'Kerala Tourism' District Wise explanation
Kerala-God's Own Country
With the Arabian sea in the west, the western Ghats towering 50-2700 m in the east and networked by forty-four rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia.Enchanting art forms,Magical festivals,Historic and cultural monuments, A divine cuisine... all of which offer you a unique experience.
Kerala, India's most advanced society, a hundred percent literate people ,world-class health care systems and peaceful, Kerala is India's cleanest state.
Place to See
- Kovalam Beach
- Varkala Beach
- Ponmudi Hill station
- Padmanabha swamy temple
- Napier Museum & Art Gallery
Near Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport
Thiruvananthapuram is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the west and Tamil Nadu in the east. Named after 'Anantha Padmanabha' (Vishnu), the city is home to many ancient temples. But the landmark is the Sree padmanabha Swamy Temple around which the city has been built on seven low hills. The wooded highlands of the Western Ghats in the eastern and northeastern borders give Thiruvananthapuram some of the most enchanting picnic spots. A long shoreline with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage make this district a must see tourist spot.
Kovalam: (16 km from Thiruvananthapuram)This internationally renowned seaside destination has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Just a short drive away from the State capital, Kovalam is easily accessible. It encompasses three adjacent crescent-shaped beaches. Lighthouse Beach, Eve's or Howah Beach and the Ashok Beach .Golden sands, miles of shimmering sea, rocky promontories constantly caressed by the sensuous surf and brilliant sunshine, make this place truly sensational.
In and around you can see the following:
- Kovalam beach
- Thiruvallam serene backwater stretch
- The Great kovalam poets monument
- Vizhinjam natural port
- Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium
- Chowara fishing Hamlet
- Poovar beach
In and around Varkala(45 km from Trivandrum):
- Anjengo fort
- Papanasam Beach
- Ponnumthuruthu Island
- Sivagiri Mutt
- Janardhana Swamy Temple
- Thiruvambady Beach(Black sand Beach)
- Varkala Kathakali centre
- Kappil Beach and Backwaters
More place to see:
- Meshan Mani(clock)
- CVN kalari
- Kerala Legislature Complex
- University Observatory
- VJT hall
- Kanakakkunnu Palace
- Chacha Nehru Children's Museum
- Puthenmalika Palace
- Akkulam Tourist Village
- Aruvikkara dam
- Koyikkal Palace
- Numismastics Museum
- The Folklore Museum
- Veli Tourist Village
- Neyyar Dam
- Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
- Museum Complex:(The Napier, Sree Chithra Art Gallery,Sree Chithra Enclave, The Zoological Park,KCS Panicker Gallery,Natural History Museum,Kerala Museum of History and heritage,Kerala state Science and Technology Museum)
- Shankhumugham Beach
- Ashtamudi Backwaters
- Thenrnala Ecotourism Centre
- Thirumullavaram Beach Palaruvi Waterfall
Kollam is the centre of the country's cashew trading and processing industry. Extolled by Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta in glowing terms, this famous port was once part of the international spice trade. Thirty percent of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. The momentous decision to introduce a new Malayalam era was convened at Kollam and hence the malayalam calender came to be known as Kollavarsham.
Ashtamudi Backwaters: So called because of its 8 arms or channels, Ashtamudi Lake is the gateway to the backwaters. This 16 km long lake is the second largest in Kerala, finding its way into the sea through the Neendakara estuary. The Kollam Boat Club provides boat rides as well as houseboat cruises. The trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is one of the most popular and longest backwater cruises in Kerala. The eight-hour journey will give you an intimate experience of the famed waterways.
Thenmala Ecotourism Centre:66 km east from kollam,Thenmala was selected by the World Tourism Organisation as one of the world's best omit-friendly projects.Covered by dense forests, rubber and tea plantations,It has a leisure zone with winding pathways, a sway bridge, a sculpture garden and boardwalk. Adventure zone that includes activities like trekking, bird watching, mountain biking, rock climbing, rappelling and river tossing. In addition, there is the Deer Rehabilitation Centre as well as the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary.
Palaruvi Waterfalls: 75 km from Kollam, Palaruvi, (which means stream of milk), makes its way down the rocks from a height of 300 ft. A sought-after picnic spot, the scenic beauty of this place is enhanced by hills, valleys and waterfalls. The PWD Inspection Bungalow and the KTDC Motel offers comfortable accommodation. Trekking to the waterfalls and bathing in the river are popular activities here.
Jatayupara: (48 km from Kollam) The huge rock at Chadayamangalam takes its name from the mythical bird, Jatayu, in the epic Ramayana, who is believed to have collapsed on the rock after failing in his attempts to thwart Ravana's kidnapping of Sita.
To See More:
- Alumkadavu houseboats
- Kollam Beach
- Kottukal Rock Cut Cave Temple
- Matha Amrithanandamayi Ashram,vallikavu
- Munroe island
- Picnic Village
- Police Museum
- Thangasseri or Dutch Quilon
A hilly territory of pristine beauty, Pathanamthitta is popular as the headquarters of pilgrim worship in Kerala. Three rivers course through its rich terrains comprising natural divisions of the lowlands, the midlands and the highlands. Dotted with temples, rivers, mountain ranges and coconut groves, more than fifty percent of the total area of this region is covered by forests.Aranmula Kannadi - metal mirrors that are handcrafted and the Vaasthu Vidya Gurukulam, a heritage village which practices the ancient Indian school of architecture, vaasthuVidya, in its purest form.
