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Kerala – India’s Top Destination | Jessie On A Journey


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Dorothy Sena



Welcome to the enchanting land of Kerala, nestled in the southwestern part of India. With its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural beauty, and vibrant traditions, Kerala has rightfully earned the title of “God’s Own Country.” From lush green landscapes to tranquil backwaters, pristine beaches to misty hill stations, this state offers a diverse range of experiences to captivate every traveler.


With a history dating back thousands of years, Kerala has been a hub of trade and a melting pot of cultures. Its strategic location on the Arabian Sea attracted merchants from around the world, resulting in a fusion of various customs and traditions. The influence of foreign settlers, including the Dutch, Portuguese, and British, can still be seen in the architecture, cuisine, and language of the region.


Geographically, Kerala is blessed with an abundant coastline, serene backwaters, and a picturesque Western Ghats mountain range. The region is a haven for nature lovers, offering diverse wildlife, scenic landscapes, and a pleasant tropical climate throughout the year. Tourists can explore dense forests, spot rare species of birds and animals, or simply unwind amidst the serene surroundings.


The cultural heritage of Kerala is deeply rooted in its art forms, music, dance, and literature. The classical dance forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, and Koodiyattam showcase the state’s rich traditions and mythology. Music plays a pivotal role in Kerala’s culture, with unique instruments like the Chenda, Violin, and Thalam enhancing the melodies. The locals take great pride in their literary accomplishments, with Malayalam being one of the oldest languages in the world.


One of the highlights of a visit to Kerala is the opportunity to explore its famous backwaters. These intricate networks of canals, rivers, and lagoons offer a serene and romantic setting, perfect for a leisurely boat ride. Floating through the backwaters on a traditional houseboat, known as a Kettuvallam, allows you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings and witness the daily life of the locals.


Kerala’s coastline is dotted with pristine beaches that offer breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an adrenaline-filled water sport adventure, Kerala’s beaches have something to offer everyone. From the popular sandy stretches of Kovalam and Varkala to the lesser-known gems like Marari and Bekal, each beach has its own unique charm.


The hill stations of Kerala provide respite from the tropical heat and offer a breath of fresh air. Munnar, Wayanad, and Thekkady are some of the most popular hill stations, known for their tea and spice plantations, misty mountains, and cascading waterfalls. These hill stations are a perfect getaway for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.


Wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted by the various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries scattered across Kerala. Periyar National Park, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, and Silent Valley National Park are home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, and rare bird species.


Apart from its natural beauty and cultural heritage, Kerala is also renowned for its traditional Ayurvedic practices. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, is deeply ingrained in the lifestyle of the people of Kerala. Spa and wellness resorts offer rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments and therapies, providing a holistic experience for visitors.


Shopping in Kerala is a delightful experience, with a variety of options to choose from. From handicrafts, spices, and silk sarees to intricately crafted gold jewelry, the markets of Kerala offer a treasure trove of unique souvenirs. The cuisine of Kerala is a culinary delight, with its rich flavors and unique blend of spices. From seafood delicacies to vegetarian dishes, a gastronomic adventure awaits every food lover.


Whether you’re seeking a cultural expedition, a serene getaway, or an adventure-filled retreat, Kerala has it all. This article will take you on a virtual journey through the captivating state, providing insights into its history, geography, culture, and must-visit destinations. Get ready to be enchanted by the allure of Kerala, where every step reveals a fascinating story and every experience leaves an indelible mark on your soul.


History of Kerala

The history of Kerala is steeped in ancient myths, legends, and tales of kingdoms and dynasties. It is believed that Kerala’s existence dates back to the Chera dynasty, which ruled the region from around the 3rd century BCE to the 12th century CE. The kingdom of Chera was known for its flourishing trade with the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs.


During the medieval period, Kerala witnessed the rise of various dynasties, including the Kulasekhara dynasty, who established their capital in Mahodayapuram (present-day Kodungallur). The kingdom flourished under their rule, and cultural and literary advancements were prominent during this time. It was during the reign of the Kulasekharas that the famous literary work “Ramacharitam” by Cheeraman was composed.


