KERALA TRAVEL GUIDE
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Kerala is one of India's most acclaimed tourist destination and lagoons, spice plantations, Ayrvedic spas, Kahako
Beaches in Kerala
Most of India's finest beaches are in Kerala.For virtually its entire 600 km length, the Kerala coast is lined with sandy beaches, rocky promontories and coconut palms. Each year greater numbers of visitors arrive here in search of the ranquil, palm fringed beaches.
This internationally renowned beach resort is a favorite's haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular of the three. Kovalam offers accommodation to suit all budgets. Accessibility: 16km (1/2 hour) from Thiruvananthapuram.
A quiet, secluded stetch of sand, the Papanasam beach in Varkala is known for its mineral sprigs and rocky cliff. The 2000 year old Sree Janardhana Swamy temple and the Nature Care Centre are the two main attractions here. Accessibilty; 40km (1 ½ hours) from Thiruvananthapuram.
This lovely beach bordering Vypeen Island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is added attraction.
This is where Vasco da Gama had landed in 194 AD. The legends woven around its historic origins and traditions cast a mystical spell on this beach. Kappad is also known for its Ayurvedics health holiday facilities. Accessibility: 14 km (1/2 hour) from Kozhikode.
Black rocks protect this long, clean beach from the currents of the deep, making itshallow water a swimmer's paradise. Perhaps this is Kerala's only drive-in beach where are you can drive down the entire length of 4km. Accessibility: 15km (1/2 hour) from Kannur and 8km from Thalasseri.
Bekal Forts stands on a promontory between two long, classically beautiful palm fringed beaches. This is the largest, best preserved fort in Karala. The fort has been under the control of various powers including the Vijayanagar ingdom, Tipu Sultan and the British. The fort's commanding position offers breathtaking views across the bays to the north and south. Accessibility: 160km 4 hours) from Kozhkode).
The backwaters of Kerala-meandering inland lakes networked by canals-stretch to over 900km. Boats trips across these tranquil stretches are an expensive unique to Kerala. Large Kettuvalloms (traditional country crafts over 60 ft. in length) have been converted into luxury houseboats for these ruises.
One of the oldest ports of the Malabar Coast, Kollam was once the centre of the International space trade. North of Thiruvananthaouram, 30 f this historic town is covered by the renowed Ashtamudi Lake. The eight hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience of Kerala' backwaters. Accessibility: 72 km (2 hour) from Thiruvananthapuram.
Also known as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha is famous fir its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marne products and coir industry. A singular characteristic of these lands the region called Kuttaanad. The Granary of Kerala, Kuttanad is one of the few regions in the world where farming is done below sea level. Accessibility: 64km (2 hours) from Kochi.
Just 1km from Kottayam, this is unique backwater destination situated on the bans of the Vembanad lake is considered the gateway to the backwaters of Kuttanad. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a favorite haunt of migratory birds from across the world which makes it a renowned bird watching centre. Kumarakom is also a centre for houseboat cruises. Accessibility: 88km (21/2 hours) from Kochi.
The commercial and industrial capita of Kerala, Kochi has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. This city is home to the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth as well as numerous old crunches and temples. Jew Town, the area around the synagogue is a centre of spice trade and curio shops. Ancient mariners from Arabia, China, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this beautiful island city. Half the fun of visiting Kochi is moving around on the local ferries. A conducted cruise through the winding waterways will take too to several quaint spots. Accessibility: Kochi is well connected to all the cities in India by excellent air, sea, road and rail networks.
Unexplored, unspoilt, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of enchanting holiday option. Elathur, the Canoli Canal and the Kallai River are favorite destinations for boating. Kadalundi with its beautiful bird sanctuary is a charming site. Krapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam is fast becoming a popular water sport destination. Accessibility: Well connected to all the major cites in India by excellent air, road and rail networks.
It is famous for beautiful beaches, backwater canals dance and Kalaripayatu martial art.
Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Programmes
Kerala offers two kinds of Ayurvedic health holiday options-Rejuvenate and Therapeutic. These packages are based on the time-tested, ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda.
