Kerala is a beautiful state in India that is well known for its beaches, backwaters, and lush forests. The state has rich cultural heritage that includes traditional art forms such as classical music, dance, and sculpture. Kerala is a state in India with several cities within it. It is located on the Malabar Coast. And popularly known as “God’s Own Country”.
The place is a home of natural resources like rainforests, beaches, parks, backwaters, hills, mountains, valleys, and even Asia’s biggest botanical garden. There are several places to visit in Kerala for adventures and wildlife exploration that we will discuss in this article.
Popular as the second richest state after Goa, Kerala has over 34 million inhabitants, with a composition of 2.8% of India’s population and 1.2% of the country’s landmass.
Before I go ahead to discuss the best places to visit in Kerala, here are interesting facts about the Indian state:
Some of the key facts about Kerala are:
- It has a population of over 34.63 million people according to a 2018 population index report
- Kerala is a state in India that is known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country
- It is home to over 100 different languages and dialects
- The state has a rich history dating back to the 4th century BC
- Kerala was once part of the great Indian Empire and played an important role in its development
- The state’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, is one of the largest cities in India and is known for its beautiful beaches and lush greenery
- It is one of the most literate states in India with more than 90% of the population able to read and write
- The state has a rich cultural heritage that includes traditional dance, music, and cuisine
- The state has many natural resources like oil, gas, and precious stones
15 Best Places to Visit in Kerala, India (2022).
Here’s a list of the 15 best destinations in Kerala you should check out if you are looking for places to visit in Kerala:
The Muzhappilangad Beach
Muzhappilangad Beach is the longest drive-in beach in Asia. It is situated at Thalassery, the home of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala, with a length of 3.8km. It is rated one of the best beaches for driving in the world by BBC article for autos.
You should attend the beach festival often celebrated in April, where the youths display some cool driving stunts like drifting and wheeling.
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The beach also has the Dharmandam, a private island whose name translates to Green Island in English. The beach is at its peak of activities and full of tourists during the winter. It is about 17 minutes drive from Kannur International Airport, and that is about 27km.
Before picking Kerala as your choice destination for a vacation, you must be a nature lover. So it’s no news that Varkala waterfalls will have you captivated with its beauty and wonders of nature. The waterfalls offer a spectacular view for tourists and wildlife photographers. Taking a few shots of this view and selfies at Varkala should be one thing to tick off your bucket list. The closest airport to the waterfalls is Cochin Airport. Varkala waterfalls are often at their peak of attraction around November through February.
Alleppey is the most popular place to visit in Kerala. It is the hub of Kerala’s backwaters. Alleppey is a town with several lakes, beaches, and various backwaters. What’s a visit to Kerala without a trip to Alleppey beaches and backwaters? This place isn’t called The Venice of the East for nothing.
It’s the perfect place to go on a houseboat cruise, fishing, watch and take cute photos of the sunset or sunrise, take a romantic stroll in the evening, or have a family picnic. This place is perfect for your romantic weekend getaway or family vacation. The best time to visit is in February and the nearest airport is Cochin Airport.
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For lovers of wildlife and the first-hand experience of thick forests and wild vegetation, Thekkady is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. There are varieties of animals to see in the forest like Elephants, Deer, Lions, Great Indian Tigers, and a host of other wildlife and even near-extinct species of animals. Jungle night patrol, wildlife watching, and boating are a few of the many things to do at Thekkady. Consider exploring how to plan a relaxing vacation to add some uniqueness to your stay in Kerala.
Kovalam boasts of so many beaches and backwaters in Kerala. Some of the tourist sites are Lighthouse Beach, Karamana River, Hawa Beach, Rock Cut Caves, etc. At Kovalam, you can sunbathe, go on sightseeing to discover the town, fishing, water sporting activities, and a time, preferably a night in a houseboat alongside other tourists from all around the world.
There are also professional masseuses to offer deep massages with special Indian aromatic spices and herbs. It is a perfect place to meet and learn about other cultures of the world. The best time to visit is from September to May and it’s just 15km from Trivandrum International Airport.
Munnar is a mountainous region in the Western Ghats that offers stunning views of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Munnar is one of the coolest places to visit in Kerala. It is home to many tea plantations and natural wildlife reserves. Some popular tourist sites in Munnar are Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam, and Tea Museum.