The arrival of the European powers in India had a significant impact on Kerala’s history. The Portuguese were the first to establish control over certain parts of Kerala in the 15th century. They were followed by the Dutch, who gained control over some coastal areas, and later the British East India Company, who gradually acquired dominance over the region.


One of the defining moments in Kerala’s history is the Malabar Rebellion of 1921. It was a popular uprising against the oppressive policies of the British administration in the Malabar region. The rebellion, led by prominent leaders like Variyamkunnath Kunjahammad Haji and Ali Musliyar, was a turning point in the fight against colonial rule.


Kerala’s journey towards statehood began in the early 20th century when various political movements and social reforms took shape. The formation of the State Congress in 1938 marked a significant milestone in the state’s political landscape. The struggle for statehood continued for several years, and finally, on November 1, 1956, Kerala was officially formed by the merging of the Malabar district, Kochi, and Travancore.


Today, Kerala stands as a progressive state, known for its high literacy rate, healthcare facilities, and quality of life. The state has made significant strides in various sectors, including tourism, information technology, and agriculture.


The history of Kerala is not only reflected in its architectural marvels and ancient monuments, but also in its vibrant culture and traditions. The state continues to celebrate and preserve its rich heritage through festivals, art forms, and literature. Whether it is the grand display of elephants during the Thrissur Pooram festival or the mesmerizing performances of Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, Kerala proudly showcases its cultural legacy to the world.


As you step into the fascinating land of Kerala, every nook and corner unveils a tale from its illustrious past. The history of this captivating state is a testament to the resilience, diversity, and spirit of its people. Explore Kerala’s historical landmarks, delve into its ancient traditions, and embrace the spirit of this remarkable land that seamlessly blends its past with the present.


Geographical Features of Kerala

Nestled in the southwestern part of India, Kerala boasts a diverse range of geographical features that make it a truly unique destination. From captivating coastlines to lush green landscapes and misty mountains, this state offers a breathtaking tapestry of natural beauty.


Kerala is blessed with a long coastline that stretches over 590 kilometers along the Arabian Sea. The sandy beaches, fringed with coconut trees, are a major attraction for both domestic and international tourists. Popular beach destinations like Kovalam, Varkala, and Kannur offer pristine shores, tranquil waters, and spectacular sunset views. These beaches also provide opportunities for water sports like surfing, parasailing, and beach volleyball.


One of the highlights of Kerala’s geography is its backwaters. These intricate networks of canals, rivers, and lagoons create a tranquil and picturesque landscape. The backwaters of Kerala, particularly in Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Kochi, are known for their serene beauty and unique ecosystem. Exploring the backwaters on a traditional houseboat, known as a Kettuvallam, is a popular activity that allows visitors to witness the daily life of the locals and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings.


Kerala is also home to the Western Ghats, a mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. These verdant hills provide a cool and refreshing climate throughout the year. The hill stations of Munnar, Wayanad, and Thekkady offer breathtaking views, tea and spice plantations, and opportunities for adventure activities like trekking and wildlife spotting. The Western Ghats are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are known for their rich biodiversity, with several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries located within the region.


In addition to its coastline and hills, Kerala is also known for its abundant water resources. The state is crisscrossed by numerous rivers, including the Periyar, Pamba, and Bharathapuzha. These rivers not only contribute to the picturesque landscapes but also serve as important sources of water for irrigation and power generation.


With such diverse geographical features, Kerala is a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Whether you want to relax on the beaches, cruise along the backwaters, explore the mountains, or indulge in wildlife encounters, this state offers something for everyone. The stunning landscapes and natural wonders of Kerala will leave you spellbound and create lasting memories of your journey to this captivating destination.


Cultural Heritage of Kerala

Kerala is not only renowned for its natural beauty but also for its rich and vibrant cultural heritage. The state’s cultural traditions have deep roots in its history, mythology, and social practices, making it a fascinating destination for anyone interested in exploring art, music, dance, and literature.