- Gavi Ecotourism Centre
- Aranmula Heritage Village
- Perunthenaruvi Falls
- Konni Elephant Camp
- Kakki Reservoir
- Sabarimala Temple
Gavi: (105 km from Pathanamthitta and 28 km from Vandiperiyar): Blanketed by tea plantations, Gavi, near Kumily in ldukki District, is a picturesque destination. A have for bird watchers with more than 260 species of birds, Gavi has been developed into an exclusive ecotourism centre. The Bamboo Grove in the middle of Anavachal in Gavi has eco-lodges and a centre for experiential learning. Trekking, bird watching and boating options are also made available. Kerala Forest Development Corporation provides tented accommodation and boating facilities. Ph: 0481-2581204
Kakki Reservoir: (62 km from Pathanamthitta)Tigers, elephants and monkeys can be sighted in the forest surrounding the reservoir. The magnificent artificial lake provides an enchanting boating experience.
Aranmula: (13 km from Pathanamthitta) The unique heritage village of Aranmula gets its name from the centuries-old ' aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Chengannur, 10 km away, he nearest railway station.
Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple: Dedicated to Sree Krishna, this temple on the banks of the holy River ,pamba, attracts large crowds of devotees. It is said that the was brought here in a raft made with aru (six) pieces of (bamboo) which gave the town its name.
Vaastu Vidya Gurukulam: (Near to Parthasarathy Temple). A centre started to conserve and preserve the ancient art of traditional building and construction methods, the Gurukulam began functioning in 1993. The Indian science of eco-friendly construction and interior design is taught here and at the institute's art gallery situated across the road, one can watch artists at work, demonstrating age-old techniques used to create murals on the walls of the temples. Ph: 0468-2319740
Aranmula Kannadi: Aranmula is synonymous with its very own metal mirrors, a unique craft which is not found elsewhere in the world. An alloy of copper and white lead is mixed in a particular ratio to make this non-refractive mirror, which is a closely guarded family secret.
Referred to as the 'Venice of the East' by travellers fro cross the world, Alappuzha Is a district of immense natural beauty. Caressed by the Arabian Sea in the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers criss-crossIng it, this backwater country shelters some unique animal end bird life. By virtue of its proximity to he sea, the town has always enjoyed an exclusive place the maritime history ol Kerala. Famous for its boat aces, beaches, marine products and coir Industry, the singularity of this and Is the region called Kuttanad- a land of lush paddy fields referred to as the 'Rice Bowl f Kerala' and one of the few pieces In the world where farming is done below sea level, This onetime prosperous adding and fishing centre Is today a world renowned backwater tourist destination.
Capture Your Personnel moments
- Alappuzha Backwaters
- Alappuzha Beach
- Karumadi kuttan : 11th century statue of Lord Buddha
- Krishnapuram Palace
- Pathiramanal : A favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world.
- Sea view park
- Thakazhi Museum and Smritimandapam
- The Vijaya Beach park
Alappuzha Backwaters: With its labyrinth of waterways, Alappuzha, extolled by travellers as the 'Venice of The East' is one of Kerala's most exotic destinations. As the venue for the world renowned Nehru Trophy Boat RIM backwaters come alive during the month of August every year. A houseboat journey is the ideal way to soak in the delights of rustic Alappuzha,
Kuttanad: Kuttanad, called the 'Rice Bowl of Kerala' because of its wealth of its paddy crops, is at the very heart of the backwaters. Set in the interiors at Alappuzha, Kuttanad is a vast area of reclaimed land separated by dikes from water.
The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich field of banana, cassava and yam.
Alappuzha Beach: This is one of the most popular picnic spots In Alappuzha. The pier here, which extends into the sea, is over 137 years old.
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
- Thazhathangadi Town
- Poonjar Palace
- Ayyampara Hill
- Elaveezhapoonchira valley
- Alapra forest area
- Anchuvilakku Stone lamp post
- Aruvikuzhy Waterfalls
- Erumeli forest area
- Marmala Stream
- Poonjar palace
Acclaimed as the land of letters, latex and lakes. Kottayam has the distinction of being the first-ever fully literate municipal town in India. This land also boasts of first English educational centre in South India as well as the first Malayalam printing press which was established by Benjamin Bailey, a Christian missionary, in 1820 AD. Today, it is the forerunner in publishing with about 80 percent of the books published In the State comes from the District. The nerve centre Kerala's newspaper industry,a total of five dailies are published from here. panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands and extensive rubber plantations characterize this picturesque land which attracts hordes of tourists. The majestic Vembanad Lake and the stunning backwaters of kumarakom are Its prime attractions.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: (16 km from Kottayam. Open 0600- 1800 his) Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, an orniologist's paradise, is a favourite haunt of migratory birds. June to August m the ding season of resident wetland birds like Siberian stork, cormorants, darter, white,ibis,egret, heron and teal. Between November and May is the season of migratory birds pintailed duck, garganey teal, spot billed duck, osprey, marsh harrier, steppey eagle etc.A cruise along the Vembanad Lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary. Pathiramanal, an enchanting island in the lake. can be accessed by boat from here.
