10 Reasons to Visit Kerala

Why Visit Kerala?

Travelers and explorers from all over the world have been drawn to Kerala for centuries drawn to this slice of tropical South India by spices. Nowadays there are even more reasons to visit enchanting Kerala from luscious landscapes, wildlife, tantalizing cuisine and not forgetting perhaps the most magical ingredient travelers encounter when visiting Kerala – the warmth of the Indian hospitality and smiles that linger long in the memory after leaving Kerala’s tropical shores.

Here are just 10 things you cannot miss when you visit Kerala

1. Cruise the Backwaters in a Houseboat

Cruising the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat is an expereince you can't miss when in Kerala
Cruising the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat is an expereince you can’t miss when in Kerala

 

The Kerala backwaters are one of the most amazing waterways in the world and spending a few days cruising the backwaters in a house boat made like a traditional rice barge is simply a must do experience while in Kerala and a real highlight of my visit. While drifting along the backwaters watch the days slip away as you witness life carry on as it has done for centuries under a canopy of a luscious emerald palm trees. Relax as the days slip away, wave as fishermen pass by in small canoes and experience peace, beauty and serenity found no where else in India as you become mesmerized by the nature and beauty of these amazing waterways.

2. Explore the multicultural history of Fort Cochin

Sunset over Fort Cochin's Chinese fishing nets
Sunset over Fort Cochin’s Chinese fishing nets

Kochi or Cochin is Kerala’s most historical and interesting city. The spice trade, first with the Arabs and Chinese, and later with the Europeans brought trade, cultural exchange and prosperity to this important Arabian sea port, You can still see the history and multicultural influences here, shop for crafts, spices and souvenirs in the colourful lanes of Jew Town, visit the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth and admire the Ramayana murals adorning the walls of the Mattancherry or Dutch Palace. Stroll along the waterfront at sunset and watch the Chinese Fishing Nets in operation, one of Kerala’s most iconic scenes.

3. Laze on Tropical Beaches

Looking down over the cliffs to stunning Varkala Beach
Looking down over the cliffs to stunning Varkala Beach

Tropical, luscious Kerala is also home to some fine stretches of sand. Some of the best are at Kovalam (close to Trivandrum), Varkala and Cherai Beach (close to Kochi). Relax as you watch the days slip into one, sun baking and cooling off swimming in the turquoise waters, dine of fresh seafood and enjoy glorious sunsets over the Arabian Sea.

4. Get Refreshed in a Hill Station

Stunning views over the tea plantations of Munnar
Stunning views over the tea plantations of Munnar

If the tropical climate is becoming a bit too hot and humid for you then escape to a hill station and be rewarded with fresh, cool air and stunning views. One of the most popular is Munnar and for good reason, the rolling, misty hills are blanketed in a million shades of green and I just couldn’t get enough of the mesmerizing views over the tea plantations. You can also visit the Tata Tea Museum to find out how tea has been made here since colonial times and of course, you need to indulge in a cup or 2 while in Munnar.

5. Search for Wildlife

The wildlife in Kerala is incredible especially the elephants!
The wildlife in Kerala is incredible especially the elephants!

Nature has really blessed Kerala from top to toe and the national parks are also sanctuaries home to some incredible wildlife. Perhaps you will be luckily enough to spot some. Try Periyar for tigers and leopards, whilst Wayanad is one of the best places to spot elephants in the wild! It’s also still fantastically unspoilt and some argue it is the most beautiful part of Kerala. All over Kerala keep your eyes open for cheeky monkeys and graceful peacocks.

6. Watch a Kathakali Show

Amazing costumes and facial expressions at a Kathakali show
Amazing costumes and facial expressions at a Kathakali show

Kerala’s traditional dance form dates back to the 17th century and is as enchanting as it is unique. Prepare to be amazed by the elaborate and colourful make up, costumes and incredible facial expressions that accompany the spirited music for an unmissable experience. Don’t leave Kerala without seeing a Kathakali show.

7. Embrace Ayurveda

Plants and spices used for ayurveda
Plants and spices used for ayurveda

Due to the abundant supply of spices and medicinal plants Kerala is the home of Ayurveda, an ancient, natural healing science that has been practised in India for over 5000 years. It’s like the medicinal side to yoga and can involved complex treatments to healing many complex problems. But most visitors just enjoy a relaxing Ayurvedic massage at a spa or hotel.

8. Try Kerala’s Cuisine

Try eating this tatsy traditional kerala meal on a banana leaf with your hands
Try eating this tatsy traditional kerala meal on a banana leaf with your hands

Food in Kerala certainly take full advantage of the regions bounty of spices and proximity to the coast. Many dishes are spicy and coconutty, you must try a traditional fish molee ( a spicy yellow fish curry) and a traditional vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf – a tantalizing assortment of flavours of rice, curries and chutneys, it’s fun to try eating it in the traditional way too – with your hands! Also try delicious fluffy pancake like Appams and Toddy – a coconut palm wine’, even more fun if you see the guy climbing up the tree doing the toddy tapping.

