What are the various things to do in Kerala and when to visit the place? Worry not, this article got you covered all of your queries regarding Kerala.
It has many places to visit like backwaters, Western Ghats, Arabian Sea, Wayanad, Cochin, Alleppey, Munnar, Kumarakom bird sanctuary, Anamudi, etc. It is also the ‘Spice Capital of India’.
Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, is one of the most beautiful states in India. It is the 21st largest state in India. It is bordered by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and the Lakshadweep Sea. It is branched into 14 districts with the capital being Thiruvananthapuram.
Chera dynasty was the first kingdom based in Kerala.
Kerala has the lowest positive population growth rate in India and the highest literacy rate. Hinduism is practiced by half of the population, followed by Islam and Christianity.
It has many cultural syntheses of Aryan, Dravidian, Arab, and European cultures which came to India many centuries before.
Kerala is situated between the Arabian Sea to the west and Western Ghats mountain ranges to the east.
Kerala is named after the extensive coconut plantations in the state. ‘Kera’ stands for coconut tree and ‘Alam’ stands for land. Hence, Kerala can be named the land of coconut trees.
‘God’s Own Country’ the slogan used by the Kerala Tourism Department is to describe Kerala’s breathtaking scenes and its alluring silence. It has many breathtaking scenic places to visit. It has well-known tourist destinations in India, with backwaters, hill stations, sandy beaches, ayurvedic spas, and tropical greenery as its major attractions.
Here is the list of best things to do in Kerala
Here’s how one can make their holiday a memorable one. There is quite a lot to do and explore in Kerala. However, it is up to you as to which of these things to do in Kerala you wish to try first.
1. Alleppey (Alappuzha)
Nearly a 4-hour travel from Thiruvananthapuram, Alleppey, or Alappuzha esteemed as the ‘Backwater Capital of India’ or the ‘Venice of the east. It offers some most stunning views of the backwaters. It is known for its silent backwater and beauty. Other than south India’s village life and the coconut trees, you will also see an array of birds here.
This double-deck boathouse gives a 3-4 hour boat ride, which is one of the must-do things in Kerala. This houseboat costs around Rs. 600 per hour.
You can also enjoy village walks, ayurvedic treatments or therapies, and much more.
Tourist attractions are Alleppey beach, Marari beach, Krishnapuram palace, Ambalapuzha temple, and St. Mary Roza church are the most prominent ones.
2. Walk and take photos at Tea gardens in Munnar
Hill station of Munnar is popularly known for its flourishing hills with tea plantations and is also among the best in Kerala. The tea garden makes a memorable background for couples and family photographs. Backdrops of greenery from the tea garden of Munnar and silvery mist among mountains form a perfect setting for photography along with other tourist spots in Munnar. You may also seek permission before trespassing on some tea estates.
3. Wander through Paddy fields in Kerala
Get a different strolling experience by walking through green paddy feels. Wandering through these fields, the feeling of the mud and water on your feet gives chills, especially in the mornings and evenings.
4. Eat the best South Indian breakfast
It has been also rated as the world’s best breakfast by Travel & Leisure magazine. Kerala’s healthy breakfast is cooked with fresh and seasonal local natural ingredients. You can begin your day with Upma, Masala Dosa, Idli, Sambhar, and Appams. Appams are often recommended with vegetable stew or meat/chicken stew.
5. Watch snake boat races
Watch snake boat races at Alappuzha. You can feel the excitement of the racers and the energetic crowd that shout, cheer, wave, and clap with great competitive spirit while watching the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. You can also get the experience of the race by renting a snake boat and participating in snake boat races. It is one of the best things to do in Kerala during September.
6. Explore the Village life along with the backwaters
You can here get a closer look at the village life in Kerala through a backwater village tour. You can also ride the bullock carts and as well as meet the locals and explore their lifestyles too. Enjoy the homemade food made by them and take their traditional recipes.
7. Eat the traditional Kerala lunch served on Banana leaf
You can enjoy the traditional Sadya (Kerala’s lunch) served with rice, pickles, vegetarian dishes, pappadam, and payasam. Sadya is enjoyed when eaten with your hands and without any cutlery. It is a pure vegetarian meal served on a tender banana leaf and is usually served during the Onam. However, with prior requests most hotels in Kerala also serve it.
8. Fishing with the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi
Fishing using Chinese fishing is also one of the experiences you can enjoy. It is a very exceptional and unfamiliar method of fishing. Chinese fishing nets are fixed land installations. It is operated from the shore, these nets are set up on the bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them into the sea. They are counterbalanced by large stones tied to ropes. Tourists can also participate in fishing with the fisherman. The Chinese net here originated from the court of Kublai Khan, a Mongolian King.
9. Travel through the world’s first Solar-powered Airport
Cochin International Airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Kerala and received The United Nation’s 2018 Champions of the Earth award for becoming the world’s first solar power airport. The entire airport is powered by solar energy; from announcement systems to the digital display conveyor belts. The hot and sunny climate of Kerala has generated a surplus of energy which Cochin airport can utilize when sunshine is not present.
10. Ride on an Elephant
Do you want to feel like an emperor from the old times, then this elephant ride will make you feel like an emperor. An Elephant ride is a must if you are planning to visit Kerala and is also among the best things to do in Munnar and Thekkady.
11. Get an authentic Kerala Ayurveda massage
You can get an Ayurveda massage here from the expert masseurs. It is a very relaxing and soothing experience for your body, mind, and soul. Monsoons are the best time to get an authentic Ayurveda massage. Traditionally, the monsoon season is the right time to take treatment in Ayurveda, as the climate is suitable for treatments like Ilakkizhi (Patrasweda), Podikkizhi (Choornasweda), Panchakarma, Herbal powder massage, Navarakkizhi, Ksheeradhara, Thakradhara and Pizhichil for any kind of ailments and flora and fauna are abundantly available for any kind of Ayurveda treatment in monsoon. Ayurveda massages are the best if done in June, July, and August in Kerala.
