Nestled at an altitude of 6000 ft in the breathtakingly splendid district of Idukki, Munnar is the most popular and visited hill station in Kerala- “God’s own Country”. If you want to get cozy surrounded by the cool breeze, the unending greenery created by the vast mountain ranges, the beautiful valleys hidden in between, a multitude of enchanting water falls, lush tea plantations and above all an ingrained laid-back romantic mood, Munnar is the right place for you to surrender your senses and travel through a never before experienced phase of life. This blessed and tranquil land situated at a height of around 1,500 to 1800 meters above sea level is also home to the rare Nilgiri Tahr and the iconic flower named ‘Neelakurinj’ which blooms once in 12 years and paints the mountains completely in blue. Also considered as a heaven for trekking lovers, Munnar offers the highest peak in South Indian- Anamudi to explore and enjoy the feeling of the sky and mist slowly touching you and lazily passing by.
Head into the ‘backwater paradise’ of Kerala, settle inside the comforts of a well decked houseboat and just let yourself experience the beauty of the lovely Islands, the inviting lush green paddy fields and the several beautiful coconut grooves. Enjoy the seclusion provided by the vastness of the backwaters and get intimate with the destination also known as the ‘Venice of the East’.One of the few well planned and designed towns in the state of Kerala, Alleppey is dotted with networks of several canals which provide a glimpse into the local lifestyles and also provide access to the surrounding waters. The time spent in Alleppey will always be exceptional due to the unique mode of travelling through the water bodies and being able to experience the sunrise and sunset while floating around, munching on local delicacies and relishing the privacy offered by the houseboat. Alleppey also offers accommodation in well designed resorts and if anyone yearns for a quick break, the wonderful beach nearby is the ideal place to unwind.
Offering a wide range of indulgences for the travel bugs, Thekkady is a pristine nature spot with the ‘Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary’ as the highlight. If the sight seeing is to be coupled with an avid interest for the wildlife, Thekkady is the right place to relax as well as give a treat to the eyes and the mind. Covered in dense flaura and inhabited by umpteen animals like Elephant, Bison, Deer and Monkeys, this renowned natural getaway is also a reserved sanctuary for the majestic Tiger. With a little luck, a boat ride in the Thekkady lake will be rewarded with visions of Elephant herds appearing through the lush green vegetation into the lake banks for relaxing and drinking water. With a little more fortune, a guided walk or a ride through the sanctuary can also lead to chances of watching a Leopard resting on a tree branch or a Tiger strolling around with it’s cubs. ‘Periyar Wildlife Santuary’ is spread across 777 sq.km and 360 sq.km of this massive area comprises of lush evergreen forests. Adjoining scenic locations filled with spectacular hills and mountains, wide grass lands, streams, waterfalls, hundreds of acres of spice plantations and quiet little hamlets situated in between such as Ramakalmedu, Kurishumala, Kumily, Pandikuzhi and Pullumedu offers more opportunities for exploration and sight-seeing.
If you are a ‘Sun & Sand lover’, Kovalam is the perfect hide-out to just keep on gazing at the horizon or play with the waves. One of the most famous beaches in Kerala, Kovalam situated less than 15 km from the capital city of Trivandrum is an ideal place for the lovers of beach life. Several cafes, Ayurvedic health resorts, Yoga centres, cottages for every kind of visitors and shopping centres situated nearby gives ample scope for taking little breaks in between sunbathing, swimming or killing time with a soothing massage while watching the fishermen preparing to go into the deep seas. The adjoining Lighthouse beach, Hawah beach and the Samudra beach are the other shores to visit if the mind suddenly wishes for a change.
Are you a bird watching enthusiast also preferring a calm walk through the forest while listening to the chirps of the winged beauties? Are you also a lover of pristine lakes encircled by the fully blown green nature? If the answer is ‘yes’, Kumarakom will beckon you to soak yourself in it’s irresistible charm and get energised in the process. Vembanad lake, the largest fresh water lake in the state and Kumarakom bird sanctuary are the main attractions in this scenic location situated 16 kilometres from the City of Kottayam. Once there, the visitor can travel through the water in well designed and maintained houseboats. There is also the waiting opportunity to relish the sights of several migratory birds which makes the wild life sanctuary their home for a considerable period of time every year. Kumarakom also has a rich agricultural tradition and an environment enriched by several canals gives the place great beauty as well as act as the irrigation channels sustaining the life in the countryside.
If it is a long suspense filled jungle trail, a never before experienced sojourn inside a cozy tree top with a panoramic view of the wild life beneath, an uncanny zest for heritage and tribal life, an unquenchable yearn to be surrounded by the dense forests, a wish to climb massive rocky mountains, a run through the wide grass lands, an aspiration to get immersed for hours in pools of crystal clear water in the bottom of an enchanting waterfall or a wish to get exhausted by an adventurous trek through the difficult terrains, Waynad is the place to savour it all.
