Kollam once called ‘Quilon’ is one of Kerala’s southern districts. The district is blessed with rivers, lakes, forests, sea, lagoons, paddy fields and lots of coconut groves. In short it is a mini-model of Kerala’s true natural beauty and the district is titled as “The Gods on Capital”.
Almost 30% of the district is covered by ‘Ashtamudi Kayal’, the second largest lake in Kerala. It offers an entry point to the splendid beauty of ‘Kerala Backwaters’. The district is famous for its coir and cashew nut industries. The coir industry uses traditional methods for coir making which attracts lots of tourists. The district portrays Kerala’s village life style.
How to Reach Kollam:
By air: The nearest airport from Kollam is Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) International Airport which is 72 kilometers away.
By Rail: The main railway station in the district is Quilon Junction also called Kollam Juncion.
By Road: The district is well connected with roads. Two National Highways NH47 and NH 220 pass through the district.
It is a 144 ft tall light house situated on the banks of the Arabian Sea. It was built in 1902 and is a popular destination for tourists. The light house combined with the sea offers a memorable scenario to the travelers.
It is a 300ft (90 meters) high waterfall close to the border of Tamilnadu. The waterfall is believed to have healing powers as its upstream flows through forests rich in herbal plants. It is almost 4 kilometers from ‘Aryankavu’ at Kerala-Tamilnadu border.
It is 5 kilometers away from Kollam town. It is a sea side village with historic importance. The beach has the remains of an old Portuguese fort built in the 18th century. You can have a speed boat for riding or do a scuba diving.
The Thirumullavaram Beach is only 6 kilometers to the north of kollam. It is a secluded beach. An attraction of the beach is ‘Njarazhcha para’, meaning ‘sunday rock’ which extends to almost 1.5 kilometers into the sea. The rock is visible during low tides.
Pathanamthitta is known as the “Pilgrim Centre of Kerala”, which houses the internationally famous Temple of Lord Darmasastha (Sri Ayyappan) at Sabarimala (a part of Western ghats). The temple is located inside the forest region of Sabarimala to which a pilgrim path is available. Apart from its pilgrim attraction, Pathanamthitta is famous for its natural beauty and scenic landscapes. It is covered by forests in most part with natural flow of rivers inside. Flora and fauna of the region includes some rare species which are on the verge of extinction.
How to Access Pathanamthitta ?
1.Trivandrum International Airport is at 113 Km from Pathanamthitta.
2. Cochin International Airport is at 142 Km from Pathanamthitta.
There is no railwaystation at Pathanamthitta town. Two nearest stations are Thiruvalla (at 30Km from Pathanamthitta town) and Chengannur (at 26Km from the main town). Direct buses are available to Pathanamthitta main town from both stations.
Two main State Highways pass through Pathanamthitta. SH-08 connects Ernakulam (from Muvattupuzha) to Pathanamthitta (upto Punalur). Direct buses are available to main cities like Bangalore,Cochin,Trivandrum, Calicut, Madurai etc.
Most Popular Tour Destinations:
Pathanamthitta in fact is known for this particular, internationally and nationally renowned temple of Lord Darmasastha (Lord Ayyappa), situated at Sabarimala (a hilly region in western ghats, 914m above MSL). Sabarimala is located at 72Km from Pathanamthitta main town and it attracts millions of devotees every year from all round the globe.Major festivals in Sabarimala takes place during the best tourism season of Kerala. They are Mandalapooja (during November to December), Makaravilakku (January) and Vishuvilakku (during April). The temple remains closed on all other days except for first 5 days of Malayalam calendar (it may be any dates among 15 to 20 of English calendar).
Aranmula is famous for its annual snake boat race and its traditional metal mirror named “Aranmula Kannadi“. Aranmula is a small temple town with an internationally renowned ancient temple of Lord Krishna. Aranmula is declared as an international tourist centre by Govt.Of India. Aranmula boat race is another spectacular event happens in Kerala during its traditional festival Onam (happens in August or September according to Malayalam calendar). Aranmula is located at 10Km from Pathanamthitta main town and 10Km from Chengannur.
Parumala is a famous christian orthodox pilgrimage centre where the feast of Mar Gregorious The Saint (Parumala Thirumeni) is celebrated. The feast celebrated here during November 1 and 2 is very famous and attracts devotees from all across the world. Parumala. Nearest railway station is Chengannur (10Km) and Thiruvalla.
