Kerala Tourist Places | Kerala Tourism | Kerala Backwaters
The state has an area of 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi) and is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the south and southeast and the Arabian Sea towards the west.
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city. Kochi and Kozhikode are other major cities. As per a survey by The Economic Times, five out of ten best cities to live in India are located in Kerala.
Kerala is a popular tourist destination for its backwaters, yoga, Ayurvedic treatments and tropical greenery. Kerala has the highest Human Development Index in India, comparable with that of first world nations but with a much lower per capita income. The state has a literacy rate of 94.59 percent, also the highest in India. A survey conducted in 2005 by Transparency International ranked Kerala as the least corrupt state in the country. Kerala has witnessed significant migration of its people, especially to the Persian Gulf countries during the Kerala Gulf boom, and is heavily dependent on remittances from its large Malayali expatriate community.
Fast Fact Sheet about Kerala Tourism:
Capital of Kerala:
Area of Kerala:38,863 km2 (15,005.1 sq mi)
Population of Kerala:33,387,677(2011)
Density of Kerala:859.1/km2 (2,225.1/sq mi)
Literacy of Kerala:99%
Official Languages of Kerala:Malayalam
Temperature of Kerala:Average maximum daily temperature is around 36.7 °C; the minimum is 19.8 °C
Costume of Kerala:Mundum Neriyathum(women), Mundu(men)
Best time to Visit in Kerala:High season: September-May
Monsoon Rejuvenation programmes: June-August
Popular Attraction of Kerala:
Beaches of Kerala:Kovalam, Cherai and Varkala
Hill stations:Munnar Tourism, Nelliampathi, Ponmudi and Wayanad
National parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala:Periyar and Eravikulam National Park
Kerala Backwaters:An extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that centre on Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Punnamada—also see heavy tourist traffic.
Heritage sites of Kerala:Padmanabhapuram Palace, Hill Palace, Mattancherry Palace
Cities in Kerala:Such as Kochi/Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum) are popular centres for shopping and traditional theatrical performances.
Weather Forecast of Thiruvananthapuram Kerala:
How to Reach at Kerala:
By Roads in Kerala:
Roads in Kerala includes 1,524 km of National highway (2.6% of nation's total), 4341.6 km of state highway and 18900 km of district roads. Most of Kerala's west coast is accessible through two national highways, NH 47, and NH 17 and eastern side is accessible through various State Highways. There is also a Hill Highway (Kerala) proposed, to make easy access to eastern hills.
NH 17 connects Edapally (Kochi) to Panavel (near Mumbai) and is the longest stretch of national highway through the state. The other major national highway passing through the state is National Highway 47 which connects Salem to Kanyakumari and passes through the major towns and cities like Palakkad, Thrissur, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. The Salem-Kochi stretch of this highway is a part of North-South Corridor of the Indian highway system. The length of the National Highway 47 (India) through Kerala is 416.8 km. NH 49 (Kochi – Dhanushkodi), NH 208 (Kollam – Thirumangalam), NH 212 (Kozhikode – Mysore), NH 213 (Kozhikode – Palakkad), NH 220 (Kollam – theni) are the other national highways serving the state of Kerala.
Department of Public Works is responsible for maintaining and expanding the state highways system and major district roads.The Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP), which includes the GIS-based Road Information and Management Project (RIMS), is responsible for maintaining and expanding the few state highways in Kerala; it also oversees few major district roads.
Traffic in Kerala has been growing at a rate of 10–11% every year, resulting in high traffic and pressure on the roads. Kerala's road density is nearly four times the national average, reflecting the state's high population density. Kerala's annual total of road accidents is among the nation's highest.
By Railway in Kerala:
By Air in Kerala:
Climate in Kerala:
Winter:The typical winter season can be experienced in the hill stations of Kerala. Winters in Kerala start after the state receives northeast monsoon in November. The chilly climate concludes by the middle of February. The temperature in the highlands often falls below 10 °C during this season, while other parts of the state maintain higher temperature during winters. Kerala also receives lowest rainfall during winters.
