Information on Tours & Travel excursion of Kerala - india   Encyclopedia of Tours and Travel to Kerala, featuring information on Fairs & Festivals, Wildlife, Excursion, Adventure And Weather of Kerala.

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SabarimalaSabarimala  In  Kerala
The Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, 80 kms. from the Pathanamthitta district head quarters, is a National Pilgrim Centre. This famous shrine of Lord Ayyappa is surrounded by hazardous hills like Karimala and Neelimala. Devotees visit Sabarimala after undergoing 41 days of Vritha i.e., self-imposed devotional penance. They, with irumudikettu (bundle with offerings to Ayyappa) on their head, climb the mountain ranges and cross the forest bare footed repeatedly chanting Saranam Ayyappa which means we seek refuge in Ayyappa. This is probably the only famous temple in Kerala, which does not restrict anybody from visiting it for not being a Hindu.

Malayattoor Church, a Christian pilgrim centre situated 52 kms from Kochi beside the Periyar River at the top of a hill. The pilgrims can reach the place only by foot. This church which was established in AD 900 is believed to have been blessed by St.Thomas, one of the Apostles of Christ.

This famous Hindu pilgrim centre is situated at 48 kms north of Thiruvananthapuram. It is noted for it's mineral springs.

Sivagiri and Aruvippuram
Aruvippuram of Thiruvananthapuram district is famous through the consecration of the 'Siva Idol' by Sree Narayana Guru. Sivagiri is a major pilgrim centre that attracts not only the local tourists but also travellers from abroad.

A unique pilgrim centre in Kollam district known for its Advaita Philosphy. Here there is no temple or idol for the presiding deity 'the Parabrahma'. The ritual performance 'Ochirakali', which is usually held in June gathers a huge crowd.



Kerala Beaches
Kerala is blessed with a 600-km long coastline that extends its length to 11 of the Kovalam Beach 14 districts of Kerala. On Kerala's beaches, you can bathe in the glory of the sun or bask in the splendour of the sunset and refresh yourself with a sip of tender coconut milk.

The exotic, palm-fringed beaches of Kerala are considered the finest and the most scenic beaches in the world. These beaches offer surf and sand like no other coastal place in India. Among the facilities you can enjoy at the beach sites of Kerala include boating, sunbathe, swimming, water sports and Yoga. All beaches are as peaceful as the rest of the land, washed by the pleasant tropical sun and as pristine as ever.

Alappuzha Beach (Alleppey Beach)
Alappuzha beach also known as Alleppey beach is one of the most popular spots of Alappuzha district. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is around 140 years old. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty.

Referred to as the Venice of the East by travellers from across the world, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Alappuzha is also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry. There is also an old lighthouse nearby that is of immense interest for the visitors.

Kovalam Beach
On the coast along the Kerala shore line is a small village, called Kovalam. This sleepy town suddenly came on the tourist map when its fabulous beaches were discovered. Today beaches of Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a ravishing look.

The palm-fringed bays in secluded coconut groves, promise a relaxed stay. The boundless blue waters of the Arabian Sea and miles of white sands washed away by the surf at the feet of the palms makes Kovalam a beach paradise. This marvellous beach is a tourist's dream come true.

A sheltered natural bay with cool soothing palms and gentle waves. Where when you are tired of aquatics, swimming or sunbathing, you can explore the handicrafts, jewellery and cloth shops spread along the waterfront. Not to speak of the delightful sea-food fare including lobsters available at the beachside restaurants.

The crescent-shaped beaches of Kovalam can be divided in three parts. The southern most beach, and the most popular, is the Lighthouse Beach. Further south on the beach one can have a spectacular view of the Vizhinzam mosque. Photography is prohibited here.

The middle beach is called Hawah. Each morning this beach acts as a base for the local fisherman. The northern most beach, Samudra, is least affected of all by the changing times. It is dotted with few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels.

The coast is at many places lined with beautiful patches of coral reefs. Or you can crest the waves on logs of lashed woods on catamarans.

Varkala Beach
Varkala is a sea side resort, as well as an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. The 2000 year old Janardana Swamy Temple and the Nature CenVarkala  Beachtre are the two main attractions of Varkala Beach. High cliffs border the excellent beach.

