The timeless beauty of Kerala conjures a destination of a lifetime, a highly recommended trip of relaxation and exotic food culture to ease your mind. Well! It would be worth mentioning that may it be for adventure, beach, hill station, relaxation or romance, Kerala is your perfect destination to choose in the Country. A place you will never regret choosing as your terminus! Here are my favorite places and things to do in Kerala:
- Relax while cruising at the Backwaters
A trip to the Backwaters of Kumarakom, Kuttanad, Kumbalangi and many other is a must and foremost thing to do before you start your journey to this outstanding place. Alleppy is the most popular backwater destination though. Be it any backwaters, I just love cruising in a Shikara or Houseboat through the calm waters. Certainly my favorite out of all the things to do in Kerala.
Kumarakom Backwaters (Things to do in Kerala)
- Chill at the Beaches
If you love surfing and swimming in the sea, then you should definitely not miss the beaches of Kerala, prominently Alleppey. This beach in Kerala has always hogged the limelight and is the most preferred destination among tourists. Others along with Alleppey on your list would be Bekal, Chowara Beach in Kovalam, Kapil Beach, Kollam Beach, Kolavi Palam beach. Visiting these beaches top the things to do in Kerala.
Varkala Beach (Things to do in Kerala)
- Step back in history by visiting historical places
Next, don’t miss to touch the historic richness of the city. A must visit the Forts and Palaces like- Anjengo fort at Varkala, Chandragiri Fort & River, Bekal Fort at Kasaragod, Fort Immanuel and Fort Kochi are some places of architectural grandeurs that will definitely make you go in awe of the talent possessed by ancient people and make you admire their craftsmanship. If you like history, include these in your things to do in Kerala.
Kasargod Fort (Things to do in Kerala)
- Admire the awesome views from Hill ranges and points
If you love adventures and being amidst nature, then you should definitely visit the rolling ranges of Kerala that are situated in the picturesque environment. The Amrithamedu, Devikulam Hills and Echo Point in Munnar, Dhoni in Palakkad, Eddakal caves are worth visiting that will add a charisma to your Kerala memories. Include these in things to do in Kerala and admire the lovely views.
Devikulam (Things to do in Kerala)
- Take a dip in Waterfalls
When you explore the waterfalls in Kerala, you will definitely believe in the fact why Kerala is called “God’s own Country”. The waterfalls of Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kottayam, Vazhachal Waterfalls, Kalakkayam are the ones that will leave you hypnotized and make you admire its scenic beauty. Waterfalls just excite me a lot! My itinerary always includes waterfalls in shortlisted things to do in Kerala.
Athirapalli Waterfalls (Things to do in Kerala)
- Try some adventurous water sports and activities
Well again a must do activity in Kerala should be Aqua tourism in Alleppey which is very well known as the “Venice of the East” by the travelers. Alleppey has become one of the most favored Backwater Tourist centers and is thronged by tourists who love adventure and want to explore new things in life. The place has gained popularity for houseboat holidays, coir industries, boat races and houseboat holidays. The offbeat beaches of Kerala make a perfect spot for water activities. Do include trying these on your things to do in Kerala.
- Visit the Museums
There are also museums to attract your interest to its antiquity. The Indo-Portuguese Museum at Fort Kochi leaves you with understanding for the Indo-Portuguese Christian art legacy. Also, the Hill-Palace Museum at Thripunithura is the first heritage museum of Kerala, holding the traces of Royal Collection of the former Maharaja of Kochi. So if you have a keen interest in history, these places are definitely locations you should not miss for. If you like visiting museums, include some of these in your things to do in Kerala.
Hill Palace Museum (Things to do in Kerala)
- Wildlife sanctuaries
Now if you are a nature lover and animal enthusiast, you should really check out the Wildlife sanctuaries located in the state. You can visit Periyar national park, Begur Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Choolannur Pea Fowl Sanctuary or the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. You will be able to see a wide variety of animals such as langurs, elephants, peacocks and birds of different species that will be a treat to your eyes. You can also get perfect snapshots of the creatures in your cameras. If you include exploring these wildlife sanctuaries right in your list of things to do in Kerala, it would create awesome memories.
