famous character of Jatayu in the Indian epic Ramayana. It is the world’s largest bird sculpture today.
Varkala city is the hidden treasure of Kerala in the southern part. It is the coastal town of Trivandrum district which is famous for its hippie culture, shacks on the cliff serving seafood, and playing music. The city is known for Jardana Swami Temple and Varkala beach.
Waterfalls, dams, historical caves, and wildlife together make the beautiful hill station of Wayanad. The city is popular for its wildlife and spice plantations like Cardamom, Black pepper, Star Anise, etc. Wayanad city has a lot to explore like Banasura Sagar Dam, Chembra Peak, Edakkal Caves, and many more places.
Chembra Peak is a favourite place for adventure lovers such as trekking, rock climbing, and other such activities. It is the highest peak in Wayanad. On the way to this peak, tourists can enjoy the beauty of a heart-shaped lake called ‘Hridayathadakam’. From the peak, one can watch the whole Wayanad district.
Edakkal Caves are two natural caves famous for their paintings of figures like humans, animals, symbols, and letters also the age-old stone carvings inside are extremely beautiful. It is believed that the cravings are from the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages. To reach Edakkal Caves one has to trek through the Ambukuthi Hills.
The peaceful beauty of Kerala can only be experienced when you visit this beautiful state.
For planning a trip to Kerala you may visit my other blog ‘How to plan Kerala trip’.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Which season is the best time to visit Kerala?
The winter season is the best time to visit Kerala which is in between December to February.
Which is the highest place in Kerala?
The highest place in Kerala is the Anamudi peak. It is also called the “Himalayas of the South”. It is the famous tourist destination of Munnar.
Which are the famous shopping places in Kerala?
1. Spice Market of Kochi in Kerala is known for pure and exotic spices since the old days, apart from cooking you can also use these spices in medicines.
2. Asparagus in Varkala is famous for handmade cotton fabrics and try designer suits and Kerala Sarees are the rich handicrafts of Kerala to explore in the market.