9. Visit a Spice Plantation

Take a tour of a spice plantation to learn about all the uses of the plants
Take a tour of a spice plantation to learn about all the uses of the plants

Kerala was a major port in the Spice Trade and Spices were in huge demand. You will understand why when you visit a Spice Plantation and learn about all the different properties and uses of the plants and spices. Nature really is amazing! Kerala is famous for it’s pepper, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and so many more so don’t forget to leave room in your bag to buy some spices to take home

10. Enjoy Indian Hospitality

Being greeted with gits, music and dots on the head!
Being greeted with gits, music and dots on the head!

Despite being blessed by nature, Kerala’s best asset is it’s people. The incredible warmth, welcome and open smiles that I experienced throughout Kerala blew me away. Nothing was ever too much of an effort and people here are so welcoming and helpful, many people even want their photo taken with you – it makes you feel like being a celebrity!

Kerala is very different from India, actually it makes a perfect introduction to India, but you can still fall in love with the exotic culture, be mesmerized by the bright colourful sarees of the women, take a crazy rickshaw ride, gaze at an elaborate Hindu temple and be enchanted by the colour, the beauty and the magic of Incredible India that keeps me coming back again and again!

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10 Reasons To Visit Kerala in South India

 

My trip to Kerala was generously organised and sponsored by Kerala Tourism as part of the Kerala Blog Express but of course all views are my own. For any help organising your own trip of a lifetime don’t hesitate to contact Kerala Tourism and look out for more posts from Kerala and tips for traveling in India.

With other bloggers and the Kerala Blog Express bus!
With other bloggers and the Kerala Blog Express bus!kerala

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23 comments

Rosemary Neave March 24, 2015 at 12:36 am

great summary anna! What a trip it was

Reply
Jose Mathew March 24, 2015 at 2:09 am

thank u for being with us as part of Kerala blog express2

Reply
Anna Phipps March 29, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Thank you so much for having me in your beautiful country!

Reply
Anna Phipps March 29, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Thank you!

Reply
Sarni Swarn June 30, 2015 at 10:05 am

Ready to visit Kerala without any reason Always

Reply
Tînöy Rökşş June 30, 2015 at 10:27 am

sat sri akal

Reply
LAXMINARAYANA Yamasani June 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

Thanq for good information

Reply
Max Anni Annette Re June 30, 2015 at 11:10 am

2 Things i didnt till right now but the other Things i know very well. But the best reason is to Visite my Family there. 😉

Reply
Simon Lazarus June 30, 2015 at 11:31 am

Must read

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Arushee Pillai June 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Tanisha Erappa.. i shall take u there..!! 🙂 🙂

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Binoy Thomas July 1, 2015 at 5:00 am

Kerala is the best good tourist destination place in India and world also, so why kerala is known as Gods own country. Here iam also working tourism filed. So anyone wish visit Kerala tour i will help and arrange good enjoying tour depond upon there budject. So welcome to Kerala. contact [email protected]

Reply
Prasida Nair July 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm

gods own country like gujarat

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Natasha Sinclair August 6, 2015 at 10:36 am

Great list of one of my favourite states in India. However I wouldn’t bet on seeing Tiger in Periyar it is not known for Tiger sightings. I would recommend missing the boat cruise on the reservoir and do a jungle walk instead.

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Global Gallivanting August 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

Thanks for the tips! I’d like to do more trekking and walking next time! The advertise it as Periyar tiger reserve but no I did not see any tigers. Did not see any in the Sundarbans either.

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John August 6, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Just returned from India. We travelled in Rajasthan mostly which which we really enjoyed. Like the idea of spotting elephants in the wild and cruising around on a houseboat.

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Anna August 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Sounds great. I think Kerala is one of the nicest regions in India for travellers and relaxing on a house boat is a real highlight! Rajasthan is also great- I’m looking forward to exploring that region in more depth later on this year! So do you think you will be back to India for another visit?

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Megan Indoe September 17, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Wow, you sold me on Kerala! I love that boat! We will have to make this a priority when we go to India! Thanks for sharing!

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Anna September 18, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Awesome! Kerala is really nice it should be on your India list for sure! Hope you enjoy India and let me know if you want anymore tips 🙂

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Nadine January 24, 2018 at 9:34 pm

Thanks for the information! We’d like to go to South India mid July (I know, it’s not ideal) and we only have 2.5 weeks. We’d like to go to Kerala, but we are wondering how long it will take us to see the highlights. Could we maybe even spend the whole time there without getting bored? What do you think?

Reply
Anna August 16, 2018 at 10:00 pm

You could easily spend 2.5 weeks just in Kerala and not get bored. Check out this post – https://www.global-gallivanting.com/8-unmissable-places-to-visit-in-kerala/

Reply
Maxi Koenig -Reich February 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm

I would love to visit Kerala. It will be my first time to India. The hauseboot trip seams very interesting.

Reply
faseeh July 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm

very nice and attractive article

Reply

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