Kerala is one of the top 8 global destinations to visit and the only Indian one to make it to a highly coveted list (UK’s ABTA). It doesn’t matter which part of the world you are from, if you haven’t experienced the balmy weather or seen the lush greenery, the wetlands, the high forests, the vast fields of plantations, or the splendid festival of the palm trees for as far as your eyes can reach, you have missed something big.
Kerala is one of the few states in the country that offers tourist destinations that provide conditions ranging from the warm to something sweetly chilling.
What Does Kerala has to Offer?
Untouched wildlife, unfettered forests, endless species of flora, vast stretches of inland water bodies, clean golden beaches – name it and the God’s Own Country has it to offer you. With a population that has one of the highest literacy rates in the world and cleanliness that’s hard to find elsewhere in India, Kerala is nothing less than a gem of a place to go. And that all its major airports are connected well by Air India with the rest of the world, also makes it an easier destination to reach.
So what can you find and do in Kerala:
Just like a visit to India means you cannot miss Kerala, a visit to the state means you cannot miss 3 or 4 destinations. And Munnar is one of them. You would simply fall in love with the place. This hill station is part of the Western Ghats and reaches to altitudes of over 6,000 feet. Located in the Idukki district, it has so much to offer.
- Tea Plantations & Tea Museum: Munnar has vast stretches of rolling hills covered in vibrant lush greenery comprising of tea plantations. And when this spectacular view mixes with the aroma of tea and cool breeze, it’s hard to think of a better experience. Don’t forget to visit the Tea Museum here.
- Mattupetty Dam: A few kilometers from Munnar, this hydroelectric dam is nestled beautifully between the hills. From here you can also enjoy magnificent views of the vast stretches of Munnar’s greenery.
- Echo Point: When in Munnar, be in Echo Point. From this point you can scream at the top of your choice and the echo will return to you in a minute.
- Rajamalai: Part of the national park, this place brings you closer to Munnar’s untouched wildlife.
There are many other places of interest in and around Munnar. This includes the Marayoor Sandalwood Forests, Attukad Waterfalls, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Blossom Park.
Munnar is well connected by road and train to the Cochin International Airport. The airport is 125 km away and is well connected by international and national flights by Air India, the country’s national career.
2. Alleppey or Alappuzha
Alleppey, for its backwaters, makes another one of the most important tourist destinations in Kerala. A visit to Kerala inevitably means that you should have a hide in the houseboats of Alleppey’s backwaters. A quaint but well-appointed houseboat vacation can take you through the pristine waters surrounded by lush greenery on both sides. You can view villagers fishing, vast paddy fields along the waters, water lilies, and much more.
Some of the key attractions in Alleppey include:
- Alappuzha Beach
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
- Punnamada Lake
- Krishnapuram Palace
Although the place remains open throughout the year, visiting between September to May can help you avoid the heavy monsoons. Alleppey is just over 50 km from the Cochin International Airport, which is well connected by Air India. The railway station is a few kilometers from the city’s hub.
3. Periyar National Park
The Periyar National Park is among the few places in India where you may come across a tiger. Located in Thekkady, this wildlife sanctuary provides you unlimited opportunities to have a great time. The elephant or boat safaris are perhaps its biggest attractions. There is so much you can do in Periyar:
- Go Safari: You can go exploring nature in its unfettered form in an elephant, boat or jeep safari. It can bring you close to large groups of wild elephants, the rare Sambar Deer, and wild boar.
- Night Patrol: You may also join the night patrol parties of the forest guards to explore the wilderness during night time. This is however only for those with the adventurous spirit.
- Go Tracking the Tiger: This unique expedition can take you on a tiger-tracking mission in the supervision of forest officials and guides during day time.
Periyar too has many tea plantations along with vast stretches of spice plantations. You could also go exploring or shopping some of its exotic produce including cardamom, vanilla, and pepper.
October to June is the ideal time of the year to visit Periyar National Park. Cochin is the nearest airport, located around 200 km away. The airport is serviced by both national and international flights by Air India.