Kerala often commonly referred as “God’s own country” is on the most classic places in India. When it comes to natural beauty, Kerala is on top of the list among the other tourist places in India. Be it, its ancient culture, traditions, captivating beauty & an extravagant coastline it offers everything in a plate. When you imagine Kerala, you will imagine lush green paddy fields, elephants, peaceful temples & not to forget the houseboats.
Here are some of the best places in Kerala you can include it in your travel itinerary based on the historic value, adventure quotient as well as keeping in mind the privacy factor one opts for a perfect vacation. Plus, reaching these tourist places is an easy affair. Like for instance, Kochi & Alleppey are easily accessible to Kochi international airport at a radius of 80-83kms.You can also land up at Thiruvananthapuram airport & move towards Kovalam beach for some sweet memories.
This post is about Top 17 points of interest in Kerala(India) , the places in Kerala which you should never miss in your tour to Kerala. Read in detail about the best places to visit in Kerala .
17 Kerala Points of interest
Now, lets have a look at the best places to visit in Kerala, here is the short list, order has importance and I’ve made this list on the basis of demand and popularity.
1. Alleppey Backwaters
If you have still not included this place in your tour itinerary, then you need to do it right away! One of the most appealing places; it has a variety to offer. Abundantly green with a breathtaking coconut tree skyline (yes you can call that for sure!), narrow canals, mouth watering traditional cuisine & immensely beautiful backwaters is what Alleppey is all about. To get a better idea, watch this video about Alleppey backwaters. Cruising along the spine tingling backwaters is absolutely an overwhelming experience which you might cherish for a lifetime! Simply priceless!
Alleppey(Kerala) Points of Interests
Lets have a look at the major places to visit in Alleppey
- Alleppey houseboats – Houseboats are the major attractions of Alleppey. The picture given above is one of typical Alleppey houseboat, you can spend a night in houseboat tasting the delicious cuisines of Alleppey enjoying the beauty of Kerala Backwaters.
- Kerala Backwaters – As you may know, Alleppey has the best backwaters in India. And if you are looking for backwater tourism, Alleppey is the first place you need visit in Kerala.
- Alleppey Beach – Alleppey Beach, is situated very much closer to the Alleppey town . Alleppey beach will be a good local experience for any traveller. You can see kids playing frisbee, local sellers etc all over the beach. The light house, very much closer to the beach is also an exciting spot, it can give you a clear view of Alleppey. If you are visiting Alleppey beach during the Newyear time , never miss the Alleppey beach fest, it will be one great experience to have.
- Marari Beach – Probably, the best beach in Alleppey. Marari beach is a must go beach if you are coming to Alleppey.
- Alleppey boat race – Alleppey Nehru Trophy boat race is something which you should see once in a life time. The unusual site of 130 rowers in a boat will definitely take your breath. Read – 7 unknown facts about Alleppey boat race.
- Vembanad Lake
- Sree Subramanya Swami Temple
- Kathakali – Kathakali is classical combination of dance and drama originated from Kerala in the 17th century
- International Coir Museum – International Coir Museum shows the development of traditional coir industry over ages. It also shows everything about coir manfuacturing including retting and fibre extraction. This will be a great experience for foreign tourists, as well as North Indians.
- Karumadi Kuttan – It is another major point of interest in Alleppey, its a statue of Buddha.
- Krishnapuram Palace –
Munnar is also addressed as the “Kashmir of South India”. It is a ravishing hill station located at an altitude of 1600 feet above the sea level. Since it is nestled against a picturesque backdrop it attracts a lot of tourists across the world. The blooming and lush greenery is what one needs for exquisite tranquility. The road trip itself is adventurous & will give a rush to your adrenaline! The road winding, it seems like a merry go round amongst the Sahyadri ranges. The road towards the journey is enticing especially the early morning drive which seems hypnagogic clubbed with the amazing drizzling which keeps changing the mood at every turn. You ought to own this experience!