Konni is another widely popular Eco tourism project in Kerala. A main attraction of the place is “Elephent rides” during leisure hours. Konni has plantations of rubber,spices like pepper, ginger and coffee plantations. This place will give you a beautiful idea about agriculture of Kerala. Another attraction for travellers is Elephant training centres, a big Elephant cage (used to capture and lock Elephants while training), trekking through forests and Western ghats etc.
Niranam is hitorically important as it is one of the 7 churches established in Kerala by St.Thomas during the first century. Many catholics and christians visit the shrine here which resembles the ancient temple architecture. Niranam is located at 7Km from Thiruvalla.
Idukki – the hilly district of Kerala, which houses many places ranging from 2500 feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL) in Kulamavu to places like Munnar which is as high as 5000 feet above MSL. Internationally renowned for it’s natural wild life and bio diversity, Idukki district is any travellers dream place. Munnar and Thekkady are the most amazing destinations and are the must see places in India itself. Apart from these two internationally popular destinations, Idukki is noted for it’s Hydro Electric projects and the dam here is the 14th largest arch dam in Asia.
How to Access Idukki :
1. Cochin International Airport – located at 60 Km from Idukki.
2. Madurai Airport – located at 72 Km from Idukki.
3. Coimbatore Airport – located at 97 Km from Idukki.
Above 3 are the nearest airports to Idukki.
By Rail: No rail connections are available to Idukki.
By Road: Idukki is well connected to other districts of Kerala, specially Kottayam and Ernakulam through 2 National Highways.
NH-49 connects Cochin (Ernakulam) to Idukki (via Munnar) and then to Madurai.
NH-220 connects Kottayam to Kumily (near by Thekkady). From Kumily it’s well connected to Munnar or to Tamilnadu (Theni, Madurai, Trichy).
Most Popular Tour Destinations:
Munnar is the most sought after hill station in Kerala by all travellers who visit Kerala. Kerala in fact is versatile in it’s offerings to travellers, which varies from the beautiful beaches in Kovalam to mind blowing ambience of a well established hill station like Munnar and it’s widely popular tea plantations. Munnar is widely sought by travellers because of it’s calm,spiritual,rejuvanating ambience, natural wild life, trekking through hilly wild areas, acres of tea plantations, cool,natural, virgin climate of hill station and other destinations like Devikulam, Kundala and Mattupetty dams etc. Munnar is also famous for it’s blue flora named “Neelakurinji” which blossoms once in 12 years and paints all across Munnar in blue.
Next to Munnar the best sought tour destination in Idukki is Thekkady, which houses one of the finest wild life sanctuaries in India – The Periyar National Park. Periyar wildlife sanctuary was decaled a Tiger reserve in 1978. This 777 Sq.Km area of wild life reserve has 360 Sq.Km of thick forests which has dense evergreen, semi evergreen and moist decidous forests. Main attraction to travellers are boat cruise through Periyar (a river) which passes through inside area of wild life reserve. Travellers can enjoy the flora and fauna of Thekkady during this cruise, quiet often you will see Wild Elephants, Deers, Wild Buffaloes and if you are lucky enough you will see the Tiger himself. Trekking through wild life reserve is another main event that many tourists opt in Thekkady.
[Note: Most of the tour destinations of Idukki district are near by Munnar and Thekkady. All these destinations are given under Munnar and Thekkady section of this website. Click on the know more links to get more idea about places]
Other Popular Destinations:
1. Idukki Arch Dam
The 14th largest arch dam in Asia, Idukki arch dam is noticed for it’s construction and structure. It is constructed in between two rocky cliffs named Kuravanmala and Kurathimala. The unique nature of this spot where the whole river periyar got narrowed by two rocky cliffs, was the key reason to build the dam here. Power is generated at Moolamattam power house which is located at 43 Km down the dam.
