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Things to do in kerala


Tourist Attractions in kerala

Attractions

Overview

Situated on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India is the state of Kerala. It was formed on 1st November 1956, following the passage of the state reorganization act, by combining Malayalam speaking regions of the erstwhile regions of South Canara, Travancore, Malabar and Cochin.

India’s most idyllic state Kerala which is also known as ‘God’s own country’ is today said to be one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India. With its secluded beaches, palm fringed backwaters, mist clad hill stations, lush tropical forests, cascading waterfalls, majestic mountains, fine art forms, exotic wildlife and enchanting festivals give it a distinctive charm. Apart from being a tourist destination Kerala is also believed to be home to India’s most advanced society with almost hundred percent literate. The state has India’s highest density of Science and Technology personnel, highest physical quality of life, highest life expectancy and the lowest infant mortality rate. While tourism is considered to be Kerala’s boon industry.

Strategically located at the southwestern tip of India, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features which have made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. As a destination Kerala is believed to be able to attract the independent travel with its unique qualities like the Pristine environment, the rich and vibrant culture and the high quality of life among the local inhabitants brought about by the states investments since independence in the field of Health Care, Institutions of democracy, education, Social Justice, etc. The state is also said to be endowed with unique natural, cultural and social resources.

The state’s production of pepper and natural rubber is said to contribute significantly to the total national output. In the agricultural sector coconut, tea, coffee, spices and cashews are important for the state. Kerala is situated between the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats mountain ranges to the East. The state is known to have the highest media exposure in India with newspapers being published in 9 different languages mainly, English and Malayalam. Kerala is also said to be one of the prominent tourist destinations of India, with coconut lined Sandy beaches, backwaters, Ayurvedic tourism, Hills and tropical greenery as its major attractions.

Place to Visit

Places to Visit:

