Kerala : Must Visit Places From Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram

April 26, 2019

by Manjari Deshpande

A dream come true for those wishing to experience serenity. That’s Kerala-God’s Own Country. A southern state in India located on the tropical Malabar coast, the state is surrounded by beautiful palm trees and Arabian sea shorelines.

Journey to Kerala

I started my journey with my family in the month of November. A direct flight from Mumbai to Kochi and after 1 hour and 50 minutes, we had reached our destination.

Kochi

The financial capital of the state, Though the city has it all, we visited just a few places.

 

Jew Town

A place for antiques and rare items. Not to be missed if you love old architecture charm.

Mattancherry Palace

Known for its beautiful architecture, this Dutch palace dates back to the 16th Century BC. The palace is now adorned with wall paintings, murals and now houses two Hindu temples- one dedicated to Lord Krishna and the other to Lord Shiva.

Munnar

A 3 and a half hour journey from Kochi, the hill station of Munnar is located in the Idukki district of the south-west region of Kerala. The journey is filled with scenic waterfalls.

Through the Tea Gardens

Munnar is famous for its beautiful tea gardens. The smell of fresh tea leaves! You can visit the gardens via a prior booking and get to experience different varieties of tea. I would suggest getting every flavour of the tea. One can never say no to tea, right?

Kundala Dam Lake

An artificial dam constructed in 1946, the lake is one of the major tourist attractions.  Just expect breathtaking views and amazing pictures when you visit this place.  A local market nearby sells homemade, organic products such as soaps, massage oils, face packs. I have tried the soaps and face packs and would recommend buying them.

 

Trekking through the Rose Garden

The Munnar Floriculture Garden, popularly known as the Rose Garden, is a paradise for nature lovers. Abound with scenic surroundings and beautiful flowers, this is another place where you are guaranteed amazing background and perfect pictures. Charging a nominal entrance fee, exploring the gardens is like taking a small trek amidst natural beauty and enjoying each second of it.

 

Thekkady 

An important tourist attraction in Kerala is Thekkady.   I would advise you to leave early morning from Munnar just so you can see the twists and turns of the ghats. Thekkady is known for its spices and wildlife. The famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve are located in this region. Other major tourist attractions are the Spice plantations,  and Kadathanandan Kalari and Navarasa Kathakali.

Spice Plantations

As soon as we reached Thekkady, we visited a spice plantation where one of the guides taught us the importance of spices in our everyday lives. We toured the entire plantation and discovered a variety of spices that were grown there.

Green peppercorn

 

There is a shop within the premise where you can buy the locally grown spices and other products made from these spices catering to specific health-related issues.

 

Cultural Centre

Late in the evening, we visited the Kadathanandan Kalari Center. Kalari is the traditional martial arts performed in Kerala which imparts a psycho-physiological discipline. At the same centre, you also get to enjoy the famous Kathakali dance.  The dance focuses on classical music, choreography, hand and facial gestures to express ideas and bring life to the story.

 

Alleppey

Onwards with our journey, we headed to Alleppey.

Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, the city is known for for its houseboat cruises along the backwaters of Kerala that takes you along the criss-cross of canals and lagoons. Travelling to Alleppey takes about 3 hours from Thekkady.

Stay at Houseboat 

A unique experience in its own. The owner of the houseboat was friendly and even gave us an opportunity to drive the boat For a few minutes, you are the captain of the boat.  The owner, himself, cooked delicious and authentic Kerala food during our stay.

Kovalam

A small coastal town situated south of Thiruvananthapuram. A journey of 4 hours from Alleppey, Kovalam is known for its beautiful beaches.

Must Visit Beach

Perfect for relaxation and enjoying the sunset is the Kovalam beach.

Walking along the beach with the waves touching your feet, makes you never want to leave the place.

 

Poovar

A fishing village located at the southern tip of Thiruvananthapuram. The major attractions here are the backwater cruise and tour of the Poovar Island.

Through the Backwaters

We hired a boat and explored the backwaters with serenity.

Poovar Golden Beach

A place to experience one of the natural wonders- an estuary of the Poovar lake, Neyyar River, and the Arabian Sea.

Thiruvananthapuram

The capital city of Kerala. Distinguished by British colonial architecture and many art galleries, Thiruvananthapuram is located in the southernmost district of Kerala. It is built on hills by the shore and sandwiched between the Ghats and the Arabian sea.

Glimpsing the Lord

One of the most revered temples in India dedicated to Lord Vishnu-the SREE PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE. Though pictures are prohibited inside the temple, the idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on the serpent Shesh Nag signifying contemplation is something you can never forget.

Nearby are shops selling a variety of Kerala’s famous Banana chips. Made in coconut oil, the chips are freshly made and are sold in different varieties- sweet, salty, spicy. Naturally, you buy bags of them.

After experiencing the fresh air, pure soul food, and the peace, I came back as a different person, with a fresh perspective, rejuvenated mind and a desire to come back again.

This is just a glimpse of Kerala and you need as many days as possible to explore the state in its entirety.

How to book your visit

The best way to explore the state is by customising your own tour package.

Best time to visit

The monsoons (June-August) are the best time to experience Ayurvedic Treatments in Kerala. Also, the rains add a fresh look to the state. Expect heavy discounts when you travel during this period.

Winters (September-March) is the peak season. Best time to enjoy houseboat cruises and wildlife safaris.

Manjari Deshpande

By Manjari Deshpande

I am a daydreamer who loves travelling and eating delicious healthy food as I go along. An avid bookworm. Give me a good book and green tea and I am all happy for the rest of the day. Having studied science all through till masters, I have more interest in writing and photography.

Read more at manjarideshpande.com

Leave a Comment...

Ms.tinkerbella

May 3, 2019

Wow that\'s a beautiful article manjari, I wish to visit Kerala soon. Is there any specific touring packages or company you would suggest ?

Shubhraa

May 3, 2019

What a well written travelogue. Makes me wanna travel there ASAP. Keep on writing.