2. Vagamon Hills
Vagamon hills is another popular tour destination which is located in the Kerala – Idukki border at 1100 metres above sea level. Vagamon is famous for it’s Pine tree forest, exoctic & natural green meadows, tea plantations, Indo-Swiss diary farm project, Vagamon Kurisumala (Way of the cross path) and cool,refreshing climate & ambience. If you are moving to Vagamon from Idukki district (from Munnar or Thekkady region), the road trip through Elappara to Vagamon will be an amazing experience. Paragliding sport event is conducted in Vagamon at Kohlahalamedu every year. (Period is subject to change every year. Look at our news section for this years paragliding dates). More over Vagamon was listed by National Geographic Traveller as one of the 50 best places to visit in India.
Kasargod is the northernmost district if Kerala. Covering an area of around 2000square kilometers it accommodates a population around 13,50,000. It lies between the state of Karnataka on the North, the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats on the East. The district had ancient trade relations with the Arabs and the place was known by the name Harkwillia. Though the primary language of the district is Malayalam, there is a notable difference in the slang of the language from the southern part of Kerala.
How to reach Kasargod:
By air: The nearest airport to the city is at Mangalore, Karnataka, which is around 50 km away. The next nearest airport is Karipur, Kozhikode, almost 200 kilometers away.
By Road: The district has a good network of roads which connects it to other destinations in Kerala and other parts of India. The National Highway NH17 passes through the district.
By Rail: Kasargod city has a railway station which has connection trains to all the other parts of the district and the state.
Important Places to visit in Kasargod:
1. Bekal Fort:
It is the largest and best preserved among the forts in Kerala. The true history of the fort regarding its construction and builders are yet unknown. It offers a splendid view of the Arabian sea. The fort offered a great advantage in defense to the rulers who owned it. The fort is believed to be built from the sea and offered a strategically as well as convenient position for the soldiers to attack their enemy.
2. Ananthapura Lake Temple:
It is located at Ananthapura, which is only 5 kilometers from Kumbala and around 13 kilometers from Kasargod town, along NH17. This is the only lake temple in Kerala and is believed to be the original seat of Pathmanabha Temple in Trivandrum. The temple is open to visitors regardless of caste and creed.
3. Kappil Beach:
It is a relatively unexplored beach in Kerala. It is only 6 kilometers from the Bekal fort. It offers a beautiful scenario of the Arabian Sea and a calm and quite atmosphere to relax, especially after your trip to Bekal fort.
4. Kanwatheertha Beach:
It is located 3 kilometers from Manjeswaram of Kasargod district. The beach is 4 kilometers in length and is ideal to bath and relax.
5. Bela Church:
It is also called ‘Our Lady of Dolours (Sorrows) Church’. It comes under the diocese of Mangalore. It is the oldest church in the Kasargod district and is built in Gothic style of Architecture in 1890.
1. Sarvajanika Ganeshotsavam at Kasargod Town:
This festival is celebrated in the Kasargod town of the district. This is a festival is connected to ‘Ganesh Chathurthi’ and it gathers a large number of devotees. The celebrations are held in the month of September every year. The festival lasts for 5 to 7 days and involves poojas and offerings to Lord Ganesha.
2. Trikkannad Siva Temple
This is an ancient siva temple situated on the sea shore almost 1 kilometers from the Bekal Fort. It is the only temple that faces west. One peculiarity of this temple is that near to it is a rock called ‘Pandyan kallu’ which according to the legend was a ship that attacked the temple, but which failed and burnt and became a rock. A one week festival starts here on March-April associated with two events namely ‘Pallivetta’ and ‘Ashtami Vilakku’.
Kozhikode (also known as Calicut) is a northern city of Kerala located at 410Km from the state capital Trivandrum. Kozhikode was a major trade centre during the middle ages and period of classic antiquity, was then known populary as “City of Spices” and was a major trade point for Eastern Spices. Calicut found a place in history during 1498 when the Portuguese traveller Vasco da Gama and his 170 men landed here at Kappad sea shore in his 3 vessels. A monument has been built here to comemmorate this historical event.
Kozhikode is still the most popular trade centre in Kerala for Eastern spices and unique food products of the region. Kozhikode belong to Malabar region of Kerala, which enjoys a well reputed position in the history of Kerala. It’s blessed with Arabian sea and 2 beautiful natural beaches on west side and the internationally renowned hill station Wayanad on it’s East side. Kozhikode is a must see destination for all travellers who visit Kerala.
How to Access Kozhikode:
Air: Nearest airport is Karipur International Airport located at 26Km from Kozhikode city. This airport has direct flights and connection flights to European,American and Asian countires.