Munnar(Kerala) Points of Interest
- Tea Gardens – Munnar is famous for its tea gardens. Tea, the worlds most drunk beverage grows abundantly in Munnar. John Daniel Munro, from Britain , came to Munnar in 1857. He got attracted by the beauty of Munnar and its hills. He found that the climate was suitable for tea plantations, he started his plantations widely in Munnar.
- Top Station – Top Station is the highest point (1700 m) in Munnar, it is situated at around 32 KM from Munnar town. It happens to be in the Kerala border and it is a wonderful sight to see the Western Ghats from Top Station.
- MattuPetty Dam- Mattupetty dam is gravity dam built in the Mountains of Munnar to conserve water. Very often, we can also see elephants visiting the reservoir of Mattupetty Dam.
- Kundala Dam – Kundala Dam, is one of the most popular dam in Munnar. It is about 20 Km away from Munnar , on the way to Top station(mentioned above, one of the most important places in Munnar).
- Lakkam Fresh waterfalls
- Anamudi Peak
- Echo Point
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Marayoor Forests
The quaint greenery and natural charm has made Wayanad a heaven for tourists in Kerala. The rocky terrain and deep valley gives a peculiarity to this place and is solely responsible for flocking a large number of tourists who end up experiencing adventures. A number of adventure & recreation organizers have made their way here to ensure trekking and other happening activities. Chembra peak is very much in news for trekking activities. Fresh water springs, flourishing flora and fauna adds up to Wayanad winsomeness. Wayanad holds a historical significance owing to the temples and history recorded ages back. Jain temples situated at Panamaram & Sulthan Bahery dates back its presence from the 12-16th century era. The Edakkul caves are one of the most famous tourist spots here. The caves are distinctive as it is formed out of a pre rock deposition of 3 massive pieces of rock. These caves are astonishing and one should think of visiting it for a day.
Wayanad is another places where lots of foreign and desi tourists come to relax. Wayanad is a district situated in the north – east part of Kerala. A good part of the western ghats belongs to Wayanad. Larger portion of wayanad is covered by forest and hills. Wayanad generally gets lots of rain and does have a cool pleasant climate(except the summer season(March-May)).
Some of the major towns in Wayanad are,
- Sulthan Bathery
Major tourist places in Wayanad are
- Edakkal Caves – Edakkal caves is situated at 25 KM from Kalpetta town, it is considered as one of the earliest centres of human habitation. Edakkal caves have does have cave drawings more than 7000 years old.
- Kuruva Island – Kuruva Island is an awesome Island situated in wayanad. It is a dense evergreen forest with a wide range of flora , fauna and streams. Kuruva Island is 17 Km from Mananthavady town.
- Muthanga Wild life Sanctuary – If you have interest in animals, Muthanga will be your perfect choice. You can see Elephants, Tigers, deers, monkeys birds and many other animals in Muthanga. A drive along the road to Muthanga offers a chance to see lots of wide animals.
- Banasura Sagar Dam – Banasura dam is the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia.
- Pookode Lake – Pookode lake is a beautiful fresh water lake in wayanad, it is situated at 15km away from Kalpetta town.
A prominent tourist spot which offers a laid back set up. Yes, you will fall in love with the intricate flora, the exquisite scenery and the mystic fishing & boating combo. The bird sanctuary situated here is a major attraction and is spread across 14 acres, that’s huge! It is a safeguarded zone and is a place for migratory birds like the wild duck, Siberian stork, cranes and more. Bird Watchers & Photographers simply are in love with this place! Houseboats also add up to the mesmerizing experience.
Kumarakom Points of Interests
Kumarakom backwaters is very much connected to Alleppey. Some of the major attractions in Kumarakom are,
- Vembanad Lake – Vembanad lake is the largest lake in Kerala. It runs from Kochi to Alleppey. Hire a boat(houseboat, for a better experience) and sail through the water.
- Kumarakom bird sanctuary- Situated at banks of vembanad lake, you can see wide varieties of birds in the kumarakom bird sanctuary. If you are a bird lover, you’ll love the Kumarakom bird sanctury. You can see birds like cuckoo,kingfisher,egret and other migratory birds.
