The top 5 must visit places in Kerala

Kerala, a land of breath-taking natural beauty, mouth-watering cuisine, warm and inviting people and decades of history and heritage to claim, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. Kerala, historically known as Keralam gets its name from the words "kera" meaning coconut tree and "alam" meaning land. Thus The land of coconut trees came to be known as Keralam or Kerala. According to the mythological stories Kerala came into existence when Parashurama, the sixth avatar of lord Vishnu, threw his axe into the sea and the sea receded to form Kerala.

Wedged between the Laccadive Sea to the west and the Western Ghats to the east Kerala is blessed with very varied terrain. Its geographical and topographical variations ensure that it has something to offer everyone, no matter what you are looking for. The vast stretch of costal line give way to a large number of sunny and sandy beaches to relax and enjoy the ocean, whereas it also has a number of mist covered hill stations and tranquil back waters.

Naming some of the most popular tourist attractions in Kerala is a challenge as it has them in abundance. Below are some of them:

 

1. Munnar

Munnar has to come first in the list of tourist destinations in Kerala as it is one of the most visited places in the state by travellers both domestic and international. It is situated at a height of 1600mts above sea level. Located in Idukki district, it is a slice of heaven with endless tea gardens, winding narrow lanes between the mist covered mountains and the spice scented fresh air.

2. Alleppey

Also known as the Venice of the East, Alleppey is the hub of Kerala's backwaters. With its picture perfect lagoons, mirror still backwaters, calm beaches, it is a land of watery wonders. Home to thousands of house boats, Alleppey is the best location to spend a weekend floating in its waters, witnessing the breath-taking beauty this land is blessed with and enjoying the freshly cooked fish and duck in authentic Kerala style.

3. Kumarakom

Situated in the enchanting backdrop of Vembanad Lake, Kerala's largest lake, Kumarakom is a nature lover's paradise. it is home to one of the most noted bird sanctuaries in Kerala, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Listed as one of the must see places in a lifetime by National Geographic Magazine, Kumarakom has a wide variety of house boats and is known for its house boat experience throughout the world.

4. Kochi

The urban face of Kerala Kochi is not just a coastal city but also a place where the remains of the colonial past are still evident. The Chinese fishing nets, the Jew Street, the Mattancherry Synagogue, the Dutch Palace etc. remind one of the long and eventful history of the city. Famously known as the Queen of Arabian Sea, it was once an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India.

5. Varkala

Varkala, situated in the outskirts of Trivandrum town is a calm and peaceful hamlet with several tourist attractions including the Varkala beach, the 2000- year old Vishnu temple and the Sivagiri Mutt ashram. It is the only Beach in Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea.  The beach is ideal for sun bathing and swimming and attracts a number of religious visitors as well as tourists.

These are just some of the many places one must definitely cover on a Kerala trip.

For more information on Kerala visit Kerala Tourism Guide.