Rail: Kozhikode main railway station is at city centre and has trains to all major cities in India round the clock.
Road: Two National highways NH-17 and NH-212 makes psossible easy access to Cochin,Trivandraum,Wayanad, Mysore, Bangalore and many other cities.
Most Popular Tour Destinations:
1. Kappad Beach
Kappad is the second most beautiful beach in Kerala next to Kovalam. As already stated above, Kappad is historical for it holds the footprints of Vasco da Gama and his 170 men who landed here during 1498 AD. This paved the way for socio-economic and political relationship between Europeans and this small state of India “Gods own Kerala” that lasted for centuries. Kappad is a must see place in Kozhikode.
2. Kozhikode Beach
Another beautiful beach in Kerala, Kozhikode beach which is located at 1Km from the city is widely popular for it’s spectacular sunset views. Sunset is the must see event in this beach. This beach has an old light house and two piers that runs into the sea. A dreamy place for any traveller who enjoys beach, this place is blessed and beautified with rows of coconut and pine trees in the beach which is a delightful treat to any pair of eyes.
Note: Dolphins Point -is a part of Kozhikode beach where you can see Dolphins playing in the sea. You must reach this point in early morning hours to enjoy this.
Beypore is another must see place in Kozhikode located at 10Km from the city. Beypore is a historically important place and is internationally renowned for it’s ship building centre which is 1500 years old. Beypore ship building centre is well known for it’s “Uru” or the Arab Trading Vessel. The Arabs were the main clientele of the ship building centre, who used to come here, convey there demands and requirements and based on this ship was built. Craftmanship of the workers here is beyond excellence and it’s an amazing experience to see how they create excellent piece of wood work. A must see place in Kozhikode.
4. Pazhassi Raja Museum and Art gallery
This museum in the name of “Pazhassi Raja” the brave ruler of yesteryears who protested against the English using guerilla tactics displays ancient mural paintings, old coins, antique bronzes, megalithic monuments etc. Located at 5Km from city, this museum is maintained by Archeological department of Kerala. Art gallery displays excellant paintings by Raja Ravi Varma.
50 Km from Kozhikode city near Vythiri, Thusharagiri is a natural dense forest with lush green trees, cool climate and exoctic birds. This is one place where we can feel virginity of nature, a beautiful, spiritual, mind cooling ambience, an ideal place to throw your stress away. Thusharagiri offers trekking through it’s natural forests enjoying the bliss of nature. A beautiful waterfalls inside the forest adds to the total experience.
6. Mananchira Maidan
Mananchira maidan is a place you must see if you intend to stay at Calicut during night. Located very near to Kozhikode city, it has got a palace built by King Mana Vikarama known as Mananchira Palace which is an excellant example of architecture. Maidan houses a water fountain and beautifully made green lawns all round the place which makes this place evening walkers paradise.
The district of Kannur lies on the Northern side of Kerala. It is titled as “The land of Looms and lores” as looms form the major industries in the district and is also famous for different religious rituals and art forms. It has the largest city in the North Malabar region which is the fourth largest city in Kerala after, Kochi, Trivandrum and Kozhikode. The main attractions in the district are its beaches, looms and its art form ‘Theyyom’. The ‘Azhikkal Port’ in Kannur is one if the ancient ports in India.
How to reach Kannur:
By Air: The nearest airport to Kannur is Karipur International airport in Kozhikode district of Kerala. It is about 120 Kilometers from Kannur city. Another airport is the Mangalore airport in Karnataka which is about 180 kilometers from the city. Both domestic and international flights are available here.
By Train: Kannur has one of the major railway stations in Kerala. It is well connected to other destinations in and out of Kerala.
By Road: The district has a good network of roads with buses and taxis available most times connecting different parts of the state.
Important Tourist Destinations:
1. Ezhimala Hills:
Ezhimala hills offer the most beautiful scenarios in North Kerala. It is a cluster of hills packed with green vegetation. The hills offer a splendid view of the Arabian Sea. It is a historically important place and was one of the important battle fields during the Chola-Chera war. It also has a prominent role in Ramayana, a Hindu mythology. It is believed that Hanuman had come to these hills to collect medicinal plants to cure Lakshmana, the brother of Lord Rama, during the Lanka war.