- Kumarakom beach – It is another point of interest in Kumarakom. The serene ambience makes this beach a perfect place for a walk. You can also do swimming, boating and surfing over there.
- Pathiramanal Island – Pathiramanal(means sand of night) is a 10 acre island situated near by Kumarakom. You can do a boat trip to pathiramanal island.
Kochi is among the few places in India which has successfully preserved the odds and ends of the colonial past with much care. One whole day will fall short to ensure an enigmatic experience with Kochi. There are churches like Santa Cruz Basilica, St.Francis church, Jewish synagogue are places that should be there top in the travel program. Evening’s you can indulge yourself to witness the Folk dance-Kathakali which has a specific importance in the Kerala culture. Kochi is also the biggest city in Kerala, its the financial capital of Kerala as well as a metro city. If you are looking for a budget hotel, you can try Oyo rooms in Kochi.
Thekkady itself supplicates the images of elephants, amaranthine mountain ranges & spice plantations. It has a very rich heritage which dates back to centuries. The world famous Periyar jungles have the most tantalizing wildlife reserves. . In a short radius of 15 km, you may want to visit Pandikuzhi which flocks up a number of coffee, cardamom & pepper plantations. Mangaladevi temple is one place you should never miss. A hidden gem, the temple flaunts traditional Kerala architecture.
You should know that Kerala is blessed with many wonderful beaches, even if they are not as good as that beaches in Goa, the beaches in Kerala will be a pleasant experience for your Kerala trip.The Kovalam atmosphere is suitable for all ages, for all desires and not to forget all occasions. 3 catenary beaches which stand off by stony aftermath is a scenic view. Plus, a number of luxurious resorts & spa centers across this add the whole flavor to this experience. Coconut palms spread across acres amidst the beach, authentic restaurants add up to the beauty of this place.
Nestled along the perilous edge of red cliff, Varkala has become famous for this geographic peculiarity& flaunts of being one the most attractive places in Kerala. Backpackers delight is what defines this place. A number of beach shacks, live music and chirpy crowd add a twist to this place. Being modern it also has a contemporary aspect. It is a temple town which is a place of Papnasham beach which holds holy significance.
Nelliyampathy hills offer a breathtaking view of the hill plantations. Tea, Cardamom, Coffee & orange plantations across offers a scented serenity. Pothundy dam is one picnic spot you should visit. It has recreational facilities like boating. The Ghats swaying upwards will give an extensive & panoramic view of Palakkad district. At a radius of 8 km from Nelliyampathy is Seetharkundu, a much talked about place. One can experience an awe inspiring view of 100m high waterfall. The area in and around boasts of rich coffee & tea estates managed by private companies. Plus, you can sneak peek into the rich wildlife here like Indian gaur, leopards, giant squirrel, elephants & migratory birds.
In the interior of Kerala, is where Vagamon is located. Amidst the high cliffs, pine forests & cool climate, this is the hidden gem for sure. A number of Bollywood films have been shot here. A number of adventure activities like trekking, paragliding, rock climbing brings freaky travelers here throughout the year. Beautiful orchids & other flowers contribute towards its balmy climate.
Update: As our readers said to update this list, we are updating the list to 17 and we’ll be updating the list regularly.
Thenmala(meaning: Honey Hill)is nearby Punalur in Kollam district, it belongs in the southern part of Kerala. Thenmala is the first planned ecotourism spot in Kerala which attracts lots of foreign and North India tourists to this spot. Thenmala has been a major location for many Indian movies.
What are the main attractions of Thenmala ?
Some of the major attractive factors in Thenmala are,
- Lush green forest park
- Children’s Park.
- Trekking and Hiking.
- Butterfly safari park hill
- Musical dancing fountain.
- Night camping.
- Palaruvi Waterfalls – It is one of the best waterfalls in Kerala and is situated very much nearer to Thenmala.
- Deer rehabilitation center- Where you can see lots of deers as well as tree houses(set up to watch the animals).