One of the most iconic aspects of Kerala’s cultural heritage is its traditional art forms. Kathakali, a classical dance-drama, is a visual extravaganza that combines dance, music, and elaborate costumes. With its expressive hand gestures, facial expressions, and unique makeup, Kathakali brings ancient stories from mythology and epics to life on stage.


Mohiniyattam, another classical dance form, is known for its graceful movements and enchanting storytelling. This dance form, performed by women, is characterized by delicate footwork, fluid body movements, and intricate hand gestures. Mohiniyattam showcases the beauty of Kerala’s cultural traditions and is often accompanied by traditional music and instruments.


Koodiyattam, recognized as one of the oldest existing theater art forms in the world, has its origins in Kerala. Dating back over 2,000 years, Koodiyattam is a blend of dance, music, and drama, with performers enacting stories from Hindu mythology. It is known for its elaborate costumes, facial expressions, and intricate hand movements.


Music plays a vital role in Kerala’s cultural tapestry. The state has a rich musical heritage, with various forms of classical and folk music being popular among locals and tourists alike. Traditional instruments like the Chenda, a cylindrical percussion instrument, and the Violin are commonly used in Kerala’s music performances. Thalam, a rhythmic pattern, is integral to Kerala’s music and dance forms, adding a unique flavor to the performances.


Malayalam, the language spoken in Kerala, is one of the oldest languages in the world. Kerala takes great pride in its literary legacy, with renowned writers and poets contributing significantly to Malayalam literature. The state hosts literature festivals that attract literary enthusiasts from around the world. Works of famous poets like Kumaran Asan, Vallathol Narayana Menon, and Changampuzha Krishna Pillai are celebrated for their profound impact on Kerala’s cultural milieu.


Festivals are an integral part of Kerala’s cultural heritage. Onam, the harvest festival, is one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in the state. It is marked by vibrant processions, traditional dance performances, and elaborate feasts. Thrissur Pooram, a grand temple festival, is known for its majestic elephant processions, fireworks, and music. Theyyam, a unique ritualistic dance form, is performed during temple festivals and showcases the rich spiritual traditions of Kerala.


Kerala’s cultural heritage extends beyond its performing arts and festivals. The state is home to magnificent temples, churches, and mosques that reflect its religious diversity. The architecture of these religious structures is a blend of indigenous styles and influences from other parts of India and even around the world.


Immersing yourself in Kerala’s cultural heritage allows you to delve deep into its history, traditions, and artistic expressions. The state’s love and pride for its cultural heritage is evident in every performance, festival, and architectural marvel. Kerala is a treasure trove for anyone seeking a glimpse into the diverse and captivating cultural tapestry of India.


Wildlife and Nature in Kerala

Kerala is blessed with an abundance of rich and diverse wildlife, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers. The state is known for its lush green landscapes, tranquil backwaters, and dense forests, which provide a perfect habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna.


The Western Ghats, a mountain range that runs through Kerala, is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within this region, you’ll find several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, each offering a unique opportunity to experience Kerala’s wildlife up close.


Periyar National Park, located in Thekkady, is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Kerala. Spread over an area of over 900 square kilometers, the park is home to elephants, tigers, gaurs (Indian bison), sambar deer, and various species of birds. Visitors can embark on guided safaris, take a boat ride on Periyar Lake, or even participate in an elephant safari to explore the park and observe its inhabitants.


Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the Palakkad district, is another haven for wildlife enthusiasts. This sanctuary is known for its thriving population of elephants, making it a prime spot for elephant sightings. Besides elephants, you may also encounter tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and many species of birds. The sanctuary offers various eco-tourism activities, including trekking, bamboo rafting, and bamboo bridge walks, allowing visitors to delve into the heart of the forest.


Located in the Nilgiri Hills of Wayanad, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a picturesque sanctuary that shelters an array of wildlife. Here, you can spot animals like elephants, deer, leopard, gaur, and langurs, as well as reptiles and exotic bird species. The sanctuary also includes the breathtaking Tholpetty and Muthanga Wildlife Reserves, which offer thrilling jeep safaris to explore the region’s wilderness.