2. Parassinkkadavu Snake Park:
It is one of the most prominent snake parks in South India. It is a home for many varieties of snakes ranging from King Cobra to small non-poisonous snakes. It also has a ‘Visha Chikilsalayam’ (poison treatment center) which offers treatments for snake bites.
3. Dharmadam Island:
Also known as ‘Green Island’, it is a small private beach stretching almost 2 hectares away from the mainland of Dharmadam. The island is densely covered by bushes and coconut trees. Prior permission is required to land on this island as it is a private one.
4. Aralam wild life sanctuary:
It is the one and only Wild life sanctuary in Kannur. It is small in size covering an area of only 55 square kilometers.
5. Arakkal Palace:
It was the palace of Arakkal Rajas, the only muslim royal family in Kerala. It is now a museum displaying the belongings of the rajas. The museum is still under the possession of the royal family but tourists are allowed to visit the place.
6. Fort St. Angelo:
It is also called Kannur Fort or Kannur Kotta. This fort was built at the beginning of the 16th century by the Portuguese. It is an example of the architectural techniques existed at that time. The fort is situated facing the Arabian Sea and offers a splendid view of the ocean.
7. Paithal Mala:
It is the highest peak in Kannur with a height of 1371.2 meters above sea level. This place is ideal for trekking.
Art forms in kannur:
Kannur is famous for its art form Theyyam, which is closely associated with Hindu religion. This is a unique art form and is seen only in Kerala.
Palakkad is one of the 14 districts of Kerala, bordered by Tamilnadu, the neighboring state. It is titled as the ‘Granary of Kerala’ due to its importance in food production. It is mainly a rural district based on agriculture and keeps the true scenic beauty of a Kerala village with stretches of paddy fields, coconut trees and other crops. More than 25% of the district is covered by forests.
Palakkad is one among the hottest places in Kerala but is blessed by nature with sufficient rainfall and rivers.
How to reach Palakkad:
By Air: The nearest International airport is at Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, which is about 52 Kilometers away. The Coimbatore international airport has flights connecting Colombo, Singapore and other domestic destinations.
By Train: The district has two major railway stations namely Palakkad Junction and Palakkad Town. The Palakkad Junction is the major one and has train services to most parts of India.
By Road: The district has a medium level network of roads with two National Highways NH47 and NH213. Another road, Palakkad-Ponnani road, connects the National Highways NH47 and NH17.
It is a globally known National Park noted for the presence of Lion-tailed Macaque, an endangered species of monkeys. The valley got its name because it is almost silent due to the absence of Cicadas. It is home for thousands of species of animals, birds and plants, many of them are yet to be identified. Though it is only 237 square kilometers in size many parts of the forest are still unknown to humans. It is a well bio-diversified area loved by scientists and biologists and often come up with findings of new species of plants and animals. It is must see place while visiting Palakkad.
2. Malampuzha Dam and Garden:
It is a mini hydro-electric project built across the river ‘Malampuzha’ which also serves as an irrigation project which is a major source of water for the extensive agricultural lands in the district. The Malampuzha gardens including a snake park and rope way associated with the dam offers a beautiful experience to the visitors.
It was built by Hyder-Ali of Mysore by the middle of the 18th century and has survived the battles between the British and Zamorines. Unlike many dusty forts it offers a splendid view of nature to the visitors.
The parambikkulam wildlife sanctuary is located in Chittur Taluk of Palakkad district. It accommodates a wide variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary holds three water reserves and is accessible to visitors for trekking with prior permission.
It is a popular hill station blessed with favorable climate and scenic beauty of coffee and tea plantations. It is a suitable place for trekking and sightseeing.
It is a major festival in Palakkad held every year in March at a 1200 year old temple called Manappullikkavu Bhagavathi Temple. The festival starts with Kodiyettam (hoisting of a flag) followed by 1 week of rituals and poojas and a big showy festival in the end.
Thrissur (formerly known as Trichur) is known as the “Cultural Capital” of Kerala and it houses 3 main cultural centres of Kerala namely Kerala Sahitya Academy, Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy. More over Thrissur is internationally popular and renowned for its festival “Thrissur Pooram”- the most spectacular temple festival of Kerala celebrated during month of April or May. Thrissur city is built around a hillock named “Thekinkadu Maithanam” which houses the temple of Vadakkumnathan. Thrissur is also famous for its beautiful Athirapally waterfalls (natural) which is a favourite destination for Indian cinema crew to shoot song sequences.
