Blessed by bounteous nature, the cities of Kerala offer a peaceful stay to its residents and an ideal getaway for exhausted travelers. The cities reflect the culture and the life-styles of the Keralites.Its amazing to note how the Keralites have still adhered to their age-old culture and values without compromising with the modern developments.
You would love to feel the difference once you visit these cities of Kerala that speaks about their glorious past and interesting present.
The main cities of Kerala are-
Alappuzha or Alleppey - Alappuzha or Alleppey is an entrancing region of awe-inspiring natural beauty with the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast tangle of cerulean lakes, serene backwaters and freshwater rivers, is usually referred as the Venice of the East. It has developed as a major backwater tourist centre and is renowned for its pristine beaches, exciting boat races, romantic houseboat holidays and coir industry. The Town was founded by Divan of Travanacore - Raja Keshawadasan in 1762. Owing to its propinquity to the sea, the town of Alappuzha previously called Alleppey, has enjoyed a significant position in the nautical history of Kerala. The major places of interest are Kuttanad, also known as the rice bowl of Kerala, Champakulam Church, Light House, Alappuzha Beach, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple and Karumadikuttan.
Bekal-Bekal, a small region of striking beauty is located on the shoreline of Pallikara village in the district of Kasargod in Kerala. The appeal of the pristine sandy beaches, the luring sound of the rolling waves, the 300-year-old ancient Bekal Fort exuding a charm of its past, the cordial, enterprising people and its proximity to two airports make Bekal an ideal tourist destination. The main places of interest are the Bekal Fort, which is one of the best- preserved historic forts in Kerala, Valiyaparamba, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of backwater, Bekal Hole Aqua Park, Kappil Beach and the Kodi Cliffs.
Ernakulam, Kochi (Cochin) - Ernakulam (Cochin) is the cosmopolitan city as well as the major commercial and industrial center of Kerala. Right from the distant past, the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, British and the Dutch have left deep-seated marks on the history and development of Cochin. Standing on the coast of the Arabian Sea with its premium natural harbors in the country, this city is also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Colloquially, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. The places of interest are Marine Drive, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry (Dutch) Palace, The Bishop's House, Bastion Bungalow, Pierce Leslie Bungalow, Fort Immanuel, Vasco House, Dutch Cemetery and so on.
Idukki-This landlocked area is like a natural paradise with high hills and forested valleys encircled by three major Rivers - Thalayar, Thodupuzhayar and Periyar. This place is home to diverse flora and fauna and is a great tourist attraction with its Idukki Arch Dam, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Spice Plantation Tours and Elephant Rides.
Kannur- Kannur often known as the crown of Kerala because of its natural treasures, is edged by the Western Ghats in the east and Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in the south, the Lakshadweep Sea in the west and Kasargod in the north. With the Lakshadweep Sea in the west, the Western Ghats in the east, and the Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in the south, Kannur is bounded by a wealth of natural beauty. It was this heaven-like place of astounding beauty to which Jawaharlal Nehru referred to as the 'Garden of India'. This place is the melting pot of many cultures, religions and traditions and the state of Kerala owes its cultural, political and industrial heritage to Kannur. The places of interest of Kannur are- Fort St Angelo, Sundareswara Temple, Mavilakavu Temple, Shri Muthappan Temple, The Old Juma Masjid, St. John's Church, Payyambalam and Ezhimala Beach.
Kasargod - Kasargod is called as the land of gods and houses the enormous and best preserved fort of Kerala and is also world famous for its handloom and coir industries. It is a place of cultural heritage and the chief attractions are outstanding shows of Theyyam, Kumbla (buffalo race), Yakshagana, Poorakkali and Kolkali.
Kottayam- Kottyam, this exotic land with long stretches of serene backwaters, sprawling paddy fields and rubber plantations, is bounded by Western Ghats on the east the Vembanad Lake on the west. Kottyam has 109,582 hectares of sprawling land dedicated to the rubber plantations. It is the first town to have attained 100 percent literacy and had the first Malayalam printing press which was established by a Christian missionary Benjamin Bailey, in 1820 A.D. The varied places of interest in Kottyam are-
Vaikom Temple, The Temple at ettumanoor, Thrikkodithanam Temple and other pilgrim centres of Mannanam, sabarimala, Bharananganam and so on. Other attractions are The Mosque at Erumeli, St Mary's Forane Church, St Mary's Church in Valiapally, St Mary's Orthodox Church at Cheriyapally and the St Joseph's Monastery at Mannanam and Elaveezha Poonchira.
Kovalam-"Kovalam" meaning a grove of coconut trees is a picture-perfect place with copious coconut trees and serene, pristine beaches. Previously a favorite haunt of the hippies and a fishing village, has now become the centre of multi-million dollar business, luring thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. Kovalam Beach is known as the "Paradise of the South". Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches and the southernmost beach is renowned as the Lighthouse Beach.The places of interest in Kovalam are-Hawa Beach, Ashoka Beach, Sri Dharmasastha Temple, Chowara Appappa Temple, Analothbhava Math Church and so on.
