10 Places In Kerala That First-Timers Must Visit

The beautiful state stretches along the Malabar coast. The coastal state is also called the “Gods Own Country” and “The Land of Coconuts Trees”. Kerala is one of India’s most prominent tourist destinations, having so much to offer from sandy beaches, palm trees, backwaters, temples, hill stations, Ayurveda, and more.

1. Alleppey – The Backwaters

Source- Thrillophilia

The Alleppey backwaters are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The place is described as “Venice Of The East”. The backwaters are a network of lakes, canals, rivers, and lagoons parallel to the Malabar coast, Kerala. Different houseboats sail across the backwaters that can be rented hourly or for a day. The best time to visit this place is during the annual boat race that happens during the festival of Onam.

2. Munnar

Source- Lonely Planet

Munnar is a hill station that is situated around 1,600 meters above sea level in Kerala. The place is also famous for the lush green carpets of tea plantations across the terraced hills. Munnar also has the Tata Tea Museum, which was established in the year 2005. Munnar is popularly called “The Kashmir of South India” because of its beauty. The museum shares the legacy of hardworking tea planters and gives visitors an insight into how the tea is processed.  

3. Kovalam Beach

Source- Beach hotel

The Kovalam beaches in Kerala are the most popular and beautiful beaches of India. The name Kovalam means a collection of palm trees, and indeed, the place is filled with them. Kovalam has three beautiful beaches: the Lighthouse beach, Hawah beach, and the Samudra beach. The Lighthouse beach is the most famous among tourists, whereas the Samudra beach is renowned among local fishermen.

4. Bekal Fort

Sourcebekal.com

The Bekal Fort is that the largest fort among different forts in Kerala. The fort spreads across 40 acres and appears to emerge from the sea. The famous Bollywood movie Rag De Basanti was shot on this fort. Tourists can sit on the fort and enjoy the sunrise or sunset with the breathtaking view of the beach. At dawn, the fort lights up with unique lights that add to the beauty of the place.

5. Kochi Fish Nets

Source- Irish holidays

The beach in Kerala has Chinese fishnets that are made of bamboo poles and teak wood. Each of the Chinese fishnets is about 10 meters high and is fixed on the beach. Each net is operated by a team of four to six men. It is believed that the concept was introduced by a Chinese explorer named Zheng He. This place is the most photographed and visited site by tourists in Kochi.

6. Guruvayur Temple

Source- New Indian Express

Guruvayur Temple is a spiritual place located in the Trissur district of Kerala. It is a temple dedicated to the four-armed form of Lord Vishnu. The most auspicious time to visit the temple is during Guruvayur Ekadasi and on Vishu. Strict dress codes have to be followed by both men and women. The temple is house to 56 Asian elephants. The most celebrated and famous elephant in the temple was Gajarajan Guruvayur Keshavan.

7. Sabrimala Temple

Source- Twitter

The Sabrimala Temple of Kerala is situated on a hilltop at 1260 meters above sea level. The temple is dedicated to Ayyappan, a Hindu Brahmachari also known as Dharma Shasta. The temple is visited by around 40 to 50 million pilgrims each year. It is open for worship from 15th November to 26th December, the first five days of the Malayalam month, and Makara Sankranti, which falls on 14th January every year.

8. Thenmala Eco-Tourism

Source- Kerala Tourism

The Thenmala Eco-Tourism consists of 10 eco-tourism spots covering hill rangers of Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, and Pathanamthitta districts. This place is the first planned eco-tourism in the country. The name Thenmala means Honey Hill. The hill does export large amounts of high-quality honey to the whole world. The place is surrounded by dense green forests and has tourist activities like jungle safaris, trekking trails, and jungle camps.

9. Kozhikode Beach

Source- Pinterest

The gorgeous Kozhikode Beach is situated on the Malabar Coast of India. This place is historic as it was the place where Vasco-da-Gama first landed in India. The site was also the ancient spice route to trade spices to the whole world. Locals and tourists who come to Kerala visit the beach during the evening to view the sunset. If you are lucky enough, then you can spot dolphins too.  

10. Varkala Beach

Source Zostel

The Varkala or Papanasam Beach is a calm beach, unlike the other crowded beaches. The Varkala beach is popularly also called “The Pearl of the Arabian Sea”. The locals say that taking a dip in the beach water can purge the body’s impurities and wash off all the sins. The beach also has many cliffs nearby made up of tertiary sedimentary formation. The 2000-year-old Janardana Swami Temple is located just near the beach. The former CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, said that he mentioned weeks writing codes on the peaceful beach.

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