Kerala’s wildlife is not limited to the national parks and sanctuaries. The state is also home to numerous bird sanctuaries and forest reserves that attract a wide variety of migratory birds. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of Vembanad Lake, is a haven for birdwatchers, with sightings of rare species like the Malabar grey hornbill and the Indian darter.


Kerala’s coastal regions, with their vast stretches of beaches and backwaters, provide a unique habitat for marine life. The backwaters are home to several species of fish, crabs, and mollusks, while the Arabian Sea teems with aquatic life. Marine reserves like the Silent Valley National Park are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, allowing them to explore the diverse underwater world.


In addition to its wildlife, Kerala’s nature reserves and national parks are also known for their rich biodiversity. The region’s dense forests are adorned with towering trees, endemic plants, and cascading waterfalls. The Silent Valley National Park, Eravikulam National Park, and other forest reserves offer opportunities for trekking, nature walks, and camping, allowing visitors to connect with nature and revel in its serenity.


Whether you’re fascinated by the majestic elephants, rare bird species, or the lush green landscapes, Kerala’s wildlife and nature are sure to leave you in awe. The state’s commitment to conservation and eco-tourism ensures that future generations can continue to appreciate and enjoy the natural wonders that Kerala has to offer.


Famous Tourist Destinations in Kerala

Kerala, known as “God’s Own Country,” is a treasure trove of stunning landscapes, historical sites, and cultural gems that attract tourists from all over the world. From tranquil backwaters to ancient temples, here are some of the famous tourist destinations in Kerala that will leave you spellbound.


Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is a popular destination for experiencing Kerala’s famous backwaters. The picturesque network of canals, lagoons, and lakes can be explored by traditional houseboats, allowing you to immerse yourself in the scenic beauty and tranquility of the backwaters. A stay on a houseboat is a must-do experience, offering a unique opportunity to witness the daily life of the locals as you glide past paddy fields, coconut groves, and small villages.


Munnar, located in the Western Ghats, is a hill station famous for its sprawling tea estates, mist-covered mountains, and breathtaking scenery. The region’s pleasant climate, picturesque landscapes, and cascading waterfalls make it a perfect escape for nature lovers. Don’t miss the chance to visit the tea plantations, explore the Eravikulam National Park, and witness the surreal beauty of the Mattupetty Dam.


The historic city of Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a vibrant blend of history, culture, and modernity. With its colonial-era architecture, narrow streets lined with spice markets, and the iconic Chinese fishing nets along the waterfront, Kochi offers a unique cultural experience. Explore the Mattancherry Palace, visit the Jewish Synagogue in the Jew Town area, and watch a Kathakali performance to immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage.


Wayanad, nestled in the Western Ghats, is a pristine hill station known for its lush green landscapes, wildlife sanctuaries, and adventurous activities. Trek through the dense forests of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, visit the stunning Meenmutty Waterfalls, or explore the ancient Edakkal Caves to get a taste of Wayanad’s natural beauty and historical significance.


Located in the Thiruvananthapuram district, Kovalam is a popular beach destination that attracts tourists with its golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters. The palm-fringed shores offer a tranquil atmosphere and incredible sunset views. Relax on the beach, indulge in Ayurvedic treatments at the rejuvenating spas, or try your hand at surfing and other water sports.


For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to Periyar National Park in Thekkady is a must. Embark on a safari through the dense forests, spot elephants, tigers, and other wildlife, or take a boat ride on Periyar Lake to soak in the scenic beauty of the surroundings. The park also offers opportunities for bamboo rafting and hiking, allowing you to explore its wilderness from a different perspective.


Kerala is also known for its religious and cultural sites, such as the famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple in Thrissur, Sabarimala Temple in Pathanamthitta, and Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. These temples are not only important pilgrimage centers but also showcase stunning architecture and intricate rituals.


These are just a few of the famous tourist destinations in Kerala that offer a glimpse into the state’s rich heritage, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. Explore the backwaters, enjoy the pristine beaches, soak in the charm of hill stations, and immerse yourself in the spiritual and cultural treasures that Kerala has to offer.


