Kerala tourist places are unique and varied and compare to no other in India.

Besides its famous backwaters, rice paddies, coconut groves, elegant houseboats and delicately spiced, bud-tingling cuisine, Kerala also offers azure seas, white crescents beaches, and evocative ex-colonial trading towns. Then there are the mountainous Ghats carpeted by spices and tea plantations, home to wild elephants, exotic birds and the odd tiger; and crazily vibrant traditions such as Kathakali – a blend of religious play and dance; kalarippayat – a gravity defying martial art, and theyyam – a trance-induced ritual.

In the ramshackle port city of Fort Kochi, it’s as if the clocks stopped a few centuries back: wizened traders sift spice in the shadows of derelict go-downs, the churches glow lime white, at the harbour’s edge lines of cantilevered Chinese fishing nets swoop for their next catch of silvery sprats, and medieval streets and antique shops thread the route between the tiny blue-tiled synagogue and grand Dutch wooden palace of Mattancherry.

Unwind with Ayurvedic massages on the southern beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, but Malabar, in the north, is the real unsung jewel of the state, an outpost of staunch Hindu religiosity and capital of the Muslim Moplah community. Here, hushed families gather at dawn in leafy temple gardens to watch spectacles of the unique, hypnotic temple dance-form Theyyam and, come nightfall, the precision athletes of the swashbuckling martial art Kalarippayattu draw their swords.

Switchback turns bear you from the lush green paddy fields of the plains through spindly rubber plantations and blooming coffee-tree forests up to the thick tea-shrub territory of the high mountain villages of Thekaddy and Munnar, whose nature reserves hide herds of tigers and elephants.


Top Places to Visit in Kerala

  • Float along Kerala’s backwaters on a houseboat, handmade in the style of traditional rice barges, or a canoe, from Alleppey, Kochi, Kottayam or Kollam
  • Take in the colonial history of Kerala in charming Fort Kochi
  • Cool down in the plantation-cloaked hills of Munnar in the lush mountains of Kerala’s Western Ghats
  • Kick back and unwind at the breathtaking beach resorts of Varkala and Kovalam
  • Spot wild elephants at Wayanad amid spectacular mountain scenery and epic spice fields
  • Explore the golden-sand and unspoilt beaches around Kannur and Bekal

Click on one of the sections on the right for more information about Kerala or choose a city from the map below.


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