Cochin ( City ) Queen of the Arabian sea". Kochi has a fascinating blend of cultures as varied as Dutch, Portuguese and English. Ancient churches, colonial structures, century old synagogues and enchanting backwaters make Kochi a tourist spot offering a host tourist attractions. Kochi is ideal place to watch cultural shows such as 'Kathakali', Mohiniyattam and other art forms of Kerala. Kochi had influences of explorers and traders who visited this wealthy land. Kochi is ideal for backwater cruise.
Places to visit: Chinese fishing net, Santa Cruz Basilica, Duch palace (closed on Fridays), Synagogue (closed on Saturdays), Jew town, Hill palace Museum (closed on Mondays), Museum of Kerala history (closed on Mondays), Veega land.
Munnar Altitude : 1600 m above sea level. Temp. 0°C to 26°C Munnar is to Kerala what Switzerland is to Europe. This mist-capped hill station is home to exotic wildlife and plant life. Munnar is the most enchanting experience of nature in all its virgin beauty. Sprawling tea plantations and winding roads make Munnar a popular hill station. Munnar you can explore the wilderness of the dense forests through trekking, mountain climbing, forest camping and bird watching.
You will be accompanied by naturalists and local guide. Places like Pothamedu and Devikulam offer trekking. Mattupetty lake is a calm spot for picnics and boating.Places to visit: Mattupetty dam (13 Km from Munnar), Rajamala (17 Km from Munnar), top station (32 Km from Munnar).
Vagamon Altitude : 1100 m above sea level. Vagamon for those who loves privacy and nature. Vagamon is surrounded by beautiful meadows, valleys and tea gardens with un-spoilt nature, sparkling streams, lake, country boats, fishing, green tea gardens and cardamom plantations.
Thekkady ( Periyar) Altitude 1200 m above sea level. Thekkady for the wildlife enthusiast. The periyar wildlife sanctuary amidst the rich jungles .you can have a boat safari on the Periyar lake around which the wild life sanctuary is based. As the area never gets too cold in the winter months and doesn't have too harsh summer, periyar is a great tourist area all year round. This is one of the few Indian reserve forests which allows trekking. You can also have an elephant safari through the forest to see the wild life in their natural habitat.
Kumarakom Kumarakom for the nature lovers. An ideal place for bird watching. A backwater town you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings. A voyage takes you to the rich green, sleepy little village of Kumarakom on the Vembanad lake. Gliding along the calm and serene backwaters flanked by green leaves and palm seeing a rural Kerala preserved through the ages and completely hidden from the road is a unique experience to any visitor. Nowhere else in India will you find a place as beautiful and secluded as Kumarakom.
Alleppey (Alappuzha) For the back water lovers. Alleppey is with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet "Venice of the east". Alleppey is also known for its spectacular snake -boat race "The Nehru Trophy boat race". held on the second Saturday of August, every year. It is excitement all around as snake - boats , each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind. The House boat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey gives one first hand experience of the village life style, toddy tapping, fishing, Coir-making, prawn farming etc.
Kovalam For the sun and sand lovers. A sheltered natural bay created by a high rocky promontory extending into the Arabian sea. Studded with coconut palms and fringed with lagoons and sheltered coves, this internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists. A ravishing tropical beach, Kovalam has been attracting travellers from around the world over with its unspoilt beauty. Places to visit in Thiruvananthapuram (15 Km): Padmanabhaswamy temple, SreeChithra art gallery (Monday holiday and Wednesday forenoons), Zoological park (Monday holiday), Planetarium & Science and technology museum (Monday holiday).
Athirapally / Vazhachal Athirapally / Vazhachal water falls Witness the most fascinating waterfalls in Kerala and take a dip in the cool and fresh water if you want. No where else in India will you find waterfalls as breathtaking as those in Athirapally and Vazhachal. These picturesque spots stand nestle close to the virgin forests and towering mountains.
Wayanad Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary is rich in biodiversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Sanctuary has the typical moist and dry deciduous forest types, which covers most of the area. Kalpetta is the district headquarters of Wayanad. Pookot lake-3 km south of Vythiri. The perennial fresh water lake, nestled among wooded hills, is a only one of its kind in Kerala. Set in a beautiful valley and surrounded by evergreen forests and wooded hills, Pookot is one of Wayanad's top visitor draws.
Kanyakumari Where three seas mingle. The tip of Indian peninsula was known as 'Cape Comorin' and today rechristened Kanyakumari, after the temple of vergin Goddess that stands on the shore washed by the waters of Indian occean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea. You can also visit Suchindram temple and Padmanabhapuram palace on the way to Thiruvananthapuram.