Vembanad Lake: (16 km west of Kottayam is a vast network of rivers, Lakes, and canals which empty into the great expanse of water called the Vembanad Iake. Vembanad is the second largest freshwater lake in South Asia and the largest in India. In this small water world, you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, ti and canoes that will take you into the heart of this scenic lake.An enchanting picnic spot and a much sought-after backwater tourism destination, the lake provides boating's, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are truly exhilarating.it is at its widest point at Kumarakom. The serene lake comes alive during Onam with a spectacular water regatta the snake boat races. I he resorts at the picturesque Kumarakom Tourist Village offer comfortable accommodation and holiday packages that include houseboat cruises, Ayurvedic massages, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing, angling, swimming etc.
ldukki is the second largest district of the State. A landlocked region, here, high ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar - and their tributaries. Powering Kerala with one-third of the State's electricity, Idukki is also famous for its gigantic arch dam. Predominantly populated by tribes, an astonishing 50 percent of its total area is covered by forests. As a tourist destination, the place offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc. ldukki's numerous trekking trails and spectacular landscape dotted with rich flora and fauna make it a dream destination for nature enthusiasts.
- Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Munnar Hill Station
- Eravikulam National Park
- kiukki Dam Thommankuthu Waterfalls
- Thekkady, Munnar, Vagamon
- Ramakalmedu & ldukki
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: (Open 0600 to 1800 hrs) Snuggled in the Wool Ghats, one of the world's richest bio-diversity spots, is the fascinating natural wildlife sanctuary of Thekkady - the protected Periyar Tiger Reserve. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in ldukki District was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the reserve attracts visitors from all over 1110 The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you have Oil. experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat. The greatest attractions of Periyar, however, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Vasantha Sena - an initiative of the eco-development committee at thy Tiger Reserve comprises of a voluntary group of tribal women who patrol ti ensure that it remains pristine and poachers are kept at bay.
Kumily: (4 km from Thekkady) This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady.I situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. An important shopping ( trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region are in Kumily.
Murikkady: (5 km from Thekkady) Washed in fresh, spice-scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations.
Pandikuzhi: (5 km from Kumily) This picturesque spectrum of exotic flora, fauna and gurgling streams is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. A popular picnic spot, Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographers delight.
Chellarkovil: (15 km from Kumily) This sleepy little village with its breathtaking the plains and cascading waterfalls is a feast for the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Cumbum, in neighboring Tamil Nadu.
Alttitude: 1,500- 2,500 m above sea level Temperature: OnC - 30°C Rainfall: 275 cm l!
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer Wort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the 'Neelakurinji'. This newer which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018. titular also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.
Eravikulam National Park: (15 km from Munnar) The 97 sq. km park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr, The Anamudi peak (2,695 m) is located in the southern region of the park.
Echo Point: (15 km from Munnar) This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. Echo Point is on the way to Top Station from Munnar.
Sanctuary visit: The park is divided into three regions - the core area, the buffer area and l)urism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area which is in the Rajamala region. The Nilgiri Tahr can be observed at close quarters here. Visiting time: 0800 hrs to 1630 hrs. Visitors are not allowed during the monsoon season.
Peermedu: Altitude: 915- 1,100 m above sea level Temperature: 13°C - 24°C Rainfall: 2,500 mm Peermedu, the famous plantation town, takes its name from Peer Mohammed, saint and close associate of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore. With, cardamom, rubber and coffee plantations interspersed with silver cascades rocks, meadows and mist-cloaked hilltops make Peermedu an unforgettable experience. The most delightful trekking trails complement the panoramic landscape Moil, the summer palace and summer residence of the royal family add to the splendor of the land. The summer residence, now converted into a government guest hon. Department of Tourism, offers comfortable accommodation.
Accessing Peermedu Road: Frequent bus services are available from Kottayam and other destinations in the State to Peermedu. Jeeps are the best mode of transport.
Vagamon: (25 km from Peermedu) A curious blend of religious mysticism and European legacies, this hillside village is a haven of tranquility. Grass covered hills, velvet lawns and the cool mountain air makes Vagamon a perfect holiday retreat. This enchanting station dotted with tea gardens and meadows is on the ldukki - Kottayam border. The of three hills - Thangal Hill, Murugan Hill and Kurisumala - is a mark of religious harmony. The dairy farm managed by the Kurisumala monks is worth a visit. The breeding centre the Kerala Livestock Board is located here.
ldukki Arch Dam: A technological marvel, this magnificent parabolic structure is the world's second and Asia's first arch dam, constructed across the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills. 550 ft high and 650 ft wide, the dam lies close to the Cheruthoni barrage. To its west is the Kulamavu Dam, The ldukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located close by.
Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea with Kottayam and Alappuzha districts in the south, ldukki in the east and Thrissur in the north, Ernakulam is a booming business metropolis. A fascinating mixture of the old and the new, the district comprises many interesting cities including Kochi (Cochin), the commercial capital of Kerala. One of the finest natural harbours in the world, Kochi, renowned as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea', was once a major centre for commerce and trade. The British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch etc., have all come to its shores in search of exotic spices and sandalwood. Even today, Ernakulam continues the tradition of welcoming visitors with its customary warmth and hospitality.
Fort Kochi: A leisurely walk through the city is the best way to discover the historic fort kochi. An obscure fishing village that became the first European township in india, It has an eventful and colourful history. Its reputation as a seafaring commet. that Nicolas Conti, an Italian traveller of the Middle Ages remarked If china is where you can make your money, then Kochi surely is the place to spend it. The town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later the British. The result of these in the many examples of Indo-European architecture that still exist here.
- Fort Kochi & Jew Street
- Mattanchery Synagogue
- Kumbalangi Village
- Bolgatty & Willingdon Islands
- Marine Drive
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary: (20 km from Kothamangalam on the Kochi - Munnar route,Open 0600-1700 hrs) This sanctuary, nestled in evergreen forests, was discovered by the renowned ornithologist of India, Dr. Salim Ali and is named after him. The sanctuary is noted for indigenous birds like the Malabar grey-hornbill, the woodpecker, the rose-ringed and blue-winged parakeet etc. Rare birds like the Ceylon frog-moth and the rose-billed roller are also seen here. Diverse migrant species home in here during the season. Wildlife can also be sighted often. Hornbill Inspection Bungalow: Tariff: Rs. 600-960 Ph: 0495-2588302
Cherai Beach: This picturesque beach, located on the north-end of the Vypeen Island is ideal for swimming. lined with luscious green coconut groves and paddy fields, this sandy beach is a unique combination of the sea and the backwaters, studded with seashells of various hues and shapes. Dolphins are occasionally seen here.
Boothathankettu Dam: This beautiful dam site is a very popular picnic centre. A children's park, a pedal boating centre and a restaurant function here. Contact: DTPC, Ernakulam Ph: 2367334.
Chendamangalam: (42 km from Ernakulam) This is a rare geographical combination of three rivers, seven inlets, hillocks and vast expanses of green plains. The Paliam Palace, abode of the Paliath Achans, prime ministers to the erstwhile Maharajahs of Kochi, represents the architectural splendor of Kerala. The palace houses a collection of historic documents and relics. The hillocks at Kottayil Kovilakom present the unusual sight of a temple, a church, a mosque and the remains of a Jewish synagogue, all situated next to each other. Also interesting is a visit to the remains of the Vypeenkotta Seminary, built in the 16th century by the Portuguese.
Durbar Hall Art Gallery: (Open 1100-1800 hrs.) Right in the middle of Ernakulam City is the grand Durbar Hall grounds. Once known as the Parikshit Thampuran Museum, it has now been converted into the Durbar Hall Art Gallery. The museum also houses a collection of coins, bronzes, copies of murals and megalithic relics of Kerala.
The Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura: (10 km from Kochi. Open 0900-1230 hrs, 1400-1630 hrs. Closed on Mondays] Hill Palace, the official residence of the erstwhile Kochi Royal Family, was built in 1865. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala and is surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a deer park and facilities for horse riding. A full-fledged ethno-archaeological museum and Kerala's first-ever heritage museum are the main attractions. Displayed inside the thirteen galleries are oil paintings, 19th century paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and plaster of Paris, manuscripts, inscriptions and coins belonging to he royal family. Ancient musical instruments, clay models, bronze and silver items from the 14th, 15th and 16th century are some of the other exhibits here.
Kumbalangi Tourist Village: (25 km from Kochi) Essentially a fishing hamlet, this tiny village facing the Kochi backwaters in the western part of the city is India's first ecotourism village and the first rural tourism village of the state. Kalagramam, in artist's village, displays handicrafts and fishing equipment. Mangroves are nurtured here as well as fish farming. Bait fishing is extremely popular among tourists here. Many houses in the village are home stays and visitors can book their stay directly with home stay operators or seek the assistance of the village council.
Bolgatty Island: This Island is famous for its palace of the same name. The Bolgatty Palace was built in 1744 by the Dutch and later taken over by the British. it is a premium hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, with :mall golf course and special honeymoon cottages. India's only international marina is the latest addition to this island.
Synagogue: (Closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays) Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Located at Mattancherry, it is noted for its mid-18th century, hand-painted, willow-patterned floor tiles from Canton in China, a clock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old Testament, ancient scripts on copper plates etc.
Jew Town: The area around the Synagogue is a centre for the spice trade and curio shops.
- Athirapally & Vazhachal Waterfalls
- Kerala Kalamandalam
- Punnathoor Kotta Elephant Sanctuary
- Muziris Heritage Village
- The State Museum and Zoo
- Peechi Dam
- Thrissur Pooram Festival
The Cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is synonymous with the world famous and spectecular pooram festival. The abode of several prominent culture including the Kerala Kalamandalam, Sahitya Academy and Sangeetha Nataka Academy, Thrlssur has an extraordinarily rich past as well as a vibrant present. lent times, this district with/its cultural heritage ecological wealth has played a significant role in the political history of South India. Many rulers and s beginning with the Zamorins of Kozhikode, Tlpu Mysore and Europeans including the Dutch and h have had a hand in moulding the destiny of this region. Raja Rama Varma popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran is the architect of the present Thrissur town.
Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls: (63 km from Thrissur) The most famous waterfalls of Kerala. Athirapally and Vazhachal are situated on the Chalakudy which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges is the largest waterfall in Kerala, Athirapally, which stands tall at 80 feet. Just a short drive from Athirapally, the Vazhachal waterfall is close to dense green fores that are home to many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna. This is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen,
Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy: [32 km north of Thrissur) Cheruthuruthy is the seat of the Kerala Kalamandalam, renowned the world over for its Kathakali training centre. This music and dance academy was founded by the famous poet, Vallathol Narayana Menon. Training in kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Thullal and other art forms ii Kerala is imparted here. Witness the classes here ,through the centre's cultural tourism package and linen interesting things. Like, that there are 600 hand gestures and 9 facial rasas [emotions) that artistes must master. You can also sign up for a two-month crash course, if interested.
Punnathoor Kotta Elephant Sanctuary: [2 km from Guruvayoor. Open 0900 -1800 hrs] The palace wounds of the erstwhile Rajas of Punnathoor is today home to 60 temple elephants. All the elephants here are offerings from the devotees and camp is the only one of its kind in the world.
Muziris Heritage Village: [35 km from Thrissur] The ancient port city of Muziris, once a major centre for trade and commerce, was the gateway for various religious faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and others. A thriving link in the Indo-Roman trade during the first century BC, merchants from a number of cultures are believed to have operated in this port. Gold coins, topaz, coral, copper, glass, wine and wheat were imported from afar, while pearl, diamonds, sapphire, ivory, silk, pepper and precious stones were exported from the Kerala coast. The Muziris Heritage Project is a unique heritage preservation-cum-tourism project that provides circuit and timeline tours, culture tours, museum tours, backwater cruises etc. to help rediscover the imposing past of this exciting new find on the international archaeological map.
The State Museum and Zoo:(12 km from Thrissur. Open on all days except Mondays) The Art Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Zoo were built in the same compound in 1885. Covering an area of 13 ,f2 acres, the museums and the zoo are located at Chembukkavu.
Zoo: (Open 0900-1715 hrs on all days except Mondays) The zoo is home to a variety of fauna such as the endangered lion-tailed macaque, tiger, lion, sloth bear, several species of deer and many birds including the pink flamingos. The Snake Park has an impressive reptile collection of king cobras, kraits, vipers and rat snakes.
The Peechi Dam: (20 km east Thrissur): Peechi-Vazhani Wild Sanctuary, established in 1958, is o of Kerala's oldest wildlife reserves. Formed around the twin reservoirs Peechi and Vazhani, the sanctuary i a rich repository of bio-diversity with several endangered herbs, shrubs, rare medicinal plants and innumerable variety of orchids. The sanctuary also teems with about 176 species of birds and harbours all the major mammals found in India. The Forest Department offers several adventure packages including overnight stays in tents, bamboo rafting, bird watching, butte safari and trekking. A much sought-after picnic spot, the dam offers boating facilities.
- Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
- Malampuzha Garden
- Silent Valley National Park
- Tipu's Fort
- Nelliyampathy Hill Station
Celebrated as the granary of Kerala, Palakkad is a vast expanse of verdant plains interspersed with hills, rivers, mountain streams and forests. The gateway to Kerala from the North, a 40 kilometre break in the mountains known as the Palakkad Gap gives access to this land situated at the foot of the Western Ghats. The pass acts as a corridor between Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu and played a major role in the trade contacts between East and West coasts of peninsular India. Deriving its name from the Malayalam words Pala (Alsteria scholaris) and Kadu [forest), this place was once a beautiful stretch of forest covered with the sweet-scented flowers of the Pala tree. A potpourri of Tamil and Kerala culture, some of the finest Carnatic musicians hail from this region which continues to be a largely agrarian society.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary:Sprawled across 285 sq. km, the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many rare wild animals. Th tree house in the reserve forest area in Thunakkadavu has to be booked in advance. One of the oldest and the largest teak trees in the world can be seen here. The Kannimara Teak with a girth of 6.57 m and a height of 48.5 m, said to be around 360 years old, is a remnant of the wild teak that grew in this area which now houses cultivated teak plantations. Boating/cruising facilities are available at the Parambikulam Reservoir. The Rest Houses o the State Forest Department at Thunakkadavu, Ilikkal and Anappady offer accommodation Permitting authority: Divisional Forest Officer, Parambikulam, Thunakkadavu Ph: 04253 -245025, 245005 www.porambikulam.org
Tipu's fort Documentry
Malampuzha Garden: (10 km from Palakkad) This famous picnic spot, which comprises of a dam and beautifully landscaped gardens, is situated and the lower hill of the Western Ghats. Hie garden: (Open 1000-1800 firs] Penetrated with lush lawns, flower beds and fountains, the key attractions include a rose garden and an aerial rope way. The dams and gardens are illuminated on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays from 1900- 2000 hrs. On other days they are illuminated on request for a fee.
