Before we discuss Kerala tourist places list or some of the most exotic travel destinations in the state of Kerala, the crowning jewel of the South, it is important to discuss the history of the region as travelling down the state is very much interlaced with the history and cultural traditions of different regions, people and practices.
The ancient history of Kerala
The history of Kerala is as old as its rich cultural and traditional heritage itself. Its history can be traced back to 4000BC where different races inhabited the land.
By around 3000BC, Kerala was engaged in active trade with the ancient Sindhu Valley Civilization, and its rich spices and other commodities such as Ivory, Teakwood & Sandalwood were exported to several lands of the west.
It is also widely believed that the Monkeys, Peacocks, spices and Ivory which the biblical King Solomon received, were all sourced from Kerala.
To detail the complete history of Kerala will be beyond the scope of the blog, but here are some of the key historical milestones that deserve mention:
- 700BC – Migration of the Dravidians to the south of India from the Mediterranean region.
- 7th century – Sangham period in Kerala.
- circa 52 AD – Rise of Christianity and Judaism with the exodus of Jews from Jerusalem.
- 644 AD – Rise of Islam in the state.
- Middle of 7th century – early 9th century – Post-Sangham period.
- 3 centuries starting from 800 AD – Kulasekara Periods or ‘Second Chera’ empire.
- 1498 – The great explorer Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad, near Kozhikode.
- 1592 – Establishment of the Dutch rule.
- 1725 – Establishment of the French base at Mahe.
- Mid 17th century– Beginning of the English rule, the British East India Company
- Post-independence (November 1, 1956)- the State of Kerala was formed integrating the several provincial kingdoms.
Kerala tourist places list
Knowing a bit of the history of the state can also make you understand why the state is often dubbed, ‘God’s own country’ as it is a confluence of the world’s greatest religions, cultural traditions and practises.
And that is why you need to know the past in Kerala to understand where you are going, because each region in the state may have diverse cultures, foods and even socio-religious practises. However, there undeniably is a common unifying thread that runs across the state.
If you are planning to visit Kerala, mast plan your itinerary to visit Kerala.
#1. Alleppey (Alappuzha)
Popularly dubbed by the travel bloggers as the ‘Backwater Capital of India’ or the ‘Venice of the East’, Alappuzha or Alleppey is a beautiful backwater beauty.
Situated on the banks of the clear and sizzling Vembanad Lake, it is easily the number one tourist destination in Kerala for both domestic as well as the international tourists. They visit the place in large numbers just to enjoy a few moments of solitude and closeness in the lap of the Mother Nature.
Don’t miss out on the houseboat cruise and stay and Ayurvedic therapies for several health ailments. You can also enjoy taking a walk to the village.
Wayanad that lies at the height of 700 -1200m in the lap of Western Ghats historically was one of the most invaded territories, as this place abounds in spices of assorted varieties that carry a huge price tag.
Wayanad is the perfect outing destination for honeymooners if they wish to spend time in a quiet romantic getaway.
There is a lot more history to be covered in this region including the bravery of the warrior prince Pazhassi Raja who fought against the British East India company. There are a lot of wildlife sanctuaries and waterfalls in and around the region that you can explore.
Cochin is a potpourri of the traditional and the modern. Known for its spice production and export, Cochin is the house to some of the oldest churches and synagogues in the state.
Besides, it is one of the best places to enjoy fish cuisines and sea delicacies. Fondly described as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Cochin is also an important seaport in the region.
Munnar is another picturesque hill station in the lap of the magnificent Western ghats with lush, green tea plantations.
Located at an altitude of 1600m above the sea level, Munnar boasts of stunning view points, jaw-dropping valleys,
roaring waterfalls and a couple of quiet lakes. Munnar receives a high amount of rainfall every year, and therefore large soil landslides are quite common.
Surrounded by the divine charm of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is another mesmerising backwater destination, and there is so much you can do by just being lazy.
Witness the long stretches of green paddy fields fluttering to the breeze, evergreen coconut grooves as you cruise along the backwaters of Kumarakom.
Dotting the charming Arabian Sea, the Kovalam beach is second none to the beguiling beaches of Goa.
You can indulge in a lot of activities in and around the beach such as taking a stroll around or visiting the Lighthouse beach, Samudra beach and Hawah beach.
Thekkady is an absolute beauty in that it houses some of the rarest flora and fauna species in the state.
A trip to Thekkady can leave ever-lasting memories in the minds of the traveller. Another must-visit travel destination is the Periyar National Park, home to tigers and a significant elephant population, in addition to other exotic wildlife species.
Kollam is a unique touring destination, buffered by the deep-turquoise Lakshadweep sea and the brilliantly coloured Ashtamudi Lake.
If you are a beach lover, then it can’t get better than Kollam Beach, Thirumullavaram Beach and Tangasseri Beach.
The place is also a thriving place for the rural economy including agriculture, fishing, cashew processing, in addition to tourism.
#9. Bekal fort
Spread over 40 acres, the Bekal fort was constructed by Shivappa Nayaka of Keladi in 1650 AD. The fort would appear as if it had emerged from the depths of the sea.
If you’ve enjoyed watching the popular movie,’Bombay’, you would have also enjoyed the scenic backdrop of the song ‘Uyire’ which was shot at Bekal Fort.
The touring destinations above top the list of what to do in Kerala when on a tour. Go on, add more travel destinations to the above and let the world know why Kerala is god’s own country!
You can book via Emperor Traveline, a leading Travel Agency.