Summer:Following the winter, comes the summer season, which generally starts by the end of February and continues till the end of May. Summer in Kerala is exhibited by low rainfall, comparatively higher temperature and humid weather. Even during the peak of summer, the temperature doesn’t soar over 40 0C unlike other states. The season also shows erratic rains along with thunder and lightening.
South West Monsoon:Southwest monsoon is the main monsoon season in Kerala, which gives a break from the summer heat. Kerala being the first state to receive monsoon, witnesses voluminous rainfall. The slopes of Western Ghats are mainly hit by this monsoon and the rainfall continues for months. South West Monsoon generally ends by the end of September. The average rainfall in this season is 2250 - 2500 mm.
North East Monsoon:North East Monsoon starts in October and continues till November. These monsoons are also known as Retreating Monsoons and generally show thunder and lightening with heavy rainfall. The climate prominently remains hot and humid. The average rainfall during this season is 450 - 500 mm.
Kerala Tourist Places / Kerala Tourism:
Kerala Hill Stations:
Wayanad Hill Station:
Idukki Hill Station:
Idukki is a significant tourist destination in the map of Kerala. The hill station is immensely appealing for travelers seeking an escape to the mist layered mountains. Situated on the panoramic heights of the Western Ghats, the district is surrounded by mountains.
Lakkadi Hill Station:
Popularly referred to as the ‘Gateway of Wayanad’, Lakkidi is a small hill station and a wonderful tourist attraction in Kerala. The small town has been used as a sort of jump off point for exploring the entire Wayanad district.
Malampuzha Hill Station:
Malampuzha is a tiny hill station situated at the foot of the Western Ghats, in Palakkad district of Kerala. The place is located 10 km from the town of Palakkad. The entire land of Malampuzha is covered with thick vegetation all over the place.
Munnar Hill Station:
most popular hill stations in India is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 m above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience.
Top Station is 1700m above sea level, this is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. The rare Neelakurunji (Strobilanthus) belongs to this region. Top Station also offers a panoramic view of neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
Nelliyampathy Hill Station:
The hill station of Nelliyampathy is considered the ‘Gateway to Kerala’. It is one of the most popular travel destinations in Kerala. Fertile valleys, gurgling mountain streams, exotic flora and sweet scented blossoms together make Nelliyampathy an amazing holiday destination in Kerala.
Ponmudi Hill Station:
Ponmudi is one of the most visited hill stations in Kerala. Situated around 61 km from Trivandrum, the capital city of the state, Ponmudi is blessed with the enchanting beauty of Nature. It is often called the ‘Golden Peak’ by the natives of this place.
Thekkady Hill Station:
Vagamon Hill Station:
Located on the Kottayam-Idukki border, Vagamon (also known as Wagamon) is a remote hill station of Kerala. This beautiful hill station is surrounded by a number of highlands and mountains, namely Murugan Hill, Kurisumala Hill and Thangal Hill.
Waterfalls in Kerala:
Power House Falls:
The Power House Falls are amongst the most popular waterfalls present in this area of Kerala. The waterfalls are actually located 18kms from the Munnar town. Power House Waterfalls is a gushing stream that runs down from a height of about 2000 m from steep rocks. The Power House waterfalls' water is supposed to have healing powers, it is supposed to heal many ailments.
Cascaded amidst the rubber plantations of Kumarakom the Aruvikkuzhi waterfall is one amongst the most interesting tourist places of Kerala. This is a picturesque spot snuggled amongst the ravishing greens of the rubber plantations of Kumarakom. This waterfall gushes down with great force cascading numerous small streams which fall through jagged rocks.
Athirapally & Vazhachal Falls:
The Thusharagiri Waterfalls is one of the major waterfalls in Kerala. Nestled snugly in the Western Ghats are the gurgling waterfalls of Thusharagiri. Thusharagiri literally means the snow capped mountains. Thushargiri waterfalls display an exceptional relationship between the land, the lush greens and water.