Periyar National Park (Things to do in Kerala)
- Offer prayers at places of devotion
Kerala is known as God’s own Country which is famous for its splendid devotional centers. The Annamalai Temple at Idduki, Ananthapura Lake Temple, Ariankavu at Kollam, Aruvithira Church are some exotic places of worship that are worth-visiting. Include these in your things to do in Kerala if you admire the architecture and are religious.
Ananthapura Lake temple (Things to do in Kerala)
- Taste the various cuisine
When you are in Kerala, do get the taste of their authentically prepared Kerala Cuisine with the intense flavors of Coconut in it. The must have dishes in Kerala before you leave the place are Puttu and Kerala Curry, Appam and Stew, Kerala Prawn or Fish Curry, Kerala style Beef Fry, Fish Molly and their Payasam’ that comes in different styles and flavors. A food lover should include tasting these in things to do in Kerala without fail.
- Relax by taking Ayurvedic massages
Now when completing your trip, do get a pleasant de-stress Kerala Message with all the Ayurveda therapies and oils. That would not only completely rejuvenate you but also will make you want to come back to the city again and again. If you are seeking rejuvenation, you should surely include Ayurvedic massages in your things to do in Kerala.
- Enjoy a Kathakali show
The traditional dance form of Kerala is known as Kathakali. In this dance, the dancers are covered with colorful costumes and convey captivating stories of the place via postures and expressions. These dance acts are generally performed in the night and will definitely give you mesmerizing experience. The stories depicted convey various emotions such as power, passion, and lust. It is believed that the dance form originated due to the animosity between the kings of 2 regions. If you appreciate art, visiting a Kathakali show should top your list of things to do in Kerala.
Things to do in Kerala
- Get impressed by Kalarippayattu
This is a form of martial art which is said to have emerged from Kerala. The art form said to be 3000 plus years old. It is said that Shaolin which is a Chines martial art has taken its inspiration from Kalaripayattu. In the olden days, similar to other forms this was also taught
However, there are near about 500 schools in the state that still impart lessons of this ancient art form. Today, this is a combination of dance form and fitness routines that are speedily gaining momentum in the state. When you plan a visit to Kerala try to catch a Kalarippayattu bout and be enthralled by the athletic moves of the performers. You would have heard about the other martial arts like Kung foo or Karate. But, make seeing Kalarippayattu practice on your list of things to do in Kerala and you would be surprised!
Things to do in Kerala
- Visit the tea gardens in Munnar
Producing tea is a large business in Kerala. You can visit the beautiful tea plantations located at Munnar and witness the whole process of how tea is actually made. Apart from this, you can also try the different types of tea available at these centers and be spellbound by the brilliant aromas. You can also spend some quality time amidst nature or go trekking on the hills around the surrounding places to have a lively and energetic experience. These tea gardens offer great trails for a curious traveler. Do include this on your list of things to do in Kerala.
Things to do in Kerala
- Witness a snake boat race
Kerala is filled with a lively atmosphere during the months of August and September. In this time period, the backwaters of the state are filled with enthusiasm and energetic atmosphere as the boat races are conducted annually. The snake boats are 130 feet long each boat is rowed by a hundred rowers at terrifying speeds in a bid to reach the finish line. Thousands of people come to the backwaters to enjoy this thrilling game and support their favorite team. Jawahar Thayangari and Champakulam are the two most famous teams in this sport in Kerala. The Snake boat race is one of the unique things to do in Kerala and it totally makes sense to include this in your itinerary.
Things to do in Kerala
- Drape an authentic Kerala saree
Women can get a live experience of wearing an elegant Kerala saree of the traditional style. The saree is crafted on a traditional handloom and is bordered by a golden zari. You can also go for a photo-shoot in this authentic attire that you can flaunt among your relatives and friends. It will definitely be a memorable experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. If you appreciate culture, draping a saree would be an exciting inclusion in the things to do in Kerala.