Munnar has adorable scenic views, rolling hills, tea plantations, waterfalls, and mountains. There are so many top places to visit in Kerala and views to take and I doubt a day or two would be enough to savor the wonders of nature in Munnar. Munnar casts a magical spell on visitors with its lush vegetation, captivating mountain views, and beautiful waters.
If you’re looking to experience a blend of history, class, and nature, Wayanad should be on your Kerala tour list. The town boasts of serene natural resources like waterfalls, historic caves, and exotic resorts. The name Wayanad means The Land of Paddy Fields, in Malayalam. At Wayanad, you get tutored on famous Indian spices and herbs, flowers, and history. The best way to enjoy the feel of the place is by taking a walk through the town and plantations. Candlelight dinners in the caves are also part of the treats in Wayanad. The nearest airport is Karipur International Airport.
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Kochi is the capital city of Kerala and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Kochi has a lot to offer tourists including world-famous landmarks like Fort Cochin and The Portuguese Quarters. It also has many traditional restaurants and shops that are worth checking out. The central port city of Kerala is popularly known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea”. Cochin is also called Kochi. It’s a busy town with a lot of trading activities.
It is historic for its trading activities and natural harbors, with a record of being the center of the world spice trade for several centuries. The tourism department of the town recorded about 23 million domestic tourist visits in 2017. Asides from being a center of commerce, this town is a beautiful tourist attraction site with its backwaters, lakes, ancient monuments, hills, and magnificent vegetation. There’s an airport in Cochin and several harbors too.
Vagamon is a town in the state of Kerala which earned reputation as diamond town with growth in demand for gems in India. With various mine prospects in the area, this part of the state continues to mint profit and experience prosperity. Barring being known for its gem mines, Vagamon is also famous for its miniature golf courses, which are awesome to play. In addition, it is also called the mango capital of Kerala as per infrastructure required for growing this fruit.
With its fairytale landscape of lush greenery and scenic hill station, Vagamon boasts of fresh air, enchanting gardens, and mystical meadows, valleys, and magical waterfalls. It is nature! This is an ideal place for meditation and a feel of the caresses of nature. If you’re looking for solitude, then Vagamon should make your list of the best tourist places to visit in Kerala, India. The closest airport to the town is Kochi (Cochin) International Airport.
One of the many breathtaking places waiting to be discovered across the globe is Munroe Island. With both a beautiful and gruesome history, Munroe Island is also a natural phenomenon that houses one of the best meteorological observatories in the world.
Bordered by the River Kallada and Ashtamudi Lake, the island was named after Colonel Munroe. It is a rural view with thatched houses that showcases mangrove forests, lagoons, canals, coconut plantations and is famous for the Kallada Boat Race often held in September. It is best for canal cruises in Kerala. If you’re looking to go on the canal cruise, it is held twice a day around 9 AM and 2 PM. You can visit this island at any time of the year and the closest airport is Trivandrum International Airport.
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Malabar Botanical Garden
Classified as home to Asia’s most amazing plants, the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute is a luscious beauty. It has over 10,000 varieties of plants and is spread over 60 acres of land. It is identified as a “Lead Botanic Garden” in Aquatic plant conservation.
Although there are other enchanting plants and natural resources in the garden, the Reserve specializes in aquatic plants and about 600 out of 800 varieties of Aquatic plant species in India can be found in the Malabar botanical garden.
The garden also offers horticultural techniques training where a team of experts tutor on landscaping, budding, grafting, layering, and pest control. Assorted Indian spices and aromatic herbs are also showcased in the garden. If you are a botanical scientist or have an interest in knowing plant species and crop science, the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute is your stop, when visiting Kerala.
Periyar National Park
One of the best wilderness reserves in the country, it is a sanctuary for nature and biodiversity. Located in the Union territory of Tamil Nadu, Periyar National Park boasts of few unique features, like dense black soil which helps in growth of medicinal plants in the forest. Also, this reserve is home to several endangered animals like Asiatic lions, gaur, and Indian rhinoceros. Located about 700 km from Chennai, this park is also surrounded by dense forest cover. As an outdoors lover, you are sure to be enthralled by the serenity that this park presents and the wildlife it sheltered.