Without a second thought, pack the bags and reach this wonderful destination for unforgettable experiences. Waynad among all the other locations in Kerala is the most vibrant, exotic, mysterious and filled to the brim with a multitude of fantastic options for the senses to feast and rejuvenate. Immersed in an interesting multi layered history, blessed with a unique beauty created by it’s ample dense vegetation, water bodies, wild life and also a greatly productive agricultural tradition, Waynad derives it’s name from the historical name ‘Vayal Nadu’ which means the ‘land of the paddy fields’. Nestled among the great mountain ranges of the Western Ghats in the Northern part of Kerala, Waynad has more than 800 sq.km of rich forest land. Rightly suited to be called as an adventure seeker’s paradise, Waynad is home to two wildlife reserves. The forests of Muthanga and Tholpetty preserves rich biodiversity and is home to animals such as Elephant, Leopard, Tiger, Barking Deer, Sambar, different species of monkeys and a wide variety of butterflies and birds.
A multitude of historic Hindu temples,the Jain temple constructed in the 13th century situted at Sulthan Bathery, the 300 year old Korome moseque, the ancient Edakkal caves, Pookote lake, Sentinel rock falls,Kanthanpara waterfalls, Sunrise waterfalls, Kuruva Island and Karalad Lake are some of irrestitable attractions of Waynad.
One of the best preserved and largest forts in Kerala, the massive man made structure stands testimony to the indigenous creative and imaginative skills of the craftsmen who lived in the God’s own country. Shaped like a mammoth key-hole, the view of the Arabain sea from the fort is just spectacular and the never ending sounds of the gushing sea water acts like a background music score while the visitors eagerly inspect the fort immersed in the thoughts regarding the effort put behind in the creation of such a majestic stone structure spread over forty acres. Created strictly for defence purposes, Bekal Fort also gives a great view of the surrounding places like Kanhangad, Kottikulum etc.. and an thrilling experience watching the sun rise and set painting the sky orange and red.
Calling Vagamon a mere hill station will be equal to insulting the mother nature. Even when being a hill station with a spectacular green terrain, clear skies and fresh cool clean air, , Vagamon’s sheer beauty is truly beyond comprehension. The network of hills which mould the geography of Vagamon has several hidden valleys, spell bounding waterfalls and streams which can be discovered if the explorer has a hungry zeal to find out more than what meet the eyes. Situated 1200 meters above sea level, is the numerous pine forest patches, lush green hills and umpteen rivulets provides the mind with a sensation of experiencing true bliss. A walk through the narrow lanes passing through the hills in the early morning will lead to being greeted either with a slight drizzle or mostly with a view of the warm sun rays reaching the lush greenery beneath after piercing the thick layers of mist slowly moving around the mountains like idly floating tender cotton balls kissing all the meadows, ravines and cliffs on it’s way.
Do you dream of relishing some breathtaking views of a vast beach while spending your days and nights on top of a cliff? Visit the picturesque Varkala, the spot which can be amply named as the ‘Queen of the beaches’ in Kerala. Known among the geologists as the Varkala Formation, the tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs is considered as a geological monument by the Geological survey of India. This dazzling peculiarity not just adds to the beauty of the region but also allows one to have amazing views of the surroundings, unforgettable sun sightings and cool nights gazing at the stars while listening to the meditative sounds of the tides visiting the shores. The several cafes, cottages, restaurants and little shopping centres situated on the long stretch of the cliff provides the luxury of being confined inside the location for a long time and be just be totally immersed in the vibrant ambience. The Papanasam beach situated ten kilometres away and a two thousand year old temple of the Hindu god Vishu located just a short distance away are the other attractions. The title ‘Papanasam’ means – ‘the destruction of the sins’ and it was conceived due to the natural springs which is believed to have the potential to wash away all the sins if one takes a dip in the water considered to be holy.
Named by the king- Marthanda Varma Maharaja after being transfixed by the beauty, the name of the Island -Poovar means ‘a stream of flowers’ is one of the most enchanting as well as romantic locales in Kerala. With access only through the water, the seclusion adds more charm while spending time in the land where the nature has blessed it with the rarity of having a lake, backwaters as well as a wonderful sea coast with sand so clean and white that it’s sometimes referred as the ‘golden sand beach’. Along with the natural beauty, its the unparalleled silence which makes the place more alluring and once the life in Poovar is experienced, it’s sure to become a blissful haunting memory. Poovar has more to offer with well preserved ecology and several species of birds residing in the land. While in Poovar,, reside either in a wonderful resort situated along the river banks or choose a different experience living inside a houseboat.