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Authentic Kerala

Kerala as a ‘God’s own country’ has accommodated in itself a most stunning scenic beauty with long coastline  and rivers.

Kerala is sandwiched between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats, is a narrow, fertile strip of land on the southwest coast of India. The landscape of Kerala is a gift of the sea and the mountains. Overwhelmed by Kerala's scenic splendor, a tourist once exclaimed, "The God that made Kerala had green thumbs!" It is in this tranquil land of Kerala, embellished with green that one can find an ideal getaway - an escape unwinding miles of find golden sands with the boundless blue of the Arabian Sea. No doubt then that Kerala with its beautiful landscape, intriguing customs, high-intensity cultural life and an educated public so often dressed in white has highlighted its name on the itinerary of many tourists in various parts of the world. Kerala is mentioned in many ancient Sanskrit works. The Aitareya Aranyaka is the earliest Sanskrit work, in which Kerala is mentioned. The Ramayana and Mahabharatha, show indication of Kerala. Katyayana (4th century BC) and Pathanjali (2nd Century BC) show their acquaintance to the Kerala. The puranas also show the geography of Kerala. Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa has given a beautiful description of Kerala. Kautilya's Arthasastra also mentions Kerala. In ancient time, the population of Kerala was combination of different groups of Dravidian. The ancient Dravidian kingdoms of South India (Chera, Chola and Pandya) as well as their people were held together by intimate bonds of blood, language and literature and that was the force, which promoted a sort of cultural homogeneity in South India. The Aryan immigrants who settled in Kerala had themselves to undergo radical changes in their ways of life, habits, customs and manners. This process of transformation paved the way for a desirable fusion of the two streams of culture; the Aryan and the Dravidian. Aryan systems of medicine, astrology, art and architecture also were introduced. The Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas became the scripture. their ways of life, habits, customs and manners. This process of transformation paved the way for a desirable fusion of the two streams of culture; this synthesis evolved Kerala culture as it is today. Kerala has a culture with certain distinct characteristics. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity have contributed their significant share in enriching the cultural wealth of Kerala. The States Reorganisation Act of November 1, 1956 elevated Kerala to statehood.

Area15,005 sq mi
CapitalThiruvananthapuram
Population33,387,677
Official LanguagesMalayalam, English
Boundary

Kerala is located on the southernmost tip of India and embraces the coast of Arabian Sea on the west and is bounded by the Western Ghats in the east. This South Indian state stretches from north to south along the coast line of 580 kms with an approximate breadth of 35 to 120 kms. Lying within east longitudes 74 degree 52' and 72 degree 22' and north latitudes 8 degree 18' and 12 degree 48' this idyllic land of pleasing beauty embraces1.18 % area of the country of India. Kerala also encloses Mahe, Pondicherry's coastal exclave. With 14 districts and other cities the total area of Kerala is 38, 863 sq km.

One Of The Most Important Festivals Of Kerala, Vishu Is Celebrated In The Month Of April. According To The Old Traditional Malayalam Calendar, It Is The 1st Day Of The New Year. The Main Event Of The Vishu Celebration Is The 'kani- Kanal'. Coconuts, Fruits, Cereals, And Konna Flowers Are Kept In Big Pots To Prepare Kani. Behind This Pot, A Mirror And A Garlanded Statue Of Krishna Are Placed. Early Morning On The Vishu Day, The Master Of The House Views The Kani, Followed By The Rest Of The Family. Children Are Brought Blindfolded To See The Kani. The Elders In The Family Hand Over Money To The Youngsters And Bless Them. According To The Local Beliefs, If You See Kani, Good Luck Will Stay With You Till The Year End.

The People Of Kerala, Generally Called Keralites, Are Simple Down To Earth Folks Who Like To Live In Their Own World Of Simplicity And Originality. Their Mother Tongue Is Malayalam And The Natives Of Kerala Who Are Born And Brought Up In The State And Speak Malayalam Are Referred To As Malayalees. Malayalees Are Quite Protective About Their Religion, Culture And Traditional Customs, Rituals & Practices. They Are Proud Of Their Cultural Heritage And Will Go To Any Lengths To Preserve It. Malayalees Generally Lead An Uncomplicated And Healthy Lifestyle And They Seem Happy And Content With The Simple Pleasures Of Life. The People Of Kerala Give Much Emphasis On Health & Hygiene And Education. They Are Also Particular About Ensuring Cleanliness, Healthcare And Physical Quality Of Life. Most People Are Conversant In English And Make It A Point That Their Kids Receive Education At Least Till The Degree Level, Even In The Rural Areas. The Malayaly Way Of Life Is Balanced And Unassuming, Seeking Overall Satisfaction More Than Mere Materialistic Pleasures. They Are Generally Content With The Quality Of Life They Lead. Regarding Food, They Are Very Particular About Their Health And Are Conscious About Sticking To A Balanced Diet. They Utilize A Lot Of Herbal Concoctions And Homemade Remedies In The Form Of Oils, Powders And Soaps To Take Care Of Their Bodies And Health In General. The Natives Of Kerala Follow A Very Ordinary Dress Code. Even During Special Events And Ceremonial Occasions, They Do Not Believe In Showing Off. The Women Dress Up In The Traditional Unique 'set Mundu', A Graceful And Elegant Attire Which Requires The Skilful Draping Of Two Pieces Of Cream-coloured Cloth With Striped Or Zari Border, Somewhat Similar To A Sari (sans The Pleats), Worn Over A Matching Blouse. The Men Mostly Wear White 'mundu' With A Kurta Or Shirt, Or A Cotton 'lungi' With A Towel Hanging From Or Worn Around The Shoulders. The Men In Cities Wear Pants And Shirts While The Sari Is Worn By All Types Of Women. The Younger Generation Prefer To Follow Fashion And Wear Anything From Jeans To Salwar Kameez. The Culture Of The People Of Kerala Is Deeply Entwined With The State's History And Tradition. Kerala Has Been One Of The Most Cosmopolitan And Peace Loving States In India. It Has Served As A Melting Pot For The Cultures From The Orient And The Occident. This Tolerance Of Diverse Cultural Values Has Persisted Through The Ages. Kerala's Culture Represents The Quintessence Of The Collective Achievements Of Its People In The Fields Of Religion And Philosophy, Language And Literature, Art And Architecture, Education And Learning, And Economic And Social Organisation. In Fact, Throughout Its History, The Genius Of Kerala Has Blossomed Forth In All Its Vigour And Vitality And Has Helped Its People To Reach The Peak Of Excellence In All Their Endeavours.

One Of Kerala's Popular Attractions Is Its Delicious Kerala Cuisine. The Unusual Cuisine Of Kerala Brings To The Fore The Culinary Expertise Of The People Of Kerala. Producing Some Of The Tastiest Foods On Earth...

The Cuisine Of Kerala Is Characterized By The Use Of Coconut, Either Chopped Or Grated And Used As Garnishing, Coconut Milk Or Paste Is Used To Thicken Gravies And Coconut Oil Is Used For Cooking. Though One Can't Imagine Kerala Food Without Chilies, Curry Leaf, Mustard Seed, Tamarind And Asafetida.

Seafood Is Very Popular In Kerala And Consumed With Every Meal. Various Fish Including Sardines, Mackerel, Tuna, Rays And Shark Are Eaten, As Are Crabs, Mussels And Oysters. "karimeen" Or Fried Fish Is A Popular Dish As Is Fish Curry Called "fish Moilee."

Various Locally Available Vegetables Such As Tapioca, Cassava And Yam Form Part Of The Cuisine Of Kerala. Seasonal Fruit Such As Papaya, Jackfruit, Mangoes And Lime Are Eaten At Different Times Of Year. Bananas And Coconut Are Available Year Round And Are A Staple Of The Kerala Diet. The Refreshing Juice Of The Tender Coconut Is A Delightful Drink, Which You Can Enjoy On Kerala Tours With Kerala Backwater.

Enjoy Tasting The Delicious Cuisine Of Kerala While Cruising Through Kerala Backwaters.

Famed As God's Own Country And Selected By National Geographic As One Of The Ten "must See Destinations Of The World", Kerala, Is A State Which Has Contributed Open-handedly To Man's Imagination, When It Comes To Beauty In Terms Of Its Arts And Crafts. The Sprawling Greenery, The Shimmering Backwaters, The Mouth-watering Cuisine And The Dravidian Culture - All Have Intrigued People Worldwide For Ages And Hauled His Imagination To A High. Diverse Interests In Art Forms And Distinct Tastes In Selection Of Living Has Added Several Peerless Features To The Cultural Domain Of Kerala, Unique To This Southern State Of India. Love For Elephants And Devotion For Poetry Abound Here. The Vigour Of The Grand Boat Races, The Joy Of Gluey Festivals Such As Onam, The Gorgeous Appreciation As In Thrissurpuram.... Kerala Continues To Enchant Its Every Guest By Its Redifining Beauty For Centuries. Take Up Tours Of Kerala To See The Famous Handicrafts Of Kerala. Kerala Is Widely Referred To As The 'land Of Coconuts' And Is Known For Its Articulate Craftsmanship, Which Is An Intimate Part Of Her Tradition. Visit The Part Of India, Where Every Identity Is A Placard Of Delicate Artistry, Where Every Corner Speaks Of The Dexterous Fingers That Play With The Abstract Keys Of Art, Producing Patterns, Designs And Structures, That Are Unique In Themselves. Coem To See The Famous Arts And Crafts Items In Kerala. Natural Sustainable Materials, Herbal Dyes And An Exquisite Naivety Add An Ultimate Touch Of Pure Beauty To The Masterpieces. Marquetry In Wood, Ivory And Buffalo Horn Carvings, Bamboo Reed Weaving, Palmyra Leaf Weaving, Kora Grass Mat Making, Rattan Or Cane Work, Embroidery And Lace Making, Lapidary Work, Granite Carving, Coconut Shell Carving, Lacquer Work, Cotton Map Making Are Some Of The Specialities Of Kerala That Enchants Its Every Visitor, Whether National Or International.