Kozikode- Previously known as Calicut, in the region of Malabar was the seaport of great importance during the times of the Zamorin and was the centre of trade and commerce. Kozhikode occupied an eminent place in world history after the renowned Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama discovered the sea- route to India in 1498 and landed at the Kappad sea shore in Kozhikode. A monument is erected here to mark the historical landing. This city speaks of its glorious past and is an inviting place with its wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills and beautiful beaches. The major attractions of Kozhikode are Kappad Beach, Dolphin's Point, Pazhassirajah Museum, Art Gallery, Krishna Menon Museum, Mananchira, Kallai and so on.
Kumarakom- Kumarakom, situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kerala is a stunning backwater destination and is one of the few places in the world, where the boat is the only means of transportation. Kumarakom, is also a bird watcher's paradise as the bird sanctuary here encompasses about 14 acres land.The places of interest in Kumarakom are Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls,Pathiramanal,Kottayam,Vaikom Temple,Aranmula,Erumely,Vagamon and so on.
Malampuzha- A small town located on the foothills of the Western Ghats, lies 10 km away from the Palakkad town and is one of the charming tourist sites. It has a vast number of amusement alternatives such as - The Malampuzha Gardens, a snake park, a children's park, a garden house, hanging bridge, Sculpture of Yakshi , telescopic tower, rock garden , fantasy park and so on.
Malappuram - Malappuram meaning land on the top of the hills surrounded by the Nilgiri Hills on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west and has three rivers -the Chaliyar, the Kadalundi and the Bharathapuzha flowing through it. This region was the famous seat of Hindu-Vedic learning and Islamic philosophy, the site of Mappila revolts (rebellions against the British Colonial powers) and the martial headquarters of the Zamorins of Kozhikode in the past.
Munnar- Munnar is a hill station, located about1600 m above sea level and has three gushing mountain streams- Mudrapuzha, Kundala and Nallathanni. It is a magnificent resort destination with copious tea plantations, coiling lanes and picturesque towns and the spellbinding view of the grasslands and forests covered with blue blossoms of neelakurinji. The beautiful places of interest in and around Munnar are Pothamedu, Mattupetty Lake and Dam, Devikulam, Pallivasal, Attukal, Nyayamakad, Rajamala, Chithirapuram and etc.
Palakkad- Palakkad also known as Palghat is the land of Paddy fields and Palm trees. It is also known as the Granary of Kerala and the Gateway of Kerala. A place of immence scenic beauty, Palakkad has probably the largest mountain pass in the world splitting up the two folds of the Western Ghats on the rim of Kerala with Tamil Nadu. The places of interest are Palakkad Fort and Palakkad Jain Temple, Tippu's Fort, Malampuzha - Garden, Mayilladumpara - Cholanoor Peacock Sanctury, Seetharkundu water falls near Nelliyampathy and so on.
Periyar (Thekkady)- Periyar, also known as Thekaddy is one of the renowned Wildlife Sanctuary in India as well as the world. This enchanting place is bordered by an unbroken chain of hills of the Western Ghats of Kerala and reverberates with the trumpets of elephants and the melodious chirping of the strange birds and insects. This place which is a loving home to the diverse flora and fauna houses the famous Tiger Reserve and the National Wildlife Park. Periyar is the abode of other wild animals such as leopard, wild dog, Nilgiri langur, barking deer and mouse deer, bonnet macaque, porcupines, Nilgiri tahrs (a kind of a wild goat), squirrels, wild boar, sloth bear and 40 tigers. Periyar's bird life consists of the Cormorant, Darter, Giant Hornbill, Osprey and Racket-tailed Drongo. Some Tribal Villages are also found in the proximity of Periyar.
Thiruvananthapuram- Thiruvananthapuram also traditionally known as Trivandrum is a stunning city built on seven hills and is the capital of Kerala, God's own country.
Thiru-v-anantha-puram is a three syllabled word meaning the dwelling place of the revered serpent god "Anantha". The city has developed as a great tourist and commercial destination with the advantage of the International airport. Long stretches of idyllic backwaters, forested hills of the Western Ghats, picturesque picnic spots, extended coastline with world famous beaches, historic memorials and the cultural significance adds a unique characteristic to this place.
The major attractions are Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple, Kanakakunnu Palace,Kuthiramalika Palace Musueum, Veli Tourist Village , Aruvikkara Dam, Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave ,Agasthyakoodam and others.
Tripunithura- Thrippunithura, also popularly known as the land of temples, is also a center of learning for classical arts like Carnatic Music, classical dance and percussion instruments like Mridangam and Chenda. The famous Sree Poornathrayesa temple located here. One of the famous ceremonial occasions- "Atha Chamayam" is observed in this town during Onam festival. Other important places of interest are Thamaramkulangara Sree Dharma Sastha templeand other temples.
Varkala-Varkala is a favorite seaside tourist resort and is located 55km north of Thiruvananthapuram. It is also an important religious site for the Hindus. A long stretch of sand with lofty red laterite cliffs and healing mineral springs rank Varkala as the sought after tourist destinations. The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is an isolated beach known for its silvery sand and springs.
Wayanad-Wayanad, with its charming and misty hill stations, lush green forests, spice plantations, has still remained unspoilt. This secluded place is the abode of some of the ancient tribes of South India which have not yet seen the light of development.