Lonely Planet Author Ami Bhat's top 10 places to visit in Kerala

Last Modified: Sun Nov 20 2016 15:50:26 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • #1
    Munnar: Dotted with waterfalls and greenery all around, Munnar offers you a feast for all your senses with its rare wildlife, scintillating view-points and a unique tea museum. Head to its highest point -Top Station to float amid the clouds or trek through the Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary to spot the rare grizzled giant squirrel along with some elephants and deer.
  • #2
    Kochi: Behold the Queen of the Arabian Sea – Kochi, as it enthralls you with its buildings and architecture that are reminiscent of its European inhabitants. Discover the remains of these in the Mattancherry Palace, the Jewish Synagogue & the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica. Allow the famed Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi to cast a spell on you as you gaze at the Sunset through them.
  • #3
    Kovalam: The place is aptly named to mean Coconut grove – with its palm fringed beaches, soft sands and gentle sea. Pick any of its three beaches – Lighthouse beach, Eve’s beach or Samundra beach to relax and enjoy some good Kerala food, Ayurvedic massage and some local shopping. And if you want to hit an adrenaline high, you can just opt for any of the water activities – parasailing, kayaking or jetskiing on these beaches.
  • #4
    Bekal: Discover the charm of this little town of Bekal with its keyhole shaped fort that encloses the gorgeous green hills and separates them from the sea. This place has found its way into many films and naturally so, given its scenic beauty. Also, visit the Chandragiri fort while here. Complete your trip with a lovely houseboat cruise in Bekal.
  • #5
    Alleppey: Welcome to the serene backwaters of Alleppey – popularly referred to as the Venice of the East. Pick a houseboat and stay over to experience life in Vemband lake. Relax with a cup of tea as you gaze at the setting sun casts its golden glow over the swaying palms and the calm backwaters. Don’t forget to try out the famed Karimeen while on the houseboat.
  • #6
    Thekkady: Considered to be the spice heaven of Kerala. The cool, green hills of Thekkady are home to not just various tea and spice plantations, but also, the tigers and elephants of Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Witness the traditional Kathakali dance and the war art of Kalaripayttu at the art center in Thekkady. Remember to buy those fresh spices for yourselves when you head back home.
  • #7
    Thrissur: If you are keen on some cultural experience, then you must head to the cultural capital of Kerala – Thrissur. The town itself is rumored to have been established by the 6th avataar of Vishnu – Parshurama. There is no missing the Vadakummnathan temple that forms the center of this town. Add to that the thrill of the gorgeous waterfalls like the Athirapilly falls, a short trip from the city.
  • #8
    Wayanad: With its wildlife, historical caves, stunning cascades and beautiful green hills, Wayanad spoils you with its choices of activities. You can choose to trek up to Chembra Lake or take a little more adventurous trail through the Pakshipathalam to spot the rarest of birds. There is no resisting the Soochipara falls – a perfect place to cool your senses.
  • #9
    Varkala: One of the most scenic beach destinations in Kerala, Varkala offers you a unique combination of beach, greens and cliffs. What makes it even more interesting are the little local shops that are lined along the way to the beach, the myriad water sports options and the mesmerizing sunsets that end your perfect day. Varkala is an important Hindu center with the age-old Janardhana temple and the famed Papanasam beach – a dip here is said to wash away all your sins.
  • #10
    Kumarakom: A backdrop setting for the famed book by Arundati Roy, Kumarakom too, will allow you to experience the gorgeous back-waters of Kerala. To add to the fun, you can also visit the Kumarakom bird sanctuary to admire the rare winged beauties.