  • Kerala is known to be a region of great natural beauty. In the Eastern part of the state, the Anai peak is known to be the highest peak of the Peninsular India and it also crowns the Western Ghats.
  • Descending from the rocky highlands westward towards the coastal plain is a stretch of farm lands, which is known for having different crops cultivated at different elevations. Along the coast there is said to be a linked chain of lagoons and backwaters which form the so-called Venice of India.
  • Among the more important rivers that flow into the Arabian Sea are the Ponnani also known as the Bharathapuzha, Periyar, Chalakudi and Pamba.
  • Geographically Kerala is known to be divided in East – West direction into three parts – Highlands, mid plains and coastal areas. The area in and around the Western Ghats also known as Sahyadri are mostly hilly and thick evergreen rainforests.
  • The major rivers of Kerala are said to originate from these Highlands. There is a silent valley which is located in Palakkad district which is known to be one of the biodiversity hotspots in the entire world.
  • The highest peak in Kerala is Anamudi which is believed to be 2695 meters high. The coastal belt of Kerala lies parallel to the Western Ghats of Kerala on the west. The state of Kerala is said to be generally a combination of hills and valleys. The 41 rivers flowing to the Arabian Sea and the lakes to the west of the state along with three eastern flowing rivers and the lakes and backwaters are believed to make Kerala a water rich land mass.
  • The Eastern region of Kerala is known to consist of high mountains, gorgeous and deep cut valleys which lie immediately west of the Western Ghats rain shadow.
  • The Western Ghats are said to form a wall of mountains which is interrupted only near Palakkad and is therefore known as ‘Palghat’ where the Palakkad gap breaks. The Western Ghats rise on an average to 1,500 meters or 4,900 feet above sea level, while the highest peaks are known to reach around 2,500 meters or 8,200 feet above sea level.
  • Anamudi which is located in the Idukki district is known to be the highest peak in South India; it is at an elevation of 2,695 meters which is 8,842 feet. The Western Ghats mountain chain is recognized as one of the world’s 8 ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity and is therefore listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • The chain’s forests are considered to be older than the Himalayan Mountains.
  • The Athirappilly falls, which is located on the background of the Western Ghats mountain ranges, is also said to be known as the Niagara of India. It is located in the Chalakudy River which is said to originate from the peak of Anamudi, and is also known to be the largest waterfall in the state.
  • Backwaters of Kerala are a maze of lagoons criss-crossed with rivers, shallow pools and canals, all separated from the sea by a narrow strip of sand banks. In many places, the backwaters connect to form large lakes. Backwaters are present throughout the state Astamudi Lake is highly unique due to its topography. This is the most beautiful backwater of Kerala
  • The annual Vallam Kali boat races take place in the backwaters. The boats are large wooden canoes that can accommodate 60 to 100 rowers. The most famous race is for the Nehru Trophy Vallam Kalli, held on the second Saturday of August as a tribute to the former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who had a keen interest in this sport.
  • The Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats, popularly known as Nilgiris which has numerous hill stations in this area. The most popular is Munnar, the honeymoon capital of the state. The highest peak of the Western Ghats is located at Anamudi (2,695 metres) and is good for trekking. The area is also home to several sanctuaries and forest reserve areas.
  • Periyar National Tiger Park, Eravikulam Reserve, Silent Valley Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Reserves are some of the most popular tourist destinations, offering spectacular insights to the rich flora and fauna biosphere of Kerala. Many of these parks are well known internationally due to presence of exotic animals like Nilgiri Tahr, Gaur, Indian Muntjac, Sambar Deer, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Dhole, leopard and the Indian Tigers, which many are endangered rare species. Some little known animals such as Nilgiri langur, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Indian Porcupine, Nilgiri Marten, small clawed otter, Ruddy Mongoose, and Dusky striped squirrel offers a visual treat to tourists. Wild elephant herds making seasonal visits to water bodies are also seen in many of these parks.
  • Kerala also has several bird parks, with more than 132 species of birds on record. Thattekkad Salim Rajan Bird Park is one such famous destination along with Malayatoor Forest Reserves
  • Mango Meadows Agricultural Theme Park is world’s 1st Agricultural Theme Park located at Kaduthuruthy in Kottayam district. The park covers 30 acres with more than 4800 species of plants, including 1900 species of medicinal plants, 700 species of trees and 900 species of flowering plants. Main attractions in the Park are: Biggest Bible Statue measuring 25 ft by 25 ft; Bird Sancutary; Nakshatra Kavala, a pool of trees associated with each birth-star; Animal Husbandry; Sarppakkavu, the Sacred forests of Kerala; Mosque; World’s Tallest Statue of Parashurama of 35 ft in height and Telescope Tower.
  • Many popular hill-stations like Nelliyampatty, Peechi Dam, Ranipuram, Vythiri and Kumarakom offers unique natural wildlife parks, with lots of rare flora and fauna to be explored.
  • Kovalam Beach near Trivandrum has a good bathing area, clean environment and plenty of accommodation. This was a centre of Hippy counter-culture in sixties, and is today well known for hedonistic beach parties.
  • Varkala Beach in Thiruvananthapuram district – A long cliff makes the beach more natural (no restaurant behind you). It is long beach with natural springs from the cliff.
  • Thirumullavaram Beach in Kollam district – A unique beach in the world where you can walk in the sea water for 1/2 KM because of its unique topography
  • Alapuzha Beach and Kollam Beach are both well known for beach sports and tournaments.
  • Marari is an upcoming location with quite a few resorts along the way and an hour away from Kochi.
  • Cherai Beach near Kochi city has a large sand beach.
  • Kozhikode Beach is where Vasco da Gama first landed in India, marking the start of European colonisation and the Age of Discovery.
  • Muzhappilangadu near Kannur is the country’s lone drive in beach in Kannur district with lush greenery around. This beach has a naturally clean and closely packed sand which makes it drivable. Beach is very long 4-5 km and is a pleasant place to spend time. Lots of adventure activities like para gliding/ para sailing etc. are arranged in this beach regularly.
  • The Palaces at Sree Padmanabhapuram located 30 km from Trivandrum are the largest palaces ever constructed from wood and granite in India. These were the Royal Headquarters of Travancore until early 20th century.
  • The Hill Palace in Kochi, houses more than 200 artifacts including the highly valuable Cochin Crown as well as other rare Crown Jewels.
  • The forts at Bekal, Palakkad and Thalassery date from the pre-British Raj era.
  • The Cherman Perumal Mosque at Kodungallor is the world’s second oldest intact mosque and houses many rare artifacts.
  • The “Dutch Palace†at Mattancherry built by the Portuguese by 1555.
  • There are numerous museums, palaces and historical places in all districts.

When to Reach

When to Reach
Over 10,000 festivals are believed to be celebrated in the state every year. The Malayalam calendar which is a solar sidereal calendar is believed to have started from 825 CE in Kerala, and finds common usage in planning agricultural and religious activities. Malayalam is one of the classical languages in India and is also considered as Kerala’s official language. Over a dozen other scheduled and unscheduled languages are also spoken throughout the state. Kerala is also known for having the greatest consumption of alcohol in India.

