Travelers all over the world swear by the pristine nature of this state located in the southern part of India. Calm backwaters, white sand beaches, luxury resorts, exotic wildlife, endless lush green plantations and the rolling Western Ghats—there just couldn’t be any other land worthier of its title of God’s Own Country. A land of diverse cultures, traditions, religions and tourist attractions, Kerala is simply heaven on Earth and has something to offer for just about every kind of traveler!
If you’ve heard the name Kerala before, there’s just no chance that you haven’t heard stories of its surreal backwater cruises. Sailing through these tranquil waters not only makes for the most significant tourist attraction in Kerala but also is the best way to explore the states’ postcard landscapes. Alleppey, Kumarakom, Cherai Island, Kollam, Cochin and Kozhikode are some prime spots to experience what it feels like to sail through heaven. For travelers seeking an in-depth experience, treat yourself by booking a stay in a houseboat which makes for a memorable tourist attraction in Kerala.
Kerala is also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts owing to its massive national parks spread throughout the state. The Periyar National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary are some of Kerala’s premium protected areas that house a wide array of flora and fauna. In addition, the state is also home to several bird sanctuaries such as Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary amongst others. These wildlife preservation hubs are home to exotic bird varieties and also host migratory birds every year.
Kerala’s 550-km coastline along the mighty Arabian Sea is lined with numerous beaches that have been attracting back-packers and tan-seekers since time immemorial. Alappuzha, Cherai, Kozhikode, Kovalam, Kannur and Varkala are Kerala’s most popular beach towns that are a favourite amongst both Indians as well as foreign travelers. Apart from living the chilled out beach vibe, one can also learn about local fishing techniques and treat themselves to the luxury of Ayurvedic treatments while visiting the beaches of Kerala.
Acting as the cherry on the cake, Kerala’s massive plantations also make for popular tourist attractions in Kerala. Since a large chunk of the state’s population is directly dependent on agriculture, Kerala is home to some of the best rubber, tea, coffee and spices in the world. Alappuzha, also known as the 'rice bowl of the state', has a predominant position in contributing to the country’s rice produce. Taking a tour through one of these plantations and learning all about the painstakingly hard process that goes behind bringing agricultural produce into its final form is one of the most intriguing experiences one can have in Kerala.
Though Kerala is best known for its pristine natural environment, it is the strong cultural background which eventually unites its populace. The state witnesses a whooping 10,000 plus festivals throughout the year, most of which are celebrated within its glorious temples. Attending one of these local festivals should bee an essential to every traveler’s itinerary of sightseeing in Kerala. Additionally, one can also witness one of Kerala’s five main classical dance forms, namely Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattom, Thullal and Krishnanattam.
Finally, the state is also a strong center for sports and has had some popular sports originate from within its boundaries. One can head to a training centre to witness masters of the most dangerous form of martial arts, Kalaripayattu in action. The harvest festival of Onam makes for the best time to witness yet another legendary tourist attraction in Kerala, the Snake Boat race. The annual event attracts travelers from all corners of the world and is a once in a lifetime experience that nobody should miss. However, if you’re someone who likes playing it safe, explore Kerala’s rich football culture and indulge in a friendly game with the locals and interact with them for a true blue local’s guide to the dream that is Kerala.