Also close to Thekkady, in the districts of Idukki, is Periyar National Park. It is a game reserve and wildlife sanctuary. It is a tourist center and has Elephants and Tigers specially bred and protected for tourism and attraction. Madurai Airport is its nearest airport.
Ponmudi is a village in the district of Kurnool in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is considered one of the prominent and popular tourist destinations in the region, with several tourist spots to explore. Some of these attractions include temples, churches, and a canal. Though numerous travelers find this place to be an adventure as well, few even find it as a source of enchantment.
The town is also ideal for hikers and trekkers, Ponmudi is one of the best places to visit in Kerala, India. It is a scenic Mountain area with captivating views and mesmerizing landscape. You can visit Ponmudi at any time of the year. The closest airport is Trivandrum International Airport.
Silent Valley is a Himalayan Natural Park situated in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This fairytale-like valley with its sandstone formations, snowcapped peaks, and frozen cascades, is one of the best places to visit in Kerala, India by nature lovers. Amidst the snowcapped mountains and dense forests, wildlife is on full display. The valley is home to the snow leopard and several other endangered animals, including the musk deer.
A perfect place to go on a vacation in the winter, Silent Valley is a National Park, whose trees have been reported to be about over 50 million years old. It is a natural home habitat for wildlife, with enchanting rivers flowing through the valleys, and properly managed for tourism purposes. It is located in Mannarkkad. Calicut Airport is the closest airport and it’s at its best for visits around May to September.
Vythiri is a small town and panchayat in northern Andhra Pradesh. Located on the banks of the river Mahanadi, Vythiri is a small town of about 20,000 people, who are mostly farmers and laborers. With a history of almost 1,000 years, this is one of the oldest towns in Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its ancient rock inscriptions collectively known as Brahmi script.
This ancient town is also one of the best places to visit in Kerala. It is the home of resorts with its magnificent antique apartments, captivating tree houses, and enchanting log huts. It offers the perfect blend of modernity and ancient cultures. It is a perfect destination for honeymooners and even families.
Places to Visit in Kerala: Final Thought
When you are planning a vacation to popular destinations in Kerala, it is always fun to visit places that are at least new to you. What better way to get a new experience than to explore places that are not on the tourist map or to see the way in which locals live and work? Kerala is one such destination that boasts of being a land of plenty.
It has something for everyone, be it scented rice delicacies, picturesque backwaters, or beaches with their soothing vistas of the Arabian Sea. From exploring the Vagamon town, Wayanad, Munnar, and Varkala Waterfalls sites to Thekkady Wildlife, there are several beautiful places to visit in Kerala as explored in this article. Destinations that have inherent charm of their own.
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Other Frequently Asked Questions About Kerala
Which is the coolest place in Kerala?
There are many cool places in Kerala but the coolest place according to most people is Munnar. Munnar is a small town in the Western Ghats and it is known for its natural beauty and serenity.
Munnar is also home to some of the best tea plantations in India and it has a long history of tea production. The climate in Munnar is perfect for growing tea and it has a subtropical highland climate with an average annual temperature of 27 degree Celsius.
Munnar is a great place to visit in Kerala if you are looking for a relaxing holiday with plenty of activities to keep you busy. There are many attractions located in and around Munnar, including:
- The National Park at Periyar: This national park contains some of the best forests in India and offers visitors an opportunity to see elephants, leopards, deer, and other animals up close
- The Tea Plantations: Munnar is home to some of the oldest tea plantations in the world. If you are interested in learning more about tea production or want to buy some tea online, then visiting one of these plantations would be a great place to start
- The Spa: Munnar has several spa resorts that offer treatments such as Ayurveda massage, facials, and body wraps
- The hiking trails: Munnar has several well-maintained hiking trails that will take you on scenic walks through the forest or along the riverbanks
Is Kerala a safe place to visit?
Kerala is a beautiful state in India and it is considered to be one of the safest states in India. There have been no major incidents reported from Kerala in the past few years.
However, always take precautions while traveling to any place and make sure to stay informed about current events happening in that particular region. There are travel tips for first time travelers to help you navigate your new destination. You can also read online reviews of people who have visited Kerala to get an idea of what to expect. When traveling with family, see how these travel tips when traveling with toddlers can help you stay safe.
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