Many of the temples in Kerala are known to hold festivals on specific days of the year. The common characteristic of these festivals is the hoisting of a holy flag which is brought down later on the final day of the festival after immersing the deity. Festivals are said to include Poorams, the best known of these being the Thrissur Pooram. Other known festivals are Chinakkathoor Pooram, Nenmara Vallangi Vela, Makaravilaku and Attukal Pongala. There are festivals other than these, which are locally known as utsavams which are conducted by many temples mostly on an annual basis.

Onam is a harvest festival which is famously celebrated by the people of Kerala and it is known to be reminiscent of the state’s agrarian past. It is the local festival of Kerala consisting of a four day public holiday from the eve of Onam which is known as Uthradam to the fourth Onam Day. Onam falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam which is between August and September and is said to mark the commemoration of the homecoming of King Mahabali. The total duration of Onam is 10 days and it is known to be celebrated all across Kerala by all religions. It is one of the festivals which are celebrated with cultural elements such as Vallam Kali, Pulikali, Pookalam, Onavillu and Thumbi Thullal.

Why Should Go?

Why should I go?

Kerala is said to be situated in the southwestern end of the Indian subcontinent. The state has a long history of art and cultural heritage and foreign trade with other countries. It is the state with the highest literacy rate in India and is said to be noted for its achievements in education, gender equality, health, social justice, law and order.

The cultural heritage of Kerala is said to reflect extensive interaction with diverse communities from antiquity to present. With an array of ancient Hindu temples with copper clad roofs, later mosques with Malabar gables which are triangular projections at the rooftops, and baroque churches from Portuguese colonial era, the state’s architecture is believed to offer a chronicle of the social, spiritual and political history of the area. Other characteristically Keralan art forms are said to include intricate paintings on wood, thematic murals along with a remarkable variety of indoor and outdoor lamps from which the state is believed to have earned the sobriquet land of lamps.

The watery coastal zones of Kerala are said to be interspersed with coconut palm groves, while much of the Western Ghats and riverine areas are covered with rainforest and monsoon forest which are tropical deciduous forests. The rolling grasslands are said to be typical of the upland region while the diverse natural environment is known to be home to an extraordinary array of wildlife. The mammals found here include the sambar deer, elephants, bonnet monkeys, leopards, tigers, gaurs which are wild cattle, red lion tailed macaques which are also called macaca silenus, Nilgiri langurs which are also called Trachypithecus johnii, Nilgiri tahrs which are wild goats like animals also called hemitragus hylocrius, and Hanuman known as semnopithecus entellus. King cobras also known as Ophiophagus Hannah are among the notable reptiles, while peacocks and hornbills are common Birds. The state has several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, among which is Periyar National Park and the Tiger Reserve is the largest.

Getting Around

Getting Around:

Transportation is said to be an integral part of the commercial and social development of the state. The infrastructure of travel consists of roads, bridges and other transport modes like railways, airways and inland waterways. Kerala is known to have a good road network compared to the other states in India. The railway divisions at Thiruvananthapuram, Balaghat, Madurai and Slem are jointly said to carry out transport operations in Kerala. The waterways in Kerala are said to be successfully used for commercial inland water transport and travel. There are 41 navigable rivers existing in Kerala while the total length of the inland waterways in the state is said to be 1,687 kilometers. Kerala is known to have three airports which are located in Thiruvananthapuram which is also the capital city of Kerala, Kochi and Kozhikode which are known to handle both International and domestic flights.

Weather

Weather:

State of Kerala is known to have a tropical climate and the rich monsoon here offers beautiful landscapes, with a presence of abundant water bodies, long beaches and more than 40 rivers are only said to add to the charm. Popular by the name ‘God’s own country’, the location of Kerala is geographically located in the south of India. Lying close to the equator, Kerala experiences tropical rainforest climate along with some cyclones.

Kerala is known to have a wet and maritime tropical climate with around 120 to 140 rainy days per year, influenced by the seasonal heavy rains of the Southwest summer monsoon and North Eastern winter monsoon. Around 65% of the rainfall occurs from June to August corresponding to the Southwest monsoon while the rest of the rainfall occurs from September to December which corresponds to the North East monsoon. In Eastern Kerala, a drier tropical wet and dry climate is said to prevail. During the summer, the state is said to be prone to gale force winds, storm surges, cyclone related torrential downpours, occasional droughts and rises in sea level. The mean daily temperature is said to range from 19.8 degrees Celsius to 36.7 degrees Celsius. While the mean annual temperature ranges from 25 degree Celsius to 27.5 degree Celsius in the coastal lowlands to 20 degree Celsius to 22.5 degree Celsius in the Eastern Highlands.

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