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Kerala, in south India, is often referred to as "God's Own Country". This coastal state is rich in distinctive traditions and culture, and lush unspoiled tropical beauty. Most of all, Kerala is known for its elephants, elaborate temple festivals, and the tranquil backwaters. The pace of life is slow, making Kerala the perfect place for a leisurely vacation.


Kerala Backwaters

One of the most tranquil and relaxing things you can do in Kerala is take a trip in a houseboat along the palm-fringed Kerala canals, known as the backwaters. Freshly cooked Indian food and chilled beer on board the boat make the experience even more enjoyable. You can even spend the night out on the middle of a lake.



Alappuzha (Alleppey)
Alleppey is indeed famous for at least a million reasons. It is the only place in the world other than Holland where rice is cultivated well under the sea level. Thickly punctuated with coconut palms, Chinese nets and paddy fields, Aleppey is enchanting and receptive to tourists all round the year The enviably slow pace of the lives in the lagoons and the tranquility that is broken only by the echoing calls of the migratory birds, make it a different world altogether!

Athirapally
The largest waterfall in Kerala, the Athirapally waterfall is an important tourist destination in Kerala. Originating as a sliver streak from the high ranges, and crashing through gorges lined with wild bushes and trees the waterfall gains strength and size as it thunders down at its final sojourn before it joins the rivers downstream. It is one of the best places in India to enjoy the serene charm of nature at its best.

Bekal
Bekal is a fantastic place that has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty, wonderful coastline involving extended stretches of fantastic palm trees, exquisite estuaries and breathtaking back waters. Bekal sightseeing tours will certainly include trips to all these incredible natural locations. The Bekal Fort was primarily developed around 1645 AD. The amazing Bekal Fort spreads to north, west, south and the exquisite palm trees to the east. This astonishing place is also home to Chandragiri Fort and Hosdurg Fort. Chandragiri Fort is a unique ruined fort that has coconut trees, view of the picturesque Arabian Sea and situated approximately 6 kms next to Chandragiri River. The fort was created during the 16th century by Sivappa Naik. He was the guy who also built Bekal Fort. Hosdurg Fort is situated roughly 15 kms from Bekal. Hosdurg Fort is considered to be a sequence of forts built by Somasekhara Nayak of the dynasty Ikkeri.

Cherai

Touted as one of the best beaches in the state, Cherai beach is at a distance of only 30 kms from the city of Cochin. Situated on the northern end of the Vypin Island, Cherai beach, which is fondly called the "The Princess of the Arabian sea" extends to over 10 kilometers. The clean sandy beach that is comparatively uncrowded makes it a popular picnic spot for honey moon couples and families alike. Cherai beach is famous for dolphin watching as well.


The calm and shallow waters make Cherai beach well cut for swimming and bathing. Enjoy a stroll along the sandy coast, indulge in a fun game of beach volleyball with your buddies or do nothing but laze around and have fun.


The clear sky and the shallow waters make a perfect fun formula for you to indulge in the choicest beach activities. The shutter bugs can make a few snapshots for posterity that highlight the beauty of the finest moment when the sun plunges into the sea.


Cochin - Kochi

Popularly known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin (Kochi) is one of the finest natural harbours in the world and is the gateway to the enchanting backwaters of Kerala. Kochi is the business capital of Kerala and is one of the fastest growing cities in India. It is comprised of a group of islands scattered along the Vembanad Lake. An interesting ensemble of various cultures like the Portuguese, Jewish, English, French, Dutch and Chinese, Kochi is a tapestry of vivid and varied colors, which attracts scores of tourist from far and wide to its shores.


The most important activity in any Cochin tourist itinerary would be a ferry ride across the vast expanses of Kochi backwaters. Hemmed with swaying coconut palms and Chinese nets silhouetted against the backdrop of the setting sun, the backwaters make a breathtaking spectacle. The majestic houseboats that glide across the water form another dramatic spectacle that not many cities in India can boast. Cochin backwaters indeed occupy a top slot in the tourist map of this beautiful city.


Gavi

Touted as one of the must see eco tourist spots in India, Gavi Kerala has been grabbing headlines in tourist circuits for all the good reasons. A 40 kilometre drive from Kumily through the breathtakingly beautiful roads across the lush green tea plantations will take you to Gavi. A jeep ride is the best way to reach and explore Gavi, which is famous for its pristine natural charm still untouched by the mass tourism trails. The verdant forests, rolling grass lands and waterfalls give Gavi a dramatic appeal and surreal beauty. Gavi is home to over 260 avian species making it a haven for bird watchers.


The Gavi ecotourism programme is being sponsored by The Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd, to promite sustainable tourism without spoiling the tranquility of the tropical forest of the Western Ghats. Gavi is popular not only among nature enthusiasts but also among adventure tourists and research students who drop down to explore the rich flora and fauna of Gavi.