The Kerala Backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets, a labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 km of waterways, and sometimes compared to the American Bayou. In the midst of this landscape there are a number of towns and cities, which serve as the starting and end points of backwater cruises. National Waterway No. 3 from Kollam to Kottapuram, covers a distance of 205 km and runs almost parallel to the coast line of southern Kerala facilitating both cargo movement and backwater tourism.
The backwaters have a unique ecosystem - freshwater from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea. In certain areas, such as the Vembanad Kayal, where a barrage has been built near Kumarakom, salt water from the sea is prevented from entering the deep inside, keeping the fresh water intact. Such fresh water is extensively used for irrigation purposes.
Vembanad Kayal is the largest of the lakes, covering an area of 200 km², and bordered by Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. The port of Kochi (Cochin) is located at the lake's outlet to the Arabian Sea. Alleppey, "Venice of the East", has a large network of canals that meander through the town. Vembanad is India’s longest lake.
Backwater Regions in Kerala:
Kollam (earlier known as Quilon) was one of the leading trade centres of the ancient world, eulogised by travellers such as Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo. It is also the starting point of the backwater waterways. The Ashtamudi Kayal, known as the gateway to the backwaters, covers about 30 per cent of Kollam. Sasthamcotta Kayal, the large fresh water lake is 28.5 km from Kollam city.
The 8 hours boat ride from Kollam to Alappuzha is the longest cruise in Kerala and is delightful ride with lotuses and water lilies all around. The historic Thangasseri Fort is near Kollam, which is situated 71 km north of Thiruvananathapuram.
The Kuttanad region is a vast area of partly reclaimed land, covered with bright green paddy fields, separated by dikes. The level of water is a few feet higher than the level of the surrounding land. It is an amazing labyrinth of shimmering waterways composed of lakes, canals, rivers and rivulets. Lined with dense tropical greenery, it offers a glimpse into rural life-styles of Kerala. Kuttanad is a backwater paradise and an ideal destination for a backwater cruise in Kerala. It is possible to drift along in a houseboat and enjoy the scenic view of the Kerala countryside.
Kottayam - Kumarakom Backwaters:
Srinivas, a singer summed up: “Imagine opening your eyes every morning to a sheet of still, blue water and majestic palm tress gently swaying in the breeze. To define the feeling in one sentence: Nature undisturbed by man is wonderful and inspiring, and Kumarakom is just that!”
Munroe Island Backwaters:
The first community tourism programme in the State will start functioning from the Munroe Thuruthu islands.Coir making is a home industry to almost all the village living people. It is very interesting to watch the coir making by the village ladies with the help of weaving Wheels. They make the coir ropes by hand. In addition to this, on the way, you can see the process of extracting coconut oil from the "copra" [dried coconut]. Among the routine traditional engagements, duck, poultry farm and prawn breeding are common in all houses.
Kasargod in north Kerala is a backwater destination, known for rice cultivation, coir processing and lovely landscape, it has the sea to the west and the Western Ghats to the north and east. Cruise options are Chandragiri and Valiyaparamba. Chandragiri is situated 4 km to the southeast of Kasargod town and takes tourists to the historic Chandragiri fort. Valiyaparamba is a scenic backwater stretch near Kasargod. Four rivers flow into the backwaters near Kasargod and there are many small islands along these backwater stretches, where birds can be seen.
Thiruvallam backwaters are just 6 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital. Known for its canoe rides Thiruvallam is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Two rivers, the Killi and the Karamana come together at Thiruvallam. Not far from Thiruvallam is the Veli Lagoon, where there are facilities for water sports, a waterfront park and a floating bridge. The Akkulam Boat club, which offers boating cruises on Akkulam Lake and a park for children, is also a popular tourist attraction near Thiruvallam.
Kozhikode (also known as Calicut) has backwaters which are largely “unexplored” by tourist hordes. Elathur, the Canoly Canal and the Kallayi River are favourite haunts for boating and cruising. Korapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam is fast becoming a popular water sport destination.
Karunagappally Taluk in Kollam District is the world's hottest spot of natural radiation. The radiation is caused by monazite sands, which contain the radioactive element, thorium. The people in the area are exposed to radiation which is 10 times greater than the worldwide average. Tourist spots that offer the chance of the Radiation experience are very rare in the world.
