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Best Things to Do in Kerala | India


Kerala, often referred to as "God's Own Country," is a mesmerizing destination that beckons travelers with its exquisite natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. From serene backwaters to majestic hill stations, Kerala offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave an indelible mark on your heart.

In this article, we will delve into the best things to do in Kerala, making the most of your journey in this enchanting land.

But first, explore the best time to visit Kerala.


1. Cruise Through the Captivating Backwaters

Location: Alleppey, Kerala Timings: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fees: Starting from ₹1,500 per person

Kerala's backwaters are a network of tranquil lagoons, canals, and lakes fringed by lush greenery, swaying palms, and picturesque villages. To experience the epitome of Kerala's natural beauty, embark on a houseboat cruise through these backwaters. It's a journey that offers serenity and an opportunity for deep contemplation as you gently glide on the calm waters.

Kerala backwaters

Distance from Kochi: Alleppey, the "Venice of the East," is the most popular starting point for backwater cruises, approximately 150 km from Kochi.

Time to Explore: A full-day backwater cruise typically lasts for around 6-8 hours, making it a day of tranquil indulgence.

2. Embark on a Trek Through the Verdant Hills of Munnar

Location: Munnar, Kerala Timings: 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fees: No entry fees for trekking trails

Munnar, nestled amidst the Western Ghats, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The rolling hills, lush tea plantations, and cascading waterfalls create a breathtaking panorama that is bound to take your breath away. Trekking in Munnar is a popular activity, with trails suitable for everyone, from leisurely strolls to challenging climbs.

Distance from Kochi: Munnar is situated around 130 km from Kochi.

Time to Explore: The duration of your stay in Munnar will depend on the number of trails you choose to hike. To fully experience the grandeur of Munnar, plan to spend at least 2-3 days in this charming hill station.

3. Witness the Captivating Theyyam Performances

Locations: Kannur, Kasaragod, Thrissur, Kerala

Timings: Typically during the festival season from October to May

Entry Fees: No entry fees, but donations are appreciated

Theyyam is a unique form of ritualistic dance deeply rooted in Kerala's culture. These mesmerizing performances take place in temples and serve as a medium to connect with the divine. Dancers don elaborate costumes and masks, showcasing energetic movements that are awe-inspiring.

Time to Explore: Theyyam performances can extend for several hours, offering an immersive experience into the rich cultural tapestry of Kerala.

4. Indulge in the Flavors of Kerala Cuisine

Kerala Restaurants Timings: Lunch (12:00 PM - 3:00 PM), Dinner (7:00 PM - 10:00 PM)

Entry Fees: No entry fees

Kerala's cuisine is renowned for its use of fresh, local ingredients and its emphasis on seafood. Don't miss out on dishes like fish curry, tapioca, and appam (a type of pancake). Kerala also boasts a wide range of unique spices, including curry leaves, turmeric, and ginger, making every meal a flavorful adventure.

Distance from Kochi: You can explore excellent restaurants in Kochi and throughout Kerala.

Time to Explore: You can spend several days savoring the diverse and delicious flavors of Kerala cuisine.

5. Visit the Ancient Temples and Churches of Kerala

Kerala Temples and Churches Timings: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM (may vary)

Entry Fees: No entry fees, but donations are appreciated

Kerala is home to a multitude of ancient temples and churches steeped in history and culture. Some notable places of worship include the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, the Sree Krishna Temple in Guruvayur, and the Sabarimala Temple in Pathanamthitta. The churches, such as the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica in Kochi and the St. Francis Church in Fort Kochi, are equally impressive.

Time to Explore: The duration to explore each temple or church varies based on your interest in their history and architecture. Plan to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour at each site.

6. Relax on the Pristine Beaches of Kerala

Kerala Beaches Timings: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM (seasonal variations)

Entry Fees: No entry fees

Kerala is graced with stunning beaches perfect for relaxation and sunbathing. Some of the most sought-after beaches include Marari Beach, Kovalam Beach, and Varkala Beach, offering amenities like sun loungers, umbrellas, and water sports facilities.

Distance from Kochi: The distance from Kochi to various beaches in Kerala varies, but most major beaches are just a few hours' drive away.

Time to Explore: You can spend several days soaking in the sun and unwinding on Kerala's exquisite beaches.

7. Take a Boat Ride Through the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala Timings: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fees: ₹50 for adults, ₹25 for children

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers, housing a wide array of local and migratory bird species. A boat ride through the sanctuary offers a delightful opportunity to observe these birds in their natural habitat.

Distance from Kochi: Kumarakom is located around 90 km from Kochi.

Time to Explore: A boat ride through the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary typically lasts for about 2-3 hours, offering a memorable bird-watching experience.

8. Visit the Spice Plantations of Kerala

Spice Plantations in Kerala Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fees: Starting from ₹100 per person

Kerala is often referred to as the "Spice Garden of India" due to its abundance of spices. The state is home to several spice plantations where you can learn about the cultivation and processing of spices. Commonly grown spices include pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Spice Garden of India

Distance from Kochi: Spice plantations can be found in Munnar and Wayanad, roughly 130 km and 250 km from Kochi, respectively.

Time to Explore: A visit to a spice plantation typically lasts for about 2-3 hours, providing insights into the world of spices.

9. Attend a Kathakali Performance

Kathakali Performances in Kerala

Timings: Evening shows

Entry Fees: Starting from ₹100 per person

Kathakali is a traditional form of dance drama native to Kerala, renowned for its elaborate costumes, expressive makeup, and stylized movements. Attending a Kathakali performance is a unique and captivating way to delve into Kerala's rich cultural heritage.

Time to Explore: A Kathakali performance typically spans 2-3 hours, offering a mesmerizing journey through this vibrant art form.

10. Take a Stroll Through the Bustling Markets of Kerala

Kerala Markets Timings: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM Entry Fees: No entry fees

Kerala's markets are a vibrant spectacle, offering a wide variety of goods, from fresh produce and spices to textiles and handicrafts. These markets provide a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture and find unique souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

Distance from Kochi: You'll find markets in Kochi and various other parts of Kerala.

Time to Explore: Spend a few hours exploring the bustling markets of Kerala, soaking in the lively atmosphere and indulging in shopping.

11. Learn About Ayurveda, the Traditional Indian System of Medicine

Ayurveda Resorts and Spas in Kerala

Timings: Throughout the day

Entry Fees: Vary based on treatments and establishments

Kerala is renowned for its Ayurveda treatments, a holistic system of medicine focused on the balance of the mind, body, and spirit. Numerous Ayurveda resorts and spas in Kerala offer a range of treatments to rejuvenate and revitalize your senses.

Distance from Kochi: Ayurveda resorts and spas are located in Kochi and various other parts of Kerala.

Time to Explore: The duration of an Ayurveda treatment varies depending on the type of treatment you choose. Expect to spend at least a few hours immersing yourself in the world of Ayurveda.

12. Visit the Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi

Timings: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fees: ₹200 for adults, ₹100 for students

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is a contemporary art exhibition held biennially in Kochi. This international event draws artists and visitors from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of artworks.

Time to Explore: Allow several days to fully appreciate the artworks displayed at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an extraordinary journey through the world of contemporary art.

Conclusion

Kerala, "God's Own Country," is a land of breathtaking beauty, rich culture, and a myriad of experiences. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Kerala has something to offer everyone. The enchanting backwaters, lush hills, and captivating cultural traditions make Kerala a destination you won't soon forget. Don't wait; start planning your Kerala adventure today!

Please note that the timings, entry fees, and distances mentioned are subject to change, so it's advisable to verify the latest information before your visit.

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