Silent Valley National Park: (40 km northwest of Mannarkad) The 89.52 sq. km national park is believed to be the sole surviving bit of evergreen forest in the Sahya Ranges. The peculiarity of the Silent Valley Forest is that it is even devoid of the chirping of cicadas. Vehicular transport is possible only up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the park. The rest of the way has to be covered by foot, up to the source of Kunthipuzha, which flows through the valley before merging into the Bharathapuzha River. The closest to a virgin forest in the entire Western Ghats, the Silent Valley National Park is home to last substantial stretch of tropical evergreen forests. Its difficult terrain and remoteness shelters a large number of wild animals.
Tipu's Fort/Palakkad Fort: (Open 0800 . 1800 hrs) The old granite fort situated in the very heart of Palakkad town is one of the best preserved in Kerala. It was built by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766. The fort was taken over and modified by the British in 1790. Well preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India, there is an open-air auditorium and a small museum inside the fort. The landscaped environs of the fort now hosts a children's park and a temple known as kota ambalam (fort temple).
Nelliyampathy: (40 km south of Nenmara and 75 km southeast of Palakkad) This fascinating hill station is at a height of 467 to 1,572 m above sea level. At least 10 hairpin bends have to be negotiated on the Ghat road that passes through the breathtaking evergreen forests of the Sahya Ranges. Seethakundu at Nelliyampathy offers a panoramic view of about one-third of Palakkad. This hill country is the delight of trekkers. The District Tourism Promotion Council of Palakkad provides good accommodation facilities here.
- Padinjarekkara Beach
- Thunchan Memorial, Tirur
- Teak Museum
Enriched by three great rivers flowing through it- the Chaliyar, the Kadalundi and the Bharathapuzha. Malappuram has a rich and eventful history. The military headquarters of the Zamorins of Kozhikode since ancient times, this district was the venue for many of the Mappila revolts [uprisings against the British East India Company in Kerala] between 1792 and 1921. Malappuram, literally a land atop hills, - has contributed much to the cultural heritage of Kerala. A famous centre for Hindu-Vedic learning and Islamic philosophy, the temples and mosques of this region are well known for their spectacular festivals. • Along with the historic monuments and diverse natural attractions, i range of cultural and ritual art forms adds to its value as a destination.
Padinjarekkara Beach: (17km from Tim town, 45 km from Malappuram headquarters) Situated at the end of the Tipu Sultan Road near Ponnani beach offers a breathtaking view of the confluence of the Bharathapuzha and the Arabian Sea. Tourists can enjoy a ride on water scooters or boats and also munch on tidbits at the floating coffee shop. The beach is for bird watching, as migratory birds are often spotted here. You can also amenity centre, an amphi-theatre and ecoshops.
Kottakkunnu: Located near the District Collectorate in Malappuram, one can see traces of an oId fort at the crest of the Cantonment Hill here. The fort was the first to be built by the zamorins of Kozhikode. Nearby are the Vettakkorumakan Temple and the Siva Temple with he famous murals of Malabar.
Thunchan Memorial, Tirur: This is the birthplace of Thunchath Ezhuthachan, father of the Malayalam language. On Vijayadasami Day, many come here for vidyarambham, ceremony in which children are initiated into learning. The iron stylus with which Ezhuthachan wrote his texts on palm leaves and the ancient kanjira tree under which he composed his poems are treasured exhibits here.
Nilambur (30 km from Malappuram): Situated on the banks of the Chaliyar River, this town is noted for tribal settlements, vast rain forests, waterfalls and extensive plantations of teakwood, rosewood, mahogany and bamboo. This is also the original home of the Cholainaickans, the oldest aboriginal tribe of Kerala. The widely forested land is well known for Canoli's Plot, the world's oldest teak plantation and bamboo clusters.
Nilambur Kovilakam: The erstwhile residence of local rulers, this structure is famous for its beautiful frescoes and artwork in wood. On the grounds of this dismantled ancestral home of the Nilambur Royal Family is the Vettakkorumakan Temple.
Teak Museum: Situated at Canoli's Plot, this is the only teak museum in the world. It houses around 55 types of bamboo and an arboretum having the biggest teak in the world. A butterfly park is also attached to the museum.
- Kappad Beach
- Beypore Port
- Thusharagiri Waterfall
- Manachira Square & SM street
- Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
A great seaport where Arab, Chinese and East African traders once converged,Kozhikode was the important region of the Malabar coast in early days. Vasco da Gama landed on its shores in 1498.
Once the capital of the powerful Zamorins and a prominent trade and commerce centre ,the whiff of history continues to permeate the lanes,bazaars and business hubs and also adding to the legacy of this region is a unique culture and warm friendly people.
Kappad Beach: [16 km from Kozhikode) This is the historic beach where Vasco da Gama landed on the 27th of May 1498, with 170 men in three vessels. Locally known as Kappakadavu, a monument on the beach commemorates this historic event interesting feature of the landscape is the sprawling rocky headland that protrudes the sea, on which rests an 800-year-old temple.