Welcome to Kerala, God"s Own Country. With the Arabian Sea on the west, the western ghats towering 500 - 2700m on the east and Kerala is networked by forty-four rivers. Kerala is a very easy place to simply sit back and enjoy. The name means "land of coconuts" and the palms shade nearly the entire state from the tropical sun; many call the beach at Kovalam the best in India, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations and exotic wildlife, ayurvedic health resorts, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments, an exotic cuisine… all of which offers a unique experience.
 
Kerala is one of the ten "Paradises Found" declared by the National Geographic Traveler, for its diverse geography and overwhelming greenery. It is a land much acclaimed for the contemporary nature of its cultural ethos, and much appreciated for the soothing, rejuvenating paradise that it is.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
 
Area:38,863 sq km, which is 1.27% of India"s total land area and is located at the Southwest tip of the India"s main land
Weather: Tropical
Summer: April-June [24 - 33 degree Celsius]
Monsoon: July-September [22 - 27 degree Celsius
Winter: October-March [22 - 32 degree Celsius]
High Season: December-May
Capital: Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
Language: Malayalam; however English is widely spoken and understood by the fully literate populace of Kerala.
Number of Districts: 14
Major Cities: Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi (Ernakulam district) & Kozhikode (Calicut)
Access
By Air: The International airports at Thiruvananthapuram , Kochi (Cochin) & Kozhikode facilitate easy access by air. Direct flights operate from Singapore, Colombo, Maldives, Kuwait, Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha and Bahrain.
By Rail: All major tourist destinations and important cities of India are well-connected by rail to Kerala.
Food: Most restaurants, coffee shops, eateries or cafes offer a Cosmopolitan fare for Chinese, Continental, Indian or American. You can find many who specialize in Kerala Delicacies.
Clothing: Ideally light cottons. However the cooler hill stations may warrant woolens
Communication: Kerala has a well-knit communications network. With telephone, fax and Internet centers in almost every corner. Enabling you to get in touch with any part of the world easily.
Religion: 58 % Hindu, 21 % Muslim and 21 % Christians.
 
Places of Interest
 
ART COMPLEX - MADHAVAN NAYAR FOUNDATION - This museum is the only one of its kind in Kerala. The complex consists of the Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures that presents over 200 original paintings by contemporary Indian Artists, some of them internationally acclaimed and works of reputed Indian sculptors. The Centre for Visual Arts is reserved for authentic reproductions of selected world masters from Leonardo da Vinci to those of the present century. The centre also exhibits certain larger-than-life mural reproductions of ancient Indian Art. It is located at Edappally, 10 Kms. north of Ernakulam, on the Ernakulam-Aluva road. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except on Mondays and public Holidays.
 
CHENAMANGALAM - It was the seat of Paliath Achan,the hereditary Prime Minister of the erstwhile state Cochin from 1632 to 1809. It was one of the chief center s of the Jew in Kerala and there is an Oriental Jewish synagogue in the old Jews colony. In the vicinity of the Jewish Colony, the famous Vaipinkotta Seminary built in the 16th century by the Portuguese stands in ruins the remains of the seminary are still visible. The old Syrian Catholic Church established in the 1201 is near the ruin of the seminary. Near the synagogue and the church there is a temple and mosque. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The Jewish and Muslims cemetries are located near the temple. The existence of the Synagogue, the Church, the Mosque, and the Temple in very dose proximity to one another provides ample proof of the prevalence of communal harmony in this part of Kerala in oldest days. Chenamangalam is an important center for handloom weaving and coir manufacturing. The annual fair called "Mattachanda" (Barter Systems) is held here on the eve of Vishu(in April) Chenamangalam is situated 42Km away from Ernakulam and 5Km away from north Parur. There are buses from Ernakulam to North Parur and Chenamangalam is connected north Parur by frequent bus services.
 
BOLGHATTY ISLAND - This long narrow palm-fringed island, easily accessible from the mainland is where the Bolghatty Palace is situated amidst 15 acres of lush green lawns. Built by the Dutch in 1744, it became the seat of the British Resident later. In 1976, the palace was converted to into a hotel under the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. The palace has a golf course on its grounds.This island is connected by frequent ferry services with the mainland Ernakulam. Boats to this island start from the High Court Jetty. Country boats (Machuvas) can also be hired near the Jetty.
CHINESE FISHING NETS, Fort Kochi – The Chinese fishing nets are a fascinating sight to us. These nets, at the entrance of the harbour and along the backwaters with pivots of wood, were introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan in 1350AD.They can be seen all along the backwaters of Kerala
 
THE DUTCH CEMETERY - The tomb stones here are the most authentic record of the hundreds of Europeans who left their homeland on a mission to expand their colonial empires and changed the course of history of this land.
 
DUTCH PALACE - This Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 1555 A.D. Though built by the Portuguese, it is popularly known as the "Dutch Palace" as the Dutch renovated it during their short-lived reign here. The palace is well known for its mural paintings, which are noted for their high level of excellence. These paintings represent scenes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The paintings cover a wide range of themes from the "Puthra Kameshtiyagam" to Rama"s return to Ayodhya after vanquishing king Ravana of Lanka. They cover nearly 300 sq. feet of wall surface. In the central courtyard of the Palace is the temple dedicated to Panhayannur Bhagavathi. In the Coronation hall there is a display of dresses and palanquins used by the rulers of Cochin. The Palace is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days except Fridays and National holidays.
 
ERNAKULAM SIVA TEMPLE - This temple is situated at the centre of the town, near the Durbar Hall Grounds. The presiding deity is Lord Siva and the annual festival in the temple is celebrated for eight days during January - February every year. The festival is rounded up with the Aarattu procession when the image of the deity is taken for a sacred bath in the temple pool. A cultural festival is also held with a variety of programmes of music concerts, Kathakali, etc., as part of celebrations.
 
FORT IMMANUEL - This bastion of the Portuguese in Kochi was a symbol of the strategic alliance between the Maharajah of Kochi and the Monarch of Portugal, after whom it was named.
HILL PALACE MUSEUM, Tripunithura - It is the largest archeological museum in Kerala. Set on top of a hillock, this prodigious palace-turned-museum displays 13 categories of exhibits, including paintings, carvings and other royal antiquities donated by the Cochin and Travancore royal families and the Paliam Devaswom. The Heritage museum located on the rear side of the palace buildings familiarizes with the traditional lifestyles of ancient Kerala. The museum premise has also been converted into a botanical garden with exotic tropical trees from Central America to Australia. It is situated 12 Km. away from Ernakulam on the Ernakulam-Chottanikkara route. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all days except Mondays and National holidays. There are frequent private buses from Ernakulam to this place. Tripunithura was the head Quarters of the Maharaja of Cochin and his palace and his palace. The Pooorna Trayeesha Temple at Tripunithura is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and there are two festivals every year each lasting 8 days the most important festival falls in November -December and on the last day of the festival the image of the deity is taken out in an impressive procession on beautifully caparisoned elephant."Athachamayam" is celebrated here 10 days prior to Onam, August-September the national festival of Kerala. A Cultural festival is held as the part of the Celebrations. Tripunithura is situtated 10 km away from Ernakulam and is connected by frequent Private buses to this place.
 
JEWISH SYNAGOGUE - This synagogue built in 1568 A.D., was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch two year after Scroll of Old Testament and a number of the Copper Plates inscribed in the Hebrew script script are preserved in the synagogue. The synagogue is open from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. excepted on Saturdays and Jewish holidays
 
KALADY - Kalady is the birth place of Sri Sankaracharya, the Great Indian Philosopher who lived in the 8th century it is situated on the banks of river Periyar there are two Shrines in memory of Sri Sankaracharya One dedicated to him as Dakshinamoorthy and the other to the Goddess Sharadha. The ancient Sree Krishna Temple situated here was the family temple of Adi Sankaracharya. Adi Sankaras shrines in kalady are open to all pilgrims irrespective of religion or caste. Kalady is connected by road with important cities in south India there are frequent buses to kalady from Angamaly and Aluva.
KANJIRAMATTAM MOSQUE - It is believed that this Mosque was erected over the mortal remains of Sheikh Parid. It was here that the Great Muslim Saint Baver is believed to have attained eternal bliss. The Kudikkuthu Festival which Falls in December-January attracts thousands of devotees the Mosque is situated at Kanjiramattam 30 Km Away from Kochi there are Private buses to Kanjiramattam from Ernakulam
 
LAKSHADWEEP ISLANDS - Lakshadweep, a Union Territory of India, is a group of 36 islands, located in the Arabian Sea, about 300 km off Kochi. Some of these islands worth a visit are Androt, Amini, Agatti, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadamat, Kalpeni etc.
 
LOAFER"S CORNER/PRINCESS STREET - One of the earliest streets to be constructed in Fort Kochi, Princess Street with its European style residences still retains its old world charm.
 
MALAYATOOR - (47 km from Kochi) Malayatoor is famous for the Catholic Church on the 609 m high Malayatoor hill (dedicated to St. Thomas).
 
PALLIPURAM FORT - The Portuguese built Pallipuram fort in 1503. It is one of the oldest existing European monuments in India. The Dutch captured the fort in 1661 and sold it to the State of Travancore in 1789. This fort is situated in the northern extremity of the Vypeen Island at Pallipuram. The Catholic Church at Pallipuram is an important pilgrim centre for the Christians. From Vypeen there are frequent buses to Pallipuram. Vypeen is connected by ferry with Fort Cochin and Ernakulam.
 