How to reach Thenmala
Thenmala is situated at 67 KM from Kollam , 190 KM from Kochi International airport and 70 KM from Thiruvananthapuram.
Thrissur is the cultural capital of Kerala. The name Thrissur is formed from the name “Thiru Siva Perur” , which means land of Sacred Siva. Thrissur is famous for lots of festivals. The Thrissur Pooram, which happens every year in the month of April- May. Lots of foreign tourists comes yearly to Kerala, just to watch the Thrissur Pooram.
What are the main attractions in Thrissur ?
- Thrissur Pooram – As we said, Thrissur, being the land of festival , Thrissur Pooram is the first one happen to be in the list. Thrissur pooram will be a breath taking experience for anyone who havent been to any festivals in Kerala. The wonderful sight of elephants , decorated with nettippattam,ornaments,palm leaves and peacock feathers will be a great experience. Folk dancing, stellar fireworks, panchavdhyam (rhythmic beating of drum) by countless number of people all together can create a visual extravaganza which for sure will blow your mind.
- Athirapally waterfalls – Athirapally water falls is the best waterfall in Kerala. It has been the location for popular movies like Baahubali, Raavan etc, it is almost 60 KM from Kochi airport.
- Vadakkumnathan Temple.
- Puli Kali – During the onam season(August-September)
- Thrissur internation film festival
- Chembai Sangeetholsavam(Chembai musical fest)
How to reach Thrissur ?
Thrissur is 58 KM from Nedumbassery Airport(Kochi Airport). Thrissur has railway station as well, being a major station, most of the trains do have stop at Thrissur. So, coming to Thrissur by using a train is always a good idea. You can also use the local bus service(which is very much available) to travel in Thrissur
Ponmudi is another popular Kerala point of interest. Ponmudi is a hill station situated in the Southern most part of Kerala. It is at an altitude of 1100 m and is a part of the western ghats mountain range. Ponmudi is famous for its tea garderns. The vivacious singing birds, tea gardens and the flickering butterflies will give you a soothing experience of natural beauty.
What are the major attractions of Ponmudi ?
- Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary – It is a part of Western Ghats, on the way to Ponmudi.
- Kallar – Kallar is river is a famous point of interest while you travel to Ponmudi. Its a famous tourist spot for trekking and bird watching.
- Agasthyakoodam- Its a famous trekking spot near to ponmudi
- Mini Zoo Ponmudi – Mini zoo is another point of interest in Ponmudi, its more over like a deer park and is best for bird watching.
- Meenmutty waterfalls – This is 3 km away from the Kallar river, and is one of the best waterfalls in South India.
- Neyyar wild life sanctuary.
- Pleasant Climate – Ponmudi does have a pleasant climate throughout the year. November to February are the coldest months.
How to reach Ponmudi ?
Ponumudi is situated at 65 KM from Thiruvananthapuram International airport and at 56 KM from Thiruvanathapuram railway station.
14. Kozhikode (Calicut)
Kozhikode is another Kerala Point of interest and a popular district in Kerala with lots of historical importance. It belongs to the Northern part of Kerala. Kozhikode is famous for its food and historical importance. Vasco Da Gama landed in Kappad in Kozhikode in May 20 , 1498. Kozhikode is also known as City of Spices, lots of spices export happens from Kozhikode. The Arab merchants traded with kozhikode during the 7th century.
Kozhikode Points of Interests
Lets have a look at the Major points of interest in Kozhikode. Some of the most famous beaches in Kerala belongs to Kozhikode.
- Kozhikode Beach
- Kappad Beach
- Valiyangadi Market
- Thusharagiri Falls
- Kirtads Museum – Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development Studies of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (KIRTADS), is a government organisation situated in Chevayur, very much near to Kozhikode city.The institute is on to the development of scheduled casts and tribes.
- Beypore beach – Beypore is famous for its ancient design boats(urus).
- Tali Temple – Tali Mahakhsethram is situated at Chalappara in Kozhikkode, it was built in the 14th century and is perfect example of Kerala architecture.
- Paragon Restaurant – One of the most popular restaurant in Kerala. Started in 1939, and is famous for its Malabar Dishes. Food enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Paragon at any cost.
