Kerala’s top tourism places: Explore the beauty of Munnar, Waynad and more!

Kerala, often called “God’s Own Country,” is a captivating state known for its lush greenery, pristine beaches, and tranquil backwaters. Let us have a look at its famous tourist spots.

Kerala, nicknamed “God’s Own Country,” is a captivating state located in the southwestern part of India. Known for its lush tropical greenery, pristine beaches, tranquil backwaters, and diverse plant and animal life, Kerala offers an enchanting natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

With its idyllic landscapes and serene environments, Kerala is considered an ideal destination for honeymoons and family vacations.

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Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Kerala is during the winter season from September to March. During this period, Kerala experiences a pleasant climate with comfortable temperatures and reduced humidity levels.

 

Here are the top places to visit on your next trip to Kerala:

 

Munnar

Munnar is a famous hill station in Kerala, located in the Western Ghats mountains at an elevation of 1600 meters. It is known for its beautiful tea plantations, lush greenery, winding roads, misty landscapes, and scenic viewpoints.

The main attractions in Munnar are its vast tea estates, the Eravikulam National Park, and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, where visitors can explore the region’s unique flora and fauna. One of Munnar’s claims to fame is the rare Neelakurinji flowers that bloom only once every 12 years, with the next bloom expected in 2030. The area is also home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, a species of mountain goat.

Munnar is a popular destination for tourists, especially honeymooners, who come to experience its natural beauty and tranquillity.

Alleppey

Alleppey, officially called Alappuzha, is a town in southern Kerala famous for its beautiful backwaters – a network of canals, lagoons, and rivers. It is known for the houseboats that offer overnight stays cruising through these serene backwaters surrounded by palm trees.

During the dry season, Alleppey’s coastal areas have nice beaches suitable for water sports. Along with other popular destinations like Munnar and Thekkady, Alleppey is a favoured spot for honeymoons and family vacations in Kerala.

A major attraction is the Kuttanad region, dubbed the ‘Rice Bowl of Kerala’, which encompasses lush paddy fields, lakes, and more backwaters within the Alleppey district.

The interconnected backwaters fringed by palm trees draw tourists from around the world to experience the tranquil beauty of this area.

Kochi

Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a port city located on the Malabar coast in southwestern India. It has a long trading history dating back at least 600 years, earning it the nickname “Queen of the Arabian Sea.” Kochi serves as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala state.

The city exudes an old-world charm with a diverse mix of linguistic and ethnic communities like Jews, Konkinis, Gujaratis, and Anglo-Indians. Kochi’s landscape combines backwaters, beaches, islands, coasts, and plains.

Due to its maritime trading legacy, Kochi retains many Dutch and Portuguese colonial buildings like the Old Harbour House, Mattancherry Palace, Bolgatty Palace, and Jewish Synagogue, some of which have been renovated over time.

This cosmopolitan town offers upscale shopping, art galleries, heritage homes, and renowned museums like the Hill Palace and Kerala Folklore Museum. It combines its rich history with modern amenities.

Waynad

Wayanad is a picturesque region nestled in the Western Ghats mountain range of Kerala. It is famous for its spice plantations and rich wildlife. Situated at elevations ranging from 700 to 2100 meters above sea level, Wayanad is blessed with lush green forests, misty hills, and glistening waterfalls, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

The name Wayanad is derived from ‘Vayal Nadu,’ meaning ‘Land of Paddy Fields,’ referring to its fertile valleys and terraced fields that contribute to a thriving agricultural economy.

However, Wayanad is best known for its wildlife reserves. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare species like the Indian bison, elephants, and leopards. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, which is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, offers excellent opportunities for wildlife watching and nature photography.

Nature enthusiasts can explore the serene beauty of the Soochipara and Meenmutty waterfalls, surrounded by lush greenery, or embark on wildlife safaris in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

Varkala

Varkala is a coastal town in southern Kerala, known for its unique 15-meter high ‘Northern Cliff’ overlooking the Arabian Sea. Located about 50 km north of Thiruvananthapuram (the state capital), Varkala offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, spirituality, and cultural charm.

It is popular among hippies and backpackers for its cliff-side shacks serving delicious seafood and playing global music. Varkala is also home to the samadhi (final resting place) of Kerala’s renowned saint, Sree Narayana Guru, as well as the famous Janardana Swami Temple, also called Dakshin Kashi.

Varkala is renowned for its stunning cliffside views of the Arabian Sea, creating a breathtaking backdrop for relaxation and exploration. The iconic Varkala Cliff is a geological wonder that attracts visitors from all over. Perched atop the cliffs are numerous cafes, shops, and guesthouses offering panoramic sea views, making it an ideal spot for strolls and watching sunsets.

 

Kumarakom

Kumarakom is an enchanting backwater destination located 16 km away from Kottayam in Kerala. Situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, Kerala’s largest lake, Kumarakom comprises a cluster of small man-made islands reclaimed from the lake waters.

This picturesque village beckons travellers with its serene waterways, lush green landscapes, and rich biodiversity, making it a perfect retreat for those seeking peace and tranquillity.

Kumarakom is known for its paddy fields, fishing activities, beaches, an extensive network of backwaters, delicious local cuisine, traditional Kettuvalloms (rice barges converted into houseboats), and luxury and budget resorts.

Experiencing village life by traversing through the lush greenery and quaint villages is a must-do activity here. It allows visitors to soak in the serene ambience and get a glimpse into the local way of life.

Vagamon

Vagamon, popularly known as Wagamon, is a quiet and offbeat hill station located near the Kottayam-Idukki border in Kerala. With a pleasant climate throughout the year, this breathtaking tourist spot is surrounded by meandering rivulets, lush green hills, tea gardens, pine forests, waterfalls, and mesmerizing meadows, making it a perfect getaway destination.

Vagamon is gradually gaining attention as one of India’s top spots for adventure tourism, offering activities such as trekking, rock climbing, and paragliding for tourists. Cycling through the mountains is another interesting activity that visitors can enjoy to experience the place better.

The Kerala Tourism Department and the Adventure Sports and Sustainable Tourism Academy (AASTA) organize an International Paragliding Festival in Vagamon every year, which is very popular among both tourists and locals alike.

 

Whether it’s cruising along the famous backwaters, relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, trekking through verdant hills, or experiencing the vibrant local culture, Kerala promises an unforgettable experience for travellers seeking a truly refreshing and rejuvenating getaway.

 

(The article has been modified using artificial intelligence (AI) tools.)