How to Access Thrissur:
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport is the nearest and is located at 55 Km from city.
Rail: Thrissur has a main railway station in the city itself and has trains to all cities across India round the clock.
Road: You can access Thrissur using National Highway – NH-47
Most Popular Tour Events:
Thrissur has two spectacular events which creates an ever memorable experience for it’s guests.
1. Thrissur Pooram
Known as the “Pooram of all Pooram’s” (Festival of all Festivals), Thrissur pooram is the most popular, most spectacular, mind blowing temple festival of Kerala. Main attractions of pooram are amazing fireworks,caparisoned Elephants (richly decorated and more than 50 in number) and widely renowned Panchari Melam (a percussion ensemble lasting many hours). Thrissur pooram is now internationally recogonized and tourists from many countries visit Kerala during this period and become a part of it. Pooram is held during month of April or May (as per local Malayalam calendar).
2. Thrissur Puli Kali
Thrissur Puli (Leopard) Kali is a cultural festival celebrated 3 days after the cultural festival of Kerala known as Onam. This mind blowing festival is also known as “Kaduva (Tiger) Kali”, in which people gets their body painted like Tiger (number of people is very large) and they perform traditional dances throughout the Thrissur city. This festival is internationally renowned and it’s history dates back to 200 years.
Most Popular Tour Destinations:
1. Athirapally – Vazhachal Waterfalls
Athirapally waterfalls is one of the best water falls in Kerala, located in the Chalakudy river, originates from Western Ghats, this 80 feet natural water fall is a major source of worlds bio diversity hosting a number of endangered species. This scenic wonder is a favourite destination of film makers and a number of successful Indian movies (song and wild sequences) has been shot here. 5Km from Athirapally, you can spot the Vazhachal waterfalls, which is notable for it’s thick riparian vegetation. Both waterfalls with their cool, misty water current cascading down the thick green forest and hilly terrain offers a mind refreshing experience to it’s guest, in fact you can connect with true virgin nature here, a blessed, liberated feeling, a true meditation.
2. Vadakkumnathan Temple
A classic example of Kerala architecture, Vadakkumnathan Temple (also known as Thenkailasam) is an ancient Shiva temple established by Parasurama (sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu). This temple has four “Gopuram” (monumental towers) set in the 4 directions, North, South, East and West. Mural carvings that depict Mahabaratha is a must see and is classic.
3. Guruvayur Temple
The most popular pilgrim centre of Kerala, Guruvayur temple is an excellant example of ancient architecture (still it is referenced). According to legends the idol worshipped here is 5000 years old. Guruvayur temple which is devoted to Lord Krishna (Guruvayurappan), is internationally renowned and is visited by thousands of devotees from India and abroad any single day. East side has a museum which houses many rare collections of offerings made by devotees.
4. Sakthan Thampuran Palace
An example of Kerala-Dutch style architecture, Sakthan Thampuran palace (also known as Vadakkechira Palace) is now preserved by Archeological department of Government. This palace was renovated to it’s present form by Sakthan Thampuran (reigned during AD 1790 to 1805). This palace is a must see for travellers who are interested in the history of Kerala, specially about rulers and administration.
5. Cheruthuruthy Cultural Village
As you already know, Thrissur is the cultural centre of Kerala and it’s heart is “Cheruthuruthy”. All major academy for Cultural and Performing Arts are located here and the striking attraction is “Kerala Kalamandalam”. Founded by Late Malayalam poet Shri.Vallathol Narayana Menon in 1930, Kerala Kalamandalam is now a deemed university for learning Indian Performing Arts like Mohiniyattam, Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Thullal,Kudiyattam and traditional orchestra called Panchavadyam. In addition training is given in various percussion instruments like Chenda, Maddalam, Idayka etc. This institution follows Gurukula Sampradayam (residential education system). A must see place to understand and experience cultural beauty of Kerala.
6. Chimmony Wild Life Sanctuary
Established in 1984, Chimmony wild life sanctuary is an eco tourism project of Kerala. Located in Mukundapuram village of Thrissur district, Chimmony is an ideal place for travellers who are in search for wild life. This wild life sanctuary houses many rare species and you can see Malabar Whistling Thrush, Tiger, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Dhole, Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Elephant, Gaur, Sambar etc. Forests here are tropical evergreen and moist deciduous.