Backwaters of Kerala

The backwaters of Kerala are a mesmerizing network of canals, lakes, and lagoons that stretch over 900 kilometers, offering a unique and enchanting experience to visitors. These picturesque waterways are one of the most iconic attractions in Kerala, drawing tourists with their serene beauty, charming villages, and rich cultural heritage.


Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is the hub of Kerala’s backwater tourism. Embarking on a houseboat cruise from Alleppey allows you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the backwaters and witness the traditional way of life in the region. The houseboats, locally known as Kettuvallams, are intricately designed and offer modern amenities, providing a perfect blend of comfort and rustic charm.


As you glide through the narrow canals, surrounded by lush green paddy fields and swaying coconut trees, you get a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. The sight of women washing clothes on the banks, fishermen casting their nets, and children playing by the water’s edge creates a captivating scene of simplicity and harmony.


The backwaters are not just a scenic landscape, but also an ecosystem teeming with life. The waterways are home to a variety of aquatic species, including fish, crabs, and prawns. The surrounding vegetation consists of mangrove forests, water hyacinths, and other plants that thrive in the brackish water. You may also spot a variety of migratory birds, adding to the charm of the experience for birdwatchers.


Exploring the backwaters also allows you to witness the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. As you pass by small villages, you’ll see traditional Kerala homes with distinct sloping roofs and open courtyards. You may have the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and witness their daily activities, such as coir-making, toddy tapping, and fishing. Some houseboat cruises even offer stops at village markets, where you can experience the vibrant local life and shop for handicrafts, spices, and other souvenirs.


While cruising through the backwaters, you will be treated to delicious traditional Kerala cuisine. Savour the flavors of freshly caught fish, cooked with aromatic spices, and served with traditional accompaniments like coconut chutney and tapioca. The houseboat crews are known for their warm hospitality and skillful preparation of authentic Kerala dishes, ensuring a memorable culinary experience.


Several other destinations in Kerala also offer opportunities to explore the backwaters. Kumarakom, located on the banks of Vembanad Lake, is known for its tranquil backwater settings, luxurious resorts, and bird sanctuaries. Kollam, located in southern Kerala, offers a more offbeat and less crowded experience, with serene backwaters and a charming old port town atmosphere.


Whether you choose to experience the backwaters on a day cruise, a sunset boat ride, or a multi-day houseboat stay, Kerala’s backwaters promise a unique and unforgettable journey. It is an opportunity to unwind, connect with nature, and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty and tranquility that defines “God’s Own Country.”


Beaches of Kerala

Kerala, with its long coastline along the Arabian Sea, is home to some of the most stunning beaches in India. With golden sands, swaying palm trees, and clear blue waters, the beaches of Kerala offer a tranquil and picturesque escape for beach lovers and sunseekers.


Kovalam is one of the most renowned beach destinations in Kerala. Located near the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam offers three beautiful crescent-shaped beaches – the Lighthouse Beach, Hawa Beach, and Samudra Beach. Lighthouse Beach is the most popular and vibrant, with its iconic red and white striped lighthouse and bustling promenade lined with restaurants, shops, and cafes. Hawa Beach, also known as Eve’s Beach, is known for its serene charm and gentle waves, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.


Varkala is another must-visit beach in Kerala, famous for its cliffside views and pristine shores. The dramatic red cliffs that overlook the beach create a stunning backdrop for sunsets. Varkala Beach is also known for its mineral-rich natural springs, believed to have healing properties. Visitors can indulge in therapeutic Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, and meditation sessions offered by the numerous beachside resorts and wellness centers.


Marari Beach, located in Alleppey, is a hidden gem known for its tranquility and untouched beauty. With its soft white sands, swaying coconut palms, and gentle sea breeze, Marari Beach offers a serene and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can relax on the beach, take leisurely walks along the shore, or engage in activities like fishing, swimming, and beach volleyball.


Bekal Beach, situated near the historic Bekal Fort, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. The beach provides stunning views of the fort, making it a popular spot for photography enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins of the fort, enjoy picnics on the beach, or simply unwind while witnessing the crashing waves and the gentle coastal breeze.