Varkala is a beautiful beach that has a more than 2000 years old shrine of Lord Vishnu. This beach of Kerala is rich in mineral water springs that are known for their medicinal value.

A dip in the holy waters of Varkala beach is believed to purge the body and the soul of all the sins hence the name 'Papanashini' for this shore. At the break of dawn following the new moon in the Malayalam month of 'Karkidakam', thousands offer 'Vavu Bali', a ritual believed to help the souls of ancestors rest in peace.

Poovar Beach
Unspoilt and miraculously unexplored, Poovar Beach is a rare Adam and Eve find in Southern Kerala. Enveloped by the most serene backwaters, and opening out to the sea and a dream golden sand beach. Poovar is truly a window into paradise. Time stopped a few decades ago. The tranquility is punctuated by the sound of waves and the birds. The area is abundant in well-preserved local flora, with hundreds of species of spices, exotic flowers, complete with banana and coconut groves.

Poovar offers several possibilities. Cruise to a neighbouring fishing village in 2 minutes. Alter course, and visit a centuries old martial arts village. Kerala is the birthplace of a unique martial art form. The traditional lifestyles here provide the experience of a natural museum.

Poovar Beach is an approx. 45 minute drive south of Kovalam. The beach separates the river from the sea and is quite breathtaking. Because of the active fishing population the beach is not really used as a sunbathing spot or for swimming as the currents are quite strong.

Cherai BeachCherai Beach
This lovely beach bordering Vypeen island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction.

This is where Vasco da Gama had landed in 1498 AD. The legends woven around its historic origins and traditions cast a mystical spell on this beach. Kappad is also known for its Ayurvedic health holiday facilities.
Accessibility : 14 km (1/2 hour) from Kozhikode.

Muzhappilangad Beach
Black rocks protect this long, clean beach from the currents of the deep, making its shallow water a swimmers paradise. Perhaps this is Keralas only drive-in beach where you can drive down the entire length of 4 km. Accessibility: 15 km (1/2 hour) from Kannur and 8 km from Thalasseri.

Bekal Fort stands on a promontory between two long, classically beautiful palm fringed beaches. This is the largest, best preserved fort in Kerala. The fort has been under the control of various powers including the Vijayanagar kingdom, Tipu Sultan and the British. The forts commanding position offers breathtaking views across the bays to the north and south. Accessibility: 160 km (4 hours) from Kozhikode.


Hill Stations

One of the most popular hill stations in India, is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 Mts. Munnar  Hill  Stationabove sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience. Munnar is essentially a tea town. The tea plantations have now been taken over by the Tata Tea Company. The visitor is greeted with miles and miles of unending tea plantations on entry into Munnar. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji a flower which bathes the hills in blue colour once every twelve years.

The Neelakurinji, will bloom next in 2006 AD. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India - Anamudi - which towers over 2695 M and is an ideal spot for campers who like to do some trekking.

Mattupetty (13 km from Munnar)
Situated at a height of 1700 m Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialised dairy farm, the Indo-swiss live stock project. The Mattupetty lake and dam , just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity.

Pothamedu (6 km from Munnar)
Pothamedu offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks.

Devikulam (7 km from Munnar)
This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.

Rajamala (15 km from Munnar)
The natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr Rajamala is 2695 m above sea level. Half the world's population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. The Niligiri tahr in Rajamala are now to be found in small herds found in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Niligiri Tahrs in Rajamala is estimated to be over 1300.

Echo Point (15 km from Munnar)
This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenominon here. Echo point is on the way to Top Station from Munnar.

Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar)
The 97 sq. km. park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr. The Anamudi peak (2695 m) is located in the Southern region of the park.

Top Station (32 kms from Munnar)
1700m above sea level , this is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodiakanal road. The rare Neelakurunji (strobilanthus) belongs to this region. Top Station (a viewing point) also offers a panoramic view of neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

Kundala (20 km from Munnar)
Kundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Station. The Golf Course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd. is located here. The Kundala artificial dam is another attraction. Aruvikkad Waterfall is also near Kundala.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km from Munnar)
Situated on the Tamil Nadu border, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 90.44 sq km.