- Visit the biggest shopping mall in India, Lulu Mall
The biggest shopping mall in the country, Lulu shopping mall is situated in Kochi. The mall is spread over a distance of 17 hectares and was inaugurated in the month of March in 2013.The mall houses various interesting areas that are suitable for every age group. It includes family entertainment zones, restaurants and food courts. The mall also has ice skating rinks, a bowling alley and a multiplex for the movie- buffs. It is believed that there are 215 outlets in the mall. This mall is ranked 89th in the list of largest shopping malls in the world. It is among the most visited places by the tourists and features in the must-visit the list of every individual who plans to tour Kerala. In order to find out the reason behind this phenomenon, one should actually visit this place and try understanding the consumerists’ trends in the region. Visiting this mall might not be the best inclusion in your things to do in Kerala, but you can visit this just for the sake of it and only if you have time.
- Enjoy Tholpavakoothu, Keralite version of a puppet show
Indulge in a unique puppetry experience and feel going back to your childhood days. Tholpavakoothu is the Keralite version of the puppet shows that has been practiced from the 18th century. It is a traditional art form which is performed in the Bhadrakali shrines. The literal meaning of the word is the performance of dolls that have been crafted from leather.
These plays are themed on Ramayana and are executed entirely in the night. The plays are based on excerpts written by renowned Tamil poet and scholar Kambar. It is also the reason why these plays have a mix of dialects that usually include Sanskrit, Tamil, and Malayalam. The performances are accompanied by traditional sound instruments that provide a more amazing effect to the act. Do include this on your list of things to do in Kerala if time permits.
Things to do in Kerala
- Experience the village life by exploring the countryside
Situated at a distance of 14 kilometers from the Ernakulam railway station is the village of Kumbalangi where you can get an exotic and authentic experience of the rural life. This village has integrated with the tourism managers to give the tourists a real life feel of the way things work out in the village. One can explore various areas such as fishing, canoeing in the mangrove forest, cultivation the local paddy stock and even crab farming at this village. The visitors are provided with a homestay facility on this island which has rapidly changed itself into a model fishing village and has become a hot tourist spot. For a true traveler, exploring the village life might be very fulfilling and is a good inclusion out of all things to do in Kerala.
- Bamboo rafting in Periyar
The Periyar wildlife sanctuary is one the most known forest sanctuaries of Kerala. One can either think of taking a jungle safari at the reserve or go for a bamboo rafting ride in the lake of Periyar. The bamboo rafting in Periyar happens for nearly 3-4 hours and it takes you across many enchantments of the wildlife reserve. You get to travel the flora and fauna in this area. There are chances of spotting elephants, tigers and other magnificent animals of this reserve. The Bamboo rafting is a must inclusion in the things to do in Kerala as it is pretty unique.
Image Source: Natgeotraveller.in (Things to do in Kerala)
- Appreciate the Theyyam music dance performance
The Theyyam musical dance performance involves praying the God and looking for his blessings. This is a most known art form of Malabar, which also stands for equality among the inferior and higher castes of Hindus. Theyyam is like an open theater performance which includes of chants and tributes are sung. Just like other art forms which are performed in Kerala, this one also consists some multi color getups and attractive dance poses. Again, a must inclusion in things to do in Kerala if you appreciate art.
Things to do in Kerala
- Enjoy staying at tree house
One of most preferred destination for honeymoon couples in Kerala is the Vythiri resort. But even if you come up with your family or friends, staying in a tree house at this place is an enchanted experience. The tree houses are totally luxurious yet very rural. These tree houses are simply eco-friendly as well and constructed by locally available provisions. The area of the tree houses is powered by solar power and spring water. The tree houses offer a great experience of staying amidst would and definitely tops my things to do in Kerala.
Image Source: Vythri Resort website (Things to do in Kerala)
- Try fishing with Chinese fish nets
Try fishing with the Chinese fish nets which can be a fun experience. Tourist can visit Kochi and try fishing with the pre-installed hug amenities. The Chinese dish nets are said to be introduced by a Chinese ruler at Kochi.
- Watch a Bullock Race
Out of the various terrifying experiences of Kerala, one is watching a Bullock race. Every year, a bullock race is hosted in Malappuram district of Malabar which fascinates numerous people from the adjoining areas as well as the tourists.
Image Source: amusingplanet.com
I hope you like my recommendations. If you have any more suggestions, do let me know and I will be glad to include those in this list.
Disclaimer: The images are sourced from Flickr, Wikipedia or Kerala Tourism website unless stated otherwise.