PARIKSHITH THAMPURAN MUSEUM - This is situated on the Durbar Hall Ground on the D.H.Road,Ernakulam. Collection of 19th centuary oil Paintings,old coins, sculptures in stone and plaster of Paris and copies of mural painting are exhibited here. An Art Gallery is also functioning at the museum building. It is open form 9.30a.m to 12 noon and from 3 p.m to 5 p.m on all days except Mondays and national holidays.
 
PIERCE LESLIE BUNGALOW - This charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie & Co., coffee merchants, founded in 1862. A representative of the Fort Kochi colonial bungalow, this building reflects Portuguese, Dutch and local influences.
 
ST. FRANCIS CHURCH - This centuries old church at Fort Kochi was originally built completely of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry. The Protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican church, restored it in 1779.
 
THIRUMALA DEVOSWAM TEMPLE - This is one of the temples of Gowda Sarawatha Brahmins. The presiding deity is Lord Venkateshwara. There are two main festivals in this temple, which are celebrated for eight days each during March-April and November-December respectively every year. The festival is rounded up with the Aarattu procession when the Chakra Snanam the sacred bath is conducted in the temple pool. The main specialty of this temple is that it has the second largest brass Bell in Asia.
 
WELLINGDON ISLAND - This is a man made island created from the materials drudged while deepening the Cochin Port. Lord Bristow was the architect of this island. There are frequent ferry and bus services to this place from Ernakulam. The Harbour, Airport and Harbour Railway Terminus are in this island.
 
Excursion
 
Cherai Beach: Location: Near Vypeen Island accessible by boat (30 minutes journey) from Ernakulam The lovely beach bordering the Vypeen island is ideal for swimming.
 
Bhoothathan kettu: Location: 50 km north east of Ernakulam town, Ernakulam district, central Kerala. Bhoothathankettu, a scenic damsite with boating facilities is situated in a vast virgin forest.
 
Thattekkadu Bird Sanctuary: Location: About 58 km from Kochi city and 13 km northeast of Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district; Thattekkad is in Devikula.
 
Places to Visit
 
Interstate private bus services to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Chennai and Madurai
 
Ferry Services: There are two ferry stations in Ernakulam. The main Boat Jetty is one km from the Junction Railway Station and the other is near the High Court.
 
Ferry timings (From the main boat jetty):
 
Vypeen: Frequent services (1/2 hour journey)
 
Mattancherry: Daily 6 ferries (1/2 hour journey) at 0910, 0940, 1100, 1400, 1520, 1740
 
Fort Kochi: Daily 30 services (20 minute journey) First trip at 0600 hrs and the last at 2110 hrs
 
Varapuzha: Daily 6 boats (2 hour journey)
 
Willingdon Island: Frequent services (15 minute journey)
 
Thiruvananthapuram the capital of Kerala, located at the South Western tip of India, is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the West and Tamil Nadu on the East. The wooded highlands on the Western Ghats in the Eastern and North Eastern borders give some of the most enchanting picnic spots, a long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage make this district a much sought after tourist destination.
 
General Information
Area :2192 sq.km
Population :2,938,583 (1991 census)
 
Access
 
Air: Thiruvananthapuram international airport (6 kms from the city).
Rail:There are direct trains to all the main towns in kerala as well as the major cities in India.
Road:Well connected to all towns & cities.
 
 
 
Places to Visit
 
Kovalam Beach : 16 kms away this Internationally renowned Beach Resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The Southernmost, known as the Lighthouse beach, is the most popular Kovalam offers accommodation options to suit all budgets.
 
Padmanabha Swamy Temple : The temple is located inside the East Fort. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, & a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is known for its Mural Paintings and Stone Carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu Temples in India, the presiding deity in here is Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha the serpent.
 
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum : The palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional travancore style of architecture also has exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family.
 
The Napier Museum: Built in the 19th century, the Indo - Saracenic structure boasts a "natural" Airconditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The use of plaxtic is banned in the museum premises.
 
Sree Chithra Art Gallery Located near the Napier Museum. This art gallery displays select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of Art In India. 
Other places of interest are The Zoological Park, Priyadarshini Planetarium , Observatory, Shankhumugham beach & Connemera Market.
 
Excursions
 
Thiruvallam 10 kms away this serene backwater stretch enroute to Kovalam, is famous for its Canoe Rides.
 
Aruvikkara Dam 16 kms away this picturesque picnic spot is on the banks of the Karamana River. Near the Durga Temple here is a stream full of fish that fearlessly come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors.
 
Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin)The land"s end of India or the point where the three seas meet, is the enchanting kanniyakumari. It is one of the most popular tourist spots in the country. Part of the fascination is, of course, the fact that it is the very tip of the indian peninsula and the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian ocean. Places of interest at Kanyakumari : Tiruvalluvar statue, Gandhi memorial, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, & Padmanabhapuram Swami Temple which is en route to Kanniyakumari from Thiruvananthapuram.
 
Other excursions
 
Vizhinjam rock cut cave, Koyikkal palace Nejumangad, Neyyar Dam
Fast Fact :
  • Temperature :  Summer: 32 -20 C           Winter: 32 -16 C 
  • Best Season :   Throughout the year 
  • Clothing :  tropical 
  • Languages spoken :  Malayalam, English
  • STD Code: 0481
               Hink a labyrinth of backwaters with shimmering water, the brilliant green of mangrove forests, coconut palms lining the embankments, blue skies, flocks of migratory birds skimming the water and you begin to understand that Kumarakom, a cluster of little islands on the on the eastern banks of Vembanad Lake in God’s Own Country, is a veritable dreamland. 
 
                   The bird sanctuary located in this enchanting backwater destination, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist`s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teals, waterfowls, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork visit here in flocks to fascinate the visitors.
 
Getting There
AIR
The nearest airport is Cochin connected with flights by different cites in India.
 
RAIL
Kottayam is nearest railhead connected with major cities and places in India.
 
ROAD
Kumarakom is connected by motorable roads with major cites and places in South India. 
Kumarakom is:
16 km from Kottayam
68 km from Cochin
 
Sights to See :--
Kumarakom Backwaters  :  
                    Every year, more than seven million tourists visit Kerala, a place that the National Geographic Magazine has described as one of the must-see places in a lifetime. Kumarakom is an important stopover for a majority of these tourists. This famous tourist backwater hub is a cluster of islands on the eastern banks of Lake Vembanad.
 
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary :
                 Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the bird sanctuary is spread across 14 acres. The bird sanctuary, also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, is a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. A visit to the bird sanctuary, set within the lush acres of wooded land nearby, acquaints you to the variety of migratory birds that flock in thousands, some from the Himalayas, some even from as far as Siberia.
 
Subrahmanya Temple and Sree Dharma Sastha Temple :
                   Both these temples have a common compound wall. It is believed that the Subrahmanya Temple, Kumarakom’s first temple, was constructed on the orders of the Vadakkumkore king, about 1800 years ago. Kumarakom is supposed to have derived its name from this temple - from the two words ‘kumara’ and ‘akam’ which in combination means ‘home of Lord Subrahmanya’.
Excursions
Kudamaloor (20 km) :
                  Kudamaloor, on the banks of River Meenachil is known for its wonderful rural ambience. The place is famous for the Vasudevapuram Temple, known for its mural paintings. The Eeraveeswaram Mahadeva temple is another famous temple in the locality. There are remnants of a fort near the temple. The raised platform and the gaps on the walls stand testimony to the fact that the cannons were once fired from this fort.
The Kudamaloor St. Mary’s Church is seen as a symbol of religious amity. It was built by the Chembakassery king in AD 1125. The architecture of the church combines Indian and Western elements
 
Aymanam (10 km)  :
                     About eight km from Kottayam, Aymanam is a beautiful place. With Lake Vembanad bordering its western side and the River Meenachil flowing through it, the village has been abundantly blessed with Nature’s bounty. Rice fields cover two-thirds of the village. As in any Kuttanad village, the paddy fields lie below sea-level.
 
Kallara (16 km)  :
                    About 20 km north-west of Kottayam town, it is a centre of the screw pine mat-making industry. Visitors come to this scenic place to see the backwaters of Ezhumanthuruth, the ancient temples and churches, the crisscrossing canals and the paddy fields.
 
About Kovalam
                     Kovalam is the only beach resort of Kerala, and is very popular with the Indian as well as international tourists. Kovalam consists of three successive small crescent beaches; the southern most known as Lighthouse Beach, is where most of the visitors spend their time. The middle beach, overlooked from a rocky headland by the five star Ashok Radisson resort, functions each morning as a base for local fishers. North of Ashok, is the third beach which is very little affected by the changing times.
 
Kovalam Facts and Figures
Altitude : Sea Level.
 
How to Reach Kovalam
Air :  
Nearest Airport - Trivandrum (20 kms). Indian Air Lines , Air India, Air Lanka, East West Airlines and Gulf Air operate direct service from Trivandrum to Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Goa, Bangalore, Cochin, Calicut, in addition to international services to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Gulf countries and Singapore.
Rail : 
Nearest rail head is Trivandrum Central. Trivandrum is connected by rail with many important cities. Road Kovalam is connected by road with several tourist destinations within Kerala and India.
 
Road :  
Coaches, Tourist taxies and Autorickshaws are available.
 
In and Around Kovalam
 Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple :
                  14 Kilometers away from Kovalam  at Trivandrum The imposing seven storied tower makes it the most impressive landmark  in the city. The temple is an excellent example of the dravidian style of architecture. There are innumerable  pillars, intricate carvings, and mural paintings.
 
 Veli Lagoon :
              Delightful waterfront park.An ideal picnic spot where the lake merges with sea. The wadingpool,gardens,exquisite sculptures, a floating bridge and a wide range of aqua sports facilities.
 
 Shanghumugham Beach :
                It is popular city beach adjacent to the airport. An indoor recreation club, children`s  traffic training park and a star shaped restaurant these are some of the facilities that are available at the beach.
  
