Known For : Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary Golden Valley Mini Zoo, Ponmudi
Nestled in the laps of rolling hills of the Western Ghats, filled with tea-plantations, lush green hills and valleys, waterfalls and streams, this quaint little town draws connoisseurs of mountain life. You can explore trekking and mountain-climbing on Agasthayarkoodam, the highest peak in the region at 1868 ft. above the sea level. This is a town in the Thiruvananthpuram district and is located 61km from the main city.
Best Time: November to May
Known For : Butterfly Safari Adventure zone Trekking
Snuggled in between dense woods of Western Ghats, Thenmala is an ecotourism destination located in Kollam district of Kerala. A fetching fusion of pristine nature and fabricated design, it offers quietude unlike any place else. Dotted with winding roads and rubber and tea plantations, Thenmala boasts of being the first planned ecotourism site in India. Spread over acres of dense timber trees, the name 'Thenmala' translates to Honey Hill suggesting the supply of high-quality honey from the region.
Best Time: December to February
Located close to the bumbling town of Meppady and just 8 km south of Kalpetta, stands the highest peak of the Wayanad Hill Range- the Chembra Peak at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. The Chembra peak offers a panoramic view of not only the entire Wayanad district but also a large chunk of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Niligiri districts. The peak, its surrounding lush greenery and the famed heart-shaped lake make it a paradise for travellers to explore.
Valiyaparamba Backwaters serves as a major fishing centre in the region. This stretch of backwater is one of most scenic in Kerala.
The Silent Valley National Park, with its lush green forests and beautiful views of the rich flora and fauna, is a popular destination for nature as well as wildlife lovers all across the globe. Spread across an area of 89 square kilometres, the Silent Valley National Park is located in the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats in Kerala in southern India. With its long, detailed history and the unique status of a rainforest, this national park is indeed a sight to visit.
Known For : Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Bhoothathankettu Dam
Located near Kothamangalam in Ernakulam on the northern bank of the Periyar River, this bird sanctuary is also called Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and is famous for its rich and varied birdlife. This Sanctuary came to light in the year 1983 on basis of recommendations made by famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. Spread over 25 sq. km, it shelters over 500 species of birds and rare birds such as Wayanad laughingthrush, rufous babbler, and white-bellied blue flycatcher.
Best Time: Throughout the year
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Snuggled in the evergreen forests and wooded slopes, Pookode Lake is a natural freshwater lake located around 2 km away from Vythiri. One of the most pretty lakes in the Wayanad, Pookode Lake is also known as Pookot Lake. The lake, accessible via motorable road is an excellent place for an outing, especially with family and loved ones. Apart from the natural view, people enjoy boating, seeing the freshwater aquarium, shopping for handicrafts and just walking around.
Thiruvallam backwaters lay around 6 km from Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. Sree Parasurama Temple in Thiruvallam is a highly revered place of religious importance. Veli lake and the Veli tourist village are some of the most popular upcoming tourist attractions with a lot of floating restaurants and all kinds of boating facility. The park near Akkulam Lake in Thiruvallam is considered to be the largest in Kerala and a dear one to all the tourists.
The Muzzhapilangad Drive-in Beach at Kannur is one referred to with many superlatives- as the longest drive-in beach in the whole of India, as one of the cleanest beaches of Kannur and most importantly, as one of the best drive-in beaches that the entire Asian continent has to offer! Being Kerala's only drive-in beach, it attracts the attention of many tourists around the year. The whole concept of drive-in beaches is that you can drive right on the sandy shores of the beach- it is not very often that you get to drive along a 4 km long shoreline that offers an open road with no traffic and a stunning view.
Lying in the lap of the Banasura hills in the Wayanad district is the picturesque Banasura Sagar dam. Banasura Dam is the largest earthen dam in the country and the second-largest in Asia. The view of the sprawling reservoir from the top of the dam is breathtaking. Adventures like speed boating are readily available, and a trek up to the Banasura Peak is filled with streams, diverse flora, fauna, lush tropical green and majestic waterfalls. An earthen dam, also known as an embankment dam is created by placing mounds of clay, sand, rock or soil. The view of Banasura Lake from the top of the hill is mesmerising.
Known For : Punnathurkotta Elephant Palace Mammiyoor Shiva Temple Guruvayur Temple
A small town in the district of Thrissur, Guruvayoor is most famous for the Guruvayoor Temple- India's third largest temple housing Lord Krishna. Krishna Guruvayoorappa!' You hear these words quite often in Kerala. Guruvayoorappan has a distinct place in every heart and every household. This temple is believed to be one of the 108 most divine Vishnu temples in the world. A kilometre away is the Shiva temple at Mammiyur.
Best Time: October to February
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 : Nelliyampathy Hills Nenmara Vallanghy Vela Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
If you see the mist floating in the air and a pleasant aroma of coffee teasing your nostrils, a chain of majestic mountains peaking from all around and a wonderful weather relaxing your nerves, then you are not dreaming, you are in a small beautiful hill station of Kerala known as Nelliyampathy.
Best Time: October to March
Cherai Beach, which is one of the best-voted beaches of the state, is situated at a distance of 30 km from Kochi city. Its strategic location on the northern end of the Vypin Island in Kochi makes it a perfect merging point of the sea and backwaters. The surrounding greenery and the seashells present in different shapes and Chinese fishing nets add to the beauty of the sea. Its coastline alone runs for about 15 km and plays a distinguishing factor from all the other beaches.
Which is your favourite getaway in North Kerala? Have you been to any of these places? Did we miss out on any hidden gem in North Kerala? Let us know in the comments below!