Kovalam

Kovalam, the enchanting tropical beach of Kerala holds a cult status in the tourist itineraries of Kerala. An erstwhile fishing hamlet, which was a favorite haunt of the hippies in the seventies, Kovalam has perfectly evolved to be world class beach destination today.


Kovalam beach, which is in the shape of a half moon has three distinct parts of which the light house beach, which is in the southern most end is the most popular. In case you are craving to have a quiet beach holiday experience far from the maddening crowd, then the Samudra beach at the northern end would be the best choice. The hawah beach in the middle is the best place to be in to soak up the fun of the fishing activities as it turns into a busy hub thronged by fishermen setting out for their daily catch in boats. The calm waters of kovalam beach make it safe for swimming, bathing and other leisure activities. Kovalam is quite popular for snorkeling and the enchanting coral reefs and other under water spectacles draw enthusiastic snorkeling fans from far and wide.


Kovalam in Trivandrum is popularly known as the "Paradise of the South" not for nothing! The swaying coconut palms set a brilliant backdrop against the white sandy coast and the setting sun. The shallow sea along the fringes of the coast would enable you to easily walk upto 100 meters into the sea.


Kumarakom

The village of Kumarakom is a group of small islands in the Vembanad Lake, which forms part of the Kuttanad region. It is a good choice for bird watching, village tours and nature trails. Even if you do not have any fixed agenda for your holiday, Kumarakom would fit your bills perfectly as it offers a relaxing and tranquil holiday, away from the maddening pace and mayhem of the urban life, yet not cut off from the modern comforts.


Kumarakom literally offers the best of everything you could ask for. The sights, sounds and colors of Kumarakom present an envious picture that is difficult to replicate! Be it the flock of ducks waddling through the backwaters, the echoing calls of the flocking birds in the Kumarakom bird sanctuary, the simple and slow charm of the village life or the fishermen scouting for pearl spot fishes in the lake bed, everything speak of the beauty and the innate charm of this beautiful place on earth.


Munnar

Munnar is perched at an altitude of 1520 meters and lies close to the Western Ghats of Kerala.The highest peak of Anamudi is quite close to the hill resort. Munnar had been a summer retreat for the English since long.The vibrant green hues of the tea gardens, punctuated with the silvery streaks of the cascading waterfalls give it an ethereal charm that would rejuvenate all the senses. Munnar will be burst into a riot of colors when the Neelakurunji plant that grows on the hills bloom to cover the entire mountain range once in every twelve years.


Munnar sightseeing will be an interestingly different experience. From adventure, to plantation trails and nature, Munnar offers something special for everyone. The tea gardens of Munnar make an important item in any Munnar itinerary. A guided tour will let you watch the various steps of tea production in the tea factories right from plucking the leaves to sorting, drying and grinding of leaves. You can also buy freshly packed tea leaves as mementos of your trip to Munnar.


Close to the hill resort of Munnar lies the Devikulam Lake, which is a great spot to unwind and relax. You can try out angling in the lake or explore the island in the lake with prior permission from the authorities.17 km from Munnar is the Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, home to many large wild animals like deer , bison and elephants. Trekking is another must do activity in this sanctuary. No trip to Munnar will be complete without a trip to Eravikulam National Park, which is the home of the highly endangered Nilgiri tahrs, which are seen only in Munnar and in some isolated pockets along the Nilgiri biosphere


Mattupeety Lake, which is a man made lake formed by a small hydro electricity dam is another popular tourist spot in Munnar.Set amidst steep hills and thick woods, it offers ample sight seeing opportunities.The nearby Indo-Swiss cattle-breeding centre is another interesting stopover. Do not miss out the Top Station that is a popular view point that offers the panoramic views of the valley.


Munnar is a heaven for adventure-seekers. From the extreme activities like paradgliding to the simple fun of fishing or bicycle rides there is something for everyone. So, get set to explore the tea estates, the valleys and the hills of Munnar that beckon the tourists all round the year.


Thekkady

Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, Thekkady makes a wonderful stopover. No matter whether you are here for adventure, fun, wild life or nature, Thekkady will never leave you unimpressed! Thekkady tourism offers something exceptional for every visitor here. There is a bevy of interesting outdoor leisure activities like bird watching, wild life safari and boating in the Periyar lake, which will give you a wonderful chance to spot herds of elephants and other large animals like bisons and deer in their natural habitat.


Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one of the last homes of the Indian tigers, holds the repute of one of the best maintained wild life sanctuaries in the country. Spread over an area of 777 sq km, dotted with thick evergreen forest, the sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is also a treasure trove of some of the rare species of flora and fauna that are native of Kerala. The flora of the park includes over 1965 flowering plants, 171 grass species, 143 species of orchids and the only South Indian conifer. Apart from the tigers, the park has a diverse wild life including wild elephant, gaur, wild boar, lion tailed macaque, Nilgir Tahr and Malabar giant squirrel among others. The best time to visit animals is during summer (March- May). The Sanctuary Watch Tower situated in the forest interior gives you a panoramic view of the park.

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