 The Govt. Art Museum :
                    Formally known as "Napier Museum" name dafter a former Madras Governer General, John Napier. It is a gem of architectural exuberance, combining traditional Kerala styles and good doses of Chinese and Mughal Influences. 
 
 Neyyar Dam :
                   29km from Thiruvananthapuram is Neyyar Dam a picnic spot and dam site. There are facilities for boating at the reservoir. There is a lion safari park and crocodile farm.
 
 Vizhinjam :
                  Lying just 15kms from the state capital, that is a historic spot, which was left unnoticed for a long time. The capital of Ay-Vel kings of the   8th-9th century, the only thing that was withstood time is a rock temple, as signed to the period of the Cheras because of a strong influence to the Pallava Pandya architecture. The rock temple is just a little off the main junction and is a protected monument under the Archeological Survey of India.
Once the capital of the powerful Zamorins and a prominent trade and commerce centre, Kozhikode was the most important town of Malabar in the days gone by. Today, lush green countrysides, serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience make Kozhikode a popular destination.
 
Calicut is the anglicised form of Kalikut. The Arabic for the Malayalam, Kozhikode.. According to the historian, K.V Krishna Iyer, the term means koyil (Palace) Kodu (Fortified). Anyhow, it is a historical town with a hoary past. From time immemorial, the city attracted travellers, with its charming physical features and prosperity. Even today, the glory that was Calicut has not faded. The political history of Kozhikode is a story of treacherous and ill-conceived conspiracies hatched by the Western powers. Vasco Da Gama landed at Kappad in May 1498, as the leader of a trade mission from Portugal and was received by the Zamorin himself.
 
The history of Kozhikode district as an administrative unit begins from January 1957. When the states of the Indian Union were reorganized on linguistic basis on 1st November 1956, the erstwhile Malabar district was separated from Madras state (Tamil Nadu) and added to the new anilingual state of Kerala.
 
 
 
General Information
Area :2,206 sq. km.
Population :2,613,683 (2001 census)
 
Location :Kozhikode district is situated on the south west coast of India. The district is bounded on the north by Kannur district, on the east by Wynad district, on the south by Malappuram district and on the west by the Arabian Sea.
 
Climate : The district has a humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. The most important rainy season is during the South West Monsoon, which sets in the first week of June and extends up to September. The North-East Monsoon extends from the second half of October through November.
 
Access
Air : Nearest airport: Karipur (23 km from Kozhikode town): Daily flights to Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and the Middle East. The Chennai flight also touches Coimbatore and Madurai.
Rail : Links to all the major cities and tourist centres in India.
Road : Well connected to all the major cities and tourist centres in India.
 
Places of Interest
Beypore - Beypore town is about 9.65 Kms from Kozhikode at the mouth of the Beypore River. The Place was formerly known as Vaypura and Vadaparappanad. Tippu Sultan named the town "Sultan Pattanam" .It is one of the important ports of Kerala and naturally an important trading centre. It is famous for it"s boat building yard where mammoth country crafts known as "Urus" are built. It is a major fishing harbour of Kerala. There are two man made extensions to the sea to facilitate easy access for fishing boats. This is an ideal place for outing Kozhikode - Aqua tourism: A land of serene beaches, ancient monuments, lush green countrysides, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience.
 
Feroke is the cradle of the tile industry in Kerala. The rapid rivers from the Western Ghats after passing through forest carry the clay, which is the raw material for tiles, pottery and ceramic wares. There are more than a dozen tile factories in Feroke alone
 
Ghat Section - This is thick dense forest and is called the "Cherapunjee" of Kerala because of the heavy rains. It is about 44 Kms from Kozhikode and is the boundary to Wayanad district. A journey through this Ghat section is enjoyable experience. It is 14 kms long with nine hairpin curves amidst a number of hills and thick forests. A view from the top will be a breath taking experience.
 
Kakkayam: (45 km from Kozhikode) This picturesque dam site, teeming with exotic wildlife, offers excellent trekking and rock climbing opportunities. The best time to visit is between November and April.
 
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary: Location: Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, about 25 km from Kozhikode and 7 km from Beypore port on the Arabian Sea, Malappuram district, north Kerala.
 
Kappad - On 27th May 1498, Vasco-De Gama landed here with three vessels and 170 men. If you travel 16 Kms north of Kozhikode by kannur road, a small road near Tiruvangoor health centre guides you to this beach of historical inportance. A monument is here to commemorate the historical landing. An ancient temple on a hillock, facing the deep sea, is an added attraction.
 
Kallai - Kallai was known as the world"s best timber trading centre. Even now, it is the place for timber trade in Malabaar
 
KIRTADS (7 km from Kozhikode) - This unique museum houses the tools and devices used by the ancient tribal communities of Kerala. A good library with books on Anthropology and Sociology is and added attraction
Kozhikode Beach - The Beauty and serenity of Kozhikode beach is not yet exploited to develop it into a tourist centre. Still People from all around gather here to enjoy the sunset and it is a popular retreat for local people. Two sea piers almost 125 years old extending well inside the sea are a speciality. The Lions Club Children’s park along with the near by ice cream parlours make evenings pleasant for visiting families. Fisherman with their small rowing boats entering the sea, fighting the waves and returning with varieties of fish is worth watching. A marine water aquarium is situated at Kozhikode beach and varieties of marine and fresh water fish can be seen here
 
Krishna Menon Museum - Situated adjacent to the Pazhassi Raja Museum, the art gallery houses painting of Raja Ravi Varma among the other collections. The museum has a section dedicated to V K Krisha Menon. The personal belongings and souvenirs gifted by this world leader are exhibited here.
 
Kuttichira: The stone inscriptions found in the Muccunti Mosque at Kuttichira reveal an interesting aspect in the history of the Zamorins of Kozhikode and their patronage of Islam in Kerala.
 
Lokanarkavu Temple: This temple, associated with the heroes and heroines of the Vadakkanpattu combines an arresting simplicity and a legendary aura. The candid murals and carvings here are a delight to art lovers.
 
Mishkal Masjid, Kuttichira: One of the oldest mosques in the city, this four-storied structure supported by wooden pillars proudly proclaims the architectural splendour of yester years.
Mananchira Square - A new attraction in the heart of the city, Mananchira -maidan, is the sublimation of the concept of a planned modern city. The historic maidan, adjacent to Mananchira has been converted into an arcadia with beautiful trees and plants, artificial hill, shrubs, sculpture, an open-air theatre and above all a musical fountain. No doubt, locals and tourists seeking leisure and relief from the mad rush outside, find shelter here. The Corporation of Kozhikode manages Mananchira Maidan.
 
Mannur Temple: Modeled like the Siva Temple at Tiruvannur, this exquisitely carved Gajaprathista styled laterite structure is more than two centuries old.
 
Pazhassiraja Museum and Art Gallery: Location: About 5 km from Kozhikode town at East Hill, Kozhikode district, north Kerala.
 
Parsi Anju Amman Baug: This Fire Temple on S M Street dates back to the period when the Parsis, lured by the trade opportunities, settled in Kozhikode about 200 years ago.
 
Science Centre & Planetarium: Regional science centre Calicut houses a 250 seater Planetarium fitted with a sophisticated Zeiss projector. The Science centre abounds with puzzles, which make mathematics easy. An array of rolling balls moves in a circuitous path and performs acrobatics. They ring bells, generate electricity and play musical chimes on their way. Parabolic reflectors carry whispers from one end of the park to the other end. Objects float in space defying gravity. Chemistry brings magic at home. The Science Centre unravels mysteries, explains things which otherwise would be called supernatural.
 
St. Mary"s Church: The Church was founded in 1860 for the civil members of the collectorate and the English military. In the cemetery adjacent to the church, there is a tomb dated 1717.
 
S M Street: Sweet Meat Street is the busiest street in Kozhikode and derives its name from the times when the street was lined with sweetmeat stalls. Kallai This was once the second largest timber trading.
 
Thusharagiri - Thusharagiri is situated 55 kms away from Kozhikode City and the "Green Splendor" considered as the major tourist destination in Malabar region with four water falls right in the middle of the forest. The waterfalls and streams amidst the hilly regions are really a feast to eyes.
 
Tali Temple: Built in the 14th century by Swami Thirumulpad, the Zamorin, within his palace complex, this temple was the venue of Revathy Pattathanam, the annual cultural and intellectual event.
 
Badagara: (48 km from Kozhikode) The birthplace of Thacholi Othenan - the legendary hero of the Vadakkanpattu (ballads of North Malabaar), Badagara boasts a great martial tradition and was a flourishing trade. This ancient place is now the headquarters of the taluk as well as of the municipality of that name. There is ruined fort in the town. Badagara was the scene of many exploits of Tacholi Othenan, the hero of the ballads of north Malabaar (Vadakkan Pattukal) Five kms south east of Badagara in Memunda amsom, is the Lokanarkavu, which has three rock-cut caves in its vicinity. Annual ceremonies are conducted in memory of "Othenan" whose bith place is Manikoth near Meppayil. Badagara is also called because of its location just north ( Vadakku) of kotta river. The Orkattery cattle fair is held between February at Orkattery 6.45 kms from Badagara
 
Vellari Mala and Iringal: Verdant, rolling landscape, with numerous brooks, cascades and breathtaking waterfalls, Vellari Mala offers is a true abode for you to unwind and to immerse in the whiff of its limitless fresh air.
 
Velliyamkallu: This is yet another beautiful stretch of golden sands with shallow waters that border Velliyamkallu Planetarium
 
Wayanad Ghats: The green ghats enroute to Wayanad has nine hairpin bends, each turn taking one to a higher altitude offering a better view of the picturesque plains below.

Wayanad is one of the districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land are some of the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by civilisation. Wayanad is known for its picturesque mist clad hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions.

Kalpetta is the headquarters of the district. Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery and Vythiri are other important towns in the district. The leading tourist centers of South India like Ooty, Mysore, Coorg, Kozhikode and Kannur are around this region.