12. Watch birds in Birds sanctuaries
Here, we are not talking about the crows and pigeons (however, you will find them too), but the natural beauty preserved in the beautiful and precious birds in the bird sanctuaries like the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. You can here spot birds like grey-headed bulbul, Wynand laughing thrush, Malabar grey hornbill, Malabar parakeet, Nilgiri wood pigeon, white-bellied treepie, Nilgiri flycatcher, rufous babbler, Malabar Lark, and crimson-backed sunbird.
13. Feel the monsoon season
Getting soaked in the monsoon rain and sipping a cup of hot masala tea with some snacks which you can enjoy here especially. Or watch the rain from your room or balcony and enjoy and listen to the music of raindrops when it hits the roof and the leaves. The smell of the earth when the rain falls on the dry land is something godly. The music, mood, smell, and of course, those delicious snacks are one of the most awesome and romantic experiences you shouldn’t miss.
13. Visit Local markets
The packed crowds, high-pitched voices of the sellers and the vehicles, people shoving to view items, and smells of the food wafting in the air— is no denying that the best and most honest taste of any place comes from its local markets. Local markets in Kerala are like small stalls of everyday things, including fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, etc.
14. Listen to temple music
Temple music, is also a part of prayers and festivals of natives and it feels very soothing that it almost feels like hypnotism. Kerala is famous for Panchavadyam which is a temple art and which means an orchestra of 5 native instruments ethalam, timila, sudha-maddalam, Korbut and edakka.
15. Watch Local art forms of Kerala
In Kerala, many local art forms exist and perform by locals throughout the year. Local art forms like Mohiniyattam, Kathakali, Theyyam and Thiruvathira. Kathakali and Mohiniyattam are famous all over India. Watch these art forms and try to understand the refinement of those arts which impresses you the most.
16. Taste the adventure of trekking, climbing, and others with Paragliding
Kerala is best for adventure enthusiasts as it is a place spotted with rivers, beaches and hills, and others. Trekking, rock climbing, camping in the hills and water-based adventure, and much more things you can experience here. There are also other adventure activities like kayaking, canoeing, and yachting which are popular in Kerala.
17. Watch the waterfalls
Kerala has a lot of awesome waterfalls like ‘Athirapally falls’ which is called the ‘Niagara falls of India’. You can also get drenched under the waterfalls apart from the watching. You can listen to the tip-top musical sound of falling water. Enjoy the greenery dipped in water in June, July, August, and September during the monsoon season. Drive to Munnar is popular because you can get many refreshing and beautiful waterfalls where you can take a rest.
18. Visit Jatayu National Park
Jatayu National Park is a Ramayana-themed park that is named after the Jatayu, the bird who tried to the Sita from the abduction of Ravana in Ramayan. It is located in the Kollam district of Kerala. This rock-themed park will be a treat to the eyes as well as a sense of experience for the tourists of Jatayu Nature. It is also focused on promoting mythology, adventure, and wellness tourism.
19. Visit the zoo
You can visit zoos and zoological parks if you are an animal lover. The Trivandrum zoo offers not only a close view of wildlife but also a very magnificent view of the lakes and lawns.
20. Watch the Pink flowers of Kumarakom every year
Every year the peaceful paddy fields in Kumarakom are covered with bright pink water lilies called Aambal in Malayalam. The beautiful pink flowers cover miles and miles of paddy fields with their leathery, disc-like shaped leaves covered with water. Seeds of these flowers are sown after the paddy cultivation. These flowers bloom for 2 months every year around August. The perfect time to watch these flowers is during the time of sunrise or in the morning.
21. Watch the tea making process
Make some time to visit the tea plantations in Kerala. It is one of the best Munnar tea plantations you can ever visit. You can see here the whole tea-making process if you are lucky enough to be on time. Sip tea at the place from where you can also have the view of tea getting plucked. You can also interact with the workers plucking the tea leaves and however, and you can also pluck tea leaves with them.
22. Cross the Coconut Trunk Bridges
In Kerala, there are many lush green lands in which you will come across many water bodies which run through the many fields and jungles. There you come across many bridges on streams which are usually made by the natives from the coconut trunks. Crossing these beaches is another awesome experience. Though it may feel more like a balancing act when you do it for the first time.
23. Go for a Jeep safari
If you are an enthusiast for observing and watching the jungles and wildlife then this is your call. Go for this Jeep safari through Periyar Jungle where you will not only get to observe the wildlife but also get to capture the breathtaking scenery with your camera.
24. See the sunset at Kovalam Beach
Observe the wet beauty at Kovalam beach bathed in the golden sun rays— an eye-catching and breathtaking view during the sunset. Of course, you can get a soak on the beach meanwhile.
25. Visit Heart Shaped Lake
Chembra Peak is the highest peak in the Wayanad district of Kerala. The longstanding heart-shaped lake halfway at top of the peak is rated the best among honeymoon destinations in Kerala.
Best time to visit Kerala
You can visit Kerala all year round. However, the best time is in the winter season between September to March. During this time in Kerala, there is a comfortable climate and pleasant weather with less humidity.
The summer months of April and May are preferred by the tourists who are keen to visit the hill stations of Munnar and Wayanad.
People who are looking for ayurvedic treatments mostly prefer the Monsoon season from June to August. It, however, doesn’t matter when you visit Kerala, this place always has something to offer. The serene beauty, authentic foods, and traditions are all to be felt and experienced in your visit to Kerala.