Kadalundl Bird Sanctuary: (19 km from Kozhikode and 7 km from Beypore Port) sanctuary is spread across a cluster of islands in a scenic setting surrounded by hillocks where the Kadalundi River flows into the Arabian Sea. Over 100 species of native birds and more than 60 species of migratory birds flock here from November to April. A hillock, which stands 200 m above sea level provides a splendid view of the river mouth and the sea. The place is also known for a wide variety of fish, mussels and crabs. The mangrove vegetation shelters otters and jackals too.
Kozhikode Beach: A favourite haunt of sunset viewers, it is also a good place for trying out seafood delicacies like kallumekaya [mussels], available at the numerous stalls lining the promenade. At dawn, a walk along Dolphin's Point will reward you with a sight of playful dolphins. Adding to its natural beauty is the old world charm retained by the old lighthouse and the two crumbling piers that run into the sea, each more than a hundred years old. Entertainment facilities such as the Lions Park for children and the marine water aquarium are added attractions. The aquarium is open on all days.
SNI Street: Sweet Meat Street or Mithai Theruvu is the busiest street in Kozhikode and derives its name from the times when the street was lined with sweet meat  stalls. Today the street bustles with shops that sell anything and everything including the famed sweets and banana chips. Halwa
Beypore Port: Located at t mouth of the Chaliyar River, Beypore was one of the prominent ports and maritime trading centres of ancient Kerala. Old-time Beypore was much sought-after by merchants from Western Asia for its ship-building industry. The boat building yard here, famous for the construction of the Uru (Arabian trading vessel), boasts a tradition of almost 1,500 years. You can pick up toy boats and exquisite models of boats inside bottles from the many shops on the approach road, as well as from the Kairali Emporium.
Thamarassery Ghat: (50 km from Kozhikode) Considered the gateway to Wayanad,The Thamarassery Ghat is situated ?00 m above sea level. Lofty peaks, gurgling stream' and dense forests add magic to the journey. Nine hairpin bends along winding roads offer breathtaking views of the valley below. The entire stretch is ideal to capture the charm of Kerala on camera.
- Chembra Peak
- Vythiri Hill Station
- Banasura Sagar Dam
- Edakkal Caves
A bio-diverse region spread across 2,132 square metres on the lofty Western Ghats, Wayanad is one the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land some of the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by civilization. And the very first prehistoric engravings in la, discovered in the foothills of Edakkal and around ambukuthymala, bear testimony to a pre-historic culture dating back to the Mesolithic Age. Strikingly scenic, it is known for its sub-tropical savannahs, picturesque hill ions, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and cultural traditions. A holistic confluence of wilderness, history and culture, Wayanad is located on the southern tip of the Magnificiant Deccan Plateau.
Kuruvadweep: [17 km east of Mananthavady, 45 km northwest of Sulthan Bathery] This 950 acre, uninhabited island on the eastward bound Kabani River is an ideal picnic spot. The wooded stretch of land is home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs.
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary: (25 km east of Mananthavady, 13 km from Thirunelly) on the Kodagu Rood.This sanctuary has a wide variety of animals, but visitors are restricted to the outer tourist zone.
Chembra Peak:[18 km west of Kalpetta] Hike up the rugged terrains of the Chembra
Peak located 2,100 metres above sea level on the southern part of Wayanad. Chembra is the tallest peak in Wayanad and is an ideal area for trekking. With permission from the Forest Department, one day treks and two-day wildlife treks are possible. You can have group treks of up to ten people or hike on your own, accompanied by a guide.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary: (15 km from Sulthan Bathery) Established in 1973, the sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The management lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration for the general lifestyle of the tribals and others who live in and around the forest region. The Sanctuary has a large population of pachyderms and has been declared a Project Elephant site. Other animals you can find here are the leopards, gaurs, sambars etc. The Reserve is also home to a small population of tigers, a profusion of birds, butterflies and insects.
Banasura Sagar Dam, Padinjarethara: (25 km northeast of Kalpetta) Considered to be the largest earth dam in India, as well as the second largest in Asia, this is a mini hydel project. A park with ever flowering trees is a major tourist attraction. Boating facilities in the dam and trekking trails leading from here draw many outdoor enthusiasts.
Edakkal Caves: [12 km from Sulthan Bathery].Located at a height of 1000 m on Ambukuthymala near Ambalavayal are the Edakkal Caves. Nature representations on these cave walls made by Neolithic Celts were first identified by a British man on a hunting trip. The new stone age pictorial writings on the walls are evidence of the prehistoric civilization that existed in these regions and have the distinction of being the first specimen of abraded drawings found in India. Accessible only by a kilometre's trek from Edakkal, the wall art found in these caves have caught the attention of archaeologists worldwide. You can see three distinct sets of petroglyphs, the earliest dating back to over 3,000 years. Morning hours are the best time to visit the caves. Mondays are holidays.
Pookot Lake: [15 km from Kalpetta] This perennial freshwater lake near Lakkidi is surrounded by lush evergreen forest. Kayaking, pedal and row boating, a freshwater aquarium, children's park, a handicrafts and spices emporium are among the tourist facilities available here. A restaurant and café add to the charm of this place which is an ideal picnic spot for tourists.