In addition to these popular beach destinations, Kerala is dotted with numerous other picturesque beaches, each with its own unique charm. Cherai Beach, located near Kochi, is known for its golden sands and calm waters, making it perfect for swimming and beach games. Payyambalam Beach in Kannur, with its long stretch of pristine sands and gentle waves, offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere for relaxation.


Whether you’re seeking a quiet retreat, an adrenaline-filled water sports adventure, or simply a place to soak in the sun and enjoy the beauty of nature, the beaches of Kerala have something for everyone. The warm hospitality, breathtaking views, and tranquil ambiance of these beaches will leave you with cherished memories of your time spent in “God’s Own Country.”


Hill Stations of Kerala

Kerala, known for its coastal beauty, is also blessed with mesmerizing hill stations nestled in the laps of the Western Ghats. These hill stations offer a tranquil escape from the heat and provide breathtaking vistas of mist-covered mountains, lush tea estates, and cascading waterfalls.


Munnar, situated at an elevation of 1,600 meters, is one of the most popular hill stations in Kerala. Famous for its sprawling tea plantations, Munnar provides a picturesque backdrop with its verdant landscapes. The misty hills, valleys, and the refreshing aroma of tea in the air make it a paradise for nature lovers. Exploring the tea estates, visiting the Eravikulam National Park to catch a glimpse of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, and witnessing the beauty of Mattupetty Dam and Echo Point are among the must-do activities in Munnar.


Wayanad, known for its lush greenery and dense forests, offers a serene and offbeat hill station experience. Trekking through the mist-covered forests of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, visiting the ancient Edakkal Caves with their prehistoric rock carvings, and exploring the tranquil Pookode Lake are just a few of the experiences that make Wayanad a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts.


Thekkady, located in the Idukki district, is renowned for its spice plantations and the Periyar National Park. The hill station is surrounded by dense forests and offers opportunities for wildlife safaris, bamboo rafting on Periyar Lake, and exploring the spice gardens. Thekkady’s cool climate and its proximity to nature make it an excellent destination for enjoying the beauty of the Western Ghats.


Ponmudi, situated close to the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, is a lesser-known hill station that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys, tea gardens, and misty slopes. The drive to Ponmudi, with its winding roads and picturesque scenery, is an adventure in itself. Trekking to the Golden Valley, visiting the Meenmutty Falls, and exploring the nearby Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the activities that can be enjoyed in Ponmudi.


Idukki, known for its hilly terrain and beautiful landscapes, is home to the hill stations of Munnar, Thekkady, and Vagamon. Surrounded by tea and spice plantations, Idukki offers panoramic views of the mountains and valleys. The Idukki Arch Dam, one of the largest arch dams in Asia, is a major attraction in the region. From hilltop viewpoints to scenic drives through winding roads, Idukki showcases the raw beauty of Kerala’s hill stations.


Each hill station in Kerala has its own unique charm and allure. From tea estate-covered slopes to misty valleys and thrilling wildlife encounters, these hill stations offer a rejuvenating retreat for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or a serene seeker, the hill stations of Kerala promise a refreshing experience in the lap of the Western Ghats.


Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in Kerala

Kerala is not only renowned for its beautiful landscapes and backwaters but also for its rich wildlife. The state is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that provide a habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. These protected areas offer a unique opportunity to observe and appreciate Kerala’s diverse wildlife up close.


Periyar National Park, located in Thekkady, is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Kerala. Spread over an area of over 900 square kilometers, the park is home to several endangered species, including the Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, and Nilgiri langur. Visitors can embark on guided safaris to explore the park’s dense forests and catch glimpses of wildlife. Boat rides on Periyar Lake provide a chance to spot animals as they come to the water’s edge for a drink.


Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the Palakkad district, is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Spanning an area of over 280 square kilometers, the sanctuary is known for its thriving population of elephants, making it a prime spot for elephant sightings. Visitors can also spot tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and numerous bird species. The sanctuary offers various eco-tourism activities, including trekking, bamboo rafting, and guided nature walks.


