Alappuzha, that backwater haven of Kerala which promises languid yet mesmerising house boat rides! Where the sight of everyday life on the backwaters ambles by you! Where the cuisine boasts of fresh fish, spicy red gravies, meat fries and some great toddy to wash it down with! Where unofficial stops at toddy shops will have you discussing politics, sports and world affairs with the locals who are very clued in to it all!
Alappuzha, that one place in Kerala which is often the best way to wrap up a visit to God’s Own Country, has come a long way. From the traditional kettuvalams that have given way to air-conditioned houseboats, from sleepy towns to well-maintained, greenery-lined roads, it has a lot to offer today. Alappuzha does live up to its charming sobriquet of Venice of the East.
Great Places to See
For centuries, Kochi, in the district of Ernakulam, has drawn foreign explorers and traders to its shores. This is the one city which upholds the heritage of the several nations that made their way here. The Chinese fishing nets, the Jewish Synagogue, the mosques and the Portuguese influence as well as that of the British Raj continue to resonate through the older parts of the city. Central Kochi has kept up with the times and is always a hub of activity, be it tourist, cultural or even culinary. From the martial art of Kalaripayattu to the elegance of Kathakali and the aromas of karimeen, Cochin is one inviting city indeed.
Some places to visit in Kochi
Among the most popular of Kerala’s beach towns, Kovalam nestles on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It brings together three crescent-shaped beaches and has hence earned the sobriquet of Moon Beach among the locals. These three beaches, with the Lighthouse Beach being the largest, attract thousands of visitors looking to spend some serene time by the waves. Grand sunsets, fresh seafood, clean beaches and an opportunity to unwind in the lap of nature are what you find here.
Many tourists, Indian and foreign alike, come to the tropical lands of Kovalam in search of great spots to get a tan, authentic Ayurvedic massages and unique cultural offerings. Catamaran rides are also found in plenty here. Keep in mind that the best time to enjoy the beach is from early afternoon to late at night.
Great places to see around Kovalam
No matter what your mode of travel, you can feel the beauty of Munnar the minute you cross over into its borders. Lush, rolling mountains, clouds that hang so low you can feel them on your face, slopes of tea gardens, flowers that borrow from the rainbow for their myriad hues… Munnar, as many feel, is the doorway to heaven. Quite naturally, Munnar is located in God’s Own Country – Kerala in the Idukki district. The name stems from the confluence of 3 rivers, the Mudhirapuzha, the Nallathanni and the Kundaly, which envelope—in one great sweep—the beauty of the Western Ghats.
Munnar is one of those destinations that you can head to any time of the year. The official tourist season begins in August and goes all the way to March. During the months of April and May, Munnar is still a popular holiday spot to escape the humidity and heat that characterise summer in Kerala.
The closest rail heads are Ernakulam and Aluva, approximately three hours away. The closest airport is the Cochin International Airport, also 3 hours away. The hill station is well connected by road to different parts of the scenic state. A road journey will take longer than the map tells you, simply because you will be so charmed by the landscape that you are bound to keep stopping to soak in the sights.
Places to see in Munnar
The capital city of Kerala has been named after the cosmic serpent with a thousand heads, Ananthan, over whose coils Lord Vishnu rests. Originally built over the hills, Trivandrum, as its Anglicized name goes, has grown into a massive metropolis, retaining all the while her pristine beauty. The people of the city are well versed with dealing with the hordes of tourists that come in and you will easily be able to find someone who speaks Hindi, English and Tamil, besides Malayalam.
The climate is great all through the year and the monsoons wash afresh the canvas of green with each downpour. The best time to visit Thiruvananthapuram is during the festival of Onam, when the city comes alive with celebrations, from spirited tableaus to majestic snake boat races, elephant parades and displays of Kathakali, Mohinyattam and Koodiyattom.
A visit to Thiruvananthapuram will definitely have you awed by the undulating low-lying hills of this part of our country’s coastline. Take the time out to explore the narrow lanes and bustling streets for a range of interesting experiences.
Places to see in Thiruvananthapuram
The land of the paddy fields, as the name literally translates to, encompasses Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery and Vythiri taluks. Placed high up on a plateau at 1,200ft above sea level, this place is comfortably ensconced between the Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Naturally, the inflow of tourists is high here. Wayanad has a primarily tribal-based culture and is a foreign exchange spinner, thanks to its cash crops of pepper, cardamom, coffee and tea. The tourism department has taken several measures to ensure the region is of top priority to tourists. Several trails have been organised based on the interest levels of visitors.
Places to see in Wayanad