7. Peechi Dam
Peechi Dam is an irrigation dam project to cater the water supply needs for Paddy fields outside Thrissur city. Located at 23Km from Thrissur city at Peechi Village, this dam is a beautiful picnic spot. The dam is built across Manali river, covers an area of 3200 acres with extensive botanical gardens and cascading fountains which invites traveller’s mind.
The district of Ernakulam is the commercial Capital of Kerala. It is blessed with the presence of Arabian Sea in the west which gives it a commercial as well as strategic value.
Ernakulam houses Cochin, the most crowded and commercially forward city in Kerala. In and around the city are the most popular tourism centers in Ernakulam. Cochin is given the title “The queen of the Arabian sea” and it houses India’s most important Sea port and naval base.
The city is a mix of cultures. It has always been a favorite destination for explorers and foreign traders. Cochin had trade relations with the west from time immemorial. It was the first place to be occupied by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British at the beginning of colonialism. It is a heritage city. Once you reach Fort Cochin, the western part of cochin, it is like being in a historic town with views of old buildings aging hundreds of years built in British architecture, Jew synagogues and palaces.
Ernakulam is located at 9°59′N 76°17′E / 9.98°N 76.28°E with an average elevation of 4 m (13 ft) above sea level.
How to reach Ernakulam:
By Air: The cochin International airport (Nedumbassery international airport) is at almost 19 kilometers from the city. It has flights to domestic as well as international destinations. Tourist from international destinations and distant places in India usually prefer this mode of transportation.
By ship: The shipyard is located near the heart of the city. International passenger ships like Queen Mary occasionally visit Kochi. Ships are available between Lakshadweeps and Cochin in most days.
By Train: Ernakulam has two railway stations, Ernakulam North Railway station and Ernakulam South railway station or Ernakulam Junction. The south railway station is the major station in Ernakulam and is about 2 kilometers from the city. There are trains at all times connecting Ernakulam and other destinations in India.
By Road: There are two Highways NH47 and NH 17 passing through Ernakulam.
The Chinese fishing nets are a major attraction to tourists visiting Fort Kochi. They are large nets horizontally immersed in water for a short span of time about 3 to 4 minutes with the help of large wooden structures. The structure is precisely balanced to be operated by one man’s weight.
This palace was built by the Portuguese in 16th century and was gifted to Veera Kerala Varma, then ruler of Cochin. Though by the Portuguese, it was built in Kerala style architecture. Today it is under the archaeological department of India and exhibits the portraits, murals, military and domestic equipments and the glorious history of Cochin.
It is located in Cochin very near to the Mattachery Palace and was built in the 16th century. It is the oldest synagogue among the Common Wealth Nations. This was built by the Jewish Community in Cochin at the time.
It is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala showcasing all and everything ranging from footwear to military equipments used by the rajas in Cochin. Located near Tripunithara in Ernakulam, it was built by the Maharajas of Cochin in 1865.
Built in 1503 AD it is the oldest European church in India. Though protected by the ‘Archaeological Survey of India’ the church is owned by the CSI (Church of South India). It is open for visitors on week days and has services on Sundays and other important days.
This is a 15 kilometer long golden beach with shallow waters and ideal for swimming and sun bathing. The beach is located at Vypin island just 25 kilometers from the city center. Beach resorts and cottages are available adjacent to the beach. The specialty of Cherai beach is that it is between two water bodies, a lagoon on one side and the Arabian sea on the other side.
1. Marine Drive:
It is one of the most popular places in Ernakulam for the local as well as for foreigners. It is a walk way adjacent to the lagoon with a good view of the Cochin shipyard. Boat services through the ‘kayal’ (another name for lagoon) are available there.
2. Bolgatty Palace:
This is located in the Bolgatty island in cochin. It was a palace built by the dutch in 1744 but now it is modified into a government run heritage hotel with all the modern facilities.
3. Willingdon Island:
It is a man-made island located in Cochin. The island is home for the Indian Navy, a few hotels and business centers.
