Kerala is a state in the Malabar Coast of India that has emerged as a prominent tourist destination for its unique backwaters, houseboats, scenic beauty, abundant wildlife and tropical greenery. It has diverse physical and geographical features offering several options for tour and sightseeing. The one thing which impresses the tourists here is that they can enjoy the beauty of the hills, plantations, beaches as well as backwaters and that too without lot of traveling.
The eastern part of Kerala consists of mountains and deep valleys. These regions are important coffee and spice plantation zones. Growing of rubber plants and its processing is an important industry here. The coastal belt lies in the western part and is home to the backwaters and lakes. The area around the Western Ghats has a rich soil and is notable for its biodiversity. This state is also a pioneer in promoting medical tourism with its traditional yoga, mediation and Ayurveda treatments. There are numerous centers scattered in the cities where tourists visit for spa, massages and treatments. The cities of Kerala are a repository of the history of Travancore kingdom, culture, art and religious shrines. You have a plenty of options for tour, sightseeing and recreational activities. Check out what to do, what not to do in Kerala as you are planning your next vacation there!
Things to do in Kerala
• Backwater Cruise – Alleppey, Kozhikode, Kumarakom and Kochi are prominent backwater destinations where you can opt for a cruise. It offers an experience of a lifetime.
• Stay at the Houseboats – The large boats with spacious bedrooms, dining space, and baths are equipped with all modern amenities. They act as floating hotels that invite foreign nationals, honeymoon couples and domestic tourists for a wonderful stay.
• City Tours – Visiting the cities of Kerala will be a wonderful experience. Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Kottayam, Thrissur and Kozhikode are replete with tourist attractions such as forts, palaces, museums and art galleries.
• Kovalam Beach – A hot spot for foreign tourists, your trip to Kerala is incomplete with visiting this beach.
• Wildlife Safari – The Periyar National Park offers jeep safari and elephant rides. It is also the place to enjoy boating.
• Forest Trail Walking – Periyar National Park is also host to the Periyar Tiger Trail. A team of 5 are taken by guides through the forest where you can spot a tiger.
• Paragliding in Munnar – The slopes of Munnar are ideal for paragliding, especially in the summer months.
• Snakeboat Race – Around 100 oarsmen row the large snake boats known as the Chundan Vallams during the Nehru Trophy Race at the Punnamada Lake in Alleppey. This is an important event in Kerala to enjoy if you are visiting during August-September.
• Ayurveda - Get a Ayurveda massage done at any of the small huts along the backwaters. Surrounded by tropical greenery, these centers offer a rejuvenating holiday. You can also opt for herbal bath.
• Watch Kerala Kalarippayattu – The popular martial art form performed by men armed with weapons. It is one of the traditional art forms worth watching.
• Buy an Aranmula Mirror – It is a rare possession to have from the town of Aranmula. The mirrors here are made from a special mixture of copper, silver and bronze. The craft is exclusive to two families in this town and its process of making is passed over from one generation to another with utmost secrecy. Queen Elizabeth is believed to own one of these mirrors.
• Participate in the Temple Festivals – To get a glimpse of the religious and cultural lifestyle of Kerala, be a part of Thrissur Pooram. Held in Thrissur, it is the most popular and opulent of all temple festivals here.
• Theyyam – An ancient ritual of invoking the deities in northern Malabar region, Theyyam is mostly a dance form.
• Chinese Fishing Net – They are fishing nets installed on the land while the nets measuring at least 20 meters descend into the waters. This is seen at Fort Kochi. It is named so after a Chinese explorer founded the system.
What not to do in Kerala
Here is a checklist of things that you should not do during your travel to Kerala. Have a safe vacation!
• Avoid the bookies for getting your air and train tickets
• In peak season, rates are high for houseboat, cruises and hotels, book in advance
• Do not swim in the backwaters unless you are an expert swimmer
• Avoid being drunk during your trip
• Do not walk through the forest in Periyar without a guide
• Do not feed the animals in zoos or the Periyar National Park
• Do not lure animals with food or make loud sound to disturb them
• Maintain safe distance from elephants during the temple festivals
• Do paragliding only under expert supervision
• Choose the right Ayurveda center and the appropriate treatment for you