Temperature:

Summer: 36 -20 C

Winter: 32 -16 C

Best Season :

October to May

Clothing :

Tropical

Languages spoken :

Malayalam, English

STD Code:

04936

How would you like to travel

AIR

The nearest airport is Kozhikode connected with flights by different cites in India.

RAIL

Kozhikode is nearest railhead connected with major cities and places in India.

ROAD

Wayanad is connected by motorable roads with major cites and places in South India.

Wayanad (Kalpetta ) is:

72 km from Kozhikode

175 km from Ooty

140 km from Mysore

Sights to See

Mananthavady

Thirunelly temple (32 km northeast of Mananthavady)

Surrounded by Kambamala, Karimala and Varadiga, the Thirunelly temple is a marvel of temple architecture. The shrine is shielded with 30 granite columns and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite. The crystal clear waters of the Papanasini River running downhill add to the enchantment of the place.

Pazhassi tomb (32 km northeast of Kalpetta)

The memorial of the `Lion of Kerala` - Veera Pazhassi Raja - who organised the guerilla warfare against the British East India Company, is situated at Mananthavady. The Pulpally cave is where Pazhassi took refuge until he was captured by the British.

The Glass Temple of Kottamunda

This temple is located on the slope of Vellarimala and is dedicated to Parswanatha Swamy of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect images of the icons in the temple`s sanctum sanctorum

Boys town (15 km north of Mananthavady)

Herbal garden, nature care centre, sericulture unit, perma-culture centre etc., established by the Wayanad Social Service Society and Jean Park (the Indo-Danish project for promoting herbal gardening) are situated here.

Kuruvadweep (17 km east of Mananthavady /45 km northwest of Sulthan Bathery)

This 950 acre, uninhabited island on the eastward bound Kabani River is an ideal picnic spot. The wooded stretch of land is home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs.

Pakshipathalam (10 km from Thirunelly)

This place can be accessed only by trekking. Rare species of birds can be sighted from the watch tower of this bird sanctuary.

Kalpetta 

Begur Wildlife Sanctuary

About 20 km east of Mananthavady, Wayanad district is in north Kerala. The district of Wayanad lies on an elevated picturesque mountainous plateau in the Western Ghats. Historians are of the opinion that organised human life existed in these parts of Kerala at least ten centuries before Christ.

In this virgin land, which has not seen much human habitation later, is the Begur Wildlife Sanctuary. The forests here are amongst the most beautiful locales of Kerala. The region has a wealth of diverse species of plants and animals and is of great interest to nature lovers.

Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary (40 km from Mananthavady)

This sanctuary in Karnataka state extends over an area of 643.39 sq km. The park houses diverse species of plant and animal life.

Visiting time: 0600 - 0800 hrs and 1500 -1730 hrs.

Banasura Project at Padinjarathara (about 25 km northeast of Kalpetta)

The picturesque Banasura Project is the largest earthern dam in India and the second largest in Asia. Located in the midst of lovely, mist-clad hills with a wildlife sanctuary and park full of flowering trees, this spot of enchantment has no parallel elsewhere. With its placid crystal clear waters Banasura is a wonderful picnic spot. At Kalpetta, which once used to be the stronghold of the Jains in Kerala, you also have the attraction of historic monuments like the Ananthanathaswami Jain Temple near Puliyarmala.

Sulthan Bathery

Edakkal Caves

What kind of people were our ancestors what kind of lives did they lead Often, the paths leading to the answers to these questions are as fascinating as the answers themselves. If you would like to walk a little way along one such wonderful path of discovery, one good place to visit would be the Edakkal caves in the Ambukuthi Hills in north Kerala, considered to be one of the earliest centres of human habitation. Inside the cave you will find ancient stone scripts, pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar head dresses, the swastik form, symbols and cave drawings of human figures, wheels, bows, knives, trees and so on. Similar cave drawings, considered to be 7000 years old, are found only in Stiriya in the European Alps and a few rocky places in Africa. The caves, which are found around 10 km from Sultan Bathery, are two natural rock formations believed to have been formed by a large split in a huge rock.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. The sanctuary is very rich in flora and fauna. The management lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration for the general lifestyle of the tribals and others who live in and around the forest region.

Permitting authority:Wildlife Warden, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Lakkidi,Vythiri(55 km east of Kozhikode/5 km south of Vythiri)

Lakkidi, the gateway to Wayanad, is situated 700 m above mean sea level, at the crest of the Thamarasseri Ghat pass. Lofty peaks, gurgling streams and luxuriant forests add magic to the journey up the winding roads to this hill station

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary 🙁 About 16 km east of Sulthan Bathery)

An ideal destination to watch herds of wild elephants, the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous with the protected area network of the Nagarhole National Park and the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the neighboring State of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu. This sanctuary spread over 345 sq km is rich with fauna and flora, and comes under Project Elephant.

Elephants roam freely here and tigers are sighted frequently. Various species of deer, monkeys, birds etc also live here. The trees and plants in the sanctuary are typical of the south Indian moist deciduous forests and west coast semi evergreen forests. A drive along the road to Muthanga and further, offers chances to watch these roaming beasts. Elephant rides are arranged by the Forest Department.

Vythiri

Ambalavayal Heritage Museum(12 km south of Sulthan Bathery)

The Ambalavayal Heritage Museum, the archaeological museum in Wayanad,- has one of Kerala`s largest collections of the remnants of an era dating back to the 2nd century A.D. The exhibits here are evidences of an advanced civilisation that existed in the mountains of Wayanad. The articles on display are a fascination for the historian, the archaeologist and the ordinary man alike. At the museum you can see articles as varied as clay sculptures, ancient hunting equipments like bows and arrows, stone weapons and other curios.

Pookkot Lake ( 3 km south of Vythiri town)

A natural fresh water lake surrounded by evergreen forest and rolling hills. A fresh water aquarium with large variety of fish is an added attraction. Tourists can also avail of boating facilities, children`s park, and a shopping center for handicrafts and spices.

Wayanad lies at an altitude varying from 700 - 2100 meters above the sea level. The district has the highest number of tribal settlements in Kerala. The hill ranges of Vythiri taluk (taluk is a sub division of a district), through which the road from Kozhikode ascends the Wayanad plateau over the mind boggling bends and ridges, are the highest locations of Wayanad district.

Kollam or Quilon, an old seaport town on the Arabian coast, stands on the Ashtamudi lake. Kollam, the erstwhile Desinganadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was regarded by Ibn Batuta, as one of the five ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels during a period of twenty-four years, in the 14th century.
 
Located 71 kms to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam is the center of the country"s cashew trading and processing industry. One of the oldest ports on the Malabaar coast, Kollam was one the port of international spice trade. The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style.
 
Kollam District which is a veritable Kerala in miniature is gifted with unique representative features - sea, lakes, plains, mountains, rivers, streams, backwaters, forest, vast green fields and tropical crop of every variety both food crop and cash crop, so called "The Gods Own Capital".
 
 
General Information
Area : 2579 sq. Kms
Population :2,398285 (1991 census)
Access
Air : Nearest airport Thiruvananthapuram (71 km).
Rail : Kollam is an important railhead of the southern railways. Road : an excellent road network links Kollam to all major towns & cities.
 
Places of Interest
 
Kollam Town - Kollam town, the headquarters of Kollam district, has a hoary past. It was an international emporium of trade and even now it is a prosperous commercial centre. It is situated about 71 Kms. north of Thiruvananthapuram and is linked by rail, road and backwater transport. The town edges with the famous Ashtamudi Lake. Many a foreign traveler has visited Kollam in early medieval period. It was one of the early centres of Christian activity in Kerala. It is said that the present town of Kollam was built by the Syrian Merchant; Sapir Iso, in the 9th Century A.D. The popularity of Kollam has been established by the time honoured proverb once you see Kollam, you will not need home any more. Kollam is an important commercial, industrial and trading centre. It is also the headquarters of Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation.
 
The 144 ft. Thangassery Light House, built in 1902, is a centre of attraction.
 
The Ananda Valleswaram Temple here attracts people on almost all days.
There are several Churches and Mosques in and around Kollam. The Pullichira Church was established in 1700 A.D.
 
Mahatma Gandhi beach & park at Kochupilamoodu, Thirumullavaram beach and Ashramam picnic Village, are some of the important spots of local sight seeing, Mahatma Gandhi beach lies just 2 Kms. from the town. It is fascinating place for an evening.
 
Thirumullawaram Beach is 5 kms. from the town. The sea here is ideal for swimming and bathing. Asramam picnic village is located in the 48-acre Guest House Complex. This is the centre of various tourism development activities of the district.
 
The Government Guest House here is 200 years old. It stands along Ashtamudi Lake and is a major attraction for its elegance rates.
 
The adventure park, located in the shores of the Ashtamudi backwaters, is a novel experiment in the country. Different types of boats, including luxury cruise boats, powerboats and motor boats, are available on hire from the boat jetty near to the Adventure Park. A budget hotel for tourists, Yatri Nivas, run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, is also located in this village. The village is just 2 kms. away from the town.
Achencoil - Situated about 80 kms from Punalur is an important pilgrim center. The Sastha temple here, situated amidst dense forest. The idol of Sastha is supposed to have been installed several centuries before the Christian Era. The two important festivals of this temple are Mandala Pooja (December-January) and the festival held at "Revathi"(January-February). The two notable features of the festival are the Therotam (chariot festival) and Pushpabhishekam (offering of flowers).
 
Alumkadavu - Alumkadavu is located 26 Kms from Kollam City and on the banks of Kollam-Alappuzha National Water Way.
 