Location : About 61 km from Thiruvananthapuram city,south Kerala.
915m above sea level. Located within a short driving distance of Thiruvananthapuram, Ponmudi is an enchanting hill resort with narrow winding pathways and cool, green environs. Along with a beautiful array of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and small rivulets, Ponmudi offers excellent opportunities for trekking. With its tea estates and mist covered valleys Ponmudi is a fast developing hill resort with cottages and dormitory accommodation facilities.

Situated 915m above sea level, Peermede is on the way to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. This pleasant hill station was once the summer retreat of the Maharajas of Travancore. Here you will find sprawling tea, coffee, cardamom, rubber and eucalyptus plantations side by side with natural grasslands and pine forests. Accessibility: 75 km (2 1/2 hours) from Kottayam.

Tucked away at the north eastern tip of Kerala, this quaint little hill station about 1300 m above sea level is renowned for its coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber plantations. Mist capped mountains and breathtaking scenery dominate other tourist attractions here. Accessibility: 100 km (5 hours) from Kozhikode.




Jewish Synagogue
Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma Jewish Synagogueof Kochi, the Palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. The palace with a Bhagavathi temple in the central courtyard is built like the typical Kerala style mansion - the Nalukettu - the home of the aristocracy, nobility and upper classes, with four separate wings opening out to a central courtyard.

The double storeyed palace building which stands by the panoramic Kochi back waters has an exquisite collection of murals collectively covering over 300 sqft of its walls. The themes of these murals have been borrowed from the great Indian epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, and mythology and legends about the Hindu gods especially Guruvayurappan. Some murals depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam and other works of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa.Also on display are royal paraphernalia like weapons, swings and furniture which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.

Mattancherry Palace
A unique thorny scrub forest with xerophyte species, Chinnar is the habitat for the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India. The last world count of these squirrels was less than 200. Located in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, unlike other sanctuaries in Kerala, Chinnar gets only 48 days of rain every year. Rich in wildlife, the mixed deciduous forests here are ideal for trekking.

An extensive Sandalwood forest nearby is an added attraction. This is also an ideal place to watch herds of Bisons march past. Dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands add to the diversity of the sanctuary. As one travels from Karimuthi to Chinnar, Elephants, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Hanuman monkey and even Peacocks can be spotted on either sides of the road.

Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy
One of the most revered places for the traditional art forms of Kerala, the Kalamandalam is the cradle of Kathakali training in India. This temple of arts has preserved and propagated KathKerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthyakali - the classical dance-drama of Kerala - for the past 78 years. Many of the internationally renowned artistes of Kerala and India have been trained here.

The Kalamandalam and its surroundings reflect the simple, pure and ethnic atmosphere in which these arts have survived for centuries.

The Koothambalam - the traditional dance theatre - at Kalamandalam is the only one in the State which is built outside a temple complex. Constructed according to vikrushtra madhya, one of the three natya grihas (theatres) specified in sage Bharatha's Natyasasthra - a treatise on art compiled in the 2nd century B.C, the theatre is 14.62 m long and 7.31m wide and has four wooden pillars supporting it. It has three main parts - the aniyara (green room), the rangam (stage) - the space on front and side of it meant for the audience, and the mridanga-patha (where the drum is kept).

The Kerala Kalamandalam was established by Vallathol Narayana Menon, the renowned Malayalam poet. Over the years this unique institution has imparted training for Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Kootiyattam, Panchavadyam, Thullal etc - following the ancient gurukula system of education.


AthirapallyPalaruvi waterfalls
Palaruvi which means milky stream' makes its way down the rocks, from a height of 300 ft. The Palaruvi -
woods is a beautiful picnic spot. The PWD Inspection Bungalow and the KTDC Motel offer comfortable accommodation.
Accessibility: 73 km from Kollam town.

At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges, this 80 foot waterfall is a popular picnic spot. Accessibility: 78 km (2 hours) from Kochi.

Just a short drive from Athirapally, this picturesque spot is adjacent to dense green forest land and is a part of the Chalakudy river.
Accessibility: 90 km (2 V2 hours) from Kochi.


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