It is one of the most important pilgrim centers in Kerala. In Kerala the seeds of Christianity were sown by St. Thomas the apostle himself during the 1st century AD, more than a thousand years before the westerners landed here. It is said that due to hostile natives he hid on this hilltop and prayed here and left his foot print on a rock.
It is the birth place of Adi Shankara, a great Indian philosopher.
3. Thrikkakkara Temple:
It is one of the few temples in Kerala that worships Lord Vamana who has a major role in the Kerala festival Onam. The temple is famous for its Ona Sadya or Onam feast.
Alappuzha (also known as Aleppey) is known as Venice of the East as described by renowned world traveller Marco Polo. Alappuzha is famous among international travellers for it’s boat race, backwater tourism, lagoons, beaches, Houseboat rides, marine products, coir industry and its unique culture. This place is known popularly as “Kuttanad” among local people, is the rice bowl of Kerala, with vast acres of paddy fields and cocunut palms which offer a delightful visual treat to every tourist’s eyes. As per history Alappuzha had trade relations with Greece and Rome in the middle ages.
How to Access Alappuzha ?
Nearest Airport: Cochin Internationl Airport is located ath 81 Km from Alappuzha. You can get from airport to Alappuzha by rail or road. You can also use water transport (Government boat service) through backwaters to reach Alappuzha which is a delightful experience.
Rail: Alappuzha has a main railway station from which direct trains are available to all districts in Kerala except Kottayam. You can get to Kottayam from Alappuzha via road transport (40 Km approx). Direct trains are available to all major cities in India.
Road: You can get to Alappuzha from Cochin International Airport via National Highway 47 (NH 47)
Most Popular Tour Events
At Alappuzha it’s the events that are made for travellers makes the difference, in fact it’s an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Wonderful!
1. Backwater Cruise in Houseboat
The most popular tourist event in Alappuzha is backwater cruise, which is carried in a Houseboat. A houseboat is a modified version of “Kettuvallam” of olden times. It has all the comforts of a good hotel with well furnished bed rooms, kitchen, a wide balcony which offers a live view of the backwaters (you can feel it), modern toliets and other extra comforts. Houseboat cruise is planned through a path which traverses main canals, rivers, and lagoons of Alappuzha, offers a scenic beauty of sorrounding nature and life which will be an outstanding travel experience for you.
2. Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Anothe popular event among international tourists, this is a race competition of Snake Boats carried out every year. If you are keen to enjoy this wonderful tournament, you must visit Alappuzha during the time of Onam (a unique festival of Kerala), which happens every year between August and September(Dates may change every year because of differences in calendar).
Most Popular Tour Destinations
1. Alappuzha Beach
The next popular destination of most travellers in Alappuzha (after backwater cruise) is beach. This beach is calm and quiet, has a park near by known as Vijaya park and has a pier that extends to the sea (137 years old).
2. Kuttanad Region
Known as rice bowl of Kerala, a traveller may visit this place during the backwater cruise. Main attraction of this place is the unending paddy fields, a unique culture and lifestyle of local people, lush green of coconut palms.
A small island located in the Vembanad lake, visiting this place will be a mindblowing experience for the traveller. Situated between Thanneermukkam and Kumarakom, this island is a favourite home for hundreds of rare migratory birds across the world. Tourists can take a houseboat cruise or a local boat service to this destination.
1. Arthunkal Church
This famous christian pilgrim centre located at 22 Km from Alappuzha, was built by Portughese missionaries. Every year annual feast of St.Sebastian is conducted here during January.
2. Ambalappuzha Temple
Sri Krishna temple of Ambalappuzha is one of the 3 important temples of Lord Krishna in Kerala. The famous “Aarattu” festival is celebrated every year during the month of March or April (depends on local Malayalam calendar). This temple is famous among natives for it’s “paayasam” (a porridges made of rice) which is really delicious. Another notable ritual is “Pallipana” performed by Velans (Sorcerers) once in every 12 years.
3. Champakkulam Church
Believed to be one of the seven churches established by St.Thomas in Kerala, the St.Marys church here celebrates it’s annual feast on third Sunday of October.
4. Mannarasala Ayilyam
Mannarasala is renowned all over India for it’s 2 day annual feast of Sri Nagaraja (King of serpants) named “Mannarasala Ayilyam”. During this festival devotees assemble at temple and serve the rituals which will be an experience.