Sunday, May 19, 2013

Kerala Tourist Attractions

kerala backwater
Beautifully placed on the luxurious tropical Malabar Coast, Kerala is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in India. Popular for its eco-tourism initiatives, the state has been included in the list of 'thirteen paradises of the world' and '50 places of a lifetime' by the National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Ancient art forms, lively festivals, mouth-watering cuisine are the few of cultural marvels that allures travelers from all over the world. Ayurveda-the ancient Indian system of medicine and Panchakarma-the rejuvenation therapy in Ayurveda, have immensely helped Kerala to acquire worldwide reputation as a top of the line destination. Cities such as Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are famous shopping locations and known for their traditional theatrical performances.

A cauldron of mystifying forests, spice gardens, tea plantations and even wild elephants and monkeys, Kerala is a picture perfect depiction of the India you dream of. Without the dirt or the eye-soaring poverty, Kerala is all about exhilarating natural beauty, in its truest sense- "God’s own country".

Dreamy Backwaters

The world famous backwaters of Kerala comprise rambling inland lakes networked by canals, stretching to over 900 km. The extensive network of interlocking lakes, canals and rivers centers on Kollam, Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Punnamada, where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in the month of August.

Cruises across these harmonious stretches are an experience unique to Kerala. Large Kettuvalloms, which are traditional country crafts over 60 feet in length, have been transformed into luxury houseboats for such wonderful excursions. Travelers simply love the soothing atmosphere that surrounds the rapturous backwaters of Kerala.

Welcoming Hill Stations

Kerala lies on the windward side of the Western Ghats, and owing to its location, the state boasts of a long chain of green, mist-clad hill stations that are abode to rich wildlife. The popular hill stations in Kerala are Munnar, Nelliampathi, Wayanad, Neelimala, Vagamon, Peermede, Rajamala and Ponmudi. Each of Kerala's hill resorts provides the most magical experience of nature in all its pristine beauty.

kerala-hills-munnar

Rejuvenating Beaches & Spas

Some of India’s finest beaches are in Kerala, for virtually its 600 km long coastline is dotted with blissful beaches, coconut palms and rocky promontories. Kovalam, Varkala, Cherai, Kappad, Muzhappilangad, Bekal and Payyambalam are the major beaches of Kerala.

The spas located along the beaches are famous for Ayurvedic massage that are based on the fundamentals of ancient system of medicine called Ayurveda. The massage is delivered by professionals who use combination of oils such as coconut, sesame and mustard. The regulatory principle Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) form the basis for the massage. Moreover, Yoga and meditation are also conducted at many spa centers spread across the state.

kerala-beach-lighthouse-kovalam
Kovalam beach in Kerala
Monuments & Pilgrim Spots

On the southern end of Kerala, nearby state of Tamil Nadu, stands the marvelous Padmanabhapuram Palace, a large wooden palace, it was once the headquarters of a princely state of ancient Kerala. To the north, lies Bekal, an enchanted laterite fort overlooking the clean blue of the majestic Arabian Sea. In between the two heritage sites, lie a large number of monuments, forts and palaces, scattered on the ancient land as silent reminders of its magnificent past. Kerala also has many mesmerizing pilgrim tourist spots such as Guruvayoor Temple, Sabarimala Temple, Chettikulangara Temple, Malayattor Church, Vadakumnathan Temple and Parumala Church.

Untamed Wildlife

kerala-wildlife
Endangered squirrel
Lying in the lush forests of the Western Ghats, Kerala has fourteen wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Circling these green lands are some of the most amazing trekking trails in India. All covered by the spice-scented air originating from wide expanse of plantations ranging from vanilla, cardamom, pepper to tea and coffee. The wildlife sanctuary at Periyar and Eravikulam National Park are the two most famous wildlife destinations of Kerala. Some other names on the list are Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Silent Valley National Park, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, etc.

Further Read

Kerala Tourist Information
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