Rejuvenation therapy (Rasayana Chikitsa) Overall fitness (Panchakarma) Body immunization and longevity treatment (Kayakalpa Chikitsa) Body sudation (Sweda Karma) Meditation and Yoga Beauty Care Body slimming.
Treatment for chronic headaches, insomnia, mental tension (Dhara) Treatment to alleviate osteoarthritis, leukemia etc. (Snehapanam Treatment for spondilosis, rheumatic diseases (Pizhichit) Treatment for diseases like hemiplegia, paralysis, obesity and certain rheumatic ailments (Udvarthanam) Treatment for muscular-skeletal ailments (Manna Chikitsa) Treatment for nasal ailments (Nasyani) Treatment for ear ailments (Karnapooranam) Preventing cataract and strengthening vision (Tharpanam). Treatment for wasting of muscles, rheumatism, sports injuries, pain in the joints, emaciation, certain skin diseases (Njavarakizhi) Treatment for ailments of the head, nose, mouth, throat, face etc.(Sirovasti) and so on.
Hill Stations In Kerala
Much of Kerala's exotic appeal is centered in the highland area of the Western Ghats. Rising to an average height of 1520m, the tropical forests of the Ghats house rich flora and fauna. Not to speak of expensive, loamy plantations of tea, coffee, rubber and fragrant cardamom.
1600m above sea level, Munnar is a lover's paradise and was the summer resort of the British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-oak towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular hill station. Among the exotic flora, found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years will bloom next in 2006 AD. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India-Anamudi, which towers over 2695m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking. Accessibility: 130km (4 ½ hours) from Kochi.
Situated 915m above sea level, Peermede is on the way to the Periyar Wildlife Sactuary. This pleasant hill station was once the summer retreat of the Maharajas of Travancore. Here you will find sprawling tea, coffee, cardamom, rubber and eucalyptus plantations side by side with natural grasslands and pine forests. Accessibility: 75km (2 ½ hours from Kottayam.
Tucked away at the north eastern tip of Kerala this quaint little hill station about 1300m above sea level is renowned for its coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber plantations. Mist capped mountains and breathtaking scenery dominate other tourist attractions here. Accessibility: 100km (5 hours) from Kozhiode.
An Idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi are located 915 meters above sea level. Well known for its beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets and springs, this hill station also have excellent trekking trails. Accessibility: 61km (2 ½ hours) from Thiruvananthaouram.
Palaruvi Waterfalls in Kerala
Palaruvi which means 'milky stream' makes its way down the rocks, from a height of 300 ft. The Palaruvi woods are a beautiful picnic spot. The PWD inspection Bungalow ad the KTDC Motel offer comfortable accommodation. Accessibility: 75km from Kollam town.
Athirappily Waterfalls In Kerala
At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges, this 80 foot waterfall is a picnic spot. Accessibility: 78km (2 hours) from Kochi.
Vahachal Waterfalls In Kerala
Just a short drive from Athirapally, this picturesque spot is adjacent to dense green forest land and is a part of the Chalakudy River. Accessibility: 90km (2 ½ hours) from Kochi.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Thekkady : Rolling hills, tea and cardamom plantations welcome you to Thekkady. One of the largest wildlife reserves in India, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is more popular as a tiger reserve. A boat ride on the splendid Periyar Lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary. The greatest attraction here is the herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake to frolic in the waters. Tiger, Sambar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Leopard, Malabar Flying Squirrel, and Stripe-necked Mangoose and so on can also be spotted in the forest. Kumily, an important spice trade centre, lies in the periphery of the sanctuary. Accessibility: 190km (6 hours) from Kochi.
The Eravikulam National Park, Munnar
The Eravikulam National Park, Munnar : 17km from Munnar, this is home to an assortment of wildlife such as the Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, Sambar, Gaur and the Lion-tailed Macaque. Infact, more than half the world population of the Nilgiri Tahr-an endangered species-is found here. Accessibility: 142km (4 ½ hours) from Kochi.
Kerala Fact Sheet
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