Amritapuri - Amritapuri located at 110 kms from capital of Kerala is the worldwide headquarters of The Mata Amritanadamayi Ashram. Amritapuri is the realisation of the ancient Indian ideal "the whole world is one family" (vasudhaiva kutumbakam). By bus or train: Kayamkulam (12 km north of Amritapuri) and Karunagappally (10 km south) are the major cities to reach. By air and taxi: The two closest airports are in Thiruvanantahapuram (110 km south of Amritapuri) and in Kochi (140 km north).
 
Anchal - Situated 13 kms south of Punalur, Anchal is known for its cattle market held twice a month. The Mudi festival of the Bhagavathy temple here, conducted once every 12 years, attract huge gatherings.
 
Aryankavu - Situated about 73 kms east of Kollam is one of the important pilgrim centers of the district. From very early days, it was an important trade route for merchants from either sides of Western Ghats. The chief attraction of Aryankavu is the shrine dedication of Lord Sastha. The temple has some fine sculptures and mural paintings. Thousands of pilgrim’s flocks of this temple during the Mandala Pooja in December. All trains towards Shencottah have a stop at Aryankavu. About 5 kms away from Aryankavu there is a big waterfall known as Palaravi.
Chavara - Chavara is situated 14 kms north of Kollam on the Kollam-Allappuzha road. Thousands of tonnes of mineral sand are exported from Chavara to various countries.
 
Jetayu Para - Jetayu Para, a huge rock, is another attraction in Kollam district. This huge rock is in the Chadayamangalam village on the M.C road. The name comes from the epic Ramayana. It is believed that Jatayu, the giant bird in the epic, fell after failing in its attempt to prevent the demon Ravana from taking Sita (wife of Lord Ram, hero of the epic) away. The rock is ideal for trekking by lovers of adventure.
 
Karunagappally - Karunagappally is situated 27 kms north of Kollam. It is linked with Kollam by rail and road. There is a mini civil station at Karunagappally. Padanayarkulangara, which forms part of the town, was once the military station at Kayamkulam Rajas. An idol of Buddha, recovered from a local tank here, is now preserved in the Krishnapuram palace the headquarters of Kayamkulam Rajas situated north of Oachira. The town has a temple dedicated to Lord Siva, two old mosques and a mar Thomas Church.
 
Kottarakkara - Kottarakkara is the headquarters of Kottarakkara Taluk. It is linked by rail and road,. It was once the capital of Elayadathu Swarupam, a principality ruled by a branch of the Travancore Royal Family. The internationally famous dance drama-Kathakali had its small beginning in this town and it flourished under the patronage of Raja of Kottarakkara.
Kulathupuzha - Kulathupuzha is situated on the Thiruvannathapuram - Sencottah road and is 10 kms south of Tenmala railway station. It is an important forest range, well known for its elephants. Reed, an essential raw material for paper manufacture at the nearby Punalur Paper mill, is partly supplied from Kulathupuzha valley.
 
Kundara - Kundara is linked with Kollam by rail and road, a distance of 18 kms. Large deposit of china clay discovered here, helped in the establishment of the Government Ceramics factory.
 
Kunnicode - The main attraction of Kunnicode, situated 10 kms west pf Punalur, is Pachilakunnu a small hillock where a Muslim saint is said to have breathed his last.
 
Mayyanad - Mayyanadu, 10 kms south of Kollam is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important temple is the one at Umayanallor, dedicated to Lord Subramanian. The shrine is said to have been consecrated by Shri.Adi Sankaracharya of Kaladi. Besides the temples, there are three churches and a Mosque. Cotton weaving and oil pressing are the main occupation in the village.
 
Neendakara - Situated about 8 kms north of Kollam , Neendakara is the Headquarters of the Indo-Norwegian Fisheries Community project, which was established in 1953. The important institutions under this project are the boat building yard at Sakthikulangara the Fisherman"s Training Institute, the ice factory and the refrigeration Plant. Neendakara Port, the hub of fishing activities is here.
 
Oachira - Situated, 32 kms north of Kollam on the Kollam Alappuzha National Highway and on the boundary of Kollam district, Oachira is a unique pilgrim center. The peculiarity of the temple here is that there is no temple building as such nor is there any idol. All classes of people worship the presiding deity the Parabrahmam (the eternal soul). Oachira draws thousands of Pilgrims for Oachirakkali, a festival held annually in June. It is also an important handicraft center where fancy articles of screw pine mats are manufactured.
 
Palaruvi Water Falls - The famous waterfall in Kollam District is situated at Palaruvi near Aryankavu, Kollam - Sencottah NH 208. Season to visit the places is from June to January.
 
Paravur - Paravur is an important fishing and coir production center. It is situated 13 kms south of Kollam and is connected with Kollam town by rail and road. It is the birth place of K.C.Kesavan Pillai(1865-1913) and Kesava Asan(1869-1917) ,two leading literary men of eminence.
 
Pathanapuram - An important trading center on the banks of the Kallada River, Pathanapuram is 13 kms away from Punalur. The Chandanakkudam mahotsavam of the mosque celebrated every year in February-March attracts thousands of devotees.
 
Pattazhi - Pattazi is the seat of an ancient temple, dedicated to Bhagavathy. The Mudi is the major festival of this temple.
 
Punalur - Punalur is one of the important industrial centers of Kerala. It is 45 kms from Kollam on the Kollam-Shencotta railway line and is also linked with Kollam by road. The Suspension bridge accross the Kallada river erected in 1877,is the only one of its kind in south India and it is 400 ft long. A concrete bridge has been constructed near by and now the suspension bridge is only of archaeological interest. Punalur is the head Quarters of Pathanapuram Taluk.
 
Sasthamcotta - Sastham cottah is an attractive village situated about 19 kms. from Kollam Town. It is a beauty spot, a health resort and a centre of pilgrimage. The extensive freshwater lake here, is said to be the biggest of its kind in Kerala. Water supply to the Kollam town is met by purifying the water from this lake. Buses are frequently operated to Sasthamcottah, which can truly be called as Queen of Lakes.
 
Thangassery - Thangassery is a place of historical importance situated 5 kms. away from Kollam town. The churches here are pretty old, having been established in the 18th century. The chief attraction of the place is the lighthouse, built in 1902. The 144 ft lighthouse stands as a sentinel, warning seamen of the treacherous reefs of Thangassery. The construction of a fishing harbour is in progress. Thangassery was an enclave of the Portuguese, Dutch and British in succession. The remnants of the Portuguese and Dutch forts still exits.
 
Thazhava - Thazhava in Oachira block is an important center of screw pine mat industry. An Image of Buddha, discovered from a tank known as Pallikkulam near Maruthoorkulangra is one of the interesting archaeological relics, associated with Kollam district
 
Thenmala - Thenmala is the meeting point of Kollam-Shencottah road and Trivandrum-Shencottah road, surrounded by dense forest, 66 kms east of Kollam. There are a large number of rubber and tea plantations in Thenmala. Timber of all varieties are exported from here to all parts of the country. Themala Dam site is open for tourists. Eco tourists center is situated at Thenmala. All buses passing through Kollam-Shencottah road stop at Tenmala. There is also a Railway Station here.
 
Fast Facts
  • Temperature :  Summer: 34.8 -22.4 C        Winter: 33.8 - 21.6 C
  • Season  :  Throughout the year
  • Clothing : Tropical
  • STD Code :  04652
Getting There
AIR
The nearest airport is Trivandrum (87 km)
 
RAIL
Kanyakumari is connected to Trivandrum, Delhi and Mumbai by broad guage. Tirunelveli (85 km) is the other nearest railway junction which can be reached by road via Nagercoil (19 km)
 
ROAD
Kanyakumari is connected by road to all places in South India. Some distances are:
87 km from Trivandrum
19 km from Nagercoil
85 km from Tirunelveli
133 km from Tuticorin
314 km from Rameswaram
235 km from Madurai
 
Sights to See
Kanyakumari Temple :
               The temple is dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanyakumari who eternally protects the country. Legend has it that goddess Parvati, in one of her incarnations as Devi Kanya, did penance at this spot to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. The place is a symbol of unity and sanctity. The deity’s diamond nose ring is famous for its sparkling splendour and is said to be visible even from the sea. Tel: 04652 246223
 
Gandhi Memorial :
                  The memory of the father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi, is enshrined in this mandapam erected at the place where his ashes were kept for public view before immersion into the sea. The architecture of the building allows the rays of the sun to fall on the spot where the ashes were kept. Every year on October 2, his birthday is celebrated here. Timings: 7 am to 7 pm.
 
Sunrise, Sunset, and Moonrise :
                   The glory of Kanyakumari are its sunrise, sunset and moonrise. To watch the sun set and to see the moon rising out of the ocean on a full moon day is to savour an experience that lives in one`s memory for life. It is the only place in India where one can enjoy the unique spectacle of sunset and moonrise simultaneously on full moon days. 
 
Bay watch (The Sun City) :
                    This water theme amusement park is located at a distance of 2 km on the Kanyakumari- Kovalam Road. It is open from 9.30 am to 7.00 pm. Entrance Fee: Rs. 240 for adults, Rs. 180 for children and Rs.120 for Senior citizens. Tel: 04652 246563/565.
             Is said that on Chitra Pournami (full moon day in the Tamil month Chitrai) in April, one can see both the sun and the moon facing each other on the same horizon, a rare sight of unique grandeur. Another interesting landscape at Kanyakumari is the beach sands of myriad colours. 
 
Excursions
Padmanabhapuram Palace (37 km) : 
               This ancient seat of the Travancore rulers contains relics of historic and artistic values. The palace has elaborate woodwork of great beauty and is enclosed within a fort which covers as area of 6 acres. In the Ramaswamy temple adjoining the palace, scenes from the Ramayana have been carved in 45 panels. Timings: 9 am to 4.30 pm. Closed on Mondays. Tel: 04651 250255 
 
Udayagiri (34 km) :
                    The fort at Udayagiri, built by king Marthanda Varma in 18th century, is of historical importance as it was used as an armoury. The cemetery of the Dutch captain De Lennoy is also located within this fort. 
 