Located in the Nilgiri Hills of Wayanad, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is another notable wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. Covering an area of over 344 square kilometers, the sanctuary is home to animals like elephants, deer, gaurs, and macaques. The sanctuary also houses several species of birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Visitors can explore the sanctuary through jeep safaris and hiking trails, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the Western Ghats.


Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in Kannur district, is a lesser-known gem that offers a unique wilderness experience. The sanctuary is renowned for its diverse flora, including rare medicinal plants, and provides a habitat for animals like elephants, tigers, leopards, and various species of birds. Visitors can explore the sanctuary through guided treks, nature walks, and camping, giving them a chance to witness the untouched beauty of Kerala’s forests.


Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Idukki district, lies on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This sanctuary is recognized for its unique ecosystem and biodiversity. It is home to several endangered species, including the grizzled giant squirrel and the Indian star tortoise. The sanctuary offers trekking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and eco-tourism programs that allow visitors to discover the region’s natural wonders.


These are just a few examples of the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Kerala. Each of these protected areas provides an opportunity to witness the beauty of Kerala’s wildlife and immerse oneself in nature. Exploring these sanctuaries not only educates about the importance of conservation but also offers a chance to appreciate the remarkable diversity of flora and fauna that Kerala has to offer.


Ayurveda in Kerala

Kerala is renowned as the birthplace of Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine that originated in India thousands of years ago. Ayurveda, which means “science of life,” focuses on holistic well-being and offers a natural way to restore balance and harmony in the body, mind, and spirit. Kerala’s rich natural resources, favorable climate, and traditional knowledge make it an ideal destination for Ayurvedic treatments and therapies.


There are numerous Ayurvedic centers and resorts across Kerala that offer a range of treatments, from relaxation and rejuvenation therapies to comprehensive healing programs. These centers are staffed by experienced Ayurvedic practitioners and therapists who are skilled in various traditional techniques.


Ayurvedic treatments in Kerala are tailored to suit individual needs and health conditions. They typically involve a combination of therapies, including herbal massages, oil baths, meditation, yoga, and dietary counseling. These therapies aim to detoxify the body, promote relaxation, improve blood circulation, and enhance overall well-being.


One of the highlights of an Ayurvedic experience in Kerala is the traditional Ayurvedic massage, known as “Abhyanga.” This is a rhythmic, synchronized massage using warm herbal oils specifically chosen to suit an individual’s body type, or “dosha.” The therapeutic massage helps improve blood circulation, relieve stress, and rejuvenate the body and mind.


Kerala’s Ayurvedic treatments also emphasize the importance of proper nutrition. Ayurvedic physicians provide dietary recommendations based on an individual’s body type and any specific health issues they may have. The use of fresh, organic ingredients, and the incorporation of medicinal herbs and spices, are key aspects of Ayurvedic nutrition in Kerala.


Ayurvedic treatments in Kerala are not only focused on physical health but also on mental and spiritual well-being. Yoga and meditation play a vital role in Ayurveda, helping to calm the mind, reduce stress, and enhance self-awareness. Many Ayurvedic centers in Kerala offer yoga and meditation sessions to complement the treatment programs.


Visiting an Ayurvedic center in Kerala is not just about receiving treatments; it is also an opportunity to learn and immerse oneself in the principles and practices of Ayurveda. Many centers offer workshops, seminars, and interactive sessions where visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Ayurvedic philosophy and lifestyle.


Ayurveda has gained recognition worldwide for its natural and holistic approach to health and well-being. Kerala, with its authentic Ayurvedic practices and serene surroundings, has become a sought-after destination for those seeking Ayurvedic treatments and rejuvenation. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, stress relief, or healing from specific ailments, a visit to an Ayurvedic center in Kerala promises a transformative experience that nurtures body, mind, and soul.


Shopping and Cuisine in Kerala

Exploring the vibrant markets and savoring the diverse flavors of Kerala’s cuisine are experiences not to be missed during a visit to the state. From traditional handicrafts to aromatic spices and mouth-watering delicacies, Kerala offers a delightful shopping and culinary adventure.