- Payyambalam Beach
- Dharmadom Island
- Muzhappilangad Beach
- Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
- Thalassery Fort
- St. Angelo Fort
Kannur is said to be the ancient port of Naura, from whose shores King Solomon's ships collected timber to build the great temple of Jerusalem. Known even to the Greeks, the Romans and the Arabs, Kannur's trade links go back a long way. Acclaimed by celebrated traveller Marco Polo as the great emporium of the spice trade, this nature-rich land has been a key contributor to the cultural, religious, political and industrial heritage of the State. Bounded by the Western Ghats in the east and the Lakshadweep in the west, Kannur showcases its remarkable history in the ancient forts, old shrines and august cultural and educational institutions.
Payyambalam Beach: (2 km from Kannur town) This beach is famous for its flat laterite cliffs that jut into the sea. The well-laid gardens and the massive landscaped Mother and Child sculpture make it extremely captivating.
Dharmadam Island: (100 metres away from the main/and at Dharmadom and 5 km from Thalassery) This uninhabited island covered with coconut palms and dense bushes sits beyond the confluence of Anjarakandy Elephants, and Thalassery rivers. It is just 100 metres from the sandy beach of Dharmadom, which is set off from the mainland by rivers that surround it on three sides and the sea on its western side.
Muzhappilangad Beach: (15 km from Kannur and 8 km from Thalassery) Kerala's only drive in beach, you can whiz along nearly 4 km of tightly packed sand through its palm-fringed shore, The drive is ideal for sampling the famed Malabar cuisine from the many eateries in the immediate hinterland. Black protect this long, clean beach from the current. it the deep, making its shallow waters a swimmer's paradise. Adventure sports like paragliding, para-sailing and microlite flights are possible at the Muzhappilangad Beach in Thalassery. Other attractions include water power boating or a simple catamaran ride.
Aralam Wildlife: (61 km from kannur town) Elephants, sloth be mouse deer etc. can be found in 55sq.km sanctuary.surround it on three sides and the sea on its western side. You can wade to the island at low tide.
Thalassery Fort: (22 km from Kannur ) This fort, constructed in 1208 by the British, was once their military centre, The Holy Rosary Church where Edward Brunnen is buried can be seen from here. Overbury's Folly, a colonial bungalow now turned into a restaurant is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea. The SA) Gymnastic Centre, an old Muslim mosque, the Jagannatha Temple and Thiruvangad Sree Rama Swamy Temple are other attractions nearby.
St. Angelo Fort: [3 km from Kannur.] This seafront laterite fort was constructed in 1505 AD by the first Portuguese Viceroy, Don Francisco De Almeda, with the consent of the ruling Kolathiri Raja. Ammunition dumps, stables, underground jails, secret tunnels to the sea and an old dilapidated chapel can all be still seen within its precincts. After changing hands from the Portuguese to the Dutch and then to the English, the fort became one of the important military centres of the British in Malabar. St. Angelo Fort offers a fascinating view of the Mappila Bay fishing harbour.
- Valiyaparamba Backwaters
- Bekal Fort and Beach
- Chandragiri Fort
World renowed for its coir and handloom industries, Kasaragod, the northernmost district of Kerala has a 293 kilometre long coastline.This tranquil place famous as the land of gods,'sea-kissed forts, majestic hills, rivers and delightful beaCh'e's. Rich in history, Kasaragod is home to the largest and best preserved fort In the State . The historic Malik Deenar Juma Masjid and the unique Madhur Mahaganapathy Temple display a variety of styles In traditional architecture. Strategically located 0 On the banks of the Payaswini River, this yesteryear port town of the Kolathiri Rajas abounds in myths and legends and exudes a magical charm with its spectacular art forms of theyyam, Yakshagana, Poorakkali, Kolkali etc,
Ranipuram: (85 km from Kasaragod) Situated 750 m above sea level. Ranipuram is famous for its trekking trails and varied vegetation,evergreen shola Woods, monsoon forests and grasslands. This area was formely known as Madhumala. The extensive forests of Madathumala merge with the forests of karnataka. With its rich greenery, abundant blooms, misty moors and the wild elephants occasionally sighted wandering around, Ranipurai Way.
Valiyaparamba Backwaters: This is one of the most scenic backwater stretches in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, this much favoured destination offers enchanting houseboat cruises. The Bekal Resorts Development Corporation provides houseboat services on the Tejaswini River from Kottapuram in Nileshwaram to Kannur, along the Valiyaparamba Backwaters. Day and night cruises are available as also canoeing, bonfire dinners nearby islands, home stays, ayurvedic therapies, visits to temples, forts and tribal villages.
Bekal Fort and Beach: (16 km south of Kasaragod) on the Nation 17th century Bekal Fort is one of the largest and best preserve imposing circular structure of laterite rises 130 ft above sea level an headland that runs into the Arabian Sea. There is an observation tow peepholes, an ancient Anjenaya Temple with stucco images of Gods ancient mosque said to have been built by Tipu Sultan, a sea bastior passages that are great crowd pullers. The shallow Bekal beach offer of the fort and has ample facilities for recreation and relaxation.
Chandragiri Fort : South-east of Kasaragod the confluence of the Payaswini river and the arabian Sea, the Chandragiri Village is century fort built by Sivappa Naik of Bedanore.Chandragiri Fort, one among a chain of forts built by the same ruler.
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