Nagercoil (19 km) : 
                   The Nagaraja Temple situated here is unique in many respects. Though Nagaraja (serpent god) is the presiding deity, the images of Lord Shiva and Ananta-Krishna (Vishnu) are also enshrined in the same complex. The Nagaraja is installed on the ground where it was originally found and the sand around it is scooped out and given as prasadam to the devotees. The images of the Jain Theerthankaras, Mahavira and Parsvanatha, are found in the pillars of the temple. 
 
Suchindrum (13 km) : 
                        The Thanumalayan temple here is a repository of art treasures belonging to many kingdoms. Inscriptions said to be of the 9th century AD are found in this temple.
 
Vattakottai (6 km) : 
                       This 18th century circular fort overlooking the sea is worth visiting. There are watch towers, rest rooms and weapon rooms. Well laid stairs lead up to an arch in the front wall, set with a tiny square peephole. Centuries ago when the area around the fort was clear, observers could see right up to Padmanabhapuram Palace. It is said that there was a 4-feet wide tunnel from the fort to the palace, a distance of nearly 25 km. The fish motif, symbolising the Pandya kings is engraved on many of the walls. The Dutch General Delennoy and his navy attacked the fort when it was under Marthanda Varma and were defeated.Apart from the natural advantage that the fort enjoyed, the Dutch were intimidated by the seemingly massive `cannons` -- tall spiralling coconut trees that seemed threatening from the sea. They surrendered to Marthanda Varma (this scene is depicted in a painting that hangs at the Padmanabhapuram Palace) and DeLannoy became one of Varma`s most faithful generals. The raised parade ground overlooks the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. On the Arabian Sea side, the water is calm, and the sand is streaked with the red and brown of copper and uranium. The Bay of Bengal appears rougher, with tiny coral clusters visible just under the water`s surface. 
 
Tiruchendur (91 km) : 
                        The temple located here on the shores of the Bay of Bengal is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. At this place Lord Subramanya had annihilated the demon king Surapadman. The temples of Alwarthirunagar and Srivaikuntam are also worth visiting.
 
Fast Fact
  • Temperature :  Summer: 25 - 15 C       Winter: 10  - 0 C      
  • Season :            October to May 
  • ClothingSummer :- Cottons, Winter- woollens
  • Languages spoken :  Malayalam, English and Hindi
  • STD Code  : 04865
There is nowhere else quite like Munnar, and that is why so many travellers have a holiday in Munnar as top of their wish lists while travelleing to Kerala. Located at an altitude of 1600m, at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Chadavurai,   and  Kundaly rivers, it was once the summer resort of the British. Munnar  holds great appeal for those with an appreciative eye for exquisite beauty - from unending expanse of tea plantations to pristine valleys and the verdant mountains of the Western Ghats; and from national parks and sanctuaries teeming with wildlife, to the beautiful lakes..
 
Getting There
AIR
The nearest airport is Kochi (135 Km) connected with major cities in India as well as some international destinations.
 
RAIL
The nearest railhead is Theni (60KM) and Aluva (110 KM). However, the most convenient railhead is Ernakulam (125 Km).
 
ROAD
Munnar is well connected by road with different places and cities in South India
Munnar is: 
200 km from Alappuzha
163 km from Coimbatore
135 km from Ernakulam
252 km from Kollam
148 km from Kottayam
167 km from Madurai
158 km from Thrissur
310 km from Thiruvananthapuram
 
 
Tea Museum :
           At Nullathanni Estate. The exhibits include a sundial made in 1913, original 1905 tea roller, burial urn from 2nd century BC, a wooden bathtub, magnet phone, 1909 EPABX, classic furniture apart from photos, curios etc relating to tea. There is also a tea-tasting demonstration room and a mini manufacturing unit. 
 
CSI Church :
              Located on a hill in the centre of old Munnar, this is a black basalt building with a prominent nave and bell tower. Consecrated in 1910, the church still has its original 14 rows of polished pews and antique chandeliers.
 
 
Mount Carmel Church :
              Established in 1898, this was the first Roman Catholic church in the High Ranges. An interesting facet of Munnar is that on the 3 hillocks which overlook the centre of the town, stand 3 major places of worship-Murugan temple, Mount Carmel church and the Muslim Jamath.
 
Blossom International Park :
                The park has a garden with a profusion of blooms and activities such as boating, roller-skating, campfire etc. Kerala Hydel Tourism Centre, Kochi-Munnar NH.
 
Tea Estates :
                   The main plantation is Tea. Some plantations at an elevation of over 2100 m are amongst the highest in the world.
 
 
Excursions
Pothamedu: (6 km.)  : 
                Pothamedu offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. 
Pallivasal Hydro Electric Project (6 Km.):  One of the most important electric projects in Kerala.  Visitors are allowed on working days only. Permission for a visit can be obtained from the Exec. Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board, Chittirapuram, Munnar;
 
Devikulam (7 Km.) :
                The place is famous for scenic beauty and attracts nature lovers. Here, in picturesque surroundings, the Sita Devi Lake, with its mineral water, is an ideal picnic spot. The District Tourism Promotion Council has also started a nursery of spices at Devikulam. 
 
Attukal (9 km.)  :
               A panorama of waterfalls and rolling hills, Attukal, located between Munnar and Pallivasal, is a feast for the eyes. The place is also ideal for long treks.
 
Nyayamakad: (10 km.) :
                Located between Munnar and Rajamala, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. 
 
Mattupetty Dam (13 Km.) :
               The lake and dam are very scenic. DTPC provides rowing boats for cruises. 
 
Echo Point: (15 Km.)  :
               The place is located on the way to Top Station. 
 
Power House Waterfalls: (18 Km.)  :
               On the way to Thekkady from Munnar the waterfalls attract visitors 
 
Lockhart Gap (19 Km.) :
               It provides a panoramic view of the valley and plantations; 
 
Rajamalai Estate (20 Km.) :
                Situated almost 6000 ft. above sea level, it is one of the most scenic tea estates in the High Ranges.  It is also the base to visit the Eravikulam National Park. Kolukkumalai: 1 ½ hrs from Munnar and is only accessible only by jeep. It is the highest tea plantation in the country. Located in the upper reaches of Tamilnadu’s Theni district, close to the Kerala border, it offers awesome views.
 
 
Eravikulam National Park (33 Km.) :
                 This Park lies at the crest of the Anamalai ranges. The Nilgiri Tahr, a rare breed of mountain goat can be seen here. Eravikulam is accessible by foot from Rajamalai (13 Km.) which is approximately 20 Km. from Munnar town. 
 
Top Station (34 km.) :
                   Situated on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, it commands a breathtaking view of the surrounding areas. It takes its name from a ropeway that connected it via Middle Station to Lower Station in the valley. All that remains are ruins.
 
Anaimudi (20 Km.)  :
The highest peak in South India (2695 Mts.), ideal for trekking; 
 
Anayirankal: (22 Km.) :
              A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirangal dam is surrounded by Tata Tea plantations and evergreen forests. 
 
Marayoor (40 Km.) :
                 The nearest town to the Chinnar wildlife Sanctuary, it is famous for its archaeological site and natural sandalwood forest. There is a sandalwood depot run by the Forest Dept here where you can see how it is processed. Behind the Marayoor High School are numerous caves, made out of huge granite slabs, believed to have been the dwelling of ancient tribals.
 
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km) :
          The sanctuary is a premier wildlife destination around Munnar. This wildlife site is renowned for its outstanding variety of game including Nilgiri Thar, Nilgiri Wood-pigeon, Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Elephant, Sambar, Gaur, and Neelakurinji.
 
Fast Fact
  • Temperature : Summer: 29-18C Winter: 21-15.5 C
  • Best Season : October to April
  • Clothing : Tropical
  • Languages spoken : Malayalam, English, Hindi
  • STD Code:   04869
 
                A rare example of human intervention having enhanced an ecosystem., the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary situated at Thekkady in the high ranges of the Western Ghats, spreads over an area of 777sq.km. It is situated in the Idukki (Thekkady) and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala.
 
The Periyar Sanctuary has was declared a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1978. Mirror still lagoons, grassy plains and naked hills, make up the landscape of Periyar, providing the perfect foil to the wildlife found there elephants, Indian bison and the endangered lion-tailed macaque. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar adds to the charm of the park.
 
Getting There
 
AIR
Madurai and Kochi are the convenient airports.
 
RAIL
The nearest railhead is Bodinayakanur. However, Kottayam is the convenient railhead.
 
ROAD
Thekkady is connected by motorable roads with different places in South India
Thekkady is:
140 km from Madurai
190 km from Kochi
164 from Alleppey
160 km from Kodaikanal
220 km from Kollam
114 km from Kottayam
272 km from Thiruvananthapuram
113 km from Munnar
 
Sights to See
Wildlife :
                   In Periyar Tiger Reserve there is a rich diversity of vertebrates. The diverse forest types, ‘vayals’, marshes, and a large aquatic habitat together support 62 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles, 27 species of amphibians, and 38 species of fishes. The invertebrate fauna of Periyar is not well documented, though the predominant invertebrate orders are Protozoa, Annelida, Arthropoda and Mollusca. 160 butterfly species have been listed. The wildlife that can be seen in the sanctuary include the elephant, sambar, gaur, nilgiri tahr, Malabar giant squirrel, barking deer, porcupine, nilgiri langur, monitor lizard, flying lizard, flying frog, flying snake, king cobra, python, flying squirrel, striped necked mongoose, nilgiri marten, fruit bats, birds such as darter, flycatchers, grey hornbill etc.
 