Places to Visit: Vivekananda Rock Memorial ( Ferry service-8.00 am to 4.00 pm), Thiruvalluvar statue, Gandhi memorial, Government Museum, Suchindram Temple(13 Km), Padmanabhapuram palace (37 Km).
Lakshadweep Islands Lakshadweep means a hundred thousand islands. Each island is fringed by snow white coral sands.The islands offer precious heritage of ecology and culture. The unique feature of the island is its coral reef. 4200 sq km of Lagoons are rich in marine wealth spread over 36 islands.The under water view at Lakshadweep is kaleidoscopic and breath taking. The lagoon offers excellent potential for water sports like swimming, wind-surfing, diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
Lakshadweep islands are well connected both by air and sea from Kochi. While islands like Agatti and Bangaram can be reached by Air, the other islands can be reached by ship from Kochi. You can also plan Kerala tour with Lakshadweep package
Kodaikanal In Tamil, Kodaikanal means ‘the gift of the forest’. Altitude – 2133 m. Kodai is a gem of a hill station tucked away in the Palani hills. It has a salubrious climate around the year and an air that is refreshingly scented by Eucalyptus and Pine. Kodai is renowned for its glittering star shaped lake, wooded hills and valleys offering breathtaking views, massive rock formations, cascading waterfalls and abundant variety of fruits.
Nelliyampathy Altitude : 1500 m above sea level. This is a fascinating hillstation for adventure lovers. At least 10 hair pin bends have to be negotiated on the Ghat road that passes through the breathtaking evergreen forests of the Sahya Ranges. Seethukundu at Nelliyampathy offers a panoramic view of above one third of Palakkad which is 75 Km away. This hill country is the delight of trekkers.
Goa Variously known as "Rome of the East", "Tourist Paradise" and "Pearl of the Orient". Four centuries of Portuguese ruleand that of other rulers before them has given Goa an unique life-style that consists of a blend of Indian and Western influences as can be seen in its varied culture and architecture of its towns and villages. Today Goa also boasts of glorious traditions. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world.
Ooty Ooty is known as ‘Queen of blue mountains’. Altitude-2268 m The great ooty lake, the kaleidoscopic beauty of the botanical gardens, the awesome view from Doddabetta, the bursting colours and heady scents of Sim’s park, nature’s mischievous handiworks at Dolphin’s nose and Lamb’s rock. In short, Ooty is one continuous stream of pure fun and pleasure.
Mahabalipuram The tiny seaside village of Mahabalipuram, is situated 58 Kms south of Chennai on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. Many are drawn solely by the miles of unspoilt beach. It was once a major port of the Pallavas (5th - 9th Century A.D). It boasts of some of India's most sublime rock cut art comprising of open - air bass - reliefs structured temples, man made caves and chariots.
Tanjore (Thanjavur) Tanjore is known as the granary of South India. The most important tourist attraction of this town is the magnificent Brihadeeswara temple. Carnatic classical music and Bharatanatyam dance thrived here. The Royal Palace complex houses in important library and museums, including a superb collection of Chola bronzes.
Madurai One of the oldest cities in South India on the banks of the river Vaigai and situated about 142 kms South of Trichy, Madurai is famous for it's mighty Meenakshi Temple. Madurai is the subject of an extraordinary number of myths. The other attractions include the 17th Century ThirumalaiNayak Palace. It is also a great place to pick up South Indian crafts.
Tiruchirappalli During the rule of the British this town was called Trichnopoly. Today it is Tiruchirappalli and is also called Tiruchirappalli for short. This city is situated on the banks of the Kaveri river. Tiruchirappalli is the fourth largest city in the state and it was a citadel of the early Chola rulers which later fell to the Pallavas kings. The Pallavas never really managed to retain control of this strategic city and lost it to the Pandyas several times. The struggle for power between the Pallavas and Pandyas continued till 10th century as the Cholas asserted and assumed rule for a long time.
Chidambaram Chidambaram is also known as Thillai, since the place was originally a forest of the thillai, botanically known as excecariaagallecha shrubs. It is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here.
Rameswaram Rameswaram is a small island in the Gulf of Mannar, is a major pilgrim centre. It is connected to the mainland by road and railway bridges. Rameswaram is a holy place because Sri Rama, on his return from Sri Lanka, offered his thanks to Lord Shiva and performed pooja to wash away his sin in killing the Demon King, Ravana. Rameswaram is known for its 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple.
Vailankanni- Pilgrim centre This is a sacred land that attracts pilgrims of every religion from every corner of India because of the presence of the lofty Vailankanny church-Our lady of health. It is believed that Mary, the virgin mother, appeared here with infant Jesus in the late 16th century. Budget and luxury hotel accommodations are available near to the church. Options are there to visit Kodaikanal-the hill station on the way back from Vailankanni.