Famous for its exquisite rock and wall carvings, the pre-historic Edakkal Caves are two naturally occurring alcoves located in the Wayanad district of Kerala. The caves measure at a massive length and width of 96 and 22 feet respectively and lie 1200 metres above the sea level. Owing to its precarious location, one needs to trek for one and half hour (around 4000 ft) to hit the cave entrance, and another 45 minutes to reach the mouth of the cave. The Edakkal caves are of historical and archaeological significance as it has carvings that date back to the Neolithic era, the late Stone Age.
Located 60 km from the Thrissur district of Kerala, Athirapally Falls is a marvellous cascade of frothy waters that makes its way from the Anamudi mountains of the Western Ghats. This 80 ft high and 330 ft wide marvel is the largest waterfall in Kerala and is often referred to as the "Niagara Falls of India". From here, the Athirapally falls flows through the verdant greenery of Vazhachal Forest toward the Arabian Sea, creating a spectacular vista of scintillating water, emerald jungles and azure sky.
Overlooking the serene backwaters of Kerala is Marine Drive, one of the most popular hangout spots in the city of Kochi. It is a picturesque promenade with a walkway of about three kilometres and is a fantastic place to spend some time leisurely, either in the company of loved ones or even some alone time. The walkway of Marine Drive is filled with people during the evening who visit the place to have the view of the sun setting over the calm sea. Unsurprisingly, this is quite a popular destination for morning and evening walks as well.
Known For : Vellayani Lake, Kovalam Water Sports in Kovalam Lighthouse Beach
Kovalam is an idyllic coastal town located around 13 km from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. Famous for its three adjacent crescent-shaped shallow water and low tidal beaches, Kovalam is dotted with resorts and ayurvedic massage centres. Earlier a fishing village, Kovalam started attracting tourists in the 1930s and shot to fame in the hippie epoch of 1970s. It still sees the influx of tourists from Israel and Europe. Lighthouse beach, Samudra Beach and Hawa beach/Eve's Beach form the highlight of this town.
Best Time: September to March
Known For : Water Sports in Varkala Varkala Beach Edava Beach
Varkala is a coastal town in the southern part of Kerala known for the unique 15m high 'Northern Cliff' adjacent to the Arabian Sea. It is popular for its hippie culture, shacks on the cliff serving great seafood and playing global music and the samadhi of Kerala's saint Sree Narayana Guru. Varkala is also known for Jardana Swami Temple, also known as Dakshin Kashi. Varkala has some of the best pristine beaches, hills, lakes, forts, lighthouses, natural fisheries and springs - all of this together makes this town a little paradise.
Best Time: Throughout the year
The second largest lake in Kerala, Ashtamudi Lake is situated in the Kollam district. The lake runs over a length of 16 kilometres and covers almost 30% of the town of Kollam. Its name, Ashtamudi has been derived from two words 'Ashta' meaning eight and 'Mudi' meaning branch, thereby stating the fact that lake has eight branches. All the eight branches converge into a single channel that meets with the Arabian Sea. The lake is fed by the major river, Kallada. Coconut trees and palms surround the entire vicinity of the lake adding to its beauty.
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The gentle hills of Ranipuram in Kerala are famous for its trekking trail. Situated at the height of about 750 meters above sea level, this destination has thick forest vegetation and lush green grasslands. The whole place is proposed inside the Ranipuram Wildlife Sanctuary which merges with Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka. The sublime beauty of this region is comparable to that of Ooty, and is a must visit for all nature enthusiasts. The innocent life of the village and gentle nature make a perfect blend of delight and enjoyment.
The Backwaters of Kumarakom, formed by the beautiful Vembanad Lake, is located about 17 kilometers from Kottayam in God's Own Country, the South Indian state of Kerala. The Vembanad Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the state and is known worldwide for its famous backwater tourism. The Backwaters of Kumarakom offer a picturesque location that proves to be a perfect backwater destination for travelers who are persistently searching for one.
A small hill station tucked in the forest of Kodagu in the Kannur district of Kerala, Paithalmala is one of the most beautiful peaks in the Western Ghats that mesmerizes anyone who has been here. Standing tall at 4500 ft, Paithalmala is the tallest peak in the district of Kannur and a very popular trekking destination for all the nature and adventure lovers out there. An enchanting hill station with captivating beauty, thrilling trekking trails and abundance of lush greenery - Paithalmala is a perfect getaway.
One of the great delights of the Malabar Coast, the Marari Beach is an idyllic destination for a serene beach vacation. Clear turquoise waters that meet the shimmering golden sands with the coconut palm trees in the background make it about as picturesque as anyone could imagine the appearance of the shore. About 11 km from the city of Alleppey, this beach is a hotspot for fishing activity, deriving its name from the local fishing village Mararikulam, and it has a peaceful and laid back ambience perfect for those looking to relax and unwind by the calming waters.
Known For : Nelliyampathy Hills Nenmara Vallanghy Vela Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
With plenty of unexplored treasures, Nelliyampathy is a hill station located near the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border offering bounty of nature and lush green surroundings of tea, coffee and cardamom plantations. The town is also ornamented with a variety of flora, fauna and picturesque tourist attractions. A perfect place for eco-tourism and romantic holidays, the region comprises of peaks of altitude ranging from 500m to 1600m providing an incredible trekking trail for adventure buffs. Apart from this, Nenmara Vellanghy vela take place in the month of April.
Best Time: October to March
Mattupetty Dam is a strong gravity dam which was constructed for power generation and water conservation. Located in the Munar hills near the Anamudi peak, the dam is situated 1700 meters high. The green valleys and pleasant ambience surrounding make up for a captivating site. The reflection of the tea gardens into the water is the most beautiful part of the dam. Speed boating too is organized here by the Tourism Promotion Council of the district of Idukki. Other water sports organized include motor boats, paddle boats, and rowboats.
Known For : Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary Vagamon Meadows Pine Hill
1100 meters above sea, far way from the loud city culture, lush greenery and serenity to gift every visitor, Vagamon could be your quiet offbeat hill station in Kerala away from maddening tourist crowds. If you are a forest lover, the first place you should visit in Vagamon is the Vagamon Pine forest, which is the major tourist attraction of this place. A very popular spot for movie shootings, Vagamon forest is actually a man-made forest which was created during the British era. The forest overlooks the entire Vagamon valley and is a beautiful place where you can go for a long walk, or just sit under a pine tree and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
Best Time: Throughout the year
Known For : Bekal Fort Bekal Beach Kappil Beach
Located on the west of the Malabar coastline, Bekal is a small town in the Kasargod district of Kerala. It is famous for its beaches, backwaters, forts and some tourists spots. Bekal is home to the largest fortress in Kerala. It's one of the primary landmarks of Kasargod district. Shaped like a giant keyhole, the Bekal fort is bordered by the Arabian on three sides. A set of 45 caves called the Nityanandashram caves, Kappil Beach and Chandragiri fort are few of the other major attractions.
Best Time: October to March
Known For : Houseboats Alappuzha Beach Alleppey Backwaters
Officially called Alappuzha, Alleppey is a city in the South Indian state of Kerala. Bordering the Laccadive Sea, it is known for its wide network of interlinking, palm-fringed canals called backwaters and rejuvenating Ayurvedic resorts. Allepey is also popular for its Houseboat cruises that pass through the serene backwaters, where you can catch glimpses of green paddy fields, choir making activities, beautiful avifauna and witness the life of locals in Kerala. Towards the shore lies the Alleppey beach in the Arabian Sea, a beautiful example of the gems you’d find along the Malabar Coast.
Best Time: June to March