TRIBAL MUSEUM :
                     Five ethnically different tribal communities once lived within and outside the park. Mannan, Paliya, Urali, Mala-araya and Malampandaram are the predominant tribal groups and almost all of them are settled on the outskirts of the reserve, engaged in agriculture. Malampandaram, is a small nomadic community living off nature, collecting berries and tubers and occasionally fishing deep inside the forests of the tiger reserve. A tribal heritage museum built inside the Mannan settlement featuring various types of artifacts related to their ancient agricultural practices, marriage ceremonies, cultural events, dress code, rituals and death ceremonies is the hub of this ecotourism programme. Display of fishing gear, hunting weaponry, indigenous medicine and vessels, cereals, medicinal herbs, bamboo furnitures, etc. are other attractions providing a peep into their original culture.
 
Excursions
Kumily (4Km) : 
                 It is an important spice trading centre and handles a major share of the trade in pepper and cardamom. One can attend auctions with prior permission. Kerala Cardamom Processing Marketing Centre, the main cardamom auction centre in Kumily, holds its weekly auction on Wednesdays & Sundays. At MAS Enterprises, Vandanmedu, it is held on Fridays. Besides being an auction centre, many wholesale and retail shops function here.
 
Murikkady (5 Km) :
                     Washed in fresh spice scented air, it is a panorama of cardamom, coffee & pepper plantations.
 
Pandikuzhi (9 Km) :
                     This picturesque spectrum of exotic flora, fauna & gurgling streams is cradled between Chellarkovil & the Tamilnadu border.
 
Chellarkovil (18 km) :
                    This sleepy little village with its breathtaking view of the plains & cascading waterfalls is a feast for the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Cumbum in neighbouring Tamilnadu.
 
Mangaladevi Temple (15 km) :
                   The ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level. Visitors are allowed only on the Chitra Pournami festival day. Permission to visit the area can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Thekkady.
 
Vandiperiyar (18 Km) :
                   The river Periyar flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories. The Govt Agriculture Farm & Flower Garden have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids & anthuria.
 
Peerumedu (40 Km.) :
                   At an altitude of 914 mts., is a small hill station on the way to Thekkady. The place is full of rubber, coffee, pepper and cardamom Plantations.
 
 
Pullumedu (43 Km) :
                   The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar River, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. The famous Sri Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala is visible from here. It is part of the restricted forest zone and special permission has to be obtained from the Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady or the Range Officer, Vallakkadavu. Tel: 252515.
 
Gavi (44 Km) :
                     A picturesque place where one can go trekking, birdwatching, outdoor camping & boating.
 
Vandanmedu (25 Km.) :
                     Situated at a height of 4000 ft., it is the largest producer of cardamom in the country and has several tea and spice plantations as well. It is the one of the world’s largest auction centres for cardamom.
 
Sabarimala :
                    The famous forest shrine is situated within the limits of Periyar Tiger Reserve. The temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa is accessible only by foot. It attracts a large number of pilgrims every year during Mandala Pooja (November/December) and for Makara Vilaku (January). The temple is opened for darshan for 41 days during Nov.& Dec.
 
Kurisumala ( 60 Km) :
                    It can be reached through two routes. Both converge at Kollampattada, where you get a magnificent view of the surrounding hills, Periyar lake, Kumily town, portions of Tamilnadu etc. Every year on Good Friday, pilgrims climb up this mountain. One can trek up or take a short jeep drive,
 
Vagamon (70 Km) :
                  Grass covered hills & the cool mountain air make it a perfect holiday retreat. A curious blend of religious mysticism & European legacies, this hillside village is a haven of tranquility. The dairy farm managed by the Kurisumala monks is worth a visit.
 
Idukki (85 Km) :
                   The district of Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. High ranges and valleys are girded by 3 main rivers, Periyar, Thalayar & Thodupuzhayar & their tributaries. River Pamba also has its origin here. Idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife, hill stations etc. It has a large population of tribals like Muthuvan, Malayarayan, Mannan, Paliyan, Urali etc.
 
Thommankuthu :
                17 Km from Thodupuzha. It is famous for its numerous waterfalls.
 
Anamudi :
                Anamudi peak is the highest in South India.
 
Kuttikkanam (48 Km) :
                A place for adventure tourism and trekking, or even a languorous, tranquil break
The town was founded by Raja Keshawadasan, Divan of Travanacore in 1762.With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travellers from across the world, this are is also home to diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala.
Today, Alappuzha (Alleppey) has grown in importance as a backwater tourist center, & also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry.
 
Area : 1414 sq. Km Population : 1,990,603 (1991 census)
 
General  Information
Altitude: Sea level
Area:1414.00 sq. km
Temperature :(Mean Max, Mean Min) Summer 35 c Winter 32c ,20c
Rainfall: Annual 299 cms.
Best time to visit August to March
Clothing :Tropical cottons
Languages :Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English.
Boundaries :Arabian Sea on the West
 
Access
Air:  Nearest International Airports : Kochi (Nedumbassery - 85 km), Thiruvananthapuram (150 kms).
Rail: Well connected to Major Cities.
Road:An excellent road network links the district to all major towns and cities in India.
Water: Linked by boat service through the backwaters to Kollam (8 Hrs), Changanacherry (3 hrs), Kumarakom (3 hr), Cochin (4 hrs), Kumarakom (2 hrs), Chengannor, etc.
 
Bus and taxi service is available from Chamba to Pathankot, Delhi, Dharamsala, Shimla, Chandigarh, Jammu and most of the Punjab cities along the national highway.
 
Places  to  Visit
Kuttanad: It"s called the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of paddy crops, is at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of Banana, Cassava and Yam. This is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done 1.5 to 2 mtr below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land lever are an amazing feature of this region.Alappuzha (Alleppey) beach: This is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha (Alleppey). The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya beach park add to the attractions of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse, which is greatly fascinating to visitors.Pathiramanal: According the mythology a Young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting Island pf Pathiramanal (sands of midnight). This little island on the backwaters is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat. Champakulam church: One of the oldest churches in Kerala, the St. Mary"s Church is believed to be one of the seven established by St. Thomas. The annual feast at this church falls on the 3rd Sunday of October every year.
 
Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple (15 km south of Alappuzha):Built in the typical Kerala architectural style, this temple is famous all over India for the Palpayasam, the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge. It is also in this temple that Pallipana is performed by Velans (sorcerers) once every twelve years.
Fast Fact :
  • Temperature:  Summer: 40 -22 C           Winter: 33 -12 C 
  • Best Season :  Throughout the year 
  • Clothing :  Tropical 
  • Languages spoken :  Malayalam, English 
  • STD Code  : 0470
                A famous beach destination in southern Kerala, Varkala comes lauded as a sacred pilgrimage center too. Like the white cliffs of Dover, the pink  cliffs at the Varkala Beach offer sensational view of the Arabian Sea. Mineral water springs originating from the cliff is believed to possess medicinal properties. 
 
                A dip in the holy waters at the beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name `Papanasam beach`. The place is home to 2000-year-old Vishnu Shrine of Janardhanaswamy. The Sivagiri Mutt established by the great social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru is another start attraction of the place.
 
Getting There
AIR
The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport connected by flights with different cites in India and world.
 
RAIL
Varkala is nearest railhead connected with major cities and places in India.
 
ROAD
Varkala is connected by motorable roads with major cites and places in South India. 
Varkala is:
57 km from Thiruvananthapuram
140 km from Sabarimala
88 km from Ponmudi
186 km from Thekkady
138 km from Kanyakumari
180 km from Kochi
375 km from Kozhikode
695 km from Bangalore
713 km from Chennai
 
Sights to See :--
Sivagiri Mutt :
                Located in close proximity to Janardhanaswamy Temple, the Sivagiri Mutt was founded by the great Hindu reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 - 1928). The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days - 30th December to 1st January. Sree Narayana Guru propagated the ideology: "one caste, one religion and one god", in a society torn by the taboos of caste system.
 
Varkala Tunnel :  
               A famous tourist attraction in Varkala, this 924 ft long tunnel took almost 14 years to complete. It began in 1867 under the supervision of Travancore Diwan Sir. T Mahadeva Rao and was completed only in 1880, at the time of Diwan Sheshaya Sasthri. 
 
Janardhanaswamy Temple :
                  This two thousand year old shrine stands on the cliffs overlooking the Varkala beach. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the shrine is also called Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the South).
 
Excursions
Kappil Lake (6 km) :
                   The serene and scenic Kappil Lake is flanked with coconut groves and trees and this tranquil estuary roves gracefully and merges into the Arabian Sea. Get on the bridge that is built across the lake and you will get the most fascinating view of the lake pacing toward the blue horizon. The more adventurous can go for boating to enjoy the beauty of this lake. The Department of Tourism has arranged a boat club from where one can hire pedal boats which is another way to browse this tranquil waterway. The serene atmosphere here, without the hullabaloo of town or a crowded tourist spot, is sure to calm your nerves. 
 
Anchuthengu and Anjengo Fort (12 km) :
              Anchuthengu, formerly known as Anjengo, is a place situated en route to Kadakkavur. It is another coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram District and is known as an old colonial settlement. The island is very small in area, sandwiched between the sea and backwaters, but it has high relevance in the history of India, with various colonial powers – The Portuguese, Dutch and the English – tried to occupy the place. 
 
                    The major landmark at Anchuthengu is Anjengo Fort, which is situated between the sea and backwaters.  Travellers can also see some ancient tombstones and a garden on the fort premises.
 
Sarkara Devi temple (13 km) :
                   Sarkara Devi temple at Chirayinkeezhu is one of the major pilgrim destinations in south India. It is situated south of the Chirayinkeezhu Taluk. The main deity of the temple is Goddess Bhadrakali. The idol is installed facing the north. 
 
Ponnumthuruthu Island (12 km) :
                        You can board a country boat from Nedunganda and take a tour through the backwaters for about 30 minutes to reach Ponnumthuruthu. You can find a temple on this island.

Kerala's Popular Packages

Kerala's Popular Tourists Attractions

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