Shopping in Kerala is an opportunity to take home unique souvenirs and immerse yourself in the local culture. The state is known for its exquisite handicrafts, including intricately carved wooden figurines, brass and copper utensils, and handwoven textiles. You can find these treasures in local markets, as well as in government emporiums and fair-trade cooperatives.


One of the iconic items to shop for in Kerala is the famous Kasavu saree. Made of pure cotton and adorned with golden zari borders, these sarees are a traditional attire worn during festivals and special occasions. You can also find an array of traditional jewelry, such as gold necklaces, intricately designed bangles, and earrings, which add a touch of elegance to any ensemble.


Kerala is known as the “Land of Spices,” and the markets are filled with aromatic spices that add flavor and aroma to traditional Kerala dishes. From cardamom and cinnamon to turmeric and black pepper, you can find a wide variety of high-quality spices to take home. These spices are not only a culinary delight but also have medicinal properties and are widely used in Ayurvedic therapies.


Kerala’s cuisine is a gastronomic delight that tantalizes the taste buds with its unique flavors and culinary traditions. Rice is a staple of Kerala’s cuisine, and dishes like appam, puttu, and idiyappam are commonly enjoyed for breakfast or as snacks. Seafood lovers will rejoice in the abundance of fresh and flavorful seafood, including prawns, crab, and fish, prepared with aromatic spices and coconut-based gravies.


One of the signature dishes of Kerala is the traditional sadya, a lavish feast served on a banana leaf during festivals and special occasions. The sadya includes an array of vegetarian dishes, such as avial (mixed vegetables in coconut gravy), olan (pumpkin and cowpeas in coconut milk), and payasam (a sweet milk-based dessert).


No culinary journey in Kerala is complete without trying the exotic flavors of the local street food. From the iconic banana fritters (known as pazham pori) and crispy dosas to the spicy snacks like vada and samosas, the street food in Kerala offers a delicious blend of flavors and textures that will leave you craving for more.


For the sweet tooth, Kerala’s rich dessert options are a delight. Unniyappam, a deep-fried rice and jaggery snack, and palada payasam, a delectable rice pudding cooked in milk and sweetened with sugar and cardamom, are among the must-try sweets in Kerala.


As you explore the markets and indulge in the flavors of Kerala’s cuisine, you’ll not only delight in the sensory experiences but also gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage and culinary traditions of this vibrant state.



Kerala, with its captivating beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse attractions, stands as a truly unique destination for travelers. From exploring the tranquil backwaters and pristine beaches to immersing oneself in the lush green landscapes of hill stations and wildlife sanctuaries, Kerala offers a plethora of experiences that cater to every interest and desire.


The state’s history, steeped in ancient myths and tales of kingdoms, adds depth to every historical site and architectural wonder. The cultural heritage of Kerala shines through its traditional art forms, music, dance, literature, and spiritual practices, creating a captivating tapestry of traditions and customs.


With its abundant wildlife and nature reserves, Kerala provides an opportunity to connect with the natural world and venture into the wilderness. Whether it’s spotting elephants and tigers in national parks or cruising through the backwaters, Kerala’s natural beauty and biodiversity are truly awe-inspiring.


Ayurveda, Kerala’s precious gift to the world, offers rejuvenation, healing, and a holistic approach to well-being. The state’s Ayurvedic centers provide an opportunity to experience the ancient practice through therapies, massages, and lifestyle guidance, unlocking a path towards harmony and balance.


The cuisine of Kerala, with its distinct flavors and unique blend of spices, showcases the culinary traditions that have evolved over centuries. From the streets to the grand feasts, Kerala’s food is a feast for the senses, leaving a lasting impression on the palate.


As you bid farewell to this enchanting land, the allure of Kerala will linger in your memories. The experiences of exploring its famous tourist destinations, indulging in its culinary delights, and immersing yourself in its rich culture will leave you with a profound appreciation for the beauty and diversity that Kerala has to offer.


Whether it’s the tranquility of the backwaters, the ancient tales of historical sites, the melodies of classical music and dance, or the therapeutic touch of Ayurveda, Kerala is a destination that will captivate your heart and soul. Each step in this captivating land reveals a new story, a new revelation, reminding you why it is truly “God’s Own Country.”