Ayurveda in Kerala Tourism:
Medical tourism, promoted by traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Siddha are widely popular in the state, and draws increasing numbers of tourists. A combination of many factors has led to the increase in popularity of medical tourism: high costs of healthcare in industrialised nations, ease and affordability of international travel, improving technology and standards of care.
However, rampant recent growth in this sector has made the government apprehensive. The government is now considering introduction of a grading system which would grade hospitals and clinics, thus helping tourists in selecting one for their treatments.
Arts of Kerala and Culture of Kerala:
Several ancient ritualised arts are Keralite in origin; these include kalaripayattu (kalari ("place", "threshing floor", or "battlefield") and payattu ("exercise" or "practice")). Among the world's oldest martial arts, oral tradition attributes kalaripayattu's emergence to Parasurama. Other ritual arts include theyyam, poorakkali and Kuthiyottam.
Kuthiyotta Kalaris’, run by Kuthiyotta Ashans (Teachers or leaders), train the group to perform the dances and songs. Normally, the training starts about one to two months before the season. Young boys between 8 to 14 years are taught Kuthiyottam, a ritual dance in the house amidst a big social gathering before the portrait of the deity. Early in the morning on Bharani, after the feast and other rituals, the boys whose bodies are coiled with silver wires, one end of which is tied around his neck and an arecanut fixed on the tip of a knife held high over his head are taken in procession to the temple with the accompaniment of beating of drums, music, ornamental umbrellas, and other classical folk art forms, and richly caparisoned elephants.
All through the way to the temple tender coconut water will be continually poured on his body. After the circumambulation the boys stands at a position facing the Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum) and begins to dance. This ceremony ends with dragging the coil pierced to the skin whereby a few drops of blood comes out.
On this day just after midday the residents of the locality bring huge decorated effigies of Bhima panchalia, Hanuman and extremely beautiful tall chariots in wheeled platforms, and after having darshan the parties take up their respective position in the paddy fields lying east of the temple.
During the night, the image of Devi will be carried in procession to the effigies stationed in the paddy fields. On the next day these structures will be taken back. A big bazaar is also held at Chetikulangara as part of this festival. Kuthiyottam is the main vazipadu of the Chettikulangara temple, Mavelikkara.
In respect of Fine Arts, the State has an abounding tradition of both ancient and contemporary art and artists.The traditional Kerala murals are found in ancient temples, churches and palaces across the State. These paintings, mostly dating back between the 9th to 12th centuries AD, display a distinct style, and a colour code which is predominantly ochre and green.
Recognising the potential of tourism in the diversity of religious faiths, related festivals and structures, the tourism department launched a Pilgrimage tourism project.
Major pilgrim tourism attractions include Guruvayur, Sabarimala, Malayatoor, Paradesi Synagogue, St. Mary's Forane (Martha Mariam) Church Kuravilangad built in 105 A.D, Attukal Pongala(which has the Guinness record for being the largest gathering of women in the planet), and Chettikulangara Bharani.
Threats to the tourism industry:
With increasing threats posed by global warming and changing weather patterns, it is feared that much of Kerala's low lying areas might be susceptible to beach erosions and coastal flooding. The differing monsoon patterns also suggest possible tropical cyclones in the future.
Festival in Kerala:
The major festival in Kerala is Onam. Kerala has a number of religious festivals. Thrissur Pooram and Chettikulangara Bharani are the major temple festivals in Kerala. The Thrissur Pooram is conducted at the Vadakumnathan temple, Thrissur. The Chettikulangara Bharani is another major attraction. The festival is conducted at the Chettikulangara temple near Mavelikkara. The Sivarathri is also an important festival in Kerala. This festival is mainly celebrated in Aluva Temple and Padanilam Parabrahma Temple. Padanilam Temple is situated in Alappuzha district of Kerala, about 16 km from Mavelikkara town. Parumala Perunnal, Manarkadu Perunnal are the major festivals of Christians. Muslims also have many important festivals.