- Mananchira Square – Mananchira is a man made fresh water pond in the center of Kozhikode city. Mananchira Square is the park surrounding this fresh water pond.
Wonderla is one of the most popular water theme park in South India. If you have an interest to water sports or theme parks, never ever miss Wonderla. Wonderla was previously known as Veegaland, it is very much spread over 81 acres. Wonderla is a fun places for people of all ages and have wide variety of rides .
Wonder la is one of the only 2 amusement parks in India to implement OHSAS 18001:2007 safety standards. Safety and Cleanliness are the primary motto of Wonderla. It has 5 water treatment plants to recycle, process and filter the water.
Wonderla is open Monday to Friday from 11.00 AM – 6.00 PM and 11.00 AM – 7.00 PM on Saturdays,Sundays and holidays.
Some of the popular water rides at Wonderla are Wavepool, WonderSplash, Family Slide,Rapid river,Fun Glides, Rain Disco, Water Pendulum etc.
The most loved thriller rides are Vintage Tornado,Twin Flip Monster, Space Gun, Thunder fall, Maverick etc.
How to reach Wonderla ?
Wonderla is situated at Pallikkara, 15 KM from Kochi city. Its around 25 Km from Kochi International airport and 18 KM from Ernakulam North railway station.
So, if you are in a mood to have some fun, Wonderla will be a perfect choice for your Kerala Tour. You can find more information in the official Wonderla Kochi website.
Poovar is in Thiruvanathapuram(Trivandrum), the capital city of Kerala. It is located in the southernmost part of Kerala, 12 km from Trivandrum. The very next village Pozhiyoor marks the end of Kerala. Poovar was an ancient trading center, this was later transformed into a fabulous tourist place (in the modern age).
Poovar is a thin serene island surrounded by backwaters and seafront. Boating to Poovar will be a great experience for any tourist coming to Kerala. Poovar, is sparsely populated, if you are a couple looking for a romantic honeymoon, Poovar will be an unforgettable honeymoon destination for you. Poovar Island Resorts will be a perfect choice to spend your honeymoon in Poovar.
How to reach Poovar
Poovar island is situated at a distance of 23 KM from Trivandrum railway station and 25 KM from Trivandrum International airport. If you are coming from Kochi International airport, you have to travel a little more. Poovar is 258 KM away from Kochi International airport.
Gavi is an eco tourism project of Kerala Forest Development Corporation . If you want to see the natural beauty, greenery and has interest in some adventures, Gavi will be a perfect point of interest for you. Gavi is a tourist spot in Kerala that became popular recently. Gavi was an unexplored place till recent times, media made Gavi popular. After all, Gavi became a favorite tourist destination in Kerala for eco tourism lovers. Gavi is one of the leading eco tourism centers in India.
Gavi is located at Pathanamthitta(Southern Kerala) district of Kerala. Some of the major tourist activities in Gavi are camping,trekking, wildlife watching, night safaris, boating etc. You can also spot many animals and birds in Gavi, birds like hornbills, woodpecker,kingfisher are very much seen in Gavi. Endangered species like Nilgiri Tahr and Lion-tailed macaque can also be seen in Gavi.
How to reach Gavi?
Gavi is at a distance of 172 KM from Kochi International airport. It is located 14 Km south west of Vandiperiyar and 39.2 KM from Kumily(which is one Kerala border with Tamilnadu).
Hope you enjoyed reading about these Kerala tourist attractions. If you are ever planning a one day trip to Kerala, never miss these choices.
Idukki is a place with great importance in Kerala. Well, Idukki belongs to one of the top kerala points of interest, but here I’ve mentioned this in 18th as because of that the major points of interest in Idukki have been mentioned above(Munnar, Vagamon,Thekkady etc).
Idukki is the state in Kerala with most natural beauty.
Lets have a look at some of the other points of interest in Idukki rather than Vagamon and Munnar,
- Idukki Dam
Which one will you pick for a one day tour from this Kerala tourist places list ?